Justice prevails, streaker shocks crowd and more

Enquiring mind wanted to know. So at great expense and time, TrackMarks delved into the request.

What was needed to be known: What horse holds the record for free-legged pacers at Fraser Downs? To find the answer we went to Standardbred Canada.

A very busy SC office got back to us with the all-track record, 1:52.1 at Mohawk by Southwind Hilite on April 14, 2001. No, we want Fraser Downs please.

Back into the archives. This time the answer came back, Red Star Justice, 1:55.1 on Oct. 19.

The Kelly Hudon-owned and Dave Hudon-trained and driven Justice has been quite the story since Hudon took the hobbles off the four-year-old ridgeling. The son of Just Camelot out of Bradner Helvetia was bred by Ernest French, Leslie Godlien and Rick Lancaster and purchased as a yearling by Robert Murphy.

In his three-year-old season he was busy, making 34 starts with 13 in the top three (4-4-5) and with earnings of $26,020. This year he has made only nine starts. Six of those have come since he qualified Sept. 21, free legged. He has won four of those six while climbing the condition ranks into the winners over battles.

The topper was the Oct. 19 record with the 1:55.1 clocking including a 27.1 last quarter.

"We claimed him in January off Paul Arsenault (trainer for Murphy)," Hudon said of the $8,000 plus allowances claiming race. "But he broke a cannon bone in behind right after and we were told he would need six months off."

Justice got his time off, not racing again until a qualifier on Sept. 3.

"You know I have never had him in hobbles," Hudon added. "I said he was such a good-gaited guy and started training him without (hobbles). I trained him one day where he came the last quarter in 30.1 and I said to my man, 'I think we have another free-legged pacer.' " (At the time Hudon also had Alkimia).

"It was a bit of trial and error but we qualified him and then in his first race he made a break. (It was before the race start and Justice went on to finish second).

"I heard from a few people about putting hobbles on then but he qualified again (Sept. 21) and since then . . ."

Since then has been listed above.

DAL REO DOWNSIZING: Due to the loss of top stallion Scruffy Hanover, Dal Reo Farms is reducing the size of its operation.

The farm has broodmares in foal to Dal Reo stallions (Scruffy, Dal Reo Hop Sing and Safe N Rich) and two-year-olds in training, all going well and getting close to qualifying (the two-year-olds can be seen at the farm or the track.) There are also weanlings and yearlings to choose from.

For information contact John Currie at 604-541-0329, or 604-341-9541 (cel) or Henry Mushumanski at 604-460-1971.

BURKE BEST: Jim Burke led the way in the driver win derby on a weekend where a lot of the honours were shared. Burke picked up five victories, giving him 33, fourth best, for the meet. Tim Brown, Bill Davis, Rick White and Scott Knight had three each with Brown moving his leading total to 45. Dave Hudon has 43 and Davis 38.

Rene Goulet was the leader in trainer territory, making four trips to the winner's enclosure while no one else had more than two. Wayne Isbister and Davis share the lead with 27.

NERVOUS CHALK: Chalk players were pulling hair after four races last Sunday but a win by favourite Mister Will N in the fifth settled everyone down.

In the first four races the smallest $2 win payout was $26.20 in the third. Masterson Hanover paid $48.30 in winning the fourth race while Millbanks Warren (14-1), Road Kill Kitty (26-1) and Booteden Suited (10-1) were 1-2-3 in the second, resulting in a $523.10 exactor and $3,218.50 tri. On Saturday there was a $1 superfecta payout worth $10,995.40 in the fifth when Southside Royal (9-2), Alcars Perfect Ty (5), Rodeo Royce (20) and Plain Legal (5) combined.

PROMISE GOOD AND RICH: Nazko Promise captured the winners over race on Sunday over a good field. The win, his second in a row, was not the big story, despite the fact he was second choice to odds-on favourite Bre X and that he covered the mile in 1:56. The Dave Jungquist-trained four-year-old charge made the news because his share ($5,000) of the purse pushed his career earnings to more than $301,000.

STAY POSTED: The Sales Stakes races for three-year-olds will be held Saturday, Dec. 14 as was the original intention, not Sunday the 15th as Trackmarks, the Fraser Downs program, indicates.

The races were going to be moved to Sunday to avoid a conflict in the retention barn with the two-year-olds which race Friday night. Now the two-year-olds will not race from the retention barn, meaning that the three-year-olds will race Saturday, from the retention barn.

The Mr. Vancouver for four-year-old horses and geldings is still set for Sunday, Dec. 15.

THE GROWING EXPOSURE OF THE DOWNS

Each week at Fraser Downs there is plenty of discussion of streaks -- winning , losing and hot.

But the naked truth was exposed last Friday when what has become the epitome of streaks -- the streaker -- raced up the homestretch passing clubhouse and grandstand.

Who knows how one gets the balls to reveal his real self (how about alcohol-induced bets and dares)? But one young man doffed his regular attire in a vehicle in the parking lot east of the clubhouse, waited for a buddy to give him the all clear and vaulted (carefully) over the fence and hit the track.

Pacing beautifully, with nothing but a golden yellow wig and running shoes, he headed west to the end of the grandstand where presumably his buddy now awaited with aforementioned vehicle. Using his fence-vaulting skills again blondie made his exit into the foggy night.

To say he caused a ripple as he paced past a large crowd on hand because of visits by several special groups at the Downs would be putting it mildly.

One stir came from those who witnessed his bareback attributes. A bigger stir came from those who said, What happened? and then groaned when they realized they had missed the unscheduled and non-wagering event.

The streaker was only part of what is annually one of the fun (loud) nights of the year. Bro Jake and Neil Macrae brought their Rock 101 Track Bash winners to the track. Also, a somewhat quieter but nevertheless fun group, the Surrey Chamber of Commerce was on hand.

There were some highlights on the track too with the staging of the Surrey Cup, presented by the Chamber of Commerce. The Cup is for four-year-old B.C. bred, sired or owned mares and the winner was Del Norte, owned by Bill Boden, trained by Wayne Isbister and driven by Bobby Clark.

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