It was déjà vu all over again for Bre X last Friday on Fraser Downs’ opening day when the seven-year-old son of Dal Reo Hop Sing captured the first Invite of the meet. 

A year ago, Bre X, owned by Kadence and Tante Stables, and trained by Wayne Isbister, won the Invite regularly. On two occasions he set the track record. But a suspensory injury sent him to the sidelines and last Friday’s race was his first since Dec. 27.  

Driven by Bill Davis, Bre X settled into third early in last Friday’s event and did not make his move until turning for home. He was second at the head of the stretch and a 28.1 last quarter gave him the win by 1¼ lengths in 1:55.2. 

Haras Colta Cola raced to the front from the six-hole and led until caught by Bre X. A fast-closing (also 28.1) Spider M grabbed third in the field of seven. 

A good-old boy also achieved a milestone on Friday when Woodmere Windrop won the sixth race and earned $2,800, running his lifetime earnings to more than $250,000. It was the 48th career victory for Woody, many of them coming under the ownership of Marian Young and the sage expertise of trainer Bill Young. 

Woodmere Windrop is a 10-year-old son of Drop Off out of Stylish Winner and was bred by Wallace Wood of Charlottetown, P.E.I. 

Some time off also worked for seven-year-old Tadgee. 

Racing for new owners SW Farm and trainer/driver Terry Kaufman, Tadgee won by 11 lengths in 1:57.4. The gelded son of Carlsbad Cam, who had made 11 starts with one second in 2004, had not raced since July 24. His clocking was just 3/5 of a second off his life mark which was set in 2000. 

RUMORS JUST THAT?: Astute Fraser Downs racing fans noticed last weekend that perennial leading driver/trainer Bill Davis was back from Alberta. 

They noticed that he drove, picking up, for him, a modest pair of wins. They also noticed that he did not have a training win, and most even noticed that he did not have a training start. 

Rumors were flying on the backstretch that Davis and the powerful Red Star Stable, owned by Robert Murphy, have parted company. 

When Davis returned from Calgary, the Red Star horses were either left in the hands of Murphy’s Alberta trainer Jamie Gray or returned to Murphy’s South Surrey horse farm. 

But Monday morning Murphy said the rumors were “Not true. 

“We have horses waiting to come back from Alberta and some to come down from the farm (in the Interior), he said.” 

Davis’ barn has a small number of horses owned by his wife Laurie and the Victoria Pacing Stable. 

WHITE HOT! Driver/trainer Rick White who was off the gate fastest and indicated that he could again be a force. 

White led both contingents, winning six times as a driver with four of those coming with horses that he conditions. He sent out Red Star Madeline, owned by Niele Jiwan, in the first race of the meet and they combined, despite starting from the outside eight post, to finish first by three lengths in the event for maidens. 

Two races later he was back at it again, piloting three-year-old colt Noteworthy (also owned by Jiwan) to a 6½-length victory in a lifetime mark of 1:59.3. 

The closest any driver got to White was two wins. Sharing that figure were Gord Abbott, Scott Knight, Bill Davis, Dave Hudon, Clint Warrington and Dave McKellar. 

Trainer Ken Dorman picked up three triumphs, one more than Bill Young (who was two-for-two) and Ann Cooper. 

FERGIE RETIRED: An old familiar name will no longer be seen on the race programs at the Downs as Ferguson Road has been given to the Greener Pastures horse adoption program. 

Fergie, who raced out of many stables over the years at the Downs, is an Ontario bred 12-year-old gelding by Topnotcher out of JR Hope. 

He had 73 lifetime wins, $256,175 in earnings and a lifetime mark of 1:54.3. 

IDOLS NO RIVALS: Fraser Downs’ announcer Rick Uppal does not have to fear job loss – at least for several years. 

The Downs held its first Fraser Downs Idol event Sept. 11 as several patrons (and some Downs staff and a couple of backstretch guys) tried their hand, make that mouth, at announcing a qualifying race. Most – all of the Downs staffers – were told not to quit their day jobs. 

Leading the way were youngsters (14 years of age and younger) Christian Woolley, Robbie Scrannage and Justin Currie (all sons of Downs’ trainers) who knew the lingo, both Uppalese and other. 

Even Downs’ general manager Chuck Keeling took the mic and had some lingo of his own. There was “in second, I don’t know who that is” and some flagrant promotion of the Downs’ casino, which is open every day at 9 a.m. 

NEW STALLION STAKES: The B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society has finalized the conditions for the Stallion stakes event for four-year-olds, which will be raced for the first time next spring and will become a regular feature of the B.C.-sired event.  

All horses nominated as yearlings that are now three will be eligible to sustain to the event. The payment will be $100 and will be due on Nov. 5. There will also be a starting fee of $200 payable at the time of entry for the first leg. Based on these numbers, the finals are estimated to go for about $25,000 each.  

The first leg, if required, of the Stallion Stake for four years olds will be raced on Friday, April 15 with the final Saturday, April 30. The $100,000 final for three years olds will be run on the same day.  

Funding for the 2005 event is coming from the $30,000 that had previously been earmarked for the Stallion bonus. 

OFF TO VEGAS: Pam Welch, who lives a stone’s throw from Fraser Downs and who perhaps could be called a regular, was the winner of the trip for two to Las Vegas in the draw held Saturday. 

Welch and a guest will be travelling to Vegas, along with $500 in the spending money. Patrons from both the racing and casino sides of Fraser Downs could enter the draw. 

IN THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN: Downs’ patrons can also win a seven-piece living room set with an entry placed between now and Oct. 3. Entry forms are available at the customer service desk in the casino. The draw will be made Monday, Oct. 4. 

POP UP CHICKEN: A chance to appease your hunger for winning and food at the same time will be back again this meet at the Downs. Church’s Chicken and the Downs will again combine on special Church’s meal deals. The winners will receive pop-up vouchers when placing  wagers with tellers.

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