Brown and Dale Reo to battle from outside

Fraser Downs driver/trainer Tim Brown was more than an interested spectator at Monday night’s post position draw for Saturday’s Breeders Stakes Classic races.

But before the draw even started Brown explained his feelings – and that of most on hand awaiting their horse’s fate.

“A good horse never draws a bad post,” he said. “Good drivers overcome.”

He did add with a chuckle, “Come and see me after, I may change my mind.”

I did, he didn’t and he could have as Dale Reo, a horse he drives, and the likely favorite going in, drew the outside eight post.

Dale Reo, a son of Scruffy Hanover who had tied the track record, 1:55, for three-year-old colts in winning a first elimination leg, made it two in a row last Saturday. He won his fourth straight and eighth in 15 starts in 2003, this time in 1:55.4 by a length over Red Star Blaze.

Dale Reo’s biggest challenge is expected to come from Red Star Emerson who was a close second to Dale in the first leg and won a leg of his own last Saturday. Emerson drew the four hole, one that many feel is prime.

Another Red Star – Blaze – was second in both his legs and drew the trailing nine where he will have to follow Yeah Norton. Norton won an opening leg, was a victim of the virus plaguing the Downs and was scratched last Saturday but got the rail.

Time Step, Showtime Eddy and Blackbelt Champ will start from the five, six and seven holes respectively and rounding out the field are This Show Is Over (2) and Dal Reo Dart (3).

That race is for a purse of more than $100,000 and is one of 10 set for the Downs’ biggest day when primarily B.C. bred horses battle for close to $370,000 in total.

Interestingly on the three-year-old filly side, Red Star Rockaway, the early favorite, drew the rail and solidified that selection.

Rockaway won the second elimination by ¾ of a length in 1:57 and now has 10 wins in 15 starts this year.

Dal Reo Millee and Called To The Bar will have to be reckoned with as they drew well, two and five respectively. An entry with Rockaway, Red Star Sapphire drew nine and Red Star Niecy three, Millenium Money four, Taylor Factor six, Yumyum Candy, seven, and Lo N Jo the outside eight.

The purse is also more than $100,000.

Red Star Special should be the favorite for the Breeders Stakes final for two-year-old colts and geldings. He set records for his age in both eliminations, 1:57.4 and 1:57.3, and Monday at the draw got the very fine four hole.

However, they should – and will -- run the race anyway because challengers lurk everywhere.

Seven Seas Cruiser lost last week by just a neck to Special after winning a first leg in 1:58. He will be next door at five. Lil Dude Starrbuck, who won impressively last Friday in 1:59.2, is in the two-hole and Imabarontwo, who had won a first leg, is at seven.

Others are Law Of The Yukon (3), Rambo Pass (6), Red Star Golfer (1) and Rede Star Riverboat (8).

Meanwhile, on the filly front, Da Lil Dudett, who has won three Stakes or Stakes eliminations in a row, won gate-to-wire last week. She grabbed the four hole in the draw. Ivys Wine, finished a close second, after her maiden victory in her first elimination a week earlier, but will be forced to start from the back row.

Others in the field are Celtic Rayne (1), Miss St Labush (2), entry-mates Chrissy Can Do (5) and Diamond Dancer (6) and another entry Red Star Cowgirl (3), Red Star Bedazzled (7) and Red Star Suesue (8).

They will all battle for more than $45,000 in the finals.

The Invite, an open event for the top horses on the grounds, and the fillies and mares open will race for purses of $19,000 and  $15,000 respectively.