First Prize Beach lived up to her name and came in first, Tyler Walker aboard.
"It was a very nice race - this is one of the Oklahoma breds that Laurie has," said jockey Tyler Walker. "Me and Laurie do great together. She's a great horseman to be around." Ferguson not only owns but trains First Prize Beach by First Prize Perry out of Private Beach by Separatist, bred in Oklahoma by Bobby Cox.
The winner gets 54 percent of the $22,506 purse and Walker gets 10 per cent of that figure.
"Not too bad for 18.12 seconds of work," Walker said with a laugh.
Those who follow the Quarter Horse Derby can hardly wait until this Fall for the running of the Canada Quarter Horse Derby.
Last Saturday Bruce Iron Shirt's Zoomin Daphne, by Azoom out of La Reha de La Noche by First Down Dash and bred in Oklahoma, won her first 300-yard sprint of the year, guided home by Dwight Anthony Lewis.
"I finally got things going . .. I've been training this horse since January," said Bruce. "She's in real good condition." And, he added, is real contender for the Derby this Fall.
However, this past Saturday, Mals First Down owned by former Futurity and Derby winner, Jim Plume and Kainai Chief Charlie Weaselhead, threw its hat in the ring.
Mals First Down is by Shazoom out of First a Princess by First Down Dash and was bred in Oklahoma.
"In fact I brought mine and Jim's horse home in the same trailer from Oklahoma," said Bruce.
"Right now I think the Derby winner will be one or the other." This past Saturday Mals First Down's trainer William Leech acknowledged the quality of his horse ; "He is a nice colt. And the owners are nice people and good to work with.
"Last year we were all set for the Futurity with the fastest time in the trials," William continued.
"But we had to withdraw because of slight bleeding. Turned out he had a virus, but that's all cleared up.
"We will race him carefully. We've got a race in the middle of June and another in Grande Prairie in August. Then this Fall there's the big Quarter horse Derby back in Lethbridge." Leech returned to the winner's circle Sunday when Ramiro Sanchez Castillo brought the Leech trained MS Ruby Corona home first in a 350-yard sprint. The two often pair up in Quarter horse sprints with good results.
After Boundary Creek won in the second race Saturday, one of the owners, Dr. Don Gibb quipped, "Its nice to have a winner once in a while." Then he added with a big grin, "I've got four colts out of the mother of California Chrome, back home, in my mother's pasture." Two folks were smiling after the fifth race when they were the only ones in a $2 Quinella paying $ 2,830. It was combination of Cappuchino Girl and See Sosee Run, the No. 2 and 3 horses and it gave 86-year old Stan Marks his fourth win of the season.
Then Sunday, Stan continued his magnificent Spring when he saw Ramiro Sanchez Castillo bring Great Griffin home, a horse not only trained by Stan, but owned by Stan. The win was number five for the suspender-wearing trainer and tied him for the meet lead with Laurie Ferguson and Lyle Magnuson.
BEHIND THE STARTING GATE . . . It was almost an ideal day with a light breeze and sun behind the clouds Saturday, bringing out a large crowd and Sunday was a similar day with less breeze . . . Pete Dubois ran the great Dubla Gold for the first time this Spring and with Dwight Anthony Lewis aboard showed a nice burst of speed on the backstretch to win with ease . . .
There's a trio of jockeys tied for first spot after three weekends of racing . . . Tall Tyler Walker, Trevor Simpson and Blandford Stewart all have seven wins to date, while last years leading Spring rider, Larris Allen, has six . . . Besides the leading trainers previously mentioned we have Rick Wiest with four wins . . . The next racing at the RMTC will be this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the first Friday card of the Spring meet . . . Post time will be 6 p.m. Friday and 1:15 the other two days.