Pure Glory pounced early under former Jamaican riding champ Trevor Simpson and wired the field in the $50,000 Agassiz Stakes by 3 ¼-lengths on Saturday night at ASD, capping off a $2 Pick-4 that paid a whopping $10,923. Was it gettable?
It certainly was for the one bettor who handicapped better than the rest of us. The big payoff was also a result of the favourites being shut out of the Winner’s Circle in all four legs of the Pick-4.
Pharmtrip took advantage of a perfect trip stalking a duel under jockey Tim Moccasin to take the fourth race and first leg of the Pick-4 for owner-trainer Dennis Hoffman. The handicapping angle was the fact that she had shown competitive speed against better stock at Northlands Park and was making her first start here. Favourite Plus Ultra ran a good race, putting away a stubborn California Poppy in a duel, but had little left for the winner late. Pharmtrip paid $10.70.
One favourite down, three to go.
Anga also took advantage of a perfect duel-stalking trip, this time under jockey Clint Magera, to win the fifth race by a half-length over favourite Money Baron. Trained by Rob Atras for Runaway Bay Stable, Anga ran the race of his life. Challenging the duelers three-wide on the turn for home, he dueled between horses into the stretch, shook off a stubborn Proper Vick to his inside in mid stretch and dug in gamely to turn back Money Baron on the outside. Anga had a shot in this race, but his gutsy stretch performance was extraordinary. Money Baron gave it everything he had and just couldn’t get by. Anga paid $11.50.
Two favourites down, two to go.
There were still quite a few live tickets heading into the sixth race and third leg of the Pick-4, a race in which many players keyed favourite Bunny Said Dance. As it turned out, Bunny Said Dance was no match for class dropper and hindsight overlay Bakken Formation, who was taking one of the biggest class drops in the game from Maiden Special Weight at Canterbury Park to to Maiden Claiming at Assiniboia Downs.
Bakken Formation dueled Bunny Said Dance into submission from the inside under jockey Chavion Chow and drew out from mid stretch to win by 2 ¼-lengths. Conditioned by Jerry Gourneau for the partnership of Curtis Rohweder and Michael Frank, Bakken Foundation paid $28.50 win. That knocked all but the sharpest of handicappers out of the running for the $14,000 plus that was in the Pick-4 pool.
Three favourites down, one to go.
Pure Glory was expected to be the speed in the $50,000 Agassiz Stakes and jockey Trevor Simpson made no mistakes, exhibiting the form that won him four riding championships in Jamaica. Simpson sharply and powerfully sent Pure Glory to the front from the gate, opened a 3 ½-length lead into the first turn, got the first quarter in a quick but not too quick 23.20, and then proceeded to lull the field to sleep.
Relaxing his mount through a second quarter in 25.40, Simpson got the half in 48.60 and took the heart out of his rivals on the final turn when they tried to come after him. He simply maintained a clear advantage when asked, getting the six furlongs in 1:13.60 and holding a 1 ½-length lead. His rivals tried to go after him again in the stretch, but after being turned back on the turn it got worse for them. Pure Glory opened up a 2 ½-length lead and coasted home under steady but certainly not heavy urging from Simpson.
At the wire it was Pure Glory by 3 ¼-lengths over 21-1 longshot Major Hurricane, who gave his best between horses in the stretch to hold the place by half a length over favourite C.C. Ride. Hop Along Harry responded well in the drive along the rail, but could do no better than fourth, a nose behind the favourite. C.C. Ride steadied between horses nearing the first turn early in the race, but he was never going to beat Pure Glory on this day. He went after the winner on the final turn and couldn’t get to him. To C.C. Ride’s credit, he did keep coming to take third money, but the early trouble only cost him second place, not the win. The final time for the mile over the fast strip was 1:40.40.
Four favourites down. None to go. Pick-4 pays big.
Conditioned by Shelley Brown for K 5 Stables, and groomed by veteran horseman Scott Creighton, Pure Glory was winning a stakes race for the first time in his young career. The Manitoba-bred 3-year-old chestnut gelding by Fourstardave Handicap (G2) winner Pure Prize out of local R.C. Anderson Stakes runner-up Beauty and Glory by Honour and Glory, improved his career record to 2-4-0 from 13 starts and increased his lifetime earnings to $52,740 with the $30,000 win purse from the Agassiz.
The winner paid $12.40, which was a nice price for the lone speed! And of course he made the Pick-4 pay pool when he won. A $10,923.00 Pick-4. How would you like to be on the receiving end of that winning ticket? Just imagine the conversation when you got home.
“Hi honey, guess what happened at the track tonight. All the favourites lost…”
"Except this one!"