Cruiser heads to Big M
Seven Seas Cruiser roared away from the
gate in last Friday's Invite at Fraser Downs, never was
headed in winning by 11/4 lengths, and just kept rolling on
his way to the Meadowlands.
The powerful three-year-old son of
Scruffy Hanover out of the mare Nonukesisgoodnukes has been
a dominant force in his division and now will get a shot at
the big boys at what some call the Mecca of harness racing.
"There's not a lot of big races for him
here now," trainer/driver Tim Brown explained before
Friday's race. "The owner (John Heras) thought it would be
nice to give him a chance in the east.
"There's a series of races starting
Jan. 14," Brown continued. "I don't think he'll embarrass
Friday's result added to his resume.
Starting from post two in a field of
seven, Cruiser, a 6-5 favorite, battled early to get the
front with rail-sitter Haras Cola Cola. He did and had a
11/2 length lead at that point. The order of the race never
changed as each call had no change and Cola finished second
with Infinite Dreams third.
"He was good again," Brown said. "It
was a nice way to head out."
And head out this week was what Brown
and Cruiser did. They were to truck and trailer to Oakland,
CA where Cruiser would board an aircraft for the flight to
Friday's victory gave Cruiser nine
wins, five seconds and two thirds in 19 starts in 2004. He
has won more than $129,000 this year and more than $153,000
in his short career.
He has captured the Sandown Plate, a
division of the Sandown Breeders and the B.C. Breeders
Stakes in 2004.
WITH HEART AND STYLE: Despite
starting from the outside of the short, five-horse field,
Heart And Style did the job in style in winning the fillies
and mares open last Saturday.
Heart And Style, a five-year-old
daughter of Make A Deal, covered the mile in 1:57.1 in
prevailing by 3/4 of a length. It was the fourth win in 19
starts in 2004 for the mare owned by Mike Rathje and Lance
Goshko and trained and driven by Rick White. She now has
career earnings of more than $160,000.
Heart And Style, 5-1 third choice in
the field, was fourth at the quarter pole but had worked up
nicely to be second after three quarters and have the lead
turning for home.
Outlaw Cantcatchme was second and Dal
Reo Tantrum third.
Carson Jane, the 1-2 favorite, went off
stride after the start and fell well back.
BROWN AND DAVIS LEAD WAY: Tim
Brown and Bill Davis shared top spot in the driver derby at
Fraser Downs last weekend.
The duo each picked up a handful to
lead the way while Rick White and Jim Marino each had four.
Brad Watt and Dave Hudon were next with three apiece and
Doug Moore had two.
Davis, top trainer and driver for the
meet, was tops among the conditioners with five victories,
one more than White. Brown had three and Marino and Ray
Gemmill two apiece.
Trainer/driver - and owner - Craig
Senay has returned to the Fraser Downs races after competing
doe several months in Alberta. Trainer/driver Larry Micallef
is also back after competing in the recent Edmonton
Regular Alberta trainer/driver Don
Monkman, Jr. is also expected to land in the Lower Mainland
soon. He is expected to bring six horses to join the fray.
RACE FOIR FOOD: The horsemen in
the Fraser Downs backstretch are in another race, this time
a competition to collect the most food for the Langley Food
It will be a battle of the barns with
collection boxes for each barn located in the Horsemen's
Cafeteria. (To make it fair, barns A and F will be
combined.) Not to be left out, those who ship-in for Downs
races will also have a "barn box." Backstretch people not
connected to any one barn can also contribute either to
their favorite barn, or chip in for each barn.
The competition will end on Dec.31. The
barn contributing the most items will win a pizza party but,
of course, the big winners in this race will be the people
using the Langley Food Bank.
HEAVY WIN WARNING: Heavy Rain
Warning, who captured the Sales Stakes at the Downs on Dec.
11, continued his impressive winning ways last weekend. In a
Sires Stakes race at CalExpo in Sacramento, Heavy Rain
Warning, one of the stars from the J J J Stable-Anderson
ownership combination, won in 1:52.1, a track record for
three-year-old colts and geldings.
MIXED SALE SET: The B.C.
Standardbred Breeders Society's annual mixed sale will be
held Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the Cloverdale Fairgrounds Show
Barn. The entry fee is $100 and a five per cent commission
will be charged on all sales and buy backs.
The deadline for catalogued entries is
Friday, Jan. 21. Supplemental entries will be accepted until
Friday, Jan. 28.
Entry forms will be available at the
Breeders office by Dec.14. A downloadable PDF will also be
made available on the harnessbc web site.
DANCE ALERT: The 2004
Standardbred Industry Awards Gala is scheduled for Saturday,
The event, sponsored by the B.C.
Standardbred Association, the B.C. Standardbred Breeders
Society and Fraser Downs, and promised to be the biggest and
best yet, will be held in the Atrium of the Newlands Golf
and Country Club (48th Avenue in Langley).
Accomplishments of the industry will be
celebrated with a dinner, awards and a dance.
Tickets are available for $40 through
the standardbred office at 604-574-5558.
AHOY HANDICAPPERS: Two of Fraser
Downs more popular handicapping events are set to start
The KENO Harness Pool will be held Jan.
7 to Feb. 27 and the California Dreamin' Handicapping
Contest is set for each Saturday from Jan. 8 to Feb. 26.
The KENO Harness Poll will offer
$10,000 in prize money.
Once again the Pool will work like a
sports pool where contestants will pick a team of six
horses, one from each box of six horses. Points will be
awarded for top three finishes and the top 40 players will
receive prizes -- $3,000 for finishing first.
Two trades will be allowed, one on Jan.
21 and the other Feb. 11 (the contest will NOT have two
halves this year).
Selection sheets are now available at
the Downs, Sandown Park, Hastings Racecourse and any TBC
Dreamers, meanwhile, will be after the
top prize of a trip for two to the Santa Anita Derby. Each
Saturday for eight weeks contestants can win $250 and the
winner will qualify for the final, set for March 5.
NO NEW POOL WAGERING YET: After
meeting with the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, Woodbine
Entertainment says Canadians won't be free to wager directly
into U.S. pools until next year.
According to a story by the Daily
Racing Form, WEG met with the CPMA after federal legislation
in the U.S. abolished the 30 per cent withholding tax on
foreign wagering, and there are concerns over some
regulatory issues and the minimum wager of $1 for some
exotic wagers. When converted, the Canadian dollar would not
meet that requirement.
"I suspect it will be well into 2005
before we get this rolling," Steve Mitchell, vice president
of wagering operations for Woodbine, told the DRF. "But that
doesn't change our resolve. We're obviously committed to
getting this done. We just didn't know how slow the road was
going to be."
Mitchell added that raising the minimum
bet to $2 in Canada in order to solve the problem of the
minimum wager requirement is not a viable option.
"That would be a major change and I
don't think our customers would benefit," he said. "The
States are going to have to accept the fact that we're going
to stick to $1 Canadian bets."
(With files from the DRF)