Red Star Senator, despite his youth, showed the experience of many of his Ottawa namesakes, by winning the open last Sunday at Fraser Downs. 

Senator, the just-turned four-year-old son of Presidential Ball, moved to the two-hole off the gate, and sat there patiently until heading for home. Then he toughly took on Duca, the 1-5 favorite, in a stretch battle that resulted in a nose (how about whisker) verdict. 

Senator, owned by Mary Murphy, trained by Bob Merschback and driven by Jim Burke, covered the mile in a career best 1:53.4. 

Duca, the newcomer to the Downs who was highly impressive in winning the open the previous week, had rushed to the front from the five hole. He looked like money from home again until Senator, part of a 4-1 second choice entry, won in a photo that had the judges studying long and hard. 

Haras Colta Cola, at 33-1 and now a grizzled veteran of seven and the oldest in the race, started from the rail, settled for third early and never gave up that spot to the wire.  

Armbro Bach was fourth in the field of eight of the Downs’ best. 

Senator ran his 2006 record to 2-1-3 in seven starts with more than $21,000 in earnings. He has captured more than $200,000 in his career. 

BETTER AND BETTER: Betterfrombehind has now taken on the big (older) girls. The result is the same. 

The four-year-old daughter of Kents On Nuke has dominated the racing scene at Fraser Downs in her age class for the previous two years. On Feb. 12 she won her first stakes race, the Miss Valentine, as a four-year-old. 

Last Saturday she faced eight of the best mares on the Downs grounds. Starting from the five-hole on the gate and with new driver Serge Masse, she roared off the gate and grabbed the lead, clearing to the rail at the quarter. The 3-5 favorite, owned by trainer Al Anderson, Mark Anderson and J J J Stable, never looked back in winning by 1˝ lengths in a time of 1:56. 

Carson Jane, who has been the class of the mares open at the Downs meet, got the garden two-hole behind Betterfrombehind, but an attack attempt in the homestretch was not enough. 

Jimmy Jams Jubilee, another four-year-old, was two more lengths back in third despite starting at 27-1 odds. 

Betterfrombehind now has two wins in as many starts in 2006 for $24,475 in earnings. She has 17 career victories in 24 starts and earnings of more than $265,000. 

She has been named the 4-5 overnight favorite when she takes on most of the same horses in the $39,000-plus Miss Cloverdale stake on Saturday.  

She will start from the four spot on the gate in the field of seven. Carson Jane, part of the 2-1 second choice entry along with Ivys Wine, has the three, and Jimmy Jams Jubilee has the rail.

Others are Rustle For It, Make Some Noise and Concrete Angel.

NO ORDINARY JOE: Joe Millionaire performed like one last Friday as he won his second in a row, in a new life mark of 1:56.2. Jim Wiggins trains and drives the three-year-old son of No Nukes. 

Titans Revenge, a nine-year old son of Scruffy Hanover, won his second straight and third in five starts in 2006 for trainer/driver Tim Brown. 

Cher The Wealth, a six-year-old daughter of Wheelin Chance, two weeks ago set a life mark of 1:56.2 and last Saturday made it two wins in a row for trainer/driver Tim Brown. 

Dal Reo Indy, a four-year-old daughter of Dal Reo Hop Sing, raced to victory for trainer Bill Davis, Jr. and driver Bill Davis in a career best 1:57.2 last Sunday. Indy has three wins and two seconds in seven starts in 2006. 

Hurricane Pat, a four-year-old daughter of Falcons Future, registered a new life mark of 1:58.4 for driver/trainer John Hudon. 

Coco Bongo, also four and a daughter of Northern Luck, covered the mile in 1:58.1 while running her 2006 record to 6-2-1-1 for driver/trainer Jim Marino.

WIGGINS SIDELINED: Driver Jim Wiggins suffered a dislocated shoulder and a sprained ankle in a spectacular spill in the seventh race last Sunday at the Downs. The accident involved six of the nine entrants in the field and the race was declared a no contest.

Wiggins was thrown quite a distance from the sulky behind Southside Playboy into the infield and landed on his shoulder. It was the left shoulder for Jim, who is lefthanded and he will need six to eight weeks of rehab. 

Doug Moore, who was aboard for Duffs Tavern, suffered a right arm injury. X-rays have not yet proved conclusive but Thursday Moore still did not have any freedom of motion in the arm. 

John Hudon, Darren Howald and Tim Brown, also hit the ground, but came back to driver later on the card. 

Duffs Tavern suffered a shoulder injury and will be out for a while but the other horses were free of any serious injuries. 

Meanwhile, Brown continued his recent roll and Jim Marino and Bill Davis again played leapfrog atop the driver standings. 

Brown had four wins Friday and seven for the weekend to move into fourth overall with 52 victories. 

Marino had a handful and Davis three, which shifted Marino to the top with 88 wins, one ahead of Davis. 

Scott Knight also had a four-bagger – on Saturday – and five for the weekend. Rick White had three while Jim Burke and Wiggins had two apiece. 

Driver/trainer Greg A. Smith got his first victory of the year. 

The wily old veteran Ray Gemmill led all trainers with four victories. Marino and White had three each while Brown, Wiggins, Knight, Heather Burke and Ann Cooper shared two each. 

SUPER, SUPER: One lucky, and regular, patron at the Downs proved that any strategy can work when it comes to wagering – and that you don’t have to spend big bucks to receive big. 

Last Saturday’s final race superfecta finished 7-8-6-9. The patron boxed the four outside horses with a 20-cent superfecta wager.  

It cost $4.80 and won $8,740.

NICE GESTURE: Niceness beyond the average, that’s what Edith and Pat McCawley of Aldergrove did last week. 

The 58-year married couple, presented a horse blanket to pick-up man Tim Heidt (and his horse) last Sunday in the winner’s enclosure after the second race. 

“We just felt he should be recognized for the important job he does,” said Edith. 

“I’m entertained by him and his horse,” said Pat with a big smile. 

The McCawleys, who are long-time (“we were here the second day after the track opened 1976)” and regular patrons, feel that staff at the Downs “are our family.” 

LEN LOOKS GOOD: Surrey’s Len Zurowski has shown he could be the favorite in the California Dreamin’ Handicapping Contest at Fraser Downs by winning for the second time. Zurowski captured week eight last Saturday after earlier showing the way in week three. 

Zurowski had a total of $421 to narrowly take the week’s title and the $250 weekly prize.

Lorne Morisset was only $4 behind in second. Bernadette Cook finished third with $347 followed by Tom Christianson at $327. Grabbing fifth spot with $313 was Lloyd Burbridge, who also is a former weekly winner, taking week six. 

Others in the final already are Mark McNulty, Ian Barrie, Koji Kariya, Tom Mohammed, Art Worsfold and Bob Kosolofski. They will compete head-to-head on Saturday, March 11 in the Homestretch Party Zone. There are two more weeks in the 10-week contest. 

The winner will spend a weekend at Santa Anita racetrack in California for the Santa Anita Derby on April 8. 

Each Saturday contestants handicap a series of races from Santa Anita. Entry ballots are available at Guest Services the morning of each contest day and entry forms must be submitted before the scheduled post of the second race at Santa Anita.  

The contest consists of six races from the Santa Anita card, races three through eight, of which three must be handicapped. For each of the three horses selected, a mythical $20 win/place/show bet will be placed.  At the end of each contest day, scores will be tallied and the entrant with the highest total for that contest day will be crowned a finalist and will receive the weekly $250 prize money.