Young Cullen escaped serious injury, in the Race 15 finale, after he was unseated driving the favoured Fancy Camelot. Lynettes Legacy (Tyler Redwood) racing second - half in and half out - made a break at the opening quarter mile marker and she couldn't make it outside far enough - to allow Fancy Camelot to come through. The squeeze was on and when the racebikes came together - Cullen was thrown... The confusion continued and Phil Giesbrecht, aboard No Limit For Mjjz, was also unseated during the ordeal. Both unseated drivers were on their feet within seconds and both horses returned to the barn - unscathed - after being corralled by outrider Roy Sturgeon. Reports indicate that both drivers suffered some bruising, but luckily... nothing too serious.
The 'top class' event on the day would go to Smooth Criminal, with Bill Tainsh Jr. aboard, for owners Wally Moroz and Willie Wychopen. The 4-year-old son of Blue Burner would use a bullet 27.3 third quarter, of his own, to move within range of Timberline Court. Smooth Criminal would be all heart, as he took control in deep stretch, stopping the timer in 1:55.3. Timberline Court would stay for second, with Sixdaysontheroad finishing up well for third... Then came Hollywood Warrior, Mr Saratoga and Acesndeuces. Trust The Artist was a scratch.
The fastest mile of the program would go to Wally McKay's Hilldrop Shady in 1:55 flat. The 7-year-old son of Shady Character would roll gate-to-wire, thru fractions of 28.2, 57.4 and 1:25.4, with Bill Tainsh Jr. catch-driving for trainer Ken Read. Pocket-sitter All Canadian Mjjz would claim second, with Gts Jake coming from last to be third. Tainsh Jr would also win the finale, with Rossridge Divine 2:01, to hit for the triple on the day.
Gerry Hudon would also drive three winners on the afternoon. He'd score with Kumu 2:00.1, Wrangler Hitech 1:56.2 and Hollywood Hotel 1:56.2. Scott Sinclair and Jason Teague, representing Northlands Park, would present Hudon with the Leading Trainer and Leading Driver awards for the Fall/Winter Meet. With stable standouts like Timberline Court, Mr Brightside and Big Bang Theory, Hudon was an impressive 'going away' winner, in both categories.
Pilot Tyler Redwood would pick up the driving double, on the day, with Raging Fingers 1:55.2 and Im A Wildcat 1:57.2.
Other winners were Western Shoot Out 1:58.1 and Cool One 1:59.3.
Total Handle: $165,480
It's now break time for all horses racing in Alberta. Live thoroughbred racing will return to Edmonton during the first weekend of May. Thoroughbreds are scheduled to move in to Northlands Park, no earlier than March 15, with on-track training beginning on March 19th.
Harness racing will resume at Lacombe's Alberta Downs on Saturday, May 4th.
Sugar needs a break too
Just like the horses, I'm going to need a break too. I'll be doing some travelling and recharging the batteries over the next month or so. Thanks so much for tuning into www.thehorses.com for your racing updates. See you in April!