VANCOVER HAS INTERESTING FIELD
Meekos Trucker warmed up for Friday’s
Mr Vancouver stake race by winning last Saturday.
The four-year-old son of Storm
Compensation won a non-winners of $7,000 in last six starts
or non-winners of nine lifetime (where he fit) for a $10,000
purse. He beat a field of eight with a time of 1:58.4.
Armbro Bach warmed up for the Mr Van by
finishing second in the open event for $13,000. Bach, a son
of Village Jiffy, was 1˝ lengths behind winner Duke Is Duke
and went the mile himself in 1:55.2.
What does all that mean? Not a lot
except tonight’s race for four-year horses and geldings for
a purse of $38,700 should be interesting.
A field of nine is set. Four – Bach,
Sail The Sevenseas, Armbro Blacktie and Armbro Bolton –
competed in last week’s open and three – Trucker, Hi Time
Ascot and Art D Trumpet – battled head-on.
Two from the Lil Dude Ranch: Lil Dude
Starrbuck and Lildudeskickinash, did not race last weekend.
Two weeks ago the former made his first start at the Downs
in several months after competing in eastern Canada where he
won a race in 1:49.3.
Bach, who won this year at Stampede
Park in 1:52.2, will get plenty of backing from the Downs
handicappers as he also drew the rail. But if Starrbuck is
really back (he drew the six), if Meeko is healthy (he got
the three), if Bolton draws inside (not bad at five), if . .
. one gets the picture.
DUKE ROLLS AGAIN: Duke Is Duke
is still king in the open event at the Downs.
The seven-year-old son of Jennas Beach
Boy made it three wins in a row (two in the open) as he beat
a strong field of eight last Saturday.
Duke Is Duke, owned by Joe Lin of
Edmonton and trained and driven by Serge Masse, won by 1˝
lengths in 1:55.1 on a track only rated as good. It was his
eighth win of the year and pushed his earnings for 2005 to
more than $57,000.
Duke Is Duke, the 3-1 second choice
went gate to wire, holding off a determined bid by the 3-5
favorite Armbro Bach. The latter stalked the pace with the
two-hole trip but still could not get past the Duke.
Armbro Blacktie, a 20-1 choice, came
from fifth at the half to get third.
Carson Jane, part of a 6-5 favored
entry, matched Duke’s feat by winning her second successive
fillies and mares open last Saturday.
The five-year-old daughter of Cambest
has won three of her last four starts for trainer/driver
Dave Hudon and owner Bill Boden. It was her ninth win of
2005 and increased her winnings for the year to more than
Red Star Ginny, a three-year-old taking
on the track’s big girls, moved to the fromnt early from her
five post on the gate, Jane, who had the rail, was second
but took the lead after the quarter.
Make Some Noise, Ginny’s stablemate,
then attacked on the backstretch and pulled alongside on the
final turn. The duo battled into the stretch but Carson Jane
had another gear and pulled away for a 2˝-length verdict in
a time of 1:58.2.
Ivys Wine, the other half of the Hudon/Boden
entry, was third.
ROCKETTE AND ROLLS: Despite an
off track, Lil Dudes Rockette set a lifetime mark of 2:00.2
on Saturday and in the process got her first win (in six
starts) of the year.
Owned by the Lil Dude Ranch and trained
and driven by Tim Brown, the three-year-old daughter of
Pacific Rocket also paid $197.30 on a $2 win wager.
In the next race on the card, Celtic
Taran got his second win of the year in a lifetime mark of
2:01.3 The three-year-old son of Albert Albert is owned by
Bill Boden and trained and driven by Dave Hudon.
Thisisbliss, a three-year-old son of
Blissfull Hall, was impressive in rattling off a 1:56.3 mile
last Saturday in winning for the third time in his last four
starts. The 4-5 favorite, owned by Robert Murphy, trained by
Wayne Isbister and driven by Gord Abbott, now has won more
than $24,000 this year.
Last Sunday Cucomunga’s winning streak
reached three, the latest after a fair jump in class. The
three-year-old son of D M Dilinger won two in a row at the
$6,000 claiming non-winner of two level then was bumped to
the straight now-winners two with allowances and won again.
He is owned by Georges and Elevtherios Georgeopoulos and is
trained and driven by Rick White.
Cameezy also made it three straight
wins (and five of seven at the meet) last Sunday. Owned by
Claudine and Melissa Masse, trained and driven by Serge
Masse, Cameezy is a three-year-old daughter of Cambest.
Headliner’s win streak finally came to
an end Friday. The four-year-old son of Broadway Blue had
rattled off five straight victories since opening weekend at
Headliner roared to the front in a
tough field of nine but the tough pace took its toll and
after leading to the head of the stretch he fell back to
DAVIS WEEK’S BEST: A familiar
name topped the top driver’s list last weekend.
Perennial leading driver Bill Davis
registered five victories on a weekend where drivers with
more than one win were prevalent.
Closest to Davis were Jim Marino, who
is closing in on 500 for his career, Dave McKellar and Tim
Brown who each had four wins. Meet leader Serge Masse and
Dave Hudon had three apiece while the long list at two
included Darren Howald, Jim Burke, Gord Abbott, Rick White
and Scott Knight.
Davis had to share top trainer honors
with wily veteran Ray Gemmill with four trips to the
winner’s enclosure. McKellar and Masse had three each while
Wayne Isbister, Dave Hudon, Brown and Helmut Ratz had two
apiece. Ratz was a perfect two for two.
THE MIGHTY QUIN: The claim of
Red Star Emerson last week for $20,000 prompted your agent
to ask what is the highest claiming price ever paid at the
The question was posed to racing
secretary Keith Quinlan, always a fountain of knowledge.
This time he was an absolute gusher.
“I know,” he replied instantly, “it was
me. It was about 20 years ago and I claimed a horse named Le
Fella for $35,000. He came up lame and I was forced to have
him operated on.
“He was off for at least six weeks or
more and when he came back they were not writing any $35,000
claimers. I had to put him in for $20,000.”
So, he was claimed right away?
“No, I had him for about two years and
he raced not too badly and I finally made my money back,”
I WISH: You never know, or isn’t
beginners luck beautiful.
A male patron approached one of the
Downs’ mutuel tellers last Saturday.
“I’ve lived across the street for five
years and I have never been here,” he said. “It’s quite
After more pleasantries, he asked how
he might make a bet. He was told in a quick resume that most
beginners probably bet $2 to win or place or show. He spoke
boldly that he then would bet $2 to win, place and show on
No. 6 in the next race.
No. 6 was Lil Dudes Rockette, a 95-1
shot, who paid $197.30, $55 and $14.90.
CAMCRACKER BUSIEST: Camcracker,
in his first year in the province, led all B.C. stallions in
covering mares in 2005.
The son of Cambest stands at the
Langley breeding facility run by veterinarian Juan Samper
and he had 37 coverings. Camcracker, whose lifetime mark was
1:49.3, was much the busiest as no other B.C. stallion had
more than 20.
The figure is well short of that by Sky
West Farms' As Promised who covered the highest number of
mares in Canada for the third consecutive year.
The Alberta-based stallion first topped
the national ranking in 2003 with 283 breedings and again
led the race in 2004 with 277 mares. This year, the stallion
covered 289 mares – 70 more than second place finisher
Only stallions with 20 or more
breedings are included in the chart.
IDEAL GETS REST: Casie Coleman's
star pacer American Ideal is enjoying a well-earned break at
Brittany Farms in Kentucky.
American Ideal's last start of 2005 was
in the recent $555,000 Breeders Crown final at the
Meadowlands, in which he finished seventh.
“In the Breeders Crown he definitely
didn't perform 100 per cent, but he wasn't quite 100 per
cent going in and he got a tough post position.”
A bad post position is not new to
American Ideal, who drew the outside post position ten in
the finals for both the North America Cup and Meadowlands
Even though he wasn't his best in the
Breeders Crown, Coleman is still extremely proud of American
Ideal's three-year-old campaign.
“He raced his heart out every week” she
told Trot Insider. “He battled nine and 10 holes too, and I
just couldn't possibly ask for any more of him. He got three
track records, two World Records, and Bob Heyden told me he
might be the only horse to race in January and still be
racing in the Breeders Crown.”
Coleman said she isn't sure at this
time whether American Ideal would return to the races next
year or be retired to stand stud, but that he's getting a
well-deserved break right now.
With a little more time on her hands,
Coleman has happily taken on the training of Marymatt
Hanover, a three-year-old pacing colt who was previously
trained by Dr. Ian Moore, who has since returned to the
Maritimes. -Standardbred Canada