Balgobin stars, Muir impresses with double
EDMONTON, Ontario (CMC):
Trinidadian Keishan Balgobin produced a double stakes performance as he clinched three wins on the 12-race card to steal some of the headlines at Northlands Park here Saturday.
The 26-year-old won the CAN$50,000 Red Diamond Express Handicap with 7-1 chance Xtreme Denigray in race four and followed up in race nine by carrying 6-1 bet Northern Locomotive to victory in the $50,000 Beaufort Stakes.
He added to his tally by winning race five over six furlongs with favourite We Can Be Heroes, beating the three-year-old and upwards by half-length.
Balgobin, regaining his touch following a rough patch of form, now lies fourth on 43 wins, in the season which wraps up October 22.
However, he sits second in the money earnings with $543 146, only behind runaway leader Rico Walcott with $948 243.
Balgobin won the Diamond Express in thrilling finish, when he got four-year-old gelding Xtreme Denigray up late to beat the three-year-old and upwards by a neck.
Going 6-1/2 furlongs, Balgobin saved ground along the rail in fourth as Clever Speed posted the early fractions, before producing a long stretch drive to collar the leaders.
His second stakes win came aboard roan gelding Northern Locomotive in a 1-3/4 length victory over the three-year-olds going a mile and 16th.
Major Moment, with rookie Jamaican Shamaree Muir, led through the half in 48.38 before Balgobin brought Northern Locomotive from off the pace to beat the field by 1-3/4 lengths.
The impressive 21-year-old, Muir, also tasted stakes success when he piloted 4-1 chance Saveitforarainyday to a 4-1/4 length win in the $50,000 Sturgeon River Stakes in race 10 over 6-1/2 furlongs.
Muir also won race three over a mile with favourite Wila's Secret, taking the three-year-old filly to a three-quarter length victory over the three-year-old and upward maiden fillies and mares.