The finals are here! Saturday features a pair of $70k stakes for the three year olds, the Northlands Filly Pace and Western Canada Pacing Derby. Let’s start with the Filly Pace, as it goes as the 6th of the nine race card.
Trainer, owner and driver Kelly Hoerdt will send out four entrants in the Filly pace, and any of them look good enough to win. LISSOY drew the best landing in post three, and is the one that Hoerdt will drive. LISSOY has sure loved her move out to Western Canada winning six of her last seven trips to the post. She scored in one of the eliminations for this after she got to the front and never looked back. That isn’t the only place where she is effective though, as she has won from well off the pace as well. BRIGHTEN YOUR LIFE drew the post next to her and will have Phil Giesbrecht in the sulky. She paced a huge mile when finishing 2nd in one of the eliminations, even after being parked for most of the trip. LUCKY LUCKA goes from the six hole and should end up being the longest shot of the four. National Driving champion Brandon Campbell will handle the lines. JET TO THE BEACH makes her second start in Alberta following a runner up to LISSOY in her first. She drew the worst of the foursome, being saddled with post seven. JET TO THE BEACH looks like she will have to leave quickly from the outside in order to get a spot into the turn. She has enough talent, and a good enough career mark to win this. Now, let’s have a look at the other half of the field. Serge Masse sends out the impressive SOMEWHERE A PLACE, who rolled home a dominant winner in the other elimination. She has great tactical ability, and Masse should have every option available to him drawing the inside. CREDIT THE SHARK goes for perennial threat Keith Clark. She has been knocking on the door in stakes races all season, and there’s no doubt that Clark can have them tuned up for a top performance when the money is down. MONSTROUS goes for Darryl Cutting, and is the gal who has had the best season to date racking up $130k in earnings. She drew well in post 5 and should get a good trip with speed having to find a spot from the outside – her late pace should be aided. NO GUARANTEES goes from the inside to the outside and may need some racing luck having drawn the far outside.
On to the Western Canada Pacing Derby and starting with the inside and CHALK PLAYER. He is another who started his career back East before heading out to Alberta, and another who has flourished. He sprung a 15-1 upset in one of the eliminations, rallying from well off the pace and getting up just in time. It was easily his best performance in Alberta, finishing almost two seconds faster than the rest of his tries. CHALK PLAYER could be coming into this race sitting on a career best effort. Rod Hennessy sends out both BLUE STAR MAVERICK and BLUE STAR JET, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see either win. Mike Hennessy has driven both of them recently and wound up on ‘MAVERICK, Phil Giesbrecht will be in he race bike for ‘JET. BLUE STAR JET has the bigger signature win this season, crushing the $70k Brad Gunn field by seven lengths. APPELLATE is sent out by the 2015 Western Canada Derby winning trainer, Keith Clark. He has been a rather hit or miss type of horse, as he can turn in a top performance, or make a break and wind up getting distanced. APPELLATE was well in hand winning one of the eliminations, even though the form just says a half. TOLLY HO is still a wild card in his field, being very lightly raced, but showing a boatload of talent. He has won three of his five starts, and was well backed in his first race in almost six weeks in one of the eliminations. He will have to find a good spot from the outside, as well WRANGLER CASH.
Both races look extremely competitive, and should be fantastic betting affairs. Make sure to join us Saturday night starting at 6:30pm at Northlands Park Racetrack and Casino for both the Northlands Filly Pace and the Western Canada Pacing Derby.