Admiral claims track record

The big guy this time has the record all to himself.

Back on Nov. 17, 2001, Red Star Admiral won a race by nine lengths. More importantly he won in a time of 1:53.4, tying the Fraser Downs track record.

(He joined such stars as Scruffy Ben, Hot Steam and Nazko Promise. But late last year Bre X lowered the mark to 1:53.3, then again to 1:53.2 and was joined there by Red Star Justice.)

Last Saturday afternoon, the Admiral, all 16.5 hands of him, was on his game as he, with trainer Bill Davis in tow, mightily paced the mile in 1:53.1 in the Invite event.

Red Star Admiral went gate-to-wire, setting an all-age mark. The seven-year-old son of Storm Prince out of Admirals Emma N, paced fractions of 27.4, 57.4 and 1:25.1 before coming home in a strong 28 seconds for a lifetime best. He finished four lengths in front of runner-up Infinite Dreams with Spider M third.

When asked if he was thinking track record, Davis replied, “Not really, I was not sure if my horse was capable.”

However, Davis explained about the strong third quarter of 27.2 seconds, “I saw Dave (Hudon) coming with Infinite Dreams and I wanted to keep some space.”

Then Davis added, “When I saw the Teletimer when we were close to the wire I realized he was close (to the track record). I gave him a couple of taps.”

Red Star Admiral, owned by Robert Murphy, now has two wins and nearly $20,000 earned in 10 starts this season. The gelding has made $226,879 in his career.

Admiral won his first three career starts as a three-year-old in B.C. in 2000, raced in Alberta in early 2001 (with no wins in seven starts) and in Ontario (in mid 2001 with one win in 10 races). He first raced in the Davis barn on Nov. 11, 2001.

He has overcome a couple of setbacks, racing only 11 times in 2002 and off May to December in 2003.

“The first time be broke a right cannon bone behind,” Davis said. “If it was not for Dr. Alexander putting screws in his leg he would have never raced again, a normal horse might have had it finish his career.

“Then the next time he got a blood virus in Edmonton and Murphy decided to bring him home and give him time off.”

After Saturday’s race there may be little of that as he continues to battle the big boys in the Invite.”

ASCOT TOPS MARK FOR THREE-YEAR-OLDS: For the second time in two weeks the Fraser Downs track record for three-year-old colts and geldings fell by the wayside, this time in one of the elimination legs last Friday for the Sandown Plate.

Hi Time Ascot, making only the fourth start of his career, blazed over the fast track for a 1:54.1 clocking. That was a fifth of a second faster than Seven Seas Cruiser registered on March 21.

Hi Time Ascot, a son of Barnett Hanover out of Hi Time Lady, was third early, fell to fourth at the three-quarter pole and then roared home over the last quarter in 27.3
seconds. The 5-2 second choice won by 2½ lengths over Red Star Dusty with Seven Seas Cruiser, an odds-on favorite, third. Those two had battled over a 57-second first half.

Hi Time Ascot, owned by Western Pacific Stable of Surrey, trained by Ray Gemmill and driven, for the first time by Dave Hudon, has won all of his four starts.
In the other elimination, Lil Dude Starrbuck continued to impress, winning by 4¼ lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:55.

Starrbuck now has three wins, a second and third in six starts in 2004 and six lifetime wins in 13 starts. The son of Threefold out of Almahurst Irish now has won more than $26,000 in his career.

Part of a 3-5 favored entry, Starrbuck is owned by Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey and is trained and driven by Larry Micallef.

Starting from the six-hole in the field of seven, he had to battle Red Star Golfer for the early lead. He took over before the quarter and never looked back. Golfer held on for second and Starrbuck’s stablemate Lildudekickinash was third.

The final, for a purse of $32,900, will be held Saturday.

BUT THERE’S FUN AT BOTH PLACES: Fraser Downs patrons are reminded that vouchers used at the race track CANNOT be used in the Downs’ Gaming Centre – and vice versa.

DAVIS LEADS: Bill Davis returned to the top of the pack last week in the driver and trainer derbies.

Davis led all drivers with seven wins – including four on Saturday – to widen his lead for the meet. Davis is only four wins away from 200 for the meet.

Tim Brown also had a four-bagger (on Friday) and five for the weekend to send his second-best meet total to 101. Dave Hudon, Rod Therres, Larry Micallef and Jim Burke each had three and Don Warrington and Jim Marino two apiece.

Davis also paced all trainers with five victories. Ann Cooper and Larry Micallef had three each while Brown and Hudon had two apiece. Cathy Duquette and Andre Juckers each got their first wins of the meet. Duquette’s triumph came in her first start since she got her trainer’s licence with C D Legacy, a horse she owns.

VIPLER, MORI WIN: On a week where points were hard to come by, Vladislav Vipler picked up four and won the second half in the $10,000 KENO Harness Pool at Fraser Downs.

Vipler finished with 70 points, one ahead of Dennis Matsalla, who had led for the previous two weeks.

Nobby Mori, who finished third in the second half – with 66 points – and tied for third in the first half with 43, was the big overall winner. Mori finished with 109 points.

Vipler was second overall with 103 with Pamela Percy-Bell was next with 99. Matsalla and Inga McDougall each had 98.

Matt Jordan, Kari Kariya and Allan Lester tied for fourth in the second half with 65 points.

The Harness Pool had contestants pick a stable of horses and each contestant earn points based on their performance (five for win, three for place and one for show). Contestants were permitted one trade in each half.

At the end of each half, the top three contestants win prize money. At the end of the contest, both halves will be added and the top 40 players, including ties, will share in the $10,000 prize pool.

They will receive prizes as follows: first $2,500, second $1,500, third $1000, fourth to 10th $250 and 11th to 40th $75. Prizes will be awarded to the top three players in each half: first $250, second $150 and third $100. Winners of first half top-three prizes are not eligible for second half top-three prizes.

PUNCH IN ONTARIO: Proberts Punch, owned by Maximracingstableinc of Squamish, has joined the list of horses familiar to Downs’ race fans, racing elsewhere.

The four-year-old son of Wheelin Chance, now in the hands of trainer Mark Harder, raced last Tuesday at Mohawk and on March 29 at Woodbine.

Last Tuesday with driver/trainer Jim Burke flying to Ontario to do the driving, Punch was seventh in the $22,000 purse, five-year-old and younger, non-winners three or $71,000 lifetime race. Proberts Punch struggled early in the race, which went in 1:54.2.

On the 29th he finished fourth in a non-winners three or $60,000 lifetime or $7,000 last six. Punch roared home in 27.4 in the last quarter in the race, which went in 1:53.4.

Last weekend was not as good as the previous for other horses competing elsewhere.
The only winner was Rainbow Shark at Northlands. The Robert Murphy-owned horse won – and was claimed – at the $6,000 claimer level. He won in 1:59.2.

In the same race last Saturday at Northlands, Maxamillenium was fourth and Showtime Eddy fifth. Maxamillenium led at the head of the stretch but tired in the 1:57.1-won race.
The Fisco Kid was third in another race that day.

Red Star Emerson, Red Star Minckler and Rich Cam were all sixth in races last Saturday at Woodbine.

FOUR ALIVE: After week three four contestants – Bruce White, Chris Carr, Joe Sotelo and Bob Kosolofski -- were still alive in the Fraser Downs’ King of the Hill handicapping contest.

The foursome was the only ones to survive after week two and all advanced again.

It started March 22 when more than 150 entrants submitted a pick of what horse they thought would win on the Woodbine Monday night card. (Entries must be in by 4:30 p.m. each Monday).

If the handicapper is astute and his horse wins he moves on to the next week. Lose and they’re gone, out, kaput.

The last person handicapping is King of the Hill – and will also be $500 richer thanks to the Downs.

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