For Phil Wiest its been a lifetime of dedication, disappointment, fun, frustration and sheer love of
"I don't know why I stay with it, I was just brought up around horses I guess," Phil stated.
"However, I wake up looking forward to working with the horses."
Friday night Phil was on one of those euphoric highs as he saw Vincent Alvin Palmer cross the
line ahead of the field aboard Mystic Dixie to pay 13.20, 6.90 and 4.50. It was Phil's second win
of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club season.
"I've been at this a long time now, probably going back about 60 years," the 81-year-old stated.
Phil was one of 11 boys and four girls - that's right 15 kids! Really though, only Phil and brother
Reg went into racing in a serious manner.
Reg, who ran mainly on the A tracks, passed away earlier this year.
Phil's nephew Rick however, was the leading trainer this spring at the RMTC and is in the top
three this Fall.
"I said last year it would probably be my last year, but here I am again this Fall . . . and I'll
probably be back again next year," said Phil as he demonstrated some of the moves of his bright
red electric scooter.
"This sure helps me get around. I live down there by the Totem store and I can get from home to
the barns in 13 minutes. My legs are gone, I just use the scooter to get around in the grandstand
area and around the barns and it sure makes a difference."
Phil's mobility may be better in 2013, but he feels he had more money in his jeans back in the ol'
"I can't say racing is better today. I've had some nice horses through the years and they've been
real winners. I have three now (Mystic Dixie, Rocky Ice, Garcella) and this is a good track, but
I'm not making money now. (It was Garcella who gave Phil his first win of the year.)
"To be honest I was shocked when Dixie came in Friday. But to show you my luck, I had a
combination ticket on her and I've lost the ticket."
Also Phil says, its tough to get help around the barns.
"I'm trying to get help but they all want big money. You've got to pay the help so much but I
sure can't do everything myself.
"But through the years I've had some good luck, but it seems its been nothing but bad things this
year. Last weekend Mystic Dixie lost here bridle (and rider Vincent Alvin Palmer) coming out of
the gate. Dixie circled the track and came in second without a rider, then she turned back at the
end and came right back to the paddock. That ol' horse is 11 years old."
Another veteran of the track who just keeps going like the Energizer bunny, despite her injuries,
is Nellie Pigeau. Still recovering from a truck wreck, Nellie not only trains but serves as a pony
boy, wearing a neck brace.
It was her own horse Saturday, Do No Evil, who recorded a victory and then Sunday Blandford
Stewart brought in Nellie's Box Top.
"I've got four wins now so far this Fall," Nellie said with a big smile. "I do plan on getting a few
more though. I don't bet on my own horse," she added, but when she turned around and saw the
tote board for Do No Evil, she added, "to bad.
"My secret to my wins is great horses and better help," Nellie said as she rode off with a smile.
Do No Evil Paid 37.90, 16.70 and 5.70. A $1 Superfecta, 1-7-5-2, selected by four patrons, paid
$500.05. Box Top paid 10.40 and the $1 Superfecta of 3-6-5-8 with four winners, paid $422.20.
Sunday, the featured Starter Allowance Second Leg, a mile and an eighth romp with a $5,300
purse, was taken by Regroup.
Jockey Teagan Oulton didn't have to regroup though, she had lots of horse left at the wire.
"I had a lot left at the end, though I didn't see the five horse coming," she said.
Trainer Rosa Lee Burbank wasn't surprised with the win.
"We had thought we could be right up there. He's a good horse and he lead most of the way," she
Regroup is by Honour and Glory out of Buttercup's Song by Unbridled Song and is a Kentucky
On Friday's card, the final race saw Scott Sterr bring in Dr. MacKee to pay 21.50, 13.20 and
4.90, not a bad pay day but not up to the aforementioned.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE . . . Do No Evil is by Halo's Image out of Sin, by Mugatea
and was bred in Florida . . . Bruce Iron Shirt, with bright blue runners, and Ira Tailfeathers
reliving the days when they had some of the top Quarter horses in southern Alberta . . . Trainer
Pete Dubois looking forward to this coming weekend when his Dubla Gold goes head to head
with Beau Gris, who won a five furlong run Sunday for Norm Cuthbertson . . . The on-again-off-
again Tote board at the RMTC was off again Sunday . . . The warm weekend, with a slight
Lethbridge wind, brought out some nice crowds . . . Larris Allen and Ramiro Sanchez Castillo
both have 13 wins apiece after four weekends of racing and the leading trainer is William Leech,
with nine, while Lyle Magnuson has seven . . . next racing action at the RMTC is this Friday,
Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. and 1:05 p.m. respectively.