With the Ralph Klein and Brad Gunn Stakes, for three-year-olds, just around the corner - it's been rumoured that some astute Alberta horsemen have been shopping around outside of Western Canada for possible supplements to the rich stake events. The cost to supplement for each stake would be $3,950.
Elimination heats for both the Ralph Klein (Fillies) and the Brad Gunn (Colts and Geldings) will take place on Saturday, August 1st, at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino - with the $70,000 Finals following up on the next Saturday, August 8th. That leaves just days, now, for any horseman considering on bringing in a new threat to take on the likes of star fillies' Blue Star Texas (Keith Clark) and Fire Watch (Travis Cullen).
First Class Horse (Keith Clark) is listed as the top 'glamour' boy, in the west, sporting a perfect 7-for-7 record in 2015. He is coming off a short rest, but all systems appear to be on go after an easy winning qualifier on July 18th.
In terms of supplemental entries - once landed in Alberta - should the connections be thinking about the Northlands Filly Pace or the Western Canada Pacing Derby, later in the season, a nomination fee of $450 would be due by September 1st.
The Names Behind The Stakes
"The late Premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein, loved harness racing. He and his wife, Colleen, owned a few standardbreds over the years. He led the way in creating the racing entertainment centre concept in 1996. The concept was to stabilize an important part of the agriculture industry by providing revenues from slot machine gaming at racetracks to support purses – and through that, to provide employment and encourage investment in the horse racing sector. At the height of the program in the early years of this century, horse racing was a $400 million a year business in Alberta. For Ralph, the industry was always important – always a big part of agriculture. It’s why he gave it his attention. It’s why his name and his contribution lives on in the form of the Ralph Klein Stakes for 3 year old fillies." - Peter Watts
"The late Brad Gunn was a Hall of Fame Breeder. Brad and his father started buying standardbred horses in 1957. Three years later, Brad made his first trip to the Harrisburg yearling sale and came home with several horses including Adios Pick. That one proved to be the foundation sire for a farm that was rated among the top ten producing farms in North America for three years in a row." - Peter Watts
It's been said that Adios Pick was the As Promised of his time... Folks would recall seeing four or five horses, in one race, all sired by Adios Pick back in the day.
(With files from ASHA)