Nazko Promise to stand at stud
Nazko Promise, winner of the B.C.
Breeders, the Prairie Gold Stake, Mr. Vancouver, the Rocky
Mountain Stake, the Langley Pace and the Oak Tree, has been
retired from racing to become a stallion.
He is standing at D & R Veterinary
Services in Wetaskiwin, Alta. for a fee of $1,250.
The As Promised-Bawita-Safe N Rich
stallion was horse of the year in B.C. and Alberta in 2002.
The six-year-old pacer registered a lifetime mark of 1:52 at
four and banked $352,531 in lifetime purse earnings.
Nazko Promise last raced in November
2003. "If we were to continue racing him, I think we would
have raced him downhill," said owner Ken Johnson of Sunbury
Stables in Aldergrove.
"I didn’t want to put him in a claimer.
I didn’t want to see someone else get him and race him down.
He has been very good to us and I figure we owe him this."
D & R Veterinary Services can be
reached at 780-352-8483.
IT COULD BE TOO LATE: People
intending to attend the annual standardbred awards banquet
should have purchased their tickets by now. The BCSA/SBS had
to confirm attendance numbers by earlier this week so
delaying ticket buying may now mean disappointment. Excuse
stories will have to be real good.
The awards banquet honors the best –
both equine and human -- in the industry in the year 2003.
To date seven stallions are being
offered in the popular stallion service auction. They are
Creative Edge, Marlow Hanover, Raleigh Fingers, Straight
Path, Strong Clan, Stutzpan and With Held.
The banquet will be held at Northview
Golf and Country Club on Feb. 14.
Frank Salive, the silky smooth track
announcer at Woodbine and Mohawk in Ontario, will once again
be on hand for that weekend.
Salive will share the calling of some
of the races with regular Downs’ announcer Rick Uppal and
also co-emcee the banquet.
SUPER SUNDAY: Fraser Downs
posted some big numbers last Sunday through its various
phone wagering services.
In B.C., more than $34,000 was wagered
through the Downs’ phone system. As well, slightly less than
$25,000 was wagered through the Ontario phone network.
Finally, more than $15,000 was wagered through Youbet, an
American phone wagering service.
Undoubtedly, the numbers were so high
because few tracks raced through the afternoon (most tracks
in the U.S. chose to race in the morning to avoid the Super
Bowl) and the fact that the new internet wagering service
through HPIBet.com is tracked as a "phone" wager.
All three numbers were a record. In
fact, the total handle on the day of $572,000 was the
highest this season outside of the Boxing Day and New Year's
HEALTH REPORT: Two members of
the Fraser Downs racing family suffered heart attacks last
week but at last report were feeling better and resting in
Starter Ron Sigurdson, the man in
charge in the starting car, had his attack at home on
Wednesday, Jan. 28 and is now in Langley Memorial hospital.
Long-time trainer Jim Todd first felt a
problem in the barn area at the track last Friday and
suffered an attack while in ambulance enroute to hospital.
He is at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham.
Both are expected to miss some time and
action. All those at the Downs wish them a speedy and
COLA RETURNS: Haras Colta Cola
was back in the winner’s enclosure last Saturday with a
triumph in the Invite.
The week before he had to settle for
second but this time got some revenge as he won by a half
length over Infinite Dreams.
It was Infinite Dreams that had ended
Cola’s two-week stint as the Invite king.
This time, with trainer Paul Harrison
in the bike, Haras Colta Cola battled Red Star Admiral early
but got the lead just after the quarter and never looked
Owned by the Off Track Stable of
Aldergrove, Colta Cola covered the mile in 1:55.4 on the
rack rated good. The five-year-old gelded son of Armbro
Operative already has won $12,500 in 2004 and more than
Bre X, a regular challenger, was not in
the field of six but a newcomer to the ranks. Lennix Lewes
Red Star Justice, who dropped from the
Invite to the non-winners of $7,000/$20,000 claimer battle,
held off a fast-closing Spider M to get back in the win
Seely Bert made in five wins in a row
by capturing the top race for mares on the weekend. She
covered the mile in 1:57.1, a new lifetime mark.
MARINO TOP DRIVER: Leading
driver/trainer Bill Davis was away last weekend and as might
be expected the battle for topping the driver/trainer stats
was hotly contested.
Jim Marino, led by a hat-trick on
Saturday, had five victories to lead the way among the
drivers. Scott Knight and Jim Burke were next with four
apiece. Knight got all four Friday, before being blanked.
Dave Hudon, Brad Watt and Gord Abbott each had three wins.
On the trainer side, it was even more
of a shared experience. Hudon led the way with three while
Knight, Sten Ericsson, Ken Dorman, Rick White and Randy
Webster tied for second at two. There was a 29-way deadlock
Davis was in Toronto last weekend for
the national annual O’Brien awards where he captured the
RICH CAM TO RACE: Rich Cam, a
dominant force as a Stakes winner at the Downs as a
two-year-old, qualified, and in fine fashion, to race again.
Rich Cam, a son of Camluck, finished
second on Monday in a qualifier at Mohawk in a good time of
1:58, including a 27.4 second last quarter.
He had twice made breaks in qualifiers
after getting his first start in Ontario last month and also
making a break. That was his first start since last racing
June 7, 2003 in Edmonton.
Rich Cam, who is owned by the Sunbury
Stables of Aldergrove, will race Saturday at Woodbine.
EPPEL A DREAMER – FINALIST:
Josef Eppel of Surrey is the sixth week’s winner of the
California Dreamin handicapping contest at the Downs.
Eppel, with a winner and a correct
place bet, won the mythical total of $289 (chalk was
obviously the way).
Eppel tied with D. Schermerhorn of
Langley but won a tie-breaking decision (based on their
third selection) to get first. Harriet Vinnell of Surrey was
third with $284.
The champ of the CDHC gets to go – with
a guest -- to the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, courtesy of
Eppel joins Don Thompson, Kara
Cromwell, Ken Compton, Ron Smith and Lorrie McKay as six of
the 10 finalists who will battle head-to-head in the CDHC on
Saturday, March 6 in the Homestretch Party Zone.
In the CDHC, which runs weekly until
Feb. 28, contestants are asked to handicap a series of races
from Santa Anita. The contest is based on six races, three
through eight, and on which entrants will handicap three.
For each of the three horses chosen, a mythical $20 win,
place, show bet is placed. At the end of each contest day,
scores will be tallied and the entrant with the highest
total will receive the weekly $250 prize – and be crowned a
KUSCH PUSH: After a weekend
where points were hard to come by, John Kusch has moved into
sole possession of first place after the fifth week of the
$10,000 KENO Harness Pool.
Kusch, who was tied after week four,
picked up four points, good enough to give him a one-point
lead over Puggy Singh, who totaled seven points for the
Ryan McDougall and last week’s other
leader Nobby Mori are next with 38 points while Mary
Blinkhorn, Debbie Chomyn, Brian Heard, Bonnie Matsalla and
Bob Spiers all have 37.
Just like a sports pool, the Harness
Pool has contestants pick a stable of horses and each
contestant earns points based on their performance (five for
win, three for place and one for show).
The contest is divided into two halves,
each half six weeks in length. In between each half there
will be a two-week break in which contestants will be asked
to pick a new stable from a new set of horses. At the end of
each half, the top three contestants will win prize money.
Contestants do not have to play both halves of the contest.
The second half begins on Feb. 28 and
concludes on April 4. During each half, contestants are
permitted one trade. The second half trading forms will be
available on March 12 and the second half deadline is on
SALE LIST GROWS: The B.C.
Standardbred Breeders Society Mixed Sale list has reached 21
and may still grow. The sale will include three imported
broodmares up for bids at the Feb.17 event in the Agriplex.
It gets under way at 6:30 p.m.
Brought in from the recent 2004 Garden
State Super Sale in Hanover, Pa. are Blue Collar Girl, a
nine-year old by Goalie Jeff and in foal to Arturo; Roxette
Hanover, a 13-year-old by Kentucky Spur and in foal to
Dragon Again and Eicarls El Grande, a 13-year-old by Direct
Scooter and in foal to Island Fantasy.
SIZZLE FIZZLE: Smoke N Sizzle,
owned by Jim Vinnell of Langley, after contending early,
struggled and finished far back in the final of the $90,000
Clyde Hirt Series last Saturday at the Meadowlands.
Sizzle, timed in 1:55.3, had qualified
for the final by winning a heat in the first round Jan. 8.
Sizzle’s entry mate Iron Legend
captured the final, his third win in four starts this year.
The four-year-old son of Life Sign drew
off to a 2¼-length victory over Worlds Apart in a time of
1:52.2. Liberal Arts was third.
Mark Silva, who trains Smoke N Sizzle,
and shares training and caretaking duties with his wife,
Tammy, purchased the pacer with Mathias Meinzinger of
Central Islip, N.Y.
MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week we
tried Austin Carr and even though he was not a big long-shot
at 7-1 he only finished fourth. This time we will try Red
Star Majesty, a 10-1 morning line choice, in the seventh