A densely packed card of 11 races marked the Saturday (Sept. 23) afternoon hosted at Century Mile with the Alberta Sires Stakes (ABSS) headlining the action. Amid the stakes action, Shark Week broke through to win his 10th race in a row while Virtual Horizon posted his 12th win in a row.
Shark Week ($2.60) and Mike Hennessy took the $14,000 Preferred Pace, leading gate-to-wire through panels in :27.3, :55.2 and 1:23.3 to win by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:52.3. Samba Beat (Phil Giesbrecht) was the runner-up with Ernesto Delacruz (J.F. Gagne) third.
Trainer Rod Hennessy co-owns the five-year-old gelding with Lorne Duffield. Shark Week shows a record of 15-0-2 in 19 starts this season and 35-8-11 in 69 lifetime starts. He boasts $106,990 this season from $306,475 earned in his career.
Virtual Horizon ($2.20) extended his own win streak to 12-for-12 this year after leading gate-to-wire through fractions in :29, :59 and 1:27.3 and crossing the wire 2-1/4 lengths the best in 1:55.2. Brandon Campbell piloted his trainee to the achievement in the first of three $8,300 Alberta Sires Stakes (ABSS) Plainsman eliminations for three-year-old colts and geldings. Blue Star Mercury (Mike Hennessy) finished second with Opulent Dragon (Nathan Sobey) third.
Owned by Jodi Loftus, George Rogers and Raymond Henry, the three-year-old Vertical Horizon colt has 15 wins in 19 career starts. He has banked $198,125 of his $290,713 in career earnings this year.
Two ABSS Starlet divisions for two-year-old fillies were held with Byby Baby Byby ($4.80) taking the first split for $27,100 in 1:57 by 2-3/4 lengths. The freshman daughter of Vertical Horizon is trained by Rod Hennessy for owners Bryan Brook and Diane Hennessy. Mike Hennessy piloted her to victory. Lumby Dragon (Giesbrecht) finished second with Severe Turbulence (Brandon Campbell) third.
Outlawguns N Roses ($2.60) and David Kelly took the second freshman filly division worth $27,400 by 15-1/2 lengths in a 1:53.2 track record performance. Rod Starkewski trains the Captive Audience filly, who he co-owns with Clauzette Byckal. Born A Spy (Giesbrecht) and Delta Sunrise (Logan Gillis) rounded out the top three finish order.
Next up on the roster were two divisions of the ABSS Rising Star for the freshman males. Grey Horizon ($2.30) earned bragging rights in his $27,100 division, winning by 14-1/4 lengths in 1:58.1 with trainer Brandon Campbell holding the lines. The freshman Vertical Horizon colt is owned by Jodi Loftus, Raymond Henry and George Rogers. HF Winknat Shadows (Doug Chappell) won the race for place over One More Rocky (Mike Hennessy).
The $27,400 split went to Come On Santana ($3.50) and trainer/driver Jamie Gray in 1:58 by 3-1/2 lengths. Gray co-owns the gelded son of Santanna Blue Chip with Max Gibb and Riley & Brie Gray. Tzilacatzin (Chris Brown) was second and third prize went to Sharkasaurus (Mike Hennessy).
Two $12,500 ABSS Princess eliminations were contested and Riskofthunderstorm ($22.80) took the first by a neck in 1:57.2. David Kelly steered his three-year-old Captive Audience trainee to victory for Pick 6 Stable. Dear John Im Gone (Campbell) was second and My Little Chloe (Thomas Miller) was third. The top five was completed with Outlaw Encore (Gagne) and Caviar N Crackers (Giesbrecht).
In the second elimination, You Promyst ($49.70) upset the field at odds of 24-1 to win by a head in 1:54.4. J.F. Gagne piloted his three-year-old Mystician trainee to the win for owners Joe Ratchford and Willie Wychopen. G Ts Skyla (Gillis) was second and Beep Bop A Lula (Kelly) was third. Outlawabovenbeyond (Giesbrecht) and Rezies Gal (Campbell) completed the top five.
Up Yer Kilt ($12.30) won the second $8,300 ABSS Plainsman elimination in 1:57.2 by a head over The Dickens (Giesbrecht). Mike Hennessy gave the winning drive for trainer Rod Hennessy, who posted a hat trick on the card. Diane Hennessy and Marissa Kleinsasser co-own the three-year-old son of Mystician. Mister Moose (Gray) was third.
Stakes action wrapped up with a final $8,300 ABSS Plainsman elimination going to Over The Horizon ($4.30) in 1:55.2 by 1-1/4 lengths for trainer/driver Nathan Sobey, who co-owns the sophomore Vertical Horizon colt with Keith Clark and Robert Jones. General Custard (Kelly) was second and Tin Can Timmy (Gillis) finished third.
Matts A Mystician ($5.10) capped off the card with a 1:54.2 victory by a head over Tiempo Hanover (Campbell) in the $12,000 Preferred 2 Pace. Trainer Nathan Sobey was in the bike. Sobey owns the four-year-old gelding with Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy. Blast Of Sunshine (Giesbrecht) rounded out the top three.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - Century Mile.