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
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
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
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
The extra races will be rounded out by
a winners over $6,500 last six races (Invite) for a purse of
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
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 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
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
Larway and McCormac picked up Charlie
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