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Freshmen Face Off At Century

Published: September 30, 2016 4:18 pm ET

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Century Downs Racetrack and Casino will show off the stars of tomorrow this Saturday. The two-year-old fillies will do battle in two $25,000 divisions of the Neal Adler Memorial Stakes. The two-year-old colts will square off in the Horizon Pace, also in two divisions each carrying a $25,000 purse.

The boys kick off the stakes action right off the bat on Saturday in the first two races carded. The first division will feature Senga Nitro, who looks to have a bright future ahead. He sizzled in his latest effort in a winning time of 1:56.3 in the Lonestar stakes. That equaled the track record for two-year-old pacing colts set last year by Outlaw Gettnrdone and Outlaw Turn N Burn.

Kenneth Gunn owns and bred the Blue Burner-Nells Sweet Future colt, who is trained and driven by Ryan Grundy. His only blemish on his short resume is when he went off stride in the ASHA Colt Stakes but has rebounded nicely and is now four-for-five in his career (two-for-two in Sires Stakes action) with $34,816 in lifetime earnings.

Lady Luck was a no-show for the connections as both horses in each stake (Senga Nitro in the Horizon and Shesamysterytome in the Neal Adler stake) drew the tough outside post eight, but the barn is ready for the challenge.

“We did not get any luck at the post draws for sure, but Senga Nitro is coming in good,” said driver/trainer Ryan Grundy. “He can take the fresh air. He likes to come from off the pace. His only issue was in the ASHA Colt stake where he went off stride but that was due to normal colt growing up issues.

“The time off definitely helped my colt,” added Grundy. “Mateo and Amysterytome are the top threats in my opinion.”

Mateo, another up and coming star, will be looking for some revenge. After winning the ASHA Colt Stakes, he destroyed some older condition types and looked primed to notch the win in the Alberta Lonestar. The Blue Burner-Mater Deo gelding had one of his owners Jim Marino in the bike for that stake race, and won the race only to get disqualified for causing interference to Big Fantasy and Jamie Gray at the three-quarter mark. As a result, Mateo was placed third for this infraction.

Born blind in one eye, Mateo was a private purchase. His half brother just sold at the ASHA Yearling Sale for $21,000 last month and his mother paced 1:52 in a big stake race at Mohawk a few years back, so his bloodlines suggest talent.

Amysterytome will be part of the picture. He was moved up to the winner’s circle as a result of the aforementioned disqualification involving Mateo. The talented Mystery Chase-Takemetotheriver gelding is owned by Timothy Kane, Gary Zima, and Mike Dicks. He is now two-for-three in his early career and has banked $16,799 to date. He is trained and driven by Brandon Campbell.

Shifting to the gals, the first division will feature some very nice fillies. Wedding Dance drew the rail and will be a force. Owned by Donald Richardson and trained by Harold Haining, she holds the divisional track record for two-year-olds posting a time of 1:56 back on August 20. The Mystery Chase-Westart Love filly now boasts four wins from seven starts, with $32,401 in lifetime earnings.

The barn is confident she will show a good effort.

“She is a very nice filly for sure and we are happy with the post draw,” said trainer Harold Haining. “She is in good shape with no problems to report. Hopefully we can keep on going.”

This race, however, is by no way a slam dunk.

“You have to keep an eye on Rod Starkewski’s filly Lil Bit O Jingle. He works them pretty good.”

Kurt and Kathy Schmidt's homebred filly Lil Bit O Jingle had a change of address as she has now been moved to the Starkewski barn by its owners after Travis Cullen decided to leave Alberta for Ontario. The daughter of Blue Burner-Rain Drop Hanover has posted an impressive four-for-seven in her young career and has banked $26,141 in purses. Phil Giesbrecht will be in the bike to call the shots.

Shesamysterytome (Mystery Chase-Allamerican Boo) was a $2,700 bargain buy at the Alberta sale. She has drawn the tough outside post but nevertheless is a threat to do some damage. She only has one win from five starts with four second place finishes, good for $16.587 in lifetime earnings and has been very competitive in stakes competition. The Ryan Grundy trainee can not be overlooked.

“Post eight will definitely sting but hopefully we can have a good race and come out of it with some money. Wedding Dance with the rail looks awfully tough,” added Grundy. “So does Lil Bit O Jingle who will go for the Starkewski barn for the first time and appears to have lots of talent.”

Shesamysterytome suffered some traffic woes in her last start back on September 17 in the Alberta Starburst stake but still put in a very respectable effort.

“I hooked wheels with So Long Sugar at the three-quarter mark. I thought I was done when that happened but my filly showed me lots as she made up a ton of ground to finish second.”

The path to victory in the second division appears to go through the talented Outlaw Fireball. She equaled the previous divisional track record set by Nightime Chase back on August 7 in the Alberta Starlet, stopping the timer in 1:56.1 only to have the aforementioned Wedding Dance set the track record in 1:56 later on August 20. The Blue Burner-Watchasgirlsgoby filly was privately purchased by her driver J.F. Gagne and partners Peter Van Seggelen, Carl Warnaar and Tapron Holdings Ltd. She is trained by Majorie Dumont.

Punters looking for a value play might just find it in Last Time To Play (Western Terror-Susurrus Hanover). The two-year-old daughter of the terrific sire Western Terror was a $40,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Earlier in the summer she rattled off three straight wins, including a romp in the Emerald stake. Her last start back on September 17 was a tough assignment. She drew the outside post versus older condition types and was not a factor. She had some time off since then and the Masse barn knows when it’s stakes time. She has a respectable 7-3-1-1 lifetime record good for $16,894 in earnings for her owner Lucy Raymond of Edmonton, Alberta.

Century Downs Racetrack and Casino will offer eleven dashes on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend with a first race post time of 1:10 p.m. each day.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Frank Fontana)

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