The marquee event of Manitoba’s thoroughbred horse racing season kicks off Monday at Assiniboia Downs with the 71st running of the Manitoba Derby.
And former Downs employee Tim Rycroft of Alberta has returned to Winnipeg with the early favourite for the mile-and-an-eighth race, a Chestnut Gelding named “Call It A Wrap”.
“Call It A Wrap” will be ridden by Wilmer Galvis, who is one of the leading jockeys at Century Mile in Edmonton.
Along with speed horse “Oil Money”, locally owned “Moscow Minister” is the other early favourite. John Ganas, who also owns Nick’s Inn in Headingley, feels good about having a serious shot at finally ticking a derby win off his bucket list.
Ganas recently purchased the three-year-old Dark Bay Colt out of Kentucky and is hoping trainer Steven Gaskin and jockey Christopher Husband will be the combination that finally delivers that much coveted Manitoba Derby crown.
Monday’s race, which features a guaranteed purse of $75,000 for three-year-olds, is expected to be out of the gates around 5 p.m.
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