The top pacers in Alberta harness racing took centre stage this past Saturday at Alberta Downs for 2014 ABSS Battle of Alberta Super Finals and they were nothing short of spectacular. With purses topping $380,000 the day was action-filled with eight competitive Sires Stakes battles along with four additional top dashes.
The weather held up nicely for this most anticipated event of the year. The track was in great condition and listed as fast which reflected in the speedy miles being put up on the clock.
$70,000 ABSS Super Finals Two-Year-Old Fillies
My Villas On Fire was certainly on fire in the ABSS Super Finals for two-year-old fillies with a sizzling new lifetime mark of 1:54 and winning by over eight lengths. This was a track record performance for the young talented Blue Burner-My Villa filly who is trained and driven by Jamie Gray. She is owned by Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy. Bertrand also bred the filly along with Sherri Sorensen. My Villas On Fire’s impressive victory vaulted her earnings to $74,090 and now boasts sixth lifetime wins. Cam Finish (Phil Giesbrecht) was second while Hot Time (Bill Tainsh Jr) came third. The winner paid $4.20 to win.
Getter Queen Flush picked a great time to break her maiden by winning the $15,000 Super Finals Consolation for two-year-old fillies in 1:59.1. The daughter of JK Royal Flush-Shes A Gogetter is driven and trained by Rod Hennessy and owned by Linda Duffield. I Am Miss T (Gary Clark) was a strong second and Voodoo Woman (Jim Marino) was third. Getter Queen Flush paid $15.50 to win.
$70,000 ABSS Super Finals Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings
Another very impressive victory was by the Kelly Hoerdt Stable trainee Cool Cowboy who captured the ABSS Super Finals for two-year-old colts and geldings in 1:55 flat. This extremely talented son of Brandons Cowboy- Cool Grin hunted down the 4-5 favorite Urcutoff to take the victory. Top BC driver Jim Marino flew in to drive Cool Cowboy for the sidelined O’Brien Award winner Hoerdt who was injured this past September in a racing accident at Alberta Downs. Hoerdt shares ownership with Blair Corbeil and Witsend Consulting Inc and bred by Meridian Farms. This was the colt’s second lifetime win and is now just shy of $69,000 in earnings. Cool Cowboy was a $19,000 purchase from the 2013 ASHA Yearling sale. Urcutoff (Brandon Campbell) held on for second and Pablos First (JF Gagne) was five lengths back in third.Cool Cowboy was second choice with the betting public and paid $6.90 to win for his backers.
The battle was on in the $15,000 Consolation for the two-year-old colts and geldings. Rare Breed (Keith Clark) prevailed by a head in 1:57.1 over second place finisher Outlaw Deacon Jim (Rod Hennessy) after an exciting homestretch battle between the duo. Rare Breed is a home-bred son of Camystic out of the Artiscape mare Raritan. Canadian Horse Hall of Fame horseman Keith Clark drives, trains and owns the colt. War Chant (Tyler Redwood) was seven lengths back in third place.
$70,000 ABSS Super Finals Three-Year-Old Fillies
One of the most exciting races on the day was definitely the Super Finals for the three-year-old fillies where we saw Nighttraintovegas (Brandon Campbell) and Barona Mercedes (Jim Marino) put on a spectacular show of heart and grit in a photo finish. Nighttraintovegas who came off the pace to win the photo over Barona Mercedes captured the victory in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.2. These two gutsy fillies raced fantastic and did not disappoint the fans in this exciting homestretch finish which was too close to call. Nighttraintovegas is the daughter of Camystic-Midnight In Vegas and has now boasted her lifetime earnings to $176,825. This was her seventh win on the year and twelfth lifetime win. She is trained by Rick Schneider and owned by Dick Schneider and David Halmosi. Eliseuinthedust (Jamie Gray) was back six lengths and took third prize. The winner paid $2.90 for the win.
There was no surprises in the three-year-old fillies $15,000 Consolation where we saw the heavy favorite Wrangler Rockette (Gerry Hudon) easily capturing the victory by three lengths in speedy time of 1:54.3. Wrangler Rockette is trained by Hudon and owned by Dr. Maurice and Maureen Stewart. Second place went to Freesia (Travis Cullen) and third place went to Night Affair (Rod Hennessy). The winner paid $3.00 to win.
$70,000 ABSS Super Finals Three-Year-Old Colts and Geldings
Blue Eyed Cowboy’s late kick once again drove him to victory in the always highly anticipated three-year-old glamour boys division. The champion son of Brandons Cowboy-Eicarls Blue Eyes now has back to back Super Final victories added to his resume. He was the 2013 Super Finals Two-Year-Old Champion and won the 2013 ASHA Award for Champion AB Sired Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings. This was Blue Eyed Cowboy’s seventh win on the season with $171,286 in lifetime earnings including six AB Sires Stakes victories. The speedy gelding is driven by Bill Tainsh Jr, trained and owned by Rod Starkewski and bred by Kurt and Kathy Schmidt. Starkewski purchased him from the 2012 ASHA Yearling sale for $1700. Sotally Tober (Jamie Gray) also turned in an impressive performance finishing second one length behind Blue Eyed Cowboy while Comes Home First (Jim Marino) rounded off the top three. The winner paid $2.90 to win.
The Keith Clark Stable had four entries and prevailed with long shot Cigar Party for the lion’s share of the $15,000 Consolation for three-year-old colts and geldings. The son of Clintons Cigar-Beyond Paradise rallied to win by seven lengths in a sharp new lifetime mark of 1:54. He is owned and trained by Clark and was driven by Gerry Hudon. Clark shares ownership with Robert Jones and breeder Al Neurauter. Donttelldaddy (Jim Marino) came up for second and Regina Beach (Brandon Campbell) was third. The winner paid $20.20 to win.
Also, on the day we saw Alberta’s Open pacing star Who Doesnt continue his winning streak to eleven victories in a row and fourteen of twenty-one on the year for driver/trainer Travis Cullen. Premium Attaction (Gerry Hudon) and Life Signature (JF Gagne) were both a competitive second and third.
The Open Mares division went to Sing Like An Angel for driver Phil Giesbrecht and trainer Travis Cullen. Blue Star Beauty (JF Gagne) who led through most of the race stayed on for second while American Passion (Gerry Hudon) was third six lengths back.