Stallion stakes this weekend

There are small but select fields set to go this weekend at Fraser Downs in the Stallion Stakes.

The select part is a given but it is the small that is the story as they head into action.

More than a hundred foals on each side were born eligible for the Stallion Stakes. There will be fields of six – colts and geldings -- and seven for the finals. 

The colt and gelding division shows how the small came about. When the first payments were made to keep horses eligible there were 58 names. But the numbers dwindled to 44, 21 and six as each of the other deadlines passed. 

The final is set for Sunday and a BIG factor now is the purse. The field for the colts and geldings, which includes two entries, will battle for a purse of $63,285 in the event for B.C.-sired horses. 

The Robert Murphy-owned stable will start two – Red Star Dusty and Red Star Marshall. Seven Seas Cruiser and Sail The Sevenseas, owned by John Heras, will be the other entry. 

There will have lots of backers, especially Dusty and Cruiser, who have career earnings of more than $20,000. 

But Rich Camelot, owned by the Sunbury Stables, is expected to be the betting favorite of most followers. 

Rounding out the field is Bill Of Expence -- all of the Ann and Jackie Scheepbouwer stable. 

The fillies were headed to a field of eight for Saturday until an injury suffered by Diamond Dancer on Jan. 3 forced her to the sidelines.

Murphy will have a two-horse entry – Red Star Marianne and Red Star Cowgirl – and they will draw plenty of attention.  

Greg Beneen’s Miss St Labush is a recent winner as is JJJ and Al Anderson’s Itsallaboutthemoney. 

Chateau Flea, Hop Sing Glory (a second her last start) and Pennys Dancer are all lightly raced but with $62,745 on the line are expected to start, and cannot be counted out. 

LANGLEY PACING: Two elimination legs will be held tonight for the Langley Pace, for four-year-old horses and geldings. The final for a purse of about $30,000 is set for Friday, Jan. 23. 

Top horses such as Lennix Lewes, Maxamillenium, Proberts Punch, Time Step, Red Star Emerson, Dale Reo, Red Star Blaze and Top Flite Justice are among the challengers. 

BIDDING TIME: The B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society Mixed Sale will now be held Feb.17 in the Agriplex. A mix-up of dates forced the move of the sale from its original Feb. 10 date. The entry deadline of Jan. 30 still applies.  

B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society president Bill Pambrum headed to the recent 2004 Garden State Super Sale in Hanover, Pa. and purchased three broodmares which will be added to the sale. 

Joining the sale list are Blue Collar Girl, a nine-year old by Goalie Jeff and in foal to Arturo; Roxette Hanover, a 13-year-old by Kentucky Spur and in foal to Dragon Again and Eicarls El Grande, a 13-year-old by Direct Scooter and in foal to Island Fantasy. 

DANCING TIME: Tickets are still available for the B.C. Standardbred Association and the B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society annual standardbred industry awards banquet Feb. 14. It will be held at Northview Golf Course on 168th Street. The tickets, which are again $40, are on sale at the BCSA and BCSBS office. 

SMITH NO. 3: Ron Smith of Langley is the third week’s winner of the California Dreamin handicapping contest at the Downs. 

Smith, with a couple of winners, won the mythical total of $731 to take the weekly title. Ron Kuthar of Langley and Joe Ozorio, also of Langley, tied for second with $617 while Alan Lunn of Richmond was next at $468. 

The reason dreams are involved is that the winner of the CDHC, of course, gets to go – with a guest -- to the Santa Anita Derby on April 3, courtesy of Fraser Downs. 

The CDHC runs weekly until Feb. 28. At the end of each contest day, scores will be tallied and the entrant with the highest total will receive the weekly $250 prize – and be crowned a finalist. 

Smith joins Kara Cromwell and Ken Compton as three of the 10 finalists who will battle head-to-head in the CDHC on Saturday, March 6 in the Homestretch Party Zone. The ultimate winner will be surfing – the racing program – on Derby Day. 

MEXICO CALLING: The recent weather was enough to drive you to drink – and enter for a chance for a trip to Cancun, Mexico? Last weekend was to be the last but the Downs cards were cancelled and so thus Margaritaville. 

Do not despair for, if you already entered, your fate will be decided tonight with the draw for the March (Spring Break) trip to sunny Mexico to be held in the winner’s enclosure. 

ROXBURGH BANKS FIRST WEEK: Rob Roxburgh has grabbed the early lead in the annual $10,000 KENO Harness Pool, which got under way two weeks ago but was forced to take a week off after last weekend’s race cancellations. 

Roxburgh chalked up a total of 14 points to take a one-point lead over a host of challengers (19 to be exact). A total of 354 battled in the first week. 

Despite the one week off the first half will still run until Feb. 9 and the second half begins on Feb. 28 and concludes on April 4.   

The top 40 players, including ties, at the end of the contest will receive prizes as follows: first  $2500, second $1,500, third $1000, fourth to 10th $250 and 11th to 40th  $75. Prizes will be awarded to the top three players in the first half and second half as follows: first  $250, second $150 and third $100.  

The 19 at 13 points include Kevin Clark, Jo Copeland, F.M. Coulis, Doug Farmer, Art Farr, Bryan Fenton, Larry Gibson, Lynn Heard, Clifford Johnson, Matt Jordan, Dennis Matsalla, Jim Montgomery, Nobby Mori, Jim Popil, Larry Robinson, Gloria Rosvold, Daryl Setter, Danny Stevens and Sean Young. 

STILL SIZZLING: Smoke N Sizzle, owned by James Vinnell of Langley, recorded a wire to wire win in the first of five $18,000 divisions of the first round of the Clyde Hirt Series Jan. 8 at the Meadowlands.  

The recent winner of the Oil Burner Series final, Smoke N Sizzle paced the mile in 1:54.1, finishing a length up on Visitor Parking and Hustlin Rustler.  

Driven by David Miller and trained by Mark Silva, Smoke N Sizzle picked up his third win in his last four starts and pushed his career bankroll to $100,659.  

The other divisions were captured by Iron Legend in 1:53.1; Foreverinmydreams in 1:52.2; Cams Primetime in 1:51.4 and Worlds Apart in 1:52.3.  

The Hirt Series has its $100,000 estimated final on Jan. 24. 

WOODBINE SHIFT: Woodbine Entertainment’s two signature events, the Queen’s Plate and Pepsi North America Cup, will move to separate weekends this year. 

Canada’s richest harness race, the $1.5 million Pepsi North America Cup, will be held on Saturday, June 19, while the 145th running of the Queen’s Plate is set for Sunday, June 27. Both races are contested at Woodbine. 

Over the past six years, the two races were featured on consecutive days, but some scheduling issues have resulted in a change for the coming year. 

“After reviewing the schedules and our Festival of Racing Week promotion, we have decided to separate the two races,” said Hugh Mitchell, Woodbine Entertainment’s senior vice-president of racing. “We think by separating the Pepsi North America Cup and Queen’s Plate, we can better market and promote them individually.” 

MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week racing was cancelled and our choice, Gift Of Art, did not have a chance to show his stuff. Well, let’s give him another. We will take him, a 10-1 morning line selection, in the fourth race Saturday. 

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