STAKES RACES START
The first stakes races of the Fraser
Downs meet take place Saturday with the Sandown B.C.
Breeders Stakes for two-year-olds.
One hundred fillies and 97 colts and
geldings were eligible for the races but, as usual, in the
early days of the meet a somewhat smaller number has
qualified. Twenty-three fillies and 24 colts or geldings are
ready to do battle on the weekend with each separated by
draw into three divisions with purses of slightly more than
$7,000. There is no final.
On the filly side, Anything Anytime,
trained by Rod Therres has drawn into a division that will
go prior to the first regular race as a non-wagering race
(6:20 p.m.). Anything Anytime, by Jeremys Gambit, captured a
recent race in a nifty 1:58.4, the best by a two-year-old to
Red Star Ginny, trained by Brent Beelby,
has also won a race and has drawn in to a division where
Wild Dunes Diamond, Fourwoofr and Freedom Whisper should be
the main challengers.
The other heat has probably drawn the
toughest field with Jimmy Jams Jubilee, Lil Dudes Rockette,
Hy On Freedom, Red Star Dreamglo and Mcmoney among the
Rick White’s Better Days,
Mattswhereitsat, trained by Randy Webster and Double D
Rustler, trained by Sten Ericsson, all have registered
victories to date on the colt and gelding side.
Others among those who will get
consideration are Proudsonofscotland, Red Star Senator, Fast
Lane Fusion, Dal Reo Rebel, CC Maxim, Named byfreaks,
Dancelikeahos and Luckys Lil Dude.
The three-year olds will battle the
CATCH COLA IF YOU CAN: Haras
Colta Cola would do well in greyhound racing – as the hare.
The five-year old gelded son of Armbro
Operative out of Celes Lady raced gate-to-wire Friday, Oct.
1 at the Downs to win the featured Invite in 1:55.1.
Owned by Off Track Stable of Aldergrove,
bred by Janet Harrison and trained and driven by Paul
Harrison, Cola roared to the front from the five-hole. He
covered the half in 57.3 seconds and still had enough left
to come the last quarter in 29.2 and win by a length and
Two of the greyhounds – Spider M, who
won the invite a week earlier in a new lifetime mark of
1:54, and Sucha Smooth Deal -- had to deal with some traffic
along the way and their patented late rushes were not
enough. Spider M, the 4-5 favorite, was second and Sucha was
another 1¾ lengths behind in third.
With Bre X, winner of the Invite on
opening day, scratched due to illness, Colta Cola was able
to best the field of seven and pick up his fifth win of
2004. He pushed his 2004 earnings to more than $42,000 and
his career cash to more than $152,000.
HELLO GARY: Another newcomer
from Ontario has joined the ranks of the driver/trainer
colony at Fraser Downs.
Gary Durbano, born in Toronto, but most
recently living and competing in Barrie (Georgian Downs), is
assisting driver/trainer Larry Micallef with the large Lil
“I am good friends with Larry,” Durbano
explained, “and I have come out to give him a hand through
the busy early stakes races.”
Durbano, 52, and a 37-year veteran of
the harness racing industry, said he will be helping for
three months and then will reassess the situation. His wife
and three children, one in Grade 12 and two little ones
three and four years old remain in Barrie.
It is the first visit to B.C. and
Western Canada for Durbano and so far things have been
“I am still getting used to the fog but
after the terrible summer we had at home it is nice to be
here. There are good horses in this stable and the racing is
good and competitive.”
Durbano picked up a pair of training
wins on the Oct. 1-2 weekend with Keep Spinning and Lil
Dudes Keeper. He has 73 lifetime victories as a trainer and
128 as a driver in a career which has taken him to reaches
as far away as Italy and Florida.
A highlight of his career was working
for trainer Norm Clement when he had the legendary Cam Fella
at Roosevelt Raceway.
“I remember they had 10,000 buttons to
give away to fans and they were gone in one night.”
WATCH FOR IRON HORSES: The
Claiming Series at Fraser Downs has undergone some tweaking
including a new name.
The series will now be called the Iron
Horse Claiming Series with the name illustrating the most
significant change. The series will again be held over three
weeks, Jan. 8, 15 and 22, but each week the length of the
race will increase. The first race will be 11/16 of a mile,
the second one mile and the third a grueling 1 and 5/16
The claiming tag will be $5,000 in the
first race and $6,000 in the second with purses of $4,000.
The purse for the final, which will also have a $6,000
claimer tag, is an estimated $15,000.
A tentative list of races for B.C.
Breeders Classic Day on Nov. 11 has also been announced. The
featured races (four) will again be for the two and
three-year-olds and will have purses, which will total more
The card will also include consolations
for each of those stakes as well as a couple of $5,000
claimer races and a non-winner of $6,500 last six
(preference to B.C. breds) with $5,000 added to the usual
YEARLING SALE LOOMS: The B.C.
Standardbred Breeders Society has released the entry list
for the 2004 Yearling Sale. A total of 117 horses will enter
the sales ring.
The sale will be Tuesday, Nov. 16 at 2
p.m. in the Agriplex.
A complimentary barbecue will precede
the sale at 12 noon in the Horsemen’s cafeteria.
A list of the entries can be seen by
clicking on the sales link on the BCSBS web site at
www.harnessbc.ca. Pedigree pages will be linked to the
horses when they are available.
DAVIS BACK: A familiar name led
the way atop the driver statistics after three weekends of
Perennial top gun Bill Davis picked up
five wins over the two days of week three and had 10 for the
young meet. Rick White collected a single win and stood at
nine and Gord Abbott had eight.
White had seven wins as a trainer to
lead that category.
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