Team BC’s run at the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships in Digby, Nova Scotia ended Saturday morning with a 6-5 loss to Bryan Cochrane of Team Ontario during semi final action.Team BC lost a chance to finish in the medals after dropping a 7-5 decision to Alan O’Leary of Team Nova Scotia in the Bronze Medal match.Meanwhile, Cochrane doubled Randy Neufeld of Team Manitoba 6-3 to capture the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championship in the Gold medal game.What’s even more crushing to Skip Bob Ursel and third Dave Stephenson of Kelownaa, second Don Freschi of Trail and lead Fred Thomson of Nelson was the fact Team BC held the advantage with last rock in the final end in semi final action against the eventual 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Champs.However, Cochrane overcame not having the hammer to steal one and the hearts of Team BC at the same time.”We lost that game by a quarter of an inch,” Ursel’s third, Fred Thomson said following the game.Thomson said Ursel’s first stone in the end caught something on the ice, which put the pressure even more on the Team BC rink.Then with Ursel’s final shot, needing a double takeout to win the game, Team BC’s rock came up ever so close to scoring the winning point.”Bob hit (the stone) where we thought we had to hit it,” Thomson explained. “There wasn’t a measurement, but we both looked at the two stones for a minute before realizing Team Ontario’s rock was shot.”Team BC had the advantage coming home, leading 5-3 after six ends.However, Cochrane scored a deuce in the seventh before completing the comeback with a single in the eighth.Thomson said Team BC third Dave Stephenson, who was injured Friday, played, and played well for the westcoast province. Team BC suffers huge setback, qualifies for playoffs at 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling ChampionshipsJust when everything was going so well . . . well, then this happens.Team BC suffered a huge setback Friday at the 2016 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships in Digby, Nova Scotia when third Dave Stephenson injured a knee walking off the ice following the morning draw.“We had just played Team Ontario when Dave stepped in a spot at the end of the sheet with no ice and slipped,” third Fred Thomson of the Bob Ursel rink told The Nelson Daily.“He thought he was okay but while we were eating after he noticed the knee swelled so he went to get it check out.”Turns out Stephenson tweaked something in his knee.Skip Bob Ursel, Stephenson, second Don Freschi of Trail and lead Fred Thomson had just handed Team Ontario an 8-2 thrashing — skip Bryan Cochrane’s only loss of the Championships.However, the injury prevented Stephenson from taking to the ice for Team BC’s final game of the Championships, a 6-0 loss to Team Manitoba — a game that was called after five ends.“We’re hoping Dave is okay for (Saturday),” said Thomson, adding the rink was not really into playing the final game, especially after Stephenson went down.“He’s doing everything he can to be ready for the semi final.”Team BC, finishing with a 7-3 record, advances to the Playoff round as the fourth seed.Team BC, which meets Team Ontario at 5:30 a.m. PDT, moved Thomson to third and called in a spare to play lead against Manitoba.If Stephenson is ready to give it a go, Thomson is confident Team BC has just a good a chance to win the Championship as any of the other three rinks — Team Ontario, Team Nova Scotia and Team Manitoba.“We believe we’re have just a good a chance as any of the team,” Thomson said.“The way we’re curling, especially after the Ontario game, we feel we have a good shot at this.”That’s, of course, with Stephenson healthy playing third. Right now everyone in BC has fingers crossed.
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2017)–Heavily favored St. Joe Bay shrugged off early pace pressure and a serious challenge a quarter mile from home while registering a 2 ¼ length win in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Palos Verdes Stakes under Kent Desormeaux. Trained by Peter Miller, the 5-year-old gelding got six furlongs in 1:08.75.“There was a lot more pressure (on him) than I thought,” said Miller. When is saw that four-horse (eventual last place finisher, Ocho Ocho Ocho) hounding me in 21 and two, I was like geeez. But this horse is just so good right now he’s got gears. When that gray horse (runner-up Moe Candy) came to him, I got a little concerned, but he had another gear.”A winner of the Grade III Midnight Lute Stakes here on Dec. 31, St. Joe Bay was off at 3-5 in a field of four older horses and paid $3.40 and $2.20 (no show wagering).“Well, there are certainly always anxious moments when you’re coming into the stretch like that but fortunately for me, St. Joe Bay did all the work,” said Desormeaux. “He had about 70 yards where he had a nice breather. For me, it’s just great to be on the Peter Miller team. He’s firing bullets right now.”Owned by Altamira Racing Stable and David A. Bernsen, St. Joe Bay, a Florida-bred gelding by Saint Anddan, got his third consecutive win Saturday and he now has an overall mark of 21-5-5-3. With the winner’s share of $120,000, he now has earnings of $377,175.Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Moe Candy loomed ominously turning for home, but the winner found plenty more, relegating “Moe” to second, finishing 4 ¼ lengths in front of Ike Walker. Off at 6-5, Moe Candy paid $2.20 to place.Fractions on the race were 21.48, 44.40 and 56.37.