Samba Beat led all the way to take a new lifetime mark of 1:51.4 in the $14,000 Preferred Pace featured on Friday evening (July 14) at Century Downs.
Samba Beat fired off the gate from the inside post position for driver Phil Giesbrecht with Outlaw C My Shadow (Brandon Campbell) taking a two-hole tuck out of post four in his return to Alberta off an 11-race win streak -- the latter was the bettors' choice with reigning class champion Shark Week sitting out this week.
Samba Beat led the field of five with one early breaker through fractions of :27.3 and :56.2 before his rivals took their shots approaching three-quarters in 1:24.2, but no one could catch the pacesetter in the stretch as he kicked home in :27.2 for the 1-1/2 length victory.
Vegas Gambler (Nathan Sobey) advanced first-over and finished third as Ernesto Delacruz (J.F. Gagne) rallied three-wide off his cover turning for home and got up for second. Outlaw C My Shadow put in a few steps and broke stride at the top of the lane. Bonus Round (Dave Kelly) was the breaker behind the gate and finished a distant fifth.
A runner-up in last week's Preferred to Shark Week, Samba Beat was the 5-2 second choice and returned $7.10 to his backers.
Owned by trainer Gerry Hudon and Monica Hudon as well as breeder Bill Andrew, the five-year-old son Santanna Blue Chip earned his fourth win of the season from 17 starts and now has 16 career wins with earnings totalling $165,036.
Brandon Campbell led all trainers with a triple on the 10-race card, sending out the debuting two-year-old colt Grey Horizon ($2.90) along with older pacing mare Cheese Whiz ($7.20) and gelding Willzy ($8).
To view Friday's harness racing results, click the following link: Friday Results - Century Downs.