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Cutting Scores Alberta Stakes Double

Published: September 7, 2014 8:26 pm ET

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Two-year-old pacing colt Johnny Gun won the fastest of the three Alberta Sires Stakes Lonestar divisions on Sunday afternoon at Alberta Downs while Darryl Cutting trainees Pablos First and undefeated Urcutoff were victorious in the other races.

The Sires Stakes divisions carried purses ranging from $16,800 to $17,100.

Favourite Johnny Gun ($3.40) was first up and first home to equal his lifetime mark of 1:56.2 in Sunday's middle split.

Johnny Gun and driver Travis Cullen settled off the pace in sixth place from post five and began to chip away at their 14-length deficit after the :27.1 opening panel. They advanced into second by the half in :59.4 and took over command from Chillinlikeavillin (Kelly Hoerdt) approaching the final turn. Johnny Gun then began to open up on top by the 1:28 third quarter station and extended that lead to fourth lengths as he kicked home in :28.2 to secure the victory. Withflyingcolours (Keith Clark) finished second off a pocket trip while early trailer Senga Shaganappi (Ryan Grundy) followed the winner's cover and finished third.

The Brandons Cowboy-Jerrys Girl colt was a $22,000 yearling at the ASHA Sale and has earned over $29,000 in four pari-mutuel starts for Donald Richardson of Cochrane, Alta. Racing from the Harold Haining stable, Johnny Gun is riding a three-race stakes win streak, including divisions of the Horizon Pace, Alberta Rising Star and Alberta Lonestar.

Driven by J.F. Gagne, favourite Pablos First ($2.80) kicked off Cutting's stakes double, winning in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.1.

Vow To Win (Kelly Hoerdt) swept around insider Vista Express (Gerry Hudon) after a :28.4 opening panel and then carved out middle splits of :59.1 and 1:28.2. However, Gagne tipped Pablos First, who was away fourth from post four, off the rail into the final turn and kicked home in :28.1 to prevail by two and a quarter lengths over Vow To Win. War Chant (Blake Piwniuk) rallied off cover from the back of the pack to finish third.

Making his fifth pari-mutuel start, Pablos First earned his second win in a row and first in stakes action to push his earnings to nearly $13,000. The Trust The Artist-Full Of Joy colt is owned and bred by Leo Frank and Glenn Classen of St. Albert, Alta. and Melinda Smith of Edmonton, Alta.

Urcutoff ($5.40) scored a 1:58.2 front-end victory in the final division to remain unbeaten in four pari-mutuel starts for Cutting.

Overcoming an outside post seven start, driver Brandon Campbell sent Urcutoff to the lead, bypassing a three-hold trip, and carved out fractions off :29, 1:01.3 and 1:31 with Outlaw This Is It (Philip Giesbrecht) moving up to apply heavy first over pressure. Urcutoff fought back to gain a one length advantage early in the stretch and then held off slight favourite Cool Cowboy (Kelly Hoerdt) as that rival tried to slip up the rail from the pocket. Urcutoff prevailed by half a length with :27.2 final quarter speed. Outlaw This Is It finished third.

The homebred Brandons Cowboy-Wendy Jo Hanover gelding, who also won his Alberta Rising Star division, is owned by Mark Anderson of Willows, California. Sunday's victory boosted his bankroll over $22,000.

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

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