A wet track delayed racing from Friday until Sunday on the Yorkton Exhibition track, but driver Laurie Bell took the change of schedule in stride winning three races from the eight-race card
The three races included taking the $3,220 Saskatchewan Horse Federation Summer Sizzle Claiming Series Final. In the big race, Bell drove Four Starzz Smiley to top spot in a time of 2:05.3, topping Kneehill Harry with Al Brooking at the reins, and Manstorm with Glenn LeDrew in the cart.
Bell said the race went much as he had hoped.
“I just figured I had to leave early,” said Bell, adding Four Starzz Smiley has shown he isn't comfortable coming from behind. “He doesn't seem to want to pass anything.
“When he's up front he gets braver.”
Bell added, with having a reasonable four-hole start and fractions that favoured being out front everything fell into place.
“It was all working out for us on the front end,” he said.
The first win had come in race four, when Bell took Pedicure to the winner's circle, topping Admired Promise driven by Donald Tracey and Way Outa Bounds and Brian Gray. The winning time was 2:03.3.
“I went to the front with her,” said Bell of the six-year-old mare, adding, “she really fired home,” for the win.
Bell also topped the fifth race with Mental Floss in a time of 2:03. Unda Investigation was second with Brian Gray on board, while Hugh Woods took Duff Love to third.
Mental Floss was not having a strong meet, but came into better form Sunday.
“He's getting better every week,” said Bell.
It helped too that Mental Floss drew the three hole on the gate too, Bell said for most of the season “we've been drawing bad with him.”
Bell said as a horse comes into form, and starts getting better spots on the gate, it can suddenly start being competitive for wins.
“The right position post is almost everything on a half-mile track,” he said.
In the night's second race $1,400 Open Pace, Kevin Seiver and Kalahari Riff nosed-out Tyler Redwood and Barona Fivehundred in a crisp 1:59.2 for the second sub-two-minute mile of the season in Yorkton. Brian Gray and Outlaw Watch Me was third.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click here.
(With files from Yorkton Exhibition)