Brown red hot
Also Davis scores in Wild Rose country, driver okay after spill in qualifier, bye, bye Scotty and B.C. mare battle

Tim Brown got off to an impressive start in the driver derby as Fraser Downs kicked off the 2002-2003 meet last Friday with a 14-race card.

Brown raced to five wins, driving I Wish I Might, Callwood Pharoh, Jay Tee Lucas, Miss Lead and Cat Street to victory, in 10 starts. Jim Burke was the only other driver to get more than one win, grabbing a pair of firsts.

Two of Brown's wins came with horses trained by Ray Gemmill. John Currie also had two training triumphs while Larry Micallef, who has taken over as head trainer for Dr. Jim Findlay's stable, picked up his first victory in B.C. since arriving from Ontario on Aug. 30.

Micallef has 18 horses in the stable, with all owned in whole or in part by Findlay and/or his wife Colleen...

DAVIS MARCHES ON: Brown's cohort Bill Davis also put on a driving clinic last Friday, winning five races on the nine-dash card at Stampede Park and in doing so, pushed himself past the 3,500-lifetime win plateau. Davis had seven drives, collecting wins on Freedom Street, Camp Out, Lindwood Topsider, Red Star Tina and Digger Odell. When Camp Out crossed the finish line in the third race, Davis also passed the 3,500-win threshold. Davis has been among Western Canada’s leading drivers for years. The 40-year-old has now won 177 races this year in 668 starts, good for purse earnings of $902,548. Lifetime, Davis is now a winner of 3,503 races and $10,870,077 in purse earnings...

URQUHART OK: There was a spill during qualifying last Saturday when two-year-old filly Tri Vinnie stumbled and threw driver Paul Urquhart heavily to the track. Tri Vinnie was able to walk from the track while Urquhart was treated by track first aid and helped from the track. A visit to medical professionals determined Paul suffered only bruises and scratches and he was back looking after his horses the next day...

SCOTTY'S A GOOD LAD!: Congratulations to good friend John (Scotty) Gunion who has retired. The veteran of many years of working for Downs security was honoured with a race last Friday. Scotty took over the reins of the security department when long-time headman Ray Miller retired a couple of years ago. Now it's his turn to step down. Sandy Miller is now the Security Supervisor with Kevin Jackson of administration and Don Sinclair of maintenance assigned some security responsibilities. If you are afraid you may miss Scotty -- and the fact that you knew things were OK when you could hear him arriving in the area -- he has promised he and his Scottish brogue will still be livening things up on many visits to the track.

BATTLE OF B.C. MARES ON HOLD: The much anticipated battle between top B.C.-bred mares Fast Lane Cruizin and Samantha Square will have to wait. It was rumoured that the two would tangle Friday at Mohawk Raceway in an open fillies and mares event. They came close to, but never met in B.C. before moving east to Ontario. But Fast Lane Cruizin, owned by Phil Coleman and Jerry Blanchet, bled in her last start and will get an extra week off to go onto Lasix. Meanwhile, Samantha Square, owned by Rick White and June and John Kauffman, will get this week off before heading into eliminations for the Milton Stake. An injury had kept Cruizin out of action in 2002 until two weeks ago. She returned to take on the top fillies and mares Aug. 6 at Mohawk but did not get the best of trips and had to settle for seventh in the race which went in 1:51.4 (Eternal Camnation crossed the line first but was set back to third for interference). On Aug. 17 at Woodbine, Eternal Camnation captured the $337,000-plus Roses Are Red Stakes in 1:50.3 with Samantha Square third. Since then Samantha has had some time off but White, co-owner of the four-year-old daughter of Albert Albert, reported last week she is ready to return to action.

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