Sunday saw a touch of nostalgia descend on the Rocky Mountain Turf winner's circle when Stan Marks' Excessive Baggage took the Jessie Payne Memorial, "I'm so glad Stan won, he's been a friend for many, many years," said RMTC Parade Marshal Shirley Clark, grandmother of Jessie, who passed away at age 17. "Jessie knew Stan when she was a little girl, so it was really nice to see Stan win the Memorial race." Stan himself was also pleased."I'm happy we won that race, we've been friends for years." In the fifth race Sunday there was happiness and sorrow all at the same time. Snackable, trained by Rosa Lee Burbank, won the E-Race For Cancer Feature, giving the trainer her sixth win of the meet. But seconds late Snackable was being led away by Dennis Dorchester after he claimed the nice bay.
"That was a good win," said Rosa Lee, "But she was claimed ($3,200).
Jose O. Rocha guided Snackable to the win in a crowded finish.
"She's a nice mare, but now she's claimed... that's just the way it goes." Recognizing the fight against cancer the pony corps all wore pink E-Race Cancer T-shirts and many painted their horses with pink hilites. Many of the trainers also sported pink T-shirts.
Rosa Lee's daughter, Tracey Turner, was a little upset, but realized it is part of the sport.
"Its too bad, but when races aren't written to for your horse, what are you supposed to do, leave her in the stall? We bring in these good horses from Emerald Downs and you end up losing them.
But what can you do?" Rosa Lee had Regroup in the mile and three sixteenth Starter Allowance, 3rd Leg, running the nice little horse for the third straight weekend. He finished second to Larris Allen and his favourite trainer Lyle Magnuson's Tiz I Is. Tiz I Is is by Cee's Tizzy out of Princess Ti (BRZ) by Sunny's Halo bred in Washington.
"Well that will be his last race this year and Regroup will have the entire winter off," said Rosa Lee.
The $8,500 Horseman's Open Division One was taken by Invisible Wagon, trained by Laurie Ferguson, grabbing her fifth win for the meet. Invisible Wagon is by Pyc Paint Your Wagon out of A Troffle For Injun by Invisible Injun and was bred in Texas.
Saturday Janice Sather racked up her sixth win of the Fall Meet, and that includes the Quarter Horse Cup Futurity earlier this Fall. Friday she saw Bb Secrets Jet Black scoot home with Philip Clunis aboard. It paid 21,80, 4.70, 3.10. The winner is by Jet Black Patriot out of Go On Secret by Raise A Secret and was bred in Louisiana.
Its funny how certain combinations of riders and trainers come together and click.
William Leech and Ramiro Sanchez Castillo are almost a sure bet and Saturday the combined with William's Dailydblno trouble to pull off a victory.
Like William said early in the year "why change a winner?" As well Larris Allen and Lyle Magnuson always seem to be a winning pair. Saturday they combined with Ty Goes Gold and then hit the winner's circle again with Sharis Report. Sunday the had Tiz I Is in the winner's circle.
Friday there was a race of firsts - that is to say Phil Wiest got his first win of the Fall Meet and Kaylan McCarty won her first race at the RMTC. They combined on Top Kat Miss to pay 23.90, 7.00 and 5.40. The Exactor of 6-5 paid a nice $220.30. Kaylan won again Sunday aboard Rusty Smith's Eighty Eight.
On hand Saturday at the RMTC was Andy Stronach of the well-known Stronach racing family - Andy, Belinda, Elfrieda and Frank, along with Larry King were the winners of the Eclipse Award at the 34th annual banquet.
The Stronach Group are major players in every past of America's horse race industry says RMTC CEO Max Gibb. "They are among the leading breeders and stand over 20 stallions and brood mares numbered in the hundreds.
"RMTC is thrilled to be associated with Andy and have him with us this weekend." The Stronach family has bred and campaigned two American classic winners - 1997 Belmont Stakes winner Touch Gold and 2000 Preakness Stakes winner Red Bullet.
As well the have the been in the Breeders' Cup winner's circle with homebred horses five times, with: Awesome Again (1998 Classic); 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper (Classic); Ginger Punch (2007 Ladies' Classic); Macho Uno (2000 Juvenile); and Perfect Sting (2000 Filly and Mare Turf). All were honored with Eclipse Award, As well Frank Stronach has been recognized as the country's leading owner with four Eclipse Awards (1998-2000, and 2008).
During the 2011-2012 Gulf stream meeting, Awesome Feather put her owners in the winner's circle with a victory in the Florida Sunshine Millions Distaff.
The family is immersed in the sport, owning: Santa Anita Park, Gulf Stream Park, Maryland Jockey Club - Pimlico Race Course, Golden Gate Fields, and Portland Meadows. The Stronach Group is also a worldwide leader in wagering technology and the premier global supplier of pari- mutuel systems and services. AmTote has installed totalisator equipment - "tote" systems - in more than 800 racing and wagering locations around the world.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Going into the final weekend there are two undefeated horses at the RMTC, both with three wins and no losses, Cruisinforabruisin and At The Bada Bing... Then there are five horses with 2-0 records... The Stronach Group's state-of-the-art, technologically include self-service betting terminals, Internet and telephone-based wagering, and "hub" systems for simulcast wagering and it's the leading Internet and telephone account wagering service that enables account holders to wager online... Sunday was as nice a day as any at the RMTC this season... Kurt Calton had five horses in the eight-horse sixth race and lost out to Tom Kenway's Honor The Aztec... The final weekend of the Fall Meet, and the year, at the RMTC is a four-day affair, wit racing this Friday through Monday... Post time Friday is 6 p.m., and 1:15 p.m. the other three days.