Dudett gets early nod

Da Lil Dudett, a daughter of Apaches Fame out of South Ferry, has been tabbed as a strong 4-5 favorite in Sunday’s $20,400 Arbutus Stake for fillies at Sandown Park. 

Despite not racing since June 18, Dudett, owned by the Lil Dude Ranch, is expected to dominate from the three hole. That June start was a second in the Northlands Filly Pace in Edmonton, three lengths behind Just Sassy who won in 1:54.2. 

She has been on the board in eight of 10 starts in 2004 and captured the Delta Pace at Fraser Downs in March after a 2003 in which she won five races in seven starts and was named B.C.’s two-year-old filly of the year.  

A recent addition to the B.C. scene, Rustle For It, has been first three times and second once in four starts in 2004 and is the second choice at 9-2. Sharons Pass is at 5-1 and rounding out the field are Miss St Labush; the entry of Red Stars, Suesue and Cowgirl; Tahuya Glamorous and Red Star Sunbeam.  

The $20,700 Oaktree for three-year-old colts and geldings on Saturday should be a more open affair. 

The Tim Brown-trained entry of Sail On Saylor, a winner in 1:58.3 in one elimination last week, and Sail The Seven Seas is a 2-1 favorite despite drawing the seven and eight holes respectively in the eight-horse field. 

Notorious Pick, another elim winner, is second choice at 4-1 and Phantom is third selection at 9-2 and was best in the third of last week’s eliminations. Meekos Trucker, who drew the rail, is at 5-1. The others are Da Lil Dude, Kamajo Ken and Red Star Soprano. 

WHITE FIRST UP: Rick White was best off the gate for opening weekend at Sandown as he picked up three wins, both as a driver and trainer. 

Scott Knight and Dave Jungquist also had three driving victories while Tim Brown, John Vukelich, Larry Micallef, Grant Hollingsworth and Gord Abbott had two each. 

Knight and Ann Cooper were next best among the conditioners with two victories apiece. 

CORRECTION: A recent story listed Seven Seas Cruiser as the Fraser Downs track record holder for three-year-old colts and geldings. He was for two weeks before Hi Time Ascot, by Barnett Hanover out of Hi Time Lady, lowered the mark to 1:54.1 on April 2. Ascot is owned by Western Pacific Stable, trained by Ray Gemmill and bred by Terry and Gordon Staples. 

BITS AND WRAPS: The big man with the big grin is Joe Gray. The 21-year-old son of owner Kelly Hudon and stepson of driver/trainer Dave Hudon achieved his first win as a trainer last Sunday at Sandown. Joe harnessed Carolyn Holmes N, a nine-year-old mare he owns along with mom, and the daughter of Holmes Hanover won her fourth of the year and first for the new conditioner, taking the 11th  race with driver Scott Knight. 

Trainer/driver Mike Short became a new father July 2 when partner Lisa Taylor gave birth to Alyssa Nicole. The little filly, born at Burnaby General, weighed eight pounds. 

Patrons may recognize the name J F Gagne who is driving this weekend at Sandown. Jean Francois is a top driver/trainer in Alberta who has 550 career driving wins. 

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Due to popular demand (my favorite aunt) the Moonshot will return for racing at Sandown. The only criteria is that the selection be made from a horse which is 10-1 or higher in the morning line odds. This week, two of five at Sandown, we like Feeling Strong, a 10-1 choice in the second race Saturday.

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