A Midnight Promise raced to a new life mark in winning one of two Penny Bath Memorial stakes qualifying legs last Sunday.


A Midnight Promise covered the mile in an impressive 1:57.3 in the event for four-year-old mares who were non winners of $30,000 lifetime up to an including Dec. 15.


The daughter of As Promised, trained and driven by Barry Treen for owners Bruce Barbour and Shale Stables, now has three lifetime wins and earnings of more than $27,000.


A Midnight Promise was unhurried early, made a strong move on the backstretch, took over the lead turning for home and held on to win by a head. Leah Yankee, a 19-1 shot, was second and 8-5 favorite Complete Game was third.


Intrepid Kate captured her sixth career win and fourth in her last six starts, in winning the other leg in1:59.


The daughter of Intrepid  Seelster was a 1-2 favorite with top driver Bill Davis for trainer Wally Slopianka and owners the Verve Racing Stables of Victoria. She settled into second early but took over the lead right after the first quarter and went on to win by 2½ lengths.


Gg S Connfidence was second and Shesabombshell third.


In Sunday's final, Kate will start from the four hole with A Midnight Promise next door at five. They are both part of an entry with Intrepid Kate and mate Complete Game, trained by Wally Slopianka, at 9-5 in the overnight odds, and Promise and Shesabombshell, trained by Barry Treen, close at 2-1.


Meanwhile, the Keith Linton Memorial for four-year-old horses and geldings, also non winners of $30,000 lifetime, drew but eight entries and skipped directly to Saturday’s final.


The eight are The Funk Brothers and Rodeo King, the 6-5 favored entry of trainer Bill Davis, 2-1 second choice Regal Intention, Rays Folly, Madpan, Red Star Robust, Red Star Governor and Fast N Lucky.


The finals for both stakes events will be for $25,000. 


SENATOR GRABS ATTENTION: Red Star Senator is enjoying his return to Fraser Downs.


The five-year-old son of Presidential Ball, who was impressive while racing in Ontario (a 1:48.4 clocking), grabbed his second successive victory and fourth (along with two seconds) in six starts since returning to the Downs on Nov. 11.


Senator went gate to wire in 1:55.3 in winning by ¾ of a length in last Sunday’s open event. It was the 23rd lifetime triumph for the horse who was piloted by Jim Burke for trainer Bob Merschback. Senator has earned more than $299,000 for owner Mary Murphy.


Armbro Blacktie, fresh off a win at the $35,000 claiming mark a week earlier, was a strong second, covering the last quarter in 28.2 seconds. Hi Time Ascot was third. 


DAVIS LOOKS FAMILIAR: Bill Davis started the first full weekend of 2007 action at Fraser Downs the same way he left 2006.


Davis totalled six victories over the three days and now has 94 for the meet, well ahead of second-place Serge Masse at 61.


Scott Knight and Jim Marino each had four wins while Gord Abbott had three and Jim Burke, Barry Treen and Clint Warrington had two each.


Davis also paced the trainers with four wins. Knight and Erik Neyhart had three apiece and Wayne Isbister and Bob Merschback two each.


Davis has 64 triumphs for the meet while Masse has 47. 


SOPRANO UP TO EIGHT: Another year starts and Red Star Soprano goes on singing No. 1 hits.


The five-year-old son of Barnett Hanover out of Thankfilly Nikki made his first start of 2007 a win – his eighth in a row.


Last Friday’s win was almost a carbon copy of the previous week. He entered the $20,000-$25,000 claiming tag event as the only $25,000 entrant and therefore drew the outside eight hole in the field of eight. That did not slow his attack off the gate and he led by 1¼ lengths at the one-quarter pole. He went on to win by 6¾ lengths, the same margin as the week before – in a time of 1:57.1 (only two ticks slower).


All eight wins have come since being claimed by owner Niele Jiwan for $10,000 for trainer Bill Davis.


Soprano now has 21 lifetime victories and more than $114,000 in lifetime earnings. 


WEEKEND STARS: Triple Play, a four-year-old son of Cambest, captured his fifth straight victory, second in 2007 and second at a $6,000 claiming tag for trainer/driver Serge Masse. It was also the 15th win of his career and he was then claimed.


Hes Country, a four-year-old son of Keystone Landmark, won his second straight for trainer Spud McCormac.


Red Star Pristine, a five-year-old daughter of Gothic Dream, captured her fourth win in her last five starts for Davis and thereby ended the five-race winning skein of Kootenay Finale. The latter had been bumped to a $5,000 claiming event and still finished second.


Carwins C E O, a seven-year-old by Die Laughing, was bumped to an $8,000 claiming event from $4,000 and did not care as the gelding won his second in a row and fourth of his last five starts. He is trained by Diana Davie.


Should Be Sleepin, a five-year-old son of Camluck, also captured his second straight and fourth in his last five for trainer Bill Davis. He was then claimed for $10,000. Davis’s veteran, eight-year-old Primos Wonder, keeps chalking them up, winning the 26th of his career.


Former open event top contender Haras Colta Cola, an eight-year-old son of Armbro Operative, won his first of the meet and first since early 2006. It was the 28th victory of his career and pushed his career earnings to more than $264,000.


One Card Short, a 10-year-old by Keystone Raider, picked up his second consecutive win and 28th of his career for trainer Scott Knight.


Preferred Share (m 7 Safe N Rich) won the 29th race of her career (12 came in 2006) for trainer Ann  Cooper.


Despite an off track Tahuya Burner (g 4 Kents On Nuke) lowered his lifetime best clocking to 2:01.1 for trainer Erik Neyhart. 


MARATHON EXCITING: The first-ever 1 5/8 mile event was raced last Saturday at Fraser Downs and it was a good one.


The event was for $4,000 claimers and attracted a field of nine. When they hit the wire (they circle the track one extra time) the margin of victory by Randy Rutledge’s Skippy Blue Shoe – a 37-1 shot – was just a neck. The distance was covered in 3:18.1 and the tough-luck second-place finisher was Laugh To The Bank. The fifth-place horse was only 4½ lengths back.


A race of the same distance is on this Friday’s card, which is good because the public seemed to like it. The horsemen seemed to also as six entrants will return for another round.


PORTER EYES SANTA ANITA: David Porter has drawn first blood in the sixth consecutive year of the Southern California handicapping contest at Fraser Downs.


Porter picked up an impressive $1,217 in week one last Saturday to take the decision over a field of 150-plus entrants.


Robert Glenn was second with $876 while Kevin Jackson was third at $775 and Michel Kern close behind at $751.


Robert Cooke, Efren Garcia, Mas Kariya, Ron Miscich and Walter Valleau shared fifth spot with $712.


The contest will run for nine weeks and each weekly winner will compete on March 3 to try to win a trip to the 2007 Santa Anita Derby on April 7.


The contest is simple. Contestants are allowed to pick any three races using races 3-8 on the designated Saturday cards from Santa Anita Racetrack. Each selection will have a mythical $20 across the board wager on it. The person with the most money from his/her three races will be off to the final. Prices will be capped at $42 for a win, $22 for a second and $12 for a third. Each weekly winner will receive $100 as a prize.


The final this year has a slight twist. Each of the nine finalists will have a live bankroll of $180 to wager. Six races from Santa Anita will be selected and each contestant must place a $10 across the board wager on each of the races. The twist: if a contestant makes money for the day, regardless if he or she is grand champion, they get to keep their proceeds.


Entry ballots will be available starting at 10 on Friday morning and must be handed in before the start of the second race at Santa Anita. Only one entry per person is allowed.