Known to the sport of harness racing as the 'glamour' girls and boys - the 'three-year-old' fillies, along with the colts and geldings, will be taking centre stage on August 1st, at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino in Balzac, just north of Calgary.
From thirty-five eligible fillies - Blue Star Texas and Fire Watch will look to lead the way as likely favourites to secure spots in the $70,000 Ralph Klein Final to be held on Saturday, August 8th.
Blue Star Texas is coming off 3 straight victories - all in stakes action - for Hall of Fame horseman Keith Clark. Now a winner of well over $100,000, in career earnings, this daughter of Brandons Cowboy is a half-sister to a former Alberta Sires Stakes champion in Blue Star Admiral (Camystic) - both coming out of the good race mare Movin Uptown for breeder Bill Zaretsky.
Owned by Doris McDougall and Robert Jones - Blue Star Texas is now a 5-time winner form 8 starts in 2015. She was on top all the way for her life best clocking of 1:54.4 on June 5th and appears to be at her best right now.
Fire Watch, campaigned by the powerful Cullen Stable, is always in the hunt. With a mark of 1:55.1 - this daughter of Camystic was purchased for the bargain price of $3,000 at the ASHA Yearling Sale of 2013 and now sports over $86,000 in career winnings. Travis Cullen, Dwayne Taylor and Ron Cullen all share ownership in this filly that will be looking to turn things around against her arch nemesis - Blue Star Texas.
Other possibilities to be looking for in the Ralph Klein Eliminations include Cam Finish (Keith Clark), Take On Da Boys (Rod Hennessy) and Thats Extra (Kelly Hoerdt)
On the colts and geldings side - there appears to be a standout in First Class Horse, while a host of others will be trying their best to make the cut for the $70,000 Brad Gunn Final - also to be contested on August 8th.
First Class Horse, for trainer/driver Keith Clark, is also owned by Doris McDougall and Robert Jones. The colt son of Western Terror was a $38,000 yearling purchase at the Lexington Select Sale, in Kentucky, back in the Fall of 2013.
Now a 12-time winner from 14 career starts - with almost $100,000 banked and a race record of 1:53 flat taken over B.C.'s Fraser Downs in early April of this year - First Class Horse is unbeaten, in 2015, going a perfect 7-for-7... *Now unraced since June 7th - the colt was out for a winning qualifier (1:57.1) on Saturday, July 18 and he appears ready to pick up where he left off.
Have Not Read It is a lightly raced son of Dragon Again campaigned by Kelly Hoerdt. Purchased as a yearling, at Harrisburg, for $24,000 - this colt has hit the board every time out for owners Blair and Erna Corbeil, along with Hoerdt - carrying a record of 2-4-1 from 7 career starts. *Have Not Read It was a second place finisher in his latest (July 11th) where he was race-timed in 1:54.2!
Other potential threats may include Johnny Gun (Harold Haining), Big Time Sunrise (Kelly Hoerdt), Mysharona Bluechip (Keith Clark), Pablos First (Darryl Cutting) and Urcutoff (Mark Anderson).
All 'glamour' elimination heats will be contested on Saturday August 1st, with both the Ralph Klein and Brad Gunn Finals to be raced and broadcasted live on CTV the following Saturday, August 8th.