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They're Off At Century Mile!

Published: September 1, 2019 5:04 pm ET

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Century Casinos' latest endeavour, Century Mile, located in Edmonton, hosted its first card of harness racing on Sunday, September 1 with nine races, highlighted by three divisions of the Alberta Starburst—a provincial-bred event for two-year-old pacing fillies.

Blue Star Dreaming brushed by her competition to take the $16,800 first division by three lengths in 1:58.4. Driver Michael Hennessy placed the two-year-old Blue Burner filly third while odds-on favourite Sammys Dragon led the field through a :31.1 opening quarter and 1:00.3 half. L A Woman advanced uncovered from fifth passing the half and ranged towards the pacesetter heading to three-quarters in 1:29.2. At that point Hennessy angled Blue Star Dreaming from the rail and fanned wide for the stretch drive. Blue Star Dreaming drew clear through the stretch of Sammys Dragon while L A Woman held third.

Co-owned by trainer Rod Hennessy with Lorne Duffield, Blue Star Dreaming won her first race from four starts, earning $15,375. She paid $6.10 to win.

Custards Crown kicked around the early leader and rebuffed their late challenge to take the $17,100 second Alberta Starburst division. Sent the 6-5 favourite, Custards Crown sat pocket to Snow Shark through a :31.1 first quarter before circling to the top after a 1:00.3 half. Snow Shark then shifted wide to contest the lead past three-quarters in 1:29.4. The pair battled head to head rounding the final turn with Custards Crown edging to a three-quarter lengths advantage at the finish of a 1:58.4 mile. Snow Shark settled for second while Yjuliahos closed for third.

A filly by Custard The Dragon, Custards Crown won her third race from four starts, earning $28,830 for owners Chris Lancaster—who also trains—and Christopher Lambie. Phil Giesbrecht steered the $4.30 winner.

Miss Itunes upset the final Alberta Starburst division at odds of 8-1 when winning in 1:59. The daughter of Mystery Chase sat second to 7-5 favourite Treasure Horizon as she carved early splits of :30.2 and 1:00.2 before yielding command to Wrangler Gold nearing the backstretch. Wrangler Gold took the field by three-quarters in 1:28.1 while Miss Itunes, shuffled to third, readied to kick off the rail. Driver Nate Sobey sent the David Lamont trainee after Wrangler Gold through the stretch and swept to a two-and-three-quarter lengths victory. Treasure Horizon took second while Wrangler Gold faltered to third.

Co-owned by Lamont with Donna Wyse, Miss Itunes won in her pari-mutuel debut and now sports earnings of $8,550. She paid $18.30 to win.

Later on the card Thats It went wire to wire to score at 14-1 in the $9,000 Fillies & Mares Open Pace. Driver Phil Giesbrecht sent the five-year-old Dragon Again mare to the front from post 2 and led through a clip of :28.4, :57.4 and 1:27. Tajmeallover kicked off cover from second over turning for the finish and lunged for the lead late, but finished a neck shy of victory in a 1:55.4 mile. Born A Dragon, sitting in the pocket, took third.

Owned by Lorne Duffield, Jean Crochetiere and trainer Rod Hennessy, Thats It won her third race from 21 starts this season and her 23rd from 95 overall, earning $230,784. She paid $30.10 to win.

Trainer-driver Kelly Hoerdt kicked off the Century Mile meeting when winning the first race with Dreamers Delight ($10.10) in 1:57.4. He ended the day with three training victories, with Flash A Smile ($7.50) and Queen Of Thrones ($7.80) also visiting the winner’s circle.

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

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