The 12 Days of (Alberta Racing) Christmas

The classic Christmas Carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” is a list of all of the things that my true love gave to me. We are doing our own take on the catchy carol, and have created a list of 12 great things that Alberta Thoroughbred racing gave to us this in 2019!

The ATOBA 12 Days of Christmas (featuring a number of gifts that we received from Alberta Thoroughbred racing in 2019)!

On the First Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

Tom Rycroft won the 1st race at Century Mile

Opening day at Century Mile was a new beginning for racing in Alberta. Trainer Tom Rycroft wrote himself into horse racing history with his win in the first race on opening day with Born in A Breeze. Born in a Breeze is owned by Tom Rycroft, Dale Stark and Lewis Mailer, was ridden by jockey Rigo Sarmiento, and was groomed by Jill Klubi.

 

Born in a Breeze wins the first race at Century Mile on April 28

 


On the Second Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd. won 2 Leading Owner titles

Riversedge Racing Stables Ltd. won the Leading Owner title at Century Mile with 28 wins and won the Leading Owner title at Century Downs with 7 wins.

The older horses in the Riversedge barn were difficult to beat in the early Stakes races at Century Mile. Champion Trooper John won the Journal Handicap, Stone Carver won the Spangled Jimmy Handicap and Gem Alta won the Fred Jones Handicap. 3 Year old filly Something About Me followed up with a win in the Sonoma Handicap for the fillies and mares in the barn. The Riversedge team will be looking forward to the 2020 racing season after 2 year old Bare Back Jack won the Birdcatcher Stakes. Weekend Wizard capped off their Alberta season when he won the CTHS Sales Stakes on the final day of the meet.

Norm Castiglione and Robert Vargo (middle) with jockey Rico Walcott (left) and trainer Tim Rycroft (right)

 


On the Third Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

3 Century Downs Leading Trainers

Three veteran trainers tied for the Leading Trainer Title at Century Downs. Rod Cone, Tom Rycroft and Dale Saunders all had 11 wins during the short fall meet. Between the three trainers, they have almost 150 years of racing experience and have all helped shape Thoroughbred racing in Alberta.

Trainer Name Starts 1st 2nd 3rd Earnings Win % Top 3
Dale L. Saunders 40 11 9 7 $108,218 28% 27
Rodney J. Cone 53 11 9 7 $78,845 21% 27
Tom Rycroft 45 11 5 5 $71,185 24% 21

Do you have any advice for a new owner or trainer?

Rod: Don’t give up on a horse. Keep experimenting and make changes until you can find a way to get them to their full potential.

Tom: There’s an old saying that you want to run your horse in the worst company and keep yourself in the best company. That’s always good advice.

Dale: There are a lot of ups and downs, so you have to take the good with the bad. You need the perseverance to get through the bad days and you need to enjoy the good days when you can.

 


On the Fourth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

4 Starts and 4 Wins at Century Downs 

Timely Prize (Pure Prize, out of Our Shewshan) was bred in Alberta by Crystal Meadows Farm. The 7-year-old chestnut gelding likes the track at Century Downs, his final start in 2018 was a winning one and he came back this fall in fine form. He had four starts and four wins during the short fall meet. Timely Prize was owned by Crystal Meadows Farm, trained by Dale Saunders, was ridden by Prayven Badrie and Rico Walcott and groomed by Gord Buehler.

Timely Prize with Rico Walcott at Century Downs

 

Honourable mentions go to four horses who each had four wins during the Century Mile summer meet – Whoop It Up, Lucy Q, Dust Roller and Burnin Pockets.

Whoop It Up’s win streak was extraordinary. The 3-year-old filly took the Century Horse Racing Club on a whirlwind ride this summer! Whoopie, as she is affectionately known, had four wins in a row, and then was a fast closing 2nd in the $100,000 Century Oaks. Whoopie is trained by Rod Cone, has over 100 co-owners in the racing club, and was ridden in all of her starts by Damario Bynoe.

 

Whoop It Up, Coady Photo/Ryan Haynes

 


On the Fifth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

5 2-year-old winners! 

Highfield Stock Farm‘s stallion Cape Canaveral is one of the last stallions sired by Mr. Prospector still standing in active duty, and he’s still going strong! Cape Canaveral has 16 crops of racing aged runners and he has a 60% win average. In 2019 he had five winners at Century Mile and Century Downs.

Pearl of Knowledge (Cape Canaveral, out of Lil Missknowitall) had 6 starts, 3 wins and 2 placings. She was bred in Alberta by Starline Thoroughbreds.

Salsa Tango (Cape Canaveral, out of Salsa Express) had 4 starts, 1 win and 1 placing. She was bred in Alberta by Highfield Investment Group Inc & Ed Welsh

Triple Power (Cape Canaveral, out of Topasannah) had 3 starts, 1 win and 1 second. He was bred in Alberta by Don Danard, Joe Fenrich & Don Knight

Imtellingyoumyson (Cape Canaveral, out of Blumin Cat) had 2 starts and 1 win. He was bred in Alberta by John Walsh.

Music At Work (Cape Canaveral, out of Las Olas Azur) had 6 starts, 1 win and 3 placings.

Cape Canaveral, Shannon Lawlor Photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On the Sixth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

6 Smart Fix owners!

Smart Fix (Kissin Kris, out of Char’s Still Here) had a tremendous year in 2019 with 7 starts, 3 wins and 2 seconds. She dominated the stakes for older mares with wins in the Northlands Distaff, Alberta Fall Classic Distaff H. Presented by Highfield Investment Group, and the Lynn Chouinard Founders Distaff Handicap.

Smart Fix was bred in Alberta by Pierre Esquirol and has been in trainer Jerri Robertson’s barn for her entire racing career. The six year old bay mare has had 32 starts, 7 wins and 9 placings and has won the Alberta Fall Distaff twice.

Smart Fix has a very fun ownership group of six, and it’s a treat to hear them cheering her on in her races. She is proudly owned by Douglas Hardy, Leanne Chiodo, Judy Frost, Jerri Robertson, Lesley Hardy and Tim Kane.

 

Smart Fix on Post Parade

Smart Fix wins Alberta Fall Classic Distaff Presented by Highfield Investment Group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


On the Seventh Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

7 Fall Classic Winners!

The Alberta Breeders’ Fall Classic is always highly anticipated by breeders, owners, and trainers. With seven

$50,000 Stakes races restricted to Alberta breds, it’s a day devoted to the local breeding industry.

The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society goes all out for the event, and sponsors, board members, local dignitaries, owners, trainers, and backstretch staff enjoyed a wonderful buffet lunch, a full card of fabulous races and gifts to take home.

 

Pearl of Knowledge Sturgeon River

Sturgeon River S. Presented by True North Holdings Inc. for 2 Year Old Fillies 
Won by Pearl of Knowledge (Cape Canaveral, out of Lil Missknowitall)
Breeder Starline Thoroughbreds
Owner Don Danard and Jim Juris
Trainer Greg Tracy
Jockey Dane Nelson

 

 

 

 

Dune d’Oro Alberta Premier’s Futurity

Alberta Premier’s Futurity Presented by Horse Racing Alberta for 2 Year Olds
Dune d’Oro (Atreides, out of Barney’s Mistress)
Breeder Doug Oberg
Owner Janet Kropp, Gary Kropp and Bill Dory
Trainer Craig Smith
Jockey Rico Walcott

 

 

 

 

Zicatela Beaufort Plate

Beaufort Plate Presented by Clark Builders for 3 Year Olds
Zicatela (Where’s The Ring, out of Harlican)
Breeder Dawson Guhle
Owner Crystal Meadows Farm
Trainer Dale Saunders
Jockey Rico Walcott

 

 

 

 

Miss Hesi Alberta Oaks

Alberta Oaks Presented by KPM Industries Ltd. for 3 Year Old Fillies
Miss Hesi (No Hesitation, out of Insightofanofficer)
Breeder Side Management Ltd.
Owner Side Management Ltd.
Trainer Ernie Keller
Jockey Keihton Natera

 

 

 

 

Zippity Zap Alberta Breeders’ Handicap

Alberta Breeders’ H. Presented by CBRE Limited and High Plain for 3 Year Olds and Upward
Zippity Zap (Ghostzapper, out of Pages Lane)
Breeder Bar None Ranches Ltd.
Owner Bar C5 Ranch Ltd.
Trainer Craig Smith
Jockey Rico Walcott

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bar No Q Red Diamond Express

Red Diamond Express H. Presented by Don and Sue Danard Sprint for 3 Year Olds and Up
Bar No Q (Gayego, out of Q Tee Q)
Breeder Barrie Quamme and Colin Quamme
Owner Barrie Quamme, Colin Quamme and Bar None Ranches Ltd.
Trainer Ron Grieves
Jockey Quincy Welch

 

 

 

 

 

Smart Fix Alberta Fall Classic Distaff

Alberta Fall Classic Distaff H. Presented by Highfield Investment Group for Fillies & Mares 3 Year Olds and Up
Smart Fix (Kissin Kris, out of Char’s Still Here)
Breeder Pierre Esquirol
Owner Douglas Hardy, Leanne Chiodo, Judy Frost, Jerri Robertson, Lesley Hardy and Tim Kane.
Trainer Jerri Robertson
Jockey Rigo Sarmiento

 

 

 


On the Eighth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

8 Undefeated Meet Winners

Few horses go undefeated during an entire season, but we had four horses go undefeated during the Century Mile meet and another four go undefeated at Century Downs.

Explode shipped in from Hastings Park to win an allowance prep race in July, and followed up with a win in the Canadian Derby after Journeyman was disqualified.

Got My Mo went three for three at Century Mile and won the HBPA Starter Stakes on Derby Day by an impressive 7 lengths.

Special Brandy only had two starts but had two wins. She broke her maiden quite handily and followed that up with an impressive allowance win a couple of weeks later.

Under Par shipped in from Hastings and won two allowance races at Century Mile.

 

When the horses moved south to compete at Century Downs some horses loved the change in the track.

Bar No Q won back to back Stakes races with his win in the Alberta Breeders’ Handicap and the Harvest Plate.

Smartasatak had three starts and three wins.

Smart Fix ended her meet at Century Mile with a win and followed up with two Stakes wins at Century Downs in the Alberta Fall Classic Distaff and the Lynn Chouinard Founders Distaff.

Timely Prize had an impressive four starts and four wins at Century Downs.

 

 


On the Ninth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

9 Olds College Racetrack Program Graduates!

The 2019 Olds College Racetrack Programs students started in February and made it through their six weeks at the College campus, and then moved on finish their instruction, work experience and practicums at Century Mile Racetrack and Casino. The 15-week programs provide intensive professional care for both flat and harness racing. Students from both programs get a solid foundation in horse behaviour, anatomy, horse health care, stable management, as well as racetrack stable management. Groom students go into a racing stable and learn the finer details of preparing horses for racing including morning training, paddocking, test barn protocols and cooling horses out after exercise. Exercise Rider students also go to work in a racing stable, and must complete 60 rides on the track in order to successfully graduate from the program.

Congratulations to the 2019 Groom graduates Sebastian Bradley, Kelly Fry and Reilly Ruddy

Congratulations to the 2019 Exercise Rider graduates Christen Hopkinson, Coralee Shantz, Emma Hoyau, Janna Snyder, Kassidy Harris, and Rachel Slevinsky

 


On the Tenth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

10 Days of Stakes Races at Century Mile!

There were 19 stakes races of $50,000 or more on ten separate race days at Century Mile Racetrack and Casino. The Race Office and Racing Secretary Rob MacLennan did a great job of putting on some strong undercards and some very strong Stakes fields during the inaugural meet.

Date Race Name Distance Class Purse Winner Owner Trainer Jockey
May 20, 2019 JetSet 6F 3up F+M $50,000 Ruffenuff Curtis Landry Greg Tracy Dane Nelson
May 20, 2019 The Journal 6F 3up $50,000 Trooper John Riversedge Racing Stable Ltd. Tim Rycroft Wilmer Galviz
June 2, 2019 Chariot Chaser 6F 3yo F $50,000 Im Evin Im Leavin Wayne Bakke, Nathan Hoines and Jodee Hoovestal Greg Tracy Prayven Badrie
June 2, 2019 Western Canada 6F 3yo $50,000 Sharp Dressed Beau Empire Equestrian Rick Hedge Rigo Sarmiento
June 9, 2019 Red Tail Landing 7F 3up F+M $50,000 Raider Curtis Landry Greg Tracy Prayven Badrie
June 9, 2019 The Spangled Jimmy 7F 3up $50,000 Stone Carver Riversedge Racing Stable Ltd. Tim Rycroft Rigo Sarmiento
June 30, 2019 Shirley Vargo 8F 3up F+M $75,000 Good Luck To You George Gilbert Philip Hall Rigo Sarmiento
June 30, 2019 Fred Jones 8.5F 3up $50,000 Gem Alta Riversedge Racing Stable Ltd. Tim Rycroft Prayven Badrie
July 1, 2019 Sonoma 8F 3yo F $50,000 Something About Me Riversedge Racing Stable Ltd. Tim Rycroft Wilmer Galviz
July 1, 2019 Count Lathum 8F 3yo $50,000 Sharp Dressed Beau Empire Equestrian Rick Hedge Rigo Sarmiento
July 21, 2019 R.K. (Red) Smith 8.5F 3up F+M $50,000 Daz Lin Dawn Deltin Stable and Ed Welsh Nancy Betts Dane Nelson
July 21, 2019 Don Getty 9F 3up $50,000 Sir Bronx Almac Racing Stable Rick Hedge Rigo Sarmiento
July 28, 2019 City of Leduc 5.5F 2yo $50,000 Maskwecis Red Ron Farms, J Fenrich and J and C Barker Red Smith Anastasios Chalaris
August 17, 2019 Northlands Distaff 9F 3up F+M $75,000 Smart Fix Douglas Hardy, Leanne Chiodo, Judy Frost, Jerri Robertson, Lesley Hardy and Tim Kane Jerri Robertson Rigo Sarmiento
August 17, 2019 Century Casinos Oaks 9F 3yo F $100,000 Im Evin Im Leavin Wayne Bakke, Nathan Hoines and Jodee Hoovestal Greg Tracy Prayven Badrie
August 18, 2019 Canadian Derby (Grade 3) 10F 3yo $150,000 Explode Ole Nielsen Mark Cloutier Amadeo Perez
August 18, 2019 Century Mile (westerner) 8F 3up $75,000 Gato Guapo Charles Garvey Robertino Diodoro Orlando Mojica
August 25, 2019 Birdcatcher 6.5F 2yo $50,000 Bare Back Jack Riversedge Racing Stable Ltd. Tim Rycroft Rigo Sarmiento
August 25, 2019 Princess Margaret 6.5F 2yo $50,000 Catchacougar George Gilbert Philip Hall Rigo Sarmiento

 

 


On the Eleventh Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

11 Harvest Plate Horses!

The 3rd running of the $100,000 Harvest Plate was at Century Mile on October 14. A field of 11 horses entered the gate and it was 57-1 longshot Bar No Q under jockey Quincy Welch who took command at the top of the stretch and won with ease. Trooper John came up for 2nd and Sir Bronx finished third after a troubled trip. Bar No Q (Gayego, out of Q Tee Q) paid $116.80 for the win and had a jubilant group of supporters celebrating in the winner’s circle! Bar No Q was bred in Alberta by Barrie and Collin Quamme, is trained by Ron Grieves and races for Barrie and Collin Quamme and Bar None Ranches.

ATOBA’s vision is to contribute to an environment for premium racing experiences for breeders, owners, fans, media, and sponsors. As title sponsor of the Harvest Plate at Century Downs during the fall meet, we are proud to bring our vision to life. Congratulations to Bar No Q!

 

Bar No Q $100,000 Harvest Plate

 


 

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas Racing Gave to Me

12 Horses in the Gate!

2019 was the start of a new era in Alberta Thoroughbred racing. Century Mile Racetrack and Casino was the first A track with a full mile track, which adds a new element to the condition book and the racing calendar. A full field at both Century Mile and Century Downs is now 12 in the gate. There were 4 full fields at Century Mile (including the G3 Canadian Derby) and 3 full fields at Century Downs, and we look forward to more full fields in 2020!

Canadian Derby 2019

 

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas!