B.C. figures prominently
The annual statistics edition of the U.S. racing magazine
Times: in harness reaffirms the dominating driving and training
figures of Bill Davis -- figures we already knew about.
But it also illustrates how closely the success of Davis
was interwoven into two other dominant B.C. racing icons
-- the racing stable of Robert Murphy and the breeding facilities
of Dal Reo Farms.
The March-April edition of the U. S. mag has close to 75
pages of 2001 stats, the kind that figure afioninados devour.
The first page of stats kicks off with driver and trainer
listings. Prominent at the top of the page is Fraser Downs'
one-and-only Davis. The 40-year-old, who has dominated at
the Downs for several years, was the top driver and trainer
in North America in the universal ratings category. He led
all drivers with a .433 rating and all trainers at .508.
In the latter case the closest rival was Jess Sebolsky,
well back at .407. Davis chalked up 233 victories as a trainer,
an astounding sixth in North America considering the low
number of race days in B.C.
Davis, as Downs patrons know well, does the majority of
his driving and training for Murphy, who is the money and
power behind Red Star Stable. That combination, and the
fact that Murphy has one of, if not the, largest number
of horses racing in North America., led to White Rock's
Murphy topping all owners with 342 wins, 132 ahead of David
Schneider of Coral Springs, Fla.
Meanwhile, Les Cridland's Dal Reo Farms of Pitt Meadows
also had show impressive numbers. The breeding farm was
15th in North America in 2001 in wins by all performers
with 287. That's heady company with such farms as Hanover
Shoe Farms of Hanover, Pa., Joe Thomson of Paoli, Pa., Armstrong
Brothers of Inglewood, Ont. and others. Dal Reo was also
16th in wins by two-and-three-year-olds.
SAMANTHA SUPER: Samantha Square needs a nickname.
Fast Lane Cruizin, is known as B.C.'s Monster Mare after
strong performances in Ontario. Samantha isn't of the same
physical monster mode but she is quickly becoming just as
impressive in the East.
On Friday, April 26 Samantha left a real message -- beating
the highly-touted Bunny Lake at Mohawk, ending an 18-race
win streak for the U.S. Horse of the Year who surrendered
her lead at the top of the stretch and was defeated in the
fillies and mares open company.
Samantha Square, at 13-1, paced the last quarter in a blistering
26.4 for a 1:52 mile, a career best, to win by three quarters
of a length over Scoots N. Samantha picked up $24,000 in
purse money. Off at odds of 2-5, Bunny Lake was able to
hold onto a third place finish.
A winner of $1,427,474 lifetime, the daughter of Precious
Bunny qualified four times before going to Mohawk for her
seasonal debut, but the prep miles werent enough to
hold off the wicked late kick of Samantha Square. Bunny
Lake led the field through fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and
1:24.3, before giving up her advantage early in the stretch.
Last year as a three-year-old, Bunny Lake was unstoppable,
winning a number of stakes events, including the Breeders
FRIDAY NIGHT IN ONTARIO: Fraser Downs' Friday card -- at
least the last nine races -- will now be simulcast in Ontario.
The races will be shown at selected teletheatre betting
centres as well as Woodbine and Mohawk race tracks.
"It's a good mix for them," Dan Jukich, Fraser
Downs director of simulcasting explained. "They will
pick us after the sixth race when their racing is done.
We will join with Hollywood Park which they also show."
ATTENTION MAYOR McCALLUM: The town of Innisfil, Ont. reaped
its first benefit of slots at Georgian Downs, when the Ontario
Lottery Corporation presented Mayor Brian Jackson with a
cheque for $1,164,635 last week.
The cheque represents the towns share of slot revenues
from the first four months of operation at Georgian Downs.
Each municipality that hosts a racetrack slot operation
is entitled to five per cent of the gross slot machine revenue
for the first 450 machines, and two per cent for any additional
Georgian Downs has hosted 400 slot machines since Nov.
27, 2001 and averages daily attendance of 2,900 patrons.
A cheque was also cut for the city of Windsor last week
in the amount of $547,317. The payment represented the municipalitys
share of slot revenues for the first quarter of the year.
Windsor was the first Ontario racetrack to open a slot
facility. Their 750 machines have averaged 2,600 visitors
per day since their inception in late 1998. That number
has fallen recently, for a number of reasons including the
Sept. 11 tragedies and increased competition from three
casinos opened in bordering Detroit.
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