Alberta Stakes Eligible Catfish Jack One To Watch

Published: March 23, 2023 12:27 pm EDT

Catfish Jack served warning last week that he’s a youngster to follow, going coast-to-coast at Cal Expo and waltzing home by a half-dozen with Mooney Svendsen at the controls.

The Alberta-bred sophomore pacer is by BJs Bequia and goes about his business for owner/trainer Kelly Crump. He was only making his third lifetime trip to the post last weekend.

“He’s by our signature sire and out a good producer,” Crump related after the victory. “We raced him once last year up at Century Downs, but his mind wasn’t in the right place and we gave him some time to mature.”

Catfish Jack was away from September until a qualifier at Cal Expo early this month, then finished nicely for a share in his local debut two weeks ago after being forced wide to the stretch.

There were no such issues in his most recent appearance on March 19, however, as Svendsen motored right to the front and never looked back over the sloppy track while being sent off as the second choice, winning by six lengths in 1:58 flat.

“Mooney said it was as easy as it looked and he really likes him,” noted Crump. “He’s not eligible to the stakes here, so we’ll just race him through his conditions and point for the stakes races up north.

“We’ve used that pattern before and it’s worked out pretty well, so hopefully we can have this one ready for those races.”

Unfiltered heads Open cast Friday at Cal Expo

Unfiltered gets some class relief this Friday evening and heads the cast for the $7,000 Open II Pace at Cal Expo.

Nine races are on tap under the Watch and Wager LLC banner with first post set for 6:45 p.m.

Unfiltered, who races for Qks Racing, hails from the Quentin Schneider barn and will be handled by James Kennedy, has won three of his nine starts this year with an Open score on Feb. 26 being his most recent. He has been assigned the outside post in the field of seven and figures to be motoring away from the gate, as is his custom.

Looking ahead to Sunday night, the $12,500 Don Fowler Memorial DHA Pace headlines the program. Firenado, who has been knocking heads with the razor-sharp Officer Jim in the Open, gets the top billing for owner/trainer Kelly Crump and pilot Brad Irvine. Firenado has had to settle for third in his last three outings versus Officer Jim, but getting away from that rival should put him in prime position to return to his winning ways on Sunday.

There are three wagers offered at Cal Expo each night that come with a reduced 16 per cent takeout rate -- the 20-cent early and late Pick 5 and the 20-cent Pick 4, with the latter featuring a $25,000-guaranteed gross pool.

(With files from Cal Expo)