Sunday, 03 March 2013 17:00

Massive '15-dash program' held at Northlands Park

Written by Jeff Robillard
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With only one card per-week, offered up, during the final two weekends of the 2012-2013 harness meet - a massive '15-dash program' was held this past Saturday at Northlands Park. It's believed that this was a first for the historic Edmonton oval and it's expected that this coming Saturday will feature the same amount of dashes to close out the meet.

Young Travis Cullen, who's put together a sensational winter meet at Northlands Park, would send out eleven trainees on the day. From the eleven starters - he'd make it to the winner's circle three times, be runner-up three times, and the other five would all pick up cheques... Not a bad day at the office at all!

Cullen would win with his first offering on the day, Gottobsexy 1:58 in Race 3... He'd pick this mare up for a song and from three starts, for TC, she's got two wins; then it was Classy Locomotion 1:59.1 in Race 5... I said this mare was done on the final turn, but somehow she found more in the stretch to hold off the closers; finally Overnight Success 1:58 in Race 8... TC was straight back on her with 3/8th's to go and she would just cruise to an easy victory.

Cullen plans on heading to BC's Fraser Downs, during the break, with a handful of starters from his barn. All the best TC!

The track was in fine shape to begin the program Saturday with the back-up class - fillies and mares - on display in the opener. It would be Just Saucy, owned and trained by Blair Thomas, coming from off the pace to reach the wire in 1:56 - the fastest mile on the day - with 'Cheeseburger' Phil Giesbrecht in the sulky. Gts Jerilyn would finish four lengths back, in second, after carving out fractions of 28.4, 58.2 and 1:27. Born With A Grin completed the top three.

The top class event would go to Big Bang Theory, for owners Gerry and Monica Hudon, along with Lynn Kowalevsky. The big mare would be a gutsy first-up winner, in 1:56.3, over a rain and snow soaked track in Race 14. Feelin Flush would come on for second, with the pacesetter Just Fiction holding third. Then came Barona Josie, Phoenician Gal, Callmeaftermdnight, Ashlynn Grace, Doober Hoozzitz and Canya Crackher.

The St. Paul 4-H Club feature went to Jeff Macleod's Capablenrewardng with trainer/driver Deb Macleod aboard in 1:57.1. A large group of 4-H'ers were on hand for the blanket presentation in Race 6. While at the track the 4-H'ers were treated to barn tours, a meal in the backstretch kitchen and a visit to the 'Eye in the Sky' - to view races with the racing officials and yours truly. A great time was had by all!

Other winners included Uptown Spirit 2:03.4, Carro Avro 1:59, Terrorizer 1:56.3, Rope The Wind 1:58, Lisvinnie 1:58.1, Hollywood Hotel 1:57, Silent Rescue 1:58.1, Cool One 1:59.3 and National Interest 1:57.1.

Total Handle: $153,700

ASHA's AGM takes place

Bill Andrew would open up the meeting and state that "although 2012 was a 'challenging year' - we're very hopeful that the Calgary situation is under control and that Balzac may happen..." He added that UHA's (The United Horsemen of Alberta) application for Balzac is at AGLC - awaiting approval (3 to 4 month process) - and there is upport for it. "Until that happens - we tough it out."

Dan Sifert noted that there appeared to be a shortage of broodmares in the province and that maybe - with a new track on the horizon - that situation would change for the better.

UHA President Darcy Marler addressed the crowd with some thoughts on the Balzac project. "We're hoping for AGLC approval by May or June. Construction could then start and we'd be looking at opening in late summer of 2014. I've never been this optimistic. In my four years with UHA - we've never been this close!"

Marler brought along blueprints and sketches for the project which would include a 32,000 sq. ft. single story facility - housing 650 machines and a 5.5 furlong mixed standardbred/thoroughbred/quarter horse track.

Marler admitted that stabling is a question mark, but discussions continue on a possible training centre within a few miles of the race track site.

Read 1482 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 07:37