Pierre Lapin and Dance the Dance recorded the highlight performances of the Labour Day Long Weekend at Assiniboia Downs and a few lucky fans scored big when the $2 Pick-4 on Monday paid $4,747.40.
Happy Hour Stable’s Pierre Lapin won his fourth race from six starts this year at ASD with a powerful move on the final turn of the sixth race on Saturday night. Conditioned by Clayton Gray and ridden by Trevor Simpson, the 5-year-old gelding by Grand Slam-Oh Pine by Pine Bluff was purchased for $6,200 as a 4-year-old by Gray in a Keeneland sale. He has now earned over $32,000 this year.
Capably groomed by Marco Arzate and Brad McKenna, Pierre Lapin was running on the grass south of the border before Gray bought him and turned him around, part of which included fixing a back foot problem that still requires the horse to wear a three-quarter shoe behind. Pierre Lapin now ranks third by number of wins at the Downs this year, behind only She’s Regal (5 wins) and Dance the Dance (6).
Dance the Dance continued to put on her own private show on Monday when she won her sixth in a row in the third race. Conditioned by owner-trainer Shelley Brown for her last three wins, the 5-year-old mare by Roman Dancer-Ivy Lane by Devil On Ice has had three different trainers here this year. She started out with trainer Blair Miller, who won twice with her before having her claimed away on June 30 for $5,000 by Emile Corbel, who promptly ran her back for a tag of $4,375, won the race and lost her to current trainer Brown.
Groomed by veteran Glen Miller and ridden to her last three victories by Tyrone Nelson, Dance the Dance has now earned over $40,000 this year from 12 starts and a record of 6-2-3. She has also won more than 50 percent of her starts at the Downs, compiling a record of 10-2-2 in 19 starts. Big, beautiful and confident, she’s definitely the front runner right now for Claimer of the Year.
The Labour Day Pick-4 started off with a bang when 11-1 Justcallmetater continued to move forward off a win in his last start for owner-trainer Gary Danelson and partner Bonnie McCrory. Ridden by Chavion Chow, Justcallmetater was turned back at the top of the stretch by Quaker Shaker Tony, but he just wouldn’t quit, grinding back through the stretch to get by that one late. He paid $24.40 and knocked almost everyone out of the Pick-4. The only angle he really had going for him was that of Danelson and repeaters.
When Danelson gets a horse good, he can often win a number of races in a row with it. Keep an eye on his horses going forward and don’t leave them out of your Pick-4 wagers. Danelson also won the seventh race on Monday. It’s almost shipping time and he looks like he’s starting to crank his horses up for some winter money.
The second leg of the Pick-4 went to favourite Legs Eleven, who took advantage of a duel-stalking trip under Rohan Singh and drew off to win by 3 ¼-lengths for trainer Irene Britton and Let Er Rip Stable. She paid $5.20. Singh also took the third leg of the Pick-4 when he won an inside duel aboard second choice Unbridled Thoughts for trainer Jared Brown and the partnership of Lucky 8 Stable, Ross, Val and Trevor Brown. Favourite Plus Ultra had a good trip stalking the duel inside but didn’t take kindly to not being on the lead early and offered nothing in the stretch. Unbridled Thoughts paid $8.90 and left one Pick-4 ticket alive to favourite Let’s Rocket going into the seventh race.
In an odd turn of events, Let’s Rocket, who is trained by Ardell Sayler, acted up in the starting gate and was scratched before post time. With the late scratch of Let’s Rocket, the lone Pick-4 ticket alive to her automatically transferred to new post-time favourite, Rainmaker Favourite, trained by Shelley Brown. Sayler (32 wins) is currently trying to catch Brown (40) for his eleventh training title. Owned by Glenn Haugen, Rainmaker Favourite of course ran a powerful race under jockey Clint Magera to wire the field by three lengths. She paid $5.10 to win and gave the lone bettor who had Let’s Rocket on their ticket the Pick-4, which paid $4,740.40.
The way Rainmaker Favourite ran, she looked like she would have defeated Let’s Rocket even if that one had run. In that scenario however, there would have been no tickets alive to Rainmaker Favourite, and the Pick-4 pool would have been carried over to the next live racing card on Friday, September 7. Strange but true… you got all that right?
The training championship race could get heated late, as Sayler has come from off the pace to win many of his 10 training titles. The scratch-win for Brown didn’t help his cause. Bottom line -- make sure to include Brown, Sayler and Danelson on your tickets until the live race meeting ends.
The jockey race also remains extremely close with Rohan Singh and Jennifer Reid each winning a pair of races on Monday to move ahead of Paul Nolan. Singh has 63 wins to Nolan’s 61 and Reid has made up a ton of ground over the past three weeks to sit only three back with 60 wins. Like trainers Danelson, Sayler and Brown, make sure to include jockeys Singh, Nolan and Reid on your tickets moving forward, regardless of what the horse’s form looks like.
They might just win you a Pick-4.