B. C. horses only to battle for big purse
Saturday's first leg of The Clash of the Pacific at Fraser
Downs has attracted a top-flight field -- all from stables
already competing at the Downs.
Thirteen horses have entered the fray, which means two
divisions with purses of $10,000 each. A second leg will be
next Saturday with $20,000 in purses and the $60,000 purse
final on Feb. 19.
A total of 21 horses nominated for
the first-time event including horses from California,
Alberta and Ontario. But one by one they indicated they
would not enter with the last phoning Fraser Downs' director
of racing Keith Quinlan minutes before last Tuesday's draw
was to start.
Such familiar Downs competitors as track record holder
Infinite Dreams, Invite star Haras Colta Colta, other Invite
regulars Spider M, Red Star Admiral, Red Star Justice and C
Lec Machine and youngsters The Bruster, Armbro Blacktie,
Dale Reo, Red Star Sammy and Armbro Bach are ready to go.
Also in the field are Broadway Time and Duke Is Duke, a
newcomer trained by Serge Masse.
Some of the no-shows from California include the Richard
Plano trained Jersey Bouncer, who set a lifetime mark of
1:51 in 2004 as a seven-year-old (Infinite Dreams' track
record at the Downs is 1:52.3) and the Matias Ruiz-trained
Leavona Jateplane, who won at 1:52.2 last year as a
Among the nominations was a familiar
trainer name - Casie Coleman. The former Downs competitor
had nominated Our Lucky Killean for Alberta owner Mac
Nichol. However, Lucky raced last weekend at Woodbine in
HUSSY BRINGS MOST MONEY: Twenty
horses passed through the ring with 15 changing ownership at
B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society Mixed Sale last Tuesday
at the Cloverdale Show Barn.
The open section of the sale brought an
average price of only $750 while the BCSBS broodmares fared
The sale topper in the broodmare
section was Gorgeous Hussy, by Albatross and in foal to Life
Sign, who was purchased by SW Farms for $5,700.
The broodmares brought an average of
more than $4,000 each with SW also purchasing Sizzle And
Switch, in foal to Matts Scooter, for $5,500. Others who
purchased mares were Fred Zaitsoff, Crimson Stable and Lil
The highest price in the open section
with a change of ownership was $1,700 paid for Emery Flight.
The 11-year-old, who continues to race but who also has
stood at stud, was bought by Katie Currie from consignor
Murphy also bought back Red Star Blaze,
a five-year-old horse, for $2,900.
FLYING AMBRO IRON HORSE: There
is little doubt who is the Iron Horse.
Flying Ambro was the boss of last
Friday's $16,900 Iron Horse Claiming Series final, winning
by an astounding 141/2 lengths. The seven-year-old gelded
son of Armbro Moscow out of Shesavigilante left little doubt
as to who could best handle the marathon distance of one and
This year the series had a flashy new
name and an intriguing twist to the format -- legs (and the
final) to be raced over varying distances. The first legs
were 11/16 of a mile, the second legs over the traditional
mile and the final the rugged mile and 5/16.
Flying Ambro's domination was so clear
that all others are calling for an end to the new format.
Not really, but no one would blame them.
Ambro, who was claimed twice during the
series, has had an interesting short stay at Fraser Downs.
Since his arrival from Alberta he has made eight starts -
five of them wins. The other finishes were seventh, eighth
Jim Burke drove for his win Friday for
new owner Robert Murphy and trainer Gord Abbott. The time
Flying Ambro started from the trailing
nine hole and was fourth at the 1/4 pole. He fell to fifth
at the midway point but started to work it up and was fourth
outside behind entry-mate Time Step. Dancing around him,
Ambro then just kept going, passing Sporty Mr Garce and then
early pacesetter BJs Touch Down. He led by six at the head
of the stretch and lost sight of the others as he crossed
Kaiser Black closed late and strong for
second and Gold Cole was third.
COYOTE HOWLS: The Invite
(winners over) event at Fraser Downs has been dominated by a
small, select few for quite a long time. Between Infinite
Dreams, Haras Colta Cola, Red Star Admiral and the sidelined
Bre X one could likely find the winner.
The element of surprise was absent -
until last Sunday.
Coyote Hanover used a powerful last
quarter in the slop to win by one length in a nifty 1:56.4.
The five-year-old gelded son of Western Hanover out of
Cloudy Day paid - get this -- $137.70 for a $2 win ticket.
Longest shot in the field of nine,
Coyote Hanover started from the four-hole and slipped to
sixth where he still was at the half, seven lengths from the
lead. He was still fifth at the head of the stetch, five
Nuclear Dew, who sat in the two-hole
early but assumed the lead by the head of the stretch,
finished second while Red Star Apache was third all the way.
Haras Colta Cola, even-money favorite, and winner of the
last Invite, led from the gate to the stretch but slipped to
fourth at the line.
Coyote Hanover, recently purchased by
Robert and Arlene Ross of Virden, Man., was trained and
driven to victory by Doug Moore (his first win of 2005).
Coyote, whose last win was in September, had three wins and
five seconds in 24 starts in 2004. He now has more than
$81,000 in career earnings.
RUSTLE HUSTLES: Rustle For It,
making her first start in the fillies and mares open was
much the best in winning her third straight race last
The four-year-old daughter of Rustler
Hanover out of Ask For It was making her second start for
owner Niele Jiwan who purchased the scrappy mare from
The 3-1 third choice in the betting was
third in the early going but used a backstretch move to move
in to second on the outside at the 3/4 pole. She closed with
a rush under the handling of top driver Bill Davis to win by
21/2 lengths for trainer Rick White.
Princess Jessica, always close to the
front, finished second while Dealmeahos was third.
Bigshoestofill, the 3-2 favorite, led from the gate to the
head of the stretch but slipped to fifth.
Rustle For It, who finished in the top
three in 15 of 19 starts in 2004, now has more than $41,000
in career earnings.
MARINO THE BEST: Jim Marino was
the man on fire last weekend in dominating the Downs' driver
Marino totalled nine wins with multiple
victories on each day, three Friday, four Saturday and two
Sunday. His total was more than double the four of
runners-up Jim Burke and Bill Davis with four apiece.
Gord Abbott and Serge Masse had three
each while Clint Warrington and Dave McKellar tied at two.
Mike Glover continued his winning ways,
leading all trainers with four triumphs on the weekend.
Masse, Davis, Abbott and Dave Hudon
were deadlocked at three while Warrington, Rick White and
Ray Gemmill had two each.
REMEMBER WHEN: Each week Harness
Racing Communications in the U.S. puts out a feature called
This Week in History. The following item was included in a
January 27, 1979 - Keith Linton wins
six consecutive races at Cloverdale Raceway in Surrey,
British Columbia, falling one win shy of Augustine
Ratchford's record for most dash victories on a card.
ABGRALL TOPS DREAMERS: Ray
Abgrall of Surrey won the fourth week's honors and $250 in
the California Dreamin Handicapping Contest.
Abgrall had the whopping total of
$1,072 in the three races - entrants handicap races three
through eight at Santa Anita Racecourse.
C Day was second with $872 while three
Dreamers - Kelly Lee, Bill Veevers and Brad Hamanishi --
tied for third with $757 each.
Douglas Kirk was next with $736
followed by Phil Rowe at $648.
Dreamers are after the top prize of a
trip for two to the Santa Anita Derby in April.
Each Saturday for eight weeks
contestants can win $250 and the day's winner qualifies for
the final, set for March 5. Lance Beveridge, Don Pegura and
Doug Robertson won the first three weekly titles.
MCELHINNEY NEW POOL LEADER: Rob
McElhinney has vaulted into the KENO Harness Pool lead after
McElhinney picked up 13 points in week
four (week three was cancelled along with the race cards)
and now has 38 points.
First- week leader Rick Jensen is still
well in the thick of things, one point behind the leader.
Kevin Clark, Joe Howald, Patrick Jordan
and Dave Kennedy are deadlocked at 36 points while John
Gonie, Lloyd Johnson and Allan Lester, who led the way for
the week with 15 points, each have 35. At 34 are Henry Gonie,
Kevin Hoffman, Stephen Stelnicki and Hiro Yodowaga.
More than 350 entrants are after the
$10,000 available in prize money. The Pool runs until Feb.
The Pool works like a sports pool where
contestants pick a team of six horses, one from each box of
six horses. Points are awarded for top three finishes and
the top 40 players will receive prizes -- $3,000 for
One more trade will be allowed on Feb.
DON'T FORGET: The 2004
Standardbred Industry Awards Gala is scheduled for Saturday,
Organizers promise that the event,
sponsored by the B.C. Standardbred Association, the B.C.
Standardbred Breeders Society and Fraser Downs, will be the
biggest and best yet. It will be held in the Atrium of the
Newlands Golf and Country Club (48th Avenue in Langley).
Accomplishments of the industry will be
celebrated with a dinner, awards and a dance.
Tickets are available for $40 through
the Standardbred office at 604-574-5558.
STAPLES PASSES AWAY: Owner,
breeder and former B.C. Standardbred Association director
Gordon Staples passed away on Jan. 30 at Peace Arch Hospital
in White Rock.
Staples had been struggling with high
blood pressure and diabetes for some time and had suffered
Gordon had a strong interest in his
horses to the end including coming to Fraser Downs last fall
to watch Hi Time Ascot, a horse he and wife Terry bred,
At his request, there will be no
service. Condolences from the Fraser Downs family go out to
the Staples family.