BELLE SHOWS HEART
IN MISS VALENTINE
victory over Furious Five in the Miss Valentine Pace for
four-year-old mares last Sunday at Fraser Downs was an
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
Red Star Senator, the
4-5 favorite, went gate to wire to capture the open (with
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
Rodeo King stalked
Senator the whole mile and was second, a length back, while
Armbro Blacktie closed strongly for third.
Bill Davis had what would be only an average week for him
but still led the Downs driver standings with six wins last
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
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.
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
Soprano, racing as a
$20,000 claimer, won by a big 7¼ lengths, with Law Of The
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
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
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.
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.