|West Coast Dominates Travers Stakes|
|Forever Unbridled Hands Songbird Personal Ensign Defeat|
|Drefong Crushes Forego Competition|
|Practical Joke Too Good in H. Allen Jerkens|
|No Denying By the Moon in This Year’s Ballerina|
Vancouver, B.C. (August 27/17) — Sohen Gill, a staunch supporter of the racing industry for as long as anyone can remember, was struck with a thought when he saw BC Sports Hall of Fame members Dale Walters (boxing) and Archie McDonald (media) huddled in a corner in deep conversation at Hastings recently.
“We have so many legends from our local sports community who are regulars at the track maybe one day we should have them all out as guest decorators,” Gill suggested. “It sure would bring back a lot of memories.”
As humble as he is, Gill neglected to include himself in the group. In fact, it was in May of 2009 when Gill, McDonald and Chris Loseth were all inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Banquet of Champions in downtown Vancouver.
Loseth was being acknowledged for his illustrious career as Hastings’ leading jockey an unprecedented eight times and 3,668 career wins over a span of 30 years and more than 26,000 mounts.
Sohen’s induction was inspired by his long and colorful career in local lacrosse as a player, coach, manager and Western Lacrosse Association commissioner as well as president of the British Columbia Lacrosse Association.
His dedication did not go unrecognized. He was named winner of the Tom Gordon ‘Mr. Lacrosse’ award three times and was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2005.
The story that simply must be repeated about Gill appeared in the 2009 BC Sports Hall of Fame official program, penned by Curator Jason Beck.
“In December 1990, Sohen Gill’s life changed forever,” Beck wrote. “As a lieutenant firefighter, he was on the roof surveying a burning Kitsilano building when it disintegrated, plunging him into a scorching inferno. Miraculously, he dove out a window and survived. Following weeks of intensive care and the burn unit, then nearly three years of rehab, he recovered.
“Some might scale back their activities after such an experience. Gill increased his lacrosse involvement, feeling he’d been granted a second lease on life.”
Gill speaks of legendary figures who visit Hastings Racecourse on a regular basis. None is more of a legend than the man himself.
|August 27 – Del Mar|
|Beau Square||Wgt-116||Race 3||Allowance Optional Claiming $40,000|
|Turnaround||Wgt-120||Race 7||Maiden Special Weight|
|True Valor||Wgt-120||Race 8||Allowance Optional Claiming $75,000|
|August 30 – Del Mar|
|Dreamarcher||Wgt-122||Race 2||Allowance Optional Claiming $100,000|
|Arunachala||Wgt-120||Race 5||Maiden Special Weight|
|It’s About Alex||Wgt-118||Race 6||Generous Portion S.|
|August 26 – Saratoga|
|Ann Arbor Eddie finished 8th beaten 11 1/2 lengths||Race 8|
|Frank Conversation finished 7th beaten 5 lengths||Race 10|
|Irap finished 3rd beaten 5 1/2 lengths||Race 11|
|Saturday, August 26, 2017|
|HASTINGS RACECOURSE — (Dirt) Track Fast|
|HASTINGS RACECOURSE — (Dirt) Track Fast|
|Raine Or Shine||:51.20||H||8|
|Tell Us a Tale||:49.20||H||6|
|HASTINGS RACECOURSE — (Dirt) Track Fast|
|R W Stanley||1:02.80||H||5|
|Sheri Sugar Rush||1:03.60||H||7|
OH MARVELOUS ME SCORES AGAIN AT EMERALD DOWNS
AUBURN, Wash. (Aug. 26, 2017) – Oh Marvelous Me wore down Papa Frank late for a neck victory Saturday in the $21,000 Muckleshoot Casino Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.
Winning his fourth race of the meeting, Oh Marvelous Me ran 6 ½ furlongs in 1:15.97 and paid $5.80, $3.20 and $2.40. Julien Couton rode the winner for trainer Blaine Wright and owners Todd and Shawn Hansen of Tenino, Wash.
Papa Frank, ridden by Jose Zunino, swerved out past mid-stretch and then just failed to hold off the winner in the final yards. Papa Frank paid $3.20 and $2.40.
Grinder Sparksaglo, ridden by Eswan Flores, held third and paid $2.60 to show, while Togrammashousewego, Opportunistic and Thisdewarsforyou completed the order of finish. The Press was scratched and runs in Sunday’s $50,000 Muckleshoot Tribal Classic for 3-year-olds and up.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred gelding by Bluegrass Cat-Morakami, Oh Marvelous Me thrives at Emerald Downs. He is one of only seven four-time winners at the meet and is 5-0-2 in eight starts at Emerald Downs with $48,928 in earnings.
NOTES: Couton and Wright also clicked with Im Insatiable Too ($4), a 2-year-old Abraaj gelding that edged Cody’s Check in a $25,000 maiden claimer. . .Couton and Wright are a combined 13-for-29 this season. . .Couton also won the nightcap on Blushing Ann ($16.60) to notch his sixth three-win day of the season. . .
Rocco Bowen also rode three winners Saturday, boosting his season total to 103. . .
Betrbegone ($7) scored a gate-to-wire victory first off the claim for Greg and Chuck Conley and Joe Toye, running one mile in 1:35.88 under Bowen in race four. A 5-year-old Parker’s Storm Cat gelding, Betrbegone snapped a nine-race skid that dated to 2015 and a 33-1 upset over Prime Engine in the Seattle Slew Handicap. . .
Toye and the Conleys are a remarkable 12-for-20 this season, and rank second to John Parker (16 wins) in the owners’ standings. . .
Trainer Dino Apostolou broke into the win category as La Javier ($22.80) rallied under Francisco Orduna-Rojas to take the Saturday opener. .
.Incidentally, Orduna-Rojas also won the Friday opener on Midnight Lou. . .
Trainer Steve Koler also scored his first win of the season when Three Red Sevens ($11.40) tagged 2-5 favorite Alaskan Cruise in the final stride of race six. .
.Party Pooper ($2.80) is a three-time winner for the second straight year following a gate-to-wore score in race seven for older $10,000 claimers. .
.Live racing continues Sunday with the Washington Cup, six stakes worth an aggregate $300,000 in purses for Washington-breds. First post is 2:30 p.m.
|Saturday, August 26|
|Race 1||Maiden Claiming – $5,000||$6,400|
|Race 2||Claiming – $5,000||$8,800|
|Race 3||Maiden Claiming – $25,000||$13,600|
|Race 4||Claiming – $20,000||$15,600|
|Race 5||Claiming – $5,000||$8,800|
|Race 6||Claiming – $7,500||$9,000|
|Race 7||Claiming – $10,000||$11,200|
|Race 8||Allowance Optional Claiming – $40,000||$21,000|
|Race 9||Claiming – $4,000||$6,800|
Giant Expectations © Benoit Photo
Giant Expectations, a New York-bred four-year-old piloted by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, won a spot in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile Friday, Nov. 3 at Del Mar with a convincing triumph in Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes at seven furlongs.
Giant Expectations rallied powerfully through the stretch to overtake Calculator and win by a length and one-half in the O’Brien, a “Win and You’re In” qualifying event for the Breeders’ Cup on the first weekend in November. Calculator, who had taken the lead in the upper stretch under Rafael Bejarano, was a clear runner-up, two and three-quarter lengths in front of Silent Bird, with Mr. Hinx fourth in the field of ten sprinters. Moe Candy, the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, wound up last after breaking slowly and rushing up to be a pace factor. Danzing Candy, the pre-race favorite, was withdrawn Friday after suffering a career-ending injury.
Giant Expectations, a son of Frost Giant owned by Exline Border Racing and Gatto racing and trained by Peter Eurton, accomplished the distance in a swift 1:21.08 to earn first money of $120,000 with his third win in ten outings. His bankroll is $253,200. To his backers, he returned $11.40, $6 and $3.40. Runner-up Calculator paid $8 and $4.40, while Silent Bird returned $4.20 to show.
In Saturday’s supporting feature, the $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes for three-year-olds, Battle of Midway rallied to the lead in the upper stretch and drew off to an impressive six and one-quarter lengths triumph under jockey Flavien Prat.
The son of Smart Strike, who was third to Always Dreaming in the Kentucky Derby last spring,l was always prominent in the one-mile affair, drove past 9-5 favored Gato Del Oro turning for home and cruised to the wire an easy winner.
Gato Del Oro, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, stayed on for second, four and one-quarter lengths ahead of 2016 Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt, with Santa Anita Derby winner Gormley a well-beaten fourth in his first race since finishing fourth in the Belmont Stakes June 10.
Battle of Midway, owned by Don Alberto Stable and Winstar Farm and conditioned by Jerry Hollendorfer, ran the distance in 1:35.94 for his fourth victory in eight starts. First prize of $60,000 pushed his earnings to $620,000. Sent to the gate at 3-1, Battle of Midway paid $8.40, $3.60 and $2.80. Gato Del Oro returned $3 and $2.60, while Klimt paid $3 to show.
Bejarano won three races on the card to give him 25 winners this season, three behind leader Prat who won with Conquest Typhoon in the sixth at $8.60 and Battle of Midway in the Shared Belief. Bejarano’s winners were Lucky Romano at $10.20 in the fifth, Popyhowusspelcupcak at $9.20 in the eighth and Lovely Anzi at $15.20 in the tenth. Apprentice Evin Roman scored on Swirling in the third to up his total to 24.
In the first ride of her career, ten-pound apprentice jockey Maria Falgione was a winner aboard Tee Em Eye in the second race Saturday. Tee Em Eye won by three and one-half lengths and paid $13.60.
GARY STEVENS (Giant Expectations, winner) – “He broke sharp and he was right in it. I used one of his gears a little earlier than I wanted to to get position. There was some “jockeying” going on out there, especially between (Kent) Desormeaux (on Silent Bird) and me. We were going in and out, but my horse loved it (the competition). He’s a bulldog. I rode him last time and he ran great. I thought he was sitting on something big. He showed it today. And I think he’ll actually be better off if they run him a mile. (The win gave him automatic entrance into the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.) He’ll have more time to settle going into that first turn and I expect he’ll run big.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Calculator, second) – “He got away a little slow, but we got a good position pretty quick. He got through there, then threw his ears up. Then the winner was by us. He ran good, though.”
KENT DESORMEAUX (Silent Bird, third) – “He showed up. The fastest race of the meet by far and he was right there. Hadn’t run in more than five months, but he was right with them today.”
PETER EURTON (Giant Expectations, winner) – “He showed up today and I’m really proud of him. Gary (Stevens) chose him over Kobe’s Back basically because of the youth, this horse is four. I didn’t think he would run this big, but I’m glad he did. We’re pretty happy right now.”
FRACTIONS: :22.69 :45.14 1:08.83 1:21.08
The stakes win was the third of the meet for rider Stevens and his third in the Pat O’Brien. He now has 97 stakes wins at Del Mar, third most of any jockey.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Eurton and his first in the Pat O’Brien. He now has eight stakes wins at Del Mar.
The owners are Exline Border Racing (Ryan Exline of Thousand Oaks, CA and Justin Border) and Gatto Racing (Dan Gatto of Encinitas, CA).