Silvery Belle’s victory over Furious Five in the Miss Valentine Pace for four-year-old mares last Sunday at Fraser Downs was an upset.


Furious Five was a 1-5 favorite, which she deserved to be with her 1:54.1 clocking, 12 wins and $231,000 in earnings in her career (among other qualifications). She also had captured the Valentine qualifying leg the week before in fine fashion.


However, a deep look into Silvery Belle’s resume reveals reasons she could win the race and be better than her 14-1 (fourth choice) post-time odds. The daughter of Just Camelot out of Martlet had seven lifetime wins (second best in the field), $45,000-plus in earnings (third best despite limited stakes competition) and a 6-3-2 record in her previous 14 starts.


Owner/trainer/driver Randy Webster also had supreme confidence in his $4,300 purchase at the 2004 B.C. yearling sale (she was consigned by Robert Murphy as Red Star Mabel).


“She had some tough luck in some of her races,” Webster explained as he accepted congratulations after the victory in the $25,000 event. “But I knew she loved to race. She can pace on the outside, come from behind or be in front and she has lots of attitude. She’s a nice mare.”


She started from the trailing nine hole in the final and slipped into fourth before the first quarter. That put her right behind Furious Five who got to third from the six hole. Furious Five, with driver Serge Masse, pulled early and had the lead well before the half. Belle followed their move but was outside at both the half and three quarter (second a length and a half back) poles.


Silvery Belle started – and won – a stretch battle with Furious Five and a hard-closing Sweetypea, who took third. The margin of victory was a neck over both rivals in 1:56.2.


“I wasn’t sure we had won,” Webster said. But he did admit that the win was “a good feeling.”


Webster, who also admitted he had a brain-lock when he failed to make a sustaining payment to keep Silvery Belle eligible for the Breeders and Stallion Stakes, has entered his mare in the Miss Cloverdale.

In that race (Feb. 25) Silvery Belle will have to take on some of the best females on the grounds including Westart Love, Betterfrombehind, Coco Bongo and Furious Five. 


HER NAME IS LOLA: First confusion, then Lady Lola, reigned supreme last Saturday in the fillies and mares open at the Downs.


Westart Love, who was working on a six-race winning streak, started the race from the one-hole on the gate with driver Bill Davis as the 1-2 favorite. She also started in fine fashion, taking the lead early. Betterfrombehind, part of a 9-5 second choice entry with Red Star Ginny, slipped into the two-hole spot, with Ginny right behind. They stayed like that until just before the three-quarter mark.


That’s where Betterfrombehind, piloted by Jim Burke, made a break as she was about to pull to challenge. Her break caused interference to Coco Bongo. Meanwhile, Westart Love was rolling along (her lead was four lengths) when she also made a break, turning for home.


Ginny, with Jim Marino, went on to cross the line first in 1:56.2 with Lady Lola and driver Gord Abbott second and Westart Love third.


However, with Betterfrombehind nabbed for causing interference, her entry mate Ginny was taken down as winner and placed fourth and Lola was placed first.


Lola, a five-year-old daughter of Astreos, was making her first start at the Down after racing earlier in Ontario. She is owned by Verve Racing of Alberta and trained by Wally Slopianka. The victory was the seventh of her career and pushed her earnings to more than $106,000.


Westart Love was then claimed for a track record $43,750 by Robert Murphy from Niele Jiwan.


Red Star Senator, the 4-5 favorite, went gate to wire to capture the open (with $35,000 claimers).


The five-year-old son of Presidential Ball, owned by Mary Murphy, trained by Bob Merschback and driven by Burke, won by a length in 1:54.4 over the good track, off two seconds.

Senator is 3-2-1-0 in 2007 with 24 lifetime wins and more than $307,000 in earnings.


Rodeo King stalked Senator the whole mile and was second, a length back, while Armbro Blacktie closed strongly for third. 


DAVIS AGAIN: Bill Davis had what would be only an average week for him but still led the Downs driver standings with six wins last weekend.


Serge Masse was next with four while Tim Brown and Barry Treen had three each. Tied at two were Scott Knight, Tim Jacobson, Jim Burke and Ed Tracey.


Davis also paced the trainer division again with five victories. Sharing two wins each were Jacobson, Tracey, Masse, Mike Glover, Wally Slopianka and Brett Currie. 


SOPRANO AGAIN: Red Star Soprano extended his latest winning skein to three.


The six-year-old son of Barnett Hanover, who had his eight-race winning streak broken Jan. 12, won in a quick 1:54.3 last Friday.


Trained and driven by Bill Davis for owner Niele Jiwan, Soprano, who won 12 times in 2006, now has 24 lifetime wins and more than $132,000 in career earnings.


Soprano, racing as a $20,000 claimer, won by a big 7¼ lengths, with Law Of The Yukon second. 


DANCER GETS RECORD: Moscow Dancer, a nine-year-old son of Armbro Moscow, won the latest 1 5/8-mile event at the Downs last Friday. Dancer lowered the track record, set by Skippy Blue Shoe in the inaugural event at 3:18.1, to 3:17.


Wanton Hall, a three-year-old son of Blissfull Hall, made it four straights wins and also covered the mile in a career best 1:58.2. The first two wins by Wanton Hall, who is trained by Serge Masse, were in October and November.


Wilder Desperado, a nine-year-old son of Village Jiffy, made it three consecutive victories for trainer Scott Knight.


Hurricane Pat, who won 13 times in 2006, made it three straight wins in 2007. The five-year-old daughter of Falcons Future is trained by Bill Davis.


Little Surfer Girl, a six-year-old daughter of Jennas Beach Boy, captured her second in a row for trainer Diana Davie.


Milestone (g 7 Glance Alworth), trained by Wally Slopianka, captured the 15th win of his career and pushed his earnings to more than $64,000.


Girlfriend Hall (m 5 Blissfull Hall) ran her 2007 mark to 5-3-0-1 and her lifetime money to more than $51,000 with a win for trainer Steve Germain.


Cams Lucky Charm (m 4 As Promised) lower her career best clocking to 1:58.3 in her first start for trainer Brett Currie.


Skittles N Beer (g 3 Freedoms Pass) extended his ’07 record to 6-1-3-1 with a win in a life mark of 2:01.3 for trainer Ed Tracey. The more amazing part of the feat is that the tough gelding, with the tough Tracey in the bike, was parked the whole mile. 


LAM JOINS DREAMIN FINAL: Maple Lam captured week six of the California Dreamin’ handicapping contest at Fraser Downs.


Lam totalled winnings of $806 for a comfortable margin over Ron Miscich and Dave Powell who shared runner-up at $680.


Pete Day was next at $629, followed by Anton Novak, Jr. $616 and Al Peters and Gerald Williams at $566 apiece.


Lam joins previous week’s winner Louis Iskra along with Ronnie Goodey, Sarah Day, Ray Hall and David Porter in the contest final.


The contest has three more weeks to run with each weekly winner competing in the final on March 3 to try to win a trip to the Santa Anita Derby on April 7.


Contestants are allowed to pick any three races using races 3-8 on the designated Saturday cards from Santa Anita Racetrack. Each selection will have a mythical $20 across the board wager on it. The person with the most money from his/her three races will be off to the final. Prices will be capped at $42 for a win, $22 for a second and $12 for a third. Each weekly winner will receive $100 as a prize.


The final this year has a slight twist. Each of the nine finalists will have a live bankroll of $180 to wager. Six races from Santa Anita will be selected and each contestant must place a $10 across the board wager on each of the races. The twist: if a contestant makes money for the day, regardless if he or she is grand champion, they get to keep their proceeds.


Entry ballots will be available starting at 10 on Friday morning and must be handed in before the start of the second race at Santa Anita. Only one entry per person is allowed.