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