It is only the third weekend of racing for the Rocky Mountain Turf Club's Fall Meet, but it's a huge one.
"I can't believe how strong this weekend's field s are. Saturday we have an eight-race card, all of them with purses in the $9,000 range," says RMTC CEO Max Gibb. "We kick things off with the Quarter Horse Stakes, and from there on each race is quality Alberta Bred affair.
"The final races Saturday are seven furlong runs, the final the Alberta Bred Stakes and the seventh race is a Fillies and Mares Stake." There's a two-year-old and a three-year-old Stakes and a fillies and mares stake.
"Our sixth race Saturday is a five and half furlong, $9,200 Alberta Bred Stake, and that should be a dandy.
"Sunday is what the Quarter horse faithful wait for all year! We have three key Quarter horses dashes, which is kicked off by the $8 400, 350-yard Canada Cup Futurity Consolation, featuring the top eight - after the initial eight qualifiers - for the Canada Cup." The Canada Cup Quarter Horse Stakes Derby, is the seventh race on the card, with a $23,742 purse.
There are some interesting twists here with Laurie Ferguson, Kurt Calton and William Leech all having a pair of starters. However the pre-race favourite has to be Zoomin Daphne, owned and trained by Bruce Iron Shirt of the Kainai Nation.
Iron Shirt will be running against the second-favourite, Mals Firsst Down, ironically owned by Kainai Chief Charlie Weasel Head and multiple-Futurity and Derby winner Jim Plume and trained by William Leech.
Also look for Ferguson's Invisible Wagon and Reminton Memories, along with Leech's Ms Ruby Corona and Calton's Way To Dough and FDD Trickze. The remaining horse in the race is Honor The Aztec, trained by Tom Kenway and ridden by Ricardo Moreno.
"The $79,960, 350-yard Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity will wrap up Sunday's card, and boy what a line-up. As they say, this is a horse race," says Gibb.
Coming out of the one hole will be Wave Rocker, trained by Kurt Calton and ridden by Jordan Haley, recording a time of 18,004 in the trials. Coming out of the two hole is another Calton entry SLS Vedette, with veteran rider Scott Sterr aboard. The colt recorded an 18.08 time in the trials.
Jasnice Sather's Crusinforabruisin is in the third gate with Ricardo Moeno aboard, an 18.08- second qualifier in the trials.
Coming out of the first gate is the fastest qualifier - at 17.06- seconds - Stella Wave, ridden by Larris Allen and trained by Calton. Alfredo Bautista will be aboard Honor The Corona, a Tom Kenway-trained horse who qualified with a time of 18.355. Angelle Carter trains Dash For The Wind, which qualified at 18.187 seconds, and comes out of the sixth hole, Ramiro Sanchez Castillo aboard.
Laurie Ferguson has two horses entered, running side by side out of the seventh and eighth holes.
In the seventh is The Ropin Fool, who stopped the clock at 18.227 and has Trevor Simpson aboard. Finally, in the eighth gate, Danielle DiBert will ride Pros Rockstar, who recorded at 17.988-second run in the trials.
"The Futurity alone is a great race, but combined with all the other tops race, most with full fields, this is shaping up to be our best weekend in a long line of top weekends," said Gibb.
After two weekends the leading trainers are Lyle Magnuson and Rosa Lee Burbank, with three wins recorded already. The lead of top rider race is also knotted, with Trevor Simpson and Blandford Stewart having six wins apiece.
Next racing at the RMTC is Sept.19-21.