The reason you go to the races was underlined by Saturday and Sunday’s outstanding cards at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club. Wrapping up the Father’s Day weekend Sunday was a breath-taking Sport of Speed Futurity, a 220-yard sprint with a purse of $32,090, requiring a photo to sort out the blanket finish. In the end it was Donald Cochrane’s Otimberimfallinlove by a nose, thanks to rider Scott Sterr.
The winner is an Alberta-bred, from Wesley T, Oulton, and is by First Timber out of Burners Beauty by El Rey Burner. “It feels good to win another big one for Donalda – I won the Canada Derby for her back in 2007,” said a jubilant Sterr.” “Donalda came to me back in the trials and she had this nice filly, the high seller at the sale. In this big race Lace Lewis did a good job with her head at the gate, and that really matters.
“You never really know going from the trails to the big race, but she was ready, there were no surprises.” Otimberimfallinlove earned $14,441 for her group, headed by owner Isak Fehr. At the window she paid 20.10, 10.40 and 4.40 with a $2 Exactor of $131.69 tied up with Mighty Lucille. On the way to the paddock Western Special, trained by Buckey Stockwell, escaped her pony rider and after two trips around the track was caught, but scratched from the race.
The Saturday card provided exciting, and close races, from the opening 220-yard sprint for non-starters to the exciting and unpredictable Fillies and Mares Sprint, an $11,050 five and a half furlong run. Owner/trainer Jaqueline Smith let out a loud whoop as her Sparkling Peg bested a high-class field that included horses with no less than 29 wins among them in the Fillies and Mares run – not including the three wins her horse had previously accumulated.
“It was a tough horse race, but we did it,” said Jaqueline. Her horse is by Fusaichi Pegasus out of Sandy Sparkle by Tribal Rule, and bred in California. Jaqueline earned $5,857 for her win and also had the fourth-placed horse, Impulsive Kate, for another $663. Her Sparkling Peg jockey, Larris Allen, was equally impressed as the owner/trainer with the win. “The pace was right for my horse. I just had to sit and wait and ride her the best I could . . . then I moved her in the last two furlongs.”
Just prior to the closing race, fans were treated to the Open Stake, covering seven furlongs with a $10,900 purse, again with a quality field. In the end owner/trainer Robert A. McKenzie saw Blandford Stewart pull off another great ride aboard Talk The Walk to win it all. “I knew nothing about this horse, he had been running in Edmonton. He just came here,” Blandford stated. “I stayed close all the way, sitting about third, then I moved him coming down the lane.”
Often you look at the race program and there’s a horse that just pops out at you. Even though it was in a non-starter maiden race it was evident that Alberta Krome, trained by William Leech and owned by Leech and Ed Vanee, was the horse to beat. After all Alberta Krome is by the great Sizzlin Red Corona out of Cleats Rockette by Dashing Cleat and bred in Alberta by Leech.
“He’s a pretty nice colt,” said winning rider Scott Sterr, who finished almost two lengths ahead in the 220-yard run. “I won a lot on his dad (Sizzlin Red Corona). Today he (Alberta Krome) just did everything right. “For a first-time starter that’s nice when they do things right, especially coming out of the gate.” Friday, the spotlight fell on a pair of feature races.
The fifth was the six furlong Horse Racing Alberta Stake, taken by Les Webb’s Tithing. Tithing, with Trevor Simpson aboard, brought in the winner’s share of $3,578. Tithing is by Real West out of Clearance Light by Cryptoclearance, bred in Alberta by Max Gibb – a member of the HRA Board. Gibb owned and bred the winner of the sixth race, The Thank You Don Getty Stake. Trainer Lyle Magnuson mounted one of his favourite riders, Larris Allen in winning the final race Friday.
The winning Italian By Marriage is by Gilded Time out of She’s Italian by Hail The Ruckus. The winner brought in $3,818 to its owner, the RMTC. “It was nice, and it was about time we won one,” said smiling trainer Lyle Magnuson. Scott Sterr’s three wins Saturday, three on Sunday and two Friday gave him 23 for the Spring Meet, while Larris Allen, Blandford Stewart and Jose Rocha all are tied with 15, at least according to unofficial stats. William Lech leads the trainers with 10 wins while Jaqueline Smith has six.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE
Scott Sterr seems to like the evening, racking up another pair of wins Friday night... Tithing, winner of the HRA Stake, was once owned by Max Gibb but was claimed by Les Webb about a year ago... Norm Cuthbertson sat inside and watched on TV as his Year Of The Ma won its first race on Sunday... Saturday’s weather was cold, cloudy and at times experienced light rain showers, while Sunday was windy and cool... Allen Goodsell’s Diablo Knight in the five and a half furlong race in a photo... talk about blanket finishes... Fact is the entire weekend featured some very special races... Saturday’s Open Stake winner, Talk The Walk, is by Swiss Yodeler out of Aspen Gal by Talkin Man and was bred in California... Next racing at the RMTC will be this Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:15 p.m.