Credit Risk gave way to stablemate Tito Santanna at the third quarter mark, but then fought back down the sloppy stretch to win the $35,000 Wendell Smith Memorial Stakes on Sunday (March 13) at Fraser Downs.
Driven by Brandon Campbell for trainer Jim Marino, 2-5 favourite Credit Risk fired to the lead from post five over inside starter Fire Of The Dragon (Serge Masse). Meanwhile, Whatkindofchance (Kevin Anderson), leaving from the outside post seven, was parked out and pressing through the :27.2 opening panel.
Credit Risk shook off that rival on the way to the half in :58.1, but Tito Santanna (Marino) went wide and worked past his stablemate, clearing at the 1:27.1 third quarter station.
However, Campbell launched Credit Risk out coming off the final turn and the Up The Credit gelding reclaimed the lead down the stretch and drew off by three and a half lengths for the career-best 1:57.1 victory. The track was rated sloppy with a two-second variant. Fire Of The Dragon finished second and Tito Santanna was third.
Marino shares ownership of the winner with B.C. partners Brian Moyes of Vernon, Ian Moyes of White Rock and Steve Shand of Port Coquitlam. After going winless in seven starts as a freshman, Credit Risk has won three of his five sophomore starts to lift his bankroll to $39,164.
The stakes event was for B.C.-bred three-year-old male pacers that were non-winners of $30,000 lifetime.
Prairie Illusion was a wire-to-wire winner in this week’s $10,500 Fillies & Mares Open Pace, which was contested early on the Sunday program. Bill Davis sent the popular Mach Three miss down the road (:28.2, :59, 1:27.2, 1:56.4) for her second consecutive Open victory over Just One More (Jim Marino) for trainer/owner Heather Sifert. Ashlynn Grace (John Chappell) won a photo for show.