Along the Backstretch: Siblings out late and early leaders race to wins

Was it the rain or driving styles? Drivers who prefer the front end get the edge at muddy Fraser Downs Racetrack.

Don Monkman Jr.

Would you be disappointed if I told you a four-year-old and his five-year-old sister were still out playing after 7 p.m. on Thursday night (Oct. 16) at Fraser Downs?

A very rare occurrence happened. A full brother and sister not only raced on the same night but they both won for owners and breeders Earla and Vernon Sifert. Veteran driver Don Monkman Jr. drove both winners. I am sure Mommy (Township Coochie) wasn’t mad at her offspring for not being in bed.

Once again, the rains came back on Friday (Oct. 17) and the track was sloppy. The track was bladed with the grader just before the races to take the slop off the top.

Eight of the 10 winners on Friday night were from horses that had the lead very early in the race. I don’t know if that bias was caused by the track conditions or driving styles. As I mentioned last week, driver Brandon Campbell has been in town from Alberta and likes the front end and proved it by winning two using that style.

Racing resumes Thursday (Oct. 23) at 6 p.m. and Friday at 7 p.m. The stake races resume this week with the two and three year old Breeder’s stakes continuing.

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

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