Yeah Norton has quickly -- in more ways than one -- moved
into the Stakes scene.
The son of Scruffy Hanover out of Dal Reo Cando rolled to
victory last Saturday at Fraser Downs in one of the two
elimination legs of the Stallion Stakes for three-year-old
Starting for only the fifth time in his career, Yeah
Norton, the 1-2 favourite, covered the mile in a new
lifetime mark of 2:01.3, winning, gate to wire, by 7 3/4
Yeah Norton is owned by Wes Waardenburg of Abbotsford,
trained by Carol St Amand and was driven by Daniel St
Amand. Making his first start as recently as Dec. 8, the
colt has now two wins, two seconds and a third in five
starts. He drew the rail for Saturday's win but his draws
previously had been 8, 8, 6, 9.
Finishing second in the field of five was Pleasure Cruise
with Red Star Tyler third.
The winner of the other elimination, also in a field of
five and also in a new lifetime of 2:01.3 was Kootenay
Also a son of Scruffy Hanover, out of Natural Success,
Kootenay Ice is a virtual veteran compared to Yeah Norton,
with this his second victory in 10 starts. One of those
triumphs was in the B.C. Sales Stakes on Dec. 13.
Kootenay Ice is owned by Robert Chadwick of Surrey with
trainer Dave McKellar also doing the driving.
Kootenay Ice, the 3-2 second choice, got in an early
battle for the lead with 3-2 favourite Mad Thunder who
then made a break just before the quarter. Mad Thunder was
quickly back pacing but would never catch the winner. Red
Star Dexter finished third.
The final is set for Sunday, Jan. 19.
(Rich Cam, the powerful three-year-old owned by Sunbury
Stables who won the big Breeders Stakes as a two-year-old,
is not eligible for the Stallion Stakes with his sire,
Camluck, standing in Ontario.)
Meanwhile, the fillies and mares only had nine declare for
their division of the Stallion Stakes so they all advance
to the final on Jan. 18. Set to battle are Lil Dudes
Dewette, winner of the Sales Stake in December, Aint Funny
Magee, Called To The Bar, Millenium Money, Nurse Nellie,
Red Star Finalee, Red Star Sandy, Raging Granny and
Another Stakes race is looming on the horizon with The
Langley, for four-year-old horses and geldings for a
$30,000-plus purse, on Friday, Jan. 24.
Seventeen have indicated they will battle so elimination
legs on Friday, Jan. 17 will be necessary.
In addition to big, the field is good. Such previous
Stakes winners as Haras Colta Cola, Brother Brass,
Millbanks P I and Red Star Camelot are just some who will
have to be considered by the handicappers.
Their past glories, however, are not stopping other
trainers from entering the rest: The Phantom Menace,
Spider M, Freddybgood, El Rosal, Southside Royal, Carons
Grand Prix, Just Invincible, Mattevil Moss, Raggidy Andy,
Tahuya Squire and three more Red Stars, Bigosh, Apache and
ANDY'S BACK WITH WIN: Driver Andy Arsensault made a
quicker return to action than expected when he drove in
two races Sunday. Arsenault suffered injuries including a
broken leg in a spill at Sandown in August.
Sunday he showed he's more than capable when he piloted
Red Star Buck to victory in the sixth race. Red Star Buck,
a five-year-old gelding is trained by Andy and owned by
Brenda Arsenault and Ellen Deglan.
The first week of 2003 looked much like 2002 in the
driver/trainer derbies. With four days of racing last
week, Bill Davis again led the way with eight driving
victories, four more than Dave Hudon. Davis had seven
trips to the winner's enclosure as a trainer, five ahead
of a handful of others.
BELLS CHIME MERRILY: Last Saturday rung happily for
the Bells of Burnaby. Sid and wife Irene, Fraser Downs
regulars, had quite a day as they took part in a couple of
Downs contests. Sid won the draw for the trip to Reno for
two courtesy of Sovereign Tours and Irene was the top
handicapper for the day in the California Dreamin'
Contest. Irene was the best handicapper of three races
from Santa Anita and won $250. Also, she becomes one of
nine contestants for the final on March 1 when the winner
will receive air fare, a two-night hotel stay, reserved
seating and $500 mad money for the Santa Anita Derby on
NICE TRI, SUPER SUPER: There were a couple of fine
pool wagering payoffs last weekend. On Saturday, the
combination of Quasimoto (6-1), X L B Janelle (60) and
Pacen Packer (9-5) resulted in a triactor of $2,083.40 in
the third race. On Sunday, it was a $9,900.50 superfecta
payout on a $1 wager when Lunar Discovery (14-1), Speedy
Return (65), Red Star Gotcha (1) and Dal Reo Clipper (5-2)
crossed the line in that order in the fifth race.
CRUIZIN THIRD AT WOODBINE: Fast Lane Cruizin was
third at Woodbine last Friday in a non winners of $34,000
last six starts for fillies and mares for a purse of
$36,000. Sent off as a slight favourite the B.C.-bred
six-year-old mare led from her one-post position to the
head of the stretch but was caught by winner Shes A Looker
and Northern Rose.
Time for the mile in the cold (-1) and snow was 1:55.2.