Sunday, if Quarter Horse sprints were your thing, you had five races to enjoy — all covering 300 yards. The 34 sprinters were vying for one of the eight spots in the Alberta Bred Futurity finals June 21.
When it was all over and the calculations complete, William Leech was the only trainer to qualify two horses. However the combination of Laurie Ferguson and her jockey Trevor Simpson topped the trials with KR Cursin Cartel in a speed of 15.74 seconds. Crusin is by Carters Cartel out of KR American Girl by Hawkinson, bred in this province by Ed, Mary, Ryan and Katie Kyler.
The other horses, listed in order of the horse, time and trainer were: First Prize Sass, 15.878, Les Adams; Sheaintawhiskylulaby, 15.891, William Leech; Fiscal Fast, 15.972, Angelle Carter; Flybye 109, 15.983, Buckey Stockwell; Kiddys Down, 16.161, Allen Goodsell; CR Fireball, 16.219, William Leech; Norhtfork Sizzle, 16.245, Ron Scott.
For Thoroughbred fans there was the Spring Overnite Sprint, with seven of the classiest horses in the RMTC barns.
For trainer Riley Rycroft it was sweet revenge for his horse, who stumbled the last time out against many of these speedsters met. Keene On Demand, with Jose Roca in the irons, shocked most of the bettors when he fired up coming down the stretch and defeated two former RMTC Horses of the Year, Careless Hunter and Dubla Gold, who finished two-three in the five and a half furlong run.
The winner, owned by Riley's father Tom, who was at the track to see the victory, and Lewis Mailer, had stumbled badly his last time out and, despite that was closing at the end.
"He's a good horse. In against the same field last time he stumbled badly at the gate and by the time he got to running he was about 15 lengths behind the pack," said Riley. "But that didn't happen today.
"My crew works had to get things right, and he's a good horse. As for the others, well some horses have their days." It is not unusual to report that the top trainer and rider have done it again.
During Friday's six-race card Larris Allen brought She's It Again home, with a small payout of 3.80, 2.70 and 2.10, due to the fact Allen was on the horse and Lyle Magnuson was its trainer. It was win 13 for Magnuson, and many hoped that was an unlucky number for the busy RMTC trainer. But don't bet on it.
Max Gibb was the breeder of the winner, which is owned by Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stables.
Saturday, proving there's no such thing as unlucky 13, the classy group, including breeder Max Gibb, Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stables, Larris Allen and Lyle Magnuson, with Pay To Go Home, won the fifth race, moving Lyle to 14 wins and counting.
Pay To Go Home was bred by Max Gibb and the filly is by the great Gilded Time out of Dandy Andy by Avies Copy.
And the count continued in Saturday's sixth race as Magnuson recorded his 15th win as a trainer with Larris Allen bringing the Magnuson-owned Mojorca Gold home on top.
Sunday, Lyle was taking it easy under the grandstand - where it was cool - but by the seventh race he was back in stride. His own Brudda Clyde, with - you guessed it - Larris Allen aboard, took the seventh race to boost the leading rider and trainer further even further up the ladder in the standings.
Would you believe Lyle and Larris closed out the weekend's card with a win as they negotiated Jaqueline Smith's Red Defense home ahead of the pack? Allen comes out of the weekend as the leading RMTC jockey with 24 victories and Magnuson leads the trainers with 17 wins.
The $7,900 Lethbridge Paint Sakes was taken by Lynda Webb's Kick Buttowski, trained by Les Webb. It was a bit of a pin ball machine race however - no it was a real pin ball race - with stewards moving the one horse, Bound Up to last place, ahead of the two, three, four and five horses, with which it interfered.
"I was in the clear, all the way," said winning jockey Dwight Anthony Lewis. And in effect you could say he kicked Buttowski.
"I've ridden Paints before and they are just like Quarter horses." Buttowski is by Lonestar Legend out of Evelyn M by Judys Liniage and was bred in Oklahoma.
The past weekend featured two sets of Quarter Horse qualifying trials. Saturday the eight horses for the All Canada Open Futurity, set for June 29, were declared with .539 seconds dividing first and eighth. The Finals will see Buckey Stockwell and Robby Overturf qualify two horses apiece.
Following is the list of qualifiers, with the horse, time and trainer: 1. Living Is Sweet, 16.050, Buckey Stockwell; 2, Two If By Sea, 16.090, Kurt Calton: 3. HRH Tres Royale, 16.143; 4.
Nowtoastthelady, 16.147; Robby Overturf; 5. Zoomin My Wagon, 16.237, Laurie Ferguson; 6.
My Mr Millionaire, 16.518, Bruce Ironshirt; 7. Chad On Tappanzee, 16.572, Janice Sather; 8.
Brindis Me, 16.589, Robby Overturf.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE . . . Friday, Saturday and Sunday's track conditions were listed as fast . . . Horse race fans at the RMTC Saturday knew what it meant for their sport to see American Pharaoh win not only the Belmont, but the Triple Crown! . . . Great to see shirt sleeves and shorts on the punters this past weekend . . . You didn't have to be a steward to realize the No.
One horse cut off the entire field in the third race . . . It was a shame because it took away the chance to win for four horses . . . Vincent Alvin Palmer went down almost as the horses came out of the gate in the sixth race . . . But he bounced back up ready to ride . . . Next racing at the RMTC is this Friday through Sunday, post time is 6 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. respectively.