Ouelette to pilot Starrbuck  

Luc Ouellette, a regular competitor at Woodbine, will drive Lil Dude Starrbuck in Sunday’s $128,960 Western Canada Pacing Derby at Northlands Park in Edmonton. 

Trainer – and usual driver -- Larry Micallef told Trot Magazine this week, "Luc Ouellette is coming out for us." Micallef said he is optimistic about Lil Dude Starrbuck, who is owned by the Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey. "Everything looks good. He’s really healthy and sound."  

The three-year-old colt, by Threefold, set a mark of 1:53 when he won his Silver Buckets elimination on May 15 at Northlands Park. He also won the Silver Bucket final, and has $72,776 in earnings this year.  

Last week, the colt finished four and a half-lengths ahead of Thebuckstartshere to win his Derby elimination. Micallef says he was not looking for a specific post position in the draw. "I think it matters where the other horses are," he said. 

Starrbuck drew the six hole while Dudes Leaving Town, by As Promised, will leave from post position two. Trained by Elizabeth Hennessy, Dudes Leaving Town won his division of the Derby elimination last week. He has five wins in eight starts this season and $234,948 in career earnings. 

Micallef will still get a drive as stablemate Lildudeskickinash will start from the four-hole. Trainer/driver Bill Davis, for owner Robert Murphy, also has an entry in Red Star Dusty from the rail and Red Star Sammy from the eight-hole. 

Meanwhile, the $113,430 Northlands Filly Pace final has been drawn for Friday at Northlands and two B.C.-owned horses will have the inside posts. 

Da Lil Dudett, owned by Lil Dude Ranch, and handled by Micallef, and Ivys Wine, owned by Bill Boden, will be in the one and two-holes respectively. Da Lil Dudett, second in her elimination, is the morning-line second choice at 7-2 and Ivys Wine, trained and driven by Gerry Hudon is at 6-1. 

Just Sassy, who won the faster of two $17,500 eliminations last Friday, has drawn post position seven and is the even-money favorite. The three-year-old daughter of Northern Luck has five consecutive wins going into the final, with earnings of over $70,000 this season. Royal Fancy, the other elimination winner, will leave from the three-hole. 

ARENDT MAINTAINS CAPPER LEAD: John Arendt still holds the lead, now after seven weeks of the Ultimate Capper Contest.

Arendt picked up $31 last week in wagering on Northlands to run his total to $210.30,  $19.30 ahead of second-place Tim Wiesner, who remained the top challenger after getting $26.80 last week. 

D.W Jones climbed into third place at $177 after leading all contestants last week with his $63.50 from Northlands. Ron Miscich has moved into fourth overall at $171 with Roy Yip fifth at $168.20. Chuck Irvine and David Hardy were second and third last Saturday. 

Other weekly winners have been Wiesner, Brenda Hoffman, Sid Marshall, Fred Lester, Andy Kevener and Les Raymond. 

The winner of the UCC will get a vacation for two to see the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar race track in sunny Southern California. 

The UCC, which started May 1, runs for 10 consecutive Saturdays until July 3.  

Contestants pick a horse in three of the designated six races from the track of the week.  A mythical $2 win/place/show wager is made on each of the three horses that are selected and at the end of each contest day, the top three contestants win cash.  First place will win $250 with second and third place paying $150 and $100 respectively. 

The contestant with the highest total of mythical dollars won over the 10-week period will win the vacation for two to Del Mar.  The vacation includes flight from Vancouver International Airport, three nights accommodation, premium seating while at the race track and $500 spending /transportation money. 

Contestants can still go after the weekly prize by getting an entry ballot in the Finish Line at Fraser Downs from noon on the Friday of the contest week until post time of the first race of the featured track and submit it to either the Finish Line Information Window or the Finish Line HPI Centre.   

The remaining featured tracks are: Saturday - Woodbine – harness, June 26 - Fort Erie – thoroughbred, July 3 - Hollywood Park – thoroughbred. 

CALIFORNIA BEAMIN: California will pick up the Fraser Downs simulcast and join the wagering for the last two races tonight. 

ABBOTT TOPS: This time Gord Abbott used a hat-trick -- last Saturday -- to top all drivers at Fraser Downs over the weekend. 

Abbott started with a single on Friday and his four victories were one more than Clint Warrington, who also had three Saturday, and Tim Brown. Tied at two apiece were Rod Therres, Rick White, Jim Marino and Brad Watt. 

Mike Glover and White were the only trainers to manage more than one win as they both visited the winner’s enclosure on two occasions. 

NORTH AMERICA CUP SET: Georgia Pacific was the first name out of the hat in the draw for Saturday’s final of the $1.6 million Pepsi North America Cup – Canada’s richest horse race -- at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto. 

Trainer Randy Bendis then elected to start from the four-hole. This year, Woodbine officials elected to draw the Cup final a new way. The names of the four elimination winners were put in one hat, while the names of the other six competitors were put in another. The names of the elimination winners were drawn out first and the connections were given the opportunity to choose the post position they wanted. The other six horses drew the remaining post positions by lot. 

"I didn't want the inside. From the middle we'll have better control," Bendis said. "Georgia Pacific seems really good, bright, alert and ready to go," he added. The son of Western Hanover was subsequently installed as the 9-5 morning line favorite. 

Rogue Hall was the second elimination winner drawn and trainer Rene Laarman chose post-three. Western Terror, who was an 11-1 upset winner in his elim, was next out of the hat. He’ll start from the rail while Panspacificflight was the last elimination winner to draw and driver Luc Ouellette chose the two-hole. 

This year’s Cup is believed to have one of the most competitive fields in recent years. Others are Village Hero N, Mantacular, Rapid Dialing, Metropolitan, The Preacher Pan and Camelot Hall. 

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week we picked Chestico Beauty but she had troubles early and finished eighth. This week the meet ends and with the last try and we like Carwins C E O, a 10-1 morning line selection, in the sixth race Friday.

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