In 2012, Island racing was dominated by Marc Campbell with him topping the driving standings in Charlottetown and Summerside, but a number of Islanders had solid seasons plying their trade away from home.
Charlottetown native Jason Ryan was the only Islander to sit atop the leaderboard for wins anywhere in the world but P.E.I. Ryan topped the Sudbury Downs standings with 93 wins. He was narrowly beat out for top money-winning driver by Paul MacLean, who earned $514,414 while Ryan earned $507,971.
Island native John Chappell was sixth for drivers at Northlands Park in Edmonton with 26 wins and $171,246 earned. At Alberta Downs in Lacombe, Alta., he sat sixth in the drivers’ standings with 42 trips to the winner’s circle and $221,623 in earnings.
Cornwall native David Dowling was eighth in the driving standings at Dresden Raceway in Ontario, with 11 wins and $39,831 earned during their short race meet. At Hiawatha Horse Park in Sarnia, Ont., Dowling was 10th for drivers with 14 wins and $74,676 earned. He was also a factor at Sudbury Downs with his 35 wins and $176,246 in purses, putting him in eighth place. At Woodstock Raceway in Ontario, he was sixth for drivers with 12 wins and $47,663 earned.
At Yonkers Raceway in New York City, Kingston native Mark MacDonald was seventh among drivers for purse money ($3,324,776) and 10th for wins (125).
At Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, Charlottetown native Gordie Hennessey was fifth with 27 wins and $31,781 in purse money.
Kingston native Anthony MacDonald was seventh overall in the nation for wins (374) and purse money ($4,871,247). MacDonald was fourth among drivers at Flamboro Downs with 190 wins and $1,317,574 earned. At Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont., he was sixth for wins (32) while his $451,396 in purses put him third at the half-mile track. At Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ont., he was tied for 10th with 36 wins and on the Woodbine Entertainment Group Circuit, he finished ninth in the deep drivers’ group with 103 visits to the winner’s circle while his $2,284,002 in purse earnings put him in 14th place.
Stratford native Robert Shepherd was third in wins at Grand River Raceway with 54 and his $365,492 in earnings placed him fourth. At Flamboro Downs, he finished seventh in the driving colony with 149 wins and $990,748 earned. At Georgian Downs, he was tied for 10th with Anthony MacDonald at 36 wins. At Western Fair Raceway in London, Ont., Shepherd was 10th with 45 wins.
Kingston native James MacDonald was fourth at Georgian Downs with 72 victories and $575,463 in purses. At Grand River Raceway, MacDonald was eighth at the track with 24 wins and $296,490 earned. He took up sixth spot at Flamboro Downs with 150 wins and $1,061,342 earned.
Paul MacKenzie, formerly of Charlottetown, was ninth in the nation for wins with 322. He also rang in fifth for drivers at Flamboro Downs with 182 victories and $1,293,635 in purse money. At Georgian Downs, he checked in third with 77 wins and $680,158 in earnings, and at Grand River Raceway he was fifth with 36 wins and $297,038 earned.
In Ottawa, Islander John MacDonald finished second for drivers at Rideau Carleton Raceway with 243 wins and $1,425,531 in purse earnings.
Clyde River native Mike MacNeill rang in third at Sudbury Downs with 57 winners and $384,884 in earnings.
Among trainers away from home, Vernon River native Sean MacSwain was ninth for wins with 29.
Sheldon Watts was fourth for training wins at Fredericton Raceway with seven.
Interestingly enough, the new year is looking brighter for Islanders as currently John MacDonald and James MacDonald are tied for most driving wins in the country with 14 each, while Anthony MacDonald sits in third with 12.
Waiting On A Woman has trotted himself into the record books at Pompano Park in Florida last week.
The son of Northern Bailey-Southwind Faith won in 1:54.4, with Island native Wally Hennessey in the bike, making him the fastest Maritime-bred ever on a five-eighths track, eclipsing the former mark of 1:56 shared by Final Balance, Nonnas Treasure and Maple Leaf Noble.
The fastest Maritime-bred trotting win ever belongs to Nonnas Treasure in 1:54 flat over The Meadowlands in New Jersey, while Rustico Pluto (1:54.3 at The Meadowlands) and Waiting On A Woman (1:54.3 at Mohawk) are tied for third.
Wednesday, Waiting On A Woman won the Open II trot in 1:55., again with Hennessey at the lines.
Nicholas Oakes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.