Two-year-old pacing colts and geldings took their turn in the ASHA Stakes spotlight on Sunday afternoon at Alberta Downs with the streaking Blue Eyed Cowboy and National Debt taking top honours in a pair of $10,000 divisions.
Fresh off a victory in the Alberta Sires Stakes Shooting Star, Blue Eyed Cowboy equalled the two-year-old track record in the first ASHA Colt Stakes division.
Blue Eyed Cowboy and driver Bill Tainsh Jr. made their move from third approaching the third quarter mark and reeled in pacesetter Jet Tracker (Brandon Campbell) down the stretch to win the first division in 1:53.3. Jet Tracker stayed for second, finishing three lengths behind, and Sonic Spark (Gerry Hudon) trailed 10 lengths back in third.
The Brandons Cowboy-Eicarls Blue Eyes gelding, who notched his third win in a row, is owned and trained by Rod Starkewski of Lamont, Alta.
The 1:53.3 clocking matched the freshman record set by National Debt in his last start on Sept. 29.
National Debut also made it three wins in a row to continue his perfect freshman campaign.
Leaving from the outside post seven, favourite National Debt worked his way to the lead past the opening quarter mark and cruised home for the two and a half length victory in 1:54.3 for trainer/driver Kelly Hoerdt. Comes Home First (J.F. Gagne) followed from the pocket to place while The Big Heist (Rene Goulet) finished seven lengths back in third.
Hoerdt co-owns the Allamerican Native-Our Inheritance gelding with Blair and Erna Corbeil of Beaumont, Alta.
Three-year-old pacing colts also competed in a pair of $10,000 eliminations for their final Alberta Sires Stakes event of the regular season.
ASHA Colt Stakes winner Play Me Right was shuffled back to third, but stormed home to win the first Alberta Maverick elimination by more than six lengths in 1:52 for Team Campbell. Brandon Campbell drove the Ameripan Gigolo-Clintons Delight gelding for trainer Sandford Campbell and owners Jodi Loftus and Debbie Campbell of Calgary, Alta. Tip Top Tap (Rod Hennsessy) edged out Outlaw Falcon (J.F. Gagne) for second.
Defending ABSS champion Premium Attaction circled a field of six to win the second elimination in 1:56.2 for Hoerdt and Blair Corbeil. Tinhorn Creek (Gerry Hudon) finished two lengths behind and early leader Bettor In The Bank (Keith Clark) was third. The Clintons Cigar-Themaneattacktion colt is now six-for-eight in his sophomore year with earnings of $111,830.
The $50,000 (added) Alberta Maverick final will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Northlands Park.
Former Alberta Maverick winner Cowboy Caper rallied home from fifth to take a new mark of 1:52.2 in this week's $8,500 Open Pace. The four-year-old Brandons Cowboy-Prom Miss gelding is owned by Hoerdt, Corbeil and partners Peter Morris and Roque Consultants Inc. of Calgary, Alta.
To view Sunday's harness racing resutls, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Alberta Downs.