Saturday, Five Yard Penalty from CJ Racing Stable, and trained by Robert Charles Smith, splashed her way ahead of the Fillies and Mares Spring Sprint to grab the lion's share of the $9,200 purse.
Jockey Trevor Simpson helped the speedy mare add to her lifetime earning of $42,251 over the five and a half furlong run Saturday. Five Yard Penalty is by Consolidator out of Yellow Cat by Our Emblem and is bred in Kentucky.
For Quarter horse followers, all eyes were on the four-horse All Canadian Open Derby (Div. 2) 350-yard sprint, a field cut from seven due to scratches.
Bruce Iron Shirt watched his Zoomin Daphne cover the 350 yards in 17.55 seconds and earn the winner's share of the $6,500 purse.
Waving his red, winning horse blanket to friends across the paddock, Don McDougall and Eric Croeshoe, Iron Shirt was a bit damp but all smiles.
"I pulled it off!" he exclaimed because one of the horses he out-sprinted was Mals First Down.
This horse, like Iron Shirt's, are the early front-runners for the big Derby this coming Fall. Mals is owned by Kainai Chief Charlie Weaselhead and Jim Plume, the only man to earn two Futurity championship's at Lethbridge.
"I had fun today," Iron Shirt exclaimed. "I said the first week this Spring it only takes one horse to win the Derby, and I hope I have him. You know, next year I may bring two horses, one horse to challenge for the Futurity and another for the Derby." What looked liked a great card in the program was impacted by the weather, with only two of eight horses running in the second race and two of five entries running in the fourth race.
Even in the high-paying Quarter horse divisional sprints there were scratches, with only four of seven running in the Division 2 race and in the $8,500 Division 1 race, where seven horses were entered, only two horses went to the post.
Sunday's featured Paint race, a six-horse affair, saw Tyler Walker get another one of his good rides from a Laurie Ferguson horse, and the combination brought Jerseylicious home on top in the $10,550, 300-yard sprint.
"I never saw her win of course, I was back by the gate," said Ferguson. "Actually, I thought Weaselhead would take the race, but I'm glad we did. I was also glad we had a six-horse field, not like some of those short fields Saturday.
"Training Paints is the same as starting Quarter horses, the Paints are just prettier," she added with a laugh.
Ferguson said Sunday's track wasn't too good with all the rain Whoop-Up Downs has received through the weekend.
"The tractors just tended to stir the mud around a little. But what can you do? I hope it doesn't rain any more." Jerseylicious, who won in 15.93 seconds, is by Awesome Chrome out of Flashem Betty by Royal Quick Flash.
It took Northforkzoom 18.12 seconds to cover the 350 yards in the Old Timers Classic giving owners Glenn Wills and Tom Copithorne the win. Trainer William Leech, who felt it was muddy going Saturday, quipped, "its not getting any drier," after Sunday's big race.
Within minutes of the Old Times ending, the rain started and it was coming down hard for the final race of the day, won by Laine and Chase, trained by Lyle Magnuson. Owner Max Gibb had to stand in the winner's circle with a program above his head in a useless attempt to keep dry.
His horse is by Real West out of Clearance Light by Cyptoclearance and was bred by Gibb on his southern Alberta ranch.
A short field went to the post Saturday in the ninth race, a Celebration of Life for the late Dick Aldoff. Dick was a former director of racing for the Lethbridge Exhibition and also ran horses for many years. A Celebration of Dick's life was held before the races for family and friends.
Rascal Cat, trained by Robert Charles Smith, won the four-horse Celebration race, guided home by Trevor Simpson.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE . . . One of the RMTC's leading trainers, William Leech, said Saturday, "it's pretty muddy and hard going I guess." . . . There was a fairly good crowd on hand albeit many of them were from the Memorial service for Dick Aldoff held on the fifth floor of the grandstand . . . very few race goes braved the rain to stand at the paddock rail and watch the horses . . . One trainer, whose horse lost in a two-horse field, was heard telling the jockey, "for crying out loud you only had one horse to beat." . . . The divisional Quarter horse races were sponsored by DH4 Ranches, owned by Dallas and Fay Haeberle, located west of Didsbury . . . the ranch includes rehabilitation, foaling of mares and training and an Equi Ciser . . . Erna Dubois was over in the paddock area Sunday to help husband Pete with his horse General Gabe in the muddy going . . . There was a very large crowd Father's Day and most race goers were at the paddock rail, until the final race when the rains hit again . . RMTC CEO Max Gibb also won the fourth race Sunday, as the Lyle Magnuson-trained The Little Gene topped the field . . . .
Magnuson also trains Laine and Chase and leads the Spring Meet with 15 wins . . . Rick Wiest is next in line with 10 . . . The leading rider is Larris Allen with 19 victorias while Trevor Simpson has 14 and Blandford Stewart 13 . . . Next race action at the RMTC is this coming Friday through Sunday.