While not winning in his first heat elimination, Rockin N Talkin found redemption in the $117,490 second heat of the Ralph Klein Memorial on the Midsummer Classic Day card at Century Downs Monday, Aug. 5.
Sitting the pocket to race-favourite Outlawgrabbingears in the first elimination, Rockin N Talkin drafted through splits of :28.2, :57.1 and 1:25.3 before pulling wide for the stretch drive just to give pursuit to the 1:53.4 winner. Rockin N Talkin finished second to the Paul Davies trainee, driven by Davies for himself and co-owners Nicole Davies and Deborah Pinel.
Outlaw Gunsablazin then led the remaining Klein Memorial finalists with a half-length victory as the 9/5 favourite in the second elimination. Driver Phil Giesbrecht placed the Rod Starkewski trainee fifth off fractions of :28.4 and :59.1 before moving wide and rolling towards the leader.
With Spiderdman rolling first over to the front through three-quarters in 1:27.1, Giesbrecht had Outlaw Gunsablazin three wide circling the final turn. The Blue Burner gelding hung moving into the stretch before eventually sliding ahead of Spiderdman in the 1:55.1 mile. Major Winker finished third with Go Nine O rounding the finalists.
Rockin N Talkin started from post 5 in the final while Outlawgrabbingears, sent the 6-5 favourite, started from post 1. Driver Brandon Campbell took back with Rockin N Talkin, sitting eighth by nearly 10 lengths while Outlawgrabbingears protected position around the first turn. Go Nine O parked uncovered and dug into the pacesetter through fractions of :28.1 and :55.2 but backed through the field moving into the second turn. His stablemate, Kneedeep N Custard, then swung three wide to match strides with the favourite moving through the backstretch.
Outlawgrabbingears clung to command, losing the lead by a head passing three-quarters in 1:24.1 before reclaiming a narrow advantage with the inside path. Rockin N Talkin sat third over heading to the far turn and fanned towards the center of the racetrack approaching the head of the stretch. The favourite and his challengers tired, so Rockin N Talkin shot past the field to win by a length in 1:54.2 over Outlaw Gunsablazin—who closed for second—with Crackle N Burn coming from second over for third.
“I wasn’t pretty sure what was going to happen,” Brandon Campbell said after the race. “I had a pretty good idea one of Kelly [Hoerdt’s] horses was going to push it once he listed Mike [Hennessey] on [Kneedeep N] Custard. I wasn’t going to take any chances…I knew this colt could take both [heats] well and I was just hoping for a good trip. It worked out absolutely perfect; we came off the top of the turn and we had the most hope.”
Brandon Campbell, one of Alberta’s leading drivers, capped the Century Downs meeting finishing second in the driver standings to Michael Hennessy, who had seven more wins. Rod Hennessy took the trainer’s title with 44 wins, beating Kelly Hoerdt also by seven wins.
“It’s great to do well… everybody strives for it,” Campbell said. “Mikey had a great meet and he beat me out in the driver’s standings here, which is awesome—congratulations Mike. I’ve done well and I like to keep pushing along. Next meet may not be as good so we take it when we get it.”
Amy Henry conditions Rockin N Talkin—a gelding by Custard The Dragon—for the J J J Stables and Jim Marino. Henry took over training duties for Marino earlier in the year following his injury from a training accident that still has him on the sidelines.
“I can’t really talk right now I’m absolutely blown away by that horse,” Henry said after the race. “Brandon did a great job with him—he did a great drive in the elimination and the final. I want to send a huge thank you out to Jim Marino’s stable and all his partners for giving me this opportunity as a new trainer. I have some sensational horses in that barn and we just want to keep doing what we’re doing.”
“Amy’s grabbed the bull by the horns and done great with the barn,” Marino said after the race. “Everybody’s pulled their weight and luckily we got Brandon to drive this colt. It’s unbelievable right now the feeling I got winning that stake race. There’s a great stakes program here in Alberta and the yearling sale’s coming up, [so] I’m going to buy myself some more yearlings.”
Rockin N Talkin, winning his second race from nine starts this season and his sixth from 16 overall, has earned $114,920. He paid $12.80 to win.
Stash The Cookies pulled a stunner one race prior in the $125,000 Gord & Illa Rumpel Memorial as the meet’s leading team of Mike and Rod Hennessy scored with the 21-1 shot in 1:55.2.
Rockin Mystery set all the fractions on a loosely contested lead. Fronting the field through a clip of :28, :56.3 and 1:25.3, she experienced slight pressure from odds-on favourite Lady Neigh Neigh. However the favourite promptly lost ground entering the final turn while Rockin Mystery and Stash The Cookies scooted from the field. Hennessy angled the filly by Sunfire Blue Chip from the pylons entering the stretch and advanced to the lead in the final steps to win by a half length. Rockin Mystery settled for second while Cayley Skye, stalking the top two, took third.
Returning $44.70 to win, Stash The Cookies won her sixth race from 12 starts this season and her seventh from 20 overall, earning $99,133. Rod Hennessy co-owns the filly with Lorne Duffield.
Pacing freshmen occupied the rest of the card with fillies racing in three divisions of the Alberta Starlet and the boys in three divisions of the Alberta Rising Star.
Custards Crown kicked from the pocket to take the first division of the Alberta Starlet. Driver Kelly Hoerdt placed the Chris Lancaster trainee behind tempo-setter and race-favourite Snow Shark through fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:28.1. Snow Shark continued to lead into the stretch but Custards Crown edged past to win by a length and a quarter over Blue Star Dreaming, who rallied from fifth for second. Snow Shark held third.
Co-owned by Lancaster with Christopher Lambie, Custards Crown is undefeated in two starts and has earned $19,800. She paid $5.90 to win.
L A Woman broke stride at the start but recovered and edged past odds-on favourite Bearcat Abigail to win the second Alberta Starlet division.
Yjuliahos took control from Jayden Riley past a :29.2 opening quarter and remained in position through a :58.3 half. Bearcat Abigail, sitting third, then pulled and brushed to the top moving towards three-quarters in 1:27.2. Driver Brandon Campbell tipped L A Woman first over through the backside and loomed towards the leader heading into the stretch, recouping three lengths to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths in 1:57.2. Bearcat Abigail finished second while Yjuliahos took third.
A homebred for Donald Richardson, L A Woman won her first race from three starts, earning $8,950. The Harold Haining trainee returned $64.50 to win.
Treasure Horizon cashed as the 6-5 favourite with a three-wide swoop into the final turn, taking the final division of the Alberta Starlet in 1:56.1.
Trainer-driver Dave Kelly floated into third as Raider Rose sprinted through early fractions of :27.3 and :56.4 with Chasing Shadows sitting a loose pocket. Chasing Shadows then tipped wide to circumvent Raider Rose as she tired, while Treasure Horizon ranged three wide through three-quarters in 1:26.4 and to a three-length lead moving into the stretch. Annasfeatherfoot cut into the deficit but settled for second, one-and-three-quarter lengths away, while Chasing Shadows finished third 14 lengths behind.
Owned by Pick 6 Stable, Treasure Horizon won her first race from two starts, earning $14,175. The daughter of Vertical Horizon returned $4.40 to win.
Even-money favourite Freddy Two Socks zipped from the pocket to best pacesetter Criminal Record in the opening division of the Alberta Rising Star. Driver Phil Giesbrecht placed the frosh gelding by Lambretta behind Criminal Record through fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:28.1. Trip Hammer attempted to power past the leader when moving first over through the backstretch but stalled turning for home. Giesbrecht sent the Chris Lancaster trainee after Criminal Record heading to the finish and edged to a one-and-a-quarter length victory in 1:56.4. Trip Hammer finished third.
Co-owned by Lancaster with Derek Gilbert, Freddy Two Socks is undefeated from two starts, accruing $11,200 in earnings. He paid $4.00 to win.
Outlawfryreyesonly raced ahead of stretch-drive confusion and handily won the second division of the Alberta Rising Star.
Trainer-driver Paul Davies, who co-owns the Smart Shark gelding with Nicole Davies, John Cecchin and Deborah Pinel, took control with Outlawfryreyesonly from Hf Its Bambi past a :28.3 first quarter.
Unchallenged through a :58.3 half, Outlawfryreyesonly continued to lead towards three-quarters in 1:27.2 while enduring mild pressure from Ima Momas Boy. However Horse, who ranged into contention moving towards the stretch, went off stride briefly, causing the backfield to scatter. Outlawfryreyesonly meanwhile drew to a three-and-a-quarter length victory in 1:56.4 over Hf Its Bambi. Dontpokethedragon finished third via disqualification of Horse, who was placed last of eight.
Winning his first race from two starts, Outlawfryreyesonly has earned $14,325. He paid $6.90 to win.
Trainer-driver Paul Davies later won the final division of the Alberta Rising Star with Outlaw Stateofmind, who kicked to a six-and-a-quarter length victory in 1:56.2. Sent the 1/9 favourite, Outlaw Stateofmind circled to the front from third past a :27.4 first quarter and faced little challenge from there. The Blue Burner gelding posted middle splits of :56.3 and 1:26.1 while widening his lead over pocket-sitter Ragged But Right, who settled for second. Unleash The Dragon, third throughout, held third.
Co-owned by Davies with Paul Sanders and Deborah Pinel, Outlaw Stateofmind remains unbeaten from two starts, earning $19,950. He paid $2.10 to win.
To view Monday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Monday Results - Century Downs.
Story reposted from Standardbred Canada - original link