Saturday was B Cup day at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club and their cup runneth over.
The vast majority of the B Cup races - there were seven - were classics, but none held the anticipation and excitement of the B Cup Sprint, an $8,750 five and a half furlong run featuring three of the RMTC's finest horses, Dubla Gold , He's Italian and Careless Hunter.
Hunter had won six of its past seven races going into the Sprint and Dubla was alternating seconds and firsts.
In the end trainer Pete Dubois was all smiles, basking in his seven-year-old gelding's win.
"It was a nice race and I was hoping we'd take it," Pete said of Dubla Gold. "Really anyone could have won it. I know the front end was really digging it.
"Vincent (Alvin Palmer) rode him well... he gave me a superb ride." Pete figures the big bay gelding has at least a couple more year left, which is good news for RMTC race fans, and bad news for race horse owners.
Dubla Gold is by Medalist out of Lichfield Inn by Golden Act.
Losing trainer Rick Wiest took it all in stride.
Careless had to be the wagering favourite going into the big race, but he not only didn't win, he was third behind He's Italian and Dubla Gold.
"We got left at the gate, but then excuses are for losers," said Careless Hunter's owner and trainer Rick Wiest.
"We had beaten Dubla four times and we were second once, just by a nose, before today. But they say you are only as good as your last race." In the B Cup for Three Year Olds, Rick saw his Shootitinthebush come out on top, despite finishing ninth by 38 lengths and seventh by 20 lengths in its last two races. The bay gelding is by Tribal Rule out of My Melrose by Monarchos and was bred in Kentucky.
But Saturday he won the six furlong run, with Trevor Simpson aboard.
"Those were weaker horses we were in against today, but a win is a win," said Rick with a laugh.
And laugh he could with the winner's share the $9,200 purse.
Trainer Angelle Carter was also smiling as Smile Lee, Ramiro Sanchez Castillo in the irons, won the B Cup Stake for Fillies and Mares. Smile Lee was bred in Alberta by Raymond Nikiforuk.
Another former Whoop-Up Downs jockey and now a trainer, Laurie Ferguson, won the B Cup Fillies and Mares Sprint with Freshside.
The card was closed out with the B Cup Three Year Old and Up Classic, taken by Allan Brown's Justanotherbob, finishing ahead of Slews Academy. The winner, bred in California, is by Game Plan out of Sister Adiba by Pirate's Bounty.
"There's no shame in running second, that was a fantastic race," said Slew's trainer Gail McConaghie.
The opening B Cup event of the card, for Two Year Olds, went to Riley Rycroft with Saint Warlock who shot out of the pack along the backstretch and won with ease. Saint Warlock is by Formal Gold out of So Elated by Bold Executive and was bred in Alberta by Coleen Graham.
The B Cup for Three Year Old Fillies belongs to Island Rain, trained by Robert Charles Smith and ridden by Larris Allen.
Sunday, 35 Quarter horses went to the post in the first five races to determine the eight fastest for the Oct. 12 Alberta Bred Futurity. Janice Sather dominated the trials, qualifying three for the big race Oct. 12. The only other multiple winner was Les Adams with two horses going in. However it was Angelle Carter's Big Hoss Rollin who turned in the fastest time, 20.548.
Big Hoss is by Zilas Spin Doctor out of Sables Val by Dashing Val and was bred in Alberta by Sazwan Speed Horses.
Following are the eight qualifies, their name, trainer and time. 1. Big Hoss Rollin, Angelle Carter, 29.548; 2. Cruisinfourabruisin, Janice Sather, 20.579; 3. Pros Rockstar, Laurie Ferguson, 20.550; 4. Tequila Tuesday, Janice Sather, 20.588; 5. Juno Dat Timber, Les Adams, 20.618. 6.
Rockette Buck, William Leech, 20.632; 7. Canadian Timber, Les Adams, 20.661; 8. Splashy Mamacita, Janice Sater, 0.670.
'We're sure looking forward to this Futurity for the Alberta Breds. It's great to see 35 Alberta Breds in the trials." said RMTC CEO Max Gibb. "Its also interesting to note that one of Janet Sather's three horses is Cruisinfourabrusin, winner of the big Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity earlier this Fall... and he finished second in the trials.
"But any horseman will tell you, qualifying is one thing, wining is another."
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Its always tough to miss the finals, but William Leech's Northfork Snow was 20.687, just 17 one hundredths of a second our of the big race... Leading trainer Lyle Magnuson was shut out of Saturdays B Cup races... Friday night with its wind and Saturday's and Sunday's overcast, cold days were the first inclement weather the Fall Meet has faced... Longtime RMTC trainer Pat Goruk won the second race Saturday with Promiscuous Lad ... Despite all the class horses running Saturday ,the highest paying was Justanotherbob at 23.80, 5.80 and 3.40... The second final race card of the Fall Meet goes this Friday through Sunday.