Smooth Criminal Prevails In Alberta Open; Weekend Results Delayed

Published: May 11, 2014 08:12 pm EDT

Smooth Criminal ended the Northlands Park meet with a pair of wins and was right back at in his first start since mid-March winning Alberta Downs' $8,400 Open Handicap Pace featured on Sunday's harness racing card.

Bill Tainsh Jr. worked out a perfect pocket trip aboard the five-year-old Blue Burner gelding, who is trained by Kim Baxter for owners Willie Wychopen of St. Paul, Alta. and Walter Moroz of Edmonton.

Tainsh Jr. and Smooth Criminal grabbed the lead from post six, but gave way early on to Timberline Court (Gerry Hudon), who brushed from fourth to first just past the :28.4 quarter pole. The new leader posted middle splits of :58 and 1:27.1 and led the field of seven into the stretch where Tainsh Jr. tipped Smooth Criminal to the outside and got by for the 1:55 triumph over the 'good' track. American Venture (Don Monkman Jr.) followed along in third for most of the mile and slipped past Timberline Court at the wire for the runner-up honours.

The win was Smooth Criminal's fifth in nine starts this year and lifted his seasonal earnings to $26,200.

Travis Cullen, Canada's 2013 Future Star Award winner, enjoyed a training/driving triple on the afternoon card with victories aboard the streaking sophomore filly Officialconnection, six-year-old mare Overnight Success and eight-year-old gelding Yankee Luke.

Other winners on the Sunday card were: Whatchamacallum, Hot Sex, Shes a Ladro, Senga Nanjeing, Pinepitch Cam, Rummys Command, and Greek Ruler.

Alberta Downs race results for Saturday and Sunday will now be delayed until Monday due to technical difficulties. Standardbred Canada apologizes for any inconvenience.