Skippy scores come-frombe­hind win

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Across the con­ti­nent Ni­cholas Oakes’ col­umn ap­pears in The Guardian each Fri­day. He can be reached at nichola­soakes@hot­mail.com.

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.

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