Kootenay Ice IGA horse for January

Kootenay Ice is the MarketPlace IGA horse of the month for January.

Kootenay Ice, a four-year-old son of Scruffy Hanover out of Natural Success, had three wins in three starts, each at a higher level, during the month. The winner of the Sales Stake in December, Kootenay Ice set a lifetime mark of 1:56.2 while winning one of the January starts by 7½ lengths.

Kootenay Ice is bred and owned by Robert Chadwick of Surrey, trained by Robert’s son Kyle, and was driven in January by Larry Micallef.

A long list of contenders formed in the month including Seely Bert, also three for three with a NLM; Princess Jessica N, two for two with a NLM; Red Star Snippy, three for four with a NLM; Digs Girl, three for three; Kold Kash with a 3-2-0-1 record; True To The Game with 3-2-0-1; Haras Colta Cola with 3-2-1-0 and Mad Deamon with 3-2-0-0.
Rob Neufeld, owner/operator of the Cloverdale MarketPlace IGA, will present a blanket to the winning connections.

HUDON HORSES LIKE INVITE: Watch out. Trainer Dave Hudon is thinking and may have a formula that leads to Invite dominance.

Two weekends ago the Hudon-trained Red Star Justice came back from a confidence-building lower-level race to capture the featured Invite at Fraser Downs.

Last weekend a Hudon charge did it again. Infinite Dreams, who skipped the race in which Justice won as Hudon avoided having to start an entry, grabbed the Invite over a strong field of seven. The field, of course, did not include Red Star Justice.

It did include the favored 4-5 entry of Red Star Admiral and Ricardo Hall. Infinite Dreams, owned by Bill Boden and driven by Hudon, used a strong first-up trip and strong finish. The second choice at 8-5 won by 4¼ lengths in a time of 1:56.1 with Lo Siento, longest shot on the board at 29-1, second and Pee Tee O third.

Admiral had cleared into the lead just past the first quarter after an early battle with Stutzpan. Infinite Dreams, who was fourth by seven lengths at the quarter, started his move by the half when her had moved to third, two back. He had the lead by three quarters and never looked back.

Hudon gave credit to owner Boden for making an astute purchase and bringing Infinite Dreams, a son of Artsplace, to the West Coast.

Now can Hudon hold on and resist an entry?
Also, while on the subject of Invites is anyone else impressed by the growing list of contenders?

In addition to last Saturday’s field, which also included Red Star Apache, not racing but hovering are Justice, Bre X, Spider M, Haras Colta Cola and Oil Town Angus. That’s a dozen!

HAPPY DAY FOR DAVE: Dave Hudon continued his hot ways, leading the driver and trainer derbies last weekend.

Hudon had a hat-trick Sunday – a day before his 40th birthday --to finish with seven driving victories. Bill Davis also had a three-bagger on Sunday to collect five for the weekend. Tim Brown had four wins while Jim Burke and Jim Marino had three each.

Hudon also paved the way on the trainer side, making five trips to the winner’s enclosure. Davis was next with four and Wayne Isbister had three.

Chris Adamson garnered his first driving and training victory of the year last Friday and Rob Scrannage and Ron Gorman each got his first training victory of 2003 on the weekend.

CAM IMPROVES; THUNDER WINS: Rich Cam continues to make strides in his return from injury.

In his third race back since last racing in June in Alberta, Rich Cam picked up a fourth in an $18,000 purse, non-winners $13,000 last six starts or non-winners $50,000 in 2003-04 event Saturday at Woodbine.

Starting from the seven hole, Rich Cam worked his way from eighth at the quarter to sixth at the head of the stretch for his fourth. He covered the last quarter in 28.2 seconds and finished seven lengths back of winner Knot Inmy Knickers, who covered the mile in 1:53.2.

Rich Cam, a prominent force as a Stakes winner at the Downs as a two-year-old, is owned by Sunbury Stables of Aldergrove.

Mad Thunder, owned by Rick White and Jan Dryden of Surrey and Lance Goshko of Vancouver was a winner last Monday at Woodbine. It was his first start there and the last for the B.C. owners as he was claimed for $18,750.

Mad Thunder, driven by Luc Ouelette and trained by Jonas Stutzman, started from the three hole and was never worse as he went on to win by 1¼ lengths. The son of Scruffy Hanover covered the mile in 1:56.3 in the claimer for four-year-olds.

FRED JOINS FIGHT: Fred Pirgheibi of Langley is the eighth week’s winner of the California Dreamin handicapping contest at the Downs.

Pirgheibi used two correct winning wagers, one for $951, to get the mythical total of $1,225. Bud Ketcheson of Vancouver was second with $989 after he also picked the $951 payoff. Linda Cropley of Coquitlam was third with $612.

Pirgheibi joins Ken Dunn, Josef Eppel, Don Thompson, Kara Cromwell, Ken Compton, Ron Smith and Lorrie McKay as eight of the 10 finalists who will battle head-to-head in the CDHC on Saturday, March 6 in the Homestretch Party Zone.

The CDHC champion will attend the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, courtesy of Fraser Downs.

Entry ballots are available at the Welcome Centre the morning of each contest day (Saturday). They must be returned before the scheduled post of the second race at Santa Anita.

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week the shot was Papas Reflection, a 7-1 post-time line choice who at the end could – as announcer Rick Uppal says, see them all. This week we will try Next Plane Out, a 10-1 morning line selection in the 12th race Saturday.