TOP ACHIEVEMENT FOR
Casie Coleman, who began her career at
Fraser Downs, surpassed $1 million in seasonal earnings at
Flamboro Downs this month and in the process became the
youngest female trainer in Canada ever to hit $1 million in
Coleman, 24, now boasts $1,005,153 in
earnings this year, and is just four wins shy of 100
The Dundas, Ont., resident attributes
her early success to her parents, and her owners and
Casie told Trot Insider, "My parents,
Linda and Phil, have helped me out a lot. They taught me
Coleman also expressed gratitude to
Merlin Howse and Steve Calhoun.
"Merlin gave me a shot two years ago
with a small stable, and Steve gave me the high caliber
horses and gave me a shot downtown," she said. "All the
owners I have are great."
Coleman says being a successful female
in a predominantly male industry has been challenging at
times. "It's harder, that's for sure," she said. "A lot of
guys try to intimidate you a bit and stuff. I just don't
look at myself as being different. And, it's hard to get a
chance with the owners being female, and I got really lucky,
I was in the right place at the right time.
As for the future, Coleman plans to
keep racing, and hopes to hit $2 million next year racing on
the Woodbine Entertainment circuit.
"I'd love to win the Free for All one
day downtown, and try to win some stake races with my
Coleman boasts 190 wins and more than
$1.5 million in earnings lifetime.
A DREAMY RETURN: The track
record holder has taken back his crown.
Infinite Dreams, unable to win his last
three starts in the winners-over (Invite) event at the Downs
came back with vengeance last Friday. He did it by beating
two of the hottest horses on the grounds.
Haras Colta Cola, who had won the
previous three Invites, and three-year-old Stakes king Seven
Seas Cruiser who had won his last six, were part of the
Cola went to the front early from the
outside post early with Cruiser, making his first start
against the big boys, third and Dreams fourth. Cola still
led at the head of the stretch but Infinite Dreams, who was
first up, was now second - a half length back - and Cruiser
Dreams and Cruiser passed Cola and
staged a great stretch battle with Dreams, winning by a neck
in 1:56.4 on a track that was pounded all day by rain.
Dreams, owned by Bill Boden and trained
and driven by Dave Hudon, now has 11 wins and eight seconds
in 24 starts in 2004. The son of Artsplace has won more than
$90,000 this year.
NO CALAMITY FOR JANE: Carson
Jane was back on the beam last Saturday in the fillies and
mares open at the Downs.
After a tough outing in the Nov. 26
Surrey Cup, the four-year-old daughter of Cambest paced to
victory in 1:55.3. The 3-5 betting favorite won by a length
over Da Lil Dudett, a three-year-old, who had won the open
the previous week.
Carson Jane, owned by Bill Boden and
trained and driven by Dave Hudon, now has won twice since
arriving from the Meadowlands. She has four wins in 25
starts and earnings of nearly $46,000 for 2004.
Jane went gate-to-wire with Dudett in
pursuit most of the way. Heart And Style, a five-year-old
and a 17-1 choice, was a fast-closing third.
SPILL SPECTACULAR BUT ALL OK: A
spill marred the 12th and final race on last Friday’s card
at Fraser Downs.
Three drivers and their horses were
involved in a chain reaction accident started when a horse
near the front made a break.
Sim City Central, driven by Darren
Howald, went down first when they could not avoid the
breaking horse just before the quarter pole. Gord Abbott,
aboard Pinch Of Nutmeg, then clipped Howald and Sim City
Central and was thrown out of the bike. Jim Wiggins and Lo N
Jo then hit the pile.
All the horses were able to get up and
leave the track on their own - although Lo N Jo gashed a
knee -- as did Howald.
Howald was up quickly and Wiggins was
also up, and after checked by the medical crew, was deemed
Abbott, got up after hitting the track
hard. He went to the outside fence and, surprisingly,
climbed over, saying later that he knew there was a loose
horse (his). He felt faint and thought he should get off the
After being taken by ambulance to
hospital, he was examined and it was determined nothing was
broken and he was just badly bruised. He booked off drives
for the remainder of the weekend but promised to be back
THE RACE FOR FOOD: The horsemen
in the Fraser Downs backstretch are in another race, this
time a competition to collect the most food for the Langley
It will be a battle of the barns with
collection boxes for each barn located in the Horsemen's
Cafeteria. (To make it fair, barns A and F will be
combined.) Not to be left out, those who ship-in for Downs
races will also have a "barn box." Backstretch people not
connected to any one barn can also contribute either to
their favourite barn, or chip in for each barn.
The competition will end on Dec.31. The
barn contributing the most items will win a pizza party but,
of course, the big winners in this race will be the people
using the Langley Food Bank.
SEVEN FOR DAVIS: Bill Davis
probably would be disappointed with his production last
Sunday (one win in 11 starts) but he still led the way on
the weekend with seven victories as a driver.
Davis used three-baggers on Friday and
Saturday to set the pace with seven. Jim Marino and Brad
Watt each had a handful and Jim Bhurke and Tim Brown were
next with four apiece.
Davis also shared honors as leading
trainer as he and Al Anderson each had four wins. Anderson's
all came in the Sales Stake.
Bob Merschback picked up three triumphs
while Gary Durbano, Wayne Isbister, Marino, Bill Young ,
Dave Hudon and Mike Glover had two apiece.
IT GOES TO SHOW: The good old $2
show bet. It should not be joked about now after a big
return last Sunday when 41-1 shot Howaboutrightnow was third
in the 12th race and paid $39.20. According to unofficial
records the previous largest $2 show return was $23.50.
PIERCE HONORED: Ron Pierce has
been been voted the 2004 Driver of the Year in balloting
conducted among the directors of the U.S. Harness Writers
Pierce, 48, who leads all drivers in
2004 with $12.1 million in purse earnings, captured four
Breeders Crowns, the World Trotting Derby, the Little Brown
Jug, the Cane Pace and the Adios. His greatest victory,
however, came not on the racetrack, but in the voting booth.
He was also elected by the harness writers into the Harness
Racing Hall of Fame and will be inducted in July 2005.
It was a career year by any estimation,
but 2004 actually marked the eighth straight season that
Pierce's horses won more than $5 million -- including
victories in at least one $500,000-plus race in five of the
past seven years.
Pierce currently stands 20th in North
America with 381 wins. His .302 driver's rating is the
second highest of his career in years with 1,000 or more
Pierce, along with David Miller and
Jeff Gregory, fellow drivers from the Meadowlands and other
top tracks in the eastern United States, will be at the
Downs on Jan. 16 in a day to meet patrons and to show their
talents in races.
They plan to donate any money raised
that day to Greener Pastures, the horse adoption society
associated with the track and the B.C. Standardbred