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Hoerdt Doubles In Super Finals

Published: October 31, 2015 6:41 pm ET

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Trainer/driver Kelly Hoerdt closed out the 2015 Alberta Sires Stakes program with a pair of victories in the $320,000 Super Finals on Saturday afternoon at Century Downs, sweeping the colt divisions with two-year-old Wrangler Cash and defending champion Cool Cowboy.

Wrangler Cash turned in a career-best 1:58 performance to prevail in a photo finish in the $80,000 Super Final for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

Taking the lead from the inside post right off the gate, Outlaw Gettinrdone (Bill Tainsh Jr.) had the field lined up in post position order through a :29.1 opening quarter. Flamingbluestar (Brandon Campbell) then advanced from sixth, but he stalled in his first over bid, prompting Royal Dragon (Travis Cullen), on his cover, to fan wide.

Meanwhile, Outlaw Gettinrdone continued to lead the way past the half in :59.4 and three-quarters in 1:27.3 with 6-5 favourite Blue Star Jet (Rod Hennessy) tipping out of the pocket turning for home and taking over into the stretch.

However, trainer/driver Kelly Hoerdt was able to maneuver Wrangler Cash out wide from mid-pack in the final turn and the As Promised-W Jean colt stormed home on the outside to prevail by a quarter-length in a new lifetime mark of 1:58 flat. Outlaw Turn N Burn (J.F. Gagne) came through inside for second-place honours over Blue Star Jet.

"I thought we were probably going to be in a little trouble. [Brandon Campbell] came first up with his horse and I knew that Billy Tainsh would probably try to use that horse and keep the pace pretty tepid so anytime I had an escape route -- I had lots of horse -- so I said I'm just going to send him three-wide when he needed to be," said Hoerdt after the race. "There was a little kerfuffle in the last turn there too, but he got through all that and paced home. He's just been getting better as the year has gone on."

Entering the race off a victory in the Alberta Shooting Star leg on Oct. 12, Wrangler Cash now has two wins in a row. Lifetime, he has three victories from 11 starts with earnings climbing to $78,387. Hoerdt co-owns the champion with his Alberta-based partners, breeder Dr. Maurice Stewart of Leduc and Beaumont's Blair Corbeil, who happened to be stuck at Pearson Airport in Toronto waiting for a flight to the Harrisburg Sale.

"I just want to thank my staff and the owners," added Hoerdt. "Congratulations to the owners. I've got the hardest working staff in the province, I think, and they deserve a lot of this credit."

Sent off at odds of 6-1 in his last start of his sophomore campaign, Wrangler Cash paid $15.20 to win.

Defending champion Cool Cowboy delivered on his 3-5 pari-mutuel promise later in the $80,000 three-year-old pacing colt and gelding division, giving the Kelly Hoerdt stable their second Super Final victory on the day.

Johnny Gun (Jim Marino) overcame his outside post eight as he worked to the lead ahead of Hollywood Redneck (Gerry Hudon) through a :29.1 first quarter. As he led the way to the half in :59.2, Big Time Sunrise (Bill Tainsh Jr.) was flushed first over from mid-pack by Cool Cowboy.

With Johnny Gun beginning to open up on top en route to three-quarters in 1:27.3, Hoerdt sent Cool Cowboy three-wide to reel in the leader. The favourite took over the lead down the lane and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.1 while Johnny Gun held on for second-place over the pylon-skimming Pablos First (Philip Giesbrecht).

Cool Cowboy returned $3.40 to his backers at the betting windows.

The Brandons Cowboy-Cool Grin colt has now won half of his 12 sophomore starts, including the Alberta Marksman Final, while earning nearly $100,000 in purses.
Hoerdt and Corbeil share ownership with Calgary's Peter Morris of Witsend Consulting Inc. The partners purchased the Meridian Farms-bred colt for $19,000 at the 2013 ASHA Yearling Sale and he's since earned back-to-back Super Final titles while banking $172,181 in his first two seasons of racing.

"This is probably the best horse that I've ever had so thank you to Kelly for letting me in on it," said Morris from the winner's circle

Earlier on the card, Divas Dragonfly and driver Jamie Gray kicked off the Alberta Super Finals with a 1:59 victory in the $80,000 two-year-old filly pace.

Outlawtriggerhappy (Bill Tainsh Jr.) left from post six to take the lead over insider Awhimaway (Keith Clark) with Divas Dragonfly lining up in third along the pylons and Cenalta Artistry (Philip Giesbrecht) parked out and pressing. Meanwhile, 4-5 favourite Jet Blue Burner (Travis Cullen) made a nasty break in stride coming off the turn.

Outlawtriggerhappy led the fillies through opening fractions of :29 and :58.4 before Gray swept three-wide with Divas Dragonfly to get around Cenalta Artistry. Divas Dragonfly then confronted the leader and pulled clear, opening up two lengths with Montrous coming on and tucking into the gaping two-hole as they raced past three-quarters in 1:27.4.

Divas Dragonfly then held off Montrous down the lane to score the two-length victory in 1:59 flat for trainer Carl Archibald and owner/breeder Meadowlark Farms of Airdrie, Alta. Awhimaway finished third.

"She battled the virus for quite a while and I still think she's a little plugged up because she wasn't very strong down the lane," noted Gray in a post-race interview. "Carl just told me she had a bunch of stuff come out of her nose after he warmed her up so I'm glad I didn't know that before the race."

The Mystery Chase-Midnight Diva filly, who has won half of her 10 career starts, was undefeated in the two Alberta Sires Stakes legs she competed in before being scratched sick from the last leg on Oct. 12. The Super Final victory doubled her bankroll, which now sits at $79,786.

Divas Dragonfly paid $6.70 to win as the 2-1 second favourite.

Alberta's leading horseman Travis Cullen sent Fire Watch out wide from behind a wall of horses and stormed down the stretch to take the Super Final title for three-year-old pacing fillies.

Even-money favourite Take On Da Boys (Rod Hennessy) established the lead from post four in the $80,000 stakes race with Blue Star Texas (Keith Clark) leaving to her outside. However, Take On Da Boys forged on through a :28.1 first quarter, forcing Blue Star Texas to take back into the two-hole.

As Take On Da Boys proceeded to lead the field to the half in :59, defending champion My Villas On Fire (Jamie Gray) advanced first over with Honey Booboolina (Jim Marino) hot in her heels and tipping three-wide. The three-across battle continued down the backstretch to three-quarters in 1:28.1 with Honey Booboolina gaining a slight advantage on the outside.

After getting away seventh early on, Fire Watch followed Honey Booboolina's cover wide and then fanned four-high turning for home. The wall of horses charged down the stretch, with Fire Watch closing quickest of all on the far outside to prevail by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.1. Honey Booboolina fought valiantly for second-place honours and My Villas On Fire finished third.

"She got sick there her last two starts, but she came up today huge," said Cullen after the race. "I give my workers all a great job on working hard on her and getting her healthy for this big day."

Fire Watch paid $13 to win as the 5-1 third choice.

The Camystic-Raging Red Head filly now has 10 top-two finishes from 14 starts this year, with her annual earnings soaring to $132,485. Bred by William Andrew, and Neil Malloch, she was a $3,000 ASHA Sale purchase as a yearling and is owned by Cullen, his father Ron and their partner Dwayne Taylor of Minto, M.B.

Cullen indicated that the Alberta champion will head to the Northlands Filly Pace next.

Saturday's undercard also included four $15,000 consolations for each division.

In the two-year-old filly consolation, Ba Bye Ceia Later (JK Royal Flush-Palma Ceia) was the early trailer and made a big move down the backstretch to take the lead by the third quarter mark. She then waved goodbye to her rivals and paced away to win by 11-3/4 lengths in 2:00 for trainer/driver Rod Hennessy. The maiden-breaking filly is owned by breeder Bryan Brook of Leduc and Diane Harries of Falun, Alta.

Driver Ryan Grundy sent Archie Bunker (Bunkmeister-Nice Yankee) after the leading Trustee down the backstretch in the consolation for two-year-old male pacers, and after a back and forth battle, he eventually persevered for the 2:00 triumph. Grundy and Trevor Williams of Winnipeg, M.B. share ownership of the Meadowlark Farms-bred gelding, who earned his first Alberta win.

In the consolation for three-year-old pacing fillies, the Kelly Hoerdt stable's Hot Time (Camystic-Hot Little Number) forged first over to take the lead down the backstretch and opened up a couple of lengths with Twilight Raes chasing her to the wire in 2:00.1. Hoerdt also co-owns the filly with Corbeil. She was bred by William Andrew.

Meadowlark Farms' homebred Burning Prospect (Blue Burner-Wendys Prospect) took a new lifetime mark of 1:58.2 in the three-year-old pacing colt and gelding consolation. Driven by Brandon Campbell, the Carl Archibald trainee was flushed first over and cleared to command near the half-mile mark with Rare Breed in pursuit and then engaging in a head-to-head battle. Burning Prospect rebuffed that rival coming off the final turn though and then held off the quick-closing Senga Shaganappi for the win.

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

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