Starrbuck captures Derby
Lil Dude Starrbuck continues to like
Piloted for the first time by top
Woodbine driver Luc Ouellette, Starrbuck cruised to a
six-length victory in the $128,960 Western Canada Pacing
Derby at Northlands last Sunday.
The son of Threefold paced a personal
best of 1:52.4 for trainer Larry Micallef, who drove
Lildudeskickinash in the race. Starrbuck covered the last
quarter in 27.4 seconds.
Lil Dude Starrbuck is owned by Lil Dude
Ranch of Surrey. The pacer won his Derby elimination, Silver
Bucket elimination and the $71,900 Silver Bucket final on
May 22. He has nine wins in 13 starts this season and boasts
career earnings of $154,133.
Dudes Leaving Town, who won his Derby
elimination, was forced three wide in the third quarter and
the son of As Promised finished third behind runner-up
Warrawee Flash. Lildudeskickinash dropped back from second
to finish last.
Trainer/driver Bill Davis, for owner
Robert Murphy of White Rock, also had an entry in Red Star
Dusty and Red Star Sammy. The latter, with Davis in the
bike, was fifth and Dusty, with Bill Tainsh driving, was
Meanwhile, Just Sassy further
demonstrated her superiority as Western Canada’s top
three-year-old pacing filly last Friday night, cruising to
her sixth straight win in the $113,430 Northlands Filly
final in Edmonton.
With John Chappell handling the lines,
the daughter of Northern Luck applied a different racing
strategy. Though usually up near the pace, Chappell elected
to send the filly to the back of the pack in the early going
and it didn’t seem to bother her. At the three-quarter pole,
Just Sassy was seventh, five lengths from the lead, before
launching a furious attack around the final turn. In the
stretch, she powered away from the field en route to a
three-length win over Da Lil Dudett in a sharp 1:54.2.
Sonata Hall was third.
Owned by William Andrew of Calgary,
Just Sassy has six wins in seven starts this season. Trained
by John Brandon Campbell, she has made more than $130,000 in
2004, boosting her career tally to nearly $190,000. She has
lost just a single race in her 11 lifetime outings.
Da Lil Dudett, owned by the Lil Dude
Ranch and trained and driven by Micallef, led to the head of
the stretch after covering the half in 55 seconds. Ivys
Wine, owned by Bill Boden of Vancouver, was part of the
early speed and went on to finish fourth.
Ouelette, flown out for the day, had
four others driving wins (including Lil Dude horses, Jennas
Lil Dude and Lildudewithaditude) as Sunday’s Derby marked
the end of the Northlands Park’s meet.
ARENDT MAINTAINS CAPPER LEAD:
John Arendt still holds the lead, now after eight weeks of
the Ultimate Capper Contest, but he feels some hot breath on
D Tarabas used the best week -- $101 –
of the contest to jump sharply into second spot, just $4.80
behind Arendt who has $241.40. Tim Wiesner slipped one spot,
picking up $4.50 for a total of $195.90. Ron Miscich is
fourth at $188.70, Roy Yip fifth at $181 and D.W. Jones
sixth at $177.
Roy Hanson and Brad Hamanishi were
second and third last Saturday.
Other weekly winners have been Jones,
Wiesner, Brenda Hoffman, Sid Marshall, Fred Lester, Andy
Kevener and Les Raymond.
The winner of the UCC will get a
vacation for two to see the $1 million Pacific Classic at
Del Mar race track in sunny Southern California.
The UCC, which started May 1, runs for
10 consecutive Saturdays until July 3.
Contestants pick a horse in three of
the designated six races from the track of the week. A
mythical $2 win/place/show wager is made on each of the
three horses that are selected and at the end of each
contest day, the top three contestants win cash. First
place will win $250 with second and third place paying $150
and $100 respectively.
The contestant with the highest total
of mythical dollars won over the 10-week period will win the
vacation for two to Del Mar. The vacation includes flight
from Vancouver International Airport, three nights
accommodation, premium seating while at the race track and
$500 spending /transportation money.
Contestants can still go after the
weekly prize by getting an entry ballot in the Finish Line
at Fraser Downs from noon on the Friday of the contest week
until post time of the first race of the featured track and
submit it to either the Finish Line Information Window or
the Finish Line HPI Centre.
The remaining featured tracks are:
Saturday - Fort Erie – thoroughbred; July 3 - Hollywood Park
BURKE, JAMES BURKE, TOPS: Jim
Burke led all drivers in the last weekend of the Fraser
Downs meet. Burke had a hat-trick on Friday and a single
Saturday and his total of four led all comers.
Scott Knight, Dave McKellar and Jim
Marino were next with three each while Rick White, Clint
Warrington, John Vukelich, Tim Brown and Rod Therres had two
Bob Merschback picked up three
victories, all on Friday to lead the trainers. Bill Young,
Wayne Isbister, White and Knight were next with two each.
MANTACULAR POSTS MAJOR UPSET:
Mantacular shocked harness racing fans as he paced to a
stunning upset victory in the 21st edition of the Pepsi
North America Cup, Canada’s richest horse race, last
Saturday at Woodbine.
Sent off at odds of 26-1, the
three-year-old son of Western Hanover laid off the early
speed and was eighth at the quarter, which was put up by
Village Hero N in 26.4. At the half, Canadian-owned pacer
Rogue Hall had made the lead in 54.2, while Cat Manzi had
worked out a third-over trip for Mantacular.
At the top of the stretch Manzi rolled
the colt wide and asked him. Mantacular responded with a
ferocious stretch kick to power to the front with an eighth
of a mile to go. But it wasn’t over yet. Metropolitan, who
was locked in for much of the stretch found room in the
final 16th and made one last surge at the wire. Mantacular
repelled the challenge to hang on to the win by a nose in
1:51.2. Panspacificflight, who made the lead at the top of
the stretch, was third with driver Ouelette.
"It couldn’t have gone any better,"
said Manzi. "He couldn’t have run better. It was probably
the most exciting thing, other than going into the Hall of
Fame, that I've ever experienced in racing."
The win was Mantacular’s first of the
season in a lifetime best 1:51.2. The victory was the first
million-dollar purse for owners M and L of Delaware Inc.
(Ralph, Rosalind and Doug Paul), trainer Larry Rathbone and
MAINMAN’S MOONSHOT: Last week,
to end the meet, I picked Carwins C E O but the best he
could do was fifth.
So, how did the Moonshot, and the
public if they bet the selections, do?
We tried two wagers -- $2 win on each
choice and $2 across (W-P-S) on each.
Ironically, it was better with the nose
bets. There were 33 wagers placed to win, an outlay of $66.
Thanks to a win on the first try, which paid $46.60, and
backed by three other triumphs, the total winnings on the
first-place wagers were $148 (the best was $61.60).
However, on the $2 across, the total
wagered was $198 and the total won was $177.70 – a loss of
$20.70. What, you ask? In the 33 race picks, there were only
two-second and one third-place finishes.
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