NEWCOMER TO CHALLENGE
IN SURREY CUP
The Surrey Cup has attracted a field of
seven to battle Saturday for the winner’s share of the
The event is for B.C. owned, bred or
sired four-year-old mares and will include a newcomer.
Trainer Serge Masse recently attended
the annual Harrisburg sale in the eastern U.S. and returned
with G Vs Cam Can. The daughter of Cambest out of G Vees
Girl was purchased for $39,000 and the connections are
hoping she will also compete in the open mares event. She
was supplemented to the Surrey Cup for $2,000.
Got The Giggles, owned by Robert
Murphy, had been racing in Alberta and had been earmarked
for the Cup. The winner of the Early Bird Stake and Spring
Series in Alberta, Giggles was claimed by Murphy from Gordon
Bryan on Oct. 14.
However, the daughter of
Grinfromeartoear was scratched from a race in Edmonton last
week and did not make the trip to the Downs.
Murphy will still have Red Star Cowgirl
in the field.
Lucky Jenny and Ivys Wine, from the
barn of trainer Dave Hudon, will form an entry. Lucky Jenny
was second in the Dogwood at Sandown on the Island and Ivys
Wine won the Breeders Stakes in 2004.
Others contenders are Da Lil Dudett,
recently returned from Eastern Canada, Itsallaboutthemoney
and late addition First Look, who also has been supplemented
Eliminations for the Sales Stakes – for
two and three-year-olds – will also be held this weekend.
The finals are set for Sunday, Dec. 11, two days after the
final for the Mr Vancouver for four-year-olds.
BARRELLING TO TRACK RECORD:
Barrel Racing, thanks in part to some pulling by Thisisbliss,
set an age-class track record and a new life mark of 1:53.4
(the fourth fastest mile of the year) last Friday.
Thisisbliss roared from the gate and
set blistering fractions of 26.4, 55.1 and 1:23.3 (a tick
faster than the three-quarter call when Infinite Dreams set
the Downs track record).
Thisisbliss tired and the fast-closing
Barrel Racing, owned by Western Pacific Stable and Ian Moyes,
roared to his fourth win of 2005. Barrel Racing, who was
driven by Dave McKellar, is a son of The Panderosa-Resume
His big performance gave him the mark
for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings. He erased the
former mark of 1:54.1 set by Hi Time Ascot on April 2,
Ray Gemmill trains the career winner of
$32,455, who went 0-for-3 last season but who Friday bumped
his 2005 record to 4-9-4 in 27 starts.
50/50 WILL HAVE TO DO: You win
some, you don’t win some – just ask Robert Murphy and Bill
Boden, two of the leading horse owners at Fraser Downs.
The fillies and mares open, and the
open, were held Friday and each owner had horses in each
race. They each got a victory but thoughts of a sweep were
not to be. Boden’s Carson Jane toppled her distaff rivals
and Murphy’s Armbro Bach powered away from his male
Carson Jane roared to the front from
her three-post on the gate and established fractions of
28.2, 57.2 and 1:26 en route to posting a 1:55.1 decision in
the $10,000 fillies and mares open for trainer/driver Dave
The five-year-old daughter of Cambest-Perfect
Mistress held on for a narrow half-length score over race
favorite Make Some Noise, owned by Murphy. Make Some Noise
actually slipped inches past Jane but the winner came back
on in the late stretch. Da Lil Dudett rounded out the top
Jane, a 17-time winner, improved her
2005 record to eight-for-16 and boosted her career bankroll
to $119,458 with the win.
Meanwhile, Armbro Bach rallied from off
the pace to take the top prize of the night, the $13,000
The four-year-old gelded son of Village
Jiffy-Lindwood Metra pulled away to a four-length triumph in
1:55 over Armbro Bolton with Armbro Blacktie rounding out
the “Armbro B’s Triactor.”
Boden’s Infinite Dreams, the track
record holder, held the lead from the gate to just before
the third quarter. Bach challenged on the outside and
Infinite Dreams went offstride and fell back to finish
Bob Merschback trains and Jim Burke
drove Bach, the career winner of $208,589 who improved his
2005 record to 11-10-2 in 30 starts.
HEADLINER AT FIVE: Headliner
made it five wins in a row last Thursday. The four-year-old
son of Broadway Blue, trained by John Currie, driven by Jim
Marino and owned by Verve Racing Stable of Victoria, has
moved from $6,500 claiming to $10,000 where his latest win
He started the streak on Oct. 15 and
after his win last week now has eight in 2005. He has
earnings of more than $36,000. Bred in Ohio he has a
lifetime mark of 1:54 set at Woodbine in 2004 and paced his
most recent mile in 1:56.4
I The Undersigned, another horse that
has been hot recently, could not win last week but was
second in a fillies and mares $8,000 claimer. Claimed by
owner Robert Murphy for trainer Wayne Isbister on Oct. 14,
she now has seven wins and a second in her last nine
MASSE DRIVING FORCE: Serge Masse
obviously likes to drive.
Masse leads all drivers for the Downs
meet even though he was out of competition the weekend of
Nov. 11-13. While sidelined, Masse drove his truck and
trailer rig across the continent where he purchased some
racehorses at the annual sale in Harrisburg, Pa.
He drove back for last weekend’s racing
and resumed his leading ways on the track with six
victories. He now has 26 for the meet with a fine winning
percentage of 44 per cent.
Bill Davis slipped out of a tie for the
lead and now has 21 for the meet, one ahead of Jim Marino
who had five triumphs last weekend. Jim Burke also had a
handful of wins. Scott Knight had four wins and Tim Brown
three (moving him to 18 for the meet) while Dave Hudon, Gord
Abbott and Rick White had two each.
Masse also led all trainers with six
visits to the winner’s enclosure and is well ahead at the
meet with 24. Hudon, who had five wins (and no we won’t say
anything about his fine driver selections) and is second
Bob Merschback picked up three
victories as a conditioner and John Currie, Bill Young and
Rick White had two apiece.
THINK SUNDAY: Fraser Downs
patrons are reminded that today is the final card for
Thursday racing at this meet.
Starting next weekend (Dec. 2-4) racing
will be held Friday (7 p.m. first post) and Saturday and
Sunday afternoons (1:15 p.m.). The meet will continue on
that schedule until mid April with the exception of the
addition of a Boxing Day afternoon card.
WATCH FOR HALL: The newly formed
B.C. Harness Racing Hall of Fame held a raffle last week to
raise funds for the creation of the hall. The facility will
be located in the new atrium of Fraser Downs, with plaques
for inductees installed along the corridor to the Race
The first installation for the hall
will be three glass shelving units along the south wall of
The raffle offered three 35-inch
televisions complete with a DVD player donated by TBC and
Fraser Downs and raised $750.
The grand opening of the Hall of Fame
will be Saturday, April 22, the same day as the Stallion
Stakes Finals. The first inductees will be installed as part
of the opening.
GET READY: Fraser Downs will
have a new one-day handicapping contest this meet. Entrants
will handicap races from several harness tracks on Feb. 3
and the winner and runner-up will represent the Downs at the
National Harness Handicapping Contest at the Meadowlands in
New Jersey in April. More details are to come.
The contest will replace the Downs’
Harness Pool, which has been held the past few years.
ART THE WINNER: Fraser Downs and
the Arts Council of Surrey recently held the 11th annual art
show at the Downs.
Seventeen entries, including water
colors, sketches, photographs and oils of harness racing
subjects, were displayed for several days in the Downs’
atrium and judges selected the top three pieces of art.
The winner was Doris Biddle of Surrey
for her piece entitled Ms Emily. Second place went to
Michelle Grant of Calgary with Shower Stall and Paul
Stilwell of Surrey was third with Practice Run.
GLENN TOP HANDICAPPER: The 2005
Autumn Handicapping Classic took place last Sunday and
Robert Glenn and Leonard Wong have won the major prizes.
Glenn of Vancouver finished with a
mythical total of $181.50 and Wong of Calgary with $137.50.
Glenn and Wong will be off to the 2006
World Series of Handicapping at The Orleans in Las Vegas.
There they (and Doug Robertson, an earlier contest winner)
will battle for a piece of a $1 million pie.
Going into the last race of the day,
Steve Tatarinuk held second place but ended third with a
total of $110.80. Finishing in fourth and fifth places were
Henry Noronha ($106.30) and Vinzenz Bauer ($95.00)
Twelve wagers – four designated and
eight personal – of $2 Win/Place value were made on selected
horses at one of the participating contest racetracks. Those
racetracks eligible for selection were: Calder, Aqueduct,
Woodbine (thoroughbred), Fairgrounds at Louisiana Downs,
Churchill, Hollywood, Golden Gate and Hastings.
RAYNE FORECAST: Fraser Downs’
patrons and players may want to check out the December issue
of American Turf Monthly. One of the most prominent
magazines on thoroughbred handicapping, ATM contains an
article called Wet Track Thoroughbreds written by Downs’
in-house handicapper Jonn Rayne.
CAL-EXPO RECORD SET: The fastest
mile in the history of Cal-Expo Raceway, and California, is
in the books and the record belongs to Eaton Road Kill.
Assigned the outside post position in a
field of five in a $10,000 Invitational Handicap pace, Eaton
Road Kill was ready to roll for trainer/driver Ed Hensley
when the gate opened.
The seven-year-old son of Cambest
marched through panels of :27, :54.3 and 1:22.2 en route to
the 1:49.4 clocking -- breaking the all age track record of
1:50 in the process.
It also became fastest mile in the
history of California harness racing.
"I was pretty excited, I'd have to say.
I'm very proud of him," said Ed Hensley, who had five
winners on the card.
The 1:49.4 time by Eaton Road Kill was
a season's best and his 45th career triumph. (Courtesy of