The bet of the night - Live A Little - would take the evening feature with hot apprentice rider Amie Pooli, in the irons, for trainer Greg Tracy and owners Kelvin Godin and Craig Robertson. The post-time favourite would trail the field before circling up, with a quick move, into the final turn. It would be Live A Little all alone at the finish line - four lengths ahead of the 2nd best Catchtheconnection.
Other winners on the abbreviated card included Irish Twist (Jorge Espitia), Short Memo (Rico Walcott), Road Talk (Fernando Perez), Fairaway (Shannon Beauregard) and Amaryllis Beach (Real Simard).
Total Handle $178,676.
Saturday Night Ride... The Friday night special!
Saturday Night Ride would take the $50,000 Madamoiselle Handicap, on Friday night, at the Park. Sent away at 5-2 the 4YO daughter of Flower Alley would be well in hand and in command, throughout, to score a two length victory over the fast closing Madeira Park, with Awesome Plan holding 3rd.
Owned by North American Thoroughbred Horse Company and Mark DeDomenico - Saturday Night Ride would be handled by jockey Aaron Gryder for trainer Dennis Terry. It would be the filly's Park debut and she would take kindly to the setting here in Edmonton.
"She was able to settle down and she worked really well before this race in Vancouver," said a confident Gryder. "She’s a happy filly and once she found that rhythm she was really great."
Other Friday winners were Gold For Free (Eddy Martinez), Clarisse B (Enrique Gonzalez), Love Is Elusive (Tony Maragh), Silver Wabbit (Rico Walcott), Cherokee R N (Fernando Perez), Arabian Storm (Nate Smith) and Rum Chaser (Shannon Beauregard).
Total Handle $215,272.
Commander dominates in Fred Jones Handicap
It would be back-to-back stakes wins for the 'big fella' Commander - as he'd roll gate-to-wire, in the 1st Running of the $50,000 Fred Jones Handicap, on Saturday afternoon. The odds on favourite would cruise to an early lead after known-speedster Dougs Buddy would break 4th in the small, but select, five-horse field.
Large and in charge through splits of 23.4 - 47.4 - 1:11.4... Commander would be in full flight going into the final turn. In my time, calling thoroughbred action at the Park, I have never, ever, seen a horse moving so quick by the quarter pole. He was absolutely flying! He'd post a mile in 1:36.4 with the mile and a sixteenth clocked in a snappy 1:43.4. With six wins now, from seven starts in Edmonton, he is indeed the horse for this course!
Jockey Aaron Gryder would be aboard to sweep stakes action over the weekend for North American Thoroughbred Horse Company.
"He comes in here and shows up, he’s very business like and he knows his job," said Gryder on Commander. "It’s the first time I’ve gotten to ride him going long and he’s such a big horse and seems to be more comfortable going a route."
An emotional Dennis Terry would reflect on the memory of an old friend in the winner's circle following the victory.
"Freddy Jones put me on my first Canadian Derby winner 51 years ago and that makes winning this race that much more special," said a soft-spoken Terry.
Jockey Nate Smith would record a riding triple on the day with Najran Breeze, Gangster Rap and Lunar Intent. Rico Walcott settled for the double on Boston Rob and Riggs Flat.
Other winners were Sexy Eleanor (Real Simard) and Desert Train (Ismael Mosqueira).
Total Handle $222,537.
Large holiday crowd Monday
A large holiday crowd enjoyed the racing action, at the Park, on Monday afternoon. It would be Boomtown Brat giving rider Amie Pooli her second feature race victory, of the week, in the afternoon's 7th - for owners Curtis and Darrell Landry and trainer Tim Rycroft. Sent off at 3-1 the Brat would outduel even-money fave Ready Racer, down the stretch, to take the $19,900 affair.
Leading jockey Rico Walcott rode for another double, on the day, with the newcomer Torreys K T M and Cap Gunner.
Other winners included Shifty Sheriff (Nate Smith), Soul De Naskra (Jorge Espitia), Delta Court (Ismael Mosqueira), Real Dingo (Shannon Beauregard) and Nats Golden Nugget (Fernando Perez).
Total Handle $344,597