More Than Just A Consistent Winner

Pure Addition, winning at Century Mile
Published: February 9, 2022 12:57 pm EST

Pure Addition has been perfect this year. Six starts. Six wins. That makes her the winningest harness horse in all of Canada for this calendar year.

“She’s gone on a crazy roll,” marvelled her current trainer Chris Lancaster, who is on a ‘crazy roll’ himself, winning an incredible 14 of 25 starts this year — a percentage which is also tops in Canada. Pure Addition's latest win - this past Saturday (Feb. 5) at Century Mile — was her most spectacular. After all, she won in 1:55.4, which was the fastest of the day - quicker by almost a full second than even the Open Pace (1:56.3).

"It was a huge mile," said winning driver Phil Giesbrecht, another character in this story who is on fire. "And I mean huge. She had to start from post seven. The starting gate almost crashed into us, and the track was horrible with all the melting snow. And she still went in 1:55.4 and was still strong at the end; she was still flying at the wire.

"Not bad for a $10,000 claimer," Giesbrecht said amusingly.

And to think she was originally bought in British Columbia last summer by Trevor Williams, one more person in this tale who has been sizzling, just to race on the Manitoba fair circuit.

"I bought her cheap and she wound up being Manitoba’s Horse of the Year when she won five in a row," said Williams, who is Century Mile’s leading trainer this winter meet. "The way she is dominating is pretty crazy. It would take a lot to beat her right now."

Williams thought he had done just that on Saturday:

"At the top of the stretch, it looked like I was going to go right on by with Stash The Cookies. But Pure Addition is so brave and so used to winning right now that nobody can get to her."

Williams and Lancaster have taken turns training Pure Addition. On Jan. 2, when Pure Addition started her winning streak with a three-length score, Lancaster claimed her off of Williams for $7,500. Then, after Pure Addition won again on Jan. 9 by 10 lengths, Williams stepped back in, claiming her for the same $7,500 price tag on Jan. 15 — a race she won by a neck after being parked through the first quarter mile.

On Jan. 22, it was Lancaster’s turn again when he claimed her one more time. This time, Pure Addition won by eight lengths. Win No. 5 in Pure Addition’s win barrage came on Jan. 29. Moved up to $10,000, Pure Addition won handily again — this time by almost four lengths. Then came last Saturday, when she extended her streak to six — pacing her last quarter in :28.2 over a track rated as 'slow.'

Pure Addition doesn’t even see the track between races.

"She doesn’t train; she just swims at Bedrock," Lancaster said of Blair Corbeil and Kelly Hoerdt’s training facility in Beaumont, Alta. "She swims 12 minutes every day except the day after she races. Then she just swims six minutes."

Called a "sweetheart to drive" by Giesbrecht, Williams said Pure Addition is also 'a sweetheart' around the barn.

"She’s everyone’s favourite horse," said Williams. "She was my girlfriend’s favourite horse. She was my groom’s favourite horse. She teaches people. When I got my driver’s license, I used her to go my rated mile."

Lancaster co-owns Pure Addition with Edmonton’s Rob Ostashek, who hadn’t owned a race horse since 2015.

"Rob called me up a few months ago and said he wanted to buy a couple of horses," said Lancaster. "So we claimed Pure Addition and then bought Canadian Pharoh privately."

After winning his first start for Ostashek and Lancaster on Jan. 22, Canadian Pharoh also won on Saturday’s card in a relentless stretch drive. 

"Four starts, four wins," said Lancaster. "Rob has really hit the ground running."

As, of course, so has Lancaster. In addition to Pure Addition and Canadian Pharoh, Lancaster also trains A Cowboys Dream, who has also won six in a row — but only five have come this year.

A Cowboys Dream and Pure Addition have a lot in common other than their winning streaks and trainer. They have both won their six straight races on the lead. They both are close-to-bottom claimers. They are both mares. And, Lancaster also claimed A Cowboys Dream from Williams.

"I claimed A Cowboys Dream for $5,000 in her previous race," said Lancaster, who co-owns this one with Derek Gilbert. "I thought I might as well have her in my barn instead of watching her win all those races."

This Saturday (Feb. 12) is the final day of the winter meet at Century Mile. The next live racing there starts April 30, when the Thoroughbreds return.

(Curtis Stock /