To kick off the Alberta Bred series Saturday at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club, the CEO of the RMTC had a series of races to remember. First, he saw his horses, all trained by Lyle Magnuson finish 1-2-4 in race one, the Alberta Bred Stake for 2-year-olds.
Ma’s Miracle Run, with Larris Allen aboard set the pace for a super day for Gibb, Magnuson and the Rocky Mountain Turf Club Stables. Ma’s Miracle Run took the Stakes for two-year-olds, over a distance of five furlongs, with a winner’s purse of $5,406.
“I like this finish for sure, but I was kind of surprised by it,” said Gibb. Jockey Larris Allen said he knew which of the Lyle Magnuson-trained horses was better, that’s why he chose Ma’s Miracle Run. “I picked this one. In the race I made my move about the 3/8 pole and we were away," Allen said.
While the first race was nice for Gibb the Alberta Bred day was really all about Gibb’s great mare She’s Italian. “We had four foals out of one mare running today, with three firsts and a second, it make your pretty proud.” “That mare had three winners today and a second place finish,” trainer Magnuson pointed out with a big smile. “These winning horses were all raised personally by Max.
“As for training them, everyone is a cup-cake, they’re just a joy to be with.” The Alberta Bred Stake went to He’s Italian, out of She’s Italian. Larris Allen once again rode the Magnuson-trained winner. Allen said he was content to sit back and let “two rabbits run ahead. But when they tired I made my move and we went right by them.”
In the sixth race, the Alberta Bred Stake for Fillies and Mares, Jose Rocha took Allen’s place, but Gibb, RMTC Stables, and Magnuson were front and centre again, this time with the aptly named She’s It Again. She further proved the worth of She’s Italian as Italian By Marriage did again by winning the seventh race, an Alberta Bred Stake. Again Allen was aboard the winner. Gibb, Magnuson and Allen all agreed “It’s been a good day!”
Robert Gwilliam let out a war whoop under the grandstand near the TV area and ran towards the track as his Slewfoot, Juan Apango aboard, romped home to win the Alberta Bred Stake for 3-year-olld Fillies.
Sunday Robert had another winner with Sizzano in the fourth race. John Brown thought his Big Buddy won the Alberta Bred Stake for 3-year-olds, but a claim of interference saw the stewards move Modernotis to the tops of the pack. The winner is trained by Laurie Ferguson and was ridden by Neville Sephenson.
Sunday, horsemen were faced with a sloppy track thanks to steady rains overnight right through Sunday’s race card. But with very few scratches Sunday’s program moved forward, much to the pleasure of Buckey Stockwell and William Leech.
Buckey’s Cowboy Mafia took the RMTC Paint Handicap while William’s Northfork Zoom captured a $6,000, 400 yard sprint and came right back in the next race to win a Quarter Horse Stakes Cup Classic, part of the Alberta Aged Series, with Tiny Flying Corona.
Sitting in the rain, serving as a pony boy, Buckey had plenty of praise for Cowboy Mafia, winner of the $9,000 Paint Handicap. He also ran his second horse, Bound Up, which finished third. “I guess you could say Cowboy was a muddier, after all he won today,” Buckey said with a smile. “That makes three wins in a row. “I bought him in Montana and his daddy was a full-coloured Paint. I thought I’d buy a Paint because they run a lot of Paint Stakes here and other places (like Millarville, and Grande Prairie).”
Buckey said Cowboy Mafia fell coming out of the gate in his first race but has been mainly winning ever since - five wins in his last 10 races. “He likes these 350-yard sprints while the other one, Bound Up, kind of prefers the 600-yard races.”
In the Cup Classic in the Alberta Aged Series Tiny Flying Corona came flying down the middle of the muddy track to take the winner’s share of the $15,171 purse. The six-year-old was ridden by Ricardo Moreno over the 400-yard soggy track.
“The track conditions may have hurt our favourite (on the tote board) Goodest,” said trainer William Leech. “We had four horses in the seven horse field, after Janice (Sather) scratched her horse, but Tiny is a hard working horse who can fly and I thought he deserved full credit for the win.”
Tiny Flying Corona, owned by Charles Stojan, is by Tinys First Corona out of PJ Phoebes Flying by Chicks Beduino and was bred in California.
After six days of racing Lyle Magnuson, with five wins, is tied with Laurie Ferguson for the leading trainer honours. Jose Rocha is the top rider to date with eight victories.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Sunday’s rain certainly impacted the crowd... After winning the opening maiden race with Jovons Report trainer Maria Standord stated:|“Now I don’t have any more maidens “ . . . Gibb said that despite the money won in four races by horses out of She’s Italian, the great mare has still won more than “twice as much money as her four babies have won”... Sunday Jose Rocha fell off Leonard Bourne’s Driftin Smoke on the first turn and walked back to the paddock ...
Friday, Pete Dubois’ fine Thoroughbred General Gabe won its first start of the year, with Trevor Simpson aboard. Not only was it Gabe’s first win of the year, it was also Pete’s... General Gabe is owned by Rick and Mason Bassett and Jeff Baker... Trevor Simpson picked up his first three victories on Friday’s six race card... The combination of 4-8-6 on a $2 Triactor paid $622.40 in Friday’s sixth race... Godfrey Weaselhead continued a long tradition of winning Weaselhead trainers off the Blood Reserve by winning the second race Saturday... Next racing at RMTC is the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, post time 6 p.m. and 1:15 p.m.