Cruiser to battle tonight
Seven Seas Cruiser did not embarrass
himself in his debut last Friday at The Meadowlands.
The powerful four-year-old son of
Scruffy Hanover out of the mare Nonukesisgoodnukes made his
first start at the New Jersey emporium and, although not in
the money, showed enough to take another shot tonight.
Forced to start from the outside of the
eight-horse field, Cruiser actually took the lead on the
outside just at the quarter. He was second at the half and
third at the 3/4 pole but the first half of 56 seconds set
it up for late closers.
He finished 4¾ lengths behind winner
Three Quarter Cam, who covered the mile in 1:52. Cruiser was
clocked in 1:53 with a 27.2 last quarter.
The race was a $20,000 leg of the
Complex Series and there were three divisions.
Another leg will be held tonight and
Tim Brown, Cruiser’s trainer here in B.C. said they would
give him another shot. He will still from the inside rail
“We were not disappointed in him,”
Brown said the day after the race. “He left pretty hard and
had to take back a little and it’s tough to get back in it
where they come home in 26.”
(My Buddy Bob, which finished fourth,
actually came home in 25.3.)
Mark Harder, now Cruiser’s trainer in
the U.S., reported that he came out of the race in good
shape and it’s felt he could be better with the start under
Cruiser, owned by John Heras of Delta,
was an 11-1 shot with driver David Miller in the bike.
COLA KEEPS SIZZLING: Mr.
Consistency was back at it again.
Haras Colta Cola, who starts the Invite
with very few weeks off, also is never far from the front –
at the end. The six-year-old gelded son of Armbro Operative
captured the Invite last Sunday over a field of seven,
overcoming early and late challenges.
He covered the mile on the sloppy track
in 1:57.2, winning by ¾ of a length over Red Star Admiral,
who was slowly closing ground.
Cola, the 7-5 favorite, had raced to
the front early from his two-post but had to relinquish to
newcomer Duke Is Duke. The latter came from the outside
seven hole but did not clear until in front of the
Admiral came first-up, flushing Cola
who regained the lead on the final turn. Nuclear Dew, a 25-1
shot, was a late-closing third.
Haras Colta Cola, owned by the Off
Track Stable, and trained and driven by Paul Harrison, now
has four wins, three seconds and three thirds in his last 10
races, all in the Invite.
JANE LOOKS GOOD: OK, Carson Jane
is just good.
The former good girl, bad girl form
appears to be gone as the five-year-old daughter of Cambest
made it three straight victories in the fillies and mares
open at Fraser Downs.
Last Saturday, despite being
handicapped to the outside six hole, Carson Jane rolled to
the win. She did it with a different strategy too as
driver/trainer Dave Hudon stayed well back (fifth) until
just past the half.
Then a powerful move down the
backstretch pushed the 1-5 favorite past the field and she
went on to a 2¼-length margin. She covered the mile on the
frozen track in 1:57.1.
Dealmeahos was second and 20-1 shot
Sharons Pass was third.
Owned by Bill Boden, Carson Jane now
has won five times in seven starts since arriving at the
Downs in November. The mare, who has a lifetime best of 1:53
set at the Meadowlands, has (now had) been plagued with
DAVIS ON TOP: Bill Davis was
back on top of the driver stats last weekend at the Downs.
The leading campaigner had six wins for the three days, two
more than newcomer Serge Masse.
Glenn White and Jim Marino each had
three victories while Dave McKellar, Larry Micallef, Paul
Harrison, Rick White, Scott Knight, Gord Abbott, Tim Brown
and John Hudon were a big pack at two.
Rick White led all trainers with four
trips to the winner’s enclosure. Masse, Davis and Dave Hudon
had three apiece and those at two included Harrison,
Micallef, Rod Therres and Wayne Isbister.
PEGURA DREAMER TWO: Don Pegura
of Coquitlam captured the second week’s honors and $250 in
the California Dreamin Handicapping Contest.
Pegura had a total of $691 in the three
races – entrants handicap races three through eight at Santa
Anita Racecourse – to lead Roy Yip by $30.
Fred Sheppard and Ray McMillan shared
third with $585 while Molly Ziola was fifth at $550. Wray
Jones was next with $533 followed by Sheldon Burwassh at
$493 and Josef Eppel at $475.
Dreamers are 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 day’s winner qualifies for
the final, set for March 5. Lance Beveridge won the first
JOHNSON WAXES ALL: Lloyd Johnson
has charged into the lead after week two of the KENO Harness
Johnson picked up 14 points for the
second straight week and now has 28 for a two-point margin
atop the standings.
First-week lead Rick Jensen was able to
gather eight points in week two to stay in the hunt – tied
for second with 26 points. Morris Karpuk got 10 second-week
points to join Jensen. Hiro Yodogawa was the big mover and
shaker, amassing 18 points to jump into a tie for fourth at
25 points. Eugene Ohara and Rob McElhinney also have 25.
Tied at 24 are Ben Olafson, who had 15 in week two, Hans
Cyzpull, Joe Howald, Derek Johannson, Stephen Stelnicki,
Karen Parker and Dave Kennedy.
More than 350 entrants are after the
$10,000 available in prize money. The Pool runs until Feb.
Once again the Pool works like a sports
pool where contestants pick a team of six horses, one from
each box of six horses. Points are awarded for top three
finishes and the top 40 players will receive prizes --
$3,000 for finishing first.
Two trades will be allowed, one today
and the other Feb. 11 (the contest will NOT have two halves
SERIES MARATHON SATURDAY: Red
Star Leam and Flyin Ambro won the second legs of the Iron
Horse Claiming Series last Saturday. The legs, with purses
of $4,000, were for horses to be claimed for $6,000.
Leam captured the first division by 1¼
lengths over the mile in 1:58 while Ambro prevailed by the
same distance in 1:58.2. Gold Cole was second to Leam, the
1-5 favorite who had won the previous week in one of the
first legs. BJs Touch Down was second to Flyin Ambro, a 5-2
This year the series has a flashy new
name and an intriguing twist to the format -- legs (and the
final) to be raced over varying distances.
The first legs were over a distance of
11/16 of a mile, the second legs over the traditional mile
and today’s final will be a long and rugged mile and 5/16.
The purse will be $16,500.
Leam and Red Star Buck were claimed out
of the first race last Saturday while five, yes, five,
claims were made in the second race: Blackbelt Champ, Sporty
Mr Grace, Flyin Ambro, BJs Touch Down and Fox Valley Riddler.
Blackbelt Champ was claimed out of the
first division the first week while Riddler and Ambro were
claimed from the second.
Meanwhile, Langley’s Lois Hannah, a
horse breeder (Canadians) and artist of note, will have a
display of her sculpture, The Iron Horse, on hand today at
WOLSKI HONORED: Tom Wolski,
producer of Sport Of Kings on Citytv Vancouver, is the
winner of the 2004 Broadcasters Awards competition.
The award is co-sponsored by the United
States Trotting Association and the United States Harness
Writers’ Association. Award winners will receive $500 from
standardbred owner Sanford Goldfarb, who has underwritten
the $3,400 in prize money for this year’s competitions.
Wolski was named the winner in the
Broadcasters Awards for his feature on trainer/driver Andy
and his wife Brenda Arsenault. Wolski was selected by Tom
Dawson, horse racing producer for ESPN, who was the judge of
the Broadcasters Awards.
"I was interested from the opening
shots and wanted to know more," said Dawson. "I'm a believer
in using well placed voice over bridges to connect the dots
in a story line, but this feature did a nice job of piecing
together first person accounts in a cogent manner. While not
fancy, the production values were enough to make me feel
like I knew something about the participants. This is a good
example of finding a story, getting those involved to tell
it properly and shooting what b-roll you can to enhance the
story. Substance over style."
The winners will be honored at the awards banquet conducted
by the U.S. Harness Writers Association, to be held Sunday,
Feb.13 at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New
Jersey. The banquet annually honors the top people and
equines from the past season of harness racing.