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ABSS At Grande Prairie; Milestone For Stone

Published: September 12, 2009 7:37 pm ET

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Sophomore pacers converged at the half-mile Grande Prairie track on Saturday afternoon for a program jam-packed with Alberta Sires Stakes.

In the first $20,834 Alberta Maverick division for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Rossridge Express sat fourth for most of the mile before sprinting home in :29 seconds for the one length victory over longshot Cams Trouble Maker (Rod Starkewsi) and favourite Rotten Randy (Keith Clark). The As Promised-Scamper Almahurst gelding lowered his mark to 1:57.3 with the triumph - his second win in eight seasonal starts. John Chappell did the driving for trainer Andrea Chappell, who also shares ownership with Dorel Samoila and Iain Fulford of Edmonton, Alta.

Wrangler Hitech pulled off another impressive wire-to-wire triumph in his $21,134 split stopping the clock in 1:56.3 for trainer/driver Keith Clark, who co-owns with Robert Jones of Slave Lake and Peter Giannakopoulos of Edmonton, Alta. The son of As Promised-Raines Lucey won by a margin of two lengths with Bandit On The Run (Gerry Hudon) and Double L Jammer (Brandon Campbell) finishing second and third. Wrangler Hitech’s 11th win in 15 seasonal starts lifted his bankroll to nearly $70,000 and pushed his lifetime earnings over the $100,000 mark.

Raysmidnightcall converted a two-hole trip into a 2:00.1 triumph in his $20,834 division for teamster Brent Grundy and trainer Rod Starkewsi, who also owns with Barry Babych and the Pung Yow Stable of Edmonton, Alta. A three-quarter length winner over Loneridge Shannon (Mike Hennessy), the son of Hoist A Few-Ray C As Promised scored his first win of the year in 11 tries. Pacesetter Westwood Franco (Keith Clark) was forced to settle for third in the four-horse affair.

In the fastest and final colt division, Swiftys First Star carved out all the fractions before kicking away by four lengths with a :26.3 final quarter for the 1:56.1 triumph. Entrymates Outlaw Mister Cool (Keith Clark) and Oblivious Boy (Gerry Hudon) were second and third-best. John Chappell drove the altered son of As Promised-Swiftys Girl, who is trained by Robert Sabourin, Jr. for owners/breeders Kurt and Kathy Schmidt of Leduc, Alta. Swiftys First Star is now six-for-eight in 2009.

A handful of Alberta Marquise divisions for three-year-old pacing fillies were also featured on the card and Laughs Last went down the road to win her $16,967 division in 1:58.2 by a length and a quarter over Thats Witty (Ron Graham) with Perfect Summer (Gerry Hudon) finishing third. The As Promised-Laugh And Shout miss has won six of her 13 seasonal starts for trainer/driver Keith Clark and owner/breeder Ikey Kolias of Calgary, Alta.

Pretty Promised made an early miscue in the next $17,267 split for the ladies, but quickly recovered and front-stepped her way to a career-best 1:57.4 victory in rein to Mike Hennessy. The Doug Stout pupil notched her sixth win in 17 starts this year for owner Willie Wychopen of St. Paul, Alta. The homebred As Promised-L Pretty Tross filly won by a length over Promisemearose (John Chappell) with Pureform Aurora (Bill Tainsh, Jr.) rounding out the top three finishers.

Arielle Pass earned the lion’s share of the $17,267 purse in the third filly division when she rallied from fifth with a :28.4 final quarter to win by a nose over Gts Lady Katy (Allan Tracey) in a new mark of 1:58.4. Pacesetter Jennas Pass (Ron Burke) finished third with broken equipment. Arielle Pass, a daughter of Freedoms Pass-Lover Girl, won for the second time in nine outings this year for trainer/driver Jamie Gray and owner Robert Murphy of Surrey, B.C.

In the next $17,267 division, track record holder Western Bee and trainer/driver J.F. Gagne held off Red Star Bytheway (Jamie Gray) by a nose to win in 1:57.4. Arctic Flame (Brandon Campbell) was third. Owned by Ringneck Enterprises Ltd. and James Sutherland of Calgary, Alta., the As Promised-Flaming Princess filly earned her seventh win in 13 starts this afternoon.

A Special Lady showed just why she is special in the final $17,267 split. In line to Bill Tainsh, Jr., the daughter of As Promised-Southwind Holley was a wire-to-wire winner holding off Onaway (Jeff Stone) by a nose to win in a speedy 1:56.4. Lady And Thetrench (Keith Clark) finished third. The winner of seven races in 21 starts this year is trained by Jeff McLeod and owned by Gordon Remmen of Campbellville, Ont., breeder Gordon Rumpel of Calgary and Dr. Maurice Stewart of Leduc, Alta.

Amidst the Alberta Sires Stakes, driver Jeff Stone scored his 1,000th career victory when he piloted Thief On The Run to a 1:58 score in Race 6 for trainer Doug Shaw and owner Preston Shaw of Airdrie, Alta. Stone sent the six-year-old Mattduff-Sky Happy Days gelding, who sat last for most of the mile, three-wide at three-quarters and he used a :29.3 final frame to come on for the victory.

Master Cain (Jamie Gray) finished a length back in second over the pacesetter Bigkenny Johnrich (Gary Clark).

Stone, a resident of Disbury, Alta. who has 54 wins on his 2009 record, has earned over $4.3 million in purses over the course of his career.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click here.

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