Careers

BETTERFROMBEHIND AT HER BEST 

Horses from the Murphy stable grabbed the bulk of the honors on Breeders Classic Day last Friday at Fraser Downs but it was J J J Stables and Alan and Mark Anderson’s Betterfrombehind who stole the show. 

Betterfrombehind performed brilliantly as she was much the best in the highly previewed and much-awaited three-year-old fillies clash on the day that showcases the cream of young B.C. breds. 

Betterfrombehind extended her Fraser Downs winning streak to 13 as she won by 3¼ lengths to capture the winner’s share of the $106,883 purse. Also bred by J J J and the Andersons, the daughter of Kents On Nuke went gate to wire in 1:56.3 on the sloppy track. 

As expected the big three of Better, Patriot Dream and Red Star Ginny battled for the lead early in the race. But Patriot Dream, marginally the second choice behind Betterfrombehind, could never quite threaten the winner and although finishing second was charged with interference and placed back to third. 

Red Star Ginny, part of the third-choice entry, was second for half of the race. However, she was parked outside all that way and eventually faded well out of contention. 

Jimmy Jams Jubilee finished third and was placed second. 

Betterfrombehind, who won the two-year-old filly final in 2004 and never was beaten in seven starts in that year, was so good she had driver Bill Davis impressed. 

“She was grabbing on pretty good today,” he said after the race. “I just let her roll . . . I didn’t want to choke her down.” 

But Rick Mowles of J J J Stables admitted that Bill said the filly, trained by Al Anderson, was at her best ever Saturday. 

She now has 15 lifetime wins with 2005 earnings of more than $167,000 and career earnings of $231,000 plus. 

As disappointing as that race was to the Murphy connections, the rest of the major events brought nothing but smiles. 

In the three-year colts and geldings’ race, Red Star Senator, the 3-5 favorite owned by Mary Murphy, was also just too good. 

Senator, bred in Ontario by Presidential Ball, made it three wins in a row and 11 lifetime with a 4¼-length margin in a time of 1:54.3. Despite the sloppy conditions the time is just 2/5 of a second off his age and sex track record. 

Senator, trained by Bob Merschback and driven by Jim Burke, was a 3-5 favorite and got in an early duel with Active Pass, part of a 6-5 second choice. Active Pass led to the quarter but Senator took over from there and rolled to the win. Active Pass was an easy second while We Winnie Winston was third, 15 lengths behind the winner. 

“It seemed as easy as could be,” Burke admitted and added that hopefully Senator would stay at the Downs. 

Senator now has 11 lifetime wins and his share of the $111,000-plus purse gave him more than $177,000 in career earnings. He has an 8-5-8 record in 26 starts this year.

In the sweep of the two-year-old divisions, horses owned and bred by Robert Murphy, did the expected and the unexpected. 

Red Star Biggirl did not fool anyone as she won her fifth race in as many career starts. The 3-5 favorite, trained and driven by Clint Warrington, had to work hard but still won by 1½ lengths in a time of 2:00.4. (She set the track record of 1:56.1 for two-year-old fillies just a month ago.) 

Sweetypea, the 5-2 second choice, roared to the lead from her rail position and led to the head of the stretch with a 1½-length margin. Biggirl was neatly entrenched in the two-hole although challenged on the outside by first Muddy Waters and then Furious Five. 

Biggirl used a 29.4 second last quarter to get the win and push her career earnings to more than $49,000 with her share of the $59,368 purse. 

Sweetypea held on for second and Muddy Waters was third. 

“I was a little worried early,” Warrington admitted. “She only goes as much as she has to,” and then added, “which is good.” 

In the boys’ baby race, the Murphy entry was only 11-1 but a strong showing in the previous week’s elimination proved a fore bearer for Red Star Gladiator. 

The son of Storm Compensation broke his maiden in the elim and last Friday in the $60,946 final used a late rush to win by a neck in 2:00.4. 

Gladiator, bred by Murphy, trained by Warrington and driven by Dave McKellar, was well back early, sixth at the quarter and half, 5½ lengths back. Red Star Islander and favored Badtimingthatsall went for the lead early and the latter got it just past the quarter and held it well into the homestretch. 

However, Gladiator cleared into the open just after the three-quarter mark and turned it on from there with Badtimingthatsall hanging on for second and Limbos Doublecross getting third. 

Gladiator now has two wins in four starts and pushed his earnings with his share of the $60,946 purse to more than $36,000. 

“They are nice horses to drive,” McKellar said as he talked of his good fortune to be aboard horses from the Murphy stable. “If you don’t do too much wrong, you get there.”

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