Racing continues Saturday
A card of short fields, great racing, and a solid bet headlined the opening day of the 2013 harness racing meet at Red Shores Charlottetown.
It was also a great day to see old pals, in particular the leading driver of the meet, Brian Andrew, with his three wins on the day. Andrew scored wins with Matt Trapper in 2:00.1, War Cry Ranger in 2:00.1 and Every Day in 2:00. Bill Andrew is co-owner of all three pacers, with Wayne Prezcator co-owning Every Day, Brian and Blake Andrew co-owning War Cry Ranger, and Brian Andrew, George Rogers and Jim MacPhail sharing the ownership of Matt Trapper.
Bill had a fourth owning win on the card, with newcomer Too Ideal capturing the $1,800 Mares Open in 2:00 for trainer-driver Mark Bradley. The five-year-old daughter of American Ideal previously raced in Alberta.
There were just 60 horses entered for the card, with 10 dashes held, but the bet remained respectable with $18,595 wagered.
Racing continues Saturday at 6 p.m. with 12 dashes and full fields on tap. The $1,850 feature goes in race 11 with Casual Motion (Joey Pineau), Le Fugueur (Marc Campbell), Outlawpositivcharg (Terry Gallant), Im Dreamin N (Marc Cullen), Blue Star Outlaw (Jason Hughes), Pembroke Fella (Brian MacPhee), Every Day (Brian Andrew), and Artners in Crime (Ron Matheson).
There are some new faces in play on the Island racing scene so far this season.
Deuce Man won his debut last week for trainer Neal Moase after being purchases in Ontario, but after the win was sold to Charles Gaudreault of Pabos, Quebec. The winner of 11 races and $54,995 in purses races this week for conditioner Mitchell Tierney.
Lucky Boot Cam (six wins, $46,029, 1:54.2 Flamboro Downs) will qualify Saturday for owners Steven and Don MacRae of Vernon Bridge. The four-year-old daughter of Camluck was racing in Ontario with trainer Robert Shepherd.
Cambest Kisser (17 wins, $134,832, 1:54.1 Woodbine) also calls P.E.I. home for owner Don MacRae. The six-year-old Cambest gelding was trained by Shepherd and Robert Jenkins Jr in Ontario. Those two horses will be trained by Jason Hughes on P.E.I.
Keystone Nobility (nine wins, $93,509, 1:54.2 Georgian Downs) is now owned by Kent Livingston of Charlottetown. The five-year-old Western Hanover mare has raced her entire career in Ontario, and was previously owned by Nova Scotia’s Ryan Ellis.
Artasin Memory (two wins, $21,791, 1:54.3 Mohawk) is now owned by Mark McKinnon of Charlottetown and Bethany MacLeod of New Dominion. The Art Major five-year-old was trained by Johnathan McKinnon in Ontario and will make her P.E.I. debut in a Saturday qualifier.
Timmy McKinnon is also now home on P.E.I. In his career, the Charlottetown native has trained the winners of 358 races and $1,901,868 in purses. Tim has eight horses here on the Island for the 2013 racing season.
Live racing returns to Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, N.B., on Saturday with seven races and 46 horses entered. Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia has nine dashes on tap Sunday with 63 total entries.
Horse Racing New Brunswick announced this week that the first three-year-old pacing filly event on the Atlantic Sires Stakes calendar has been postponed. The event was slated for May 20 at Fredericton Raceway but has been moved back to July 1 to coincide with the three-year-old pacing colt event. This is due to the withdrawal of funding by the New Brunswick government last year, and then failing to grant a request for Sires stakes funding in the 2013 provincial budget. There is still hope Sires stakes dates can be funded in New Brunswick, but it will be an uphill battle to make it happen.
Across the continent
Bolt The Duer is prepping for his 2013 season with Islander Mark MacDonald in the U.S. The four-year-old son of Ponder – Wonderbolt won his qualifier Thursday at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, in 1:53.2. He will qualify once more next week, before starting his four-year-old campaign where he hopes to knock heads with the best in the sport. In 2012, MacDonald drove the pacer to a world record 1:47.4 win in the Adios Pace at The Meadows.
MacDonald had a productive night last Saturday at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. The Islander had three wins on the 13 dash card, including wins with Intervention (1:52.3) and Pembroke Dewey (1:51.2) for trainer Mark Ford, and A Place In History (1:52.1) for conditioner Brad Irvine.
Race 1 – Caughtfoolinaround
Race 2 – Evalina
Race 3 – Maple Run Delight
Race 4 – Buckling Banbury
Race 5 – Cabo Pan Lucas
Race 6 – Just Coastin Along
Race 7 – Rich Raider
Race 8 – Lyndale Royal
Race 9 – Flaming Prince
Race 10 – Van Zant
Race 11 – Outlawpositivcharg
Race 12 – Matt Trapper
I am very sorry to report the passing of my grandmother, Erma Oakes, this past Saturday. The 85-year-old was formerly active in horse racing with her husband, Charles, before passing the torch to their sons Wayne and Kent. Not to mention she was probably my most loyal reader. On behalf of the family, I want to thank the harness racing community for the outpouring of support with messages, flowers, and those who attended the wake and funeral. Reminds me why I love this sport.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at Nicholasoakes@hotmail.com.