Smith’s offensive production and playmaking ability helped lead the Saints to a weekend sweep of Thompson Rivers University.During the series opener, the 21-year old scored twice and collcted six points in an 11-0 Selkirk victory and was named the game’s second star. Smith assisted on Jordan Wood’s goal to open the scoring and then fired home from the point later in the first period to extend his team’s lead.The Delta native went on to set up second period tallies off the rush by Cody Fidgett and Ben Stabuck and was credited with his second goal of the game in the third when a TRU player accidentally poked the puck into his own net. One night later, Smith opened the scoring just 23 seconds into regulation and picked up helpers on power-play goals by Kam Crawford and Mason Spear to complete a three-point performance. He was named the game’s third star following Saturday’s 8-1 win. Smith now leads all BCIHL scorers with 12 points on four goals and eight assists. Through five regular season outings he has picked up three or more points three times. Runners up for this week’s award include Trinity Western University goaltender Harry Fredeman, Selkirk College forward Jordan Wood and Simon Fraser University defenceman Bruin McDonald.The Saints return to the ice Saturday when defending playoff champion University of Victoria invades the Castlegar Recreation Complex for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop. When your team sits in first place, is undefeated and has a plus-25 goal differential, at least one player is bound to get a little recognition.So without further adieu the British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League presents the latest player of the week, Selkirk Saints defenceman Dylan Smith.
The 19-year-old, who had breakout season recording 21 goals and 40 points in 62 games, followed by a team-high four goals and one assist in four playoff contests, landed an amateur tryout with Carolina, and played so well as the recent camp, Hurricanes staff decided to invite to play in the Prospects Tournament.”I’m just going to go in with an open mind,” Hunt told the Regina Leader Post.”I’m obviously nervous because there are a lot of great players down there. I’m just going to try to play my game, do what I do best, and then see if they like how I did.”As for MacLeod, who played for the Nelson Leafs before landing a NCAA college scholarship, the 22-year-old rearguard needed to wait out the summer before beginning his professional career after graduating from Boston College in the spring.MacLeod, who spent time recently in Boston training before the Prospects Tournament, signed a minor league contract in the East Coast Hockey League but was granted status to play in the tournament with the Blue Jackets squad.”(Playing in the tournament) will be great for exposure for me and the chance for me to see the level of other rookie players,” MacLeod said.The Traverse City tournament, which begins Friday, is divided into two divisions — Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay.Columbus, Detroit, Minnesota and St. Louis are in the Gordie Howe pool while Buffalo, Carolina, Dallas and NY Rangers make up the Lindsay draw.The teams cross over into Tuesday’s playoff round.Nelson Leafs president Larry Martel said while NMH may have played a part of the equation to get the three to this level of hockey, hard work put them over the top.“I feel proud because I understand the work, commitment and sacrifice these athletes have gone through to get to this point in their young careers,” Martel explained.“It’s and incredible amount of work and they have a dream and they are doing everything in their ability to realize that dream.”Of course nothing is etched in stone during the weekend with more than 400 players trying to catch the eye of NHL scouts and brass at the Traverse City tournament, other than Hiller working behind the bench in the NHL for Detroit.Hunt is going back to junior in Regina to play for the Pats while MacLeod is destined for the minor leagues, hopefully with a team in the American Hockey League.But one can only hope the success of these Heritage City players can pave the way for other Nelson Minor Hockey grads to enjoy success on the professional hockey stage. The Octopus Thrower website lists five players for Red Wings Nation to watch at this weekend’s 2014 Traverse City NHL Prospects Tournament.The Die by the Blade site puts the spotlights the top 2014 draft picks of the Buffalo Sabres in Sam Reinhart and Brendan Lemieux as two players to keep an eye on.The main focus of The Nelson Daily is three grads from Nelson Minor Hockey Association who will also be wetting their NHL appetitie at the Traverse City tournament in one capacity or another.Forward Dryden Hunt and defenceman Isaac MacLeod will suit up on the ice for the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets, respectively, while former Nelsonite Jim Hiller will make an appearance as one of the new assistant coaches for the Red Wings staff.“This is great for Nelson,” said Simon Wheeldon, a former professional hockey player and hockey coach of the KIJHL’s Nelson Leafs.“I don’t think any other time there has been this many players taking part in an NHL like camp . . . maybe the only time was when Danny (Gare), Pat (Price) and Greg (Adams) were playing in the NHL,” Wheeldon added.Danny Gare, Pat Price and Greg Adams all played minor hockey in Nelson before going on to experience successful NHL careers.While Hiller, MacLeod and Hunt all got their first taste of life on the pond game in the Heritage City in Nelson Minor Hockey, the trio took different routes to Traverse City and the NHL Prospects Tournament — an event that runs from Friday to Tuesday (September 12-16) and features from Detroit Red Wings, Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, New York Rangers and St. Louis Blues.Hiller played his hockey in Nelson before moving with his family to finish his minor career in Cranbrook.He then played NCAA hockey with North Michigan before getting a taste of the NHL with Los Angeles and Detroit.Hiller, finishing his playing career in Europe, coached in the BC Hockey league before landing a spot with the Tri-City Americans where he took the Western Hockey League club to the League Finals in 2010 and winning the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as WHL Coach of the Year.Hunt, who jumped Junior B Hockey in Nelson for a few seasons with the Notre Dame Hounds program, is currently on the roster of the Regina Pats of the WHL.
Burge went on to play for a team in Germany, Luchse Lauterbach.“Brendan was only with us for one season before finishing Junior, and moving on to play In Germany; but his presence made a huge impact on the ice and in the dressing room,” the Rockies Facebook post went on to say.“Brendan came to the Rockies from Fernie and showed tremendous character and growth during his time as a Rockie.”Burge earned Rockies top scorer and Columbia Valley’s most valuable player honours during his final season.“We as an organization are so deeply affected by the passing of this young man and would like to pass on our condolences to his family, his beautiful daughter Bodene and his hockey family that spans far and wide,” the Rockies Facebook Post said.The RCMP does not believe foul play was a factor in the accident. The BC Coroners Service is now handling the investigation.Brendan’s true passion for the game is best summed up in his own choice of words:“I miss the feel of the puck, and the breeze as you skate; I miss the sound of the crowd and my stupid room mate. The list could go on and on, but nothing will replace the way, that every problem, every issue that was going on in a guy’s mind just disappeared as soon as you stepped on the ice. Even if it meant for just two hours you had not a worry in the world….”“Ride on, Burgey – Rest in Peace…,” the Rockies Facebook Post concluded. The entire Kootenay International Junior Hockey League is morning the loss of a former player following a freak accident Friday in Kelowna.Former Columbia Valley Rockies forward Brendan Burge has been identified on social media as the man who died tragically after falling from the fifth-floor balcony of a downtown Kelowna condo. “A very sad day for the KIJHL,” said a post Sunday on the Columbia Valley Rockies Facebook Page.“The sad news of the passing of Brendan Burge from Salmon Arm who played for the Rockies during the 2012/13 Season.”Born in Salmon Arm, Burge, 24, had a lengthy career in the KIJHL with stops in Revelstoke, Chase and Fernie before completing his career with the Rockies.He played 162 games scoring 87 goals and registering 138 assists for 225 points.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2015)–Heavily favored Midnight Hawk seized command turning for home and rolled to an impressive 1 ½ length win in Friday’s $60,000 allowance feature at Santa Anita, getting one mile under Victor Espinoza in 1:36.77.Trained by Bob Baffert, Midnight Hawk, who was a well beaten ninth by superstar Shared Belief in the Grade I, seven furlong Malibu Stakes on Dec. 26, rated kindly mid-pack around the Club House turn, eased to the lead a quarter mile from home and despite running a tad greenly, won in-hand for his first win since taking the Grade III Sham Stakes eight races back on Jan. 11, 2014.“This was a big drop in class for him,” said Baffert. “It was good to stretch him out today. You could tell he was loaded at the quarter pole and he won under wraps…He was ducking in there again, but he’s perfect in the mornings. For some reason when he makes the lead in the afternoon, he does that.”Off at 6-5 in a field of eight older horses, Midnight Hawk paid $4.40, $3.20 and $2.80. Owned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, Inc. (John Sikura), Kitchen, Mike Pegram and partners, Midnight Hawk, a 4-year-old grey colt by Midnight Lute bred in Kentucky by Pegram, improved his record to 10-3-3-2. With the winner’s share of $36,000, he hiked his earnings to $490,700.“The extra distance helped,” said Espinoza, who also rode Midnight Hawk in the Malibu. “Last time I rode him we went seven eighths and the pace was too fast for him…Bob and I both felt it would be better to go a little longer and he could follow a slower pace and keep up with them but also finish better.”Second place finisher Cool Samurai flew from off the pace to just get up for the place under Tyler Baze. Off at 9-1, he finished a head in front of Airfoil and paid $7.60 and $5.20.Ridden by Joe Talamo, Airfoil, who broke from the far outside, was five-wide turning for home, gained the place a sixteenth out, but couldn’t quite hold it late. Off at 10-1, he paid $4.80 to show.First post time for a nine race card that includes the Grade II, $500,000 San Antonio Invitational, featuring Horse of the Year California Chrome and 2013 Eclipse Champion 2-year-old Shared Belief, is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
RAFAEL BEJARANO, GUNS LOADED, WINNER: “He ran good. I knew that Mr. Sexy was the only speed in the race so I just tried to make sure Guns Loaded broke well. I put him in the right position right away and after that I was done. I sat right off the speed and when I was ready, I let him go. It was easy for him.” FLAVIEN PRAT, CAPE WOLFE, SECOND: “It was a good trip. The pace was pretty fast and I’m not sure he liked it but he ran pretty great. He tries hard.” JOCKEY QUOTES NOTES: The winning owners are Mark Verge (Westside Rentals) of Pacific Palisades; Neil Haymes of Alta Loma; and Leo Rodriguez of Menifee, CA. MARK VERGE, PART OWNER, GUNS LOADED, WINNER: “It was all Doug (O’Neill). He’s the one who made the claim (for $32,000 last Dec. 6). It was Doug and Steve Rothblum. We had the horse before and Doug called and said we’ve got to claim the horse back, but I don’t believe how well he’s done. It never works out that way.” TRAINER QUOTES
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 29, 2016) – Continuing its collaboration to raise funds for important causes, the Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark® announced today that Old Friends Farm, home to some of the most popular retired Thoroughbred race horses, has been named the official charity beneficiary of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.The Breeders’ Cup, the most prestigious international two-day event, consisting of 13 races and purses and awards totaling $28 million, will be held on November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.Fans can contribute to Old Friends and receive a Maker’s Mark® limited edition commemorative Zenyatta bottle, the first and only female horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic, by making a donation and attending the Championships for Charity celebration on November 2 in Arcadia, Calif. (see rendering attached)This year, Ann and Jerry Moss, owners of Zenyatta during her racing career, worked with both Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark® in selecting Old Friends as the beneficiary of the 2016 bottle program.Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark® have collaborated on a three-year program offering a limited-edition, five-bottle collection featuring a few of the most legendary Champions in Breeders’ Cup history. Each bottle pays tribute with a customized design and signature from each Champion’s connections. In the first year of the program, Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark® offered fans the opportunity to donate towards the first three limited-edition commemorative bottles of Breeders’ Cup Champions A.P. Indy, Lure and Personal Ensign. In 2017, a limited-edition commemorative Maker’s Mark® bottle of Cigar will be offered.To support Old Friends, fans can reserve a bottle at www.breederscup.com/championsforcharity by making a $400 donation to receive a 2016 Maker’s Mark® limited-edition commemorative Zenyatta bottle. Once the donation has been made, those donors can collect their bottles at Arcadia Night: Salute to Zenyatta, which will take place on Wednesday, November 2 at the Gold Line Plaza, in Arcadia. In addition to collecting the commemorative bottle, the evening will include live music, local food trucks and signature Breeders’ Cup cocktails, among other special amenities.“In conjunction with Maker’s Mark, we are very proud that Old Friends Farm, represented by the passion and dedication of Michael Blowen, is our chartable beneficiary this year,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO, Craig Fravel. “We recognize the importance as an industry of taking care of retired racehorses after they have given so much to us during their racing careers. We also look forward to many fans of Thoroughbred racing supporting this worthy cause with their donations to receive a commemorative bottle of Zenyatta, one of our greatest and most popular champions.”Breeders’ Cup Champions Alphabet Soup (1996 Classic), Eldaafer (2010 Marathon) and Amazombie (2011 Sprint) are in residence at Old Friends“We are flattered and grateful to have been chosen by Jerry and Ann Moss, as well as Breeders’ Cup and Maker’s Mark, for this prestigious campaign,” said Michael Blowen, founder and President of Old Friends, which is based in Georgetown, Ky. “The Mosses have been strong supporters of this organization almost since its inception, and we are so proud to be working with them on this remarkable tribute to the remarkable Zenyatta,” Blowen continued. “The impact this contribution will have on our retirees will be invaluable, and we just can’t thank everyone enough.”“Maker’s Mark has always had a strong connection to the thoroughbred racing community, and we’re excited to continue that relationship with this exclusive charitable program,” said Rob Samuels, 8th generation whisky producer and COO of Maker’s Mark. “The organization at Old Friends has a terrific mission and one that we’re proud to support, specifically with these Zenyatta commemorative bottles that capture the beauty of horse racing and the deliciousness of Maker’s Mark Bourbon.”Contact: Jim Gluckson, Breeders’ Cup, 212-230-9512About Old Friends FarmOld Friends is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that cares for more than 160 retired racehorses. It’s Dream Chase Farm, located in Georgetown, KY, is open to tourists daily by appointment. Old Friends also has two satellite facilities: Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, N.Y., and Old Friends at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, KY. For more information on tours or to make a donation, contact the main farm at (502) 863-1775 or see their website at www.oldfriendsequine.org.About Maker’s MarkAbout Maker’s Mark® BourbonIn 1954, at a small Victorian distillery in Loretto, Kentucky, Bill Samuels, Sr., fulfilled his dream to create a pioneering handmade bourbon that, for the first time, would appeal both to bourbon and to non-bourbon drinkers alike, that tasted good and exemplified good taste, and wouldn’t “blow your ears off,” which was the measure by which bourbons were judged at the time. He decided to make his whisky in small-batches of 19 barrels, developed a proprietary barrel char to enhance the softness and sweetness of his whisky, and then rotated each barrel by hand to ensure exposure to consistent temperatures throughout the warehouse, and, ultimately, he aged each barrel to taste. Bill Samuels, Sr., unknowingly and unintentionally, fired the shot that started the Bourbon Revolution, and transformed bourbon from a “commodity” into a premium handcrafted spirit, giving rise to the modern era of bourbon. Today, Maker’s Mark® continues to make its bourbon the same way Bill Samuels, Sr., did 60 years ago, in small batches by craftsmen who hand-dip each bottle. In 2010, in tribute to his father’s spirit of innovation, Bill Samuels, Jr., unveiled Maker’s 46®, a totally new bourbon that reflects the distinct character of Maker’s Mark® but has a bigger, bolder and complex taste without any hint of bitterness. In 2014, a limited 375ml bottling of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength, which is Maker’s Mark- uncut and unaltered, was released to select markets. The limited launch of Maker’s Mark Cask Strength generated tremendous enthusiasm and positive feedback, prompting a nationwide introduction of 750ml bottles in 2015. Maker’s Mark® Bourbon (45% alc./vol.), Maker’s 46R (47% alc./vol.) and Maker’s Mark® Cask Strength™ Bourbon Whisky, (54%-57% alc./vol.) are distilled, aged and bottled by the Maker’s Mark Distillery, Inc., in Loretto, Kentucky. In 1980, the distillery was designated a National Historic Landmark, becoming the first distillery in America to be so recognized, and has also been decreed as the “world’s oldest operating bourbon whisky distillery” by Guinness World Records®. The Maker’s Mark Distillery is one of the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually. For more information, please visit the Maker’s Mark® website (www.makersmark.com). The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 grade I races and purses and awards totaling $28 million, will be held November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube About Breeders’ Cup
RACE IS PART OF GOLDEN STATE SERIES FOR CALIFORNIA-BRED OR SIRED HORSES ARCADIA, Calif. (July 4, 2016)–Red hot California-based stallion Square Eddie struck again in Monday’s $100,000 Thor’s Echo Handicap at Santa Anita, as Reddam Racing’s homebred Mrazek returned from a disappointing foray to New York to post a facile 1 ½ length win under Mario Gutierrez while covering six furlongs in 1:09.45.Breaking from the far outside in a field of six Golden State Series eligible three year olds and up bred or sired in California, Mrazek sat comfortably behind a group of four dueling leaders before he swung four-wide turning for home in a visually impressive display of class as Gutierrez geared him down near the wire.“He’s such an honest horse,” said O’Neill, who got his second win on the day. “Seven out of eight times now, he’s been first or second. His last race in New York (Grade II, seven furlong Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park June 11), it was just a big field, he had a lot of traffic troubles and he just didn’t adjust…We were coming back in 22 days, but Mario didn’t overdo it with him in New York and that really helped.“He didn’t break as well as we’d hoped but Mario did a great job riding and adjusting to that. I think sprints are what he’ll be great at moving forward. I don’t think Mrazek will be going two turns anytime soon, but we’ll huddle up with Paul and Zillah (Reddam) about it and put our heads together.”Hammered to favoritism at 7-5, Mrazek, a 3-year-old chestnut colt by Square Eddie, out of the Wild Rush mare Heckuva Rush, paid $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60. His overall mark now stands at 8-3-4-0 and with the winner’s share of $60,000, he now has career earnings of $229,437.Is there any chance that Square Eddie, who is also owned by Paul and Zillah Reddam and is considered by many to be California’s number one stallion, would relocate to Kentucky?“Absolutely no chance of him ever moving,” said Paul Reddam.Last, about four lengths off the lead with a quarter mile to run, longshot Love My Bud shot through an opening at the rail a furlong out and finished second, a half length in front of Nardo, who had been part of the early pace dispute.Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Love My Bud was off at 9-1 and paid $6.40 and $5.20.Ridden by Flavien Prat, Nardo held third by three quarter of a length over Magic Mark. Off at 6-1, Nardo paid $4.00 to show.Fractions on the race were 21.98, 45.07 and 57.13.Live racing resumes at Santa Anita on Friday, with first post time at 1:30 p.m. Simulcast wagering will be offered on Thursday in the track’s Paddock Room. Admission gates open on Thursday at 10 a.m.
FIVE YEAR OLD BY GAME PLAN EYES $4 MILLION LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF NOV. 5 ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 2, 2106)–Forwardly placed throughout, California-bred Ashleyluvssugar got a perfect stalking trip under Gary Stevens and went on to an impressive half length win in the Grade II, $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita. Trained by Peter Eurton, the 5-year-old gelding by Game Plan got 1 ¼ miles on turf in 1:58.35. A gate to wire winner of the Grade II, 1 3/8 miles turf Del Mar Handicap on Aug. 20, “Ashley” notched his second consecutive win and his fourth from seven starts over the Santa Anita lawn.Breaking from post position six in a field of 10 and with the temporary inner rail set at 10 feet, Ashleyluvssugar sat a controlled second to longshot El Huerfano the entire trip until assuming command three sixteenths of a mile from home.“This is his kind of track,” said Eurton. “You gotta think this horse is just full of heart. When he’s healthy like he is right now, he’s great…The six hole helped us out a lot, we got to see what was going on to the inside of us. There was a little bumping going on at the beginning so Gary put him out there wide and it was easier for him to relax.”Owned by his breeders, Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable and Ciaglia Racing, LLC, Ashleyluvssugar was the third choice in the wagering at 3-1 and paid $8.80, $5.00 and $3.40. He now has eight wins from 17 starts and will make his next start in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (1 ½ miles) at Santa Anita on Nov. 5. (With the John Henry winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $847,504).“I’m excited about the Breeders’ Cup,” said Stevens. “He’s stepping up in company but he loves a mile and a half. This was pretty easy on him and he was looking for even more room to run pulling up. This was a great race for him. The speed was down on the inside and it set up nicely. He’s better with a horse in front of him. He’s not very big but he’s full of energy, does his job and he loves Santa Anita.”In a three-horse charge for second money, longshot Texas Ryano, with Joe Talamo up, prevailed by a nose over Twentytwentyvision and Flavien Prat.Off at 14-1, Texas Ryano paid $15.80 and $10.00.Twentytwentyvision was a half-length better than 5-2 favorite Metaboss and paid $4.80 to show.Fractions on the race were 23.55, 46.93, 1:10.96 and 1:34.83.