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They're Off At Fraser Downs!

Published: September 30, 2020 11:19 pm ET

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The six and a half-month hiatus is over. After last hosting harness racing on March 15, Fraser Downs opened its fall meet — albeit without spectators on the grounds — on Wednesday (Sept. 30) with a nine-race card and many of western Canada's premier horsepeople on hand to participate.

As expected, perennial training contender Jim Marino made an immediate splash with four winners on the opening program, including the sub-featured $5,800 optional claiming event with Taste Of History ($3.50). Brandon Campbell drove the five-year-old son of Badlands Hanover to a 1:52.1 victory for Marino and the J J J Stables.

Despite his dominance elsewhere on the card, Marino failed to hit the board with either of his starters in the $7,200 distaff pacing feature, a race that went to Raymond Henry's Paperback Thriller ($16.30).

Campbell, who trains the five-year-old Mystery Chase mare, secured the pocket behind pacesetter and 7-5 favourite Tahiti Seelster (Serge Masse) through a sharp :26.3 quarter and drafted comfortably to a :55.4 half before angling off the pegs up the far side. Paperback Thriller worked to the lead nearing three-quarters in 1:23.3, and then vaulted clear of her five foes through the home turn. She concluded her 1:51.4 mile with 6-1/2 lengths of clearance over Rockin Mystery (Rod Therres), who saved ground and lifted into a narrow second over the overpowered Tahiti Seelster.

Paperback Thriller, who is now a 16-time winner, equalled Cays Blessing's track record for older pacing mares.

The 25-day fall meet at Fraser will feature racing on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. (Pacific) and Fridays at 8 p.m. through Dec. 18, along with a special Boxing Day card on Saturday, Dec. 26, at 1 p.m.

To view Wednesday's complete results, click the following link: Wednesday Results – Fraser Downs.

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