Digs Girl IGA Horse of the Month

Digs Girl will be honored for being on a roll at Fraser Downs.

For weeks she has added to her winning streak, which reached 10 on Nov. 28. Four of those victories came in November and have earned her MarketPlace IGA horse of the month.

The seven-year-old mare, owned by Laurie Davis and the Victoria Pacing Stable and trained and driven by Bill Davis, captured four straight starts at the $4,000 claimer level during the month.

Bred in California by Virginia and James Bagatelos, the daughter of Dignatarian out of J Js Hope, has been on fire since the start of the Downs meet, not losing in that time. (She even set a lifetime mark of 1:57.3 on Sept. 19.)

She has 13 wins in 27 starts in 2003. (Of note under the category: How well this horse does under the conditioning of Bill Davis. Since he first raced her on Aug. 31, 2001, she has been in 62 races. Seventeen starts were with other trainers and she never won with them while winning 26 times for Davis).

Rob Neufeld, owner/manager of the Cloverdale MarketPlace IGA, will present a blanket to the winning connections.

MORE RECORDS: It seems the Fraser Downs track record archives needed updating again. Unless, we have missed something else, the track record for aged mares was lowered by Arturos Choice on Nov. 21, 2003 in an elimination leg of the Surrey Cup.

Arturos Choice, a four-year-old mare by Arturo out of Riddle Hanover, paced the mile in 1:54.2, taking one tick off the 1:54.3 mark set by Clover Camtankeros on March 7, 1999.

Arturos Choice is owned by Robert Murphy and is trained by Bill Davis and was driven by Davis to the track record.

What the archives failed to show is that on Sept. 19 of this year, My Kinda Cam, also with the same owner, trainer/driver combination, equaled Camtankeros’ 1:54.3 clocking.

Meanwhile, it’s Make Some Noise that’s doing just that in the open fillies and mares class. Make Some Noise – yes, another Murphy/Davis chattel – won her third in a row last Saturday, beating a strong field of nine. The four-year-old daughter Camluck settled for third early, after starting on the inside rail, grabbed the lead on the outside before the three-quarter mark and held off a fast-closing Princess Jessica N.

Jessica was a length and three-quarters back but it was another 12 ¾ lengths to third-place Penny Lace.

Make Some Noise, bred in Kentucky, has six wins in 31 starts for earnings of close to $83,000 in 2003.

HENSLEY HERE: Eddie is coming. Eddie is coming.

Eddie is Ed Hensley, well-known driver and trainer who has been playing his trade for years in California. Hensley has driven in B.C. before and he will be here Sunday for a holiday – busman’s as it turns out as he is expected to drive in some races that day.

“I’m coming up to visit family for a few days,” Hensley said by phone last Sunday. “I want to see the new track surface,” and also added he would take a peak at the plans for the new-look Down s (if slots are approved).

“Chuck (Downs general manager Keeling) is hoping that I could get two or three drives while I’m there.”

Hensley will return to Cal-Expo in Sacramento on Wednesday.

DAVIS LEADS: Led by four victories on both Friday and Saturday, Bill Davis led the way in the driver derby last weekend. Davis added one more and his total of nine was four better than Jim Burke. Daniel St Amand had a good weekend with four.

Davis was a narrow leader on the trainer side with four trips to the winner’s enclosure. Bob Merschback had three and John Currie, Don Tracey and Erik Neyhart two each.

WHAT A GOODFELLOW: Ken Goodfellow of Coquitlam was the sixth and final week’s winner of the Ironman Handicapping Challenge. Goodfellow won $250 for his handicapping expertise while Lydia We of Delta was second and won $150 and Koji Kariya of Surrey was third and took home $100.

Goodfellow had $85.10 in winnings after picking three winners (one for $54) and two seconds in the eight races. We had $72.50 (with five wins) and Kariya had $68.60.

All patrons had to do was pick a horse in a designated race from eight different race tracks and receive dollars for a win, place or show finish. Each week there were three winners.

DON’T STOP DREAMIN’: If you’re a surfer fine, but you don’t necessarily have to go to the beach to fill your board with fun in the Downs’ California Dreamin’ handicapping contest.

Acutally you probably won’t have time to get to the beach, you’ll be having so much fun at the track.

The track is Santa Anita and that’s the destination, for the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, of the lucky winner – and guest – of the Dreamin’ contest.

The second edition of the CDHC, where contestants will be asked to handicap a series of races from Santa Anita, starts Saturday, Dec. 27 and runs each Saturday until Feb. 28, a total of 10 weeks. 

The contest is based on six races from the Santa Anita card, races three through eight, and on which entrants will handicap three. For each of the three horses chosen, a mythical $20 win, place, show bet will be placed. At the end of each contest day, scores will be tallied and the entrant with the highest total will receive the weekly $250 prize – and be crowned a finalist. 

The 10 finalists will battle head-to-head in the CDHC on Saturday, March 6 in the Homestretch Party Zone. The ultimate winner will be surfing – the racing program – on Derby Day. 

Entry ballots will be available at the Welcome Centre the morning of each contest day. They must be returned before the scheduled post of the second race at Santa Anita.

NO PAN INTENDED A STUD: No Pan Intended, this year’s Triple Crown and Breeders Crown winner, has been retired from racing in order to begin his stallion career at Glengate Farms in Campbellville, Ont.

Trainer Ivan Sugg and owner Bob Glazer, who races under the Peter Pan Stable banner, considered racing No Pan Intended in the Provincial Cup at Windsor Raceway in Ontario, but decided to go out on top.

On Nov. 29 at the Meadowlands, No Pan Intended won the $542,500 Breeders Crown by a head in a career-best 1:50.3. He is the leading candidate for horse of the year honors.

His stud fee at Glengate will be $10,000 Canadian.

No Pan Intended won just once in 13 starts in 2002 and earned $115,883. This year, he won 17 of 21 races, finished second three times, and banked $1.46 million. From July 19 through the end of the year, the theee-year-old son of Pacific Fella won 13 of 14 starts, including the Cane Pace, the Little Brown Jug, and the Messenger Stakes, the three races that make up pacing’s Triple Crown.

LEADING ONTARIO TRAINER SUSPENDED: Colin Johnson, one of the nation’s top trainers, has been slapped with a six-month suspension and a $5,000 fine following a positive test at Rideau Carleton Raceway.

The suspension was made public Dec. 5 after the Ontario Racing Commission’s ruling.

According to the ORC report, the Johnson-trained pacer Coil Hanover produced a positive pre-race test on Nov. 20 at the Ottawa oval.

The full suspension is slated to begin Dec. 15 and last until June 29, 2004.

Johnson, 37, of Le Gardeur, P.Q., has 303 training wins this season and has trained the winners of more than $14.7 million in his career. 

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week we looked to Alsboy but the best he could do was seventh. This weekend we will try Gumpwood, a 10-1 morning line choice, in the 10th race Sunday.