Hudon hurt in spill

It was a week to remember – or in one case try to forget – for drivers at Fraser Downs.

For Dave Hudon the memory is painful. Hudon took a spectacular spill with Holysnarpinarmpits on Sunday, hitting the track hard and then having a trailing horse step on his head. He did manage to get up and walk to the side of the track but needed medical attention and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

The damage was worse than first thought. He had three broken ribs, a partially collapsed lung, a broken cheek bone, another facial cut requiring several stitches and a concussion and spent two-plus days in the hospital.

“I had never spent any time in the hospital before so I guess it’s the worst spill I’ve ever had,” Hudon said Thursday as he rested at home.

Dave admitted the old line of “it only hurts when I laugh” was appropriate. He said rest is important but “I have to keep moving a bit too.”

As far as when he’ll be back in action as a driver he said, “I won’t drive this weekend that’s for sure. When I feel good I’ll go back. It could be two weeks it could be four weeks.”

For two other drivers the results last weekend were far from painful. 

Rick Lancaster recorded his first career driving victory on Sunday while Dirk Devries had wins Saturday and Sunday, his first of the year, ending a long drought. 

Lancaster’s win came with Red Star Perry, a horse he trains. The 44-year-old has been training for several years and is closing in on 300 career wins. But he just got his driver’s licence in late September and now, in 23 starts, has five seconds and two thirds to go with his victory. 

Devries had but 10 starts at the meet going into this weekend but won with Red Star Brittany and Red Star Destiny. 

Prior to his spill Hudon had three driving wins in the four days (including Nov. 11), good enough for second behind Bill Davis’ seven. Carl Sibiga, Jim Wiggins and Grant Hollingsworth also had three and eight drivers had two. 

Davis led with four victories as a trainer and Heather Sifert, Larry Micallef and Hollingsworth had three each. 

ALBERTANS KEEP COIMG: More Alberta trainers have joined the fray at Fraser Downs. The latest to have horses entered are Bob Baxter, Daniel Gaboury, Don Tracey and Doug Stout. (Stout has become somewhat of a regular at the Downs at this time of the year).

They join Brad Watt, Ed Tracey, Travis Tracey, Darren Lupul, Marlon Rosychuk, Jim Jeffers (from Saskatchewan), John Lorkowski and Andrew Lavery as those already on the scene. 

Gaboury got busy early, claiming Downs’ veteran Ferguson Road to go with The Big Unit. Stout has some familiar horses: Indians Win and Red Star Kassi while Baxter, who got his first driving win here last Tuesday on a catch drive with Super Stars Girl, has “cheap horses, no standouts.” He has West Coast Night and Last Glance among others. 

Baxter is the 32-year-old son of John and brother of Ron, other regulars on the Alberta scene. He proudly said his dad was a recent winner of the Clare Christie lifetime achievement award in that province. 

Baxter came here with his fiancé, Jennifer, and said, “We are thinking of staying.” 

“One of my owners Gordon Moody has family here and comes here to visit and decided to race some horses here,” Baxter added. “I was thinking I needed a little change and was quite willing to try it here. 

“I brought six horses,” Baxter said, “but trainers Starkewski (Rod) and Gray (Jamie) are thinking of sending a couple more to me.” 

Baxter, who admitted, “I don’t miss the snow,” also said he didn’t mind the rain but he should be given time. 

FINDING JOE HUDON: Fraser Downs’ long-time patrons keenly caught the familiar name of Joe Hudon in last Saturday’s program. 

Hudon, who competed long and well at the Downs but now lives in Rockwood, Ont. and competes on the Ontario circuit, was listed as a co-owner of a horse named Mattjestic Pistol set to make its first start ever here. The last time Hudon’s name appeared in the program was when he was here in 1996 for the Inaugural Pace when the new-look, newly-named track had its first race. 

As expected the owner line was changed prior to Saturday’s race to Becky Magnus of Surrey. Magnus had purchased the horse from the Ontario interests and put trainer/driver Jim Marino in charge. 

“Joe had contacted people here to see if they wanted to buy the horse,” Marino said. “He is a nice colt (three-year-old gelding by His Mattjesty out of the Laag mare Prowse).

They thought he would make a good Stakes horse for Joe but he couldn’t cut it in Ontario.” 

Marino was quick to add that he “had a 57 (1:57.2) as a two-year old.” 

And he obviously liked his new B.C. climes, winning Saturday in 1:58.4. It was his first win in 13 starts in 2003 and second win of his career. 

BARBADOS GOOD BET: You’re putting off that trip to the Barbados because you don’t want to miss a chance to wager on Fraser Downs racing. Relax. You’re in luck.

The Downs has announced that a legalized and regulated betting shop in the Barbados will begin accepting wagers on the Downs.

The wagers will be commingled through The Racing Channel’s Amtote hub in Portland, Ore.

HELLO DOLLY: There was another fine payout Friday when a $1 superfecta wager resulted in a $10,898.50 return. 

Raggidy Ann captured the 12th and final race of the day, after starting at 14-1. She combined with Red Star Veronica (5-1), Sim City Central (8-1) and Tahuya Lark (25-1) for the 4-7-6-3 winning numbers. 

KEEPS DIGGING IT: The roll continues for Digs Girl. The seven-year-old mare, owned by Laurie Davis and the Victoria Pacing Stable, won her eighth race in a row at Fraser Downs on Friday. 

The daughter of Dignatarian has now made eight starts at the meet and won them all. The latest was like the others, in a fillies and mares $4,000 claimer. She now has 11 wins in 24 starts in 2003 (ironically she has no seconds). 

BISSET TOPS IRONMAN: Ronald Bisset of Langley was the third week’s winner of the Ironman Handicapping Bisset won $250 for his ‘capping expertise while Robert We of Delta was second and won $150 and Ralph Burke of Aldergrove third and took home $100. 

Bisset had $99.10 in winnings after picking four winners, three seconds and a third. We had $92 and Burke $81. 

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. 

Entries must be in by 11:30 a.m. each contest day. Programs for the contest will be available at the Welcome Centre at noon Friday. 

DID YOU KNOW: On Nov. 21, 1985, Armbro Dallas, driven by Ron Waples, set the world record for gelding pacers by winning in 1:52.3 at Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, N.J. 

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week our selection, Isle of Barra in the fifth race Saturday, was scratched. This week we will turn to the eighth race on Friday and pick Indians Win, a 10-1 morning line choice.