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LOCAL HORSE PEOPLE HAVE GOOD LUCK AT BIG RACES

 It was a good day for local horse people at Century Downs in Rocky View, Alberta on Sunday.

In the biggest race of the weekend, and one of the most important of the season, Singles Cruise, trained by Janice Sather of Beaverlodge and owned with husband Barry, got his third stakes win of 2018 by getting a neck in front of Timberskinightryder in the $74,459 Canada Quarter Horse Cup Futurity.

Just one race before, to open the day’s pari-mutuel racing, Grande Prairie’s Chuck Stojan saw his horse, Stripsteak, cross the finish line first in the $35,268 Canada Quarter Horse Cup Derby. Stojan also owns True Copy, who finished second in the race.

Singles Cruise (left) broke outward, responded to encouragement leaving the chute from jockey Cesar Cervantes to get up at the wire in 19.944 seconds for the 400 yards and earned the Sathers $33,507.

In July at The Horses At Evergreen Park, the Sather-owned brown filly won the Jerry Stojan Memorial Stakes, then bounced off a third-place effort in the Evergreen Park Juvenile trials to win the August 19 final at Grande Prairie.

Pre-entered in the November 17th Grade 2 $125,000 (estimated) John Deere Juvenile Challenge Championship in the United States, Singles Cruise has compiled a 5-0-1 record after seven starts – all this year. The Canada Cup Futurity winners' purse doubled the filly's earnings to $52,241.

Timbersknightryder picked up $12,658 for his second-place effort while Peace Country owner-breeder and trainer Donalda Cochrane saddled third-place finisher Papas Coleen winning $7,446.

Always Right, owned by Stojan, was ninth with jockey Ricardo Moreno aboard and earned $1,490.

Stripsteak was the second fastest qualifier in the Canada Cup Futurity Trial on October 6 at Century Downs and improved on that with the impressive win in the Canada Cup Derby on Sunday.

Trained by William Leech, Stripsteak covered 400 yards in 19.822, and his margin of victory was a neck from True Copy. Moreno rode the bay son of One Sweet Jess, who returned a $6.70 win mutuel as the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine.

Stripsteak was bred in California by Dr. Steve Burns, and he was a $14,000 yearling buy at the 2016 Los Alamitos Equine Sale. The gelding has won eight of 13 starts and has earned $40,402, of which $29,429 has been banked this season. His two stakes wins include the 400-yard, $26,000 Peace Country Derby at Evergreen Park on July 29. 

Grande Prairie’s Tom Rycroft also found the winner’s circle on Sunday. He owns and trains Supreme Rush, who won $8,400 for him in a six-furlong race with jockey Rigo Sarmiento on board. Rycroft also trains Lyle Lorraine, who finished fourth in the same race.