The third weekend of racing of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club's Spring Meet features the first two major races of the year.
"The Quarter horse people will be glued to the rail for the running of two top Quarter horse races, with our first purses over the $15,000 mark this season," says RMTC CEO Max Gibb, "The Bank of America Maiden Challenge goes off first on Saturday, for our seventh race, followed by the All Canadian Open Sunday, which will close out the weekend's card.
"Both races had a series of trials to pare the entries down to the final eight, and they'll be in action this weekend. These are two of the highest paid races this Spring. It should be quite a spectacle.
"Besides all this we have eight race on tap for both Saturday and Sunday, with a post time of 1:15 p.m. each day.
There'll be a six furlong run for three year olds and upwards Saturday with some top trainers taking their horses to the starting gate, including Robert Gwilliam, Stan Marks, Pete Dubois and Norm Cuthbertson.
The fourth race only has five entries but those entries feature last year's horse of the year, Careless Hunter trained by Rick Wiest, and another previous ACTRA winner Dubla Gold, trained by Pete Dubois. Also entered is Jim Depew's Streets of Fire, Lyle Magnuson's Red Defense and Keene On Demand, trained by Riley Rycroft.
Following are the qualifiers by post position, their times in the trials, the trainers and their riders in Saturday's 350-yard Bank Of America Maiden Challenge, with an $24,138 purse: 1. Shez Double Quick, 18.387, Bucky Stockwell, Jose Roca; 2. MS Red Stilettos, 18.313, Ken Kenway, Andrew Wright; 3. Witnessing Faith, 18.499, Allen Goodsell, Dwight Lewis; 4. Splashy Mamacitqa, 18.500, Janice Sather, Ruben Saenz; 5. Sweet Corona Jr., 18.399, Robby Overturf, Trevor Simpson; 6. Fantastic Attitude, 18.386, Allen Goodsell, Juan Ramon Gonzalez; 7. Bitterroot Corona, 18.385, William Leech, Ricardo Moreno; 8. Streakin Timber, 28.321, Les Adams, Ramiro Sanchez Castillo. Sunday's race card features some top horses, with Hey Italian Lady, Lyle Magnuson trainer in the sixth race, and Terri Landaker, returning once again to Whoop-Up Downs, training Master's Bluff in the seventh race.
Sunday's card kicks off with a 220-yard sprint, with seven top-ranked maidens and winds up with the big All Canadian Open Derby, over 350-yards.
Following are the qualifiers by post position for the All Canadian Derby with their names, times in the trials, their trainers and their riders in the Derby, with its $18,500 purse: 1. Goodest, 18.096, William Leech, Ricardo Moreno; 2. Wave Rocker, 18.120, Kurt Calton, Jake Samuels; 3. KG Guy, 18.066, Kurt Calton, Larris Allen; 4. Cruisinfourabruisin, 18.125, Janice Sather, Ruben Saenz; 5. Stella Wave, 18.251, Kurt Calton, Kassie Guglielmiro; 6. Blaines Wagon, 18.168, Allen Goodsell, Juan Ramon Gonzalez; 7. Big Hoss Rollin, 18.210, Angelle Carter, Ramiro Sanchez Castillo; 8. Glittering Wave, 18.245, William Leech, Jose Rocha.
After only five days of racing Larris Allen leads the riders with 11 wins while Trevor Simpson is next in line with six and Ricardo Moreno and Jose O. Roca are knotted at five.
Last year's leading trainer at the RMTC, Lyle Magnuson, is off to a great start with eight wins, well ahead of runner-up Riley Rycroft with four.
Besides the races the RMTC has a full array of entertainment, from a large bazar, Dixieland Jazz music, a variety of food and drinks, simulcast wagering, and the kiddies petting zoo and candy scramble.