Evening's top class declared no contest
SUMMERSIDE — It was a big night for trot specialist Joe Smallwood of Stratford.
Two of Smallwood’s entries, both driven by veteran Walter Cheverie, won divisions of the Atlantic Sires Stakes/Meridian Farms trots during Tuesday evening’s Lobster Festival harness racing program at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway.
J K Hustler, who did not finish in the Maple Leaf Trot in Summerside on July 9, recorded the fastest mile (2:02.4) of the four trots in the first of two three-year-old events.
Smallwood, who does the training, co-owns the bay colt with Norman Clarey of Charlottetown.
The Smallwood-owned and trained J K Blaze was the first to hit the wire in the second two-year-old event. The colt had a time of 2:11.2.
Bay filly Paymenowpaymelater won the first two-year-old division in 2:07.4. Kenny Arsenault did the driving for owner Wade Peconi of Stanchel.
Seanchai won the second three-year-old trot in 2:03.4, a race held in memory of Boyd Leslie. MacPhee recorded his second win of the night behind the three-year-old bay gelding for the Buntainwood Farm of Brackley Beach.
The three-year-old trots featured purses of $8,620, and the two-year-olds raced for $8,820.
The judges ruled the evening’s top class — a $2,000 pace in Race 11 — was a no contest after the outside wing of the starting gate fell off just past the start before the first turn.
A total refund was offered on all tickets wagered.
It appeared none of the horses were seriously injured, but an announcement was made for a veterinarian to report to the barn area following the race.
The outside wing is the part of the starting gate where Posts 5 through 8 line up.
For the evening’s finale, the starting gate went with just the inside wing — Posts 1 through 4 — out while the rest of the field lined up in their normal positions.
SA Summers Luck registered the fastest trip of the night in 1:57.3 in the Race 10 $1,550 pace. Fractions were 28.1 seconds, 58.3 and 1:27.3.
Gary Chappell notched his second driving win of the night for owner and trainer Bing Easter of O’Leary.
Other winners on the card were Mile Hill Belle (2:06.1), Paradise Rose (1:59.2), The Warden (1:59), Eyes Of Glory (1:59.1), Micrometerjack (2:00.3) and Joachim (1:58.1).
Arsenault also recorded a driving double.