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Strawkins poses stunning upset in $100,000 Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity


October 7, 2005     E-mail this page to a friend!

By Garry Allison
The Horse, Rocky Mountain Turf Club

If ever there was a sentimental win at the Rocky Mountain Turf Club at Whoop-Up Downs in Lethbridge, it came October 2 when Randy Cunningham rode Strawkins to a stunning upset win in the $100,000 Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity.

Cunningham brought the John Harris-trainer horse, owned by Donald and Peggy Boyle, home first by a huge margin, covering the 350-yard sprint in just 17.53 seconds.

Cunningham is a veteran rider who has battled through health problems and a lack of horses, but during the Fall meet has really been shining, particularly on the Quarter horses with eight victories in September and the first weekend of October.

"He left the gate real well, and he wanted to drift a bit but I wouldn't let him," the exuberant Cunningham said after the race, as dozen lined up to pat him on the back and shake his hand. Best of all was a big hug from son Cody. "Strawkins was really impressive today."

The same could be said of the rider.

In winning by and handful of lengths, Strawkins out-distanced at least three pre-race favourites, including two Stan-Webb trained horses, favourite Canosa and second favourite MeZoomn. Ross Brigden's Heart Streakin, with Janine Stianson aboard, another pre-race favourite, actually ran second to Strawkins, but a stewards' inquiry saw him move to seventh.

Harris, a RMTC regular, saw his horse qualify fourth for the Canada Cup run, and finally saw a horse he trained win the elusive Cup.

"We planned for this horse this year. I had a hunch he'd do it," he stated.

Strawkins paid $12 to win, $5,50 to place and $4.90 to show. MeZoomin, moved to second after the disqualification, paid $4.30 and $4.40, while Eye Tell All, another Brigden horse paid $5.60 to show, bringing some solace to Brigden after the saw his big horse moved down.

The triactor paid a whopping $1,054.60 after all the shuffling was complete.

In the Canada Quarter Horse Futurity Cup Consolation for a $10,000 purse, Scott Steer brought Run Hawk Run home first, covering the 350 yards in 17:84.

The October 1 Quarter Horse Classic, a $17,000 400 yard sprint, was taken by Heza Hot Hit, with young Nate Smith in the irons. He took 20.07 to cover the distance.
On the Thoroughbred side of things at Whoop-Up Downs October 2, the Alberta-Bred Two-Year-Old Stakes was taken by I'mamagiciantoo, ridden by Angelle Wilson, topping the short field of five horses over the five furlong course and stopping the clock at 1:01.80.

John's Magic, Angelle Wilson in the irons once again, captured the Fillies Oaks Stakes and the winner's share of the $13,200 purse. The six furlongs took the winner 1:11.40 to complete.