Remaining undefeated in his sophomore campaign, First Class Horse set a 1:54.2 track record for three-year-olds in Sunday afternoon's $6,000 eliminations for the As Promised Stakes at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.
The stakes event is for three and four-year-old male pacers that are non-winners of $35,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2014. The $30,000 final will be contested next Sunday, May 24, 2015.
First Class Horse was making his first start at Century Downs following his previous victory in the $75,000 Keith Linton Memorial Stakes on April 26 at Fraser Downs. The overwhelming 1-9 favourite was driven to his fifth straight win by Bobby Clark for trainer Robin Chase.
First Class Horse left from post six and worked his way to the top through a :28-second first quarter. Once he cleared to command, he continued to lead past the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:25.3 with Phanatical Maniac (Nathan Sobey) hot on his heels. However, First Class Horse drew away from his competition down the stretch for the three and three-quarter length triumph. Phanatical Maniac stayed for second while Have Not Read It (Kelly Hoerdt) finished nine lengths behind in third.
With only two losses in his 12-race career, First Class Horse has banked $73,545 for owners Robert Jones of Slave Lake, Alberta and Doris McDougall of Cochrane, Alberta. The Western Terror colt remains eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup.
The determined Elska Min and driver Tyler Remillard upset the favoured Clark-Chase-Jones connected gelding Gotta Dream Big, winning their elimination in a lifetime-best 1:54.4.
Elska Min left well from post two to establish the early lead and turned back all challengers for the 16-1 upset victory. The four-year-old Armbro Baylor gelding issued a parking ticket to Ninetymile Hanover (Philip Giesbrecht) through a :27-second first quarter and continued to lead past the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:24.2 while Gotta Dream Big fanned wide down the backstretch and launched his attack on the leader. However, Elska Min battled back down the stretch to win by one and a half lengths. Gotta Dream Big held on for second over the pocket-pulling The Big Heist (Rene Goulet).
Owned by trainer Richard Remillard and Valerie Emerson of Gladstone, Manitoba, Elska Min notched his fourth win in 12 starts this year.
Lisplaced made his provincial debut a winning one in the other elimination, prevailing off a three-hole trip in 1:56.2 for trainer/driver Rod Therres.
The popular Prairie Boys Stakes champion and former sophomore track record holder Mysharona Bluechip fired across the track for the Clark, Chase and Jones contingent and led the field through fractions of :27.3, :57.4 and 1:26.4 before 2-1 second choice Lisplaced rallied out wide in the stretch to get around first over Donttelldaddy (Philip Giesbrecht) and overtake the pacesetter. Regina Beach (Brandon Campbell) came through for second off a pocket trip while Mysharona Bluechip settled for third in the place photo finish one length behind the winner.
Therres and Blair Miller of Langley, B.C. co-own and bred the four-year-old Lis Mara gelding, who now has five wins in 14 starts this year
Earlier in the day, driver Preston Shaw and Riverside Stables' four-year-old pacer RS Kazza Nova celebrated their first career win together, tracking down the pacesetting 2-5 favourite War Chant (Philip Giesbrecht) in a 1:58 mile for a 16-1 upset. RS Kazza Nova is trained by Shaw's father Douglas, who reached a career milestone of his own going over the 1,000-win mark earlier this year.
Rod Hennessy and Travis Cullen each had training triples on the 11-race program.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Century Downs.