Three-year-old colt No Fear pulled off a 49-1 shocker while pacing the fastest mile in the three $7,500 Brad Gunn Stakes eliminations, which were rescheduled for a special Friday card at Alberta Downs following a cancellation over the past weekend. Favourites Cowboy Caper and Dealers Edge prevailed in the other splits.
Kicking off the elimination action, Cowboy Caper ($3.60) and trainer-driver Kelly Hoerdt cleared to command after the :27.3 opening quarter mark and rolled past middle panels of :56.4 and 1:25.4 before coming under pressure in the stretch. However, the Brandons Cowboy-Prom Miss gelding managed to hold off Playbook and Keith Clark to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. Watch And Pray, with J.F. Gagne at the controls, rallied home for third.
Cowboy Caper now boasts five wins in nine starts this year for Hoerdt and co-owners Blair Corbeil, Peter Morris and Roque Consultants Inc.
In the second elimination, Hoerdt also rolled favourite Sterling Advocate to command in the early going, but Outlaw Beacon and Jim Marino retook the lead past the :27-second first quarter mark. 'Beacon' fronted the field through middle fractions of :57.1 with pressure mounting towards the 1:26.1 third quarter station in the form of the Gagne-driven longshot No Fear ($101.40). Outlaw Beacon maintained the lead as the colts moved into the stretch, but couldn't hold off No Fear, who edged by in the final strides to upset in 1:54.4. Sterling Advocate also swept by for second forcing 'Beacon' to settle for third one length behind.
The son of No Pan Intended and Michelles Heart, a winner of three races in nine 2012 outings, is trained by Sanford Campbell and owned by Bill Andrew, George Rogers and Jim MacPhail.
Bill Tainsh Jr. fired Smooth Criminal to command from post six in the third elimination and carved out fractions of :27.2 , :57.3 and 1:27.1 before Dealers Edge ($2.50) pulled the pocket under the guidance of trainer-driver Keith Clark and stormed home to win in 1:55 flat. The popular Cams Card Shark-Real Reflection colt held off Arroway, driven by Jamie Gray, by a neck at the wire while 21-1 longshot Outlawtowerinferno and Rod Hennessy went from last to third, finishing less than a length behind.
Dealers Edge, a son of Cams Card Shark out of Real Reflection, notched his third of the season while making his 12th start for Clark and partners Robert Jones and the Boyz Of The Hood Stable.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Alberta Downs.