From the 6/20/97 DRF


'McChump' finds track to his liking

Daily Racing Form trackman

WINNIPEG, Manitoba - You know Assiniboia Downs must be doing something good when generous unsolicited advertising appears on the internet.

Recently found on the most informative mailing list on the net, Stephen McNatton's Derby Digest (send subscribe message to, was a review of the track, courtesy of Terry Bjork (

Bjork, a regular contributor to the Derby Digest, is undertaking a tour of numerous racetracks with the following text prefacing his reviews on the net: "The McChump of the North Tour was undertaken by a trained professional. Do not try this at home."

Entertaining and informative, Bjork's reviews include driving time and distance to track, construction zones, authority vehicles spotted, dead deer, time lost and international border crossings required. He then describes his experience at the track and in the city.

Being an American, he cited one of his major fears of coming north as getting a speeding ticket: "I lived in constant fear that a member of the RCMP would pull me over, ask what I was doing in Canada and toss me out once he learned I was there simply to (gasp) play the horses", he said in his review. He quickly learned that Canadians are friendly, and his fears were unjustified; all would go smoothly.

In another quote from his review he said, "Assiniboia Downs has the best selection of beer and one of the best food selections of any track I've ever been to!

"As soon as I spied the beer coolers stocked with multiple tasty canadian brews, many of which I's never tried before, I knew it was going to be a great night."

Bjork was pleased with the prices and quality of service. "All prices Canadian," he said. "which means in reality I was getting all this stuff for 30 percent cheaper. Bargain. And the people who work there really try to make your visit pleasant."

Bjork's further praise included comments about the extra equipment changes in the program. "Tongue tie on/off," and "Shadow roll on." He called this extra information a double bonus. The two major things Bjork noted about Assiniboia Downs were the lack of automated tellers and color-coded silks. He was told people prefer to use the live tellers to place their bets when he asked, which is always true when the tellers are good, sharp, and polite. Regarding the color-coded silks he said, "Must save the owners of Manitoba a bundle."

Bjork didn't have a great night betting. "Maybe because of all those tasty beers, but I just couldn't cash anything but minor tickets to save my life," he said.

In closing Bjork said, "Assiniboia Downs gets a big McChump Tour Thumbs Up as a fun place to visit, and one that treated the regular chumg sort of a patron well."

And showing his ever-present sense of humor, Bjork had a unique description of his accomodations in Winnipeg.

"The Holiday Inn Airport West gets big bonus points for having circular aquariums with goldfish in them embedded in the elevator walls."

You can bet Assiniboia Downs will be looking into this matter.

Mosey on back to the McChump Tour main page