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DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Woodmere Skyroller banks big year

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The Donnie and George Turner memorial stakes saw nothing but David Dowling in the winner’s circle as the Atlantic stakes season wrapped up Sunday at the Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia.

Woodmere Skyroller put the finishing touches on a superb campaign as she won her $14,710 Turner memorial division for three-year-old pacing fillies in the final stake of her stakes career. Dowling sent the champion daughter of Rollwithitharry sharply to the lead and never relented through splits of 28.3, 58.1, 1:26 and 1:54.3.

Watch Me Dance (Jason Hughes) sat in the pocket to finish second while Ashestodiamonds (Darren Crowe) was third.

Kevin MacLean trains Woodmere Skyroller for owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. The victory puts Woodmere Skyroller at $84,721 earned this season, which is believed to be a record for money earned in one year solely in Atlantic Canada by a three-year-old pacing filly.

Windemere Frank went all the way in the $14,460 Turner three-year-old pacing colt division, stopping the clock in 1:56.2. Dowling was at the controls for trainer Earl Watts and owners Debbie Denney of Nova Scotia and Hollis Newson of Cornwall.

It was the ninth win of the Malicious colt’s career and boasted his bankroll to $49,197. Second went to Here Comes Red (Redmond Doucet) while The Big Chase (Adam Merner) was third.

P.E.I. Scene

The 2020 season wrapped up at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon and Corey MacPherson claimed the first driving title of his career. The 31-year-old Cornwall driver finished out the year with 32 driving wins at the Prince County oval.

Marc Campbell was crowned the leading trainer.

The driving race at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP) appears to be a foregone conclusion with Campbell winning his 11th straight driving title at the capital oval. The Orwell native has 124 wins on the season with Gilles Barrieau sitting in second with 84 wins and Corey MacPherson third with 66 wins.

Campbell is also a runaway for top trainer as his stable has won 68 races in Charlottetown in 2020, ahead of Ron Gass and Ron Matheson at 30 wins each.

A case of the deadly disease strangles in the Campbell stable saw all horses from that outfit scratched last weekend. The respiratory disease showed up in a yearling in the Campbell stable in Charlottetown, but the trainer was quick to notify the proper authorities and move the affected horse to an isolated location.

A number of health measures have been put in place at the CDP and there is no indication the illness spread past the original host.


Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at [email protected].

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