" Without mentioning any particular horses, Sletten offered up his take on a few of the 'sharper' looking stables as we get set to open up the 2013 season in Edmonton. "The Ron Grieves barn looks good to go," he says. "The veteran trainers - Dale Saunders and Red Smith - are showing well too." Trainer Amber Buniak, going into her second season as a trainer, has certainly caught the clocker's eye as well.
"Buniak's stock looks very impressive," touted Sletten. "She appears to have everything in good order out there." Buniak started 19 times in 2012, with a 2-4-2 win-place-show record and $25,000 earned. She'll be looking to up those numbers with the likes of Extremely Sharp, Kiss Me Goodbye and the unraced 3-year-old filly Umizoomi (Gold Legend - A Ray of Magic by Xray) in 2013.
Fan-favourite Quincy Welch has returned, to Alberta, to ride for 2013. Agent Bob Fowlis will carry the book of Welch - the top rider in Alberta for several years before heading to Ontario in 2011. Great to see you back Quincy! Career Stats - http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=People&searchType=J&eID=57129
Nate Smith will ride at Northlands Park this season. Currently racing out of Arizona's Turf Paradise, Smith has seen plenty of action in Alberta - mainly at Evergreen Park and Rocky Mountain Turf Club - during his ten years in the irons. *I recall an evening back in the summer of 2008, up in Grande Prairie, where Smith would put on a clinic... From 9 rides he'd win 7 and finish second in the other 2. Best of luck Nate! Career Stats - http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=People&searchType=J&eID=108082
Jockey Shannon Beauregard is trying for the comeback. She's been on a lot of horses this spring, in Edmonton, but goes back on the injured list after a 'flipping' incident last week. The word is... a horse reared, then fell and pinned her leg. She's a bit sore, but says she'll be back at it in a few weeks. Bonne chance Shannon! Career Stats - http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=People&searchType=J&eID=101530
- Veteran jockey Stephan Heiler is out indefinitely. After putting together a long string of very successful seasons, both here and south of the border, the likeable rider has been sidelined since his final ride - here at Northlands Park - in the fall 2012. All the best Stephan! Career Stats - http://www.equibase.com/profiles/Results.cfm?type=People&searchType=J&eID=57211
Top works to date - since March 29th
- 3F - Tiny Giant 34.80 - April 9th (Mike Moore)
- 4F - Silver Baubles 47.00 - April 9th (Ron Grieves)
- 5F - Minutesandtouches 59.6 - April 24th (Dale Saunders)