WHITE GETS DRIVING WIN NO. 2,000
Rick White happily
keeps chalking up milestones -- but he’s also a realist.
Last Saturday the
veteran driver at Fraser Downs won back-to-back races,
Nos. 1,999 and 2,000 of his fine career. When asked about
getting his 1,000, 1,500 and 2,000th at the Cloverdale
emporium he said, “I guess it means a little more as you
get older,” and then added with a chuckle, “but it also
means that you’re not going to get another 2,000.”
White, who will turn
50 years of age in June, got his first driving win in 1975
at the old Orangeville Raceway in Ontario. He got No.
1,000 20 years later at the Downs (then called Cloverdale
The two wins
Saturday were with horses he also trains. No. 1,999 was a
classic as 14-1 shot Twentyten roared home late from an
eight-hole start in the fourth race for her maiden win.
One race later he piloted Beggars Opera to victory and the
special win was recognized in the winner’s enclosure.
And Rick admitted
that was an exiting feeling.
“It was good,” White
said of the win and the moment. “I had my family out to
watch, actually I made them come,” he said with another
chuckle. “My daughter (Tess) asked me how long it would
The family is really
most proud of the man whose driving wins have amounted to
earnings of close to $7 million and who also has 933
triumphs as a trainer.
White also said he
is actually trying to ease back on his driving. “I want to
quit catch driving (for other trainers) but people keep
putting me down (to drive). I would like to concentrate on
driving my own horses.”
White’s two wins
tied him for second among drivers in last weekend’s
abbreviated two days of racing. On Friday, a power failure
with a bank of seven light standards on the clubhouse turn
of the track forced the judges to cancel the races after
five were completed.
Jim Burke led all
drivers over the two days with four victories while Serge
Masse, Andy Arsenault, Scott Knight and Gord Abbott joined
White at two.
Three other trainers
were deadlocked with White at two wins. They were Knight,
Heather Burke and Greg Beneen.
SENATOR AT FOUR
STRAIGHT: It may have looked like a replay as Red Star
Senator continued to show his class.
son of Presidential Ball made it four successive victories
in the premier event (claiming $35,000, non-winners of
$7,500 last six with open pacers) of the weekend at Fraser
On an ideal night
and only a good track, off two seconds (there is the only
thing that may have shown it was not a replay as it was a
fast track the previous week), Senator was again all
business. He roared from the six-hole to go gate to wire
to win by a whopping 7¾ lengths. He covered the mile in
1:53.4, equaling his lifetime best for the second week in
He now has a 6-2-3
record in 13 starts in 2006, season earnings of $51,400
(the most of any competitor), 17 lifetime wins and more
than $234,000 in career earnings.
Senator, the 3-5
favorite with Jim Burke in the sulky, had the lead in the
blink of an eye and led by 1½ lengths (the same as the
previous week) at the first-quarter pole. He then had a
fine 28.4-second last quarter despite the tougher track.
For the second week
in a row, Haras Cola Cola, who started outside, did not
get great respect before the race with odds of 14-1, but
used a late move to grab second place while C Lec Machine,
at 38-1, was third.
Red Star Senator is
owned by Mary Murphy and trained by Bob Merschback.
LIGHTS OUT PUT
STREAKS ON HOLD: With the abbreviated card of last
Friday when a track lighting problem forced the
cancellation of the last seven races, the chances of
several horses extending winning streaks was put on hold.
Cher The Wealth, a
six-year-old daughter of Wheelin Chance, was an 8-5
overnight favorite after winning her fourth in a row, her
seventh win in her last eight starts and making her 2006
record 13-7-1-1 in her previous start.
five-year-old son of Broadway Blue, was favored to win his
second straight and run his record in his last eight to
Better Best was a
2-1 choice to push her sparkling 2006 chart to 14-6-4-2
and Furness Abbey was the overnight favorite to make it
Scooting Spree, a
three-year-old son of Keystone Landmark, did get to race
and won his second consecutive start for owner/driver Jim
Burke and trainer Heather Burke, this time in a career
best clocking of 1:58.4.
six-year-old son of True Tyrant, moved up in class but he
didn’t slow down as he won his third straight last
Saturday and pushed his 2006 record to eight victories in
14 starts for trainer/driver Scott Knight.
Davy N Goliath, a
four-year-old son of Goliath Bayama, who won his first of
2006 after 14 starts the previous week, made it two
consecutive victories for trainer Wendell Smith and driver
MORE TO THE
STORY: A story ran earlier this week about Rair Earth
– but left out a note of interest.
Rair Earth came up
with another startling performance at Woodbine last
Saturday when he roared over the oval in a time of 1:48.4
-- his second sub-1:49 win of the season.
son of Keystone Raider-Save The Day equaled Woodbine's
track record of 1:48.2 earlier this year.
Phil Hudon was
behind the Todd Gray-trainee, who is 4-4-1 in 13 starts
this season for and who is now a 48-time winner with over
$1.5 million in earnings. He joins Admirals Express as the
only two pacers in Canadian history to post a pair of
Rair Earth's 1:48.4
clocking is the second fastest mile ever turned in during
the month of April. The fastest clocking belongs to
Pacific Fella, who posted a 1:48.2 victory in a leg of the
Graduate Series at Colonial Downs on April 24, 1998.
The following was
Rair Earth won by
just a neck over the hard-closing (26 second final
quarter) Lil Dude Starrbuck. The five-year-old son of
Threefold is still owned by Lil Dude Ranch (the Renkers)
GROWS: According to reports in the April 26 editions
of the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald, approval to build a
new state-of-the-art racetrack and gaming facility has
been granted by local politicians.
The facility which
is to be located in Balzac, just north of the Calgary
airport, was given unanimous approval by council according
to Ray Clark, the chief administrative officer for the
Municipal District of Rocky View. The project is expected
to be completed sometime in 2008.
The project, which
includes individual tracks for both standardbred and
thoroughbred racing, has grown substantially in scope over
the past few months and will also include a major shopping
mall, other retail outlets, commercial space and a
satellite college campus.
Reports suggest the
massive shopping complex, owned by Ivanhoe Cambridge, will
join the racetrack as an anchor attraction to a 660-acre
The new plans for
the parcel of land also call for a $100-million four-star
convention hotel, plus two other flag hotels on the
property, a big-box shopping zone, a $75-million business
campus and $200 million worth of commercial distribution
development (warehouses, etc.).
The total price tag
for the dual-breed operation is now estimated at $1