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FIDDLER'S FACTS: Polls, politics, pools, putts and ponies

Sock It Away, with Marc Campbell in the bike, leads the pack to the finish line Wednesday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Sock It Away won the Atlantic Sire Stakes two-year-old colts A division in 1:58.4.
Sock It Away, with Marc Campbell in the bike, leds the pack to the finish line at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.- Jason Malloy

Many memorable moments during the past week


The next week should provide enough fireworks on our little Island that the local watering holes will be jammed until the closing hour discussing hot topics of the day.
Hockey followers will be lamenting the Stanley Cup favourites falling by the wayside and ruining a great many hockey pools. It’s hard to figure out how Tampa Bay lost four straight games to Columbus Blue Jackets, a team they clobbered all season.

Who would have thought the Pittsburgh Penguins, with three or four of the best players in the game, could be dispatched without a whimper by the upstart New York Islander?
On the political front, the upcoming election is like no other in this province, as the polls show three parties going neck and neck and with as many as five legitimate contestants in one riding. What makes this election even more exciting is ridings have changed and there are a number of three-way fights where a winner could benefit from a split vote.
It is hard to imagine any one party winning a majority government but after what happened in the Stanley Cup playoffs, I suppose anything is possible. If you can’t get excited about these two events, you want to check your pulse.
Golf enthusiasts are all fired up about the massive Tiger Wood victory in the Masters, his 15th major and first major in 11 years, leaving him three to tie Jack Nicklaus.
Avondale opened on Thursday but it’s a little too chilly for this golfer, who needs 15C or better before my clubs come out. A little while yet.
Harness racing
Local harness racing has qualifying races set for Saturday, April 27, and Tuesday, April 30, in Charlottetown, and Monday, April 29, 6 p.m., at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The first live card of the season is set for the first Saturday in May, Kentucky Derby Day.
The first live card of the Maritime season went Friday at Truro Raceway, a six-dash card.
Reg MacPherson’s Sock It Away earned horse of the year honours at the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owners gala a week ago at Murphy’s Community Centre. Sock It Away had been racing at Yonkers but he is on his way home and most likely ready for the open Maritime class.
Wally Hennessey was guest speaker and did an excellent job talking about his hall of fame journey, starting at Charlottetown and in Saint John, N.B.
Not surprising that Marc Campbell was driver of the year and Gilles Barrieau the top percentage driver, but what was a surprise was veteran Len (Barney) McGuigan getting the percentage training award.
A number of Maritime-related horses are in to go tonight at Mohawk: Royaltywestho, Rockin in Heaven, J J Powerball, His Boy Elroy and Physicallyinclined.
Boston Marathon
Twenty-seven Islanders took part in Monday’s Boston Marathon and they did very well. Islanders always have had a great interest in marathon dating back the early 1900s when the Charlottetown Patriot and the Halifax Herald newspapers sponsored long distance running events that attracted huge crowds.
The first great marathon runner to come out of Prince Edward Island was Lennox Island native Michael Thomas, who won the Charlottetown Patriot 10-mile marathon in 1910 while running for the Abegweit track team. He was the first Islander ever to compete in the Boston Marathon in 1911, finishing 26th overall. Barney Francis and John Paul were also heralded marathon runners in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.
On Monday, Stratford’s Vincent Merriman was the fastest Islander to finish the 26-mile Boston Marathon in 2 hours and 44 minutes, second best among Maritime runners. Charlottetown’s Mike Peterson was second among P.E.I. runners with a time of 2:52 while Scott Clark of Summerside was third in 3:06.
Cornwall’s Jen Nicholson was the first Island woman in 3:21, followed by Dr. Jocelyn Peterson (Mike’s wife) and Lorna Kemp in times of 3:23 and 3:24 times, respectively. Francis Fagan, Pam Power Mckenna and Father Gerard Chaisson, also finished with respectable times. Fagan was also third in the 5k pre-Boston marathon in the 65-69 age category.
Stratford’s Bev Walsh finished and what is most remarkable about her performance is that last Monday’s was her 14th Boston Marathon, quite an achievement.

Fred MacDonald's column appears every Saturday in The Guardian. He can be reached at

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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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