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By Scott Taylor / Photos courtesy Assiniboia Downs

It’s unlikely this was unsuspected -- and that means even to casual racing fans who go out to Assiniboia Downs only once or twice a year.

Manitoba-bred filly Escape Clause was honoured twice at the annual HBPA/CTHS Awards Banquet at the Finish Line Banquet Hall in early May. Not was only was Escape Clause the Horse of the Year on the track, she also won Manitoba-bred Horse of the Year.

“It doesn’t get any better than this,” said part owner Barry Arnason as he accepted the award on behalf of owner/trainer Don Schnell and the True North owners Phil Allard and Pat Beavis.

Not since Liz’s Pride in 1978 has there been a Manitoba filly who showed Escape Clause’s talent, winning seven of eight races and finishing second to Plentiful in the Manitoba Derby. She then went to Alberta where she tackled and beat horses bred in B.C. and Alberta.

There will be plenty of talk about Escape Clause’s spectacular 2017 season all season at the Downs as the track is now six days into the 50-day 2018 meet.

There is live racing this Wednesday, May 30, with the opening post parade at 7:15 and the Downs will also go to post on Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2, with post parade at 7:15 p.m.

And don’t forget on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the free VLT tournaments continue, starting at 8 p.m. each night. You can get into the draw for 10 chances to win $20 in free VLT spins. The top winner from each night participates in a month-end finale for more spins and $250 in prize money.

And every Friday and Saturday, the Downs presents $10 buy-in poker. The registration is at 8 p.m. and the game starts at 8:30 p.m.

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