Trainer Keith Clark sweeps the stakes this weekend at Northlands Park
When the big money is up for grabs, trainer Keith Clark is always one to keep an eye on at Northlands Park. After the low temperatures canceled racing last week, racing resumed Friday and Saturday night with the $75,000 Northlands Filly Pace on Friday and the $75,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby on Saturday night. Friday night Clark sent out the huge favorite Keep the Dream, who was sent off at odds of 1/5. But it was his 29/1 long shot Contesta Hanover who ended up getting the best trip and drawing away to a length and three quarter win in the $75,000 Northlands Filly Pace.
Keep the Dream was able to sit a perfect pocket trip early on as Emotions Run Wild was sent out after the early lead. Gts Selene also gunned for the front but couldn’t get up to the lead and also couldn’t find a spot down on the rail as she raced wide through an opening quarter in 27.2. There wasn’t much change in the order when they went by the half in 56.4 but as they moved down the backstretch Crackers Hot Shot started the outer flow with a big move, going from fifth to first with a rush. Gerry Hudon and Contesta Hanover decided to go into the outer flow and started to rally up as well. Crackers Hot Shot came into the stretch with the lead, but Hudon had all the momentum with his filly and she burst on by late to draw clear and win by a length and three quarters. Crackers Hot Shot was second while Centalta Fireworks finished up in third.
It was the seventh win in 2013 for Contesta Hanover and even though she was coming into the race off a win in her elimination, she paid $61.40 for a $2 win ticket.
Weekend Wrap Up 12/13—12/14
Bettor in the Bank completes the Clark sweep in the Western Canada Pacing Derby
Keith Clark was in the bike for Beren Hanover who was the even money favorite in Saturday night’s $75,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby, but it was his 17/1 trainee Bettor in the Bank who was first across the line. Bettor in the Bank stayed back in mid-pack early on as Big N Bad went out to set the fractions, which were honest. They got to a quarter in 27.3 and a half in 56.4. Big N Bad and Jim Marino brought their lead all the way into the homestretch while Bettor in the Bank and Phil Giesbrecht sat in the outer flow just in behind Beren Hanover who was making his move. Beren Hanover came right up to Big N Bad who kicked back and held his lead into the lane, but when Giesbrecht let loose with Bettor in the Bank down the outside, it was all over. Bettor in the Bank stormed clear to win by two and three quarter lengths, stopping the clock in a quick 1:55.0. American Venture, another Keith Clark trainee got up to finish second while Big N Bad did hold onto the third spot.
It was the second straight victory in this race for Keith Clark as he sent out Sharkalucci to an 18/1 upset in the race last year. Bettor in the Bank scored his 8th win from just 20 starts in 2013 and more than doubled his career bankroll to over $65,000 for owners Keith Clark and Robert Jones-Verne.
Smooth Criminal gets his first Open Pace win of the season
Smooth Criminalhad been close in all three of his Open Pace tries this season. He finished second beaten just a half length three starts back, then second beaten just a neck two back. Last time he led the race all the way into the homestretch before fading late. Well Saturday night was his redemption as this time he went all the way to win the $9,000 event. Sent off at odds of 7/2, Smooth Criminal and William Tainsh Jr. were able to ration out the speed, getting the first quarter in a moderate 28.4 and a half in 57.4 seconds. Favored Who Doesn’t sat second just waiting to pounce, but by the time they got to the top of the stretch, Smooth Criminal had plenty left in the tank and held off Who Doesn’t by a length and a quarter. Playbook finished up in third.
Biggest Payoffs of the Week at Northlands Park
Biggest $2 Win Payout:
Race 12, 12/13/13 Contesta Hanover paid $61.40 to win
Biggest $2 Exactor:
Race 8, 12/13/13 Blistillmyheart/Rown Croyal paid $357.10
Biggest $2 Triactor:
Race 12, 12/13/13 Contesta Hanover/Crackers Hot Shot/Cenalta Fireworks paid $2,501.50
Biggest $1 Superfecta:
Race 9, 12/13/13 Flawless Art/Blazing By/Brave Rustler/Albertas Dragon paid $3,411.75!
Biggest $1 Pick 4:
12/14/13 races 9 through 12 paid $1,700.00!!!
Fastest Mile of the Week:
Bettor in the Bank, Race 12, 12/14/13…..1:55.0
North American Racing News
Grade 1 CashCall Futurity at Hollywood Park
Winner: Shared Belief
Jockey: Corey Nakatani
$2 Win pays $4.00
Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park
Jockey: Joel Rosario
$2 Win pays: $5.40
Grade 3 Native Diver at Hollywood Park
Jockey: Martin Pedroza
$2 Win pays: $8.40
Grade 3 Sugar Swirl Stakes at Gulfstream Park
Winner: Heart Stealer
Jockey: Javier Castellano
$2 Win pays: $4.20
Louisiana Champions Classic at Fair Grounds
Jockey: Richard Eramia
$2 Win pays: $4.60
Ontario Lassie Stakes at Woodbine
Winner: Paladin Boy
Jockey: Gerry Olguin
$2 Win pays $6.30
Grade 3 Valedictory at Woodbine
Driver: Gerry Olguin
$2 Win pays $11.10
Springboard Stakes at Remington Park
Winner: Louies Flower
Jockey: Luis Quinonez
$2 Win pays $48.00