03/10/2004 12:00AM

Lesser stakes get financial aid

Email

The Manitoba Derby, which lost its Grade 3 status and had its purse reduced by 25 percent, still holds bragging rights as the richest race at Winnipeg's Assiniboia Downs this year.

The $75,000 Manitoba Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds on Aug. 2, tops a list of 31 stakes worth a total of $2.63 million at the 75-day meeting. The Graduation Stakes for 2-year-old colts and geldings was eliminated from the schedule this year.

Racing secretary Ray Miller explained that the cuts were made to allow Assiniboia to increase the purses for 20 stakes from $35,000 to $40,000, the minimum purse requisite for black-type status. Also, three stakes for Manitoba-breds went from $35,000 to $41,000, that odd total being the result of contributions from the Manitoba division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

The Assiniboia meeting begins May 2 and winds up Oct. 3. The closing-day feature will be Gold Breeders' Cup, which along with the Oct. 2 Matron is one of two $65,000 races on the calendar supported by $25,000 from the Breeders' Cup Fund.

2004 Assiniboia stakes schedule

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Sat.., June 5 GOLDEN BOY 3YO 6 Furlongs $40,000
Sun., June 6 CHANTILLY 3YO F 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sun., June 13 LA VERENDRYE 3YO & Up F/M 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sun., June 20 FREE PRESS 3YO & Up 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sat., June 26 MANITOBA 3YO C/G* 1 Mile 40,000
Thur., July 1CANADA DAY 3YO & Up F/M 1 Mile 40,000
Sat., July 3 R.C. ANDERSON 3YO F*1 Mile 40,000
Sun., July 4NORTH DAKOTA DERBY 3YO 1 Mile 20,000
Sat., July 10MATURITY 4YO* 1 1/16 Miles 41,000
Sun., July 11 DERBY TRIAL 3YO 1 1/16 Miles 40,000
Sun., July 18 DEBUTANTE 2YO F 5 1/2 Furlongs 40,000
Fri., Jul. 30 NORTH DAKOTA STALLION 3YO 1 1/16 Miles 20,000
Sun., Jul. 31 FRANK ARNASON 2YO* 6 Furlongs 40,000
Sat. Aug. 1WINNIPEG SUN 3YO & Up F/M 1 1/16 Miles 40,000
Mon., Aug. 2 MANITOBA DERBY 3YO 1 1/8 Miles 75,000
 WINNIPEG FUTURITY 2YO 6 Furlongs 40,000
  JACK HARDY 3YO F 1 Mile 40,000
  WHEAT CITY 3YO & Up 1 Mile 40,000
Sat., Aug. 21 AGASSIZ 3YO & Up C/G* 1 Mile 40,000
Sun., Aug. 22 NORTH DAKOTA STALLION 2YO 6 Furlongs 30,000
Sun., Aug. 29 HARRY JEFFREYS 3YO 1 1/8 Miles 40,000
Sun., Sept. 5 NORTH DAKOTA FUTURITY 2YO 6 Furlongs 25,000
Mon., Sept. 6 DISTAFF 3YO & Up F/M*1 Mile 40,000
  CTHS SALES 2YO F 6 Furlongs 40,000
 CTHS SALES 2YO C/G 6 Furlongs40,000
Sat., Sept. 11R.J. SPEERS 3YO & Up 1 1/16 Miles 40,000
Sun., Sept. 12 ASSINIBOIA OAKS 3YO F 1 1/16 Miles 40,000
Sun., Sept. 19J.W. SIFTON 3YO * 1 1/8 Miles 41,000
Sun., Sept. 26 BUFFALO 2YO * 1 Mile 41,000
Sat., Oct. 2 MATRON BREEDERS' CUP 3YO & Up F/M 1 1/8 Miles 65,000
Sun., Oct. 3 GOLD BREEDERS' CUP 3YO & Up 1 1/8 Miles 65,000

*Restricted to Man.-bred