Canadian Pharoah won the third leg of the Robert Millbank Memorial Breeders Stake for two-year-old colts and geldings on Thursday, Oct. 19, bringing in a $15,000 purse. (Grace Kennedy photo)

‘Richest day of the year’ at Fraser Downs has big pay off for young horses

Hundreds of thousands of dollars given out at annual Breeders Classic Day

The Homestretch was packed at Fraser Downs racetrack on Saturday, Nov. 11, for the annual Breeders Classic Day. The excitement was high – the event is what Standardbred Canada calls the “richest day of harness racing in British Columbia,” with four $100,000 finals races in one action-packed afternoon.

“It was really exciting,” said BC Harness Racing executive director Carla Robin. “It’s the showcase of the year for our young horses, two to three years old, and the Homestretch was absolutely packed.”

Robin said it was a great day of racing, despite the less than favourable weather conditions. At one point, track operators had to halt the races and do track maintenance for 45 minutes, in order to ensure safe and fair racing. But the pause didn’t detract from the excitement, said Robin, and the last race of the night was just as nail-biting as the first three.

Rick Mowles’ J J J Stables won three of the four $100,000 finals, starting with the $100,000 Robert Millbank Memorial Breeders Take for two-year-old pacing colts and geldings. Driver Jim Marino steered Ron Bakardi to victory with a two-length score of 1:57 in the first final of the day. Canadian Pharaoh was close behind in second, with Machitoutofthepark for third.

Scardy Cat took off during the $100,000 Betty Millbank Memorial Breeders Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies, coming in with 1:58.4 after two favoured horses made breaks early on in the race.

The third race of the day featured Yoga Pants – the young one to watch.

“Our champions were just amazing young horses,” said Robin. “Yoga Pants was probably the best, she’s won 11 of her 12 season starts.”

Yoga Pants’ near-perfect lifetime record of 15 for 17 has already brought her a $327,409 bankroll.

Her race on Saturday afternoon, the $100,000 Mary Murphy Memorial Breeders Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies, was, as Robin recounts, “right down to the wire,” and hard fought.

Yoga Pants, and driver Jim Marino, made the lead before the turn and kept ahead.

Keys Please, who had been tucked into Yoga Pants’ pocket, made an attempt at the final turn, managing to pull close. Meanwhile, Tahuya Gameday, who had been pacing in third place, pulled forward and found room on Yoga Pants’ inside.

When the timer tripped, Yoga Pants came first, Tahuya Gameday in second, with Keys Please third.

The last race of the day, the $100,000 Robert Murphy Memorial Breeders Stake for three-year-old colts and geldings, was delayed by the weather, but well worth the wait.

Driver Serge Masse and Millbanks Bart had a three-length lead going into the final turn, but it was cut down when Ima Dude took his shot, surging forward from the pocket to close in on the pace-setting horse.

But Millbanks Bart kept forward and finished a length before Ima Dude, with Bakardi Gold coming third.

The final race finished off a day of fine competition, said Robin. “The horsemen — I have to commend them— they were excited not only for their own successes, but for the success of their fellow horsemen as well.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Freezing temperatures expected in Lower Mainland

Snowfall warning ends, but surge or icy air to continue

Man found guilty of murder of Good Samaritan

Brad McPherson was murdered at a party early on the morning of Christmas Eve 2011.

Langley lacrossers roughed up 22-12 during Calgary stopover

Next Saturday, Feb. 24, the team hosts a Vancouver Stealth Experience, inviting guests on the floor.

Aldergrove welcomes new Community Association

Several dozen attend introductory meeting of new Aldergrove Community Association

Langley City honours volunteers who give so much

At least 200 people came together Thursday to be recognized and thanked by the City of Langley.

VIDEO: Widen the freeway now, Langley chamber insists

Business advocates describe cancelling bridge tolls and highway expansion as ‘disappointing.’

B.C. files new legal action against TransMountain pipeline

Province tries to uphold City of Burnaby bylaws, provoking Alberta

BCHL Today: Powell River stuns Vernon and BCHL grads lead Team Canada

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

One dead after targeted shooting in Coquitlam

IHIT also asking for information about a car on fire nearby

Reports of money laundering in B.C. real estate ‘troubling’: attorney general

News report alleges people connected to fentanyl trade are using B.C. real estate to launder money

Heavy snowfall warning continues

Kelowna - Expect snow in the Okanagan, Southern Interior and the Kootenays

VIDEO: Injury-riddled Vancouver Giants find a way to edge Edmonton Oil Kings

Giants win 2-1 at home despite missing four key defencemen from lineup

RCMP member challenges court to prevent further disciplinary action

RCMP member launches appeal to avoid new hearing over alleged harassment

Port of Vancouver program examines impact of marine noise on local whales

Man-made noises can interfere with orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate with other pod members

Most Read