On a weekend where owner Robert Murphy, an ever-familiar name in B.C. harness racing circles, led the way, the ever-improving Red Star Ginny stole the show.


The show was the Sandown Breeders Stakes at Sandown Park where the best in two- and three-year olds battled.


As advertised, the race to watch was Sunday in a three-year-old filly event and it was here Ginny did her thing.


Fresh from an impressive 1:54.3 win in the Dogwood Stake on Aug. 21, the daughter of Pacific Rocket out of A Lot Of Urge, made it three wins in a row. And this time it came against the much-heralded Betterfrombehind, owned by JJJ Stables and Al Anderson, with the 12 wins in 14 starts career record.


Starting from the five-hole, Ginny, driven by trainer Clint Warrington, slipped quickly into the two-hole behind the slightly-less than even-money favorite. Ginny and Warrington obviously enjoyed the trip, staying there until the last turn.


Then after an epic stretch battle, Ginny slipped past for a three-quarter length margin of victory in a time of 1:56 over a track rated as good.


Jimmy Jams Jubilee, owned by Jim Findlay, was third, her 12th finish in the money in 16 starts this year.

Ginny’s effort echoed the statements made by Warrington after her Dogwood win when he said, “I wish all horses worked as hard as her. If you ask her to go she always tries.”


She now has won more than $36,700 this year with five wins, two seconds and three thirds in 17 starts.


Murphy’s Red Star Dreamglo, trained and driven by Gord Abbott, was much the best in the other filly event. The daughter of Island Fantasy went gate to wire (despite the outside five post) to win by 4¾ lengths in a time of 1:59.2.


The slight favorite, Shannons Scoobydoo, was a fast-closing second and Red Star Tripper, despite traffic problems was third.

Dreamglo now has three wins in 2005 with more than $17,000 in earnings.


JJJ and Anderson could take solace in the fact that Betterfrombehind bounced back well from a poor performance in the Arbutus Stake but they could, and did, take outright pleasure in the wins by Active Pass and Wild Rumour in the three-year-old colt races.


Active Pass, a son of Kents On Nuke, remained unbeaten in five starts in Canada, overpowering the field of seven. Unhurried early, Active Pass, driven by Tim Brown, was first up from fourth, cleared into the lead at the half and went on to a 6½-length victory in 1:59.2.


Active Pass captured the B.C. Stallion Stake in April, and now has earned more than $62,000 this year.


Whaturmoneybought, an 11-1 shot was second and Garden Gate Admiral third.


There were four events for two-year-olds on the Saturday and Murphy horses also captured two events that day.


Red Star Biggirl, driven by Warrington and trained by Brent Beelby, grabbed one of the filly events. The even-money favorite, a daughter of Grinfromeartoear, was first up, battled early pacesetter Furious Five and pulled away for a three-length decision. In her first start Biggirl covered the mile in 2:00.1. GGs Madi was third.


Red Star Islander made it two-for-two in his career in winning a colt and gelding race. The son of Island Fantasy went gate-to-wire for the same driver and trainer to win by 1½ lengths in 2:02.4. Solar Wind was second and Knockinemback third.

The most impressive display by the rookies was by Superfecta Kid, owned by Paul Gilley and Garden Gate Stables, driven by Steve Germain and trained by Chris Phillips.


The son of Fully Loaded out of Angelintheoutfield, a 4-5 favorite, wired the field, winning by a whopping 10 lengths and flying over the mile in 1:58.2.


The Kid was a relative veteran, racing twice before with a second and third. Double Stutz was second and Red Star Urge third.


There was a mild upset in the other filly race when Sweetypea, a daughter of Freedoms Pass out of Meeko and Tumba, roared to the front from the outside five post and just held on at the wire.


The 5-2 choice, owned by Kelly Hudon and David Hudon, Jr. and trained and driven by Dave Hudon, edged even-money favorite Whisper What Then by a neck in a time of 2:00.3 with Red Star Ocean third.


All five competitors were making their first starts. 


. . . BUT NO CIGAR -- OR JUG: It was close but Casie Coleman’s American Ideal will not be competing in the Little Brown Jug.


Last Monday the three-year-old colt led to the half but had to settle for second in the $365,000 Cane Pace at Freehold Raceway.


A win in the Cane final would have permitted Ideal’s owners -- partners Mac Nichol of St Albert, Alberta and Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky -- to supplement to the prestigious Jug, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.


American Ideal, the son of Western Ideal and driven by George Brennan, finally drew a good position – three – but it was not enough. They left from the gate, had the lead, but on the outside, at the quarter and went the half in a quick 55.3. At the head of the stretch they still held a lead of 1½ lengths but Royal Flush Shark roared past for the win.


Shark left from the one-hole but relinquished the lead to American Ideal who then was challenged, on the outside, by Jo Pa’s Shark from just before the half.


Royal Flush Shark, who had finished second to Ideal in a Cane elimination, won by 1¾ lengths, covering the mile in 1:52.4

In the elim American Ideal went the mile in 1:52.2, his fourth-straight win and the eighth in 15 starts. Despite poor posts, American Ideal had been strong in the North America Cup and Meadowlands Pace and also captured the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs in a track record 1:50.3. He has won more than $600,000 in 2005 and was named the USTA’s August Horse of the Month.


On Wednesday, Coleman, who got her start at Fraser Downs, told Trot Insider American Ideal wasn’t himself in the Cane Pace and he’ll be given three weeks off at home to prepare for Grand Circuit racing at the Red Mile.


Coleman said the colt came out of the final sick and will be shipped home.


 “It’s nothing serious but obviously it cost him the race,” the 25-year-old trainer told Trot. “I wasn’t disappointed with him but he wasn’t even close to his potential. He definitely wasn’t himself.” 


BATTLE CONTINUES: Call it the playoffs but drivers and trainers will have to do more – and winning – work if they hope to collect any hardware in the race for the best at the Sandown Park meet.


Because of the two-week addition to the meet, those such as Jim Marino will go into extra time. Marino chalked up three victories as a driver last weekend and now has 25 to lead the way at the point that was once to be the end of the meet.


Marino will have to take solace in the fact that he widened his margin atop the pack. Bill Davis garnered a deuce last weekend and now sits at 22. Still in the battle are Scott Knight and Dave Hudon, who got one each and now have 21.


Top pilot last week was Clint Warrington with four victories, running his total to a fifth-place 14. Tim Brown had three wins while Darren Howald and Gord Abbott had two each.


Despite just one win last weekend, Knight retained his narrowest of margins over Hudon for top trainer. Knight is at 19 and Hudon 18.


Five conditioners – Alan Anderson, Bill Young, Brent Beelby, Howald and Warrington – each had two triumphs on the weekend.


HORSE TALES: Archie’s on a roll.


Last week we chronicled that trainer Archie Caron and the Caron Stables showed patience is a virtue when their busy three-year-old colt Carons Record Time got his first lifetime win at Sandown. The son of Quanah Parker had gone 32 trips (split equally between two and three-year-old campaigns) without a win.


Caron and company weren’t settling for that small taste, however, as they traveled to the winner’s enclosure again last weekend. Again it was with a horse that had shied from the camera.


Southside Thunder, a three-year-old son of Clairvoyant, paced to his first-ever victory in his 32nd start (21 as a sophomore). Driven by Tim Brown, Thunder covered the mile in 2:00.4.


Eleven-year-old Woodmere Windrop, owned and trained by Bill Young, continued his love for Sandown. The son of Drop Off made it two in a row and five wins and two seconds in eight starts this year at Sandown by winning last Sunday. He has 56 career wins.


Sunset Strip, a six-year-old daughter of Distinguished Baron, made it three successive victories at Sandown for trainer Scott Knight.