Monday, 06 May 2013 12:28

Sterr makes an impression on opening weekend

Written by Garry Allison - Rocky Mountain Turf Club
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With a "stupendous crowd" on hand for the opening if the 2012 Rocky Mountain Turf Club live horse racing season it didn't take former fan favourite rider Scott Sterr to make his imprint on the RMTC Spring Meet.

Sterr finished second in the opening race and then like the top rider he is, came in home on top in the second of the Alberta Quarter Horse Association Maiden Challenge Trials.

Sterr qualified both his horses for the Finals two weekends from now, where the top eight moved forward.

The opening heat saw trainer Laurie Ferguson win here first of the year, with tall Tyler Walker aboard.

Laurie had a big smile o her face as she waited to pony Miracle Recovery - "not the best horse I've got" - to the test barn. But the sorrel by Dean Miracle out of Reckless Coin by Reckless Das, bred in New Mexico, kicked off the RMTC 2013 season with a win.

"It was a case of good luck, bad luck for me," said Ferguson, lamenting the scratch at the gate of her second horse Coronas Feathery for refusing to load.

"I had that horse at the gate Friday and all was fine," she stated. " However it was nice to win the first race of the season. I hope it sends a trend that continues." Tyler Walker guided Miracle Recovery to an impressive win ahead of the pack in 18.16 seconds to pay$9.60, 3.80 and 2.30.

Second was Northforkzoom, trained by William Leech, with Sterr aboard. Sterr was making his first RMTC start since the Fall of 2011, choosing successfully race in the east last season.

In the second race of the meet, Sterr brought owner/trainer Dean R. Frey's Snowboundbeast home in the fastest time of the trials, 17.89, top pay 3.40, 3.20 and 2.30.

Breezing home with ease high on the track Sterr was beaming.

"Absolutely it feels great to win here again," he said. "Now my only problem is to figure out which horse to ride in the Finals two weeks from now. Both horses ran good today.

"I'm going to be riding here all year," Scott reassured his fans. "I've goy me a big truck, and all week long I haul pigs to Vancouver, and I'll ride horses all weekend long." Southboundeast is by Southbound out of Going Single by Mr. Eye Opener and was bred in New Mexico.

The only person happier than Sterr was RMTC CEO who was overwhelmed with the outstanding turnout.

"This takes us back to the late 1960s and through the 1978 opening of this new track," said Gibb of the huge crowd.. This is Lethbridge and there's no wind, and skies have been blue and temperatures high. You just couldn't have any better." Both Saturday and Sunday's car included six races reach, with the Thoroughbreds kept to five and six furlong races this early in the Spring season.

Last season's leading rider, Larris Allen, broke into the winner's circle opening day aboard Rick Wiest's Sportive in the fourth race.. However Allen was shutout of the AQHRA Maiden Finals, when one of his horses was scratched at the gate and a second ran well back of qualifying at 18.73.

As expected, Norm Cuthbertson's great Beau Gris romped home in Saturday's fifth race, with Blandford Stewart in the irons. Beau Gris has now won seven of its last 10 outings.

Sunday, Lyle Magnuson, the Alberta Community Horse Racing Association' most supportive trainer in 2012, racked up his second win of the opening two days. Larris Allen - also with win number two - brought On The Hill home on top of the hill of eight other horses. The horse paid $11.00, $4.60 and $3.40 to an appreciative crowd and $276.70 for a $2 Triactor with Larszilla and all.

At the end of two days racing Magnuson is the only trainer with two wins while Allen and Blandford Stewart also have two wins apiece.

BEHIND THE STARTING GATE: Prior to the first race Saturday the RMTC paid tribute to late Alberta Premier Ralph Klein. A riderless horse with backwards stirrups was led onto the track and the program included a minute's silence . . . Dennis Wells remembering his late Uncle Jimmy Wells and his fondness for the horse races . . . Among those on hand for the races and the Alberta Community Horse Racing Association later in the evening was Horse Racing Alberta chairman of the board, Rick Lelachear . . . Qualifiers for the AQHA Maiden Finals in two weeks were: Snowboundbest 17.89, Dean Frey; Im Hott UR Not, 18.06, Laurie Ferguson; Tailor Tac, 18.09, Janice Sather; Miracle Recovery, 18.16, Laurie Ferguson; Northforkzoom, 18.26, William Leech; Perry Famous, 18.31, Bucky Stockwell; Cathouse Katie, 18.33, Bobby Overturf; Terratima, 18.33, Les Webb . . . next race action at the RMTC is May 11-12 with post time 1:05 both days.


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