06/22/2004 11:00PM

Up-and-down Stampede meet


CALGARY, Alberta - The 46-day spring meeting at Stampede Park came to a close last Sunday with mixed results on the wagering front.

Although the total handle on live Thoroughbred racing from all sources was $10,902,348, up 2 percent from 2003, the daily average handle dropped to $237,008, down 12 percent from a 39-day meet in 2003.

Meanwhile, talks continue to circulate of a new course in the Calgary area, and the future of live racing here remains a concern for management, horsemen, and fans alike.

On closing day, rider Mike Iammarino and trainer Emile Corbel teamed to score an easy win with Cypriata in the Penny Ridge. The $40,000 stakes for 3-year-old fillies attracted just four entrants.

Iammarino, who campaigned at Assiniboia Downs last summer, won three of the 12 stakes here this spring. He intends to test the waters at Northlands Park this summer, with visits to Winnipeg to ride for the strong Corbel stable.

Jockey Quincy Welch closed out the spring with his 65th victory, guiding Star of Shaheen home in the finale with a trademark move from just off the pace. Welch set a record in wins and earnings ($802,285) since Stampede Park reverted to a one-meet format in 1997.

Trainer Red Smith defended his meet title by saddling 29 winners. He showed versatility by winning four stakes, each for a different group of owners and with four different riders aboard.