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Century's First Two-Year-Old Stakes

Published: July 17, 2015 12:22 pm ET

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Two-year-old pacing fillies and colts will get their first taste of stakes action at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino this weekend. The Emerald Filly Stakes will see three divisions go on Saturday with the Horizon Stakes featured on Sunday with two divisions. All divisions will go for a purse of $16,667.

The connections of 19 two-year-old pacing fillies will watch their charges compete in the Emerald Filly Stakes, restricted to fillies that are 100 per cent Canadian-owned or sired.

The Emerald Filly action will kick off the card at 2 p.m., as a field of six starters will contest Race 1. Divas Dragonfly (PP1, J. Gray, 2-1) has been installed as the morning line favourite. The daughter of Mystery Chase is a homebred of Meadowlark Farm and has one pari-mutuel start under her belt at this point. The Carl Archibald trainee finished third in her career debut on July 11 and was individually clocked in 2:00.1.

"She is a bit green but has displayed talent," said driver Jamie Gray. "We are teaching her to come off the pace. She not a big filly but has been coming along very nicely.”

Gray is likely the perfect candidate to drive Divas Dragonfly as the longtime horseman also developed her dam, Midnight Diva. "Her mother Midnight Diva was a nice horse,” added Gray of the $135,000 earner.

A homebred owned by Meadowlark Farms of Airdrie, Alberta, Divas Dragonfly is set to clash with the second morning-line selection, Witch Doctor (PP2, R. Hennessy, 4-1), and the third early selection, Cuttingtothechase (PP1, B. Campbell, 6-1), among others.

According to the morning-line oddsmaker, One Big Hottie (PP5, B. Campbell, 2-1) shapes up to be the betting favourite in the second Emerald Filly split, which has been carded as Race 3 and will also feature a field of six. The bay daughter of Mister Big has paced two charted lines thus far in her career, but will be in search of her first win on Saturday.

Out of the Northern Luck mare Hot Night, One Big Hottie finished second in a June 28 qualifier at Century. She followed the qualifier up with a fourth-place finish in her July 11 pari-mutuel debut, where she was on the engine during a latter stage in the race before fading in the stretch. She was clocked in 2:01.2 on July 11. One Big Hottie, who is trained by Sanford Campbell, is scheduled to lock horns with No Guarnatees (PP6, J. Marino, 4-1), who has been pegged as the second early choice, and Outlawtriggerhappy (PP4, B. Tainsh, 6-1), who has been assessed as the third early selection. One Big Hottie is owned by Calgarians Bill Andrew, George Rogers and Jim MacPhail. Rogers and MacPhail are the filly’s breeders.

The last of the Emerald Filly divisions will head to post for Race 6, which will house a field of seven fillies. Rodeo Blues (PP6, R. Hennessey, 2-1) has been deemed the morning line choice for the affair. The brown daughter of Blue Burner will make her pari-mutuel debut on Saturday for trainer Rod Hennessey. The $26,000 yearling purchase was first at every call in her only qualifier, which was recorded at Century Downs on June 28. Out of the Western Ideal mare Mater Deo, Rodeo Blues won her qualifier in 2:02.4. Hennessey owns the filly along with Lorne Duffield of Edmonton. Rodeo Blues was bred by Kathleen and Clifford Coonfer of Olds. Credit The Shark (PP2, K. Clark, 4-1) and Native Beauty (PP4, T. Cullen, 6-1) and the second and third choices on the morning line, respectively.

Switching to the boys, the Horizon Stakes will showcase some nice youngsters in the second division on Sunday. In his first lifetime start, Blue Star Jet almost went coast-to-coast versus older foes only to be nipped at wire by long shot Promise We Can (Bill Tainsh) back on July 4, stopping the timer in a snappy 1:58.2. “I may have overdriven him in his debut but I was very impressed with his performance," said driver Rod Hennessy. "He is a nice little horse and well mannered with a great attitude.”

A $12,00 yearling, Blue Star Jet has a couple of fast siblings as he's a half brother to Blue Star Admiral and recent Alberta Princess winner Blue Star Texas.

"I do not want to compare this horse with others I have trained and driven, but if he is up there with the best I had and if he is anything like 'Texas' or 'Admiral' it's going to be exciting," added Hennessy, who shares ownership of Blue Star Jet with Lorne Duffield of Edmonton.

Prairie Mystic (Keith Clark) looks like he could be set postward in the first division of the Horizon Stakes off his career wining debut while the third division will feature One Big Cat (Brandon Campbell). The two year-old son of American Ideal had a sharp qualifier, just missing the win in a time of 2:00.4.

To view the harness racing entries this weekend in Alberta, click one of the following links:
Saturday Entries – Century Downs
Sunday Entries – Century Downs.

(Frank Fontana contributed to this report)


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