Dealmeahos continues Lancaster streak

OK, so the horses of the red-hot barn of Rick Lancaster did not have the winning numbers of two weekends ago, but there were still plenty of big smiles around that shed row last weekend.

Last Saturday horses trained by Lancaster picked up two (the week before it was four) wins, but they included the biggest one of the weekend.

Dealmeahos, a four-year-old daughter by Make A Deal out of Payday Chance, paced to an impressive lifetime best of 1:58.2 in capturing the Pat Brennan Memorial Pace. The victory brought smiles to the faces of -- among others -- owner Ray Soh, driver Dave Hudon and of course Lancaster. It also brought the winner's share of the $31,200 purse.

When asked if it was his first stakes victory, Soh said, "No, but it was quite a awhile ago with Payday Chance. This was the first with my own breeding and that is pretty exciting."

Observant race fans will note that the aforementioned Payday Chance is the mommy of Dealmeahos.

Lancaster said, with a smile, "She's a pretty nice mare. We knew she could be good if she stayed flat and behaved herself."

The statement referred to the fact that the fast and lightly-raced (no two-year-old starts and only 12 as a three-year-old) has battled a problem with making breaks.

That was not the case Saturday as Dealmeahos, a 10-1 fourth choice in the field of nine that included another mare and a filly against the boys, was fast and flat.

She was third as Goplayoutside, part of the 3-5 favoured entry, and third choice Witching Hour battled through the first half. Dealmeahos moved to second, outside, at the three-quarter pole and used a strong stretch drive to catch Witching Hour and win by a length. Goplayoutside had to settle for third while second-choice Yeah Norton could only get as close as fourth.

"I came first up because I thought Billy (Goplayoutside driver Bill Davis) got a cheap half. I had to try it as I was worried Yeah Norton would be coming," said Hudon. He also added with another of those smiles, "My mare was pretty strong."

Dealmeahos, who now has two wins and two seconds in nine 2003 starts and who bumped her lifetime earnings to more than $39,000, is a contestant in the legs for the Miss Cloverdale Classic (the final is March 14).
MR. K PASSES AWAY: Efstratios Kallianiotis, long-time owner/trainer at Fraser Downs, died Thursday, Feb. 27 in  hospital at the age of 68.

Mr. K, as he was affectionately known, had been battling cancer for the last number of months.

Kallianiotis was also a breeder and stood Quanah Parker at stud at his Surrey farm. He also had several race horses including Dontpush Your Luck, Control Yourself, Without Rules and Bruno The Banker.

There is no service set for here and Mr. K's body will be shipped to Greece to be buried by his mother.
DAVIS STILL: Despite being blanked Friday, Bill Davis still led the way last weekend in the Downs driver derby.
Davis had three each of the other days, giving him two more for the weekend than Grant Hollingsworth. Scott Knight and Dave Hudon had three each. Davis also led with five visits to the winner's enclosure as a trainer. Larry Micallef had three.
PINCH ME I'M GOING TO CALIFORNIA: The dreamin is now real for Terry Bell of Surrey. He is California bound.

Bell was the best of a field of eight last Saturday in the California Dreamin Contest at Fraser Downs. Bell was the top handicapper, picking up points in five of the six races from Santa Anita Raceway.

He started with 78 points in the first race, but really broke lose by picking up points in the last three races including 279 in the fourth. Bell and a guest will now receive air fare, a two-night hotel stay, reserved seating and $500 mad money for the Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

Bell, a Downs regular, admitted he was quite excited about the trip.

"No, I've never been to Santa Anita, I've been to L.A. once but never to the track. The only track I've been to outside the Lower Mainland is the old Longacres (in Seattle)."

Bell felt the turning point was his "8-1" winner which brought him big points.

Actually runner-up Julio D'Oliveira also had that race but was never able to close the gap with the remaining races.

Bell finished with 516 points while D'Oliveira had 434. John McCall was third with 406 while the other competitors were Gordon McKay, Mas Kariya, John Vuckovic, Lynn Smith and Dan Stevens. (Weekly winner Irene Bell was unable to take part in the final).