Outlawburntpopcorn blew up the toteboard with a 146-1 upset in the $56,000 Alberta Marquis Final for three-year-old pacing fillies on Saturday afternoon (October 15) at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.
Paired with driver David Kelly for the first time, the Blue Burner-Pure Movement filly popped three-wide from the backfield at the third quarter mark and rallied home to defeat the popular pacesetter Divas Dragonfly by one and a quarter length in 1:59.2 over the 'good' track.
Even-money favourite Divas Dragonfly (Jamie Gray) left from post eight to make the lead during the :28.1 first quarter over Outlawsurshotshark (Brandon Campbell) and continued to front the field to the half in :58.1 and three-quarters in 1:27.3. Meanwhile, Ba Bye Ceia Later (Mike Hennessy) advanced first over from fourth on the way to the mid-way mark before dropping into the two-hole and leaving Outlawtriggerhappy (Gerry Hudon) without cover on the backstretch. However, Outlawburntpopcorn followed Glamorgal (Phil Giesbrecht) three-wide nearing the third quarter mark and fanned even wider down the lane to haul down Divas Dragonfly in deep stretch. Ba Bye Ceia Later finished second over Glamorgal.
Outlawburntpopcorn returned an eye-popping $295.10 for a $2 win ticket.
Rod Starkewski trains the filly, who is racing for the Fun For Fans charity stable. The victory was Outlawburntpopcorn's first in Sires Stakes action and her biggest of four wins from in 22 starts during her debut season.
After top-three finishes in the first two Alberta Sires Stakes finals for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, Outlaw Turn N Burn benefitted from hot early fractions and stormed home from off the pace to win the co-featured $55,100 final of the Alberta Maverick for driver J.F. Gagne.
Favourite Blue Star Jet (Mike Hennessy) was challenged by 44-1 longshot Flamingbluestar (Brandon Campbell) through opening panels of :27.2 and 56.3 before throwing in the towel. Just as Flamingbluestar cleared to command, Wrangler Cash (Jim Marino) swept by with Outlaw Turn N Burn following into second on the way to three-quarters in 1:25.1. Gagne then tipped Outlaw Turn N Burn out from the pocket turning for home and went by down the stretch to win by one and three-quarter lengths in 1:56.1, with Classy Artist (Gerry Hudon) coming on for second over Wrangler Cash.
A runner-up to Blue Star Jet in his elimination, Outlaw Turn N Burn paid $6.20 to win as the 2-1 second choice.
Donna Sarin trains the Blue Burner-Penny Lace colt, who now has six wins from 15 sophomore starts, for 8113564 Canada Ltd.
Two-year-old pacing fillies also faced off in their final leg of the Alberta Sires Stakes, competing in three Alberta Stardust divisions with purses ranging from $18,767 to $19,067.
Gagne drove the fastest division winner as Outlaw Fireball ($4.70) swept by the leaders down the stretch off a three-hole trip to score by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:57.4 over the 'good' track. Pulling the pocket turning for home, Wedding Dance (Gerry Hudon) challenged even-money favourite Shesamysterytome (Ryan Grundy), who had fronted the field through panels of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:27.3, and edged out that filly in a photo finish for the runner-up role.
Gagne also shares ownership of Outlaw Fireball with Peter Van Seggelen, Carl Warnaar and Tapron Holdings Ltd. The Blue Burner-Watchasgirlsgoby filly, who now boasts a perfect Sires Stakes record this year and has won half of her eight career starts, is trained by Marjorie Dumont.
With Jim Marino catch-driving for the Kelly Hoerdt stable, 3-5 favourite Steady Breeze ($3.30) won the second division. She was flushed out from third and took the lead past the 1:01.1 half-mile mark en route to a four and three-quarter length victory in 2:00.4. Starry Eyes (Brandon Campbell) chased in second and Never Say Sorry (Tyler Redwood) finished third.
Hoerdt, William Andrew and Blair Corbeil co-own the Camystic-Stelle Nel Cielo filly, who earned her first victory in Sires Stakes action and is now two-for-five lifetime. The win was one of three on the card for Hoerdt and Marino.
Fresh off her early October Neal Adler Stakes victory, Triple Thick Shake ($3.30) matched her lifetime mark of 1:59.1 in the third division for driver Gerry Hudon and trainer Harold Haining. Caught three-wide early on from post five, the 3-5 favourite worked her way to the lead past the :29.1 first quarter mark and cruised through middle splits of :59.4 and 1:29.1 before drawing off by more than five lengths. Double Mystery (Rene Goulet) and Make Some Smiles (Jim Marino) finished second and third, respectively.
Owned by Donald Richardson, the Mystery Chase-The Three Of Us filly also won her opening leg Starlet division and is now three-for-seven lifetime.
In addition to their Sires Stakes victory with Outlaw Fireball, Gagne and Dumont teamed up to win this week's $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace with favourite Tajmeallover ($3.60), who circled the field of six in the final quarter and reached the wire first in 1:57.1. The five-year-old Tajma Hall-Watch Over Me mare defeated pacesetter Skade (Brandon Campbell) by one and a half lengths with American Passion (Mike Hennessy) finishing third. The win was her fourth in a row and 10th of the season.
The Alberta Super Finals and Consolations for all divisions will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 29.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Century Downs.