Horses that started the year as low level claimers had a successful weekend at Hastings winning two Grade 3 Stakes races.
Notis the Jewel ($17.10), a four-year-old BC-bred by Stephanotis, won the Grade 3 $100,000 Ballerina at Hastings on October 7th. The filly started her season at the $16,000 claiming level but has won her last four races, including the Delta Colleen Handicap and the Pacific Customs Brokers Distaff Handicap. Piloted by leading jockey Richard Hamel, she came four wide to beat favourite and Grade 1 placed She’s a Warrior who was piloted by Mario Gutierrez who finished second. Sailingforthesun was third. Final time for the mile-and-one-eighth was 1:51.64.
The following day, Awesome Slate ($21.00) completed his ascendency from the $12,500 claiming ranks to the top of the heap with a very convincing win in the Grade 3 $100,000 Premier’s. The race was another victory for jockey Richard Hamel, who had Awesome Slate well back of the pace in fourth for the first mile, at which point he shifted the winner into high gear. Awesome Slate moved strongly to and by the pacesetting Killin Me Smalls and Venetian Mask who had been the closest pursuer. Crazy Prophet, who had been last after a mile, closed with verve to be second, a length away from the winner but never a threat. Venetian Mask was third. Final time for the mile-and-three-eighths was 2:18.13.
Awesome Slate, by Birdstone out of an Awesome Again mare, was bred in Kentucky and was claimed by trainer Cindy Krasner two races back for $16,000 after he had been claimed in his previous start for $12,500. The first race for new owner Jacob Kalpakian saw him win a big purse in the HBPA Claiming Championship, the second start was good for the Premier’s.