A couple of $50,000 finals for Alberta sired 3 year olds headline the Sept. 10th card this Saturday at Century Downs. The top eight colts compete in the final of the Alberta Marksmen while the top fillies will chase a big pot in the final of the Alberta Diamond. The two stakes are the second leg of three, leading to the Super Finals on Oct. 29th. The Alberta Marquis for the girls and the Alberta Maverick for the boys will be the third and final leg and the eliminations for those series are set for Sept. 23rd and 24th.
So far, following this past Saturday’s eliminations in the Alberta Diamond, there have been 3 races in the 6-race series to qualify for the Super Finals. Unofficially, Outlawsurshotshark has won the most money, $30,700, largely due to a big payday for winning the Alberta Princess final on July 9th. Monstrous, which has unofficially collected $18,275 9 in the three races, is second overall, followed by Divas Dragonfly and Ba Bye Ceia Later. The 3 winners on Saturday of the Diamond eliminations were separated by just 2 fifths of a second on the clock, suggesting it will be a very competitive final this Saturday.
Divas Dragonfly, Witch Doctor, and Cenalta Artistry come out of the first elimination of the Alberta Diamond and qualify for the final. Outlawtriggerhappy, Monstrous and Glamorgal emerged from elimination #2 and knocked Outlawsurshotshork out of the final which is a surprise. Apple Blossom Time, Ba Bye Ceia Later and Top It Up advanced from the third elimination to complete a nine horse field for Saturday’s final.
It was a particularly good day for trainer, Rod Starkewsky. “Phil Giesbrecht usually drives Outlawtriggerhappy for me but he had his own horse in the race,” Starkewsky told me. “So I put Gerry Hudon in the bike and wouldn’t you know it, Trigger won at odds of 8-1 and broke his own lifetime mark by more than 2 full seconds (now !;56.1).”
Hudon also got the drive behind Classy Artist in the second elimination of the Alberta Marksman. The 3 year old son of Trust the Artist finished third and booked a spot in Saturday’s final as well. “I’m really pleased with that one,” said Starkewsky, “particularly against that group. We’ll take it, and see how we draw in the final.”
The 3 year old colts and geldings have already been through the Alberta Plainsman series and completed the eliminations for the Alberta Marksmen on Saturday afternoon. Outlaw Turn N Burn, Keep Coming, Blue Star Maverick, and Outlaw Kismet qualified for the final in the first of two eliminations. Wrangler Cash, Blue Star Jet, Classy Artist and Prairie Mystic finished atop the second elimination. Wrangler Cash is the leading money winner with an unofficial total of $33,150 in the qualifying races for owners Kelly Hoerdt, Blair Corbeil and Dr. Maurice Stewart. The biggest share of that total came from winning the Alberta Plainsman final on July 10th.
What is especially nice to see is how some of the smaller stables like those of Brent Bodor (Witch Doctor), Quentin Schneider (Glamorgal), Glen Lutz (Apple Blossom Time), Donna Sarin (Outlaw Turn N Burn), Dan Sifert (Keep Coming), Joe Ratchford (Outlaw Kismet), and Brad Watt )Prairie Mystic) will get a chance to play for the big bucks when the Alberta Diamond and the Alberta Marksman go to the post on Saturday afternoon. Entries close on Wednesday morning.
ASHA Yearling Sale Sunday
Racing this Friday at 5:45 PM and Saturday afternoon at 1:10 PM at Century Downs. No racing on Sunday this week so that the harness racing crowd can take in the ASHA Yearling Sale starting at 3:30 PM at the Olds Regional Exhibition Megadome. Seventy-one yearlings are to be offered with owners looking for a champion in the next year or two. Two and three year old Alberta sired horses are racing for better than $1 million in purses this year. Owners of mares bred to stallions registered in the Alberta Sired Stakes Program are eligible to receive the mares bonus. About $400,000 is being paid out this year in that program alone. The bonus is paid to the mare owner for that mare’s 2, 3, and 4 year old race progeny, based upon money earned in all races, including stakes races. There are 31 stallions registered in the ASS program this year.
One of the great programs associated with ASHA and the yearling sale is the Standardbred 4-H Yearling Program. Three members of Alberta 4-H have each taken on a weanling and have invested about 10 months in that animal, learning how to care for it, and learning something of the business side of the industry. Sierra MacDonald has Call Sign, Hip #68. Nyla Wright has been taking care of Hip #69, Cheers for Pres. Cheyenne Widdecke has been looking after Hip #70, Wink Away. A tip o’ the toque is in order to Bill Andrew at Meridien Farms, who has provided Call Sign and Wink Away to the 4-H program, and to Jim Rhodes of High River, who has worked with Nyla Wright on Cheers for Pres.
It’s a great program and interested breeders and 4-H members should contact the ASHA office to see how they can be involved in a project that delivers a lot of value to everyone involved.
a great weekend for Kelly Hoerdt. Four winners on Sunday were followed by two more scores on Monday afternoon. Steady Breeze and Cold Case are both 2 year olds, making their first appearances in the winner’s circle on Monday afternoon. Perhaps we’ll see them in the eliminations of the Alberta Starburst for 2 year old fillies (Steady Breeze) on Sept. 16th, and the Alberta Lonestar for 2 year old colts and geldings (Cold Case) on Sept. 17th……. Chalk Player, one of Ray Henry’s recent buys out of Ontario, came in second to the fine 2 year old, Mateo, on Monday afternoon. J-G Gagne got Mateo to the finish line in 1:57.1 for owners Christine Cutting and Jim Marino. This one will be one to watch in the Alberta Lonestar. It was the first start since shipping west for the 3 year old, Chalk Player, who has taken up residence in Sanford Campbell’s shedrow.