Four stakes went postward Thursday evening at Fraser Downs and trainer/driver Jim Marino went into ‘Beast Mode’ and won three of them.
The oval hosted the third leg of the Robert Millbank Memorial Breeders Stake for two-year-old colt and geldings pacers in addition to the third leg of the Mary Murphy Breeders Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies.
Marino swept the Mary Murphy Breeders Stake divisions – each worth $15,000 – with Badlands Palace and Yoga Pants in addition to capturing the first of the $15,000 divisions of the Robert Millbank Memorial Breeders Stake with Dragon Slayer.
Marino got away third with Dragon Slayer while Shales Storm and Machitoutofthepark recorded fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:27.3. When Marino punched the throttle late with Dragon Slayer, the son of Custard The Dragon-Crystal Palace took off on the competition. He drew clear to win by 5-1/2 lengths over race favourite Machitoutofthepark in 1:58.4. One Small Favour was third.
J J J Stables and Marino own the gelding who now boasts a 2-2-0 record from five starts following the victory. He’s managed to bank just shy of $25,000 in the process.
Marino trainees Badlands Palace and Yoga Pants swept the third leg of the Mar Murphy Breeders Stake splits, and in doing so they gave Marino the stakes hat trick.
Badlands Palace, also owned by J J J Stables of Prince George, BC, made multiple moves in her assignment and came away victorious in 1:57.3. She mixed it up early before being treated to a ground-saving trip through middle panels of :58.4 and 1:28.1. She shook loose late and fired home in :29.1 to win by three-quarters of a length over race favourite Tahuya Gameday. Third prize went to Sustainedintensity.
The daughter of Badlands Hanover-Crystal Palace is now 2-for-14 this year after producing a 3-for-13 record last year. She’s closing in on $50,000 in lifetime earnings.
Yoga Pants extended her winning streak to three-in-a-row thanks to her 1:57.2 triumph in the other division. Marino had her marching to the top early, and once she got there she never looked back. Panels of :28.1, :59.3 and 1:28.1 were carved out before she kicked home in :29.1 to win by four lengths over Keys Please. Taking home the show dough was Stylomilohos.
Sent off as the 1-5 favourite, the daughter of Sportswriter-Lucks Pleasure improved her overall record to 14-1-0 from 16 trips postward. Nine of those wins have been manufactured this season in addition to nearly $170,000. She’s stashed away nearly $270,000 in her career.
Canadian Pharoh and trainer/driver Rod Therres denied Marino the overall stakes sweep on the Thursday card thanks to their triumph in the other division of the Robert Millbank Memorial Breeders Stake.
The homebred son of Mach Three-Village Janus went to the top and sliced his way through fractions of :29.2, 1:00.1 and 1:29.3 before stepping home in :29.1 to win by three-quarters of a length over Ron Bakardi and Marino. Just A Prince was a distant third.
Therres shares ownership on the lightly-raced youngster with partner Veikko Pajunen of Vancouver, BC. He’s assembled a 2-1-0 record from three trips to the track. Along the way he’s managed to rack up close to $20,000 in earnings.
For the record, Marino’s other victory came in a $5,300 overnight event with pacer Wrangler Cat. He got up to win by a neck in 1:59.3.
To view results for Thursday’s card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Fraser Downs.