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Counter Strike Stars In Stakes Elims

Published: May 8, 2016 7:58 pm ET

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Prairie Boys Stakes champion Counter Strike extended his win streak to nine as he prevailed in the fastest elimination for the As Promised Stakes on Sunday afternoon (May 8) at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

In the first $6,000 elimination, Royal Renegade (Mike Hennessy) led the field through opening panels of :29 and :58 while 2-5 favourite Counter Strike began to advance from fourth. The streaking son of Camystic took over the lead by the three-quarters in 1:27 and held off the re-rallying Royal Renegade in the stretch for the three-quarter length victory in 1:56.3. Duke It Out (David Kelly) finished five lengths behind in third, with Big Magick (Travis Bowman) and Appellate (Keith Clark) completing the top five finish order.

Trainer/driver Travis Cullen shares ownership of the four-year-old roan gelding with Jerry Hagenaars of Hafford, Sask. Counter Strike now has 10 wins and one second-place finish in 11 starts this year for over $50,000 in purse earnings.

Counter Strike will aim for his second straight stakes title next Sunday, May 15. The $30,000 final will also feature Cowboys Dirtyboots, who won the other elimination for driver Bill Tainsh Jr. and trainer/owner Devann Crick of Lacombe, Alta.

Cowboys Dirtyboots was last at the half and tracked down the popular pacesetter Man Of Many Arts (:27.4, :56.3, 1:27.1), driven by Philip Giesbrecht, to win by two and a half lengths in a career-best 1:57.1. He paid $13.40 to win at odds of 5-1. Eh Senor (Keith Clark) followed four lengths behind in third after being forced into a pocket trip when looped by Many Of Many Arts in the second quarter. Archie Bunker (Ryan Grundy) and Outlaw Goodnready (Preston Shaw) picked up the final paycheques.

The win was the first in nine starts for the four-year-old homebred son of Brandons Cowboy.

The As Promised Stakes is for three and four-year-old male pacers that are non-winners of $35,000 lifetime as of December 31, 2015.

Cullen's elimination win with Counter Strike was just part of his stellar Sunday. Alberta's leading horseman drove seven winners in total to dominate the 11-race card. He drove Open pacing mare Sing Like An Angel to a wire-to-wire win in 1:56 over Nighttraintovegas (Nathan Sobey) and Tajmeallover (J.F. Gagne), and also scored with her stablemates Gold Star Sonata, Nobettorplacetobe and Raging Fingers. His other winners were Drake and Lightning Legs for the Ashleigh Cullen stable.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Century Downs.


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