Arsenault reaches mile­stone

Vet­eran driver has recorded ev­ery sin­gle win in Mar­itimes

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - BY JA­SON SIM­MONDS jp­sports@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com Twit­ter.com/Jp­sport­sJa­son https://www.face­book.com/ja­son.sim­monds.180

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.

First race

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

JA­SON SIM­MONDS/JOUR­NAL PIONEER

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.

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