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Sophomore Stars Set For Century

Published: October 7, 2016 7:14 pm ET

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The fields for the $50,000 (added) finals of the Alberta Marquis for three-year-old fillies and the Alberta Maverick for the three-year-old boys are now set and take centre stage this Thanksgiving long weekend at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

It is coming down to crunch time for some of these horses foaled, sired, or owned in Alberta who have been racking up valuable earnings since July 1 through the respective previous legs to determine who will get a ticket to the big show -- the Alberta Super Finals on October 29, or who will miss and have to settle for the $15,000 consolation finals on the undercard.

The Rod Hennessy barn looks locked and loaded for both finals with the streaking Ba Bye Ceia Later in the Marquis and the front-running Blue Star Jet in the Maverick stakes.

Ba Bye Ceia Later (Hennessy) has drawn the post five in the Marquis for three-year-old fillies and sits atop the fillies’ standings. She will be seeking her third straight win on Saturday, and the connections are optimistic with their filly.

“We got lucky in a couple of ways with her lately,” said trainer Rod Hennessy. “In the Alberta Diamond stake, Jamie’s horse (Divas Dragonfly) went off stride which opened the race wide open. Then, in my opinion, we drew into the easier of the Marquis eliminations. But she likes to win and will not always spend all her energy. She is coming in this race in good form however. It is going to be fun.”

Other notables include Outlawsurshotshark (Campbell), Monstrous (Gagne), and Divas Dragonfly (Gray) who look to pad their bank account and maintain their good form for the Super Final.

The connections of Divas Dragonfly are not feeling the love when it comes to post position draws as far as stakes action is concerned.

“This is the third time we drew an outside post when it comes to stakes finals,” advised owner/trainer Carl Archibald. “It’s tough to believe but with this killer post we have to just wait and see what happens when the race starts. Outlawsurshotshark will be tough and so will Ba Bye Ceia Later.”

Being turned out for 10 days in the month of September usually means running behind the normal training schedule.

“We gave a start versus tough older condition types in an attempt to get her tighter for this Saturday. So we will see what happens at race time.”

The champion two-year-old Alberta-sired filly for 2015, Divas Dragonfly’s lifetime record is superb with a 26-10-5-3 summary, good for $115,264 in earnings -- second only to Monstrous in this field who has recorded $123,614.

The Maverick stakes for three-year-old pacing colts & geldings will feature another Rod Hennessy trainee in Blue Star Jet, who wired his field in the elimination in a sizzling 1:55.4. Named the 2015 Alberta Two-Year-Old (Colts & Geldings) Alberta champion, Blue Star Jet set the record at Century for two-year-olds at Century in 1:56 last year and has lifetime earnings of just under $130,000. He was a $12,000 yearling purchase for the Hennessy barn.

“Jet is in very good shape and still has a mind of his own. But it’s a different draw for this stake final on Saturday as we drew post five,” commented Hennessy. “Mike advised he has been training real good. And you know this racing every two weeks appears to be working out just fine for Jet.”

Wrangler Cash is actually tops in money earnings and is a lock to join Classy Artist, Outlaw Turn N Burn, Blue Star Maverick and Blue Star Jet as the top five horses getting a pass for the Super Finals. Wrangler Cash and O’Brien Award winner Kelly Hoerdt are having a great year but his last couple of races were not his best outings. On the plus side, he has drawn the inside post two for the final on Saturday. A son of Hall of Famer As Promised has chalked up lifetime earnings of $145,442 for Hoerdt and partners Blair Corbeil and Dr. Maurice Stewart.

Outlaw Turn N Burn (Blue Burner-Penny Lace) has drawn post three and will be an obvious impact player again. He was a good second in both the Alberta Marksman and the Maverick elimination and is a major threat. The Donna Sarin trainee sports a 14-5-3-2 record on the season, earning just under $68,000 for owner 8113564 Canada Ltd. He shares ownership of the 1:56.3 track record for two-year-old colts he set last September with two other horses.

Century Downs Racetrack and Casino has carded 11 dashes for Saturday and Sunday with a first race post time of 1:10 p.m. for both days.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Frank Fontana)

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