Qualifiers were held on Sunday April 28th. We had 6 qualifiers with a total of 37 horses. All but 3 horses qualified. Connie Kolthammers 2012 AB 2yr-old Champion nominee Outlawcherishafool qualified respectably in 2:04.3. Outlawishfulthinkn, Shirley Girl, Wrangler Raine, F Train, and Arroway all won their qualifiers in a time of 2:02.2 or 2:02.3. A few new Americanbreds appeared including two Rocknroll Hanover fillies Masada Rocks and Isle Of Shoals. As expected the 5th qualifier was the fastest of the day won by 2012 Champion Aged Horse nominee Flak Jacket in 1:59.2 which included the 10yr-old aged horse Armbro Dublin, Blue Star Admiral, Total Rhythm, Western Shoot Out and Acendeuces whom all paced their mile in 2:00.4 or better.
ALBERTA DOWNS gearing up for strong meet!
2012 Trainer of the Year KELLY HOERDT is excited to get back into action and we will see his star Aged Mare "River Lass" return from BC to race back here in Alberta. 9 yr-old Pablo (Trust The Artist) is busy in the breeding shed but Hoerdt also has plans to race him this year. We hope to see the 2012 Champion 2-yr-old AB Sired Colt "Premium Attaction" and stable mate "Rays Crown Royal" both line up behind the gate in the Adios Pick June 2nd. Premium Attaction is ready to go and looks good so far says Hoerdt.
The 2012 Champion 2yr-old Alberta Sired Filly Crackers Hot Shot enjoyed her break and will qualify the opening weekend states Owner/Trainer ROD STARKEWSKI. Rod is looking for a little more maturity from his shining star this year and providing everything goes well she will be entered in the Wild Rose June 1st. All Canadian Mjjz has also enjoyed his break and is feeling good says Starkewski and sure hopes his star pupil can keep up to the "Big Boys" this summer. Rod is currently training six two-year olds and they have been in around 2:35.
LANCE WARD will be showing up to do battle. Leading his camp will be the 2012 Alberta Super Final 3yr-old Colt Champion Outlaw Beacan who has been given a long rest and will return racing sometime in May. Ward will have four 3yr olds qualifying and is looking forward to the return of Pedal Steel (full brother to superstar Silver Eagle) this year. He only raced a few times at two and wasn't as mature as you would like says Ward. So far he's training back well. Ward is also really excited to be training the highly anticipated "Somebeachsomewhere" 2yr-old filly out of Bette Blue Chip. He's taking his time with this young filly and will not be rushing her. In addition, Ward is thrilled that BC owners JJJ Stables will be sending him more horses to race this summer at Alberta Downs including two 2yr-olds that were purchased at our 2012 ASHA yearling sale.
Female driver/trainer CONNIE KOLTHAMMER is very excited about her prospects this year. She has high hopes for her two star fillies Outlawcherishafool and Outlawlookslikrain. Connie also has a new addition to the barn with a Rocknroll Hanover filly Isle of Shoals which she purchased from Harrisburg last fall for $10,000. She was a lightly raced 2yr old and was purchased by Connie and her husband Jim with the hopes she can be a future broodmare. Both Outlawcherishafool and Isles of Shoals will be qualifying and if everything goes well all 3 fillies will be entered in the Wild Rose June 1st. Connie and Jim are training 10 2yr-olds and most are around 2:35 to 2:40. Another big addition to their farm is a brand new foal on the ground out of BIG BAD JOHN. They purchased the dam Grand Slam Woman at Harrisburg with the intentions of breeding to Smart Shark who is now enjoying a well deserved retirement and is spending his time in the breeding shed.
The KEITH CLARK camp always shows up to play. Playbook, Somethinsgoinon and Wish I Was are all doing well and ready to qualify says assistant trainer BOBBY CLARK. Beren Hanover has been racing well at Fraser Downs and will be heading back to AB with Keith right after their meet ends. Champion 3yr-old Alberta Filly Credit Card Junkie enjoyed a nice long rest and is now back at work. The Clark farm is not only busy with 12 2yr-olds in training but also with their broodmares foaling. One of Alberta's top mares in her time Shark Fest just had a Up The Credit foal.
The talented 3yr-old AB colt Blue Star Admiral is as ready as he could be and if all goes well will be entered in the Adios Pick with bells on says trainer GLENN LUTZ. The now 13yr-old pacer Rango who is just short of 500,000 in winnings is as sharp as a tack and going to continue racing for another summer meet. Lutz is currently training 6 2yr-olds who are all training down great and have been in around 2:35. The barn has enjoyed the break but are all showing eagerness to get back behind the gate.
Young driver/trainer CHRIS BROWN is excited for the meet to start. Brown currently has 4 horses in his barn including Modern Man and Westcoast Royal and hopes both will be competitive and hit the board in their respective classes over the summer. Brown has high hopes for his 2yr-old AB colt that has been in 2:30. If the colt continues in the right direction we can look forward to seeing him behind the gate in the 2013 Alberta Sire Stakes.
ROBERT SABOURIN JR. will be sending his 3 yr-olds to the gate in tip top shape. Fillies Cool Treasure and Bettor Dreams both will see stakes action this season. In addition, we can look to see Better To Be Free who is the full brother to Bettor Tuwin line up behind the gate also for some stakes action. Bettor Tuwin is currently at home carrying out his breeding duties.