Killin Me Smalls Cruises to $100,000 Premiers Handicap Victory
Vancouver, B.C. (Oct. 12/15) – While a Thanksgiving turkey dinner was on the buffet menu at Hastings Racecourse, it was Reuben sandwiches all around for the winning connections celebrating the $100,000 Grade 3 Premiers Handicap Monday afternoon.
Jockey Ruben Lara, one of the leading riders at Edmonton’s Northlands Park, kept his stunning record aboard Killin Me Smalls intact with an impressive effort over local favourite Square Dancer. The 1 3/8 miles test for 3-year-olds and up over a track rated sloppy played right into the hands of Lara and trainer Ernie Keller.
“My main thought was to keep him relaxed,” Lara said of the 5-year-old gelding he guided to victory at the same demanding distance in the $75,000 Speed to Spare at Northlands on Sept. 7. “A wet track doesn’t bother him. He hasn’t found a track he doesn’t like.”
Square Dancer, author of an amazing Cinderella story by winning three previous starts for his 200 Hastings Racing Club owners, stalked Killin Me Smalls into the backstretch but was unable to match strides in the final turn.
Killin Me Smalls finished in a final time of 2:15.77 and paid $4.20, $2.60, $2.40.
For a second year in a row, Touching Promise won the $100,000 Grade 3 Ballerina Stakes for fillies and mares under the direction of trainer Barb Heads. Ridden by Amadeo Perez, Touching Promise took the early lead and controlled the pace down the backstretch and into the final turn, winning by 4 ½ lengths.
Touching Promise finished in a final time of 1:49.78, paying $9.00, $4.50, $2.90.
Veteran Hastings jockey Pedro Alvarado warmed up the chilly crowd with his $43.10 win aboard Crazy Prophet in the $75,000 Ascot Graduation for 2-year-olds. Trained by Jim Brown, Crazy Prophet closed with a rush to catch favoured Kristofferson in a final time of 1:45.58.
In the previous race, a Marathon Series romp for 3-year-olds and up, Alvarado scored a stunning upset win on What Goes Around that paid $50.90.
There was a mild upset in the $75,000 Fantasy for 2-year-old fillies when the Dino Condilenios-trained Snuggles beat arch rival C U At Eau Claire in a final time of 1:46.51 over 1 1/16 miles. “Nobody beats us four in a row,” joked owners Mark Mache and Horatio Kemeny of Swift Thoroughbreds. C U At Eau Claire had won the three previous stakes showdowns against Snuggles, who settled for second all three times.
A total of $1.05 million was wagered on Monday’s eight-race card. The mandatory Sea to Sky Pick 6 paid 37 winners a total of $10,774.18 on a 20-cent winning ticket.
Racing resumes at Hastings Racecourse Saturday and Sunday with 1:50 p.m. starts.
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