Friday, 12 July 2013 16:46

Freshman 2 YR-Old take Stage

Written by Orianna Scheck
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We saw a total of 29 young 2yr-old hopefuls behind the gate at Alberta Downs July 6th, 7th and 8th. There were 6 – 2yr-old schooling races each for a purse of $500. Although they have just begun their young careers some are already showing some early finesse. Tap Away won her race in 2:02.1 for driver-trainer Jim Marino. Marino came right back in the next schooler with Need You So Bad in 2:02 winning by 9 lengths. Both horses are owned by J J J Stables of Aldergrove, BC.

The second day of schoolers we saw Cigar Party cross the line in 2:02.4 for driver-trainer Keith Clark who also had the winner in the second schooler with Mystic Return in 2:02.3.

Driver-trainer Rod Hennessy took the first and second schoolers on Monday with Willey Bite in 2:04.1 in the first and Whosurboo in the second crossing the wire in 2:03.

These young rookies will be gearing up for the Emerald Filly Stake on July 27th and the Horizon Pace July 28th.


Travis Cullen enjoyed a rewarding day with a driving triple on the day. Cullen opened the day with a win on board Glitteronthebeach crossing the wire in 1:57.4. The American Ideal 3yr-old filly has made over $15,000 in her last 10 starts. Cullen shares ownership with Keith Hannah and Ron Cullen. Crafty Cracker (Tainsh Jr) was second and Cinderella Smiles (Giesbrecht) came up for third.

In the fourth race Cullen hit the winners circle with Feelin Flush in a quick time of 1:54.4 winning easily by 2 lengths. Blue Star Beauty (Tainish Jr) was second and Millbanks Ariel (Redwood) was third. This was the 9th win for Feelin Flush in 20 starts this year. She paid $8.40 $2.70 $2.40.

Once again we saw Cullen back in the winner’s circle in the 9th race with Domino Theory for trainer Joe Obrien. Going off as the long shot with the betting public the 7yr-old gelding out of Freedoms Pass-Racy Dove paid $25.90 $14.70 $8.50. Obrien shares ownership with Rob and Jeff Parish.


Sunday afternoon Mr Saratoga enjoyed his first win in Alberta and first win in 2013 for a very happy driver/trainer Quentin Schneider. He paced in a sizzling 1:52.2 to score by a head over No Fear (Campbell). Trust The Artist held on for third. Enjoying the rail advantage Schneider and Mr. Saratoga had a perfect trip sitting in the pocket until the final turn. Mr. Saratoga is owned by Glen Pinel and Alan Christensen of Calgary. He now has 31 career wins and earnings of $682,922. The winner paid $6.20 $4.00 and $4.40.

In the eighth race Watch and Pray was an impressive winner in a sharp 1:53.3 over Beren Hanover (Bobby Clark) and American Venture (Keith Clark). This was a new lifetime mark for Watch and Pray who is trained by Marjorie Dumont and driven by JF Gagne. The 4yr-old is out of the great mare Watch Over Me and owned by JF Gagne, Joe Tinelli of St. Albert and Carl Warnaar of Kelowna. The winner paid nicely with $12.30 $5.20 and $4.20. The 7-3 Exactor paid $57.50 and the Triactor 7-3-4 paid $388.30. Sunday’s handle at Alberta Downs was $42,317.


Jim Marino is en route to another great season. He kept the ball rolling by adding five more wins to his driving resume Monday July 8th at Alberta Downs. He began the afternoon with a win behind Wrangler Diva in the second and Saltwater Cowboy in the fourth. His phenomenal day continued with wins aboard Thats Witty in the sixth, Location Baron in the eight and BR Money Matters in the ninth.

Marino had 17 wins in the month of June alone. He now has 453 driving victories this year and 10,729 lifetime wins. Marino races both in BC and here in Alberta and although calls BC home the talented driver has been successful in both provinces. He has many driving achievements which includes winning with the 2012 ALBERTA SUPER FINAL 3YR-OLD CHAMPION Outlaw Beacon.

ALBERTA STAKES ACTION will continue this weekend starting with the Ralph Klein Breeders Stake elimination for 3yr-old Fillies on Saturday July 13 and the Brad Gunn elimination for 3yr-old Colts/Geldings on Sunday July 14. Both eliminations will go for $20,000. The $50,000 Finals for the Ralph Klein Breeders will be contested next Saturday July 20th and the Brad Gunn next Sunday July 21st. Post time for Saturday, Sunday and Monday is 1:15pm.

Please join us Saturday, July 20th to watch some great Fillies line up behind the gate for the $50,000 Ralph Klein Breeders stake final in memory of KING RALPH! Josh Groberman, a close and personal friend of the Klein’s will be on hand to MC the day. The day will be filled with promotional events where the winners of each race will receive a sponsored retro blanket. There will be gifts galore and prizes given out on some fun trivia for “all ages”. The Ice Cream Truck will be onsite selling $2.00 ice cream treats and food specials will be offered. One lucky bettor will have a chance to win the draw for a IGIO Gym bag filled with tons of prizes sponsored by ASHA, Horse Racing Alberta and Alberta Downs.


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