As Bonnie Schoeler said after her husband’s horse, Poutn On The Wagon, won the Alberta Bred Futurity Sunday at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club: “Oh yeah we thought he’d win, look at the breeding.”
Poutn On The Wagon is by Pyc Paint Your Wagon out of Poutnlori by Okey Dokey Dale, bred by Pete Schoeler.
“I knew the race was mine about halfway down the course,” said a more than happy Pete. “My trainer (William Leech) told me we might get beat out of the gate but he knew we’d run them down.
“We probably won’t race Poutn On The Wagon again until the Canada Cup Futurity Trials in Lethbridge this Fall, but that’s up to the trainer.”
The winner’s share Sunday was $27,515, and for the fans a combination of 4-1-5-8 paid $994.70 for a $1 Superfecta.
William Leech also trained a pair of the eight horses in the Alberta Bred Derby, over 350 yards, with $14,648 going to the winner. Well, William was smiling and upset. His own Sheaintawhiskylulaby, ridden by Freddy Fuentes, took the photo for the win.
But just possibly Leech’s best bet, Go Jessin Beaver, owned by Kainai Chief Charlie Weaselhead and Jim Plume, wound up being disqualified. Winning rider Freddy Fuentes, in his broken English, said about this winning ride: “I kept him to the outside because we couldn’t run in the crowded middle.”
Inside, running out of the fifth hole, was Leech’s second horse Go Jessin Beaver, and the stewards felt his bumping earned a disqualification.
“It cut off everybody, and we’ve had two rides like that from our rider (Ricardo Moreno), but that’s the way it is,” said Plume.
A $2 Exactor off 2-6 paid off with a nice $405.85.
While the Derby and Futurity were the stars of the show, trainer Lyle Magnuson and horses from Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stable were sneaking in the back door, starting in the second race with the Exactor winners, It’s Jo Jo and Bold and Beautiful. They had another 1-2 finish in race three, with C C And Gabbi and Faisana’s Love.
Then in the fifth race the combination won it all with Three Point Cash.
Trainer Randy Cunningham, who came in second in the Futurity, won the first race of the day with Separate Jess.
Saturday Scott Sterr came through with his second win of the weekend, a five furlong wire to wire tour aboard Smooth Charlie, owned by Gail Shaw and Jerry Miller and trained by Alison Clapton.
“I thought a couple of others could go all the way, but they were hanging back, so I figured why not go for it?” said Sterr who just a few years back was the leading rider at the RMTC.
“I’m trying to get back where I was, but I have to pay my dues again after a year or two off. But it is coming back now.”
Sterr had to lose a few pounds – at least five - to get back into riding mode, and the past few weeks has been returning to his former winning form.
Smooth Charlie is by Smooth Bid out of Karakorum Cheyenne by Indian Charlie and was bred in Ontario by Fieldstone Farms.
Trainer Laurie Ferguson won the first two races Saturday, the first with She’s Gotta Reason and the second with Classic Candy, allowing Tim, of Rollingson Racing Stables, to lead a large group of his friends into the winner’s circle with Ferguson.
Friday night it was hard to choose between 88-year-old trainer Stan Marks and his ninth win or jockey Philip Clunis and his three consecutive victories as the highlight of the night.
Stan saw Marin Ortiz bring Awesome T home on top in the third race to give Stan nine wins this Spring..
Then the second half of the card belonged to Philip as he rode Soul Spinner home in first in the fourth race; then followed with Coconut Joe in the fifth; and topped the field again in the sixth race aboard Londinium.
Leading jockey going into the final weekend is Jose Rocha with 26 wins, while Freddy Fuentes has 20 wins. William Leech, with five wins on the weekend, leads all trainers with 16 while Laurie Ferguson has 14.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Unfortunately Clunis’ three wins on Friday’s six-race card really didn’t move him into a position to challenge for the meet’s top jockey award... When Scott Sterr last rode at the RMTC there were only a few Philippine, and now Mexican, riders around, now Scotty is learning his share of Spanish swear words... Despite being the leading trainer going into Sunday, with a pair of wins Saturday, Laurie Ferguson did not have a horse in either the Quarter horse Derby or Futurity... Trainers Eric Turner and Dallas Douglas Bird Rattler are continuing to make a name for themselves in training circles... Speaking of trainers, former leading Quarter horse man Stan Webb was at the RMTC during the weekend... The final race card of the Spring is Saturday and Sunday July 2-3... but first there’s Millarville July 1, post time 1 p.m.