Trucker, Dudett win stakes at Sandown

Meekos Trucker has a name which suggests power and stamina but he is also showing he has a turn of speed as well. 

The three-year-old son of Storm Compensation out of Songmaraud registered a mild upset last Saturday to capture the $20,700 Oaktree final at Sandown Park. 

Sent off at 5-1 (fourth choice in the field of eight), Meekos Trucker popped out of the three-hole just after the half and quickly drove to the front. With trainer David Hudon in the bike, Meekos Trucker cleared to the lead on the final turn and powered home to a 1¼-length win over Da Lil Dude in a lifetime best time of 1:56.2. Sail The Sevenseas, part of the 6-5 favored entry, finished third. 

Owned by Shale Stables of Langley, the win was Meekos Trucker’s fourth in seven starts this year. The colt, who finished second in his Oaktree elimination last week, has made $17,391 in 2004. However, to say his two-year-old season was uneventful would probably be putting it mildly. 

Hudon admitted the colt surprised him a little. “No, I really didn’t think he would be this good,” referring to his Oaktree performance. 

“I had only driven him once before the Oaktree elimination and I thought that (such a strong showing) might come later on.

“He raced huge and he looks like he could develop into a real good horse.” 

Hudon will give him a week off and then prepare him for the Dogwood eliminations on Aug.1. 

It was not the first stakes win for Shale (Al and Shelley Eng) as they had wins with Pulledsuspensory and Quarter Crack. But Shelley explained with a big grin that, “It gets better every time.” 

It took an inquiry to decide the ultimate winner in the $20,400 Arbutus for three-year-old fillies the following day at Sandown.

Rustle For It, owned, trained and driven by Richard Craig, crossed the finish line a half-length ahead of 3-5 favorite Dal Lil Dudett but fell victim to an inquiry. 

The judges’ ruling was that Rustle For It caused interference in the first turn and she was placed back to fourth. 

That left Dudett the winner as she continued to pile up the earnings. The victory gave the three-year-old daughter of Apaches Game out of South Ferry more than $85,000 in earnings in 2004 and almost $124,000 in her career. Dudett is owned by the Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey and is trained and driven by Larry Micallef.

Miss St Labush, Dudett and Red Star Suesue battled for the early lead with the former holding a half-length lead at the quarter. Meanwhile, Rustle For It had settled into fourth after the interference with Red Star Cowgirl. 

Dudett had the lead by the half and was now in a battle with Sharons Pass. They stayed that way until Rustle made a big move at the head of the stretch and came onto to catch a game Dudett just before the wire. With the taking down of Rustle For It, Sharons Pass was placed second and Cowgirl third. 

The win was the fourth in 11 starts in 2004 for Dudett who was named the top filly in B.C. in 2003. 

GAGNE SHOWS STUFF: J.F. Gagne made the best of his busman’s holiday last weekend as he led all drivers with three wins at Sandown. Gagne is a regular at Northlands and Stampede in Alberta but while on a break drove for the two days at Sandown. 

Seven steerers tied for second with two victories apiece: Larry Micallef, Dave Hudon, Chris Adamson, Scott Knight, Jim Marino, Rick White and Rod Therres. 

Hudon, Knight, White and Adamson each had two wins to lead the trainer category.

Speaking of Stampede Park, their harness meet gets under way next Friday. Micallef will join Bill Davis as B.C. trainer/drivers at the Calgary meet. 

BODEN BUYING: Owner Bill Boden of Vancouver, who races horses in B.C., Alberta and Ontario, purchased four at the recent Tattersalls July Mixed Sale in the U.S. 

Boden parted with $76.000 US as he got Carson Jane, a Cambest mare for $37,000, Paradise of Grins, a Grimfromeartoear mare for $21,000, Four Starzzz Scape, an Artiscape mare for $9,000 and I’m An Old Cowpan, a Rustler Hanover gelding for $9,000. Look for the possibility of at least one showing up in the Hudon barn in B.C.