Some of the finest community track race horses, certainly in Canada and potentially in North America, will be in action at Whoop-Up Downs this Saturday. Total purses for the Cup series will fall in the $70,000 plus range, plus the other races on the weekend card for another $72,000.
RMTC CEO Max Gibb says this weekend is the B tracks answer to the Breeders Cup extravaganza for the best horses in the world. “These B Cup races are open to the best horses off any track on the Community Circuit tracks, no matter where it is. This is our answer to the Breeder's Cup and is the biggest B Cup event virtually anywhere. The B Cup series is open to any horse that has run at least three times on an Alberta B track this year, and at least two of those right here at the RMTC. That way a horse off the A tracks can't come in and steal it."
One of the most impressive lineups is in the B Cup Sprint, featuring Dubla Gold from Pete Dubois, Excess Baggage from Stan Marks, Lyle Magnuson’s He’s Italian and General Day along with Sneakin Cat of Eric Turner, Laurie Ferguson’s Horse Feldhaus, and Autumn Trip from Bill Schmitt,
Just like the Breeders Cup, the B Cup series covers all types of categories, with races for three-year-old fillies, two-year-olds, three-year-olds, an Open Sprint, three-year-olds and up fillies and mares, the three-year-olds and up Classic covering a mile and a sixteenth. “The Breeders Cup features the best of the A track and we have an opportunity here to see the best horses of the Community tracks, they're the high end of B track racing.”
Friday’s race card features six races, with the opening race being a 350-yard sprint. Sunday there will be an eight race card, one fewer than Saturday. However like Saturday, the card features the leading trainers and jockeys heading into this fourth weekend of racing. Sunday features a series of five, five and a half, and six furlong races.
Throughout the weekend, race fans will see the leading trainer, William Leech with eight victories to date. Laurie Ferguson is second with six wins and Lyle Magnuson, who has horse in almost every B Cup event, has five wins to date, tied with Maria Stanford. Jose Rocha is the leading rider, with 11 wins, one more than the suddenly red hot Trevor Simpson. Ricardo Moreno has eight wins and Freddy Fuentes has six.
Along with the live racing program you can sit back and enjoy the live music of the Rocky Mountain Jazz Band.
The RMTC at Whoop-Up Downs also invites you to come out any day of the week, including the weekends of live racing, and enjoy the simulcast races from the major tracks in North America, with wagering windows in Bullys and under the main grandstand.
Those 18 years of age and older will also enjoy Bully's beverages, food and Vegas-style slots, all found in the “Best Little Horse House in the West.”
For the kids there's the Junior Jockey Club with a slew of activities from the candy toss to the petting zoo.