On a windy Fall day at Whoop-Up Downs William Leech made a place for himself in the Rocky Mountain Turf’s horse racing history. William’s horses won all four races they entered Friday, Saturday and Sunday, including the Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity and Derby.
Leech, whose late father Garnett was a pioneer of Quarter horse racing, had high expectations for his undefeated Poutn On The Wagon and the gelding made it four-in-a-row to grab the $58,869 Futurity. If ever there was a horse with breeding that has paid off it PW, as Leech calls the Pete Schoeler two-year-old. PW is by Paint Your Wagon out of Poutnlori by Okey Dokey Dale, and was bred in Alberta by his owner.
With the big win Poutn On The Wagon matches her mother, Poutnlori, who won the Futurity in 2004. The dash for the Derby Cup followed the prediction of injured jockey Scott Sterr, “that Toughie will be tough to beat.”
And that was the case as the Charles Stojan-owned three-year-old took the Canada Quarter Horse Cup Derby, giving the winners, including trainer William Leech, $15,034 to share. Leech had stated that “Toughie is a good horse and if Lady Luck is just right... well.”
Lady Luck was just right Sunday as Toughie beat out a fast sprinting First Prize Sass with a nod of his head at the wire to take the Cup. Toughie is by Stel Corona out of Hard Lining by Hawkish and was bred in California.
Friday night William Leech saw his Free Thought out-duel Birdzillas Charm to win the high paying Whoop-Up Classic Stakes. Ricardo Moreno was aboard the winner, in a field dropped to four horses after two veterinarian scratches. That was a shame because it took some of the shine off the $11,645, 660 yard sprint. The $2 Exactor, paid – are you ready for this - $2,120.
Saturday, Leech won again, in the first race with CR Azoominshezquick.
Debbie Cunnington once owned Sharper Knight, then she saw him claimed away. A race later she claimed him back and Sunday, in a mixed $2,000 claimer, she saw Sharper Knight win, with Nevillle Spehenson aboard. Debbie’s faith in Sharper Knight, which she also trains, brought her $2,412
Saturday, veteran RMTC supporters, Jim and Barb Depew, won a pair of races, the third race with Carson’s Secret, with Neville Stephenson aboard. It paid a nice $25.50 $7.00 and $3.80. Then in the eighth, a race for three year olds who had never won four races, Depew’s P. R.’s Orphan topped the field, with a payoff of $2,412 for the winner. Sunday, the impressive Regroup did it again to win the mile and an 1/8 Starter Allowance 2nd Leg.
The Laurie Ferguson owned and trained Regroup was ridden by Jose Rocha for its second straight winner and a winner’s purse of $2,650.
On the jockey’s side of the Fall Meet, Trevor Simpson picked up three wins over the weekend to move to 10, one behind the leader, Jose Rocha with 11. Ricardo Moreneo who rode both the Derby and Futurity winners, as well as the Classic, has eight wins.
Meanwhile the leading trainer race saw William Leech pick up four wins to move past Laurie Ferguson. Leech has eight wins while Ferguson has six and Lyle Magnuson follows with five.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE... Friday’s 6th race saw Change Of Plan pay 11.00 11.40 and 5.20, a nice payoff if you had $5 across the board... Saturday Maria Stanford won a pair of races, the second and the seventh... The annual Yearling Quarter Horse Sale takes place at the Lethbridge Pavilion at 7 p.m., Saturday, October 1st... Next Saturday the annual B Cup races take place with more than $75,000 in purse money . . .Next racing at the RMTC will be September 23-25, post time on Friday will be 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday is 1:15 p.m.