Skippy scores come-frombehind win
Harness racing got underway Wednesday in New Brunswick as the Fredericton Raceway hosted a Canada Day card.
The eight-dash event featured the $3,500 Walter Dale memorial pace with Skippy capturing the event in a mild upset. Island-owned Forever Paradise was the favourite, leaving off the rail for driver Gilles Barrieau, trainer Kevin MacLean and owners Reg MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe. The five-year-old son of Western Paradise left well to make front and cut out fractions of 27.4, 57.3 and 1:27.1 while the eventual winner got away last and came third-over in the sixhorse field. Around the final turn, Mark Haig moved Skippy three-wide to get up for a halflength victory in 1:58.1 with Forever Paradise second and Kass Hall (Scott Hubbard) finishing third.
Dr. Mitch Downey celebrated the first win of his driving career on the afternoon card, visiting the winner’s circle with Fall Bliss after a 1:58.2 victory. The New Brunswick season was delayed this year as Horse Racing New Brunswick is sorting out financial woes. There are 22 race dates scheduled in the province in 2015.
Obrigado was a big winner Saturday night at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey with Island native Mark MacDonald in the bike. Obrigado captured the $50,000 third leg of the TVG free-for-all trot in 1:51.3. The trotter will race again tonight at Northfield Park in Ohio in the $170,000 Cleveland Trotting Classic from Post 2 with MacDonald at the reins.
Saturday night at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania, IslandState Treasurer posted a humongous performance winning his $30,000 Ben Franklin free-for-all elimination in 1:50.3 over a sloppy track. The six-year-old son of Real Desire sat fifth over and tipped three wide down the stretch to destroy his eight rivals for driver Dave Miller. The Dr. Ian Moore-trainee is owned by Paul MacDonald of Toronto and Sally MacDonald of Souris.
The $500,000 final goes postward Saturday night at Pocono with State Treasurer drawing Post 4. Other entries include Domethatagain, Foiled Again, Clear Vision, Dynamic Youth, Mach It So, Captive Audience, Vegas Vacation and Luck Be Withyou. The event is carded as Race 11 with a 10:30 p.m. Atlantic planned post time for the race. This Sunday, the Maritimes best three-year-old pacing colt and fillies travel to Bible Hill, N.S. for the MacKenzie memorial stake.