Kelly Hoerdt trainees Barona Lilac and Skade swept the two top spots of the $50,000 Ralph Klein Breeders Stake on Saturday July 20that Alberta Downs. Barona Lilac driven by Jim Marino came from off the pace to win in a 1:54.4 victory. Skade (Campbell) was second and the favorite American Passion (Hudon) came up for third. This stake for 3yr-old pacing fillies honors the memory of the late Ralph Klein. Shirley Mcclellan was in attendance and presented the trophy to the winning connections. The day was a huge success filled with loads of activities. Josh Grogerman, a close friend of the Klein family was the MC for the day. There were gifts galore and prizes given out to all ages sponsored by ASHA, Horse Racing Alberta and Alberta Downs. The betting handle hit an all time high of $52,382.
On Sunday, July 21stthe 3yr-old colts hit the track for final of the $50,000 Brad Gunn. Premium Attaction (Hoerdt) just narrowed out Blue Star Admiral (Tainsh Jr) for the win in an exciting battle down the stretch. Premium Attaction crossed the line ahead by a nose in 1:52.1. Tip Top Tap (Hennessy) rallied up for third.
EMERALD FILLIES STAKE
On Saturday July 27th, we saw two $25,000 divisions of the Emerald stake for 2yr-old Fillies. Shark Festival was victorious in the first division for driver-trainer Keith Clark. The 2yr-old Shadow Play-Shark Fest filly laid out a perfect pocket trip to win in 1:58. Triple Action (Campbell) who was also impressive was second for trainer Joe Ratchford. Rummys Command (B Clark) another trainee of the Keith Clark stable was third.
The second division, Nighttraintovegas was also ultra impressive in winning her division of the Emerald stake for trainer Rick Schneider by four lengths in a time of 1:57 flat. Mystic Return driven and trained by Keith Clark was second to cross the finish line and Justapassin Fanci (Hudon) was third.
HORIZON PACE STAKE
We saw loads of stakes action on Sunday, July 28th. The Horizon Pace had three fields of 2yr-old colts and geldings with each division going for a purse of $16,667. Comes Home First captured the first division for driver Jim Marino and trainer Lance Ward. The Brandons Cowboy-Cinderella Cam 2yr-old colt won by 10 lengths in a speedy time of 1:56.4. Comes Home First is owned by JJJ Stables of Aldergrove, BC. Shyloh Changerluck was second in 1:59 for trainer Quentin Schneider and owners Shyloh Acres of Davidson, SK. Blue Eyed Cowboy (Tainsh Jr) rallied up for third for trainer-owner Rod Starkewski.
The Jim Marino and Lance Ward driver-trainer combination doubled up in the second division with Need You so bad. The American Ideal-Sendingforth colt paced in 1:58 flat and is also owned by the JJJ Stables. The favorite paid $3.10 $2.20 $2.10. Ghost Pine was second for driver-trainer Kelly Hoerdt. Hoerdt shares ownership with Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, AB. The Big Heist came up for the third prize for driver-trainer Rene Goulet. Ownership on the colt belongs to Kathleen and Clifford Coonfer of Olds, AB.
The third division of the Horizon Pace did not disappoint. Jet Tracker driven by Brandon Campbell and trained by Tim Brown won in a blistering time of 1:55.3. Jet Tracker swept his six rivals by 14 lengths. The Jeremes Jet-Juice Loonie 2 yr-old colt is owned and bred by Albert and Lois Branham of Sherwood Park, AB. Cowboy Mathis came from last heading into the stretch to come up for second for driver-trainer Keith Clark. Pass The Port held on for third for driver Paul Davis. Pass The Port is trained and owned by Sam Johnson of Sherwood Park, AB.
Trust The Artist took his second straight win in the Open Pace on Sunday, July 28th. The 9 yr-old veteran pacer now has 53 career wins and lifetime earnings of $585,396.
On Saturday, July 27thdriver Brandon Campbell had 5 driving wins on the day.
Driver-trainer combination of Jim Marino and Lance Ward had a winning triple on the card Sunday, July 28thwith Pedal Steel in the third, Comes Home First in the seventh and Need You So Bad in the ninth race.
On Sunday July 28thAlberta Downs hit another all-time high betting handle of $52,826.
Racing returns to Alberta Downs this weekend. Saturday August 3rd, Sunday August 4thand holiday Monday August 5th.
FAN APPRECIATION DAY WILL BE HELD ON HOLIDAY MONDAY AUGUST 5TH. An estimated total of $2000 in betting vouchers will be given out to lucky fan each race along with other prizes.