Saturday was an up and down day for trainer Jim Depew, with another up added on Sunday. In the fourth race his Careless Hunter, “lost by the bob of its head,” said his wife Barb. “He just about did it.” Then, in the fifth his Carson’s Secret took it all at the wire to pay a handsome 12.00, 5.80 and 4.40 with the 1-8 Exactor (Ticklemeterrellmo) paying $356.80.
“That’s a nice little horse; she’s fast and she showed it this time,” the Raymond trainer/owner stated, but added she has had some bad luck the past few races. “I got her from Elijah Bourne and he got her out of Phoenix.”
Carson’s Secret is by Sea of Secrets out of Sharrene by Lord Carson and was bred in California. Then, in the sixth race Saturday, Depew’s good horse Pure Vertical, ran dead last in a field of seven. “He should have shown better than that; it was a jockey error going too fast, too soon,” said Depew.
The winner was Horse Feldhaus, giving 88-year-old Stan Marks his eighth win of the Spring, for owners Darcy Peterson, William Virginillo and Stan himself. The winning horse is by Horse Greeley out of Saintly Magic by Saint Ballado and was bred in Kentucky.
However, in Sunday’s third race Jim Depew’s P R’s Orphan came through for Jim, with Valentino McBean aboard, to take the five furlong Sydney Ives Memorial. One can only hope the top three horses’ owners/trainers had a $2 Triactor in their pocket as PR’s Orphan-Vernon Cat-Sharper Knight (7-2-4) paid a whopping $500.80.
In the $10,200 Open Stake, over seven furlongs, Freddy Fuentes brought Another Gear home on top, racking up another win for trainer Laurie Ferguson and Rollingson Racing Stables. The winner’s share was $5,406. The horse was claimed two races ago from trainer Kevin Oberholtzer and is by Lemon Drop Kid out of Classy Charm by Silver Charm and was bred in Kentucky.
Sunday, Rollingson, Ferguson and Fuentes combined with Freshside to win the second race. And while the race meant little to the contestants, except for the win, punters loved the combination of Freshside – The Little Gene – See Sosee Run (1-5-2) for a $2 Triactor payout of $417.40. Freshside is by Top Hit out of Kickenthecat by Chanate and was bred in Arizona. My guess is Freshside wishes it was back in Arizona after Sunday’s cold winds at Whoop-Up Downs.
Gordon Howg’s Officer’s Charm, trained by Dallas Douglas Birdrattler, his fourth win of the meet, captured the Fillies and Mares Spring Sprint Sunday, in somewhat of an upset. Blandford Stewart was in the irons for the win. The winner’s share of the $10,050 purse was $5,327, not too bad for a five and a half furlong run. Officer’s Charm is by Officer out of Wednesday’s Out by Out of Place and was bred in British Columbia by Prescott Farms. The winning mare is six years old. You can bet the Birdrattler family was overjoyed, considering Uncle Joe’s cheering last week with just a run of the mill race.
In the second race Saturday the newly claimed Tithing proved to be a winner for Les Webb with Blandford Stewart aboard. Tithing came from the RMTC Stables.
In Friday’s second race Star Princess, Philip Clunis aboard broke her maiden to pay 14.00, 5.30 and 3.80 with a $2 Triactor of 6-3-2 paying a nice $269.20.
With only two weekends left at Whoop-Up Downs, and Millarville if you care to count it, the race for leading riders and trainers is shaping up to be a dandy. Jose Rocha hangs on to the riding lead with 23 victories and right behind, at 19, is Freddy Fuentes, followed by Blandford Stewart at 16. In the training division Laurie Ferguson has a dozen wins to date and William Leech has 11. Lyle Magnuson, and the surprise of the meet, 88-year-old Stan Marks, have eight wins apiece.
The weekend was loaded with $300 to $500 Triactor payoffs.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Friday a pair of tried and true jockeys got together for a wins, with Scott Sterr riding George W home on top to give former rider and now trainer, Randy Cunningham, his third win of the meet... Also Friday, my favourite name for a horse, Ginwillmakeusin, teamed with Twopenny and Year of Ma in the fifth race, for a 4-1-5 Trifactor of $437.80... Saturday’s sixth saw the great General Gabe make it home first for trainer Pete Dubois... Saturday was a fairly warm overcast day while Sunday the Lethbridge winds roared through much of the day... The folks walking the horses in the paddock are now sporting brightly coloured vests with the horse’s number on them... The pony people are decked out in red jackets, adding to the colour of the RMTC... Sunday Janice and Barry Sather picked up another win with Tequila Tuesday in a full three furlong sprint... The next racing at Whoop-Up Downs is this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and includes the Finals in the Quarter Horse Futurity and Derby,