Patience was a virtue – and then a winner – last Saturday in the final of the $25,000 Sandown Plate for three-year-old colts and geldings at Fraser Downs.


Red Star Outwest, with Jim Burke in the sulky, was part of a 3-1 second choice entry. They took back early, despite starting from the two hole, sat third and waited until the action settled down before getting involved.


And involved they got. They were fifth, four lengths back at the half, but moved to 3½ back at the three-quarter mark with a three-wide brush. They covered the last quarter in a race-best 30.1 seconds to grab the victory by 1¼ lengths over Nazko Summer.


“I wanted to get away OK,” said Burke in the winner’s enclosure. “He sometimes is a little rough early and he tried to put in a step on the first turn. But the farther you go the better he gets and he was strong in the stretch. He was good last week (in the elimination) and I thought we had a great shot.”


Nazko Summer, the 7-2 third choice, also went three wide while moving up from fourth and taking the lead but could not hold off the winner. Outwest covered the mile in 1:58.4 while getting his first win of 2007. Entry-mate Red Star Survivor was third and Speedin Ian, the 3-5 favorite, was fourth after finding traffic problems.


Red Star Outwest, owned by Robert Murphy and trained by Brent Beelby, had a 7-2-3-1 record as a two-year-old with seconds in the Sandown Breeders and Sales stakes. The son of Island Fantasy out of R Wayout West Lo now has earnings of more than $15,500 this year and more than $35,000 in his career.


The others in order were Handsome Bob, who was parked the mile, Gogo Fame, The Geek and Sunbury Hope. 


KNIGHT, MASSE CHARLOTTETOWN BOUND: Home track advantage was just that as Scott Knight of B.C. and, of course, Fraser Downs, captured the western regional driving championship Saturday at the Cloverdale oval.


Knight waged a battle, including a one-two finish in the first race, throughout the seven races with fellow Downs’ driver Serge Masse. With one race remaining the two were separated by just two points but a second-place finish compared to Masse’s seventh gave Knight the decision. Knight ended with 72 points, six ahead of Masse.


The two now advance to the national event at Charlottetown on Thursday, Aug. 9 where the championship will highlight the official launch of the annual Old Home Week festival.


“I’m looking forward to it,” Knight said of the trip to Charlottetown, a city he has never seen, “it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.”


Knight and Masse will compete against six other drivers, two from each of the other regional events.


The other regionals are: Ontario, in London, April 27; Atlantic (Newfoundland, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, New Brunswick), in Charlottetown, May 20; and Quebec, in Montreal, May 27.


The Canadian winner will represent the country at the 2007 world event in Australia and New Zealand from Oct. 31 to Nov. 9 and have a chance at more than $25,000 in prize money.


Knight started strongly with a second, added a third, then two firsts pushed him into the lead. He added a second and fourth in his other races. Masse won the first, fifth and sixth races of the championship and also had a second.


Bill Tainsh of Alberta was a close third with 58 points, winning twice.


Others in the event, which had three drivers from B.C. three from Alberta and one from each of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, were Jim Marino B.C (35 points), Ron Cullen Manitoba (33), Gerry Hudon (25) and Jamie Gray (25) Alberta and Glenn LeDrew Saskatchewan (15).


“I guess there was a little bit of an advantage with me having horses of my own,” Knight said of the format, “but I had a good day with other (trainer’s) horses. I had two seconds with (Ken) Dorman horses. With the wins I had in the last two races last night (Friday) I think that rolled over into today and I thought I would have a good chance.”


“It was a lot of fun,” Knight added. “I think all the guys had a good time.”


FURIOUS FIVE BONGED: Coco Bongo beat 1-9 favorite Furious Five to the quarter in a battle for the lead and also to the wire in the open event (with $35,000 claimers) for fillies and mares last Sunday.


Coco Bongo, a five-year-old daughter of Northern Luck out of Kendal Sensation, survived a 57-second half, to hold off Cams Lucky Charm, a 14-1 shot, by a neck for the victory in 1:56.  Silvery Belle was third in the field of five with Furious Five, who ended parked the mile, fourth.


Coco Bongo, who was the 5-1 second choice, ran her 2007 record to 8-2-2-1 and pushed her year’s earnings to more than $17,500 and her career to more than $91,000.


Coco, was trained and driven to victory by Barry Treen for owners the Shale Stables. 


MASSE MARCHES ON: Serge Masse, as he has done throughout March, led all drivers at Fraser Downs last weekend.


Masse picked up seven wins, one more than Scott Knight. Masse now has 23 victories in March.


Jim Marino was third with three wins while Jim Burke, Barry Treen and Bill Tainsh, who was in Cloverdale from Edmonton competing in the western Canada driving championship, had two each.


The battle for top trainer was interesting as eight trainers had two triumphs apiece. They are: Knight, Masse, Rod Therres, Erik Neyhart, Tim Brown, Greg Beneen, Marino and Treen.


Clint Warrington had but one win but it was memorable as it was the 1,000th of his career.


WEEK'S BEST: Cher The Wealth, a seven-year-old by Wheelin Chance, still likes to have her picture taken. Cher, who won 11 times in 2006, captured her fourth successive win and the 36th of her career last Friday. Cher The Wealth covered the mile in 1:55.4 (on a sloppy track), only three ticks off her life mark. She is owned, trained and driven by Serge Masse.


Kootenay Finale, a five-year-old daughter of Safe N Rich, keeps winning and moving. Finale won her third straight, this time for trainer Bill Davis and then was claimed back by Masse. Finale has 16 lifetime wins, all as a four or five year old.


Dontgimmethejazz, a four-year-old son of Intrepid Seelster, won his fifth (along with a second and third) in 10 starts for trainer Brent Hill.


Wilder Desperado, a nine-year-old son of Village Jiffy, captured his fifth win (along with a third) in 11 starts in 2007.


Red Star Apache, an eight-year-old son of Safe N Rich, won the 25th of his career for trainer Heather Sifert.


One Card Short, a 10-year-old son of Keystone Raider, picked up the 30th lifetime victory for trainer Scott Knight.


Eclipse This, a seven-year-old son of Royal Dilemma, made it two wins in a row for trainer Masse.


Storyeum, a three-year-old son of D M Dilinger, made it two straight victories and won in a new life mark of 1:58.1 for trainer Rick White.


Red Star Governor, a four-year-old son of Presidential Ball, made it two straight, and equalled his best mark of 1:56.2 for trainer Mike Bourgeois.


Yankee Money, a seven-year-old son of Make A Deal, won his second consecutive race for trainer Jim Marino.


Pedicure (m 4 Crisis Situation) got her first win of 2007 last Friday but it was close as all eight starters were within four lengths of the winner.


Fast N Lucky (h 4 Dancing Puddles) lowered his career best clocking to 1:57 for trainer Heather Burke, Prairie Astro (m 4 Astreos) cut her best life mark to 1:59.3 for trainer Rod Therres; Livinforthemoment (m 4 D M Dilinger) set a career lifetime mark of 1:58.3 for trainer Brett Currie and Active Pass (h 5 Kents On Nuke) got his first triumph of 2007 in a new best clocking of 1:54 for trainer Gord Abbott.