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DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Trotter goes for record price at Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale

The opening night of live harness racing at Truro Raceway last Friday featured seven dashes. The wager was more than $8,400.
Harness racing. - Lynn Curwin

The 2018 Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale is in the books and it had another strong showing for the future of the industry in Eastern Canada.

The 2018 edition at the Crapaud Agriplex saw a yearling son of Credit Winner by the name of Mack Truck pass through the ring as the sale’s topper for $26,000. Donna Van Meer of Bowmanville, Ont., purchased the New York eligible trotter, for a price that puts him as the most expensive trotter ever sold at public auction in Atlantic Canada.

Saulsbrook Rocky was the top priced pacer of the day, as the son of Malicious was purchased by Peter Smith of Stratford for a $24,500 price tag. Tequila Tuesday was the top priced Maritime-bred trotter as the son of Armbro Barrister was purchased by Jackie Heffernan of Summerville for $14,500.

In total, 121 horses were catalogued for last week’s sale with eight horses being withdrawn before the sale and 11 being bought back by the consignor in the ring leaving 102 yearlings changing hands on the day. Those 102 horses sold for a total of $772,900 before sales tax, good for an average of $7,577.

Ontario sire Shadow Play had the best time in the auction ring of stallions that sold three of more yearlings, with four of his yearlings passing through the ring for a total of $50,000, equalling a $12,500 average per horse. Camystic had a solid showing on the day with nine yearlings being sold for a $90,200 translating to a $10,022 average, followed by Malicious chiming in at a $9,894 average with nine yearlings.

The first crop of Rollwithitharry was well received as 12 of his progeny went through the ring in Crapaud for a total of $110,150 for a $9,179 average. Striking Lindsey had his first crop at public auction with the trotter garnering a $3,813 average over four yearlings.

Western Paradise had four yearlings sell for a $6,500 average, Articulator had 11 yearlings sell for an average of $6,395, followed by Image Of Dawn selling nine yearlings for a $5,833 average. Westwardho Hanover had 10 yearlings change hands for an average of $4,520 per horse, while Tad The Stud sold five yearlings for a $4,460 average. Varadero Hanover had three yearlings change hands in the sale ring for a $3,400 average, while Ameripan Gigolo had five son and daughters sell for a $2,660 average, followed by Carnivore selling three yearlings for an average of $2,567.

P.E.I. Scene

Island racing was saddened by the loss of two exceptional horse people from Prince County recently.

Wendell Shaw passed away at the age of 73 this past week after a lifetime of involvement in the harness racing industry as a trainer, driver, owner and builder. Among the Summerside resident’s many roles in official capacities, Shaw was a commissioner of the Maritime Province’s Harness Racing Commission. Shaw leaves behind son Robbie, who has also been a lifetime member of the harness racing community.

Another Summerside horseman, Lester Chappell, passed away recently at the age of 85. Chappell was a former trainer, driver and owner at the Summerside Raceway known for helping mentor any young horsepeople to come across the backstretch.

Shaw and Chappell will both be sorely missed. My condolences.

The Charlottetown Driving Park switches to Saturday afternoon racing for the duration of the season with 13-dashes scheduled this week with a 12:30 p.m. post time.

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

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