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.
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.
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|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
|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!
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!