09/21/2013 7:21PM

Northlands: Wild Crush pays dividends for new connections in Alberta Breeders Stakes


Curtis Stewart and Gordon Wilkinson, who race under the stable name CanMedia Inc., made a quick return on their investment when Wild Crush rallied to win the $50,000 Alberta Breeders at Northlands Park on Saturday. The 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up headlined the 11-race Alberta Fall Classic Day card which included seven $50,000 stakes  restricted to Alberta-breds.

Trainer Rod Cone claimed Wild Crush on behalf of CanMedia Inc. for $17,500 just 10 days ago and Stewart and Wilkinson banked $30,000 for his win over the 3-5 favorite Silver Baubles in the Breeders.

With Rico Walcott aboard, Wild Crush ($9.70) was last after a half-mile and started to move into contention approaching the final turn. He made a strong three-wide move to take control of the race at the top of the stretch and easily held off Silver Baubles, who lost some momentum when Shannon Beauregard was forced to steady him at the top of the stretch. Beauregard lodged an objection against the winner but the stewards disallowed the claim of foul. Barfly’s Survivor finished third.

“Sometimes it works out when you claim a horse and sometimes it doesn’t,” said Cone. “This one obviously did and you have to give a lot of credit to Rico, who gave him a great ride.”

The final time was 1:46.20.

Fernando Perez was the leading rider on the day with four stakes wins. His first came aboard Legend Fortynine ($2.60), who started off the stakes festival with a nine-length win in the Alberta Premier’s Futurity for 2-year-olds.  Legend Fortynine stalked the pace before taking command at the quarter pole.  All Run, with Russell Baze aboard, rallied to finish second.

The final time for 6 1/2 furlongs was 1:19.60. Legend Fortynine is trained by Dale Saunders.

With apprentice Amie Pooli aboard, the heavily favored Tell Me Lies dominated the one-mile Alberta Oaks. Breaking on top she was never threatened while winning by 2 ¼ lengths over Candy Alley. Trained by Greg Tracy, Tell Me Lies paid $2.70. She posted a final time of 1:41.80.

For Cash paid $3.70 for his win over Keene On Demand in the 1 1/16-mile Beaufort for 3-year-olds. He was ridden by Fernando Perez and trained by Dale Greenwood.

The final time was 1:47.80.

Amie Pooli won her second stakes on the day aboard Bet On Soup in the 6 ½-furlong Sturgeon River for 2-year-old fillies. Trained by Tim Rycroft, Bet On Soup paid $3.50. She posted a final time of 1:22.40.

Fernando Perez guided Hollywood Dreams to an upset in the Red Diamond Express.  He paid a generous $31.20. It was the third straight year Hollywood Dreams won the 6 ½-furlong sprint  for 3-year-olds and up. The 4-5 favorite Bond James Bond finished third.

 Hollywood Dream completed 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:19.57. He is trained by Dean Martiniuk.

Trainer Dale Saunders won his second stakes on the card with Brady’s Tomboy,  who paid $5.30 for her gutsy win over Regal Tigereyes in the 1 1/16-mile Distaff for fillies and mares.  She received a perfectly timed ride by Perez to win by a half-length. The final time was 1:48.20.