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The three-year-old trot division was a gang where anything could happen in 2018
The countdown of the top news stories of the 2018 harness racing season continues this week with a look at some of the top performers of last season.
This is the second part of a three-part series.
20. Trouble At The Start
The Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP) starting gate proved to be an unusual factor during the 2018 season. The vehicle had a variety of malfunctions that caused some delays and even the cancellation of a program midway through its completion.
19. Siring Excellence
Malicious put his stamp on the 2018 season in a big way with his first crop of offspring. Out of 14 horses in his inaugural crop, Malicious had eight stakes contenders including the top three pacing colts in Notorious, Woodmere Bolt and Red Dirt Boomer.
18. Sorrie Scores
Austin Sorrie rewrote the record books in his rookie driving campaign as he bested Corey MacPherson’s previous dash win record while winning 32 races on the year. The Montague rookie also had the fastest ever win by a new driver on the East Coast with a 1:53.1 victory aboard In Spades.
17. Hansen’s Quest
Owner Blair Hansen of Charlottetown enjoyed a lucrative season with Rose Run Quest in 2018 as the free-for-all pacer captured the $5,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown Invitational and the $5,000 Cecil Ladner Memorial for trainer-driver Marc Campbell. The horse’s big score was in the $7,500 Exhibition Cup Invitational in July in Bible Hill, N.S., as Gilles Barrieau steered the horse to victory in 1:53.4 for trainer Bo Ford.
16. Chappell Fillies
Trainer Gary Chappell quietly put together a career year in the training department with more than $77,000 in earnings. Tobins Terror led the way as she competed in the tough three-year-old pacing filly division and tied the 1:55.2 Truro Raceway sophomore filly track record. Another Chappell trainee, Dusty Lane Mavis, set the Northside Downs two-year-old trot filly record of 2:03.4 in Nova Scotia.
15. Trotting Tricks
The three-year-old trot division was a gang where anything could happen. Windemeredontuworry set a new three-year-old trotting stallion standard of 1:59.3 over the CDP in September with Gilles Barrieau driving for owners Terry Gallant and Eric Johnston of Summerside. West River Cindy tied the three-year-old trotting filly track record held by Maple Leaf Spirit in October with a 2:00.1 win.
14. Longshot Breeder’s Crown Winner
Buddy White supplied the biggest upset on Atlantic Breeder’s Crown day as the colt won the three-year-old trot final from Post 8 at 33-1 odds for the team of driver Adam Merner, trainer Stephen Gass and owner Blayne White of Pinette.
13. Deep Rookies
Notorious was crowned king in the Atlantic Sires Stakes program for two-year-old pacers in 2018 but had to settle for third in purse earnings in a tough bunch of rookies. Red Dirt Boomer found top prize in the Maritime Breeder’s final while Woodmere Bolt was superb the first part of the season. Not to mention colts like Dusty Lane Cortez and Red Dirt Rocknroll.
12. Buckaroo Time
Buckaroo cemented himself in Cape Breton, N.S., harness racing history as the first trotter to break the 2:00 barrier on that Island when he won in 1:59.4 in August for driver Marc Campbell, trainer Bo Ford and owners Larry and Kathy Chappell of Marshfield.
11. Mares Domination
Sodwana Bay was far and away the class of the open mares ranks, winning 11 of 14 starts on the East coast with each of her losses consisting of a second-place finish for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owners Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia and Howmac Farms Ltd., of North Wiltshire.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at email@example.com.