Monday, 01 August 2016 13:08

Wrap-up from Century Downs

Written by Shannon 'Sugar' Doyle
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This past Saturday afternoon western Canada's top sophomores were in the spotlight at Century Downs. Two elimination heats for each of the Brad Gunn (3YO Colts & Geldings) and the Ralph Klein (3YO Fillies) went behind the gate which saw the top four finishers, in each division, advancing to the rich $70,000 Finals for this coming Sunday, August 7.

Heat one of the Brad Gunn would go to race fave ITS EDS IDEA for owner Lucy Raymond of Edmonton. Trainer/driver Serge Masse would send the colt son of Western Ideal to the easiest of early leads posting fractions of 29.3, 58, 1:26.3 - before stopping the clock in 1:55.1. BLUE STAR MAVERICK (Mike Hennessy) would close up well - from last in the early going - to be second, while third quarter challenger WRANGLER CASH (Kelly Hoerdt) would fade to third. MAKE IT BIG (Rene Goulet) would complete the top four to punch his ticket for the Final.

Outlaw Turn N Burn winning elimination*ITS EDS IDEA was unchallenged early and that left plenty of fight left to hold off the competition. The colt was chased along pretty good by Masse in the stretch to secure the victory. If he secures a good post in the Final he'll be a huge factor once again...

In Elim two odds on fave OUTLAW TURN N BURN, a stallion son of Blue Burner, looked very sharp on post parade and his form would continue to be just as sharp, during the race, as JF Gagne would convert a pocket trip into a win for trainer Donna Sarin. Pacesetter BLUE STAR JET (Mike Hennessy) would finish a strong second, with APPELLATE (Keith Clark) holding third over DUKE IT OUT (Dave Kelly). Time of the mile was 1:55.

*OUTLAW TURN N BURN could be the one to beat, in the Final, should all go well on draw day. Though he does show being interfered with, going to the opening quarter, he stayed inside and avoided any real trouble. Gagne never lifted a line on him, when called upon turning for home, and he still flashed a 27.4 bullet final quarter to win it. He's the real deal... *Beware of longshot APPELLATE in the Final. His long first-over journey certainly was impressive and Clark is no stranger to the big money events in Alberta....

Girl power was on display in an 'adventurous' heat one of the Ralph Klein and there'd be no love for betting fave DIVAS DRAGONFLY (Jamie Gray) on this day. The filly would find herself in traffic trouble early and when it came time to find room late she would cause interference - which would, in turn, see her finishing 1st placed 8th. Ken Gunn's SENGA NAPTHA, a daughter of Blue Burner, would sit last going into the final turn, but her wide power sweep of the field, for trainer/driver Ryan Grundy, would have her showing up for a 2nd placed 1st victory in 1:58.1 - and at a shocking 45/1! CENALTA ARTISTRY (Rene Goulet), JET BLUE BURNER (Travis Cullen) and APPLE BLOSSOM TIME (Brandon Campbell) rounded out the superfecta.

*Though SENGA NAPTHA did come from way back to win her elim, on a placing, the eye-catching performance here would go to Cullen's JET BLUE BURNER. She would circle them three-wide prior to the half - lead by 4 lengths into the final turn - roll off stride mid-way on the final turn - fade to 6th and come back on for a 4th placed 3rd finish. She could be the sleeper in the Final...

OUTLAWSURSHOTSHARK, owned by Ron and Travis Cullen - along with the Don Byrne Stables, was a well meant winner of the second Ralph Klein division. Travis Cullen would flip the Smart Shark miss off cover, in the stretch drive, to zip by her rivals winning in 1:56.1. MONSTROUS (Ed Hensley) would go a monster trip to salvage second after her troubled beginning from a back tier spot. BRIGHTEN YOUR LIFE (Kelly Hoerdt) and SOMEWHERE A PLACE (Serge Masse) completed the top four.

*Sure OUTLAWSURSHOTSHARK was a convincing winner for Cullen, but MONSTROUS was the eye-catcher here. Hensley managed to keep her together when she was obviously very rough at the start. MONSTROUS will now get her nose back on the gate for the rich Final and that should make her a huge threat to win it all...

Draw day for the Mid-Summer Classic Day (Sunday, August 7) of racing at Century Downs is this coming Thursday... Check back, this week, with for a special preview of all the action, including the Brad Gunn and Ralph Klein Finals, taking place this Sunday, August 7. It promises to be one of the biggest days for harness racing in western Canada this season!

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