Rustle For It Valentine favorite 

The favorites did the expected in the Miss Valentine eliminations last Sunday and set up a battle for this Sunday’s $34,300 final. 

Rustle For It, a 4-5 first choice, and Dal Lil Dudett, a 1-2 favorite, each raced to victory in respective eliminations with fields of eight. 

Rustle For It, a daughter of Rustler Hanover, ran her winning streak to four in a row, going gate to wire, beating Red Star Cowgirl, who stalked her the whole way by 31/2 lengths. Cowgirl, who was part of a 5-1 entry, held off a hard-closing Charter Ridge. 

Owned by Niele Jiwan and trained by Rick White, Rustle For It has already won more than $10,000 this year. She was in the top three in 15 of 19 starts in 2004. 

Da Lil Dudett, B.C. two-year-old filly of the year in 2004 and nominated for three-year-old, came off a seven-week rest to nip Red Star Suesue by 3/4 length in 1:58.3 in the first elim. 

Dudett, a daughter of Apaches Fame and owned Lil Dude Ranch and trained by Gary Durbano, went gate-to-wire and hung on over Suesue, a 41-1 longshot. Certain Fame was third. 

Dudett was in the top three in 18 of 21 starts in 2004 and her win pushed her lifetime earnings to more than $175,000. 

Leading driver Bill Davis piloted both winners but will drive Rustle For It in the final. His choice, and a four-post compared to the outside eight for Dudett, has made Rustle an 8-5 morning line favorite. 

Dudett is at 7-2 while the entry of Suesue and Cowgirl, who has the trailing nine-hole on the gate, is next at 9-2. 

Shes The Reason and Sharons Pass also qualified for the final while the ninth spot went to Ethel Seelster after a draw with fellow fifth-place finisher Sunday Supreme. 

Stakes winners Ivys Wine and Goaheadandlietome, second choice in each elim, did not qualify for the final although Ivy is the also eligible. 

CRUISER COMING HOME: Seven Seas Cruiser was scratched from his latest start attempt on Feb. 5 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey but two other B.C. bred horses were successful that day at Woodbine in Toronto. 

Meant To Do That and Rich Cam, no longer owned by B.C. residents, both registered wins. 

Meant To Do That, once owned by Rick White, covered the mile in new lifetime mark of 1:53.3 in winning a $33,000 claiming event for Alberta owners while Rich Cam, who was owned by Sunbury Stables, went the mile in 1:52.2 (just off his mark of 1:52) in also capturing a $33,000 claimer. Rich Cam is now owned by Francis Azur of Pennsylvania. 

Tim Brown, Cruiser's B.C. trainer, has reported the four-year-old will be returning to B.C. after not faring as well as hoped in a couple of stakes eliminations. 

"After he gets home, we will turn him out for awhile and then bring him to the track to get ready for the Stallion Stakes (in April)," Brown said. 

HEAD TO CHILLIWACK: Plans are in the works for some demonstration harness races at Heritage Park in Chilliwack as part of that city’s annual fair the first week of August. 

"We would race four races on opening night, which is the Thursday of that week," said Fraser Downs' general manager Chuck Keeling. "They think about 2,000 people would attend the event." 

Some may remember that a few races were held when the new track opened at the Chilliwack exhibition grounds in 2001. So is there a deeper reason for doing it again. 

"Our long-term goal of course is to race in Chilliwack 20 to 30 days, and we feel this might be the first step in trying to establish ourselves there," Keeling said. 

Keeling also added, "You may recall we did this in Delta last year (held some demonstration races) and we likely will do it again this summer as well." 

SALE DELAYED: The closure of the sale of Fraser Downs and Sandown Park to Great Canadian Casino Corp. has been delayed. 

The sale was to close on Jan. 31 but due to some minor problems the B.C. Lottery Corporation was not able to give its approval, which was part of the deal. The BCLC said it has no problem with the sale but had to delay, likely to mid to late February. 

APACHE CAPTURES OPEN: With elimination legs being held on the weekend for the Clash of the Pacific, no Invite was carded. But director of racing Keith Quinlan put an open race for a $9,000 purse on Sunday's card and ironically the top three finishers in the previous week's Invite chose to compete. 

Coyote Hanover, Nuclear Dew and Red Star Apache were back to battle with Dew, drawing the two-hole, the race favorite at 6-5. 

But after setting the pace to the head of the stretch, Dew fell to fourth at the finish.

Apache, a 9-2 choice, never far back, came on to win by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:57.3. Rich Camelot, a 28-1 shot, was second and Camlucks Dominator third. 

Coyote, starting from the seven hole, could not get loose early and had to settle for fifth.

Apache is owned by Niele Jiwan and trained and driven by Rick White. 

FOUR FOR JANE: Carson Jane returned from two weeks off to win her fourth straight fillies and mares open at Fraser Downs. 

It didn't come easily as the five-year-old daughter of Cambest prevailed by a neck over Dealmeahos in 1:58.3. 

Handicapped to the outside six post, Carson Jane, the 2-5 favorite, was well back early and was still fourth at the head of the stretch. Dealmeahos, at 7-1, was third a length ahead of Jane, setting the stage for a tough stretch battle. Bigshoestofill finished third, two lengths back. 

Jane, owned by Bill Boden and trained and driven by Dave Hudon has three wins and $12,000 in earnings in 2005. She has won six of eight starts at the Downs and pushed her career winnings to more than $83,000. 

GRAND SLAM GIVES DAVIS EIGHT: Bill Davis captured four races in a row last Sunday, enough to vault him into top driver for the weekend at the Downs with eight. 

Jim Marino continued his winning ways, picking up a handful while Jim Burke was next with four victories. Rick White and Tim Brown had three each while sharing a pair were Larry Micallef, Gord Abbott, Doug Moore and Glenn White. 

Davis also led all conditioners, making five visits to the winner's enclosure. Rick White was next with four and seven tied at two wins -- Mike Glover, Ray Gemmill, Abbott, Wayne Isbister, Diana Davie, Jim Wiggins and Gary Durbano. 

CHURCHILL IS HOT: Tom Churchill of New Westminster won the fifth week's honors and $250 in the California Dreamin Handicapping Contest. 

Churchill had the large total of $1,029 in the three races - entrants handicap races three through eight at Santa Anita Racecourse. 

John Hetherington was second with $860 while Sylvia MacKenzie took third with $760. Lisa Soares was next with $463, Bill Chatzispiros had $399, Howie Gelfand $378 and Marina Stevens and Gloria Rosvold tied at $371. 

Dreamers are after the top prize of a trip for two to the Santa Anita Derby in April. Each Saturday for eight weeks contestants can win $250 and the day’s winner qualifies for the final, set for March 5. Lance Beveridge, Don Pegura, Doug Robertson and Ray Abgrall won the first four weekly titles. 

JENSEN REGAINS LEAD: Rick Jensen has vaulted back into the KENO Harness Pool lead after five weeks. Jensen, the leader after week one, picked up 15 points in week five and now has 52. 

Kevin Clark got 14 points to move into second at 50 while last week's leader Rob McElhinney is next at 49. Patrick Jordan and Carmen Coombs each have 47 with Warren Barrows and John Gonie deadlocked at 46. Nine are tied at 45. 

Contestants pick a team of six horses, one from each box of six horses. Points are awarded for top three finishes and the top 40 players will receive prizes -- $3,000 for finishing first. 

The Pool runs until Feb. 27 and one more trade will be allowed Friday, Feb. 11. 

BOOGIE BABY! The 2004 Standardbred Industry Awards Gala is scheduled for next Saturday, Feb.19. 

The event, sponsored by the B.C. Standardbred Association, the B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society and Fraser Downs, will be held in the Atrium of the Newlands Golf and Country Club (48th Avenue in Langley). 

Accomplishments of the industry will be celebrated with a dinner, awards and a dance.

Tickets are available for $40 through the standardbred office at 604-574-5558.