Kneedeep N Custard secured the pocket early and vaulted past pacesetter Outlawgrabbingears at the top of the stretch to win the $125,000 Western Canada Pacing Derby Final on Sunday, Sept. 15 at Century Mile.
Sent the odds-on favourite, Outlawgrabbingears circled Kneedeep N Custard to take command past a :27.3 opening quarter. The pair sat one-two through a :55.2 half and past three-quarters in 1:23 before driver Jody Jamieson edged the Custard The Dragon gelding from the pocket coming off the final turn. Outlawgrabbingears gave way towards the rail as Kneedeep N Custard charged to a two-length lead through the stretch, pacing the mile in 1:51.2. Outlaw Gunsablazin, sitting behind the top two, snagged second while Jewels Dragon ventured first over from sixth to finish third.
Owned by trainer Kelly Hoerdt along with partners Blair Corbeil and Fred Gilbert, Kneedeep N Custard won his ninth race from 17 starts, earning $122,002. Jamieson, a leading driver perennially in Canada, came to Century Mile to drive a horse of his own in the Don Byrne Memorial, but caught another drive.
"I came to race a filly that I bred and raised (Blackcheddar) and she ended up third," Jamieson told Trot Insider. "Kelly Hoerdt mentioned that I could drive one of his if I wanted, and I got 'Kneedeep'. The rest is history."
Jamieson spoke highly of the Canada's newest racetrack after his first card there, saying "the track in Edmonton is fabulous and I couldn't be higher on the experience."
Rockin Mystery motored from the rail-post to a wire-to-wire win as the 2-1 favourite in the $125,000 Don Byrne Memorial Final. However, the filly started the race ahead of the gate, prompting disqualification to last while second-place finisher Lady Neigh Neigh was placed first.
Driven by Brandon Campbell, Lady Neigh Neigh raced sixth as Rockin Mystery led Blackcheddar to a :27.1 opening quarter. Campbell soon edged the Bettors Delight filly first over from sixth and ventured towards the pacesetter through a :55.3 half and three-quarters in 1:24. Lady Neigh Neigh continued to cut into Rockin Mystery's lead through the stretch but came only within one-and-a-quarter lengths of the technical winner. Flash A Smile finished third with Blackcheddar fourth.
An inquiry after the race examined the start, showing that Rockin Mystery had an opening at the inside of the starting gate to push past the field early. The race was preceded by a recall caused from interference by Blackcheddar. Though the starting car did not have Rockin Mystery behind the wings, the judges determined the favourite received an unfair start.
Placed first, Lady Neigh Neigh won her ninth race from 13 starts this season and her 12th from 21 overall, earning $168,833. Chris Lancaster conditions the $6.60 winner and co-owns with Christopher Lambie.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Century Mile.