Yeah Norton, Goplayoutside win legs

Yeah Norton continues to impress as he makes his mark on the Stakes scene at Fraser Downs.

The three-year-old son by Scruffy Hanover out of Dal Reo Cando, who is handled by the Abbotsford combination of owner Wes Waardenburg, trainer Carol St Amand and driver Daniel St Amand, captured one elimination leg of the Pat Brennan Memorial last Saturday at the Downs.

In getting his fifth win in nine career starts, Yeah Norton paced to victory by 5 1/2 lengths in a new lifetime mark of 1:59.1 for the mile. Norton, a 1-5 favourite, was fourth at the half and moved into the lead on the outside at the three-quarter mark. He then avoided trouble that beset others and paced the last quarter in 29.4 seconds.

C Lec Machine, a 19-1 shot owned and trained by Ed Lechner, and driven by Scott Knight, finished a strong second but was taken down for interference and placed last in the six-horse field. Bo Magnolia, trained by Heather Burke and driven by Glenn White, a 35-1 shot was third placed second and Freddybgood, fourth, placed third.

Goplayoutside, the 7-2 second choice, raced gate-to-wire to take the other elimination leg. Trained and driven by Bill Davis for owner Robert Murphy, the four-year-old son of Make A Deal out of Armbro Primrose, won by half a length in 1:59.2.

Goplayoutside is a relative newcomer to the Downs, making five starts since Jan. 5 and winning three with a second and third.
Dealmeahos, trained by Rick Lancaster and driven by Dave Hudon, was second and 8-5 favourite Witching Hour was third.

The final for the Brennan Memorial will be Saturday. Brennan was a well-known member of the harness racing community in B.C. for many years.

QUICK RETURN: The mixed sale held each year by the B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society is considered by some to be much like a fire sale with a buyer-beware tag.

But there is always hope and a quick example came about last Friday, just 11 days after the sale.

At the Feb. 10 sale, Leslie Godlien and Rick Lancaster had the winning bid of $500 on a horse named Scruffysbeachgirl. She is an once-raced three-year-old daughter by Scruffy Hanover out of Hillsboro Beach who was consigned by Glenn White and Peter Jokinen.

Trainer Lancaster decided to get right to the quick and put her in a qualifier on Feb. 17. She did not set the racing world on its ear but she did qualify. Then last Friday she was entered in a $6,000 claimer for maidens.

By now you have probably guessed -- she won. At odds of 16-1 with Jim Marino in the bike, Scruffysbeachgirl won by 1 1/2 lengths in 2:07.3 on a slow track and picked up $1,200 of the purse money.

Rick was smiling, Leslie was a-jumping after Beachgirl's win. But the celebrating didn't stop there.

Lancaster has a "hot" barn and last weekend was a huge example. In addition to the aforementioned victory, Lancaster had five other horses in on the weekend. Three others -- Odds R Even, Stepbackandreload and Dal Reo Treasure -- also won while Dealmeahos was second and Satin Penny third.

"My feet still haven't touched the ground," Leslie said Sunday night.
A WEEKEND HANDFUL FOR MARINO: Jim Marino stole much of the show in the driver derby last weekend. Marino had three victories Friday and one each on Saturday and Sunday for one of his best performances of the meet. He now has 35 for the meet, good for seventh among the sulky steerers. Bill Davis, meanwhile, led as usual with six -- three each Saturday and Sunday -- and leads overall with 138. Rick White, Scott Knight and Rod Therres had three wins each.

Davis led the trainers with five triumphs, one more than Rick Lancaster, while Mike Glover had three.

Meanwhile, some of the Alberta trainer contingent headed home where racing resumed Friday in Edmonton. Joining the deep freeze are Mike Hennessy and  Brad Watt while Bobby Clark will return after this weekend. Ed Tracey makes all kind of sense when he says he will stay here for awhile until it warms up on the prairie.

AWARDS AND MUNCHIES: Don't forget the B.C. harness racing industry's annual awards banquet will be held Saturday.
The event, sponsored by the B.C. Standardbred Breeders Society and the B.C. Standardbred Association, is once again set for Newlands Golf Club in Langley. The banquet and the awards honour the best in B.C. standardbred racing in 2002.
WIN FOUR TO RETURN: Win Four wagering will be returning to Fraser Downs and other Canadian tracks within the next month according to Canada’s wagering regulators.

The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency halted all Pick Six, Win Four and Superfecta wagering following the Breeders Cup Pick Six scandal in the United States. The agency feared that Canadian pools might be susceptible to manipulation as in the U.S. case. The CPMA quickly returned Superfecta wagering to the country’s tracks, while Win Four wagering was allowed on a limited basis. Now Win Four and Pick Six, for those that have it, will be back soon.

The issue centres around the information transfer on multi-legged wagers. The computers utilized by the country’s major tote companies are unable to process the massive volumes of information generated by wagers involving multiple legs. The CPMA has said that before the wagers are returned, it must be assured that all tote information arrives at the host track prior to the conclusion of the wager’s first leg.