Stakes races are prevalent this weekend at Fraser Downs

Things kick Friday (Dec. 13) with the Sales Stakes finals for two-year-olds, Saturday it's the Sales Stakes for three-year-olds and Sunday features the Mr. Vancouver for four-year-old horses and geldings.

Several contenders used last weekend as trainers (tighteners) for the Stakes which all go for purses of more than $30,000.

One big plus for competitors tonight is that they do not have to contend with Rich Cam, the undefeated prince of the age class. Rich Cam, who has already caught the eye of the country, nevermind the province with such credentials as track records and a Breeders (Sires) Stake win is ineligible for the Sales Stake (a horse must have gone through the B.C. yearling sale).
Only six colts or geldings entered for tonight, including Oddsofawildcard, who did not compete in the Breeders, but has been improving with each outing. Kootenay Ice was second to Rich Cam in the Breeders final and will garner much of the attention tonight. The field also includes the Larry-Micallef-trained entry of Bill The Cheetah and Holysnarpinarmpits, Speed Pact and Red Star Tyler, who won an elimination leg of the Breeders.

The two-year-old fillies will also be without their Breeders Stakes winner, Jim Burke's Yumyum Candy.

But eight are ready for tonight. Millenium Money and Red Star Finalee, who were second and third respectively to Yumyum, looked good in tune-ups last week. Another to watch will likely be Lil Dudes Dewette who broke her maiden last Saturday in a race which included Kootenay Ice and some three-year-olds.

Others in the field are Bo Magnolia, Sumwerovrtherainbo, Red Star Anncando and Red Star Sandy. Interestingly Red Star trainer Rene Goulet gave the week off to all his Stakes competitors except Finalee.

The three-year-old fillies did things differently in getting to Saturday's final. They needed elimination legs to trim from 12 to nine. Winning legs two weeks ago were Dal Reo Damsel and I Wish I Might. The latter rested last weekend while Rod Therres' Damsel, who has already earned more than $100,000 this year, took on older fillies and mares in the open and won in 1:58.2.

Dealmeahos, second to Damsel in their elimination leg, also won last Saturday in 1:59.1.
The contenders do not stop there as Holy Doodle, the winner of the Breeders Stake final, will battle along with Tahuya Lark, Lunar Princess and Three For Me, who have shown continued improvement, good-feeling story Red Star Dahling and Hippie Chick.

Only six will contest the colts and geldings division with Breeders Stakes champ Millbanks P I not in. Paul Harrison's Haras Colta Cola, the odds-on favourite in the Breeders, hopes to rebound from a disappointing race and showed signs in a tightener last weekend against older horses.

Red Star Ritzi and Red Star Camelot were first and second in the Breeders consolation and Camelot looked sharp last weekend.

Others taking a shot are Just Invincible, Raggidy Andy and Tahuya Squire.

Meanwhile, Nazko Promise will carry the favourite's role in a short but strong field for the Mr. Vancouver.

The Dave Jungquist-trained son of As Promised continues to impress, racing most recently in the winners over class at the Downs. He made it three successive wins at that level last Sunday despite being handicapped to the eight hole.

Trainer Dave Hudon will throw an entry into the fray: strong free-legged pacer Red Star Justice and Pulledsuspensory and another horse to watch is the ever-improving Red Star Leam.
Owned by Tri W Stable and trained by Mark Martin, Leam, also a son of As Promised, has won four races in a row including a lifetime mark of 1:56.4 two weeks ago. He will also likely be piloted by top driver Bill Davis.

Others in the field are Rick White's Meant To Do That and Heather Sifert's Gramrun Grafton.

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