With only six days of racing remaining the Rocky Mountain Turf Club will honour many of the horsemen of the past this weekend. Racing runs Friday - with six races beginning at 6 p.m. - through the Thanksgiving Holiday, with family and friends holding Memorial races for four horseman; Saturday, Rufus Goodstriker, Ivan Clark and Jessi Payne and Sunday, Marvin and Louise Christensen. “Rufus, Ivan and Marv were all key builders with the RMTC and young Jessi was a granddaughter of Ivan and Shirley Clark,” said RMTC CEO Max Gibb.
As well, Saturday there will be the six furlong Fillies Oaks, with a $10,000 added purse. There will be seven horses in the field, including No Ransom, Dixie Vision, Fast Forward Gal, Bellamy’s Song, Royal Lush, Classytee and Port Protection.
“We also have the Bullys Futurity, with a $10,000 added purse over a distance of six furlongs,” said Gibb. “We have a full field of eight entered, three trained by Lyle Magnuson. “Sunday there will be a special ceremonial treatment prior to the Canadian Paint Championship, covering 400 yards.
“Radford Blackrider, of the Blackfoot Confederacy will carry out a traditional painting ceremony on horses in the race. As I understand it, he will apply a number of traditional markings, which the Blackfoot used on their horses prior to going to war,” Max continued. “It will make an already colourful race even more colourful and add a special tradition of the Blackfoot people to the race.
”Horses will come from Janice Sather, Buckey Stockwell, Les Webb, Laurie Ferguson and Wayne Hall.
“Sunday also includes the Amtote Open Derby, a mile and 1/16th run for $15,000, with seven horses going to the post. As well, our seventh race just prior to the Amtote Open Derby, we’ll focus on the Dating Game for Fillies and Mares. That race has a $10,000 purse and covers seven furlongs. Trainers like Dallas Birdrattler and Allan Goodsell have horses in the Dating Game.”
Monday there’ll be seven races on tap with the final race of the day, The Rocking Chair. “This race is for horses eight years old and upwards and they’ll be covering six furlongs,” said Gibb. “Fans will recognize horses like Eighty Eight, General Gabe, Mitt and Pretend And Extend. This Thanksgiving weekend promises to be a great time here at the RMTC.”
With six days of racing remaining the leading jockey is Trevor Simpson with 17 wins, trailed by the leader of the Spring Meet, Jose Rocha, with 15 wins. Hard-charging Neville Stephenson sits third with a dozen victories. William Leech is the top trainer with 10 victories and Lyle Magnuson has nine in second spot.
For fans of Bulls you won’t want to miss the Thanksgiving Dinner Special, complete with pumpkin pie. Along with this great turkey dinner the kids have their petting zoo and candy toss and of course there’s the Rocky Mountain Dixieland Jazz Band.