Notes from the Backstretch: Big wins for long shots over Easter weekend
Who says you can’t win big money at Standardbred racing?
Over the Easter weekend at Fraser Downs, the Easter Bunny was laying long shot winners instead of chocolate eggs.
There were 20 races over the two-day period, and eight winners paid more than $15.
The fourth race Friday afternoon produced a $56.60 winner when Credit Card Junkie upset the best female horses on the grounds. Trainer/driver Scott Knight kept things rolling when he won with Panic At The Disco producing a $43.10 win ticket.
Easter Sunday produced a couple of whoppers as well. In the fifth race, Yanotherhos, returned $65.30 and Tahuya Clem C paid $108.20 to end the day in the 10th race. Congratulations to the long shot players.
Congratulations also go out to Don Monkman Jr. The veteran driver recorded his fastest drive ever when he won the first race on Sunday with American Venture from the Keith Clark stable in 1:51.4, which is only one second off the track record.
This Friday night (7 p.m.) kicks off the final weekend of Standardbred racing until Sept. 4 at Fraser Downs. Four stake races will take place and an estimated $250,000 will be paid out by the time the evening ends.
Saturday, April 26 will be a great day of racing at the track, a special post time of 12:45 p.m. will be the start of the Standardbred Canada Western Region Drivers Championship, Bill Davis, Jim Marino and John Chappell from Fraser Downs will compete against Alberta Drivers Brandon Campbell, Travis Cullen and Gerry Hudon. Also joining the competition will be Richard Remillard from Saskatchewan and Don Howlett from Manitoba.
The top two finishers will go to the National Championship Aug. 28 in PEI and the winner of that event will represent Canada at the World Championship early in 2015 in Australia. Come out Saturday afternoon and cheer on Davis, Marino and Chappell in their quest to become Canada’s best.
The 125th Thoroughbred season kicks off in Vancouver at Hastings Park on Sunday. The first post time is 1:50 p.m.
– Jackson Wittup is executive director of Harness Racing B.C.