SPARKLES IN MARES OPEN
The smiles seen –
other than that of Bill Boden -- last Friday belonged to
members of the B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society.
The teeth flashing
followed the staging of the fillies and mares open event
at Fraser Downs. A field of eight battled for the winner’s
share of the $11,000 purse and when the dust had settled
Ivys Wine, the lone entrant foaled in B.C., had registered
It won’t go down in
the records as that because Ivys Wine was part of a 7-5
favored entry. The five-year-old daughter of Barnett
Hanover was teamed with Carson Jane, another horse owned
Carson Jane had
dominated the open since the start of the meet. So much so
that Jane was assigned the outside eight hole. However,
under tough track conditions, Jane went for the lead off
the gate and paid the price. She did not clear into the
lead until in front of the clubhouse and eventually fell
back to finish seventh.
When the action
started behind the tired Jane Ivys Wine was most
prominent. Driver Jim Marino started a first-over trip
from fifth and never stopped. They cleared into the lead
just after the ¾ pole and used a 30.1 last quarter to win
the mile in 1:58.3, 2¾ lengths ahead of Armbro Beachbaby.
The latter made a slight break just before the start but
managed to come back strong.
Rustle For It, the
3-2 second choice just returned from racing in Ontario,
held the early lead but got boxed in for a time and had to
settle for third.
Concrete Angel, who
was a surprise and impressive winner of the open the
previous week, was sixth.
Ivys Wine is trained
by Dave Hudon and was foaled at B.C.’s Ross Ridge Farm.
The others for the record were foaled in Ontario,
Illinois, New Jersey, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.
Ivy, who had a tough
time in 2005 with only two wins in 21 starts, now has nine
career wins and earnings of more than $171,000.
MOTORING: Austin Carr just keeps on motoring.
13-year-old son of Falcon Seelster raced to his second win
in four starts in 2006 for driver/trainer Rick White. More
importantly the good old boy’s victory was the 50th of his
career and pushed his lifetime earnings to more than
$400,000. Carr is owned by Elevtherios and Georges
Georgeopoulos and was bred in Kentucky.
The hottest of the
hot at the Downs is Sues Delema, a six-year-old daughter
of Freedoms Pass. Starting from the rail, she dropped as
far back as third before coming on to win by a head. The
victory stretched her winning streak to four (along with a
second) in 2006. Moving her up to the $8,000 claiming
racks did not slow her pace for driver/trainer Barry Treen.
What a difference a
new year makes as Luckys Lil Dude made it three victories
in a row for driver/trainer Tim Brown last Saturday. LLD,
a four-year-old son of Northern Luck, did not win in nine
starts in 2005.
four-year-old son of Die Laughing, won his second straight
for trainer Laurie Powell and driver Steve Germain.
Despite a track
rated off two seconds Red Star Bonsai paced the mile in
1:58.4 Friday for a new lifetime mark for trainer Bob
Merschback and driver Dave McKellar.
Red Star Fiddler got
his second straight win for new trainer Wayne Isbister and
driver Jim Marino. It was the 11-year-old Fiddler’s 35th
the eight-year-old daughter of General Star, made it two
straight and two for two in 2006 last Sunday for
trainer/driver Gord Abbott.
Noted, the son of As Promised, just missed his third
straight win by half a length for driver/trainer Barry
Treen. He has two seconds as well as the two wins in 2006.
six-year-old son of True Tyrant, made it two successive
wins Sunday for driver Doug Moore and trainer Dave Smith.
And, just for fun,
check the replay, or a photo, for the finish of the 12th
race Sunday. Five horses finished within half a length
(the first four separated by a neck).
CAFFEINED: Caffeined and Magic Pal still went one-two
in the $35,000 claiming event last Saturday. They just
five-year-old son of On The Road Again, kept piping hot
for trainer/driver Bill Davis, winning his second in three
2006 starts (and fourth of last five starts).
Caffeined is owned
by Niele Jiwan.
slowly but pulled before the half and was second outside
at the half. He led after three quarters and won by 1½
lengths over Magic Pal. Four-year-old Wild Rumour was
Caffeined and Magic
Pal have each won more than $15,000 in January.
FOUR WITH FIVE:
Top Downs’ drivers Bill Davis and Jim Marino continue
their battle atop the driver standings for the meet but
they had to share honors last weekend.
Davis, who leads the
meet with 75, and Marino, who is second at 69, each had
five victories as did Scott Knight and Tim Brown.
Dave McKellar had
three wins – all on Friday – while Jim Burke, Gord Abbott,
Rick White, Serge Masse and Doug Moore shared two apiece.
Davis and Knight had
four trips to the winner’s enclosure to lead all trainers.
Davis now leads the meet with 44, two more than Masse. Tim
Brown had three wins on the weekend while McKellar, Bob
Merschback, Ann Cooper and White had two each.
Treen is off to a fine start in 2006 and statistics from
Standardbred Canada illustrate so.
Treen leads the
country as top driver and trainer in universal rating
system stats. He had a .455 URS as a driver and .488 as a
trainer as of Jan. 29. Second to him as trainer is Casie
Coleman in Ontario at .474.
Davis is also off to
his usual good start. He is tied for fourth in driver wins
at 29 and fourth in URS at .424. He is tied for third in
trainer wins at 16 (Coleman is second at 24) and eighth in
URS as a trainer at .408.
BARRIE IN FINAL:
Ian Barrie of Port Coquitlam captured week five of the
California Dreamin’ Handicapping Contest last Saturday at
Barrie had a total
of $411 to top all and receive the $250 weekly prize.
Second to fourth was
tight with Syd Bell at $398, Ruth Moffat $395 and Walter
Valleau $389 while Ron Bieber took fifth at $352.
Barrie will join
Koji Kariya, Tom Mohammed, Len Zurowski, Bob Kosolofski
and Art Worsfold in the contest final where contestants
will battle head-to-head on Saturday, March 11 in the
Homestretch Party Zone.
The contest, which
will result in the winner spending a weekend at Santa
Anita racetrack in California for the Santa Anita Derby on
April 8, runs for 10 consecutive weeks.
Each Saturday until
March 4, contestants will be asked to handicap a series of
races from Santa Anita. Entry ballots will be made
available at Guest Services the morning of each contest
day and entry forms must be submitted before the scheduled
post of the second race at Santa Anita.
The contest consists
of six races from the Santa Anita card, races three
through eight, of which three must be handicapped. For
each of the three horses selected, a mythical $20
win/place/show bet will be placed. At the end of each
contest day, scores will be tallied and the entrant with
the highest total for that contest day will be crowned a
finalist and will receive the weekly $250 prize money.