Cloverdale Raceway pioneers enter B.C. Standardbred Hall of Fame
The annual Standardbred awards banquet took place Thursday night (April 3) at Newlands Golf Course. There are too many winners to list here but the following received multiple awards in different categories: Jim Marino, Steve Hudon, Bill Young, J J J Stables, Rod Therres and Dave Hudon.
The highlight of the evening for me was when both Ray Gemmill and Bill Young received standing ovations upon being inducted into the BC Standardbred racing Hall of Fame. Both gentlemen were pioneers of Cloverdale Raceway and are still training stables at Fraser Downs while being in their eighties.
On Friday night (April 4) at Fraser Downs, the very consistent three-year-old filly, Terrormissu, won the $15,000 final of the Marian Young Memorial Stake race. The J J J Stables-owned and Bill Davis-trained and driven lass has now earned over $21,000 from four wins in six starts.
Marian Young was the wife of Bill Young (mentioned above) and I am sure she was watching down on Bill the night of the awards banquet, especially when Bill wore out their two daughters dancing.
The cream rose to the top on Sunday (April 6) at Fraser Downs as the Jim Marino-trained and driven Premium Stock took the final of the $15,000 Wendell Smith Memorial.
Wendell was a very popular trainer, as was proven by the many friends and family who joined Marino and partner Cam Gardiner in the winners circle. Premium Stock has put together three wins and three seconds in six starts this year for $22,000 in earnings.
There's only one weekend left to qualify for the Standardbred Canada Western Region Drivers Challenge taking place April 26 at Fraser Downs. Hopefully two of the following drivers will join Bill Davis and Jim Marino in representing B.C.: John Chappell (48 wins), Scott Knight (47 wins) and Dave Hudon (46 wins) are fighting it out.
The last weekend of April represents one of the biggest weekends of the year in BC racing. On Friday night Fraser Downs will feature close to $250,000 in purses (four stake races), Saturday afternoon the Standardbred Canada Western Region Drivers Challenge at Fraser Downs to end the meet and Hastings Park in Vancouver will kick off the Thoroughbred season on Sunday.
Racing resumes this Friday night at Fraser Downs (7 p.m.) and Sunday afternoon at 12:45 p.m.
– Jackson Wittup is the executive director of Harness Racing B.C.