Cruizin back, Davis scores and more

Fast Lane Cruizin is back on the track.

Jerry Blanchet, part owner along with trainer Phil Coleman, reported that the daughter of Dancing Puddles, is doing light training in Ontario.

"She started training a few weeks ago but had to stop. Now the vet (Dr. Llewelyn) says it is OK to train her slowly, not to rush her," Blanchet explained. "He said it's taking her extra time to recover from surgery."

B.C.'s Monster mare as she is known, had throat surgery nearly two months ago with an ulcer taking the longest time to heal.

BIG DAY FOR DAVIS: Bill Davis was around the Sandown Park race meet long enough to make one of his significant impacts. He drove to and had trainer wins totalling five --of 10 races -- on Sunday, July 14. (He missed the first weekend but only had two wins on three other days.)

He has now left with 20 to 25 horses for Calgary's Stampede Park which opened July 26. It opens up opportunities for other drivers and trainers who all appear anxious to enter the winner's enclosure in his absence.

In the six days of racing at Sandown, Jim Burke leads all remaining drivers with six triumphs. But the pack is right on his heels. Rene Goulet and John Hudon have five each and Kevin Anderson, Jim Marino, Daniel St. Amand and Tim Brown four. Goulet leads all trainers with six victories while Greg Beneen has four.

Joining Davis at Calgary are such B.C. drivers and trainers as Dave Jungquist, Ray Gemmill, Sten Ericsson and Brent Hill.

FREE SMOOCHIE PLEASE: Around race tracks it's easy to hear stories of people trying to find homes for favourite horses. But this time some horsemen are appealing for help in getting a home for Smoochie the dog.

Trainer Greg Beneen, driver Jim Marino and groom Duane Manary are extra busy caring for and searching for that home.

"I guess I'm the uncle and Duane is more a father figure," Beneen explained as he showed Smoochie, the dog they have cared for the last month, to a track publicist. "And Marino gave her the name Smoochie.

Smoochie was found lying in the ditch along Fraser Highway in Aldergrove.

"Tonya Burke found her and brought her to the track," Beneen explained. "We phoned around to the pounds to see if they had reports of a lost dog. We decided not to take her there because we thought they would put her down."

Smoochie is healthy again but all attempts to locate her owners have resulted in nothing.

So if you want a cute, mid-size (she appears to have some golden lab or retriever in her) dog contact Beneen at 604-576-0552 or at Sandown or Fraser Downs.

ELSIE HONOURED: A long-time friend of harness racing was honoured Saturday at Sandown. Kordella (Elsie) Sjeldstad died June 27 and the running of the fourth race was a blanket presentation in her memory. Elsie was a member of the Victoria Pacing Stable as far back as 1982. She was a co-worker for many years at the post office with the late Jack Green, father of Kelly Hudon and Laurie Davis and husband of Myrna Green all still highly active in the racing business.

EXCELLENT BARBECUE: A barbecue was held that same Saturday by the B.C. Standardbred Association for the horsemen and friends at Sandown. Mary Jane Wiggins was the driving force behind the successful event ("We ran out of food before we wanted," MJ reported). Wiggins was thankful for the support of the Sandown Harness Club, Sandown Park, Al (Grover) Grove and Ken Norbury along with her family who did the bulk of the cooking.

ED THE WINNER: Winner of the Molson Indy Ticket Draw held by Fraser Downs was Ed Plaza of Delta. Congratulations Ed but don't forget the real horse power.

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