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Alberta Sires Stakes Season Begins

Published: June 16, 2012 7:33 pm ET

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Three-year-old pacing fillies kicked off the 2012 Alberta Sires Stakes season as live harness racing resumed on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs.

Born With A Grin, Gts Jerilyn and Blue Star Beauty won their respective $25,000 Alberta Princess eliminations.

Driven by James Jungquist, Born With A Grin kicked off the season with a 35-1 shocker as she rallied from off the pace to score in a career-best 1:56.4 by half a length over the pacesetting Minettas Gidget and John Chappell. Favourite G I Joan and Jim Marino finished third. Trainer and co-breeder Dan Sifert shares ownership of the Fort Apache-Tantas Grin miss with fellow Calgary resident Nicole Smith. The victory was her first this year and third in 12 lifetime starts.

Gts Jerilyn, the 3-5 favourite in the second elimination, romped to a matching 1:56.4 career-best score by four lengths with Chappell in tow. Last year's divisional Alberta Super Final Consolation winner Comeshomeearly and Keith Clark chased her home for second place honours while Such A Night and Marino rounded out the top three finishers. Unraced at two, the homebred As Promised-G Ts Kaitlyn filly is now two-for-three in her young career. She is owned by trainer Gerald, Terry and Marjorie McGinn of Stony Plain, Alta.

Even-money favourite Blue Star Beauty swept to command down the backstretch over the Bobby Clark-driven Credit Card Junkie and held off that foe to win by half a length in 1:55 flat for driver Bill Tainsh Jr. and trainer-owner Derek Stout of Camrose, Alta. Last year's Super Final champion Cloud Nine and Marino finished third. The As Promised-Whitesand Secret filly is now a perfect two-for-two this year after winning her Wild Rose Stakes division in her seasonal debut on June 2. The 2011 Two-Year-Old Alberta Sired Filly of the Year now boasts eight wins in nine lifetime starts (her only loss a second place finish at Northlands Park in the Super Final) and over $100,000 in purse earnings.

The $50,000 (added) Princess final will take place next Saturday, June 23 at Alberta Downs. Three-year-old pacing colts begin their ABSS season on Sunday in the Alberta Plainsman.

The weekly $8,500 Open Pace went to 4-5 favourite Flak Jacket in a photo finish. The Jamie Gray trainee nosed out Bachelor Pad and Gerry Hudon for the victory in 1:55.1. Early trailer Neal Diamonique and Marino finished right there in third. Repeating from his May 26 Open win at Alberta Downs, Flak Jacket now has two wins in five starts on his seasonal record. The five-year-old Brandons Cowboy-Jackies Whacky gelding is owned by Gray, Fred Gilbert and Richard Osterbeck of Brandon, MB, and Neil Malloch of Wetaskiwin, Alta.

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

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