Down The Backstretch: Review of 2013 harness racing continues

Nicholas Oakes
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Editor’s note – This is the second installment of a three-part year in review.

The summer of 2013 started with a bang, with what looked like the deepest invitational field of all time, until injuries sidelined a number of them, plus the addition of Gilles Barrieau to the driving colony.

June 1

Pang Shui broke a bone after a convincing 1:57.2 victory in Charlottetown. The No Pan Intended pacer looked like a real factor in the Maritime Free-For-All ranks for owners Gary Arsenault and William Andrew and trainer Blaine McKenna.


June 11

Longtime horse owner George Boswall of Frenchfort passed away.


June 27

Leading New Brunswick driver Gilles Barrieau competed in his first card of racing in Charlottetown as a P.E.I. regular. Barrieau moved his stable to the Island for the summer months, hitting the top five for driving wins at both tracks.


June 28

Longtime horse owner Melvin Willis, formerly of Kingstone but then living in Ontario, passed away.


June 22

Proven Lover and John Holmes captured the $8,000 Cecil Ladner Memorial final in 1:54 in Charlottetown for owner Casey Gavin of Tignish and trainer Thane Mann. Carnivore (Gary Chappell) was second with Windemere Express (Campbell) third.

Untouchable One (Kenny Arsenault) captured the $23,700 three-year-old pacing colt Maritime Breeders final in 1:56.1 over The Rev (Danny Romo) and Koultons Rocket (Darren Crowe).

Ramblinglily (Brodie MacPhee) won the $25,400 three-year-old pacing filly final in 1:56.1 with Rose Valley (Kenny Arsenault) second and Putnams Kream (Bernard McCallum) third.


June 23

Abundaspin (Harold Shepherd) set a new Summerside Raceway aged trot record with a 1:59.3 score for owner Mikaela Lustic of Warren Grove.


July 4

Marc Campbell scored his 1,000th driving win aboard Ultimate Faith in Charlottetown.


July 9

Howmacs Pride (Gilles Barrieau) set a new Summerside Raceway three-year-old trot filly record with a 2:00 victory for trainer Earl Watts and owners Howmac Farms and Wade Peconi.


July 13

Controvery hovered in the air in the minutes following the running of the $22,000 Governor’s Plate final. Proven Lover (Terry Gallant) won the race but was placed to second for interfering on Wild Dragon (Barrieau) going to the quarter. Wild Dragon was placed the winner in the 1:53.4 mile for co-owner and trainer Darren Trainor and co-owner Jennifer Trainor. Touch of Lightning (Earl Smith) finished third.


July 19

Arthur Blue Chip captured the $150,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Mid-summer Challenge for two-year-old colt pacers in 1:52.4 at Mohawk. The colt is co-owned and trained by Summerside native Dr. Ian Moore, with co-owners Serge Savard of Quebec and RG McGroup of Bathurst.


July 27

Proven Lover (Terry Gallant) won the $7,500 Exhibition Cup Invitational in 1:54.2 at Truro Raceway over Lulus Boy (Clare MacDonald) and All Turain (Campbell).


Aug. 10

Escape The News (Marc Campbell) won $10,000 Sobey’s Gold Cup and Saucer Trial 1 in 1:52.2 over Up The Credit (Carl Jamieson) and R Caan (Gilles Barrieau).

Aug. 11

Hillybilly Hanover (Gilles Barrieau) won Gold Cup and Saucer Trial 2 in 1:51.4 over Smokin Bear (Anthony MacDonald) and Proven Lover (John Holmes).


Aug. 12

Gold Cup and Saucer Trial 3 went to Machs Beach Boy (Doug McNair) in 1:52.2 with Lulus Boy (John MacDonald) second and Savannah Splendor (Jonathan Drury) third.


Aug. 15

Former Atlantic Post Calls editor and The Guardian columnist Doug Harkness was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in Toronto.


Aug. 16

Est Non Ila Dulcis stamped herself as the fastest ever maritime bred trotter in Atlantic Canada after a 1:58.2 win for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Angus Buntain of Mississauga. The win would stand as the overall track trotting record for one day.


Aug. 17

Escape The News won the $60,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final for driver Marc Campbell, trainer Ron Burke and American owners Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, JJK Stables and Howard Taylor in a new overall Charlottetown track record of 1:50.4. Hillbilly Hanover (Barrieau) was second with R Caan (Jason Ryan) third.

Touch Of Lightning captured the $11,600 Premiers Pace final in 1:53, a new record for Island bred pacers racing in Atlantic Canada, for trainer-driver Earl Smith and Island owners Larry Chappell, Gerald Morrissey, and Don and Peter Smith.

Real Housewife (Campbell) won the $12,700 Erwin Andrew Memorial trot mare final in a new CDP track trotting record of 1:58.1.


Aug. 21

Shadversary (Marc Campbell) set a new Summerside Raceway two-year-old colt pacing record of 1:57.3 for trainer Sifroi Melanson of New Brunswick.


Aug. 24

Ramblinglily (Brodie MacPhee) won the Maritimer stake in a two-heat victory at Exhibition Park Raceway. Ramblinglily won the elimination in 1:59.4, then scored a 1:59.3 win in the $11,052 final.


Aug. 25

Saulsbrook Alana (Campbell) shattered the Summerside Raceway two-year-old pacing filly track record and set a new Canadian seasons record for two-year-old fillies on a half-mile track with a 1:55.1 score.


Aug. 30

Big League (Dale Spence) won the $4,000 Milton Downey Memorial in a new Exhibition Park Raceway track record of 1:53.4 for owner-trainer Jonah Moase of Warren Grove. All Turain (Gilles Barrieau) was second with Dance Hanover (Stephen Trites) third.


Sept. 4

The Atlantic Sires Stakes made a stop at Inverness Raceway with trotting events for two and three-year-olds. BJ Comanche (Clare MacDonald) set a new two-year-old colt standard for trainer Bert Honkoop of Montague, while Topway (Walter Cheverie) set a new three-year-old colt record of 2:04.2 for owner Sandra White of Belle River.


Sept. 6

Horseowner and trainer Glenn Taylor of St. Georges passed away.


Sept. 7

All Turain (Brodie MacPhee) won the $6,500 Jennie and Joe Chippin Memorial at Fredericton Raceway in 1:55 setting a new aged gelding track record over Big League (Spence) and Lucky Encounter (Alex Sobey). Proven Lover made a break in the race, sustaining an injury and has not raced since.

Stayoutofmyaffair (Kenny Arsenault) won her division of the Atlantic Aged mares pacing series in a new Fredericton mares track record of 1:55.2 for trainer Stephen Quinn and owner Robbi Hughes of Stratford.

Nicholas Oakes' column appears in

he Guardian each Friday. He can be

reached at

Organizations: Windemere Express, Blue Chip, The Credit Exhibition Park Raceway CDP Spence

Geographic location: Charlottetown, New Brunswick, Ontario Rose Valley Hanover Atlantic Canada Summerside Quebec Toronto.Aug Mississauga Warren Grove Fredericton

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