Clark Doubles In Alberta Super Finals

Published: November 3, 2019 01:12 am EST

Albertan powerhouse Keith Clark swept the freshman pair of $75,000 Alberta Sires Stakes Super Finals on the championship card at Century Mile on Saturday, Nov. 2.

Clark wired his competition in the two-year-old colt pace with Dontpokethedragon. The Custard The Dragon gelding faced no challenge through fractions of :28.4, :58.1 and 1:26.4 but braced for pressure in the stretch. Pocket-sitter Just Mac veered wide for the drive and cut into Dontpokethedragon’s lead through the stretch but finished a head short of victory in a 1:56.2 mile. Freddy Two Socks, tracking the top two, took third while 7-5 favourite Trip Hammer settled for fourth.

“It feels great every time you do it; it never gets old,” Clark said of winning a Super Final after the race. “I just thought I was going to be in front or very close to it and I ended up cutting it, so it worked out alright. I always liked him training down and he’s raced good every start.”

Winning his fourth race from eight starts, Dontpokethedragon has earned $62,188 for owner-breeders Keith Clark and Robert Jones. He paid $12.80 to win.

Snow Shark inherited a pocket ride for the second half of the race before Clark kicked the Custard The Dragon filly after the late leader and surged to a 1:55.4 victory in the Two-Year-Old Filly Pace Super Final.

Trainer-driver Keith Clark sent Snow Shark for the top while L A Woman sat second to a :29.1 opening quarter. Miss Itunes, racing fourth, angled first over entering the backstretch and lunged to the lead passing a :58 half and cleared to a two-length lead rounding the final turn. Clark readied Snow Shark for a slingshot move passing three-quarters in 1:26.4 and quickly overtook Miss Itunes straightening for the finish, widening to a three-and-a-half length victory. Miss Itunes held second from L A Woman in third.

“I was hoping for [to win another],” Clark said after the race. “I was just hoping that if I let her go she’d keep going. I had quite a bit of horse when I let her go and I was just hoping she could keep going for a ways. Nobody bought into her and I’m kind of glad they didn’t.”

Clark owns and bred Snow Shark, who won her fourth race from seven starts and has now earned $75,652. She paid $7.80 to win.

Mrs Suhwiggins stalked quick fractions and found a clear path to the center of the course to catapult to a 1:56.2 victory in the $75,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace Super Final.

Odds-on favourite Rockin Mystery launched from the outermost post to the top, tracked by Hottieonthehorizon, while Mrs Suhwiggins also showed speed to secure the pocket past a :26.4 first quarter. Hottieonthehorizon soon brushed to the lead entering the backside, prompting Rockin Mystery to retake command passing a :55.3 half.

Summer Fantasy pulled first over from fourth heading into the final turn and ranged towards the pacesetter through three-quarters in 1:25.3 but stalled entering the stretch. Mrs Suhwiggins had room to angle from the pylons and, upon straightening, darted to the lead. The Amy Henry-trained filly by Custard The Dragon opened a four-and-three-quarter length lead heading to the finish as Summer Fantasy gave pursuit from second while holding off Outlawspotliteonme in third.

“I didn’t like the inside horses so I was either going to have to come early or get myself into the race,” winning driver Brandon Campbell said after the race. “I knew the one to beat was Rockin Mystery so if I could take a little bit out of her I knew at some point Kelly [Hoerdt on Hottieonthehorizon] would be coming and taking another chunk out of her and it just worked out. I was sitting in the perfect spot and everything went my way.”

Owned by the J J J Stables, Mrs Suhwiggins won her fourth race from 15 starts this season and her eighth from 23 overall, earning $162,300. She paid $19.20 to win.

Jewels Dragon topped a final-quarter sprint in the $75,000 Three-Year-Old Colt Pace Super Final to win off a pocket trip.

Heavy-favourite Outlawgrabbingears cleared command with ease while Jewels Dragon pushed from the pylons into second moving to a :28 first quarter. Hf Jesse James, parked from fourth, made slight gains into a :58.4 half but raced stalled into the final turn, forcing Crackle N Burn to spin three wide approaching three-quarters in 1:28.1.

Outlawgrabbingears turned into the stretch clinging to command while Hf Jesse James backed through the field, leaving a seam for Jewels Dragon to shoot through in the final eighth. Jewels Dragon sprinted to the finish clear of Outlaw Gunsablazin taking second and Crackle N Burn third while Outlawgrabbingears finished off the board.

“I got the trip that I wanted exactly,” winning driver Kelly Hoerdt said after the race. “I wasn’t counting on a horse being parked outside of us the whole mile but that horse actually encouraged our horse even more in the hole, so it helped the case. This horse has been good since he got here this meet and I’m just fortunate enough to get to drive him tonight.”

“This horse is just unbelievable fast,” trainer Chris Lancaster said after the race. “He can just rock any spot he gets and he’s just on his game.”

Winning his ninth race from 17 starts this season and his 11th from 25 overall, Jewels Dragon has earned $112,938 for owners Paul Sanders and Christine Cutting. He paid $12.90 to win.

For each division of Super Finals also went a consolation. Trainer Dave Kelly collected three victories on the card starting with a wire-to-wire win with Hf Thegreatpumpkin in the $15,000 Three-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace Consolation. The Pang Shui gelding, co-owned by Kelly with Paul MacDonald, paid $3.10 to win. Kelly’s other wins came in conditioned events with Bad Blood ($15.70) and Silent Rescue ($19.40).

Driver Rene Goulet brushed Cenalta Spitfire to the top past the half and strolled to a 1:59.4 victory in the $15,000 Two-Year-Old Filly Pace Consolation. Trainer Gordon Empey co-owns the $5.30 winner with Myrna and Helen Empey.

Quick fractions sucked Horse into the mix late as the Vertical Horizon colt shot to a 12-and-a-quarter length win for trainer-driver Ryan Grundy in the $15,000 Two-Year-Old Colt and Gelding Pace Consolation. Trevor Williams owns the $3.10 winner.

Rene Goulet piloted another winner in the consolations, launching Outlaw Allie Oops from second over to a six-and-a-half length win in the $15,000 Three-Year-Old Filly Pace Consolation. Joe Ratchford owns and trains the Blue Burner filly who paid $3.10 to win.

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

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