Along the Backstretch: Masse stable heads to winners circle

Friday (Dec. 12) was a beautiful night for racing at Fraser Downs.

Friday (Dec. 12) was a beautiful night for racing at Fraser Downs.

I am sure trainer/driver Serge Masse would even have stronger words to describe the evening: Serge raced five horses from his stable and hit the winners circle four times and added a second.

At the end of any race meet across the world of horse racing there are always horses sold for reasonable prices as larger stables reduce their costs during the layoff period.

It looks to me like Cenalta Wizard fits that description at Fraser Downs. Partners Alina MacLeod (co-ordinator of Greener Pastures, the adoption agency for retired Standardbreds) and Melissa Hutchinson purchased “Wizzy” at the end of April and kept him over the summer.

Racing started back up at Fraser Downs the first week of September and Cenalta Wizard was ready. With his win on Friday night he has now put together four victories and a second and has earnings of over $6,600. Alina also drove Wizzy in an exhibition race at Osoyoos in August but there is no fairytale ending to that story.

If all goes well Alina will drive Cenalta Wizard in the annual Powderpuff race for the women in the backstretch on Jan. 25 for the annual fundraiser for breast cancer during Harness the Hope day.

Alina and Melissa met at a riding stable a couple of years ago, to this day Melissa still rides a 24-year-old Standardbred (RogueValley) which she got off the race track.

Melissa now volunteers for Greener Pastures as she sits on the board and can quite often be seen selling 50/50 tickets at the track. Keep the story going, Wizzy.

The three-year-old filly, Dream N Of Mona, also won on Friday and she is the only horse in the stable of her owner/trainer, Greg Smith. Greg is a dentist by day and enjoys Standardbred racing on the side. Since being purchased from Alberta this summer (I assume priced reasonably) Mona has three wins, three seconds and a third for over $15,000 earned. Looks like Greg is hoping to keep the passion alive as he also purchased a broodmare in foal at the recent mixed sale and should have a foal in the spring.

Sunday was a beautiful day for racing. Rod Therres won with what looks to be a very nice two-year-old (Buddy Weiser) out of the eight hole which doesn’t happen very often.

Buddy Weiser had the eight hole last week on a very messy track and made a break but he figured it all out this week.

Nice to see Dave Hudon with three winners from his stable on Sunday as he has had a tough go this meet.

One of Dave’s wins came with upset minded, Lizard King, in the Open in a new lifetime mark of 1:53.3.

Racing resumes on Friday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 12:45 p.m.

– Jackson Wittup is executive director of Harness Racing  B.C.

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