No training for handling an out-of-control horse

SCOTT UNGER -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

Last week it was jockey Alan Cuthbertson who was on the mend.

This week, it's veteran Rohan Singh who is working through the odd bump and bruise after an incident in Race 4 last Sunday.

It's one of those things that's tough to avoid when you ride 1,200-pound animals for a living.

"There's no real training for it," Singh said of handling a horse galloping out of control at close to 40 miles per hour. "I remember when I first started some of the older riders said to tuck and roll, instead of flopping down like a sack of potatoes. Usually that's the first thought that runs through my head.

"Sometimes you don't get a chance. The next thing you know you're eating dirt."

SUNDAY STAKE: The stakes season continues this weekend at Assiniboia Downs with the Free Press Stakes for three-year-olds and up on Sunday afternoon. In the six furlong-race, Frontier Express, an invader from Stampede Park in Calgary with jockey Real Simard, is the morning favourite. The horse won his last race, a $20,000 allowance, by four lengths and will make his Downs debut.

Shadow Rush, who came to the Downs this year from Woodbine in Toronto, will be looking for its second win of the season, after claiming victory in a $12,500 allowance race on May 27 by three lengths.

Elite Mercedes could also contend. He is winless in two starts this season, but won seven of 11 races last season, including wins in the Wheat City, R.J. Speers and Gold Breeders' Cup stakes races. Cuthbertson rode Elite Mercedes to victory in all three of those stakes, but has left the horse after finishing sixth with it in its first race of the season. Singh will ride it Sunday.

Cuthberson will ride Illusive Force, who is 1-for-1 this season at the Downs since coming over from Hastings Park in Vancouver.

PARKING CHANGE: With the Red River Exhibition beginning tonight, Assiniboia Downs has opened its backstretch entrance off of Saskatchewan Avenue for parking this weekend. Parking is still available on the south side of the grandstand, but will be shared will those attending the Ex.


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