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Sires Stakes Showdown In Alberta

Published: October 28, 2017 10:37 pm ET

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Alberta's top two and three-year-old pacers invaded Northlands Park for their final sires stakes showdown of the season. Saturday's program featured four $80,000 Super Finals along with $15,000 Consolations.

Two-year-old pacing filly Roaring Home and trainer/driver Keith Clark kicked off the Super Finals, holding off longshot Cusdmagicdragon in a photo finish.

Leaving from the inside post, Roaring Home established the lead with Paperback Thriller (Mike Hennessy) driving into the pocket spot ahead of eventual breaker Ginger Beer (Bobby Clark). She carved out panels of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:28.1 and was up by four lengths at the top of the lane, but Cusdmagicdragon (Kelly Hoerdt) made it an exciting finish as she nearly pulled off a 71-1 upset closing from the backfield into the win photo. In the end though, Roaring Home persevered, hitting the wire just a quarter-length ahead of Cusdmagicdragon in a career-best 1:58.4. Even-money favourite Bearcat Josi (Bill Tainsh Jr.) came in third, finishing one and a half lengths behind.

Roaring Home and driver Keith Clark winning the Alberta Super Final for two-year-old pacing fillies on October 28 at Northlands Park.

Fresh off a victory in the final Alberta Stardust leg two weeks ago, Roaring Home was sent postward as the 7-2 third choice and paid $9.20 to win.

Clark shares ownership of the brown filly with John Hind of Calgary and Doris McDougall of Cochrane, Alta. Bred by Calgary's William Andrew, the Mystery Chase-Rustys Puddin miss was a $31,000 yearling purchase at last year's ASHA Sale and has put together a record reading 3-2-1 in nine starts so far in her career. The lion's share of the purse more than doubled her bankroll, which now stands at $75,650.

Custards Laststand swept to command in front of the grandstand and kept the favourite at bay to win the $80,000 Super Final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings in a track record performance.

Kelly Hoerdt trains, drives and co-owns the Custard The Dragon-The Mattican colt with longtime partner Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, Alta.

Custards Laststand swept up from an early three-hole to take the lead from Freedoms Rescue (Brandon Campbell) after the :28.4 opening quarter and then rebuffed a challenge from 4-5 favourite Outlaw True Grit (Bill Tainsh Jr.), who looked the new leader in the eye at the half in :58.1. Custards Laststand pulled clear of that rival on the way to three-quarters in 1:26.1 and raced home to take a new lifetime mark of 1:55 flat. A resurgent Outlaw True Grit chased the winner down the stretch in second-place and finished three-quarters of a length behind, while Mystery Coz (Jamie Gray) earned third prize.

Custards Laststand equalled the two-year-old track record set in 2008 by Raysmidnightcall and equalled by National Debt in 2013.

Custards Laststand and driver Kelly Hoerdt setting a new track record for two-year-old pacing colts in the Alberta Super Final on October 28 at Northlands Park.

Sent off as the third wagering choice at odds of 5-1, the winner returned $13.60 for a $2 win ticket.

Custards Laststand has now won half of his eight starts, including opening leg divisions of the Alberta Rising Star and Lonestar. He's finished no worse than fourth while banking $73,957.

A $24,000 ASHA Yearling Sale purchase, the brown colt was bred by James Vinnell of Langley, B.C. and Allan Neurauter of High River, Alta.

Three-year-old pacing filly Wedding Dance outdid reigning divisional champion Outlaw Fireball in their $80,000 Super Final, pulling off a 16-1 upset in front-end fashion.

Wedding Dance and driver Gerry Hudon took command from post two and led the way through a :28.1 opening quarter with 105-1 longshot Cenalta Cougar (Rene Goulet) following in the pocket and a parked out Pickles On Top (Mike Hennessy) breaking stride. Wedding Dance continued to lead the field through a half in :57.3 and extended her lead to five lengths past the 1:26.1 third quarter mark while Shesamysterytome (Ryan Grundy) moved first-up from third. Backed up in the outer flow, 2-5 favourite Outlaw Fireball (J.F. Gagne) closed with a fury in the stretch, but had too much ground to make up and settled for the runner-up role as Wedding Dance dominated with two and a quarter lengths to spare at the wire in 1:54.3, equalling her lifetime mark. Shesamysterytome finished third.

Wedding Dance and driver Gerry Hudon upsetting Outlaw Fireball in the Alberta Super Final for three-year-old pacing fillies on October 28 at Northlands Park.

Wedding Dance, a fourth-place finisher in last year's Super Final who came close to defeating Outlaw Fireball on three previous occasions this year, returned $35.30 to her backers at the betting windows.

The Meridian Farms-bred filly has won nine of her 28 career starts while banking $166,647 for trainer Harold Haining and owner Donald Richardson of Cochrane, Alta. A five-time winner this year, the daughter of Mystery Chase and Westart Love was victorious in a pair of Sires Stakes eliminations and hit the board in the Alberta Diamond and Marquis finals.

Kenneth Gunn's homebred Senga Nitro defended his Super Final title with a nine-length romp in the evening's final championship for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Ryan Grundy trains and drives the Blue Burner-Nells Sweet Future gelding, who was the 1-2 bettors' choice after sweeping the elimination and final of the Alberta Maverick this month.

Senga Nitro moved from third after a contested :27 first quarter and took command from 61-1 longshot leaver Freedoms Fellow (Bobby Clark) past the :55.2 half-mile mark. The favourite then left his rivals in the dust as he drew off by five lengths on the way to three-quarters 1:24.3 and kept on rolling to the finish in 1:54.3. Getup Gideon (Phil Giesbrecht) overtook Freedoms Fellow for second.

Three-year-old pacing gelding Senga Nitro and driver Ryan Grundy winning another Alberta Super Final title on October 28 at Northlands Park.

Senga Nitro, who has won one-third of his 18 races this year, now boasts a dozen victories from 26 starts and earnings totalling $240,952. He paid $3 to win.

Four $15,000 Consolations were also contested on Saturday's program:

Two-year-old pacing filly Ruths Crown Royal ($5.60) was a wire-to-wire winner in the first of four $15,000 Consolations for the father and son, training and driving team of Rod and Mike Hennessy. Owned by Lorne & Linda Duffield and Diane Harries, the homebred daughter of Jk Royal Flush out of Doctor Ruth crossed to command from the outside post six and led the field through panels of :28.1, :59 and 1:28.1 before drawing off by five lengths in the stretch. She took a new lifetime mark of 1:58.2 winning for the second time in her seventh career start. Slight favourite Hot Kiss (Kelly Hoerdt) chased in second while Got Tone (Gary Clark) finished third.

Trained and driven by Brandon Campbell for owner Raymond Henry, Outlaw Magalodon ($6.80) scored a maiden-breaking victory in the following Consolation for two-year-old pacing colts. The Smart Shark-Outlaw Alleyesonme gelding prevailed off a pocket trip in 1:58.3 over Real Sharp (Keith Clark), who had led through fractions of :28, :58.3 and 1:27.3. President Elect (Phil Giesbrecht) was third.

Itchin To Cu was a 24-1 surprise winner in the Consolation for sophomore pacing fillies after closing widest of all from the outer flow to steal the glory in a 1:58.2 mile. Trainer/driver Kelly Hoerdt co-owns the Mystery Chase-Raritan filly, who was a $8,750 claim this past June, with Martin Jones. She rallied off the cover of 8-5 favourite Lil Bit O Jingle (Jamie Gray), who finished to her inside just three-quarters of a length back, with the first-up Jk Ellem Enoh (Mike Hennessy) settling for third.

Three-year-old pacing gelding Tap Man ($6.70) gave Team Hennessy another Consolation win after taking the lead at the third-quarter mark and holding off a wall of closers by a quarter-length in 1:57.4. The 2-1 popular son of Mystery Chase and Tapioca Hanover is owned by Rod Hennessy and Lorne Duffield. Coz And Effect (Gary Clark) edged out Imawesternboy (Jim Marino) for second-place in the photo finish.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Northlands Park.


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