The OBJECT of the Society shall be to encourage and ensure co-operative effort in all matters pertaining to the production and improvement of the Standardbred Horse in the Province of Alberta, and to co-operate with the Associations and Societies of other Provinces in the Dominion of Canada and States of the United States of America/or other Associations in other Countries..
The Alberta Standardbred Horse Association (ASHA) was formed to represent and protect the best interests of Standardbred industry participants and bring about a closer, more understanding relationship among members, racetracks, racing associations, governing bodies and the public.
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NEWS & UPDATES for ALBERTA
ALBERTA SIRES STAKES ALBERTA STANDARDBRED HORSE ASSOCIATION 2023 STALLION REGISTRATION FORM ALBERTA SIRES STAKE # 45 Due Date – December 31, 2022
Thursday, 06 October 2022 17:30
I’m pleased to announce that Dawn Lupul is joining Horse Racing Alberta in the position of Director, Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Engagement effective October 15, 2022.
Dawn comes to us with decades of experience in the horse racing world, most notably as the well-respected voice of the Woodbine simulcast broadcast for ten years. She has participated in many facets of both thoroughbred and standardbred racing, not only as a broadcaster but also as an owner, breeder and trainer.
In this new role with HRA, Dawn will be responsible for HRA corporate communications, stakeholder relations and engagement initiatives. She will lead the development of a corporate communication strategy and and play a key role in public and industry stakeholder engagement, including:
Dawn will also act as a liaison between Horse Racing Alberta and industry participants and will assist in sharing news and information that is important to our partners. She will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer.
As a result of this new addition to our Executive Team, the position title for Jeff Robillard is being changed to Director, Marketing and Promotions. This change reflects our new approach to co-operative and collaborative marketing with our stakeholders, including the promotion of new programs, products and initiatives.
Please join me in welcoming Dawn to Horse Racing Alberta!
Chief Executive Officer
Alberta Sires Stakes Champions Crowned
The 2022 Alberta Sires Stakes season wrapped up on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 15) at Century Downs with four $75,000 Super Finals plus $15,000 consolations for the province's pacing stars.
With a big sweeping three-wide move approaching the final turn, two-year-old filly Cora Cora Cora took aim from the backfield on the leading favourite Promise Kept and tracked her down to win the afternoon's first Super Final for trainer/driver Jamie Gray.
Promise Kept (Brandon Campbell) got the first call off the gate with Cenalta Token (Dave Kelly) leaving from post six and dropping into the two-hole through a :28 opening quarter. Meanwhile, G Ts Skyla (Philip Giesbrecht) was parked from the start and rolling wide to the top. She took over command as they headed towards the backstretch and led the way past the half in :57.2.
Promise Kept retook command as they raced by three-quarters in 1:25.4 but Gray had Cora Cora Cora airborne down the backstretch from eighth and she swept by when they turned for home en route to victory by a widening 3-1/2 lengths, equalling her 1:56.3 lifetime mark. Promise Kept settled for second with Caviar N Crackers (Mike Hennessy) recovering from a mid-race miscue and closing from the back for third.
"I was a little concerned with Mike's filly [Caviar N Crackers] because she got steppy the first time around and he kind of hung on the outside," said Gray of his trip. "I thought I'd make my three-wide around him in the turn there, which was imposisble to do, so I waited and waited and Mike kind of slid over a little bit and the rest is history. This mare can really close."
Cora Cora Cora paid $7.30 to win as the 5-2 second choice.
The talented but green filly rewarded Gray's patience with the biggest win of her career.
"Her and I need a break from each other," laughed Gray, who co-owns with his partners in the Brightstar Stable of Sturgeon County, Alta. "A very nice filly but we've had to work with her brain. She can leave a quarter in 26 seconds but then she's out of control so we took our chances and if we get there, we get there, and today she got there."
The Captive Audience-Carlota Blue Chip filly, who won the ASHA Filly Pace this summer, now has two wins to go along with four other top three finishes from eight starts for nearly $90,000 in earnings. She was bred by Gigi Van Ostrand of Okotoks, Alta. and purchased by her connections for $33,000 at the 2021 ASHA Yearling Sale.
Two-year-old filly Shes A Tinker ($8.40) and catch-driver Mike Hennessy went first-up from the backfield at the half and caught runaway leader Beach Myst (Kelly Hoerdt) at the top of the stretch on her way to winning the consolation in a new lifetime mark of 1:57.3. Launching from the backfield, Beep Bop A Lula (Dave Kelly) recovered from a miscue when threatening for the lead in the final turn and nabbed the runner-up honours while Beach Myst settled for third. Tyson Jacoby trains the lightly-raced winner, a daughter of Vertical Horizon R B Ethel Mertz who is now two-for-five in her career for owner Tammy Murschell of Airdrie, Alta.
Virtual Horizon delivered as the 4-5 favourite in the Super Final for two-year-old colts and geldings.
The Dickens (J.F. Gagne) established the lead off the gate from post five over Tin Can Timmy (Dave Kelly) with outsider Reach Out (Nathan Sobey) advancing to the top after being parked through the first turn. After a quarter in :27.4, The Dickens moved back out for the retake and it was a two-horse breakway to the next turn.
The Dickens led the way over Reach Out -- those two well in front -- to the half in :57.1 before Tin Can Timmy blew by down the backstretch and opened up a quick three-length lead by three-quarters in 1:25.4. Meanwhile, Virtual Horizon followed his move after watching the early action in fourth.
Down the stretch, Virtual Horizon pulled ahead and held off the late-closing Ponder No Longer (Phil Giesbrecht) to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55, knocking a full second off his lifetime mark. Imyourhuckleberry (Jamie Gray) got up for third over Tin Can Timmy.
"There were fast fractions and two of them broke away, and I knew he'd catch them," commented Brandon Campbell's father Sanford, who works with the winner. "When he made front, he was tough. He wasn't letting a horse by him."
Sent postward as the 4-5 favourite off a win in his Alberta Shooting Star leg last time out on Oct. 1, Virtual Horizon paid $3.90 to win.
Virtual Horizon, also a winner of the Century Casinos Pace this summer, now has three victories and two thirds from six starts and earnings totalling $86,338 for his Calgary, Alta. connections, Jodi Loftus, George Rogers and Raymond Henry. Bred by Bill Andrew of Calgary, the Vertical Horizon-Saucy B colt was a $21,000 yearling purchase at the ASHA Sale.
With even-money pacesetter Artician (Kelly Hoerdt) rolling off stride at the top of the stretch in the two-year-old colt consolation, the race was left wide open with the Custard The Dragon-Grinandchaseit gelding General Custard closing quickest of all from the outer flow to pull off a 17-1 upset and a maiden-breaking victory in 1:57.4 with Jamie Gray catch-driving for trainer Dave Kelly. HF Pans Shadow (Phil Giesbrecht) won the photo for place over One Major Hottie (Brandon Campbell) and the winner's stablemate, Panda Beer (Dave Kelly). Owned by the Pick 6 Stable of Strathmore, Alta., General Custard produced a $36 win payout in his third career start.
Star three-year-old filly Divine Art defended her divisional Super Final title with a blowout victory for trainer/driver Nathan Sobey.
The outside post eight was no problem for Divine Art with early speed lacking and Sobey gunned the 3-5 favourite to the front. Once they seized the lead, the race was over. After soft opening fractions of :29.3 and :58, Divine Art took off from her competition, widening by 10 lengths to three-quarters in 1:25.2 and pouring it on through the stretch to score by more in 1:55. Jamaica Move (Brandon Campbell) and Goodbye Ceia Later (J.F. Gagne) were the best of the rest, finishing 11 lengths in arrears.
"I said to the owners, who were worried about the eight-hole again, at some point in this race we're going to make the front," said Sobey in a post-race interview. "Being that early, as soon as we hit the quarter, I knew the race was over.
"She trains harder than that so I was pretty pumped [with the opening half fractions]. That's a good group of three-year-old fillies, she's just the best one right now. When you have fractions like that, it makes life a lot easier."
The Outrageous Art-Keystone Divine filly, who swept the Diamond and Marquis events during the regular Alberta Sires Stakes season, earned her ninth consecutive victory. She returned $3.20 to her backers.
Is she the best three-year-old filly in Western Canada?
"We'll see come the Filly Pace, that's going to be the real test -- mile track racing, big difference," said Sobey. "I've gotta get her driving a little straigher. Maybe if there are some horses that can go with her, push her, she might get a little more competative."
Divine Art now has 10 wins from 13 starts and $181,607 earned through her sophomore campaign for owners Robert Jones of Stony Plain, Alta., co-breeder Diane Bertrand of Lake Country, B.C., and John Hind of Calgary, Alta. The win was her 13th lifetime and boosted her bankroll to $242,127 through 19 career starts.
An accident ocurred at the top of the stretch involving Proud Of My Roots (Dave Kelly) and Chaste Forever (Kelly Hoerdt). Officials from Century Downs reported that the former filly and her driver, who fell during the incident, walked off the track under their own power.
In the consolation, the Kelly Crump-trained three-year-old filly Salary ($3.60) delivered as the 4-5 favourite, leading all the way in 1:55.2 with Logan Gillis along for the ride. The Mystician-Warrawee Rap filly notched her seventh win from 17 starts in her debut season for owner Shelley Hastey of Crossfield, Alta. Two Fingers Gold (Philip Giesbrecht) edged out pocket-sitter Cozey Up (Brandon Campbell) in a photo for place.
The Glamour Boys closed out the Alberta Sires Stakes season with 3-5 favourite Ernesto Delacruz fighting off 2-1 second choice Vegas Gambler to win the Super Final in a sizzling 1:52.4 mile -- just three-fifths of a second off the track record for three-year-old colts and geldings.
Trainer/driver J.F. Gagne fired his popular homebred off the gate from the inside post and set fractions of :27.4 and :56.4 before Vegas Gambler (Phil Giesbrecht) launched first-over from third to apply pressure through three-quarters in 1:24.1. The favourites faced off turning for home, with Ernesto Delacruz persevering over Vegas Gambler by three-quarters of a length in a career-best clocking. Matts A Mystician (Nathan Sobey) won a show photo over Sharkas Lil Lad (Dave Kelly).
A $2 win ticket on Ernesto Delacruz returned $3.40.
Gagne owns and bred the Vertical Horizon-Camifasolasi Do gelding with Peter Van Seggelen of Heritage Point, Alta. A nine-time winner from 20 starts in his breakout season, Ernesto Delacruz has amassed $164,838 in purses.
In the consolation, Lorne Duffield's homebred colt Wine Thirty ($3.90) left from post six for early position and made his winning move at the quarter pole, sweeping from third to first then drawing away in the final turn to deliver as the 4-5 favourite in 1:55.1. The father-son, trainer-driver team of Mike and Rod Hennessy campaign the Vertical Horizon-Marilyn Merlot colt, who was unraced as a two-year-old and now has six wins from 22 starts. You Can Have Itall (Jamie Gray) closed off the cover of Grampian Road (Brandon Campbell) to defeat that foe in the race for place.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - Century Downs.
All available courses:
Last call for the Sickness Prevention in Horses short course @TheHorsePortal. Stop the spread of sickness in your barn! Starts next Monday and runs Oct 17-28, 2022. Special 15% discount offered by partners HRA and #EquineGuelph. Register at www.TheHorsePortal.ca/HRA
2022 Stallion Directory & Stakes Guide
"I have just received the ASHA Stallion Directory and Stakes Guide and it is a commendable product for sure." - Gail Brassington
The OFFICIAL Stakes Schedule and Calendar
Below are the OFFICIAL Stakes Schedule and Calendar respectively.
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT THE SCHEDULE COULD CHANGE DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND THE CONTROL OF ASHA
2022 Stakes Schedule
2022 Race Calendar
Updated July 2022
HRA HOURS and CONTACT INFO
Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) is requesting that you go ONLINE to renew your license(s), as there is limited access to the backstretch.
ATTENTION: As a reminder, in February 2020 we received notice from HRA that in lieu of WCB, everyone participating in the harness horse racing industry in Alberta MUST have their Standardbred Canada license and ASHA membership in order to have proper coverage as mandated by Century Casinos.
PH. (587) 349-7777 Ext: 7800 FAX: (587) 349-7794
All information can be located here:
HORSE RACING ALBERTA
CENTURY DOWNS RACETRACK LICENSING OFFICE HOURS
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Office closed Thursday and Sunday
RACETRACK LICENSING OFFICE HOURS:
PO BOX 1376,
PH. (587) 416-5455
FAX: (587) 416-5460
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Background Photo Image Courtesy Evelyn Sabraw