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DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Pacers seeking big pay day

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Campbell drives pair of horses to victories in Maritime Breeder’s elimination action

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The richest races of the season for two-year-old pacers are set for Sunday afternoon at the Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia.

Racing begins at 12:15 p.m. at the Bible Hill track.

In Maritime Breeder’s elimination action Sunday, Winsloe driver Marc Campbell hit the wire first in both splits for two-year-old pacing colts. Campbell teamed up with Atlantic Breeder’s Crown winner Notorious to win the first $5,000 elimination in 2:00.2 for trainer Darryl MacLean, who co-owns the son of Malicious with Gordon MacLean of Winsloe and Shirley Symes of Springhill, N.S. Dusty Lane Cortez (Adam Merner) was second, A Grand Terror (Gilles Barrieau) third and Fern Hill Dynamic (Mark Bradley) earning a spot in the $22,500 final with a fourth-place finish.

The other $5,000 elimination saw Campbell and Atlantic Breeder’s Crown consolation winner Purple Poet take the overland route to a 2:00 victory for trainer Robert Phillips of Pinette and owner Kevin Harvey of Hammonds Plains, N.S. Woodmere Bolt (Earl Smith) was second, Mall Peen Hammer (Kenny Arsenault) third and Red Dirt Boomer (Barrieau) fourth.

There were insufficient entries for eliminations in the filly division with all rookies advancing directly to this week’s $27,000 final.

Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park has a 13-dash card scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. featuring the Maritime Breeder’s final for two- and three-year-old trotters.

Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway hosts their second-last card of the season on Sunday with a 1 p.m. post time.

Canada Wide

The London Selected Yearling Sale was held recently in London, Ont., with Island buyers active at the event.

Déjà Vu Seelster by Big Jim was purchased by Charlottetown native Andrew Moore for $14,000. The trainer also signed for Springbridge Jim, a yearling colt by Big Jim with a $14,000 price tag. Moore now campaigns out of Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa, Ont.

Vintage Vinyl, a colt by Vintage Master, was picked up by Darrell Neill of Winsloe for $3,000.

Larry Chappell of Marshfield purchased Messier Seelster, a colt by Thinking Out Loud, for $20,000. Cornwall native Mike Dowling signed for Tweeties Credit by Up The Credit, a filly who passed through the ring for $1,000. Dowling now races a small stable out of Paris, Ont., not far from Flamboro Downs.

In total, 312 yearlings passed through the ring in the lone sale of the Ontario harness racing market for a total of $7,064,800, good for an average of $22,644 per yearling.

Young Man Matt was scheduled to make his return to Ontario racing Thursday at Flamboro Downs near Dundas, Ont. Owned by Terry Gallant of Summerside, the pacer has won his last five races on P.E.I. and was entered in a $7,000 claiming class for trainer-driver Paul MacKenzie, a native of Charlottetown. Gallant claimed the pacer in the Alpine $5,000 claiming series during Old Home Week in Charlottetown, after he was brought here by Ontario trainer Patrick Shepherd.

Nick’s Picks

Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park:
Race 1 – Rockyroad Slimjim

Race 2 – Allstar Man

Race 3 – Prince Adair

Race 4 – Mile Hill Willie

Race 5 – Ultimatelyhandsome

Race 6 – Shadows In Town

Race 7 – West River Cindy

Race 8 – Jetster

Race 9 – Jackson K Down

Race 10 – Instant Shadow

Race 11 – IC True Grit

Race 12 – Prettyndangerous

Race 13 – Heart And Soul

Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at nicholasoakes@hotmail.com.

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