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Fire Watch Undefeated In Alberta Stakes

Published: September 6, 2014 6:30 pm ET

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Undefeated two-year-old pacing filly Fire Watch streaked to a new lifetime mark of 1:56.4 in the Alberta Sires Stakes Stardust leg on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs.

My Villas On Fire won the first of the two $24,300 Stardust divisions in an identical time of 1:56.4, picking up her first stakes victory for trainer/driver Jamie Gray.

Leaving from the outside post six, favourite Outlaw Smartypants and Philip Giesbrecht controlled the pace and led the fillies through panels of :29, :58.2 and 1:27 without facing any challengers until the stretch drive. Down the lane, Cam Finish and Keith Clark pulled the pocket while Gray rolled My Villas On Fire out wide from third with the latter sweeping by for a career-best triumph. Cam Finish followed two and a half lengths behind and Outlaw Smartypants finished third.

My Villas On Fire paid $12.50 as the 5-1 fourth choice in the field. The Blue Burner-My Villa filly is owned by breeder Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy, both of Edmonton, Alta. She earned her second win in five pari-mutuel starts.

With the inside post advantage, Fire Watch had the second set of fillies lined up behind her in post position order quickly off the gate and cruised wire-to-wire for her fourth straight pari-mutuel win for trainer/driver Travis Cullen. The fractions were :30.1, :59.4, 1:58 and 1:56.4. Blue Star Texas and Clark finished two and three-quarter lengths behind in second while Take On Da Boys and Rod Hennessy were third.

Fire Watch paid $2.90 to win as the heavy favourite. The Camystic-Raging Red Head filly was a $3,000 ASHA Yearling Sale purchase for Cullen and Manitoba-based partners Ron Cullen of Glenoro and Trevor Williams of Winnipeg. She has collected three stakes wins in a row, including divisions of the Emerald Filly Pace and Alberta Starlet, for more than $38,000 in purse earnings.

Between Alberta Sires Stakes action, Feelin Flush ($7.10) was a dominant winner in the $8,400 Fillies & Mares Open, going gate-to-wire for Cullen.

Overcoming her outside post eight start, Feelin Flush powered to the lead and carved out fractions of :28.2, :57.3, and 1:25 en route to the 1:52.4 victory with her stablemate Sing Like An Angel and Giesbrecht tracking every step of the way and finishing two lengths behind. Blue Star Beauty and Kelly Hoerdt followed in third.

Feelin Flush's 30th career win was her fastest yet and came within four-fifths of River Lass's track record for aged pacing mares.

Cullen also co-owns the six-year-old daughter of As Promised with Ken Hanson of Strathclair, M.B. Feelin Flush earned her second win in a row and now boasts a seasonal record reading 9-5-2 in 20 starts with over $50,000 in earnings.

Cullen, Alberta Downs's leading horseman, completed a natural hat trick on the card with Yankee Luke ($7.10) taking the lead down the backstretch and holding off Ashleigh Cullen trainees Lightning Legs and Redstar Cashflow for a 1:52.3 triumph in the 10th race.

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


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