Haras Colta Cola stops Bre X streak

Haras Colta Cola has ended Bre X’s impressive run of six straight victories in the Invite at Fraser Downs.

Cola, a four-year-old gelded son of Armbro Operative out of Celes Lady, used a perfect garden-spot (two-hole) trip, to edge Bre X by a neck. Driven by Rick White and trained by Paul Harrison for owners Off Track Stable, Haras Colta Cola covered the mile in 1:55.1, a new lifetime mark.

Bre X was handicapped to the outside six post and was still sixth, eight lengths back at the quarter. He was first up and had moved to third at the half and second at the ¾ pole.

However, White beautifully manoeuvred Haras Colta Cola through a powerful stretch drive for the win.

Red Star Justice, who recently covered the mile in 1:53.2, the track record he shares with Bre X, had to battle to get the lead at the quarter and finished third, 1½ lengths back.

“We are really thrilled,” said Harrison the next day. “I thought as he came by on the backstretch that he was a little more interested than the week before.”

“We’ll give it another go next week,” said Paul’s wife Janet, adding that, “lots of people have been congratulating us.”

Cola had an excellent three-year-old season, winning 12 times in 20 starts, but had only one win (Oct. 10 in the Invite) in 21 starts in 2003. He has seven seconds and now has earned more than $40,000 for the year.

DIGGING IT: And so it continues for Digs Girl. The seven-year-old mare, owned by Laurie Davis and the Victoria Pacing Stable, won her 10th race in a row at Fraser Downs last Friday.

The daughter of Dignatarian had to work hard this time, catching the front-runner in the stretch but winning by only a neck over two fast-closers, long shot West Coast Night and Chute Again.

Digs Girl has now made 10 starts at the meet and won them all for driver/trainer Bill Davis. She has 13 wins in 26 starts in 2003.

WHAT A PUNCH: Proberts Punch has knocked Maxamillenium off his six-race winning streak. Proberts Punch, owned by Maximracingstableinc and trained and driven by Jim Burke, used a strong stretch finish to edge Maxamillenium by a neck in a battle of three-year-olds last Sunday. Proberts Punch paced the mile in 1:56.4 for his third win in a row and sixth win in seven starts in 2003.

HONORS SHARED: The driver and trainer derbies were a close battle last weekend. Thanks to four victories last Sunday, Jim Burke was able to corral the week’s driver honors – with the four. Rick White, Carl Sibiga, Brad Watt, Bill Davis and Tim Brown all had three.

Trainer Heather Sifert used a hat-trick on Friday night to lead the way. Deadlocked at two were Jim Mohorich, Darren Lupul, Wayne Isbister and Davis.

FAMILY FUN: Jan Miscich of Langley was the fifth week’s winner of the Ironman Handicapping Challenge. Miscich, whose husband Ron already won an Ironman week, won $250 for her handicapping expertise while Russell Smith of Port Coquitlam was second and won $150 and Mark Hayden of Delta was third and took home $100.

Miscich had $102.90 in winnings after picking two winners and five seconds (a couple for big prices) in the eight races. Smith had $91 and Hayden was close with $88.40.

All patrons have to do is pick a horse in a designated race from eight different race tracks (such as Woodbine, Santa Anita, Mohawk, Bay Meadows) and receive dollars for a win, place or show finish. Each week there will be three winners. 

This Saturday is the last in the Challenge and entries must be in by 11:30 a.m. Programs for the contest are available at the Welcome Centre at noon Friday. 

The highly-popular California Dreamin handicapping event is scheduled to start on Dec. 27. 

AFTERNOON DELIGHT: Don’t forget that Fraser Downs switches to its winter schedule this weekend. The post time for the first race on both Saturdays and Sundays will be 1:15 p.m. until April 10, 2004.

There will be a holiday afternoon card on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) and another on New Years Day (a Thursday). 

DID YOU KNOW: On Nov. 30, 1962 that a closing night crowd of 35,677 wagered $3.2 million at Yonkers Raceway in New York, marking the first time in harness racing history that a track's handle topped $3 million for a single night. 

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: The follower of Mainman’s Moonshot, the betting tip(?) which suggests a lonnnnng shot with a slight chance, is happy. Following what was seemingly a flukey winning tip on the first week, it took the Moonshot another 12 weeks to pick another.

Groucho N, a 30-1 shot, paid $61.60 after winning the 12th race last Saturday.

If that follower has placed a $2 win wager on all 13 picks he/she is now up $82.30, including Spider M’s $46.70 payoff in week one.

This week we will try Als Boys, a 10-1 morning line selection, in the 13th race Saturday.