The highest paying race of the weekend went off Saturday, the $11,425 Horsemen’s Open Derby Division One, taken by Ricardo Moreno aboard Toughie.
This William Leech-trained filly, owned by Charles Stojan, was coming off four wins in five starts and is by Stel Corona out of Hard Lining by Hawkish and was bred in California.
This big race, with $6,005 going to the winner, saw the eight-horse field cut to five when the stewards scratched ER Café, Kiddys Down and Better Knickers.
In the Division Two run, just ahead of the fifth race and the Division One affair, Freddy Fuentes drove Laurie Ferguson’s Quad Seis to the wire ahead of the field to grab the winner’s share of the $8,925 purse ($4,730). Quad Seis is owned by Ralph Danard and Carrie Suitor and is by Tres Seis out of Corona On A jet by Corona For Me, bred in Oklahoma.
These key races of the weekend were run on a muddy track in light rain.
Laurie won her fourth race Monday with Gold Kiss owned Rollingson Racing Stable as Freddy Fuentes covered the five furlongs ahead of the pack.
Sunday William Leech opened the card with his third win of the meet, with Goodest, owned by Charles Stojan. Ricardo Moreno came out of the fifth hole to win the 300 yard sprint.
“William is one of our long-time supporters and he’s off to another great start this Spring,” said RMTC CEO Max Gibb. “Right up there with William is another long-time supporter Laurie Ferguson. With these two entered in a race it’s hard for anyone else to get top money. I can’t say how pleased I am to see 86-year-old Stan Marks up there with the leading trainers, with three wins to date. What an amazing man he is.
“I notice Larris Allen is back, one of the top riders the past few years, but he’s got a long way to go to catch a pair of our new riders. Freddy Fuentes, with eight wins to date, along with Jose O. Rocha with the same number, are right there among the leaders with the same numbers after five days of racing.
“It looks like we’re in for a great Spring race meet.”
Monday Mystical Power, owned and trained by Jaqueline Smith won her fourth race in nine starts, this time out with Jose O. Rocha aboard. Mystical Power is by Old Topper out of Mystical Sky by Skywalker, bred in California. In winning Smith defeated her beau Lyle Magnuson in second with Miss Moochie.
Sunday, Blandford Stewart recorded two of his weekend wins and gave popular Nellie Pigeau her first win of the Spring, with Doctor Snark, owned by Harold Wardill. The Doctor covered the five furlong sheds of the six horse field.
Doctor Snark is bred in Alberta by Don and Verla Bonnett and is by Zillas Spin Doctor out of Chonamoon by Cabachon.
Monday, Nellie and Blandford teamed up again, this time with Jo B With Thee in a five furlong affair.
Another popular owner/trainer, Jim Depew, with his favourite rider Valentino in the irons of Pure Vertical, recorded his first win of the Spring. Pure Vertical is by Hidden City out of Hagerstown by Benton Creek and was bred in California. It was the big horse’s first win since July of 2015.
BEHIND THE STARING GATE… Buckey Stockwell is among a group of top trainers bunched at the top with three wins… Saturday saw the return of last season’s leading rider, Larris Allen and he immediately teamed with a 2015 winning combination of trainer Lyle Magnuson and owner, Rocky Mounatin Turf Stable… The $2 Exactor in race 3 Monday, of Kinda Kinda and Deputy Lass paid a nice $168.40… The RMTC advertises rain or shine, you can enjoy the races indoors in one any one of their many locations, and this past weekend most race-goers took advantage of the warm, dry seating… The entire holiday weekend was run under cloudy skies and a muddy track… Next racing at Whoop-Up Downs is this coming Saturday and Sunday, with post time 1:15 p.m.