Prime Time Bliss has made a big impression early in his prime time racing at Fraser Downs.


The son of Blissfull Hall out of Armbro Knots registered a mild upset in capturing the $30,000 Mr Vancouver stake for four-year-old horses and geldings last Friday.


Prime Time Bliss, who was making just his second start at the Downs (his first was a victory in 1:54 on Dec. 1), won by a half a length over Red Star Senator. His time was 1:55.2 over a track rated as good, off two seconds.


Senator, fresh from his win the previous week victory in the open event, was a 6-5 morning line favorite but the two contenders went off at post time as co-even-money choices.


Prime Time Bliss, who is owned by Verve Racing of Victoria and trained by Wally Slopianka, started from the rail but top driver Bill Davis decided to take the two-hole trip behind Senator who raced to the lead from the five hole.


Bliss stayed 1½ lengths behind at every call including turning for home. But he turned on the jets to take the two-horse duel, covering the last quarter mile in 28.4 seconds. The 15-1 choice entry of Accent Seelster and El Toro finished third (4¼ lengths back) and fourth respectively.


Davis failed to take a lot of credit for the win, explaining in the winner’s enclosure that he was not necessarily the better horse but  “We got the better trip.”


Prime Time Bliss, who raced to a life best mark of 1:52.2 earlier this year at Mohawk racetrack in Ontario, now has 10 wins in his career. He has earned more than $148,000 in his career, $96,247 coming in 2006.


He was a private purchase in October for Verve who won the Mr Vancouver a year ago with Armbro Blacktie. 


FIRST WIN BIG FOR FROGGY: Even though your horse has made just one career start you enter him in a stakes race.


Then he wins. Simple, eh!


That’s what Al and Shelley Eng’s Shale Stables did with Shales Froggy in last Saturday’s $30,000 Sales Stake final for two-year-old colts and geldings.


Froggy, a son of As Promised, had four qualifiers and just one start, that in the Nov. 24 Sales Stake elimination where he was second despite making a break right after the start of the race.


Then last Saturday from the four hole in the field of eight, the second longest choice on the board went gate to wire for the victory. With trainer Barry Treen in the sulky, he won in a time of 1:57.4 by a length over Red Star Outwest with Nazko Summer third.


Shales Froggy battled 8-5 favorite Tessters OddSock for the early lead but refused to give it up. Odd Sock unfortunately never did find a hole and driver Rick White shut down the winner of five straight late on the backstretch.


As far as really being simple, Al Eng explained that was far from the case. In fact, he said, “It was a long time coming.”


He didn’t mean the win, he meant just getting to the races.


Shale purchased Froggy (then Red Star Rene) at the 2005 B.C. yearling sale.


“We bought him for $1,000,” Eng said. “We knew he had bone chips in more than one leg and we spent $5,000 getting him ready.”


However, the $15,000 winner’s shares of the purse money, and the bragging rights, have brought big smiles to the owners’ faces.


The battle for the two-year-old fillies was much different. It was expected to be a two-horse race and it was between even-money favorite Garden Gate Tina and 6-5 choice Red Star Cindy.


Tina, despite starting from the seven hole, went for the lead. She got it before the quarter but was outside and did not clear until the head of the stretch. She went on to make it five wins in succession, taking a three-length decision over Cindy. The latter had slid into third early and did not attack until the three-quarter mark but for the second straight stakes final had to settle for second.


Tina, a daughter of Rustler Hanover, was trained and driven by Bill Davis for owner Niele Jiwan. She now has won more than $56,000 in her career.


“She raced pretty good,” Davis said. “I was trying to get a hole but she just kept going. She’s a great filly and Jim (previous trainer Marino) did a nice job of training her down.”


Tina covered the mile in 1:59.2 on the sloppy track. Schadenfreude was third, 7¾ lengths behind the winner.


Treen, the trainer, made it two Sales Stakes wins when his Solar Wind went gate to wire to capture the event for three-year old colts and geldings.


Solar Wind, a son of Usher Hanover and part of a 4-1 fourth-choice entry, raced away from the two hole with driver Tim Brown and was never headed. He won in 1:58.3 by 1¼ lengths over 2-1 favorite Nazko Daytona with The Funk Brothers third.


Solar Wind, who is owned by the ES Stables, registered his fifth career win and pushed his career earnings to more than $65,000.


“We tried the front end and he was strong all the way,” Brown said in the winner’s enclosure. “He was a Cadillac to drive.”


In the filly final for three-year-olds, Hold On Tonite, a 3-5 favorite, added to her impressive resume with a gate-to-wire decision.


The daughter of Key Prospect, owned by J J J Stables and Al and Mark Anderson, trained by Debbie McCarthy and driven by Bill Davis, captured her fifth career win along with two seconds in 10 starts.

She went the mile in 2:00, beating Silvery Belle by 2¼ lengths and gaining a measure of revenge after Belle won the elimination by a half length. Sweetypea was third.


Hold On Tonite, who was unraced as a two-year-old, now has won more than $90,000.


“She had some trouble on the turns and in getting hold of the track,” Davis said after the race. “ But I asked her in the stretch and she responded.” 


PAT TOP CLAIMER: Hurricane Pat grabbed her second straight win at the Downs as she took the top non-stakes event last weekend.


Also with no open events (of either gender) Pat’s win in the $35,000 with allowances claimer was a top race with no surprises.


Only four others, including stablemate Alldressedinvelvet, challenged Pat who is owned by Niele Jiwan and trained and driven by Bill Davis. Her win by three lengths was her 13th of 2006 and pushed her earnings to more than $70,000 for the year. The entry was a 1-9 favorite as Pat started from the rail although not taking the lead until after the first quarter.


Coco Bongo was second and Make Some Noise third. 


DAVIS ON FIRE: That sound you hear is anyone getting burned if they even get close to the sizzling hot Bill Davis.


Davis set the pace for the fourth week in a row, winning a startling 14 times (six last Sunday), in his drive for the top in the Fraser Downs driver standings. In the last four weeks he has 38 victories and now has vaulted into the lead with 63.


He is eight ahead of early leader Serge Masse, who, with a bad leg and other business interests, has missed the last two weekends. Jim Marino, who was second for the week with four, now has 40 at the meet.


The race for fourth is a beauty with Gord Abbott at 30, Scott Knight, Tim Brown and Dave Hudon at 28, and Jim Burke at 26. Brown and Knight had three apiece last weekend and Burke and Hudon two each.


Davis, after making eight trips to the winner’s enclosure as a trainer, has also taken over the top spot in that category. He has 47, six more than Masse. Ann Cooper and Hudon share third at 18.


Wally Slopianka and Barry Treen had three wins last weekend while Hudon, Erik Neyhart and Wayne Isbister had two each.


In 2006 Davis has 229 driving victories, a .404 universal rating and more than $1.5 million in earnings along with 171 training decisions, a .472 rating and more than $1 million earned. His universal ratings are both second best in the country. 


SIX STRAIGHT FOR TURBULENT: Winning streaks continue at the Downs.


Red Star Turbulent, a six-year-old son of Pacific Fella, registered his sixth straight victory and his fourth in a row since taking the summer off. He now has a 19-11-3-1 2006 record for trainer Bob Merschback.


Red Star Soprano continues to sing sweetly and is a big hit on the Downs charts. The five-year-old son of Barnett Hanover, trained by Bill Davis, raced to his fifth victory in a row and 10th of the year (he has been in the top three in 20 of his 30 starts). He moved past $96,000 in career earnings.


Beggars Opera, a four-year-old son of Splendid Splinter and another Davis trained horse, won his second straight and third in his last four starts; Red Star Pristine, a four-year-old mare by Gothic Dream, trained by guess who (Davis), made it two straight and 10 in the year; Intrepid Kate, a three-year-old daughter of Intrepid Seelster, made it three wins in succession for trainer Wally Slopianka; Kootenay Finale, a four-year-old daughter of Safe N Rich, won her second consecutive, and 10th of 2006 for trainer Jason Smith; Miracle Five, a four-year-old daughter of Dole Hanover, captured her first win of the year (in her 23rd start of the year and first ever at the Downs) and Regal Intention (c3 As Promised) lowered his life best to 1:58.1 for trainer Barry Treen. 


DOLLY STILL: Despite being blanked for the week, Dolly Lemke retained, for the fourth straight week, her lead in the Downs’ Harness Horse Pool contest.


In a week where points were extremely hard to come by, Lemke remained at 54 after seven weeks. She still leads Fernando Ciarniello, who also was blanked, by four. Darcy Smith remained in third but inched up by getting one point and has 49. Werne Kaare is next with 47, just one head of Ray Hall and Shirley Setter, who were shut out but were joined by Mike Hogan.


The contest had entrants – 265 in all -- pick one of six horses from each of six boxes with five points awarded when a horse wins, three for a second and one for a third. The contest ends on this weekend.