Some Enchanted Evening
For some, definitely, for others, not so much so. It was without a doubt special for the connections of the dark horse in the featured Monashee Stake, Under Par, who while mainly racing in upper level claimers for most of her career, turned back a challenge from Canada’s Sovereign Award winning top mare Here’s Hannah, and in the process claimed victory. The Monashee Stake is named after Canmor Farms’ Champion race mare, Monashee, who won 18 out 24 races and earned almost $700K.
This evening’s racing surface held no detectable bias and appeared to play fair for all. Times were perhaps a tick or two slower than usual, but the track seemed tight and well prepared by the Hastings Track Crew.
The weather was warm, but not too hot, as scattered clouds provided cover from the brilliant rays of the sun.
Betting was up and the payoffs were good, and racing continued without patrons and spectators for the ninth day of the 2020 season.
- Jockey Amadeo Perez gets a triple.
- Trainers Barb Heads and Glen Todd score doubles.
- Riders Jose Gomez and Efrain Hernandez each win two on the day.
- BC breds take victories in 4 out of 8 races.
- Trainer Mary-Anne Baumgartner earns her 5th victory in only 6 starts (83%-win average).
- Mutuel handle was $680,253.
Kindergartengrader Takes Them to School
Today’s lesson in the first, a maiden 4K/5K event, was that the shortest distance around the final turn is always, always the rail. Silvino Morales aboard the four-year-old roan gelding Kindergartengrader (16.90, 6.00, 2.90) made a bold move from behind along the rail with enough room to squeeze by the front running Uptown Funky Cat. By the head of the lane, Kindergartengrader had the lead to himself and was able to fend off the 6/5 favourite We Got It Covered (who had a wide trip) to prevail by 1 ¼ lengths at the wire.
Kindergartengrader is trained by Rob Maybin and is owned by Sheena and Rob Maybin. He is by Hunters Bay out of Sister Ponche by Ponche and was bred in Florida by Judy Karlin. The winning groom is Stafford Bracey.
Lucky Ending Writes the Script
The second event on the program, an 8K/10K claimer for non-winners of 2/3 races went to Russell J. and Lois Bennett’s six-year-old dark bay gelding Lucky Ending (10.20, 5.70, 4.00). After a decent break, Jose Gomez followed right behind Amadeo Perez’s Reprimand for the first two turns, taking the lead at the far turn and appearing that he would just power on to victory from that point. Perez, however, still had horse in reserve and was able to get Reprimand to re-rally and make a race of it to the wire. The two battled down the lane and were both close to spent with a 1/16th to go. In the end, it was Lucky Ending by a short neck over the very determined Reprimand. The final 1/16th went in a pedestrian 8:03, almost allowing the hard charging He’s Got Ego (who finished third only a head back) to swoop by both of the leaders. Had it not been for He’s Got Ego’s refusal to run a straight course down the lane, the ending possibly would have been differently written.
Lucky Ending is trained by Barb Heads, assisted by Madison Zielke and groomed by Leona Bourque. He is by Finality out of Wish Me Luck by Alphabet Soup and was bred in vibrant and growing Kelowna, British Columbia by his owners Russ and Lois Bennett.
Porter Gent Wins His Second in a Row
The third race on the card, an allowance for non-winners of 2/3 lifetime, was won in fine style by the Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds’ three-year-old gelding Porter Gent (6.00, 4.20, 2.90). Winning jockey Amadeo Perez got a sharp break from his mount and he was able to take the rail and the advantage into the club house turn with Cascade Billy joining right alongside. From there it was a two-horse head to head battle to the top of the home stretch, when Porter Gent was able to get a head in front and gradually inched away to win by a little more than 1 length over a very tenacious Cascade Billy. The race was run in 1:17.79.
Porter Gent is trained by Christine Ammann, who marked up her 6th win after only 9 days of racing. The winning assistant trainer is Alison Dube and Michael Pounder is the groom. Porter Gent is by Second in Command out of Faidra by Elusive Quality and was bred in Supernatural British Columbia by his owner Tod Mtn. Thoroughbreds.
Dakati Wins Again
While it was a lot tougher than his last romp to the winner’s circle, and for a moment it looked like he wouldn’t do it, North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc.’s four-year-old dark bay gelding Dakati (4.50, 3.00, 2.20) was able to score his second consecutive win in the fourth race for 4K/5K claimers. Efrain Hernandez stalked the leading Jay Lost Control until the far turn when he moved his mount with authority, forging into a narrow advantage by the head of the lane. From there Dakati ran with determination, fighting it out with the deep closing Chef in the final strides to come out on top by a neck at the finish.
Dakati is trained by Glen Todd, who is also the breeder. He is by Tale of Ekati out of NATHC’s multiple stakes winning mare Castinette Dancer, by Ministers Wild Cat. Dakati was foaled in Kentucky. The winning groom is Sherri Smith.
Curious Rumor Goes Gate to Wire
The fifth race, a non-winner of the year 4K/5K claimer for fillies and mares, went to North American Thoroughbred Racing Co. Inc.’s five-year-old dark bay mare Curious Rumor (10.10, 10.00, 7.20). Efrain Hernandez, breaking on top with Curious Rumor, hustled his mount to the lead where she remained throughout. Along the way the mare turned back several challenges from numerous competitors and was able to hold onto a 1-length advantage down the stretch and to the wire over Raise a Dancer. While the winner was collectively considered by punters as a contender, the next three in line definitely were not. This set the stage for a fabulous $1 superfecta payout of $12,718.05.
Curious Rumor is trained by Glen Todd and groomed by Larissa Zagorsky. She is by Jimmy Creed out of Bespoke and was bred in Kentucky by T/C Stable, LLC. Curious Rumor’s victory gave both her jockey and trainer their second wins on the day and put both of them into first place in their respective standings.
Big Time Louie Does the Quick Step
The sixth race on the day, a 4K/5K claiming event for non-winners of two races lifetime, went to Sandown Racing Club’s good-looking dark bay three-year-old gelding Big Time Louie (24.10, 12.80, 6.40). Jose Gomez wisely placed his mount back of the leaders in the early going, making his bid at the far turn, vaulting into the lead, passing the tiring pace setters. Down the lane there was no denying Big Time Louie his second consecutive win of the season as he powered on to a 2 ¼-length victory in the very rapid for this class final time of 1:17.95. Taking the runner up position was another longshot Spokane’s Gem. Big Time Louie certainly gave his Vancouver Island based multi-member Sandown Racing Club a lot to cheer about and future races to look forward to. For his trainer, veteran conditioner Mary-Anne Baumgartner, who doubles as his groom, it was her 5th winner at the meet after only 6 starts, an unbelievable 83%-win average. Well done!
Big Time Louie is by Second in Command out of Danny’s Chant by Western Trick and was bred by her trainer and White House Stables in Beautiful British Columbia.
Under Par Birdies the Monashee
The penultimate and feature attraction of the day was the Monashee, a $50,000 guaranteed black type stake for fillies and mares. The field of five brought together the 2019 Champion B.C. and Canadian older filly/mare Here’s Hannah ($502K earnings) and the B.C. bred three-year-old Champion and winner of this year’s RedTail Landing Handicap at Century Mile, Sunburst, as well as the multiple stakes winning Notis the Jewell, the Hastings Racing Club’s hard trying multiple stakes placed Warrior’s Promise, and the stakes placed Under Par.
The race according to the handicappers and the betting public appeared to be a two-horse contest between the slightly favoured Here’s Hannah (even money) and the well bet Sunburst (6/5). In the end, it was Canmor Farms and Maureen Goss’s courageous five-year-old dark bay mare Under Par (13.20, 4.00, 2.60) who took home the trophy and winner’s $30,500 share of the purse.
Expertly ridden by Amadeo Perez, Under Par broke on top and was guided to the front by her rider who was able to slow the pace down to a very sensible 23.05. After another quarter in 23:01 and the half coming up in 46.06, Scott Williams on Sunburst drew alongside of Under Par, engaging in battle for the entire final turn. Thanks to a soft early quarter and a lot of heart, Under Par was getting the best of Sunburst, and had established a half length lead by the head of the lane, when, all at once, the reigning Queen of Hastings, Here’s Hannah, emerged ready to fight it out. In the end, Here’s Hannah, while running courageously, was not able to cut into the ½-length disadvantage she faced at the head of the lane. It was Under Par victorious at the finish by a ¾-length margin over Here’s Hannah, with Sunburst several lengths back comfortably taking the show position. The final time for the 6.5 furlongs was an extraordinarily quick 1:16.93, the fastest of the day.
Under Par is trained by Mark Cloutier and is by Stephanotis out of Big Bertha by Tertullian and was bred in Supernatural British Columbia by Glen Todd.
Ace Deuce Proves Age Is Just a Number
The final contest on the evening card went to Barb Heads’ senior citizen, the nine-year-old big chestnut gelding Ace Deuce (3.40, 2.40, 2.10). Ridden by Amadeo Perez who claimed a hat trick with the victory, Ace Deuce, although not quick out of gate, was slotted into the second spot several lengths back of the pace setting ten-year-old Payton’s Best. By the midway point of the final run down the backstretch, Perez engaged and went right by the front runner, extending his leading margin at every point of call. The wire saw Ace Deuce 3 1/4 lengths clear over Trupon Online, with Neveradoubt several lengths back rounding out the top three finishers.
Ace Deuce is trained by Barb Heads, assisted by Madison Zielke. He is by Lewis Michael out of Secret Sonnet and was bred in California by Milt A. Policzer.
After nine days of racing, the Leader Board looks like this:
North American Thoroughbred Horse Company, Inc. leads the way with 6 trips to the winner’s circle, with Russell J. and Lois Bennett holding up second place with 5 wins. In third position with 4 wins is Tod Mountain Thoroughbreds.
Efrain Hernandez leads with 13 wins, closely followed by Amadeo Perez with 12 wins. Tied for third are Silvino Morales and Scott Williams each with 11 wins.
Barbara Heads and Glen Todd continue to tie for first in the trainers’ standings with 8 wins each. Christine Ammann and Steve Henson are tied for second with 6 victories each and tied for third are Mary-Anne Baumgartner and Robert Gilker with 5 wins each.