And in Rick's own words his Careless Hunter is "just awesome." "His last four races have been great, and really, I don't know why he's running as strong as he is.
He just paints the rail. He's doing great and he's only five or six years old." Saturday, The Wiest family's Time To Be A Hero - owned by Clayton, Cory and Carson and trained by Rick - took the third race, a five and a half furlong affair with a $3,200 purse. Hero is by Time To Get Even out of Christy's Hero by Deerhound and was breed in California.
"As far as breeding goes, I've been involved in that end at times, but it just takes too much time.
For us, we're better off just buying them." Rick and his sons followed up with another win Sunday. Shootitinthebush, with Trevor Sampson aboard, came in on top in the fifth race, a five furlong affair. The winner is by Tribal Rule out of My Melrose by Monarchos and was bred in Arizona.
The Wiest family is well known around the RMTC, with octogenarian Phil, Rick's uncle, still running horses at Lethbridge. In fact Rick occasionally runs a horse against Uncle Phil, a man he used to help out as a boy, when not helping his Dad.. Rick's father Reg, who ran horses on most Alberta tracks, passed away last year. Now Rick's three sons, Clayton, Cory and Carson, are involved in the sport.
"I've been around racing since I was a kid, helping my Dad and my Uncle Phil,"says the 55-year old Enchant rancher/farmer.
"Racing is really just a hobby with us, my three boys and wife Dalyce. We're in it for fun." It tends to be a wide-spread hobby at times with the family having five horses in Lethbridge two in Edmonton, five in Minnesota and two at Santa Anita. Rick's been the leading trainer at Phoenix and has earned the Gold Cup Award at the Arizona track.
"We seem to have a lot of horses spread all over, but eventually they all come home to Enchant at one time or another.
"I guess it's a feather in your cap to be the top trainer, but we just run the five horses in Lethbridge so we have to have a pretty high win percentage to be top trainer here." Sunday, Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stables came up a winner with He's Italian. The horse is by City Zip out of She's Italian by Hail The Ruckus and was bred by Max Gibb.
"I'm sure pleased with this horse, that's six wins in seven starts. Also, I'm proud of his breeding, She's Italian was a super mare on the track for us and is now turning out some fine runners," said owner/breeder Max Gibb.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE...Former Whoop-Up Downs super-star jockey Elijah Bourne stopped by to take in Saturday's and Sunday's races with his brother Leonard and sister Bessi... The skies were basically cloudy all day Saturday and Sunday, but the rains never hit...
For someone like me who likes to wager $5 across the board Saturday's first race was a dandy...
The Quinella of Porky Boots and Blazing Temper was only $42.80... But Nellie Pigeau's Porky Boots paid 12.10 to win, 14.70 to place ands 3.60 to show... Now, at $5 across the board, lets see, that's.... July 1 the RMTC horses head for Millarville... Jockey Tyler Walker and trainer Laurie Ferguson teamed for three wins during the weekend... Rick Wiest sharpening up his vision for those photo finishes by shooting gophers on his Enchant ranch... Larris Allen aboard Dash To Zevi closed out the day Sunday with a win for Mike Grewell... With two race days to go Lyle Magnuson leads the trainers with 20 wins (that's Thoroughbred and Quarter horses combined)... Rick Wiest is second at 16, Laurie Ferguson has 11 and William Leech 10... Larris Allen tops the jockey's ladder with 26 wins but Trevor Sampson is right behind at 23.
Bradford Stewart has 21 wins, Ramiro Sanchez Castillo has 20 and Tyler Walker has 19 wins...
The final weekend of the Spring Meet will be July 5 and 6 and the horsemen head for Grande Prairie to return to the RMTC August 30 through September 1.