The first round of the B.C. Breeders Stakes continued on Friday night (October 6) at Fraser Downs with sophomore colt Beer O Clock and two-year-old fillies Marilyn and Tahuya Gold prevailing in close finishes.
Beer O Clock ($16.50) converted off a pocket trip in the $20,000 opening leg of the Robert Murphy Stakes to nose out pacesetter Millbanks Bart (:27.3, :58.4, 1:28.4) at the wire in 1:58.4. Favourite Bakardi Gold finished two lengths behind in third.
Trainer/driver Dennis Johnston owns the Village Jiffy-Lily Pond gelding, who has banked $39,190 in purses, with Susan, Christopher and Stephanie Johnston. The win was Beer O Clock's first in stakes action and fourth lifetime from 14 starts.
Marilyn was second-to-last early on, but rushed up to take the lead from Fiftyshadesofpink past the 1:01.1 half-mile mark. The Custard The Dragon-Lady Luvs Diamonds filly extended her lead to three lengths entering the stretch, which was enough to hold off the oncoming Custard Lite by half a length. Driven by Kevin Anderson for trainer/owner Mark Anderson, Marilyn scored her first career win in 1:59.1.
With the favourite Chasten The Fever breaking stride at the start, the second division ended in a three-way photo finish between freshman fillies with odds no lower than 11-1. In the end, the Erik Neyhart-trained Tahuya Gold, who followed in fifth-place for most of the mile, collared the front-stepping Hurried Romance for the 2:01.1 victory, with inside closer Glimpseofgoodness a neck back in third. John Abbott drove the homebred Camystic-Tahuya Childer filly, who is owned and was bred by Douglas Neyhart and Juan Samper.
In other action, former Robert Murphy Stakes champion Illwinifican ($6.40) won the $12,000 top pacing class for Johnston and co-owner Ray Thomson in 1:56 flat.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Fraser Downs.