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All but rivals agree, it's Betterformbehind

Can anyone beat the undefeated racing machine named Betterfrombehind?

After agreeing to the adage that in a horse race anything can happen, most will soon say the answer is no.

Betterfrombehind, a daughter of Kents On Nuke, made it 10 wins in 10 lifetime starts when she captured an elimination leg of the Stallion Stakes for three year olds last weekend. She won by 7 1/2 lengths over a field of six in a time of 1:57.2.

She now has won such stakes as the Breeders, Sales and Delta en route to lifetime earnings of more than $87,000. Betterfrombehind, who is owned by J J J Stables and Alan and Mark Anderson trained by Al Anderson, will be a prohibitive favorite to win the $99,270 B.C. Stallion Stakes on Saturday. She has drawn the highly-prized four hole on the gate.

Wild Dunes Diamond from the Wild Dunes Stables captured the second of the two eliminations for fillies.

However, her story is much different from Betterfrombehind. Wild Dunes Diamond, a daughter of Scruffy Ben, 3-1 won only the second race of her career in a lifetime mark of 1:59.2 as she held on for a neck decision. She will start from the six spot.

The others set to battle are Red Star Toodles (7), Millbanks Arrow (2), Dal Reo Tiarra (9), Freedom Whisper (3), Dal Reo Indy (5) and the entry of Porkchops Buddy (8) and Sparkling Puddles (1).

The winners last weekend on the colt and gelding side were both from the dominant J J J and Anderson stable.

One was Active Pass, making his first start at the Downs. The son of Kents On Nuke was impressive as he stretched his unbeaten career streak to three and set a life mark of 1:56.4. He will make a strong entry with Namedbyfreaks who won the other elim in 1:57.3. They will start from the seven and three holes respectively.

Planning to try for a share of the close to $100,000 purse are Lunar TKO (6), Fast Lane Fusion (5) , Vai Con Dio (4), Whaturmoneybought (9), Red Star Yogi (8), Skippy Blue Shoe (2) and Wikiwiki Hyakutake (1).

While the three-year-olds had to battle last weekend to reach the final, the four-year-olds - eight of each gender - were resting up for their stakes collisions Saturday.

As the name suggests, equine competitors in the Stallion Stakes have to be B.C. sired. For the layman the dad is paid into the list of the B.C. stallions.

The rule limits the entrants to some degree and for the four-year-olds, who are after purses of $25,000, the result was fields of eight.

On the mares side the list includes one former stakes winner - the Stallion Stake of a year ago - Miss St Labush, who got the five-hole.

Others in the field include Red Star Cowgirl (2), Itsallaboutthemoney (7), Meadowlands Fool (3), Red Star Madeline (4), Tahuya Adara (6), Chateau Flea (8) and Rooibos Tea (1).

On the horse and gelding side, Red Star Dusty is a double stakes winner - Sales Stake as a two-year-old and Stallion at three - and that commands some attention. He will start from six.

But others in the field, which includes Dal Reo Revolt (5) and entry-mate Ballistic Ben (7), Rich Camelot (4), Madigan (2), Fast Lane Stridin (3), Meekos Trucker (8) and Sail The Sevenseas (1), have perhaps been sharper over the past few months.

ADMIRAL IS RED HOT: Some like it hot. That could be the case for the big equine battleship Red Star Admiral.

On a day when the temperature climbed into the 20s and was still 19 degrees at race time, Admiral showed some of his class form as he captured the winners over event last Friday at the Downs.

The eight-year-old gelded son of Storm Prince won only his second of 12 starts in 2005 but he did it impressively. He covered the mile in 1:53.1, just one second off the track record, and he equaled his lifetime best.

He flew through the last quarter in 28.4 seconds as he pulled away for a 6 1/2-length margin of victory.

With Dave McKellar in the sulky, Admiral, the 7-5 favorite, started from the three hole in the field of seven. He stayed there until past the quarter before coming first up and holding second, outside by half a length, at the half. He continued to roll in his unmistakable style, leading by two at the three-quarter pole and powering on to his 38th lifetime win.

C Lec Machine, a 6-1 choice, rallied from seventh at the half to take second and Coyote Hanover was third. Haras Colta Cola and Nuclear Dew, who dueled for the lead through most of the 56.2 second half, were fourth and seventh respectively.

Admiral, who is owned by Robert Murphy and trained by Bob Merschback, has two wins and five seconds in 2005. His winning share of the purse pushed his lifetime earnings to less than $4,000 away from $300,000.

DAVIS ON TOP: A victory in the last race on Saturday night gave Bill Davis the Downs' driver honors on the weekend.

Davis finished the night with three wins and the weekend with five. Jim Marino and Jim Burke each had four wins while Tim Brown and Barry Treen had three apiece and Gord Abbott two.

Davis also led all trainers with five triuumphs. Bob Merschback and Treen had three each and Ann Cooper two.

Davis, who leads the meet by a bunch, now also leads Marino by one, 83-82, in 2005.

CLOSE BUT NO VEGAS: Jim Marino won’t be taking an all-expence trip to Vegas.

Marino, a top driver at Fraser Downs, had been competing - well - in a Texas Hold' Em poker tournament in the Lower Mainland. The top players from five competing locations battled on April 18 and Marino dad to settle for spot No. 40.

"I just couldn’t get any cards, "Marino said. "I lasted a fairly long time and played well."

"It was a good tournament, there were some really good players."

Marino plans to play in more Texas Hold 'Em events.

FAST TRACKING: On Saturday, April 16, six horses set lifetime marks at the Downs.

Last Friday, the trend continued full tilt as seven more marks fell -- several by a lot -- one mark was equaled and another missed by one-fifth of a second.

Red Star Dreamglo went the mile in 1:58.3, 3.3 seconds faster, Shales Maverick in 1:57, three seconds quicker and Mattswhereitsat, in 1:55.4, just under three seconds better.

Others changing their history were Wikiwiki Hyakutake in 1:57.3, Hot News in 1:57.4, Preferred Share in 1:57.1 and Hollywood Best in 1:55.3. Note also that the latter did so while picking up his fourth straight victory.

Red Star Admiral equaled his lifetime best of 1:53.1 and Sinful Sally missed her 1:57.3 by this much.

TOUGH DAY: Several horses recently shipped from Fraser Downs to Northland Park in Edmonton collided in a condition/optional claiming event for a purse of $15,000 last Saturday.

Infinite Dreams, owned by Bill Boden and trained by Dave Hudon fared the best, finishing second. Infinite Dreams held the lead for a short while but was caught in the stretch by 24-1 longshot Prairie Storm. Time of the race was 1:55.2.

Armbro Blacktie was fourth, The Bruster fifth, Duke Is Duke sixth and Armbro Bach ninth.

Bach, the 2-1 favorite, had to work from the four hole to get the lead by the quarter but had to be shut down later with broken equipment.

In another race on the card, Red Star Senator, owned by B.C.'s Robert Murphy, was impressive as he paced to victory in 1:55.1.

CRUISER FOURTH: Seven Seas Cruiser was dropped a notch in class, was the favorite, but finished fourth last Saturday at Woodbine in a race for a purse of $18,000.

Cruiser did not get away strongly, falling to sixth at the quarter from the three hole. He narrowly missed finishing second, a quarter length back of that spot and 3 1/4 behind the winner Quick And Deadly.

Former Downs trainers Casie Coleman and Jim Koelln each had a horse in the race. Coleman's Stranger was fifth and Koelln's Turolas Shark was seventh.

Rich Cam and Witching Hour, former B.C. competitors, were ninth and third respectively in other races on the card

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