BRE X OUT FOR MEET 

An injury will likely keep veteran Invite campaigner Bre X on the sidelines for the remainder of the Fraser Downs meet. 

The popular and tough seven-year-old gelded son of Dal Reo Hop Sing has a suspensory problem, leaving only one leg that has not been hit by that injury. 

Owned by Kadence and Tante Stables and trained by Wayne Isbister, Bre X has held the track record, won 46 races lifetime and earned more than $322,000 lifetime. He was second in the Invite in his last start on Oct. 15. 

Meanwhile, speaking of Isbister, he joins the ranks of conditioners having horses with veteran and leading owner Robert Murphy. The twosome picked up Makin News A. Trainer/driver Gord Abbott also now has Digger Odell for Murphy. 

Top trainer Bill Davis, who handled many of Murphy’s horses over the last few years, has been filling his barn with horses owned by several people, including Alberta interests. 

ALL IN THE FAMILY: The brothers-in-law Green struck again. Also know as Bill Davis and Dave Hudon, the pair again dominated the driver win statistics last weekend at the Downs. 

Hudon proved he likes Fridays, winning four times last weekend after achieving a five-bagger the week before. He has had six victories each weekend. 

However, brother-in-law and leading driver Davis went one better last weekend, registering a six-pack on Saturday and finishing with seven triumphs. Jim Marino had three wins and Tim Brown two. 

Davis now leads the meet with 29 wins while Hudon is next at 18. Brown is third with 13. 

Al Anderson, who has brought several horses from California to the Downs to compete in the Stakes events, led all trainers with four victories. Davis and Hudon had three each and Brown, Andy Arsenault and Paul Urquhart had two apiece. 

Rick White leads all trainers with 11, one more than Brown. 

THEY ARE ALL FASTER: All classes of horses, including the $4,000 claimers, like the fast track at the Downs. 

In the first race Friday, Laugh To The Bank, a six-year-old, won in 1:56.3 and in the first on Saturday, Fire Distinguisher, a five-year-old, won in 1:57.3, a new lifetime mark. It was the second win in a row for trainer Andy Arsenault won captured the last race Friday, in 1:58.4 with $5,000 claimer Red Star Buck. 

Also Saturday, three-year-old gelding Ballistic Ben, making his first start at the Downs (for trainer Bill Davis), powered to a new life mark of 1:56.4. 

STAKES AND CONSOLATIONS ETC: Breeders Classic Day – Nov. 11 -- will again provide the best in B.C. harness racing, led by four Stakes events with purses of more than $300,000 for the top two and three-year-old horses on the grounds. 

The card will be filled out with B.C.-bred preferred races with purses bolstered by industry stakes funds. An additional $31,000 will be offered in seven extra races.  

Based on money winnings, nine starters and two also eligibles will be programmed for the four Breeders Stake final. The also eligibles from the final and the next highest money winners will have preference for the nine spots in the consolation. Each of these consolation events will go for a purse of $9,000.  

B.C.-breds will have preference for all of the non-consolation extra races offered. In the event that more entries are required to fill any one of these races, they may be opened to non-B.C. breds.  

The claiming events will be for a $5,000 tag with a race for each sex. To be eligible, horses must have made their last start in a $5,000 or higher claiming race. Horses having won their last start in a $4,000 claiming race or a $6,000 conditioned claiming race will also be eligible. The purse for these events will be $7,000.  

The extra races will be rounded out by a winners over $6,500 last six races (Invite) for a purse of $15,000.  

In the event that more races are required to fill the card, several subs will be offered with B.C. breds preferred.  

PURSES PICK UP: The start of the 2004 traditional harness racing season at Fraser Downs includes an increase in purses in a number of classes. The biggest boost is a $500 increase in the non-winners one race lifetime. The other non-winners classes also are up and smaller increases go to the $6,000 claiming non-winners classes. The $4,000 claimers increase  $150. 

Orangeville Raceway and the B.C. Standardbred Association will review the purse structure in December to see if further adjustments are possible.  

The beginning of the “traditional” standardbred race season was last Saturday. Years ago, the Fraser Downs meet did not start until the third Monday of October and ended on the second Monday of April. This was due to the home market agreement with Hastings Park that used to give the Downs a 25-week season with no “overlap.”  

Now, by sharing the overlap periods with Hastings, the Downs has a 35-week season that goes from mid-October to mid-May. While the purses have been held constant for the overlap period, at one time they were reduced due to the lower wagering handles in the overlap. Fraser Downs still has its strongest betting during the traditional season.  

The 2004 edition of the Breeders stakes also introduced a positive note to the kickoff of the traditional season. On Saturday there were 38 horses in five divisions of the elims for three-year olds. On Friday there were 52 horses going in seven divisions of the first leg of the event for two-year olds. By comparison, there were only 32 two-year olds entered in this stake last year.  

CLASH COMING: The new open pacing series announced earlier will be called the Clash of the Pacific. 

The Clash will feature two $20,000 legs and a $60,000 final. The first leg is scheduled for Feb. 5 with the final on Feb.19. It is hoped challengers from other provinces will come to take on the best in B.C. 

THE BRUSTER COIMING HOME: Nat Christie Memorial winner The Bruster is heading back here, to his native province. Calgary co-owner and trainer Joe "Spud" McCormac will send the three-year-old to the coast for a series of stake races at the Downs commencing in January.  

Bruce Larway of Calgary shares ownership of the youngster who won the $120,000 Nat Christie Memorial final in August and has $88,642 earned to date. The colt is winless in five starts since that victory. 

Downs’ regular patrons remember that McCormac and Larway bought the horse at the 2003 B.C. Breeders mixed sale in February. However, then The Bruster was known as Red Star Charlie and he was consigned to the sale by the powerful stable of Robert Murphy. Charlie was a two-year-old by His Mattjesty out of the Albatross mare Corsie Cannie.

Larway and McCormac picked up Charlie for $500.

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