B.C. horses set for Nat 

Injuries suffered by Lil Dude Starrbuck during a training mile will keep the B.C.-owned three-year-old from competing in Sunday’s $200,000 Nat Christie Stake at Stampede Park in Calgary.

Trainer Larry Micallef told the Calgary Sun days before the race that Starrbuck also struggled to get around the Stampede Park track and was not in peak form.

Owned by Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey, Starrbuck had not raced since the June 20 Western Canada Pacing Derby in Edmonton. However, he recently qualified at Stampede Park.

“Yeah, we got him qualified,” Micallef had said in an earlier phone conversation from Calgary but admitted, “We still have to do some changes and get him used to the track.”

The son of Threefold out of Almahurst Irish, was considered a top contender after a star-studded meet in Edmonton where he captured the Western Canada Pacing Derby by six lengths in 1:52.4. While at Northlands, Starrbuck won six straight races and more than $125,000.

But B.C. will still be represented in the Christie, which will have two eliminations – one with six entries and the other seven. The top nine will advance to the final.

Lil Dude’s Jennas Lil Dude and Red Star Special from Robert Murphy’s Red Star Stable will both compete in the first heat – race six. The second heat will be race seven and the final race 10.

Jennas Lil Dude is the 3-1 morning line favorite and Special is second choice at 4-1.

Jennas Lil Dude, a son of Jennas Beach Boy out of Scooter Dear, has made 15 starts in 2004 and won six times. Also trained and driven by Micallef, Dude won his last start on Aug. 20 in impressive fashion, a lifetime best 1:54.3 at Stampede Park.

Red Star Special, by Barnett Hanover out of Whimsically, has done the bulk of his racing this year in Ontario but has returned to Alberta for his last two starts. With trainer Bill Davis in the bike, Special won one of those races in 1:55.1 just off his lifetime best of 1:54.2 set at Mohawk Raceway on May 25. 

SILKY OR MR. EXCITEMENT: While attending the races have you ever thought how cool it would be to announce a race. It would be a chance to sound like Fraser Downs’ Rick (Mr. Excitement) Uppal or Woodbine’s Frank (Silky) Salive.

That chance is here. Ten people will get a chance to call a qualifier race at the Downs on Saturday, Sept. 11.  The first 10 entrants will be contacted and assigned a race which he or she will call.  If you think you have what it takes, send your name address and phone number to [email protected].

The contestant that receives the most votes from the judges will be the winner of Fraser Downs Racetrack & Casino merchandise.  Also, all participants will be invited to a barbeque after the qualifiers have concluded. 

MORE SURGERY: Trainer Mike Bourgeois, who suffered a serious leg injury when kicked by a horse on June 7, 2003 at Lil Dude Training Centre, has again undergone surgery and still faces more.

Bourgeois, who received a broken tibia and fibula and ligament damage when kicked, had a plate removed on Friday.

When Mike recovers from the latest surgery, which had him battling pain and bleeding, and when he is able he will undergo reconstructive surgery and major physiotherapy.

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