The past weekend was about as exciting as horse racing can get on a Community track. With a collection of B Cup races dominating Saturday, Sunday’s card was simply a collection of good races, without a standout, merely all quality. However, William Leech had a rare victory in a distance race rather than Quarter horse sprints on the Sunday card.
The big man teamed with Larris Allen to bring the oft-claimed, California bred, Naomi‘s Gift, home on top in the six furlong sixth race. The win moved Leech into the leading trainer’s role, with nine victories.
Saturday’s B Cup for 2 year olds belonged to trainer Lyle Magnuson and the Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable. The combination actually went 1-2-3 in the six furlong race. “I was surprised we went 1-2-3, they haven’t raced that well before,” said Max Gibb, who gathered in a total of $10,192 for covering the three positions.
Gibb was not only the owner with RMTC Stable but “two of the three horses were homegrown,” he quipped. Gibb bred the winner Ma’s Miracle Run and third-place Lady Esson, while second-place Gabi and Ryder was also an Alberta bred, at Moonshine Meadow Ranch.
The winner’s jockey, Larris Allen was composed as usual despite just winning by a nose. “My horse was running just a little green, he was all over the place at times,” he summed up the race.
Lyle Magnuson started off his B Cup weekend Friday night with a pair of non-B Cup wins. He watched one of his favourite riders, Larris Allen, bring home Wildly Willy Code home ahead of the pack in a five and a half furlong Claimer. Wildly Willy Code is owned by Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable and is bred in Alberta by RMTC CEO Max Gibb.
Magnuson’s second win came in an eight-horse field in race six, covering seven furlongs. This time Allen and Magnuson teamed up with Why Not Live for the win. Once again the horse was owned by RMTC Stable and bred by Max Gibb. “I didn’t think we’d win two races Friday night... but we did,” Gibb stated.
Carol Allen and Gordon Howg were all smiles Saturday after their horses, Lillie Abbie and Officer’s Charm, made it two wins in a row, taking the B Cup Stake for Fillies and Mares over seven furlongs and following with the five and a half furlong Cup Fillies and Mares Sprint. Carol, who used to work - “many years ago” – at the Exhibition track, said, clutching the B Cup, “we thought we had a pretty good chance at a double. “I don’t have a favourite with the two horses. Lille Abbie is our distance horse and Officer’s Charm is for shorter distances. We also had a couple of good jockeys too with Martin (Ortiz) and Blandford (Stewart).”
Abbie is by Uncle Abbie out of I’m A Pine by Robin des Pins was bred in Texas while Officer’s Charm is by Officer out of Wednesday’s Out by Out of Place and was bred in B.C. Dallas Douglas Birdrattler is the trainer for both the champion horses.
Without doubt the race of the Fall Meet was the fourth race Saturday, over a distance of six furlongs. Maria Stanford saw her Catswaggin win the fourth race, with Valentino McBean aboard.
The first time past the grandstand, just out of the gate, it looked like the brown six-year-old gelding was actually being pulled up. But he kept plugging along, putting old-timers in mind of Silky Sullivan. But as he turned onto the backstretch he took aim at the seven horses ahead of him. By the time he was into the final turn there were only four ahead. Then with a magnificent charge down the stretch he passed rest of the field and won the race.
As track announcer Dale Johnson exclaimed, “What a trip!”
Johnson had reason to be excited in the final race of the day as well. Again And Gone, owned by Dale and wife Brenda, won the seven furlong, non-Cup race. The horse is trained by Robert Gwilliam, who like many others through the weekend had a pair of wins. Again And Gone is by Smile Again out of Loretta by No Louder and was bred in Alberta in 2006.
Robert, with five wins this Fall, opened the B Cup series with a win in the first race, for three-year-old Fillies, as Slewfoot won her six furlong romp. Eric Turner’s – owned and trained – Sneakin Cat certainly didn’t sneak home as he won the five and a half furlong B Cup Sprint, with Jose Rocha aboard. The Little Bear family, seated at their usual table under the grandstand, were over-joyed when Nolan’s Staffin’s Vision took the B Cup for three year old and up Classic. It was Staffin’s first win in 10 previous races.
The Browns - owner Carol and trainer John - watched their classy horse, Big Buddy, win the B Cup for three year olds. Trevor Simpson guided the gelding, by Harlan’s Holiday out of Lilies For Rozie by Rahy and was bred in Alberta at Bar None Ranches.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Opening the card with a win Friday night was Neville Sephenson aboard Go Corona Luminaire, trained by Les Webb... The Gibb horse, Wildly Willy Code is named in honour of a late friend of the RMTC CEO... Trevor Simpson is now the leading rider with 14 wins, followed by Jose Rocha with 13... The leading trainer is William Leech both at nine, with Lyle Magnuson one behind... Stan Marks zipping all around the grandstand area on his scooter... Sunday, the winner of the second race, Four Guns A Blazzin, trained by Kevin Oberholtzer, was bred in Alberta by chuckwagon legend Buddy Bensmiller... This coming weekend marks the end of September racing, with races Friday, Saturday and Sunday... . The Friday card, Sept. 30, starts at 6 p.m. with the first two cards of October with 1:15 post times.