It's the richest harness racing event, of the season, in western Canada! The annual 'Mid Summer Classic Day' program comes up this Monday afternoon, at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, featuring the $152,410 Ralph Klein Memorial (3YO C & G) and the $129,080 Lady Luck Final (3YO F). Both 'glamour' races will headline the stacked card, which also features three divisions of the Century Bets Stake (2YO C & G), plus two divisions of the Emerald Filly Stake (2YO F). The total purse money, being offered up on Monday's card, is a whopping $404,391!
Following is an in-depth preview of the 'glamour races' for the three-year-old boys and girls - along with full card selections.
Race 10 - $152,410 Ralph Klein Memorial (3YO C & G)
(*Four horses were 'supplemented' to this race for a fee of $4,500 each. Those horses are American Dreamer, Da Magician, Getup Gideon and Ima Dude.)
#5 DA MAGICIAN (Serge Masse) Pays the supplemental fee to race for the big money and why not? His last test, against many of these, was a blow-out victory (by more than eleven lengths) in the $60,000 Brad Gunn Final on Canada Day. Since then this three-year-old son of Dragon Again has faced Alberta's best aged horses in the Open Pace events and he's not looked out of place there... *He gets the top call!
#3 MATEO (Jim Marino) He's an early speed threat and he's got a great post to leave from here. Watch for the 'The Moneyman' Marino to have him in the hunt early and sticking around late. This consistent son of Blue Burner should be the Exactor factor, but take note that he has been away from the races for three weeks... *A first or second place finish puts him over $200K in career earnings!
#7 OUTLAW BLUE ICE (Mike Hennessy) This Blue Burner sophomore is always in the hunt and flashed a very nice 28 second 'final quarter' in his latest. He'll need a trip and bit of luck to hit the ticket here, but his form is showing well and so is the pilot. Hennessy is enjoying a career-best year and will easily get his first 100+ wins 'in the sulky' this season... *Use this 'lucky number seven' in your TRI's and HI5's!
#6 GETUP GIDEON (Phil Giesbrecht) Another Blue Burner and another that pays the supplemental fee to race. He, too, is a great cheque getter for the likable owner/trainer/breeder Rod Starkewski. The runner-up finish in his Marksman Elim, on July 9, appears to be one of his better efforts, this season, finishing second-best - race timing in 1:54.2... *A similar effort here and he could grab a nice piece of this $152K pie!
#1 AMERICAN DREAMER A supplemental starter that gets the rail to work with. His last win came from post one - a gate-to-wire lifetime best 1:55.1 in early June... *Think about it!
#2 IMA DUDE Showed up in a big way last time out for a 1:55.2 score. Yet to show his rookie season speed - his best mile was a 1:53.4 victory over Fraser Downs in 2016.
#4 COLD CASE One of three Kelly Hoerdt trainees in to go here. He does have the early speed to work with, but he'll have to be much better, in the late going, to show up here.
#8 SENGA NITRO The champ, from last season, has had some tough racing luck in 2017 and it doesn't get much better, here, with the dreaded 'eight-hole'.
#9 WABASH CANNONBALL Showed well in his Brad Gunn and Marksman Elims, but couldn't put it together for the Finals. He's a longshot player hoping for the best.
Race 9 - $129,080 Lady Luck #1 Final (3YO Fillies)
#1 YOGA PANTS (Jim Marino) Was the easiest winner last week - rolling along unchallenged throughout and winning as she pleased in 1:55.2. She's only been beaten once in her career and I don't think it'll happen here. With her record... With the rail... With 'The Moneyman' Marino... *It's a pretty safe bet to put this Sportswriter miss on top!
#6 OUTLAW FIREBALL (J.F. Gagne) Closed up well, on the wide side, to take her elimination heat last weekend, but with an outside post position - where will she sit this time? I really like this Blue Burner filly and I'd like her even more if she had an inside post. I think the winner is going to be on the lead at the quarter mile... *She's never led at the quarter mile!
#4 OUTLAW IMAHOTVIXEN (Jamie Gray) It's more Blue Burner horse-power with this miss. One of the lower earners in this field, for 2017, but her last race shows that she can pace home like a bandit - 28 seconds flat, on the end of it, for a solid third in her latest. The start before was a gate-to-wire win. I like her versatility... *Give her a shot at the show spot!
#3 STEADY BREEZE (Kelly Hoerdt) Her latest outing was likely the best, thus far, in her young career. This daughter of Camystic turned some heads and popped some eyeballs with her 'come from behind' style to nab second last time out. No chance of catching the winner there and for this she'll remain a value play... *Try her in the Superfecta!
#2 WEDDING DANCE Her gate speed should put her into contention early, but will she be able to stick around late? Beware!
#5 CARDINAL RULE Just missed last time and she has the potential to grab a share again. Be looking for her in the late going.
#7 KEYS PLEASE A longshot player with an outside post. Tough to use her against these, but what's that old saying? 'Anything can happen in a horse race!'
#8 STYLOMILOHOS Another longshot possibility - on the outside - looking in. A nice filly, but post eight will do her no favours here.
#9 DOUBLE MYSTERY Yet to win in 2017 and most likely winless after this one too, but you can't win it - unless you're not in it!
Sugar's Selections (*Full Card - Monday, August 7)
R1 - 124
R2 - 235
R3 - 653
R4 - 725
R5 - 234
R6 - 341
R7 - 782
R8 - 637
R9 - 1643
R10 - 5376
Post time all weekend (Saturday, Sunday and Monday) is 1:10 PM (3:10 PM Eastern)... Best of luck to all and I will see you there!