Davis drives seven of own to wins

Driver/trainer Bill Davis has made a startling return to Fraser Downs after competing in Alberta the last couple of months. Davis picked up seven wins last Friday, driving horses he also trains to the winner’s enclosure.

After missing the opening weekend, Davis returned for week two and led the way with four wins in both the driving and training categories. Last weekend – led by the seven – saw him register 11 driving wins and nine as a trainer.

The 41-year-old Surrey horseman is closing in on 4,000 lifetime driving wins and has more than 2,000 training wins.

“It’s been pretty good,” Davis agreed about his return to the Downs, adding that he “only has 18 horses now but that more are coming in.”

Driver/trainer Rod Therres is another off to a good start and his new horse, Sierra Speed, turned in a 1:54 mile Friday, just one tick off the track record. Sierra Speed edged winners-over ace Bre X by a neck while registering a new life mark.

Therres and partner Jim Vinnell, recently claimed Sierra Speed for $4,000 (US) at Cal-Ex in Sacramento and he has now raced here three times, all wins.

His lifetime mark was just one of many on the weekend. There were five others on Friday and eight on Saturday (testament in part to the speed of the refurbished track).

THE JUDGE SAYS: Last Friday, a horse, Rhys, was scratched during the post parade for his race. His being scratched did prompt some patron enquiries because during the post parade it was announced that there was a claim (for $10,000) in for him.

How can he be claimed if he did not race? The answer is, He can’t. That, apparently, was felt to be unfair by some people.

So TrackMarks asked the judge – in this case, Herb Hugel.

“First, let it be clear,” said judge Herb, “that it was the commission vet (who rides in the starting gate car), who decided that Rhys was unfit to race.”

But to explain to those enquiring minds he also explained there is a rule.

“A horse (in this case Rhys) can be claimed for the same amount (in this case for $10,000) if he races within the next 30 days no matter at what level of race he is entered. That would be the case even if he were entered in the winners-over (the top event outside of Stakes).”

GOOD IN CALGARY TOO: Bill Davis continued his busy and top-flight performing, flying to Calgary on Sunday to take part in Stampede Park’s Invitational Drivers Challenge where he finished a close second.

For the second year in a row, hometown favorite Keith Clark won, picking up 46 points with three wins and two seconds, overall collecting enough points to top the nine-driver field. Davis was six points behind Clark after two wins, a second, a third and a sixth.

The final standings: Clark 46, Davis 40, Jody Jamieson 30, Mike Saftic 30, Mark MacDonald 27, John Chappell 27, Doug Brown 25 and Paul MacDonell 25. Jamieson, Saftic, Brown, MacDonald and MacDonnell were Ontario invaders.

As a group, the drivers raised $8,500 for Juvenile Diabetes.

BIG NAMES: Some big-name sires are on the list of those up for sale at the annual B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society Yearling Sale on Nov. 18, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the Agriplex.

In addition to such top local stallions as Dal Reo Hop Sing, Daylon Marshal and Dancing Puddles there is offspring from out-of-province sires including Camluck, As Promised, Albert Albert, Northern Luck and Blissful Hall.

A record number of horses – 133 -- have been entered said Bev Mohorich, office manager for the BCSBS, and late entrants are welcome for a fee. Mohorich also said that Bill Pambrum, president of the society, will again head to the Harrisburg sale in the U.S. to search for possible in-foal broodmares to add to the sale.

PETTICOAT HIJACKED: Sharons Pass, who is owned by the Wild Dunes Stable of Delta, went a strong maiden-breaking trip last Saturday, going gate to wire to claim victory in the $94,341 Petticoat Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies at Stampede Park in Calgary.

With Jervis Clifton in the bike, the daughter of Freedoms Pass went to the front and opened three lengths on the field at the quarter-pole in 28 seconds. She hit the half in 56.3 and three-quarters in a nifty 1:25.3 and, despite tiring late in the mile, successfully held on by two lengths to beat Expensive Return and Klondike Kate in a lifetime best 1:57.

Sharons Pass, trained by Gord Remmen, picked up $47,170 for her efforts and has now made more than $60,000 in five lifetime starts.

SORRY DAD: For the second straight week trainer Phil Coleman and daughter (and also trainer) Casie, former Fraser Downs competitors, had horses meet in a race at Flamboro in Ontario. This time Casie’s horse Into The Future won while dad had to settle for third with Oileigh Cam. Casie, who had four horses racing that day, also won with Road To Success.

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week’s pick, Woodmere Windrop, had trouble trying to break through traffic and was sixth. This week let’s try Dal Reo Riverdance, a 10-1 morning line selection, in the 11th race Friday.