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Favourites Take Alberta Marquis Elims

Published: September 25, 2016 3:08 am ET

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Three-year-old pacing fillies faced off in the eliminations for their third and final Alberta Sires Stakes event of the season on Saturday (September 24) at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

While there were some close finishes in the mix, all three favourites were victorious in their respective $5,000 eliminations for the Alberta Marquis. The final will take place next Saturday, Oct. 8 at Century Downs.

The first of the favourites to deliver was opening leg Princess champion Outlawsurshotshark (Smart Shark-Fox Valley Cherish), who was recently acquired by the Don Byrne Stables with Brandon Campbell taking over the training and driving duties from the east-bound horseman Travis Cullen.

Outlawsurshotshark took the lead from the inside post and carved out early fractions of :29.2 and :59.1 before Astrid The Axe went head-to-head with the 1-5 favourite at the 1:29.2 third quarter mark. However, Outlawsurshotshark kept the first over challenger at bay as she turned for home and held off the wide-rallying Funkmeister by half a length to win in 1:59.2. Astrid The Axe finished one length behind in photo finish for third.

In the second elimination, 2-5 favourite Ba Bye Ceia Later assumed command at the quarter in :29 and led through middle splits of :58.4 and 1:28 before holding off Outlawtriggerhappy, who closed inside off a pocket trip to make it a photo finish. The Jk Royal Flush-Palma Ceia filly reached the wire just in time to prevail by a neck in 1:57.4. Glamorgal advanced first over and edged out Witch Doctor one length behind in third.

Ba Bye Ceia Later, the Alberta Diamond champion, is campaigned by the father and son, training and driving duo of Rod and Mike Hennessy. She is owned by Bryan Brook and Diane Harries.

Meadowlark Farm's popular homebred filly Divas Dragonfly dominated in the third elimination with Jamie Gray aboard for trainer Carl Archibald.

The Mystery Chase-Midnight Diva filly retook the lead from Top It Up after the :28.4 first quarter and held a a two-length lead through middle fractions of :58.3 and 1:28. The 4-5 bettors' choice expanded her lead to three lengths down the stretch before hitting the wire in 1:57.1 while Monstrous advanced into second and Outlawburntpopcorn finished third.

In other racing action, the Alberta-sired two-year-old pacing filly Never Say Sorry broke her maiden in 2:00.3 with Mike Hennessy in the bike. It was also the first career win for 28-year-old Dewinton, Alta. trainer Chelsea Chase, who shares ownership of the Mystery Chase-Apology Accepted filly with James Rhodes. Chase has trained Never Say Sorry for six of the filly's 11 career starts.

In this week's $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Handicap Pace, outside assignee Tajmeallover earned her third straight victory, going from last to first in a 1:56 mile with co-owner/driver J.F. Gagne in the sulky. Marjorie Dumont trains the five-year-old Tajma Hall-Watch Over Me mare, who is also owned by Peter Van Seggelen, Carl Warnaar, and Tapron Holdings Ltd. American Passion and Skade rounded out the top three finish order.

Tajmeallover, the 1-2 favourite, trailed the six-horse field through a :27.4 opening quarter before beginning to advance outside. She picked up cover from Nighttraintovegas through :57.1 and 1:26.3 middle splits before firing three-wide to take over the lead by the top of the stretch. With her final quarter clocked in :29, she prevailed by one and a half lengths.

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

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