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Open Pacers Win Debuts

Published: May 6, 2012 10:57 pm ET

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Open pacers Barona Ice and Itza Free For All highlighted a double header at Alberta Downs on Sunday after Saturday’s card was carried over due to heavy rains in the area.

Barona Ice won the $8,500 Open Pace during the evening program that was originally scheduled for Saturday while Itza Free For All won the matching fillies and mares event during the afternoon card.

Barona Ice, who last raced on July 4, 2011 at Alberta Downs, made his five-year-old debut a winning one for driver Bill Tainsh Jr. and trainer Douglas Stout.

Favourite All Canadian Mjjz (Rod Starkewski) led the field in post position order through a :28.3 opening quarter, but Gts Jake (James Jungquist) pulled the pocket down the backstretch and swept to command at the :59.2 half-mile juncture. After watching the early lead change from third, Barona Ice made his move as the field headed into the final turn. Gts Jake hit three-quarters in 1:28 and had a four-length lead on his foes, but Barona Ice came on late to score the 8-1 upset in 1:56.2 over the 'good' track by half a length. Neal Diamonique (Lance Ward) and Timberline Court (Bobby Clark) got up for second and third respectively.

Barona Ice paid $18.10 to win. He now boasts a record reading 13-4-6 in 34 starts with career earnings just shy of $200,000. The Freedoms Pass-Vanessa Hall gelding is owned and bred by Barona Yearlings of Spruce Grove, Alta.

Shipping in from British Columbia off a career-best 1:55.1 victory in a $20,000 claiming-conditioned event, five-year-old mare Itza Free For All won her first ever start in the province of Alberta for trainer David Lamont.

Doober Hoozzitz (John Chappell) jumped out to an early five length lead during the :28.4 opening quarter, but was overtaken by favourite River Lass (Kelly Hoerdt) down the backstretch. Meanwhile, Itza Free For All and driver Jeff Stone, who trailed the short four-horse field early on by eight and a half lengths, began to roll and moved up to second by the 1:27.4 three-quarters mark. The Park Place-Freemont Street miss swept to command and held off Doober Hoozzitz down the lane to win in 1:59.1 over the 'good' track by a neck. Barona Josie (Bill Tainsh Jr.) beat River Lass for third.

Itza Free For All, who started out her career in Illinois before racing in California and then B.C., has put together a record reading 14-17-10 in 65 starts while banking $67,906. She is now owned by Lil Dude Ranch of Surrey, B.C. Itza Free For All paid $6.80 to win as the 2-1 second choice.

Joe Ratchford scored a training triple during the afternoon program while conditioner Lance Ward won three combined over the two cards.


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