The Kelly Hoerdt stable dominated the $70,000 Northlands Filly Pace while trainer/driver Keith Clark reigned supreme in the co-featured Western Canada Pacing Derby on Saturday night (December 3) at Northlands Park.
Hoerdt earned his second straight training victory in the Northlands Filly Pace while Clark was a repeat winner in the Derby.
The Hoerdt stable swept the top four spots in the Northlands Filly Pace with Brighten Your Life and driver Phil Giesbrecht rallying out widest of all and closing well in the stretch to score the victory. Stablemates Jet To The Beach (Mike Hennessy), Lucky Lucka (Brandon Campbell) and Lissoy (Hoerdt) rounded out the top four finishers.
Jet To The Beach fired out first to a two-length lead from post seven ahead of insiders Somewhere A Place (Serge Masse) and Credit The Shark (Keith Clark). She fronted the field of eight fillies through opening fractions of :28.1 and :57.2.
At the midway mark, 4-5 favourite Somewhere A Place pulled the pocket while fellow elimination winner Lissoy tipped out from fourth with Lucky Lucka and Brighten Your Life following.
Jet To The Beach continued to lead the way to three-quarters in 1:26.3 with Somewhere A Place beginning to tire first-up. Credit The Shark emerged from the pocket while Lissoy rallied three-wide with her stablemates following and fanning even wider turning for home. In the race to the finish, Brighten Your Life closed quickest of all outside her stablemates to score the two and a half length victory in a career-best 1:56.2.
Brighten Your Life was a runner-up to Somewhere A Place in the eliminations and paid $27.50 for the 12-1 upset in the final.
Hoerdt shares ownership of the Shark Gesture-Our Inheritance filly with Blair Corbeil of Beaumont, Alta. Brighten Your Life earned her fifth win of the year from 20 starts after going one-for-four as a rookie. She now boasts $74,825 in career earnings.
In the following Western Canada Pacing Derby, even-money favourite Appellate retook the lead early on and never looked back for Hall of Fame horseman Keith Clark.
Appellate and Clark left from post five with Blue Star Jet (Phil Giesbrecht) also leaving to their outside and working to the top by the :27.3 first quarter mark. However, Clark moved Appellate back out for the retake and cruised through middle splits of :56.1 and 1:25.1. Blue Star Jet began to edge out of the pocket turning for home, but Appellate took off down the lane to win by four and three-quarter lengths in 1:55.2. Blue Star Jet settled for second while Chalk Player (Brandon Campbell) followed in third.
Clark and Robert Jones of Stony Plain, Alta. co-own the Western Terror-Dropitlikeitshot colt, who went unraced as a two-year-old and now sports a 9-7-2 race record from 32 starts with earnings totalling $81,620.
Appellate, who won his elimination last weekend, returned $4.20 to his backers at the betting windows.
Saturday's card was marred by an accident earlier in the night which caused Gerry Hudon to book off his remaining drives. The fourth race accident occurred when Cowboy Caper (Keith Clark) broke stride while advancing first-over on the backstretch causing interference to the trailing horses. Hudon's mount, Timberline Court, was following second-over and collided with Cowboy Caper. Hudon was unseated as his horse fell and he appeared to get hit from the trailing horses. Trot Insider will provide updates when more information is made available.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Northlands Park.