Sunshine Boy Rebounds In Preferred; Hoerdt Trio Repeats

Sunshine Boy winning at Fraser Downs
Published: March 16, 2024 01:50 am EDT

A runner-up in defeat for the first time this year last Friday night at Fraser Downs, Sunshine Boy rebounded with a dominant performance in this week's $10,000 Preferred Handicap Pace for meet-leading driver Scott Knight and trainer Jim Marino.

As Itll Be Fine and David Hudon emerged from a group of early leavers with the lead, Knight bypassed a two-hole trip for Sunshine Boy and cleared to command just past quarter pole. After the contested :26.3 opening clip, Knight rated a half in :55.3 and kept Sunshine Boy well out front through three-quarters in 1:22.4 before cruising home a 1-1/4-length winner in 1:51.4.

Itll Be Fine tried to reel in the leader through the stretch, but had to settle for second. Armycaptin Hanover, the 1-2 favourite off his victory last week, won a three-way show photo for Rod Therres after posing no threat through a first-over journey during the final half-mile.

Sent postward as the 2-1 second choice in the full field of eight, Sunshine Boy paid $6.20 to win.

The six-year-old Sunshine Beach gelding is now four-for-five this year after dominating the Preferred ranks last fall at Fraser Downs for Marino and co-owners J J J Stables and Paul Sanders. A career winner of 27 races with 21 other top three finishes from 73 starts, Sunshine Boy has banked nearly $270,000 in purses lifetime.

In other Friday night action, trainer/driver Kelly Hoerdt found himself back in the Fraser Downs winner's circle with a handful of repeat winners from one week ago.

Moving up in class to the $12,000 claiming level, Bay Street Buddy ($6.30) got up in a blanket finish in 1:54.3 for his fifth consecutive victory for Hoerdt, who trains and co-owns the six-year-old Betterthancheddar gelding with Darlene Wheatley.

Diva Amour ($3.30), who made it four wins in a row with a career-best 1:55.1 score, and Light My Shadow ($3.40) were also repeat winners for the Hoerdt stable while the veteran horseman also drove the repeating Iknowbetter ($2.10) -- the first of back-to-back winners on the nine-race card for the red-hot Ashley Ederer stable (five wins in five races over the past week).

Hoerdt, who missed the first weeks of action at the B.C. oval, is now just one win behind Knight in the local driver standings and three behind Marino in the trainer ranks. He led all Fraser trainers in 2023 with 85 wins.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Fraser Downs.

(Standardbred Canada)

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