HorseRacing Central June 26, 2009
COLOSSAL CANADA DAY CELEBRATION
Can ‘The Mouse’ Make It Four in a Row?
There will be $250,000 worth of stakes on the racing grill at Hastings Racecourse on Canada Day – July 1 – and without a doubt, the most popular item on the star-studded menu will be Spaghetti Mouse.
Always a fan favourite, Spaghetti Mouse – who turned seven this year – goes for his fourth consecutive win in the $100,000 Lieutenant Governors, the feature on Wednesday’s holiday afternoon card that starts at 1:25 p.m.
Spaghetti Mouse is the pride and joy of owners Nick and Pauline Felicella. He’s the all-time leading money-winning B.C.-bred with $868,911 and was named champion older male horse in 2008 in both the B.C.-bred division and open division after winning four stakes … the Lieutenant Governors, the Redekop BC Cup Classic, S.W. Randall Plate and John Longden 6000.
Trainer Lenore Daponte watched with great delight last Sunday morning when regular jockey Pedro Alvarado worked Spaghetti Mouse five furlongs in 59.60 seconds. “He seems to be right on top of his game,” Lenore told the Daily Racing Form. “Pedro just breezed him and he couldn’t have done it any easier.”
‘The Mouse’, as he is affectionately referred to by his legion of fans, lost by a neck to Bank Emblem on June 6 in the John Longden after finishing seventh in his initial start in the George Royal on May 2.
Hastings regulars will be watching one of the latest inductees into the BC Sports Hall of Fame decorating the winner in the $50,000 Chris Loseth Handicap as part of the Canada Day agenda. The man himself will be on hand to acknowledge the winner of the tough 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds. The two remaining stakes on Wednesday are the $50,000 Supernaturel and the $50,000 Vancouver Sun. Trainer Dino Condilenios has two of his top horses ready to go on Canada Day: Almost Time will be one of the favourites in the Chris Loseth and Teide will be trying for his first stakes win in the Lieutenant Governors.
Highlighting this weekend at Hastings will be local sprint champion B R Remark heading a strong field of older horses in a classified optional claiming race Saturday and a sharp Restless Lady going up against Brighouse Belles winner Heaven on Hold Sunday in a $50,000 claiming option.
WHAT’S ON TAP
The two great fillies of this 2009 racing season – Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta – are both in action Saturday but unfortunately aren’t running against each other. Rachel Alexandra and Calvin Borel will team up at Belmont Park in the $300,000 Mother Goose Stakes (2:17 p.m.) at a mile and an eighth and there are four 3-year-old fillies brave enough to challenge Rachel.
Zenyatta looks to remain undefeated and gain her 11th consecutive victory as the $300,000 Vanity Handicap (2:30 p.m.) is presented at Hollywood Park. Zenyatta will have seven upset-minded mares at nine furlongs over the synthetic cushion track surface.
At Woodbine on Saturday is the $300,000 King Edward Cup for older grass stars and of local interest is the fact Kelowna resident Charles Fipke will be sending out Society’s Chairman in a field of seven.
Woodbine’s feature is for Canadian-bred 3-year-old fillies running for $250,000 in the Bison City Stakes (12:27 p.m.). It’s the second jewel of the Triple Tiara in Canada. At Belmont Park the headliner is the First Flight Stakes (1:44 p.m.) for fillies and mares at seven furlongs on the main track. At Hollywood Sunday the filly and mare grass specialists will be competing in the $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap at the demanding distance of a mile and a quarter.
WOLSKI’S SPORT OF KINGS
The emphasis Saturday at 11 a.m. on Citytv will be a feature on four top jockeys who were born outside of Canada but make Hastings Racecourse their favourite riding base. Also, an exciting preview of the four big stakes on Canada Day will be on the agenda as well as a look at last week’s Queen’s Plate.
FRASER DOWNS WRAPS UP SATURDAY
The 2008-09 live racing season at Fraser Downs fades to black with the conclusion this weekend with two 12-race programs Friday and Saturday both with the regular start times of 7:30 p.m.
Saturday has been designated as Customer Appreciation Night with live programs and hot dogs going for just one dollar each. The final stake action of the year will be Race 10 as seven 3-year-old fillies do battle in the Rising Starlet Stake with a purse of $20,000. The morning line favourite is Angelic Star for owner, trainer and driver Serge Masse. This daughter of Four Starzzz Shark has yet to miss the board in 2009, recording five wins, five seconds and a third from 11 starts.
One of the main challengers will be Legal Suspensory, a perfect 3-for-3 in 2009. Her first two wins were by double digits and the latest by just under five lengths while establishing a lifetime mark of 1:56.1. Darren Howald will once again drive for the owners and breeders the Shale Stables.
The pacers will return for the 2009-10 season starting on Friday, Sept. 11 and will go two days only for the first month.
BIG NIGHT AT MOHAWK
Mohawk Raceway will be the site of Saturday night’s 26th edition of the Pepsi North America Cup. Ten of the top 3-year-old paces will line up for the $1.5 million event. The race goes as the 7th on the card and post time is 6:40 p.m. It can be watched at Fraser Downs, Hastings Racecourse, Sandown and other TBC sites.