Poutn On The Wagon left little doubt Sunday he’s the horse to beat going into the Alberta Canadian Derby Finals in two weeks time. In Sunday’s trials he beat a quality field, seemingly with ease, to advance to the Finals. “We were rockin’ and rollin’," winning rider Scott Sterr said with his usual grin. “This is a pretty cool horse. “Pete (owner Pete Schoeler) phoned me Saturday night, worried about how we’d do. I told him not to worry but I don’t think he slept much.” There was no worry for trainer William Leech, who handles the high-spirited gelding by Paint Your Wagon out of the great Poutnlori by Okey Dokey Dale. The horse was bred in Alberta by its owner.
This marks the seventh straight win for the speedy Poutn On The Wagon.
Following are the All Canadian Derby qualifiers, first the horse, then the time and the trainer: 1. Poutn On The Wagon, 19.694, William Leech; 2. Honor The Fast Man, 20.048, Tom Kenway; Ivory Lady League, 20.262, Kevin Oberholtzer; 4. Tac It Perry, 20.351, Janice Sather; 5. North Pine Special, 20.439, Allen Goodsell: 6. Zerelda James, 20.464, Donalda Cochrane; 7. Pros Ranger, 20.480, Donalda Cochrane; 8. Sherry Baby, 20.492, William Leech.
Leech and Cochrane both qualified a pair of horses for the final and Janice Sather, who has the number four horse, also finished in the ninth hole for the second trials in a row. In Sunday’s seventh race for the second time in a row Blandford Stewart brought No Slippahs, trained by Nellie Pigeau, from the back of the pack along the back stretch to finish in first place.
In Saturday’s 350-yard $6,750 Paint Stake, Splashy Mamacita went into the race the favourite and soon proved why. This was despite the fact Buckey Stockwell’s Cowboy Mafia, winner of its last four, was in the field. But the fans were right! Alejandro Almazan brought Alberta-bred Splashy Mamacita through the pack for a nice win. “She’s getting tougher and tougher,” Janice Sather, the owner/trainer/breeder of the splashy winner stated, giving a thumbs up to friends. “She’s a nice mare, and she came from behind to win this,” she added with a big smile. Splashy Mamacita is by Volcom out of Splashy Pizazzy by Splash Bac and was bred by Janet and Barry Sather. The win earned them $3,578,
The six furlong $4,500 Allowance featured two past RMTC super horses, Careless Hunter and Dubla Gold. But in the end it was Jaqueline Smith’s Cantchaco, with Larris Allen aboard who came in on top. William Leech moved into the top trainer’s position with a total of eight winners to date, ahead of Jaqueline Smith and Laurie Ferguson at five each. Former rider Randy Cunningham and Janice Sather have moved into the training picture with three wins each, joining five or six other trainers including defending champion Lyle Magnuson at that number. Scott Sterr, with five wins on the weekend is now the leading rider with 15 victories. Jose Rocha is next with 13 wins, followed by Larris Allen and Blandford Stewart with a dozen wins apiece.
The report is Horse Racing Alberta’s CEO Shirley McClellan, Board Chairman Rick Lelacheur and the remaining members of the board, including RMTC CEO Max Gibb, will be at the track this coming weekend to take in the races and hold a board meeting.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE...
For longtime race fans No Slippahs with Blandford Stewart in the irons puts one in mind of Silky Sullivan, the Kentucky Derby horse who raced from so far back they used a split-screen TV... Stirling’s calf roping author, Jack Hicken, on hand for a somewhat cool blustery day of racing Saturday... Trainer Pete Dubois giving jockey Scott Sterr a tough time as kiddies gathered around the rider to give him some of their treats from Rose Rossi’s candy scramble... County of Lethbridge Reeve Lorne Hickey on hand for Sunday’s race card... Pleasure horse owner Tim Tollestrup, a former basketball Olympian from Raymond, taking in Saturday’s race card... In the sixth Saturday, Sons of Samcro, Juan Ramon Gonzalez aboard, topped the field to pay 25.00, 9.30 and 3.00... Next racing at the RMTC will be this coming Friday at 6 p.m. as well as Saturday and Sunday, post time 1:15 p.m.