Codename Cigar Box Scorches Century

Codename Cigar Box, winning at Century Downs

The hottest horse in western Canada is now the fastest horse in the history of Century Downs.

Codename Cigar Box ($2.40) came into the $13,500 Preferred Pace on Saturday (July 16) with the outermost starting spot thanks to his four-race win streak. Driver Kelly Hoerdt took back early on Saturday as Tiempo Hanover (Brandon Campbell) fired out from post three to a sharp :27.3 opening quarter. Sensing a slowing tempo, Hoerdt right-lined 1-5 Codename Cigar Box from fifth and engaged Tiempo Hanover through a :56 half.

Campbell asked Tiempo Hanover for a faster tiempo down the backstretch but Codename Cigar Box's momentum carried him to the lead approaching the third station, reached in 1:23.2. Around that far turn, Codename Cigar Box faced a fresh threat in the form of Samba Beat (Phil Giesbrecht) and those two locked horns turning for home noses apart.

Hoerdt asked Codename Cigar Box to find another gear, and the pacer responded to repel the challenge of Samba Beat and impressively pull away with a :27.4 final quarter. Codename Cigar Box hit the wire in 1:51.1 to set a new all-age Century Downs track record, shaving one-fifth of a second off the mark of Boiling Oar set in 2020. 

Samba Beat was second, 2-1/2 lengths in arrears with Shark Week (Mike Hennessy) completing the top trio.

A four-year-old gelded son of Custard The Dragon - Art Amour, Codename Cigar Box is trained and co-owned by Hoerdt, who shares ownership with Fred Gilbert of Brandon, Man. and Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, Alta. The win was the 11th of the season and a new lifetime best to give him 10 wins in his last 11 tries.  His bankroll now stands at $246,093.

For results from Saturday's card, click the following link: Saturday Results - Century Downs.


Codename Cigar Box is now tied for 4th place (with Jimmy Freight and Linedrive Hanover, among others) for the most wins by a standardbred in North America in 2022.