With rumors always floating prevalently in the backstretch of any horse race track, and with Fraser Downs no exception, none would be wilder than this one last week. Wild Rumour will win the Sandown Plate! 

It could have been a wild rumor but it became fact as the three-year-old son of Key Prospect fooled all, even his owners, by capturing last Saturdayís $36,000 final. 

Wild Rumour, part of a 4-1 second choice entry, upset the favored entry of trainer/driver Serge Masse in narrowly - a whisker not a nose - beating Mary Murphy's Red Star Senator, with Clint Warrington in the sulky, to the wire. He covered the mile in a new life mark of 1:56, getting his first win in two starts in 2005. 

"These two (entry-mates Rumour and Namedbyfreaks) always train together," said Rick Mowles, the head of J J J Stables which shares ownership of the pair with Alan and Mark Anderson, "and he never beats Freak." 

As many backsiders said after the race, the rabbit won. Rumour and Freak started outside (seven and eight respectively) on the gate and the thinking was that Wild Rumour would join the battle up front, setting the stage for a patented last Freakish rally. 

There was a late rally by Namedbyfreaks but early troubles meant that the best he could do was fifth. There was an early surge by Rumour and driver Tim Brown but it lasted all the way to the wire. 

Sergeirachpanioff, part of Masse's 1-2 favored entries, went to the front early with C C Maxim in closest pursuit and Rumour third, on the outside. When they reached the half, in a quick 56.1 seconds, Rumour had taken the lead by 11/2 lengths, but he was still on the outside. 

On the backstretch, Rumour cleared into the lead and was never caught although Senator, who was eighth at the half, made them get out the magnifying glass to study the photo. Sergeirachpaninoff kept plugging all the way to hang on to third while Winter Bliss, perhaps the stronger of the favored entry owned by Langley's Jim Vinnell, also had a rough early trip and fell to seventh. 

Wild Rumour now has a 5-1-2 record in nine lifetime starts and earnings of more than $60,000, which includes a triumph in the Sales Stakes on Dec. 10. 

With Rumour's win, the J J J-Anderson combo with Al doing the training, continues to dominate recent Stakes events at the Downs.  

"We'll just keep riding the train," said Mowles as he knocked on wood while remembering leaner days. 

DUKE IS KING: For the fourth successive week a different horse captured the winners over feature event at Fraser Downs. 

Duke Is Duke used a perfect two-hole trip to defeat a field of eight last Sunday. The 13-1 shot, owned by Serge Masse and Joseph Lin, trained by Masse and driven by Scott Cisco, started from the two-hole. He snuck in behind Haras Cola Cola, who shot to the front from the three, and stayed 11/2 lengths behind to the head of the stretch. He then pulled out and away to win by 11/2 lengths. 

Track-record holder Infinite Dreams, the 8-5 favorite, was third throughout until making a late rally for second and edging Cola. Nuclear Dew was fourth. 

Cola won the event the previous week and Nuclear Dew on March 13 while The Bruster, who won March 20, was not close mainly because he was on his way to Edmonton. 

Duke Is Duke, a seven-year-old gelded son of Jennas Beach Boy, covered the mile in 1:56.2 while getting his third win in 11 starts in 2005. He pushed his season's earnings to more than $18,000 and career earnings to more than $119,000. 

MARINO BAGS SIX: Maybe it was the fact he was blanked last Friday - eight drives, no wins - but Jim Marino then put a pair of three-baggers together to lead all Fraser Downs drivers with six wins last weekend. 

Coincidentally, Scott Knight came back from a goose egg on Friday to win five races over the next two days. 

Tim Brown picked up four victories while Jim Burke, Barry Treen and Gord Abbott each had three. Deadlocked at two were Daniel St Amand, Serge Masse, Bill Davis and Rick White. 

Wayne Isbister paced all conditioners with four wins on the weekend. Treen, Knight and Masse had three apiece while Wendell Smith, Davis, Marino, Abbott and White all had a pair. 

Trainer Randy Webster got his first win of 2005, with Mattswhereitsat capturing the fourth race on Saturday. 

GARTER GAZING: Patriot Dream, the award-winning daughter of Freedoms Pass, pulled away to win one of two $15,000 Golden Garter eliminations for three-year-old pacing fillies last Friday at Northlands Park. 

Patriot Dream, who is co-owned by Bill Boden of Vancouver, won by a length in 1:59.2 over Ghost River Lady with Drive By Scooter another 3 1/4 lengths back in third. 

Trainer/driver Gerry Hudon, who shares ownership on the winner of $110,841 with Boden, watched Alberta's two-year-old filly pacer of the year improve her 2005 record to a perfect three-for-three after a six-for-seven mark in 2004. 

Meanwhile, Just As Promised, a 17-1 shot, rallied from well back, ninth at the quarter and sixth at the head of the stretch to take the first elim for trainer/driver Ed Tracey.

The daughter of As Promised won by 2 1/2 lengths in 2:00.1 over Amazing Amy with Neverhitseventeen three quarters of a length back in third. 

Just As Promised, a winner of $14,383 to date, failed to hit the board in four starts as a rookie but has compiled a 2-1-0 record in the same number of starts this season for the partnership of Daniel Gaboury of Surrey and Kurt Schmidt of Leduc. 

The $70,000 (added) final of the Golden Garter will highlight tonight's card at Northlands Park.