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2006 Manitoba Lotteries Derby Weekend Summary

August 14, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

Lord Kipling in Winners' Circle
(photo by c/o Assiniboia Downs Photo)
Lord Kipling rallies late, nips The Max by a “head” to win 2006 Manitoba Derby
by Ernie Nairn

The 2006 $100,000 Manitoba Lotteries Derby for three-year-olds over a mile and an eighth featured a talented eight-horse field and produced another exciting and razor close photo finish.

The end result saw Minnesota/Iowa invader Lord Kipling (5-2) with jockey Scott Stevens rally late in the stretch drive to record a photo finish “head” victory over pre-race favourite The Max (2-1) with jockey Paul Leacock. Another local entry, Quick Witted (7-2) with jockey Travis Hightower, finished third. The running time for the feature was 1:53.40.

Lord Kipling paid $10.70, $4.10 and $3.40. The triactor of (4-3-7) paid $57.90, the exactor was worth $21.50 and the quinella $8.00.

Owned and bred by Springdale, Arkansas based Center Hills Farm and trained by Amber Blair, this was Lord Kipling’s sixth start of the season and third win to go along with one second and one third place showing this year. The $60,000 first place money increased the Arkansas-bred colt’s season earnings to $96,000. After 7 career starts, his record improves to 3-1-1. This was Lord Kipling’s first run at a mile and an eighth.

Winning jockey Scott Stevens also won the 2003 Manitoba Derby with another Minnesota-based colt, Hero’s Pleasure. Stevens was happy to be back for another exciting victory.

“You know, he ran exactly the way I thought he was capable”, said Stevens. “He relaxed real well in the first part of the race, which was our only concern, and he finished well. He has a bright future ahead of him. Since they have been stretching him out, he’s done nothing but run well, so we can look for more wins.”

This was trainer Amber Blair’s first major stakes race victory and he was pleased that jockey Scott Stevens suggested she bring Lord Kipling to run at Assiniboia Downs.

“We started him off late as a two-year-old because he was a pretty big horse, so we wanted to make sure he was good and sound for his three-year-old campaign and so far, he’s done really well for us. We’re pretty proud of him. My main concern was if he could relax enough to sit off the pace, and I knew if he could then he’d make a big run on the end and that’s what he did.” Amber added, I’m a little in shock and it hasn’t sunk in yet, but I am very happy.”

The Manitoba Lotteries Derby attracted close to 7000 race fans. The total handle for the day was $383,020.89.

Hey Hey Renee wins Jack Hardy Stakes
In the other three major stakes races featured on Manitoba Lotteries Derby Day, the $40,000 Jack Hardy Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over one-mile was won by Hey Hey Renee.

The 3-year-old California-bred filly with jockey Rohan Singh scored “a neck” victory over Minnesota-invader Glory Bea Trix with Paul Nolan. Another Minnesota invader, Pulpit’s Treasure with Alan Cuthbertson, was third. The running time for this feature was 1:40.00.

Owned by the Off 2 Win Stable, which is co-owned by trainer Ardell Sayler and his daughter Nicole, Hey Hey Renee followed right behind the pace setter Pulpit’s Treasure. On the turn for home, Hey Hey Renee took over the lead and held off the late challenge from Glory Bea Trix.

Hey Hey Renee paid $3.20, $2.20 and $2.10. The triactor of (1-8-3) paid $37.00, the exactor $7.00 and quinella $5.50.

The victor gave jockey Rohan Singh his sixth stakes win this season and Ardell Sayler his third stakes win of the season. Sayler also won the Chantilly Stakes earlier this season. He also won the Winnipeg Sun Stakes on Sunday afternoon with Lucky Gambler.

First Calvary takes Winnipeg Futurity
The $40,000 six furlong Winnipeg Futurity for two-year-old colts, gelding and fillies, saw jockey Alan Cuthberston win his first of two stakes races on Manitoba Lotteries Derby day afternoon.

Cuthbertson was on board Woodbine-invader and Kentucky-bred First Calvary and scored a wire-to wire three-quarters of a length victory over Nechako with Rohan Singh and Sir Officer with Tim Gardiner. The running time was 1:11.20.

First Cavalry, owned by Stewart Hyman’s Ontario-based Shyman Farm and trained locally by Martin Drexler, paid $10.30, $5.00 and $3.70 in scoring his first career victory in 4 season starts. The triactor paid $ 252.00, the exactor $79.70 and quinella $39. 20.

Elite Mercedes wins Web Wizards Inc. Wheat City Stakes
Alan Cuthbertson returned to win the $40,000 Web Wizards Inc. Wheat City Stakes for three-year-olds & up over one-mile. This time he rode Churchill Downs–based Elite Mercedes, a nine-year-old Florida-bred gelding, to a three-quarters of a length victory over Resurgent with jockey Mark Anderson. Another Minnesota-based Thoroughbred, Full Moon Madness with Paul Nolan, was third. The running time was 1:39.80.

Owned by Calgary’s Larry A. Carter and trained by Emile Corbel, Elite Mercedes paid $3.70, $3.30 and $3.00. The triactor of (7-8-6) paid $574.00, the exactor $116.10 and quinella $102.20.

Illinois Invader Lucky Gambler rallies late to capture Winnipeg Sun Stakes
The $40,000 Winnipeg Sun Stakes over a mile and a sixteenth for three-year-olds & up, fillies and mares, was the first major stakes race of Manitoba Derby Lotteries weekend at Assiniboia Downs on Sunday, August 6.

An expected 8-horse field was reduced to seven when (5-2) morning line favourite Beshairt, from K 5 Stables, was scratched in the morning (listed vet/sick). That left Well-Being Stable’s 7-year-old Texas bred mare Remiewaterbluz, trained by Carl Anderson and the 2-1 pre-race favourite, as the one to beat and she was.

Arlington Park-invader Lucky Gambler(7-2), owned by Stewart Mettler, trained locally by Ardell Sayler and ridden by Mark Anderson, came from off the pace to score a half-length victory over Remiewaterbluz(2-1) with Rohan Singh. The race pace-setter, Warmnfuzzyfeelin (20-1) with Tim Gardiner, lead for most of the feature. But that duo running near the rail faded very late in the stretch drive and finished third. Both Lucky Gambler and Remiewaterbluz rallied on the outside. The running time for the feature was 1:47.40.

Lucky Gambler paid $6.30, $3.20 and $2.90. Remiewaterbluz paid $2.70 and $2.40. Warmnfuzzyfeelin paid $3.70. The triactor of (1-4-5) was worth $102.50; the exactor $9.50 and the quinella $5.90.

Lucky Gambler, a five-year-old Illinois-bred mare by Barkerville out of Dukette by Unpredictable, took home the top purse money of $24,000. She improved her season record after 8 starts to 2-1-1 and now has season earnings of $56,632. Lucky Gambler’s lifetime record after 35 starts sits at 8-6-7 with career earnings totaling $204,058.

In the Winners’ Circle, jockey Mark Anderson celebrated his second stakes victory of the season. He won the R. C. Anderson Stakes a few weeks ago with Hurri Coin for trainer Chad Torevell. Although Anderson had never been on board Lucky Gambler before, he wasn’t concerned.

“You just look at the past performance, and see how they like to run and go from there, and also see how the race is going to set up.” Anderson said that he and Ardell Sayler discussed the race beforehand.

“Ya, we said if somebody wanted to go out there and go pretty quick, we’d just lay right off ‘em. And so we did and it all set up. She ran a real game race. I mean she showed her guts down the lane and her heart; she dug in pretty tough to come out on top.”

Ardell Sayler initially thanked owner Stewart Mettler for sending him Lucky Gambler and Ray Houghton, who conditioned the mare.

“There was no race for her at Arlington Park, so they decided to send her here for some black type. Sayler added, “You know you always worry when you really don’t know a horse well, plus in shipping her here, we lost a ride for her and everything is tense.

"But you do your best and see what happens. She did run on turf her last time out, but we knew she could run on the dirt also, and she really likes mud. We were sort of hoping for a little mud, but this was fine, everything turned out.”

Sayler was not certain if Lucky Gambler would stay at Assiniboia Downs, but he plans to talk with the owner and then decide what to do.