Still faster and faster
Dan Coons, it appears, was right. The
man in charge of the alterations made to the Downs track
said the objective was to make the track safer and more
competitive. It is hard to argue against that case. And he
also said the emphasis on faster times was too intense.
He was probably right there too but the
fact is his track work has led to a continuing list of fast
One veteran track campaigner feels the
track is now at least two seconds faster and the number of
new lifetime marks backs that up. Last weekend there were
nine lifetime marks on Friday and four Saturday.
One of course was Bre X’s new track
record 1:53.3. Another was eight-year-old Alcars Perfect
Ty’s 1:54.4, a second lower than his former mark, and
Kissmymonygoodbye’s 1:57.4, almost three seconds faster that
his previous best.
Sixteen two-year-olds were in action
Saturday, including eight clashing in one race. Eight were
making their first-ever start. Seven Seas Cruiser, trained
by Tim Brown, and Red Star Sammy, trained by Brent Beelby,
were both winners in their first start, Cruiser in 1:58.1
and Sammy a second slower.
Many of the freshmen will be in action
this Saturday in the Sandown Breeders Stakes as they
continue to get ready for the big paydays set for Breeders
Classic Day on Nov. 8.
STILL BETTER AND BEST: For the
second successive weekend, Bill Davis was the story of the
two-legged performers on the Fraser Downs track.
Davis chalked up eight wins as a driver
and six as a trainer to extend his domination in both
categories. Tim Brown was closest in the sulky with three
victories while Dave Hudon, Serge Rodrigue, Brad Watt and
Glenn White had two each. Next best on the conditioner side
were Sabrina Shaw, Ken Dorman and Wayne Isbister.
ART MAJOR RETIRES: Art Major, a
four-year-old pacer with nearly $3 million in lifetime
earnings, has been retired.
He was scratched from the recent
$225,000 American-National at Balmoral Park in Crete, Ill.
and, according to his trainer, Bill Robinson, the winner of
$2.72 million lifetime, had been sick recently and owners
Blue Chip Bloodstock, Art Major Stable and James W. Simpson
didn't want to take any chances with the horse.
"He hasn't eaten in a couple of days
and that's not him; he's always been so perfect," Robinson
said. "Even if he's at 90 per cent, we're not going to take
any chances. He needs to be a hundred per cent. He's the
best horse I ever hooked, no doubt about it. This is too
Art Major's wins this season included
the Breeders Crown, the Canadian Pacing Derby, and the U.S.
Pacing Championship. He won eight of 11 starts (with three
second-place finishes) and earned $1.08 million this year.
For his career, Art Major won 32 of 49 starts and his career
earnings rank 10th among all pacers in harness racing
history. He was the 2002 Dan Patch Award winner for
three-year-old pacing colt of the year.
CRUIZIN TIRES BUT CLOSE: Fast
Lane Cruizin, after chasing the pace for much of the race,
finished sixth in a race for preferred fillies and mares
Friday at Mohawk in Ontario. Cruizin, owned by Jerry
Blanchet of Surrey and trainer Phil Coleman, was 4 ¼ lengths
behind the winner Artaffection, who blazed to the win in
1:51.4. She is entered this Friday in the same class.
DID YOU KNOW?: That on Sept. 23,
1988, Matt's Scooter, driven by Mike Lachance, sets the
pacing world record by finishing a time trial in 1:48.2 at
The Red Mile in Lexington, Ky.
Last week’s pick, Dal Reo Riverdance, came in a strong
third, paying $38.55. This time let’s try Advanced Formula,
a 15-1 shot in Friday’s 11th race.