TOUGH FIELD IN
After an extra week, the best
four-year-olds on the male side will get another chance
tonight - weather and track conditions permitting - to
decide who's best at Fraser Downs.
Unsafe track conditions forced the
$35,400 Langley Pace to be delayed from last Friday to
tonight as all three cards last weekend were wiped out.
The delay has not made it any easier to
decide who should win in the field of nine that is tough
from top to bottom.
In one of the eliminations, Armbro Bach
finished fifth and had to wait to see if he would get in. He
did, and drew the two-hole. He's 9-2 in the overnight odds,
illustrating the never-know quality of harness racing. He
may have been fifth, but he covered the mile in 1:56.3, the
same time as Armbro Bolton, the winner of the other elim.
Meanwhile, The Bruster, who likes
stakes races, has been made 3-1 favorite.
The four-year-son of His Mattjesty
stole the show when he surprisingly captured the rich Nat
Christie Memorial in Calgary last August. His success factor
in Alberta after the big win was not startling but since his
arrival at the Downs he has shown signs (two wins in three
starts) that he is aiming at a Stakes triumph.
He won his elimination leg, using a
powerful closing move to win in a photo, by a head over Red
In a strong field of nine, The Bruster
covered the mile in 1:55.4 for trainer Joe McCormac and
driver Jim Marino. Golfer, a 44-1 shot piloted by Rod
Therres, used a strong backstretch move to assume the lead
but could not hold off The Bruster. Bliss My Gas, a 10-1
choice, was third and Heavy Rain Warning fourth.
Bolton's victory was a mild upset in
the other elimination. The son of Matts Scooter has been
racing in California but was sharp for trainer Alan Anderson
and driver Bill Davis. He used a 29.1 last quarter to pull
away and win by three lengths in 1:56.3.
Armbro Blacktie, a winner of four in a
row and the 4-5 favorite, was second, Red Star Sammy third
and Rich Camelot fourth.
The top four in each leg qualified for
tonight's final, which goes for a purse of $35,400.
This means a Red Star entry for owner
Robert Murphy (Golfer and Sammy) and an entry (Bolton and
Heavy Rain Warning) for J J J Stable and Al Anderson. The
Anderson entry is a 7-2 second choice in the overnights and
the Red Stars, who drew the eight and nine holes, are 4-1.
Meanwhile, tonight's final of the
$16,900 Iron Horse Claiming Series, had to wait from last
Red Star Leam and Flyin Ambro won the
second legs, with purses of $4,000, for horses to be claimed
This year the series has a flashy new
name and an intriguing twist to the format -- legs (and the
final) to be raced over varying distances. The first legs
were 11/16 of a mile, the second legs over the traditional
mile and the final will be a long and rugged mile and 5/16.
Leam and Red Star Buck were claimed out
of the first race on Jan. 15 while five claims were made in
the second race: Blackbelt Champ, Sporty Mr Grace, Flyin
Ambro, BJs Touch Down and Fox Valley Riddler.
Touch Down and Mr Grace are now entry
mates and have been made 3-1 favorites. Ambro and Time Step
form another entry - at 7-2 - and Leam, who drew the
two-hole is at 4-1.
MARES JOIN MIXED SALE: Bill
Pambrun had one of his trips to the mall - a horse sale -
and he was successful in spending some money again.
The B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society
president returned from his trip to the Meadowlands Mixed
Sale on Jan. 17 with five in-foal broodmares to be offered
for sale at the CSBS Mixed Sale on Tuesday (Feb. 1).
The broodmares purchased are: Bypass
Hanover by No Nukes, in foal to Magical Mike; Calliope by
Sonsam, in foal to Mach Three; Gorgeous Hussy by Albatross,
in foal to Life Sign; Miss Happy Valley by Keystone Ore, in
foal to Rustler Hanover; Sizzle And Switch by Precious
Bunny, in foal to Matts Scooter.
Catalogues are available on-line and in
print. At this was written 16 horses - in addition to the
mares - have been consigned. They include such familiar race
names as Digger Odell, Major Lees Crude and Go Go Lynette.
The sale will get under way at 7 p.m.
in the Cloverdale Fairgrounds Show Barn. The entry fee was
$100 and a five per cent commission will be charged on all
sales and buy backs.
The deadline for catalogued entries is
past but supplemental entries will be accepted until today
(Friday, Jan. 28).
Entry forms are available at the
Breeders office and a downloadable PDF is available on the
harnessbc web site.
HENSLEY CAPTURES NO. 3,000: Ed
Hensley drove his 3,000th lifetime winner on Thursday night
when he piloted Millwood Dell N to victory in the eighth
Hensley has been driving for 20 years,
and started when he was 18-years-old. He is the leading
driver at Cal-Expo, with 81 wins in 431 starts and a
universal driver rating of .333. In the past he has won
driving titles at Cal-Expo and at Fraser Downs.
Capitol Racing general manager Alan
Horowitz and director of racing Fred Kuebler presented
Hensley with a large sign, offering congratulations on his
accomplishment. Also in the winner's circle to offer
congratulations were his wife, Jessica, friends and
ROBERTSON A DREAM WINNER: Doug
Robertson of Delta captured the third week's honors and $250
in the California Dreamin Handicapping Contest.
Robertson had a total of $425 in the
three races - entrants handicap races three through eight at
Santa Anita Racecourse.
The next three Dreamers had a tight
battle for second with Molly Ziola leading the way at $368.
Josef Eppel had $364 and Walter Valleau $362. Justin Lee was
fifth with $346 while Thomas Blinkhorn, John Kusch and Ida
Smith shared sixth at $344.
Dreamers are after the top prize of a
trip for two to the Santa Anita Derby.
Each Saturday for eight weeks
contestants can win $250 and the day's winner qualifies for
the final, set for March 5. Lance Beveridge and Don Pegura
won the first and second weekly titles.
POOLERS RAINED OUT: Race
cancellations forced the KENO Harness Pool into a no go in
Lloyd Johnson had charged into the lead
after week two, picking up 14 points for the second straight
week and has 28 for a two-point margin atop the standings.
First-week lead Rick Jensen was able to
gather eight points in week two to stay in the hunt - tied
for second with 26 points. Morris Karpuk got 10 second-week
points to join Jensen. Hiro Yodogawa was the big mover and
shaker, amassing 18 points to jump into a tie for fourth at
25 points. Eugene Ohara and Rob McElhinney also have 25.
Tied at 24 are Ben Olafson, who had 15 in week two, Hans
Cyzpull, Joe Howald, Derek Johannson, Stephen Stelnicki,
Karen Parker and Dave Kennedy.
More than 350 entrants are after the
$10,000 available in prize money. The Pool runs until Feb.
The Pool works like a sports pool where
contestants pick a team of six horses, one from each box of
six horses. Points are awarded for top three finishes and
the top 40 players will receive prizes -- $3,000 for
One more trade will be allowed on Feb.
GREGORY HOME: Driver Jeff
Gregory is home recovering from a broken left femur, the
result of a multi-horse accident on Friday, January 14 at
Freehold. Gregory, 38, underwent six hours of surgery at
Centra State Medical Center in Freehold to repair his femur,
the thighbone that connects the leg to the hip.
"It was tough early on, but I can feel
it getting better each day," said Gregory, who primarily
races on the New York circuit and at Freehold. "It could
always be worse, that's for sure. The horsemen community has
been simply great. I got a fruit basket from Fraser Downs. I
was supposed to go there for a driving championship, but it
got canceled due to the weather. I never even met them, and
I couldn't believe it. Wally Hennessey called and invited me
down for a month in Florida, thinking that the better
weather would help me get better quicker. Dave Miller came
to sit with me for 90 minutes last Sunday in the hospital. I
came home on Monday, and I had 38 messages on my phone."
The East Windsor, New Jersey resident
is coming off of his best year in 2004, winning 580 races
and earning $4.5 million. Lifetime, he has 4,431 wins and
nearly $32 million.