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Alberta Sires Stakes Season Begins

Published: June 30, 2015 8:27 am ET

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Century Downs Racetrack and Casino will showcase the best sires in Alberta with the opening leg of the Alberta Sires Stakes as part of its Canada Day card on Wednesday, July 1.

The three-year-old fillies get set to clash in the Alberta Princess while the boys will be contesting the Alberta Plainsman. Both stakes races will be run in two elimination heats each with a purse of $10,000 per elim, with the finals scheduled for July 12 where $50,000 will be up for grabs for both finals.

One of the two probable post time favorites in the first elimination of the Alberta Princess for sophomore fillies will be Fire Watch (Camystic - Raging Red Head) who wired the field in her last race -- a lifetime best 1:55.1 score in one of three eliminations of the Wild Rose on June 6. Century Downs' leading trainer and driver Travis Cullen shares ownership of this filly along with his father Ron and partner Dwayne Taylor of Minto, Man.

The other sophomore filly which will be drawing plenty of attention is Blue Star Texas, who lived up to expectations also in her Wild Rose elimination by crushing the opposition in a personal best time of 1:54.4. Prior to the Century Downs meet, Blue Star Texas was the Penny Bath Memorial champion at Fraser Downs. Trained and driven by Keith Clark, the daughter of Brandons Cowboy is owned by Doris McDougall of Cochrane, Alta. and Robert Jones of Slave Lake, Alta.

Keith Clark will likely have the favourite in the other elimination with Cam Finish, a daughter of Camystic who is trying to rebound from a performance as the beaten favorite in her last outing. Kelly Hoerdt’s Hot Time -- also sired by Camystic -- is peaking at the right time and looking for her third straight win.

Shifting to the boys, the first elimination heat of the Alberta Plainsman will feature Pablos First -- the first foal of Alberta legend Trust The Artist. Trained by Darryl Cutting, Pablos First appears in sharp form at present and will get the services of driver Phil Giesbrecht. Facing eight foes and going off as the 3-1 morning line choice, Giesbrecht is not concerned about drawing the outer most spot on the gate.

“He is a nice horse. You won’t see him on the front end. He is better off the pace," said Giesbrecht. "Two starts back I used him three times and still chased home First Class Horse -- who is undefeated so far this year."

Pablos First is owned by Leo Frank and Glenn Lassen of St Albert and Melinda Smith of Airdrie, Alta.

The second elimination will see trainer Allen Goertzen send out Big Time Sunrise and that colt will grab the bulk of the attention of race fans. Having won four of five races this year, the son of Lusty Leader just keeps improving as the year goes by and suffered his only loss back on June 13 where he encountered plenty of traffic woes but still managed to grab place money. Regular pilot Bill Tainsh Jr. will again be calling the shots behind Big Time Sunrise for owner Doug Woodland of St Albert, Alta.

Wednesday's card marks the start of a busy week of harness racing at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, with races also set for Friday (starting at 5:30 p.m.), followed by Saturday and Sunday’s cards with a first race post time of 2:00 p.m. each day.

To view the entries for Wednesday's card at Century Downs, click the following link: Wednesday Entries - Century Downs.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Frank Fontana)

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