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Sunday afternoon saw the race that Atlantic harness racing fans have been waiting for as the two greatest pacing colts the Eastern Seaboard has ever seen went toe-to-toe every step of the way in the Maritime Breeders Stake.
When the dust settled, it was Woodmere Stealdeal that kept his undefeated season intact with win 13 of the year for trainer Danny Romo and Nova Scotia owners Kevin Dorey and Robert Sumarah in their $15,000 two-year-old pacing colt division. Marc Campbell was at the lines of the son of Steelhead Hanover, who was bred by Bruce Wood of Marshfield.
Fellow Atlantic record holder Bettim Again (Redmond Doucet) blasted to the front from Post 3 to open up a multiple-lengths lead by the eighth pole. Woodmere Stealdeal has been unhurried at the start all season but that was not the case Sunday as he left hard from Post 6 to get away second on the pylons in the first turn. Campbell then moved his charge to the outside in the 27.3 opening quarter and was engaged by the front-stepping Bettim Again.
Bettim Again strung his foe around the second turn then relinquished the lead heading to the half of 56.1. Three-quarters were reached in 1:26 while Bettim Again sat patiently on Campbell’s back before sprinting to the finish to fall half a length short of the undefeated pacer in 1:54.1, tying the overall Atlantic record that the pair already co-held.
That was the fifth track record for two-year-old colts for Woodmere Stealdeal, giving him the incredible privilege of holding the record at every track he set foot on in the Maritimes. He has the rookie record at Northside Downs, Inverness Raceway and Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia and Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Summerside Raceway in P.E.I.
The colt will now enjoy a well-deserved rest before prepping for next season.
The other $15,000 Maritime Breeders’ two-year-old colt division was won by Rotten Ronnie (Doucet) in 1:56.1. The Malicious colt was raised by Bobby Gordon in Elmsdale.
Aspoonfulofsugar won her $15,000 Maritime Breeders’ filly split in a new Truro two-year-old filly track record of 1:56.1 with Tyne Valley driver Dale Spence at the lines for her Nova Scotia connections.
Tobins Brownie made it six straight in the other filly split with a 1:58 win for driver David Dowling, trainer Jonah Moase and owners James Quinn of York, Carl Peterson of Hunter River and Amy Lakie of Montague.
The $22,200 Maritimer stake was won by Woodmere Skyroller on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, N.B., with Dowling at the lines for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. It was the fifth straight stakes win for the daughter of Rollwithitharry.
The London virtual yearling sale was held this week on Ongait.com, featuring a full slate of Ontario-sired yearlings.
Brendan Curran of Peakes signed for Minnies Memory, a daughter of Flanagan Memory, for $7,860.
Robin Burke of Brackley was the purchaser of State Treasurer filly Safari Seelster for a $10,480 price tag.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at [email protected].
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- DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Bettim Again sets new record in Charlottetown