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Sophomores Take Aim At Marksman

Published: July 9, 2017 7:39 pm ET

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Three-year-old pacing geldings Mateo and Senga Nitro turned in matching 1:54.1 miles to win their respective $7,500 eliminations for the Alberta Sires Stakes Marksman leg on Sunday afternoon (July 9) at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

Alberta Plainsman champion Mateo ($2.50) prevailed in the first elimination for driver and co-owner Jim Marino as the 1-5 favourite.

Mateo retook the lead past the :27.3 quarter pole and was never headed the rest of the way. He carved out middle splits of :56.4 and 1:25.1 with Ima Dude applying first-over pressure into the stretch and Wabash Cannonball charging out wide to make it a three-way finish. However, Mateo held on for the half-length victory, with Ima Dude edging out Wabash Cannonball in a photo finish for second. Outlaw Blue Ice (Mike Hennessy) finished six lengths back in fourth.

Marino shares ownership of the Blue Burner-Mater Deo gelding with Christine Cutting of Airdrie, Alta., while Justin Currie handles the training duties. Mateo has finished no worse than third in his nine outings this year while banking $77,575. Among his four seasonal scores is a 1:52.2 divisional track record victory in the June 4 Plainsman final.

In the second elimination, Senga Nitro ($3.40) established a new lifetime mark with his 1:54.1 victory for trainer/driver Ryan Grundy.

Kenneth Gunn's homebred son of Blue Burner and Nells Sweet Future established a three-length lead during the first quarter in :28.1 and remained clear of the field past the half in :57.4. The 3-5 favourite then rebuffed first-over challenger Getup Gideon (Philip Giesbrecht) past three-quarters 1:25.3 en route to the one and a half length victory. Getup Gideon settled for second-place while his stablemate, Retros Mystery (Keith Clark), and Cold Case (Kelly Hoerdt) finished third and fourth, respectively.

The $65,000 (added) final of the Alberta Marksman will be contested next Sunday, July 16 at Century.

Earlier on the card, the Mike Hennessy-driven Nighttraintovegas ($8.60) earned her first victory of the year in the $9,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace after wearing down even-money pacesetter Phone Terror (Serge Masse) in 1:54.3. The six-year-old Camystic-Midnight In Vegas mare is trained by Richard Schneider for Alberta owners Dick Schneider of Sherwood Park and David Halmosi of Edmonton. Lydi Lula Belle (Bill Tainsh Jr.) took third over Skade (Brandon Campbell).

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

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