09/17/2011 8:18PM

Northlands Park: Major Temper upsets Alberta Breeders Handicap; Grieves wins three stakes

Ryan Haynes
Major Temper upsets the Alberta Breeders Handicap, giving trainer Ron Grieves his third stakes win on Saturday's card at Northlands Park.

Trainer Ron Grieves had a huge day at Northlands Park by winning three of the seven stakes races carded on Alberta Fall Classic Day.

Grieves saddled the winners of the last three stakes, including longshot Major Temper in the featured Alberta Breeders Handicap for 3-year-olds and up. Grieves  won  with favored Two Horn Unicorn in the Distaff ($4.50) and Silver Baubles, who paid $11.50 ,in the Alberta Premier’s Futurity.

“It was a great day,” Grieves said. “I expected the first two horses to compete, but not the last one. He was a big surprise.”

Major Temper not only surprised Grieves but also a lot of other people with a $47.30 win price. He was ridden by apprentice Oscar Martinez.  The 2-1 favorite My Lucky Thirteen finished second.

The final time in the 1 1/16-mile feature was 1:47.00.

Two Horn Unicorn came from a stalking position to win the Distaff, with Fernando Perez riding.  The final time in the 1 1/16-mile race was 1:47.60.

Kyle Carter was aboard Silver Baubles in the Futurity, which was marred when Within Range clipped heels on the stretch turn and went down with Tony Maragh riding. While trying to avoid the fallen horse, Kiribassy and Kingoftherockies stumbled and unseated their riders, Desmond Bryan and Anthony Salgado. All three jockeys came out of the incident unscathed. After a lengthy inquiry, the stewards disqualified Northern Yankee, who had caused the incident, from fifth and placed him last.

The Joan Petrowski-trained entry of Ruckus Time and Folly With Molly finished first and second in the one-mile Sturgeon River for 2-year-old fillies. Ruckus Time forced the early pace and then ran off and hid to win by 9 1/4 lengths with Salgado aboard. The entry paid $10.90 to win and $8.90 to place. Heavily favored My Daddy’s Girl had a rough trip and finished sixth. The final time was 1:42.60.

Jockey Stephan Heiler brought Wild Crush from last to win the 1 1/16-mile Beaufort for 3-year-olds. He paid $8.10 as the second choice behind Victor Man, who finished fourth. The final time was 1:49. Wild Crush is trained by Dale Saunders.

Lynnwood ($20.20) also trailed the field early before unleashing a strong late move with Fernando Perez aboard to nip Caliente Rojo in the one-mile Alberta Oaks.  It was the first win of the year for the Daniel Jones-trainee, who posted a final time of 1:41.60.

Hollywood Dreams came from a stalking position to win the 6 1/2-furlong Red Diamond Express for 3-year-olds and up. He paid $5.80 as the co-favorite with Mr. Shadar, who ran a good race to finish second after getting bumped around coming out of the starting gate. The 3-year-old son of Minister’s Wild Cat was ridden by  Heiler and is trained by Dean Martiniuk. The final time was 1:18.40.

The total mutuel handle for the day was $428,908, down slightly from last year, when $443,435 was wagered.

The handle was on the way to eclipsing last year’s total, but a false fire alarm about 10 minutes prior to the featured Alberta Breeders  sent a lot of people scurrying for the exits.