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Dam Strike easily wins North Dakota Stallion Stakes at Assiniboia

August 3, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

by Ernie Nairn
On Saturday, July 29, at Assiniboia Downs, a four horse field of three-year-olds that included three geldings and one filly, all eligible through the North Dakota Thoroughbred Association, pursued the first place money of $12,000 in the $20,000 North Dakota Stallion Stakes over a mile and a sixteenth. Pre-race (7-2) pick Shrike In Flight was scratched early in the day reportedly vet/sore.

The outcome of the feature was never really in doubt. Pre-race (8-5) favourite, J. Dam Strike with veteran jockey Alan Cutbertson, followed the early pace set by Catch Me Talkin (5-1) with Mark Anderson. They were joined up the front by (5-2) favourite Barnstorm with leading jockey Rohan Singh.

As the field entered the final turn, J Dam Strike made his move. He passed Catch Me Talkin and pulled into a three-length lead at the top of the stretch, running on to score an impressive 6-3/4-lengths victory over Liberty Reigns (10-1), the only filly entered, with Ken Hendricks on board. Catch Me Takin was third. Barnstorm with Singh finished fourth. The running time for the feature was 1:50.40.

The three-year-old North Dakota-bred colt, co-owned by Scott Horst and trainer Devron Leingang, paid $3.30, $2.20 and $2.10. Liberty Reigns paid $4.20 and $2.40 while Catch Me Talkin paid $2.30. Because of the small four-horse field there was no triactor wagering. The exactor of (3-4) paid $19.40 and the quinella was worth $16.50.

With the victory, J Dam Strike improved his season record after 5 starts to (2-1-0) and his season earnings now total $24,125. Last season, he compiled a (2-0-1) record in 5 starts and won $27,749.

This was jockey Alan Cuthbertson’s second stakes victory of the season. Two weeks ago, Cuthbertson also won the Debutnate Stakes with Emma’s Touch. He also rode J Dam Strike to victory in last season’s six-furlong North Dakota Futurity.

Following the race, Cuthbertson who also won the fifth race on board Beyond The Blue, commented on how J Dam Strike does exactly what you ask of him.

“The main concern tonight was the pace. Ardell Sayler had two horses in this race, and Catch Me Talkin was the rabbit, so I just bided my time, before I hooked into that one. J Dam Strike did the rest.”

At age 59 Cuthbertson is the oldest competing jockey in North America. “I am still competing at my age, and it is something I am proud of.”

Trainer and co-owner Devron Leingang was also pleased with the dominating victory and commented on J Dam Strikes’ competitive nature.

“The horse has a really big heart; he tries every time, and we are just fortunate to get Alan to ride him. He jumped on board last year and gave us a victory then. And in his last allowance race on July 18, J Dam Strike really stepped up big and won that race by a half-length and he showed it again today. He’s a really great horse.”

Co-owner Scott Horst added that both Devron and another local trainer Jack Robertson helped earlier this spring to get J Dam Strike ready for the season. Horst added, “He’s really come around throughout the season and I hope he’s got some more in him. He’s just got a heart of gold, that horse.” Scott added, “When Alan isn’t on him, I worry, because Alan does a heck of job. Alan knew how to ride him even before the racing program came out.”