A pair of $8,100 eliminations for the Ralph Klein Memorial and the Gord & Illa Rumpel Memorial highlighted the 10-race card at Century Downs on Sunday (July 25).
Lucas Mccain started the stakes action with a wire-to-wire score in the first elimination for the Ralph Klein.
Trainer-driver John Vukelich secured the lead with the Malicious colt to a :28 first quarter and faced no challenge to a :57.2 half. Show Stop, the 6-5 favourite, tipped first over into the backstretch and pressed the pacesetter towards three-quarters in 1:25.1 and through the homestretch. But Lucas Mccain held firm to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54.1 over Show Stop. Nevada Vacation rode the pocket to finish third while Ynotthishos took fourth.
Co-owned by John Vukelich with Lesley Vukelich, Lucas Mccain won his fourth race from nine starts this season and his sixth from 12 overall, earning $19,616. He paid $6.10 to win.
Odds-on favourite Shark Week tried to take his competition gate to wire in the second Klein elimination, but trainer-driver Kelly Hoerdt hustled Codename Cigar Box off a helmet to nail the pacesetter in a 1:54.1 mile.
Hoerdt landed in fifth with Codename Cigar Box as Shark Week set the pace to a :26.3 first quarter, pocketing pylon-starter Sunshine Boy. Shark Week slowed to the second quarter, prompting Hoerdt to pull Codename Cigar Box first over and make gains on the leader into a :56.1 half. Up the backside, he caught cover from Dragon Energy, who ranged to within a length of the leader to three-quarters in 1:24.4. Shark Week turned Dragon Energy away, but Codename Cigar Box came charging off cover into the stretch and slid by the leader to win by a length at the beam. Sunshine Boy rode the pocket for third while The Shining rallied for fourth.
A colt by Custard The Dragon, Codename Cigar Box won his fourth race from seven starts this season and his fifth from 14 overall, earning $43,069. Hoerdt co-owns the $11.30 winner with Fred Gilbert and Blair Corbeil.
Despite going on a gallop around the last turn, 6-5 favourite Burning Hot rebounded into the straightaway to win the first elimination for the Gord & Illa Rumpel Memorial.
Crush Me motored to an open-length lead moving to a :27.3 first quarter with Sent By Angels chasing in second. Her lead expanded to a :57.1 half, where driver Phil Giesbrecht angled Burning Hot off the pylons from fourth. Into the backstretch, the field made contact as the loose leader shortened in stride with first-over Outlaw Sharktastic ranging towards the front along with Burning Hot racing rough gaited and three wide to three-quarters in 1:25.3. Giesbrecht collected his filly around the final turn and came rolling again for the lead, taking over to the finish of a 1:55.4 mile to win by 1-1/4 lengths. Outlaw Sharktastic settled for second with Sent By Angels finishing third and Critics Delight closing for fourth.
Trained and co-owned by Rod Starkewski with co-owner Clauzette Byckal, Burning Hot won her fifth race from eight starts this season and her ninth from 15 overall, earning $93,172. The Blue Burner filly paid $4.30 to win.
The second Rumpel elimination went to Graceful Horizon, who grabbed the front past the quarter and strolled to a 1:53.3 victory.
Driver Kelly Hoerdt slid Graceful Horizon to the point past a :27.2 opening quarter to take control from early leader Hang On Sloopy. Odds-on choice Exotic Dragon then pulled first over moving to a :56.3 half to blitz Graceful Horizon into the backstretch. Taking a narrow lead to three-quarters in 1:24.3, Exotic Dragon lost ground around the final turn as Graceful Horizon battled back to the inside to retake command. She put away Exotic Dragon off the final turn and coasted to a 2-1/4 length win with Hang On Sloopy finishing third, another five lengths behind, in a photo with Coz Im Special.
Owned by Derek Gilbert, Velda Olding and trainer Chris Lancaster, Graceful Horizon won her fourth race from six starts this season and her seventh from 10 overall, earning $53,112. The Vertical Horizon filly paid $8.80 to win.
The top four finishers from each elimination plus one fifth-place finisher will advance to the finals of the Ralph Klein Memorial and the Gord & Illa Rumpel Memorial.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Century Downs.
Story is reposted from the Standardbred Canada website - view the original article here