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In a singular move that upped the stakes in the open trot class forever, the purchase of Freddie has been a game changer for aged trotters on the East Coast.
Freddie being named aged trotter of the decade is part of an ongoing series in The Guardian of top horses in the 10-year span that just passed after a polling of the Atlantic harness racing industry.
The Kingston conglomerate of the Three Wisemen stable, consisting of Fred MacDonald, Kent Scales and Ray Murphy, purchased Freddie from the Ontario-based Colin Johnson stable in early 2016. At that time, Freddie had just nine lifetime victories to his credit, but that number would quickly grow with Marc Campbell doing the training.
The Majestic Son trotter would tangle with Frill Seeker, Osprey Impact and Thunderaway in the open ranks in 2016 then come back in 2017 for a miraculous mile in 1:56.3 to shatter the Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP) track record and become the fastest trotter in the history of Atlantic harness racing. That record still stands.
All told, Freddie has won 51 races since coming east, to give him 60 lifetime wins. One of those victories came at Plainridge Park in Massachusetts in later 2018, when the ownership group sent the horse to Robert Marston near the end of the Island season.
His chief rivals have changed but Freddie continued to be a force in Island racing in 2019 with 13 wins from 24 starts and $19,313 in earnings while winning in 1:58.3 over the CDP. No matter how the race plays out, Freddie has proven he can leave hard at the start or get away last and either way has a large chance of landing in the winner’s circle.
What they said
Here’s what harness racing officials had to say about Freddie.
“Freddie is a model of consistency and has been a huge part of my stable for the last four years. He’s one of my best friends.”
Trainer-driver Marc Campbell
“One word: Tough. Whether he was just the best or not he could do it anyway you wanted.”
Driver Corey MacPherson
“Quite possibly the nicest open trotter to be in the Maritimes.”
Driver Adam Merner
“We knew he would be a great fit to the trot ranks but to do what he has done over the past years has been something special. The day he set the track record in Charlottetown was the day he cemented his legacy.”
Trainer Bo Ford
“A terrific addition to the Island scene and is a dominant open trotter. I believe that during the last decade trotters have made an impact on Island racing and Freddie has been the most consistent and a standout performer.”
Owner-Breeder William Andrew
Topping the class
The five horses that received the most votes in the aged trotter of the decade poll.
2. Osprey Impact
3. Saulsbrook Balance
4. Zip The Lip
5. Frill Seeker
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.