Defending champ sitting pretty after three nights

Chuckwagons: Jason Glass tops Rangeland Derby standings

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Monday, Jul 07, 2014 11:13 am

High River’s Jason Glass turns the barrel en route to having the fastest time of the night Sunday at the Calgary Stampede.
High River’s Jason Glass turns the barrel en route to having the fastest time of the night Sunday at the Calgary Stampede.
Bruce Campbell/OWW

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The defending Rangeland Derby champion had to hold on tight to the reins of his excitable team as it approached Barrel 1 on Sunday. However, when he let his team go High River’s Jason Glass excited the fans as he had the fastest time of the 2014 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby at 1:11.24.

“You have to take advantage of those one and two barrels when you get them,” Glass said. “My lead team when they are that fresh and that good they seem to go off to the left, so (when) that happens it’s harder to get them around that top barrel.”

Glass was able to get his team around the barrels and then he was off to the races. He finished more than a wagon ahead of second-place Kurt Bensmiller in the premier ninth heat.

Glass didn’t do too badly on the two previous nights of racing despite having the two worst barrel positions. He had the fourth-fastest time in the aggregate Saturday night from the four barrel. On the opening night on Friday he finished 10th among the 36 drivers from Barrel 3.

He sits in first place after three days of racing with an aggregate time of 3:37.85.

He is hoping for good things tonight.

“I am going with the same outfit from the two-barrel, that is my favourite barrel,” Glass said. “It’s day-by-day in this sport. You can’t get ahead of yourself.”

It was a good day for High River chuckwagon drivers.

Jordie Fike turned in his best performance of his three-year Calgary Stampede with a third-place finish in the aggregate Sunday at 1:12.12.

“That is the best outfit I have ever put together — they seem to get stronger with every show,” Fike said.

Fike turned the No. 1 barrel and tucked in behind Rick Fraser, who won the heat. Fraser was sandwiched between Glass and Fike to finish second on the evening.

Fike sits 14th in the aggregate after three days. He has his sights set on finishing in the elite eight in the standings, which would give him a shot at winning the $100,000 final paycheque.

“I have to stay consistent — the horses are doing their job and I have to do mine,” Fike said. “If I can make the top eight it’s like the playoffs in hockey — it’s anybody’s game after that.”

Okotoks’ Mark Sutherland is still trying to find the right team at the Calgary Stampede.

Sutherland sits 25th after three nights of racing.

“I have had a couple of bad runs — well the runs were great, the starts were terrible,” Sutherland said. “It’s just not typical to the horses — I don’t know why it is happening, too excited I suppose.”

He’s not out of it yet, having five more days to climb to the top eight.

“I just haven’t put them together the way I should yet,” Sutherland said. “I just need a couple of good runs.”

Colt Cosgrave, who is driving the town of High River tarp, sits 19th in the aggregate. High River Autoplex and RV purchased the tarp for $100,000 to promote the community. It is paying dividends.

Track announcer Les McIntrye said the words “High River” seven times in front of more than 20,000 fans and a nationwide audience while Cosgrave was on the track.

The top eight drivers after eight days of racing will compete in two semifinal heats on Saturday. The top four drivers from those semifinal heats, will advance to the Rangeland Derby final on Sunday night.

For a complete list of results go to cs.calgarystampede.com


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