Blue Star Beauty won the first $7,400 Fillies & Mares Open Handicap Pace of Alberta Downs' 2014 racing season on Saturday as she held off the late-closers in deep stretch for Douglas and Derek Stout.
Driven by Keith Clark, Blue Star Beauty easily grabbed the lead from post six during a :28.2 opening panel and led the single-file field through a rated second panel, reaching the half in 1:00 flat.
As the mares rolled by the mid-way point, 6-5 favourite Feelin Flush (Travis Cullen) -- with five prior Open wins this year at Northlands Park -- made her move from the back of the pack and began to advance with Doober Hoozzitz (Bill Tainsh Jr.) following her cover.
Blue Star Beauty continued to lead the field past three-quarters in 1:29.3 and into the stretch. Doober Hoozzitz came charging home off cover to make it a close call at the wire, but Blue Star Beauty managed to hang on for the 1:59.1 victory over the 'good' track. Feelin Flush finished right there in third.
Blue Star Beauty picked up her first win in eight races this year while making her first start since the Northlands Park meet ended in mid-March. The victory was her 20th lifetime and pushed her career bankroll over the $250,000 mark.
Derek Stout owns the five-year-old As Promised-Whitesand Secret mare while Doug Stout handles the training duties.
Alberta Downs results for races four through 11 will be delayed until Sunday. Standardbred Canada apologizes for any inconvenience.
To view Saturday's harness racing results for the first three races, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Alberta Downs.