Notes from the Backstretch: Fraser Downs to host Western Drivers Challenge

A horse and driver out for an early morning jog Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, where the track and barns are under a blanket of snow. - Cherie Paskaruk
A horse and driver out for an early morning jog Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino, where the track and barns are under a blanket of snow.
— image credit: Cherie Paskaruk

A big sports item for the Cloverdale area is the fact it has been announced that Fraser Downs will host the Standardbred Canada Western Region Drivers Challenge on Saturday, April 26.

The date has been added to the race schedule in conjunction to the announcement. The full details have not been confirmed but it looks like B.C. will have three or four representatives, three from Alberta and one from each of Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

The top two drivers will go to Summerside, PEI, for the National Championship on June 28 and the winner of that will represent Canada at the world championship in Australia in 2015.

It all starts at Fraser Downs, with more details to follow.

Speaking of a trip, Serge Masse won on Friday night (March 14) at Fraser Downs with a three-year-old filly (Rollin Deep) who might be good enough to race in Kentucky in the fall.

This filly looked very impressive in winning her elimination of the Penny Bath Memorial. The other elimination was won by Terrormissu, setting up for an exciting $20,000 final this Friday (March 21).

Driver Bill Davis won four races on the card. Three of those were also trained by Bill for the powerful J J J Stables.

Bill Davis continued with the hot hand, winning three drives from horses he trains on the Sunday, March 16 race card at Fraser Downs. Decisions Matter looked very good for Bill winning at first asking this year after going one-for-one in 2013. This three-year-old, Ontario-sired gelding will be heard from throughout the year.

Breeder Mate Hecimovic can’t ask anything more of his nine-year-old Western Baron. This old guy didn’t even get to the races until he was seven but has won 10 times in 40 lifetime starts, including going seven for seven this year.

Racing resumes Friday, March 21 at 7 p.m. (featuring the $20,000 Final of the Penny Bath stake) and Sunday, March 23 at 12:45 p.m. (featuring the $20,000 Keith Linton stake final).

– Jackson Wittup, executive director, Harness Racing B.C.

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