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Alberta 2020 Super Finals Complete

Published: October 17, 2020 7:51 pm ET

Last Comment: October 18, 2020 12:47 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The brightest stars from the Alberta Sires Stakes program clashed in a quartet of $50,000 Super Finals during Saturday afternoon’s program at Century Downs.

Century Downs track record holder Burning Hot lived up to her name in the $50,000 Alberta Super Final for two-year-old pacing fillies, sustaining a first-over grind to power past pacesetter Custard Smoothie to win in 1:57.2.

Driver Phil Giesbrecht had the pacing filly situated in the pocket behind Custard Smoothie (Brandon Campbell) through fractions of :28.4 and :58 before popping pocket on the backstretch and applying scalding pressure through a tempo-increased 1:27.1 third station. Both fillies dug deep around the final turn but Burning Hot had an extra gear that Custard Smoothie did not, allowing her to lunge past late for the one-length decision in 1:57.2. Sent By Angels (Mike Hennessy) rounded out the top three.

"We had a bit of bad luck at the start [of the year]," said Giesbrecht after the win. "She'd just get a little too racy at times and she's better off if you just let her do her thing, and then she keeps grinding all day long.

"I didn't expect it to snow and rain like this and make the track a little diffcult for us but she overcame it. She's a perfectly good little filly, hopefully she gets a little stronger and a little better next year."

The win was the third in six starts for Burning Hot (Blue Burner - Crackers Hot Shot), owned by Clauzette Byckal of Onoway, Alta. along with co-owner and trainer Rod Starkewski. Her bankroll rises to $45,175 with the Super Final score.

Earlier on the card, Outlaw Sharktastic (Smart Shark - Outlaw Alleyesonme) won the $10,000 ABSS Consolation for two-year-old pacing fillies in 1:59.4 for driver Tyler Redwood, trainer Carl Archibald owner Meadowlark Farms of Rocky View County, Alta.

The trailing tier was not an impediment for Dragon Energy, a dominant winner in the $50,000 Alberta Super Final for two-year-old pacing colts & geldings.

Driver Dave Kelly left stoutly from the second tier post nine and positioned his colt in third early behind Lovin Up On You (Brandon Campbell), who yielded to favoured Shark Week (Mike Hennessy) after an early pocket pop to front the field through a :28.2 opening panel. Sensing a slowing tempo, Kelly right-lined Dragon Energy in front of the fans on the tarmac and landed on the lead before an honest :57.1. Pacin Perfect (Tyler Redwood) attempted to pressure the pacesetter but had no response to a :29 third panel, but for that matter he wasn't alone. Dragon Energy's three-length margin at the head of the lane widened with every stride and he hit the wire much the best in 1:56.1. Codename Cigar Box (Kelly Hoerdt) rallied to nip Shark Week for place.

"My colt was really strong, he kind of took off up the backside and he did that all himself," stated Kelly in the winner's circle. "He kind of swelled up there when Mike tapped the brakes just at the quarter pole and I figured that was my chance to make a move and if I cleared to the front I figured hat was the winning spot. It all worked out."

Nathan Sobey trains Dragon Energy (Custard The Dragon - Tik Tik Vroom) for breeder-owners Kurt & Kathy Schmidt of Leduc, Alta. and co-owner Robert James of Camrose, Alta. Now a winner of five races from six starts -- and unbeaten with Kelly driving -- Dragon Energy sports earnings of $57,133.

Rockin Novel (Mystery Chase - Kill A Rockingbird) captured the $10,000 ABSS Consolation for rookie pacing colts earlier on the card. Dave Kelly, who finished the day with a training triple, trains and drives for Pick 6 Stable of Strathmore, Alta.

A stubborn and determined Past Affair converted on a wire-to-wire effort to prevail in the $50,000 Alberta Super Final for three-year-old pacing fillies.

Dave Kelly pointed to the 7-5 choice to the front and powered through fractions of :27.4 and :56.4 before being confronted down the backstretch by a pocket-popping Miss Itunes (Nathan Sobey). Those two traded blows through three quarters in 1:26.4 and Miss Itunes looked to have a head in front through the final quarter but Past Affair had something left in the tank and found the wire ahead of Miss Itunes and Snow Shark (Keith Clark) with the mile timed in 1:58.3.

"I'm not sure what we did that clicked right away but we've done a lot of work with her, chiropractor and acupuncture work, she's got some issues with her back and her neck," noted Kelly about the privately purchased filly. "Getting her head down, and when she stretches out she does everything so easily. She can carry her speed quite a distance. She was awesome today."

Kelly trains and owns Past Affair (Vertical Horizon - Jennas Pass) with co-owner Mike Dicks of Parkland County, Alta. In the five starts since entering the Kelly barn in early September, she's amassed a 3-1-0-1 record.

Earlier on the card, stablemate Blue Star Raquel (Blue Burner - Whitesand Secret) won the $10,000 ABSS Consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies in 1:58.1. Kelly Hoerdt engineered the winning trip for trainer/co-owner Kelly and Shanisty Andres of Red Deer, Alta.

The seasonally-perfect Major Custard would not be denied his tenth straight win, easily disposing of his rivals to capture the $50,000 Alberta Super Final for three-year-old pacing colts & geldings.

Criminal Record (Kelly Hoerdt) left hardest to gain the advantage over the favoured Major Custard, who driver Brandon Campbell settled into third through a :27.4 opener. That lead for Criminal Record was short-lived, however, as Major Custard made his move to the front through the second quarter. Clearing to the lead and hitting the half in :56.4, Major Custard immediately felt a strong challenge from Horse (Ryan Grundy) down the backside. Horse had a head in front but Major Custard kicked it into another gear to repel that rival and hit the third station in 1:25.2. The separation increased with every stride as Campbell looked around for challengers in the stretch to find no one close. Trip Hammer (Kelly) closed for second but Major Custard was much the best. The time of the mile was 1:55.4 and driver Campbell said after the race that it might have been his best effort of the year.

"[Horse] came at me hard and my horse just dropped the bit...I heard him coming and I didn't even worry about it. I didn't chase him, he heard him coming and he just picks it up. He does it all on his own and he's an easy horse to drive."

Campbell noted that Major Custard would likely be headed to Fraser Downs for the B.C. Breeders Stakes before returning to Alberta for the Western Canada Pacing Derby.

Michael Campbell trains Major Custard (Custard The Dragon - Chemistry Major) for J J J Stables of Prince George and Jim Marino of Surrey, B.C. The winner's share of the purse lifts Major Custard's bankroll to $220,695 lifetime to accompany his 15-2-0 summary from 17 career starts.

Wink N Win (Wink N Atcha - Jills Sooter) was victorious in the $10,000 ABSS Consolation for three-year-old pacing colts & geldings, winning in 1:55.4. Brandon Campbell was in the sulky for trainer Kevin Sampson and owner Nancy Tamblyn of Castor, Alta.

To view the results for Saturday's card of harness racing at Century Downs, click the following link: Saturday Results - Century Downs.

October 18, 2020 - 12:47 pmIt’s been a tough year, if

It’s been a tough year, if everyone leaves we won’t have racing here very much longer. I hope that horse owners and trainers will stay and support Alberta racing. Good luck to everyone in the future.

October 18, 2020 - 9:17 amMajor Custard's connections

Mike Mobley SAID...

Major Custard's connections should move him east to Ontario when he begins his four-year-old campaign next year since he can earn far more money there. If he simply finished 2nd in The 2021 Confederation Cup, he would probably make more money in that race alone than he would if he raced all of next year in Alberta.

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