Yes, it's the end of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club's 2013 season, winding up with more than a
handful of Memorial and high-paying Stake races.
Monday, as wife Lynda walked out of the winner's circle with a beautiful trophy bronze horse
and rider created by Art Calling Last, Les Webb recounted how they purchased Kick Buttowski.
The beautifully coloured Paint had just won his second race in two weeks, the Whoop-Up Downs
Canadian Championship Paint Futurity.
"We share the horse, its ours together," Les said with a smile. "We saw him at a sale in
Oklahoma City and liked his markings. He was kind of small but he has developed well.
"I wouldn't mind getting a two-year-old if they have Paint racing again next year."
Kick Buttowski is by Lonestar Legend out of Evelyn by Judys Lineage, bred, of course, in
Monday was a bright, warm sunny day, but the Whoop-Up track was heavy. It had also been in
bad shape though three previous three days.
In explaining the track's condition RMTC CEO Max Gibb said, "because of Thursday's rain and
the lighter rain Saturday, combined with the humidity Saturday the track was, what I call greasy
Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was just adverse enough to be a Perfect Storm for a race track
and it proved hard on some horses. I will say through, any jockey or any trainer had the right to
pull out of any race."
Sunday, the long-awaited Alberta Bred Quarter Horse Futurity, for $82,577 over a distance of
350 yards was over in 18.110. And in the end Neville Stephenson astride Remington Memories,
coming out of the two hole, created some memories for owner Blair Anton and trainer Laurie
Not only was she the only female trainer in the race, her horse, which paid 12.80, 7.70 and 6.40,
was not in a choice gate. Arriving second was Its All About Class and Dash Hawk was third.
"The two hole is a bog," Laurie flatly stated. "It's a terrible race track right now.
"But as for the race, he broke good and ran really good. Sometimes you get lucky I guess."
With the results of the next two races you would have thought you were in Italy. He's Italian,
trained by Lyle Magnuson and out of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable won the Amtote
Derby and Magnuson and the RMTC Stable were at it again in the Dating Game for Fillies and
Mares with Hey Italian Lady winning, Blandford Stewart aboard.
The Amtote Derby was originally scheduled to be a mile and 16th but the trainers voted to shorten
the distance to seven furlongs. Scott Sterr, astride He's Italian, said the change in distance made
no difference to him, or his horse.
"I don't think the distance made a difference. That colt of mine will run a route," said Scott. "He
broke sharper than I thought and was going for the lead, but Palmer (Vincent Alvin) on Skim
wanted it, and that was fine. My horse does well coming off the pace. It's a nice colt and was
really running onto itself at the end."
The Farewell Stakes (a little premature with Monday's card still to come) saw Buddy Bensmiller,
who owns and trains Big Bad Barry, come up with a win. Blandford Stewart was in the irons for
the win in the $9,200 race,
Saturday, a pair of Memorial races closed out the card. The ninth and final race, with a $6,500
purse, was the Edmund Wolfchild Memorial.
Edmund, in later years an owner and trainer, started in the racing business as a jockey.
"Edmund, among other things, was a jockey trained by two former Kainai greats, Mike Steele
and Adam Delaney," says Dot Stein, Manager of Racing at the RMTC. "One of his biggest wins
was the Lethbridge Derby on County Drive. We are more than pleased to have the Wolfchild
family involved with the RMTC through this feature race."
It was veteran Scott Sterr who brought home aptly name Feel The Moment in first pa;ce. Lyle
Magnuson owns and trains Fell The Moment, by Lion Heart out of Good Vibes by Unbridled's
Song and was bred in Kentucky.
Saturday also marked the 10th annual running of the Rufus Goodstriker Memorial, in memory of
the former Kainai Chief, boxer, chuckwagon driver, steer wrestler and race horse owner and
Rufus was always around horses and was a true horseman. "That's why we're here today," son
Leon told the large crowd gathered for a feast in Rufus' memory. "My Dad had a tradition of
bringing the family together and we meet here every year with our family and friends in his
"The family is now starting a series of fund-raisers to renovate my Dad's old Cross-Bell Youth
Ranch, located within the Kainai timber limits."
It was the Bill Kinch-owned and trained Paige's Peak, ridden by Corrine Andros - her seventh
win during her short stay at Whoop-Up Downs - who won the Goodstriker race.
Earlier on the card Teagan Oulton teamed with Majestic Lass for an impressive win in the Fillies
Oaks, a six furlong run with a $9,050.
The filly, owned by Pete and Erna Dubois, and trained by Pete, showed an unbelievable burst of
speed along the backstretch and won going away to pay $12.80. As Pete often says of his jockey:
"She knows the horses and gets along well with them."
The Lass is by Majestic Warrior out of Liberada by Spend A Buck and was bred in Kentucky.
The Bullys Futurity was also run Saturday with Tyler Walker winning it all aboard Angelle
Carter's Bradley Russell, to pay 22.10, 5.10 and 3.00. The $2 Exactor paid $309.
Angelle, who also has some Paint horses as well, was one of the top riders at the RMTC until a
fall cut her riding career short. Now she's back and is among the top trainers to be dealt with.
There were six races of the Friday card with Andrew Wright bringing home Starabella to pay
$22.20 in the second race. In the sixth, won by Buddy Bensmiller's Begg's, Teagan Oulton
aboard, paid $8.70. However the $1 Superfecta, won by four punters, saw the 5-3-8-4 horses
combine to pay $633.90.
Monday, Northforkzoom, trained by William Leech captured the AQHRA Aged Stake. The rider
was Ramiro Sanchez Castillo, a winning combination in Quarter horse races throughout the
The RMTC season ended on somewhat of a somber tone. The seventh race was the Keep On
Keepin' On Memorial in remembrance of horsemen Ivan Clark, Jessi Payne, and Ward and
Judith Willard. Vincent Alvin Palmer rode Sizzano to victory, a horse trainer by Robert Gwilliam
and owned by Tom Dixon, Harry Gwilliam and Ed Akerstrom.
Robert came right back to win the Reg Wiest Memorial with Skimming Song, Valentino
McBean in the irons. This was a race im memory of a great horseman on both the Community
and A tracks.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE . . . The $2 Exactor in the fourth race Saturday paid a
handsome $527.90 . . . Leon Goodstriker didn't earn any money to fund the banquet and gift-
giving for family and friends on his father's memorial race . . . "I'm no bettor, I lost money on
the race," he said with a laugh . . . He missed out big time as Paige's Peak paid 26.20, 30.30 and
6.70 and a $2 Tri of 2-7-5 paid $469.20 - there were three lucky ticket holders . . .
Tocutetotwotime, Philip Clunis aboard, placed second in the third race Sunday and paid a nice
17.30, 4.60 . . . It may take a while to sort out the jockey standings but Lyle Magnuson, with18
wins, is the leading trainer. . . Bullys is open seven days a week through the off-season with
Vegas-style slots and simulcasts from throughout the horsing world.