09/15/2012 7:03PM

Northlands: Wild Crush springs surprise in Alberta Breeders Handicap


Wild Crush came from off the pace to upset heavily favored Bond James Bond in the $50,000 Alberta Breeders Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at Northlands Park on Saturday. The Alberta Breeders was the last of seven $50,000 stakes races restricted to Alberta-breds that made up the bulk of the 11-race Fall Classic Day card.

Wild Crush paid $22.40 for his win in the 1 1/16-mile race. 

He was ridden by Stephan Heiler.  Wild Crush hadn’t won a race since he captured the Beaufort Stakes on Fall Classic Day last year with Heiler aboard.

“He just seems to get better in the fall,” said Heiler.

Wild Crush is trained by Dale Saunders, who started off the stakes festival with a win in the Alberta Premiers Futurity with Hollywood Drama.

“It’s been a good day,” said Saunders.

Wild Crush is owned and bred by Saunder’s wife Barbara.

The final time was 1:48.00.

Favorites won the first four stakes before second choice Hollywood Dreams paid $5.70 for his win in the 6 ½-furlong Red Dial Express for 3-year-olds and up. Trained by Dean Martiniuk and ridden by Scott Williams, Hollywood Dreams posted a final time of 1:17.00

Hollywood Drama rallied beat Tangent by 1 ½ lengths in the 6 ½- furlong Alberta Premiers Futurity. He paid $3.60. It was his third straight stakes win for the Saunders-trained 2-year-gelding.  He was ridden by Kyle Carter. The final time was 1:19.40.

Tell Me Lies paid $2.60 for her front-running win with Rico Walcott aboard in the Sturgeon River Stakes for 2-year-old fillies. The final time for the 6 ½- furlongs race was 1:20.40.

Pumpkin Hollow overcame a slow start to win the one-mile Alberta Oaks in 1:42.60. With Scott Williams aboard, Pumpkin Hollow came from last to edge Countryfire by a neck. She paid $6.30 as the lukewarm favorite over Ruckus Time, who finished fifth.

Pumpkin Hollow is trained by Joan Petrowski.

Kyle Carter guided Silver Baubles to a 3 ¼-length win in the 1 1/16-mile Beaufort for 3-year-olds. The homebred gelding is trained by Ron Grieves. He paid $4.70 and posted a final time of 1:47.40.

Carter won his third stakes on the day when he teamed-up with Grieves again to win the Distaff with Jazz Time Girl. She paid $20.10. The 4-year-old filly by Tempered Appeal was stretching out to 1 1/16miles for the first time in her eight-race career. The final time was 147.60.