Clark’s Girls Sweep ASHA Breeders Elims

Hall of Fame horseman Keith Clark swept both $15,000 ASHA Breeders Stake eliminations for three-year-old pacing fillies with Rossridge Fortune and W Jean on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs


In the first elimination, Rossridge Fortune fired off the gate from Post 6 with Keith Clark in the bike before giving way to the favourite and track record holder, River Lass (Kelly Hoerdt), who cut out middle fractions of :57 and 1:26.1. Rossridge Fortune then pulled the pocket and sprinted home in :29.3 to win by one and a quarter lengths in 1:56.1 over a ‘good’ track. River Lass stayed for second with the winner’s stablemate Wrangler Raine (Bobby Clark) coming on for third.

Rossridge Fortune paid $8.00 to win as part of the 3-1 second choice entry. Keith Clark also co-owns the Brandons Cowboy–Whippet filly, a winner of three races in 11 starts and $25,300 this year, with Robert Jones of Slave Lake and John Hind of Calgary, AB.

W Jean, with Bobby Clark in the bike, rallied off second over cover to take the second elimination for trainer Keith Clark and owners Dr. Maurice Stewart and Maureen Stewart of Leduc, Gordon Rumpel of Calgary and Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, AB.

Nakednakednaked (Kelly Hoerdt) turned back Crush On Clinton (Brandon Campbell) past the :27.3 first quarter and faced more pressure from a first over Queen Of Swing and Keith Clark at the half in :58.1. Nakednakednaked maintained the lead to three-quarters in 1:27.3 but could not hold off the backfield attackers. W Jean sprinted home in :28.3 to win in a career-best 1:56.4 with Mood Light (Rod Hennessey) and Cozamel (Jamie Gray) finishing about a length behind in second and third.

W Jean paid $3.00 to win as part of the favoured entry. The daughter of Camystic-Kelsey Victoria notched her third win of the season in 10 starts and lifted her earnings to $21,704 in the process.

The $75,000 ASHA Breeders Stake will take place next Saturday, July 24 at Alberta Downs.

In other action, a pair of two-year-old pacers lowered the track records for colts and fillies on Saturday.

Takem Todakleaners won the opener, a $4,000 maiden event, in a track record time of 2:01.4 by three-quarters of a length over pacesetter Roper (Rod Hennessy). The time erased Western Chrome’s previous record for freshman colts of 2:02.1. Brent Grundy trains and drives the son of As Promised-Rain Drop Hanover for Diane Bertrand of Edmonton, Thomas Menard and Sherri Sorensen of Sherwood Park, AB.

In qualifying action, Dewinton Destroyer, trained, owned and driven by Keith Clark, converted from the pocket and held off Huntington (Rod Hennessy) to win by a neck in 2:02.4. The As Promised-Avacal Hope filly lowered Im Sheila’s previous record for freshman fillies by one-fifth of a second in her first start.

In Open action, Neal Diamonique, driven by J.F. Gagne, survived a first over journey and wore down the pacesetter and the all-age track record holder, Smart Shark (Connie Kolthammer), for the third time in a row, in 1:54. Smart Shark finished two and a half lengths behind in second in the $10,000 Open Pace with Wrangler Hitech (Keith Clark) four lengths back in third.

Lance Ward trains Neal Diamonique for owners Edward Dhoedt of Edmonton and Ernest Greenwood of St. Albert, AB. The popular son of Real Desire-Diamonique Mindale has won five times and recorded two seconds in his seven Lacombe starts this season. The victory was his seventh in 15 starts as a five-year-old and pushed his earnings to $45,870. Now a 19-time winner in his career, Neal Diamonique has banked $320,808 to date.

Gagne and Ward also clicked with Everday Glory (1:59.1) and Mr Mozzart (1:57.3) during the 11-race card.

To view Saturday’s results, click here.

Have something to say about this? Log in or create an account to post a comment.