Arsenault reaches milestone
Veteran driver has recorded every single win in Maritimes
Kenny Arsenault of Charlottetown achieved a milestone on Saturday night.
Arsenault registered his 3,000th career driving victory in standardbred racing during a 12-dash card at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
“I never thought I was going to get there,” joked Arsenault, who has recorded every single one of his wins in the Maritimes. “The last four weeks I have had about 20 seconds and one win. . .
“It was a monkey off my back. The guys in the paddock were torturing me pretty good, but they all congratulated afterwards. It was a nice feeling.”
Arsenault registered No. 3,000 with Private Di, a two-year-old filly he trains for owner Wade Peconi of Stanchel. Time of the mile was 2:01.3.
“I was so happy it was one of my own horses,” said Arsenault in an interview with the Journal Pioneer during Sunday afternoon’s harness racing program at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway. “If it would have been a horse of Robbie or Wendell Shaw, Jackie Arsenault or people I have been driving for the past 30 years, I would have been tickled to death too,” said the 57-year-old Arsenault, who has been driving for 33 years.
Arsenault, who drives regularly at both P.E.I. tracks, recalled his very first career win was for his uncle Joey Arsenault.
“I had four drives the first day I drove, I won on my last drive,” he recalled. “It wasn’t pretty.”
Arsenault, who admitted he has seen lots of changes in his career, especially in safety equipment, said that while the competition is intense on the track, there is a great camaraderie amongst drivers.
“They are great guys to drive against,” said Arsenault. “Walter Cheverie and Gary Chappell have been driving as long as I have been. Gordie Hennessey and Earl Smith are other longtime drivers, and now you have these young drivers who are good, safe drivers. It’s a lot of fun to be out there.”
When asked what it means to reach the milestone, Arsenault commented: “When I started driving I wanted to get to a 1,000 (wins). When I got to 1,000, I wanted to go to 2,000. When I got to 2,000, I wanted to get to 3,000.
“I was kind of thinking about it the last year, especially when I got to 2,900. The last six weeks I never thought I was going to get there!”
Going forward, Arsenault said his next goal is to remain healthy and continue driving and training horses.
“I really like what I do,” emphasized Arsenault. “To me it’s not work. I have a passion for it, it’s a seven-day a week job and it’s something I look forward to doing when I get up every morning.”
I never thought I was going to get there. The last four weeks I have had about 20 seconds and one win. . . It was a monkey off my back. The guys in the paddock were torturing me pretty good, but they all congratulated afterwards. It was a nice feeling.” Kenny Arsenault
Kenny Arsenault of Charlottetown recorded his 3,000th career driving win in standardbred racing. Arsenault reached the milestone during Saturday night’s 12-dash card at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.