Youngsters battle in Breeders

The Sandown Breeders Stakes will be held this weekend at the Island emporium.

Big battles loom in the three-year-old races and the questions, the what-abouts, abound in the two-year-old events.

The race to watch comes Sunday in the three-year-old filly event. JJJ Stables and Al Anderson’s Betterfrombehind, with the 12 wins in 14 starts career record, has to bounce back from a poor performance in the Arbutus Stake. Owner Rick Mowles said they were not sure what happened in the Arbutus but reports that she has had recent 1:55.2 and 1:55.4 works in California.

She will have to be that good to fight off a challenge from Robert Murphy’s Red Star Ginny who blazed to a 1:54.3 win in the Dogwood Stake on Aug. 21. And, Jimmy Jams Jubilee, owned by Jim Findlay, has been in the money in 11 of 15 starts this year.

On the colt side, JJJ and Anderson have Active Pass and Wild Rumour with the main challenges expected from Red Star Billy and Mattswhereitsat.

The two-year-olds are really raw.

Red Star Islander has a win, a 1:59.2 effort, to pace the boys while Superfecta Kid has a second and third in two starts.

Heather Sifert’s filly Illchangeyourluck has raced once in OSS Stake company in Ontario. Red Star Biggirl, meanwhile, has looked sharp in a pair of wins in qualifiers. JJJ and AA will send out Whisper What Then.

The two-year-olds are always fun.

ABLE IN CANE: Casie Coleman’s American Ideal continues to roll – this time grabbing a $57,600 Cane Pace elimination last Saturday at Freehold Raceway.

American Ideal dominated his elimination for driver George Brennan and trainer Coleman as the son of Western Ideal went gate to wire for a 1:52.2 win over Royal Flush Shark.

It was the fourth-straight win and the eighth in 15 starts for the three-year-old whose owners are partners Mac Nichol of St Albert, Alberta and Brittany Farms of Versailles, Kentucky. They shelled out a supplemental payment to make the colt eligible.

A win in the final of the Cane Pace, which is set for Monday (Sept. 5), will permit the owners of American Ideal to also supplement to the prestigious Little Brown Jug, the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

The week before last, American Ideal overpowered eight other three-year-old pacers to capture the $459,000 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs.

American Ideal, driven by Mark MacDonald, won in a track record 1:50.3.

ALL OVER AND GOOD: Speaking of fine performances, Stampede Park in Calgary was the site of one of the best of the year in North America when All Over The Place captured the big Nat Christie Memorial last Sunday.

All Over The Place captured the richest ever $250,000 Christie with a record 1:50.1 mile, the fastest ever at the Alberta track.

All Over The Place made it look easy, as top U.S. driver Ron Pierce steered the colt to the victory by an amazing four lengths. This all came after winning an elimination earlier on the card and just a week after competing in an elimination heat and the final (finishing second) of the Confederation Cup in Ontario.

Falcons Future held the previous Stampede Park mark of 1:51, set in the 1994 Nat but All Over The Place actually set more than just one record with his sparkling effort. The Mark Ford-trained pacer now holds the Canadian and North American record this year for the fastest mile by a three-year-old colt/gelding on a five-eighths mile track.

Alberta-based Escapable Beaux delivered a sharp performance to finish second and Panoramic, used hard in his elim, was third.

Pierce - who traveled to Calgary from New Jersey just for the Nat Christie program – also won four other races on the card.

Ironically, in the $73,975 Prairie Gold Final for four-year-old horse and geldings the day before, Dudes Leaving Town crushed his rivals by 14-lengths in a track record clocking of 1:51.3.

BATTLE STILL HOT: Last week the story was about the battle to the wire for top driver honors at the Sandown Park meet.

With but two weeks to go, three drivers -- Jim Marino, Dave Hudon and Bill Davis --shared honors with 20 wins each. Scott Knight had snuck into contention with 16.

However, Davis missed last weekend as he competed at Stampede Park in Calgary and Hudon had the weekend off courtesy the judges. So they are still at 20.

Knight, meanwhile, continued his late charge, joining that pair at 20 with twin wins each day last weekend.

Marino, however, shook off a minor slump to take the lead. Blanked Saturday, he picked up a pair of victories Sunday to jump to 22.

And then just to make things nerve-racking a little longer, two more weeks have been added to the Sandown meet.

Tim Brown and Jim Wiggins had two wins each last weekend.

All of Knight’s wins last weekend came with horses he trains and that success pushed him into the lead for top trainer honors. He now has 18, one more than Hudon.

Wiggins and Gord Abbott were next on the weekend with two wins each.

YOUNG GUN TO BREED: Driver/trainer Terry Kaufman, one of the Young Guns of a handful of years ago, is leaving town – but not the business.

Terry and wife Terri Alcock are off to 100 Mile House on Oct. 1 to continue their interest in the breeding end of the game. They have purchased a 17.3-acre farm where Kaufman says they will “breed to sell.”

They will have a minimum of five or six broodmares. They now have three weanlings and buyers in the wings.

Kaufman also hopes to have a stallion on the farm and is eyeing Allamerican Cobalt. The son of Western Hanover out of Cool World raced in the Breeders Crown stake in 2004 and has a lifetime mark of 1:51.1.

HORSE TALES: Good things come to those who wait. Trainer Archie Caron and the Caron Stables showed patience is a virtue when their busy three-year-old colt Carons Record Time got his first lifetime win last Saturday at Sandown.

The son of Quanah Parker had gone 32 trips (split equally between two and three-year-old campaigns) without a win. Driven by Tim Jacobson, Record Time set his record time at 2:03.1.

Red Star Toodles picked up her third win in a row and tied her lifetime mark of 1:58 last Saturday. The three-year-old daughter of Storm Compensation, who is owned by Robert Murphy and trained and driven by Clint Warrington, has been in the money in 12 of 18 career starts.

The veteran (11) Woodmere Windrop, owned, trained and loved (don’t tell Bill we said that) by Marian and Bill Young, used a late, late rally (part of a 29.4 last quarter) in winning last Sunday. The son of Drop Off now has four wins and two seconds in seven starts this year at Sandown.