To watch your horse win by a neck over seven furlongs is fun. But when it’s your sixth win of the Spring, and you’re 88 years of age and it’s your wife’s birthday, well it’s just plain great! Stan Marks racked up win No. 6 this Spring when Herculean, Martin Ortiz up, led all the way and held off a fast-closing Sportive for a heart-pumping win. “Hey, that was great all right,” said Stan, also taking pride the win was a gift for wife Grace, who was 86 Saturday. Stan, 88, said he’s not doing anything different this year to create his string of wins, but he admits his early Spring training regimen sure has helped.
“We trained just east of the track here on a farm, and conditions and the weather were ideal. I just hope we can keep winning like this. “Gary (his son) and I have about 18 horses together and I’ve got eight on my own. I was only going to have one or two... but I don’t know what happened.” Gary won the fourth race Sunday, with Juan Apango aboard Deputy Lass, over a distance of six furlongs. Stan said the family’s prize brood mare has had a special colt. It’s all black with a round white spot on its head.
“That’s exciting. As soon as he sees us he runs right over, and Grace is his favourite.” Stan now uses an electric scooter to get from the barns to the paddock area, and under the grandstand as well – it saves his knees he says. Herculean is by Benchmark out of Mark Set Go by Marquetry and was bred in California in 2010 by Nick Alexander.
And if Saturday’s show wasn’t enough for Stan, Sunday he watched Martin Ortiz guide his Soul De Naskra over the seven furlong course in the seventh race for yet another win. Stan owns this one, by Perfect Soul out of Sat de Lady Ann by Star de Naskra, bred in Kentucky. Talk about a great weekend!
In Saturday’s second race Janice Sather had a pair of entries, Splashy Mamacita and BB Secrets Jet Black. In the end it was Splashy Mamacita, with Ramiro Sanchez Castillo in the irons who won the 350-yard sprint. “That’s the one I thought would do it, she’s just getting better and better each time out,” said Sather as she headed to the winner’s circle. Splashy Mamacita is by Volcom out of Splashy Pizazzy by Splash Bac and was bred in Alberta by Barry and Janice Sather.
The $9,000, five and a half furlong Spring Overite Sprint, the sixth race Sunday, featured some of the finest horses on the RMTC track. In the end it was the Lyle Magnuson-trained-and-owned General Day recording its third win in the last five starts, taking home most of the cash. Jose O. Rocha guided the horse home.
Likely because former RMTC horses of the year, Dubla Gold and Careless Hunter, which drew punters’ attention and ended up chasing the pack home, the $2 triactor, with 6-4-3, (General Day, Takin A Dip, and Brudda Clyde) paid a healthy $894.80. Lyle’s horse is by For Really out of Golden Appeal by Skip Trial and was bred in Oregon.
Sunday, Jose O. Rocha won the 350-yard second race aboard Buckey Stockwell’s HRH Tre Royale. The nice thing about the win was the fact, that combined with Big Bad Hoss and My Mr. Millionaire (3, 6, 5) it paid $613.20 for a $2 Triactor. The win was No. 6 for Buckey whose HRH Tres Royale is by Tres Sels out of Tippys Royal Dash by First Down Dash and was bred in California.
Laurie Ferguson tops the trainers list with eight wins this Spring, while William Leech has six and Lyle Magnuson, who is making a strong move upwards, has seven as does ageless Stan Marks. Buckey Stockwell has six wins.
As for the riders, Jose O. Rocha has moved to the lead with 18 wins after a good weekend. Freddy Fuentes and Blandford Stewart have 12 wins apiece.
In the third race Friday a pair of leaders combined for the victory. Top trainer Laurie Ferguson sent Zoomin My Wagon to the gate, with an equally successful rider, Freddy Fuentes, aboard to outrun the other seven entries in the 350-yard sprint for maidens, three years old and upwards.
The same two combined in the five-horse fifth race, a three furlong for three year olds and upwards. This time Fuentes was astride the Ferguson-trained Wild River Jess to cap off a great Friday night for the pair.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... The successful 2015 combination of Lyle Magnuson, Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stables and jockey Larris Allan teamed up again Friday night to win the sixth race with Hey Italian Lady crossing the line first in the five furlong sixth race... Tin Rollingson not only has top horses running at the RMTC with Laurie Ferguson, but has horses at Churchill Downs, Santa Anita and a few other top tracks in North America... Lyle Magnuson-trained Cresent McGain paid 25.30, 7.30 and 3.40 to win Saturday’s first race... Norm Cuthbertson’s Year of the Ma, with Trevor Simpson aboard, won the sixth race right at the wire... Trainer Eric Turner won a pair of races Saturday and one Sunday for a total of five... Larris Allan got scraped off at the gate in Saturday’s sixth race aboard Wildly Willy Code, but he was back in Sunday’s first race astride C. C.S Orfin Anhey... Dallas Douglas Birdrattler chalked up another win Saturday in a steady Spring... Next racing at the RMTC is his Friday, Saturday and Sunday, post time 6 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. respectively.