If the Vancouver
Canucks are looking for an assistant to general manager Dave
Nonis they should be looking at Dave Hudon.
No, it’s not that
Hudon has developed greater knowledge of the game of hockey
-- it’s because of his skills in making a trade.
Hudon, the top driver
and trainer at the present Sandown Park meet, had his
trading acumen displayed last Sunday when La Ocasey captured
the $20,200 Oak Tree Stake.
Fresh off his
impressive performance in the previous week’s eliminations
when he won, La (pronounced L A as in the city) Ocasey, a
four-year-old gelded son of Jate Lobell, was dominant again.
Trained and driven by
Hudon, La Ocasey, part of a 2-1 entry, won by 2½ lengths,
covering the mile in 1:56. It was his fourth win in nine
starts in 2005 and ran his season earnings to more than
La Ocasey, owned by
Nigel Holmes and Kelly Hudon (Dave’s wife for anyone new to
the area), was again well back early (seventh at the
quarter) but started a big move outside well before the
half. By three quarters he had the lead and kept coming to
pull away from the field. Lunar TKO, the slight favorite,
came late for second and Tahuya Emory A, an 8-1 shot, was
Hudon, adding the
Trader tag to his Hollywood moniker (his poses at the wire
are classic), admitted getting La Ocasey while he was at
Northlands in Edmonton in early June was “a good trade.”
“I was tired of Dexter
(Red Star) as it seemed he was running every second week,”
Hudon explained. “So I went to Johnny (owner/trainer/driver
Chappell) and said, ‘Have you any horse you want to trade?’”
“He said, ‘Yeah, three
actually’ and told me who they were. So I went and had a
look at La Ocasey and liked him.”
“He raced big for me
once there and today he raced huge.
“I thought about
leaving but when Treenie left and then his horse made a
break I took back. Then I decided to pull early, put him (Ocasey)
in the middle of the track, which he seems to like, and go
Hudon admitted he did
not know much about the horse’s life before Chappell. “I
think he got him at a sale in the East and I do know his
lifetime best is 1:53.1 at Balmoral, near Chicago.
Now, Hudon will give
Ocasey a week off, pay him up for the Dogwood (the final is
Aug. 20) and try him there.
SHARE: Jim Marino and Bill Davis shared honors as top
driver last weekend at Sandown Park.
Marino and Davis each
had three wins as victories were well split among the driver
Dave Hudon was among
those with two triumphs and maintained early command of the
driver -- and trainer -- standings.
Hudon now has 10 wins
as a driver, two ahead of Davis. Scott Knight has six and
Others with two wins
last weekend were Knight, Andy Arsenault and Clint
Knight, Davis and
Warrington each had two victories to pace the training
division. Hudon leads the meet with seven, two ahead of
Meekos Trucker likes Sandown.
The four-year-old son
of Storm Compensation is owned by Shale Stables and trained
by Barry Treen. Though forced by health problems to take
much of 2005 off, he showed last Sunday that he still likes
He took his life mark
of 1:56.2 at Sandown as a three-year-old. Then on July 9 he
had a qualifier (after he was off through May and June) and
raced to a 32-length decision in1:57.
Last Sunday he went
one better. He picked up a new lifetime mark of 1:55 – the
fastest clocking to date at the Vancouver Island oval.
Regents Glow, a
six-year-old gelded son of Northern Luck, also paced to a
lifetime mark, 1:57.1 as did Nicoles Reign, Pennys Dancer,
Path To Success, Deal Me Sevens, Garden Gate Admiral and
won her third straight at Sandown (and fourth straight
overall) for lessee Bill Davis and trainer Billy Davis. But
she was claimed out of the race for $9,000.
Gold Cole made it two
successive wins at Sandown for trainer Scott Knight.
Casie Coleman’s American Ideal did not win last Saturday’s
$1 million Meadowlands Pace and therefore she did not become
the first woman trainer to win it. But she and the
three-year-old son of Western Ideal picked up a lot of
admirers along the way.
American Ideal for owners Mac Nichol of Edmonton and
Brittany Farms of the U.S. and, despite starting from the
outside 10-hole in the powerful field, American Ideal
finished an impressive fourth.
He had his third
driver – this time George Brennan – in his last three starts
but that did not deter from his effort. He was outside the
mile, 10th (11 back) at the quarter, ninth at the half and
sixth at the three-quarter mark.
He closed the final
quarter in 27.1 seconds for a personal time of 1:49.4,
narrowly missing third.
Only the winner,
odds-on favorite Rocknroll Hanover, closed faster. With
Brian Sears in the sulky, Rocknroll Hanover was the best,
covering the mile in 1:48.3 and winning by three lengths
over Village Jolt. Stonebridge Regal was third.
Coleman told Race
Night on the Score’s Ken Middleton that she was proud of her
horse. She said he showed his heart and added that he also
has speed and admitted she is looking forward to some
upcoming stakes races. She also figured he was due for a
better post position soon. In the eliminations he drew the
nine-hole and in last month’s $1.5 million North America Cup
final also started from 10.
Coleman is a
25-year-old native of B.C. who competed as a driver and
trainer at Fraser Downs.