There's a reason a race meet moves along smoothly and features close races, not just for first place but throughout the field.
Behind every successful meet there has to be a well oiled machine in place, headed by the race manager, and in the case of the Rocky Mountain Turf Club that manager is Dorothy "Dot" Stein.
Dot can be seen every race day flying between the race office, paddock and grandstand making sure all the pieces fit together for a successful race card.
"I have a phenomenal staff, all with a passion for horse racing. They show up every weekend so we can present a smooth- running race card... and that includes our ambulance personnel as well," says Dot.
"Also, I feel the horsemen have done a great job coming together so we can fill our races each day. Without them we couldn't do it.
"We also have 15 experienced jockeys in the room, which really helps. I think things are going along excellently, especially for a Spring Meet." Apparently Dot also has some influence on the weather as well. The heavy thunder showers in the area seemed to skit the track Saturday night and Sunday the once soggy track was listed as "good." Saturday's card saw some of the biggest payouts to date, as the $2 bettor and the across the board people coming back from the windows smiling.
The trend began in the second race with Angelle Carter's Thanks Dave, Ramiro Sanchez Castillo aboard for the five and a half furlong romp. It paid 29.40, 13.20 and 5.10. The Exactor however was only $88.70, combined with the number two horse, Carson's Secret.
The third race saw Robert Gwilliam's Best Shaken pay 21.50, 6.50 and 4.00, another nice payout.
The trend continued into the fourth race, this time with a nice $2 Exactor of $223.30 for the 1-2 finish of Harlan Birdrattler's Fellow Eldorado and Jim Depew's Lanfuhr's Star respectively. The Birdrattler-trained horse, owned by Shantell Birdrattler, paid 22.20, 5.70 and 4.40.
Friday night Ramiro Sanchez Castillo roared home on Angelle Carter's Zillas Finalflight in the five and a half furlong fifth race, to pay a nice $10, 7.80 and 4.30. The $2 Exactor, with Zilla and Rule The Race paid $81.50.
It isn't often you see a run away in a 350-yard sprint, but Ricardo Moreno aboard Free Thought, left the other horses battling for second as he covered the course in 18.111. Free Thought, trained by William Leech, is by Stel Corona out of Just Think by Pritzi Dash and was bred in California.
Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable had a big win in Sunday's third race as Miss Moochie came through, with Larris Allen Aboard.' "Lyle has always said Miss Moochie could show her class given the right setting," said breeder Max Gibb about his horse and trainer. "She is by Real West out of Mucclacclaro by Cape Town.
Larris picked up a win for us last year and now, in her second start of the Spring, Larris has given us another win." Miss Moochie came from well off the pace to win. "She has a tendency to fidget around early in a race, but if you can straighten her out like Larris did today, she's a real fine runner."
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... After rain Friday night the track wasn't really sloppy, but it was certainly gooey, albeit a none racing term... Friday's first race had only four horses so the windows only paid for win and place tickets... Longtime RMTC supporters, the Calfrobe family, with Noran doing the training, won the fifth race Sunday with A J's Dream... Trevor Simpson won two of Friday's six races... Sunday was a big day for 65-year-old Mario Provost, a direct descendant of Chief Crowfoot, one of the Blackfoot Chiefs signing Treaty 7... Mario has been around the race track for at least 50 years he says, as an owner, rider and trainer... They threw a birthday party for him upstairs Sunday... Last year's top apprentice rider, Kaylan McCarty, won her first race of the Spring aboard Phil Wiest's Top Kat Miss... ACTRA award winner Smile Lee put a smile on trainer Angelle Carter's face, taking the seventh in a dandy race with Ramiro Sanchez Castillo aboard... Larris Allen is still the leading rider with 18 wins but Trevor Simpson is now only one behind... Lyle Magnuson is the top trainer with 12 victories and hard-charging Riley Rycroft is next is line with nine... Next racing at the RMTC is this Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 1:15 p.m.