Seven weeks in to the 2019 season and we have not found a clear cut top dog at Northside Downs, with each week bringing a new entry to the winners circle in the afternoon feature. There have been six different winners through seven weeks, including two different winners since our last edition. It has made for some competitive, spirited battles and it looks like the trend might continue well into the summer.
The Ageless One
Fourteen year old Dreamfair Van Dam found racing room on the final turn to rally up the inside and pace the fastest mile of the afternoon in 1:59.3 on the June 15th card. Gerard Kennedy drove the veteran Artsplace gelding to his third win of the season and 44th lifetime for lessee Heather Hawkins. Wildact Jet finished second a length and a half behind the winner, with early pacesetter Brother John third. Accelerator and Sly Baran rounded out the field of five. Despite being one of the oldest horses at the Downs, there probably is no other horse that has won more races than Dreamfair Van Dam over the past four years at Northside. There were seven different drivers each posting a win on the afternoon where fans wagered $7383.00.
Wildcat Jet finally broke through on June 22nd, taking advantage of a perfect trip behind pacesetter Brother John and found racing room in the stretch to prevail by a head in 2:02.2 on Saturday June 22nd. The seven year old Jeremes Jet gelding came into the race with a win and five seconds from six starts this season, has now not finished worse then 2nd in seven starts in 2019. It was one of two driving victories on the program for Mark Pezzarello, who also guided Classic Smiley to her 4th in a row for owner and trainer Brian O’Donnell. Nike’s Cowgirl paced the fastest mile of the day, winning in 2:01 for owner Jimmy Struthers and driver Jamie Struthers. The six year old mare won by seven lengths over Eastview Dexter and Waterside Lucky, with those three combining for a $965.90 triactor. Fans wagered $8891.00 on the afternoon, where track conditions were off a few seconds due to heavy rain on Friday evening.
New Faces and Great Causes
Kudos to those at Truro Raceway who have been successful in bringing new owners into the sport through the Hubtown Horse Owners Club. We need more owners, not just more bettors to grow the industry. Not only were there 125 shares sold as of last week, but one of the two new horses purchased, Larjon Lauchlan, won in her debut for trainer George Rennison and driver Marc Campbell on the June 21st card. On a smaller scale to the success of The Stable, to keep sustaining horse racing in Atlantic Canada we are going to need both aged horses and yearlings bought and sold in smaller shares to bring and keep people involved in our sport. While I am thrilled to be involved as an owner with The Stable on shares in Lincoln James and two year old New York bred colt Brushcut, it would be nice to own a part of a local horse as well to see race live on a regular basis. What Truro has started, other Maritime tracks need to continue moving forward.
The Hubtown ownership group is the first half of a great daily double that includes the recent decision by Woodmere Farms to sell shares in stallion and once again active racehorse Rollwithitharry to bring awareness and raise money for breast cancer research through the Harness the Hope fundraiser. In supporting a worthy cause, those making donations are enshrined as owners of Rollwithitharry for the 2019 season, which should generate a lot of interest in PEI and beyond as many will visit during both Lobster Carnival and Old Home Week. For more information on being part of this new ownership group visitwoodmerefarm.com.
Century Farroh Rebounds
Despite not qualifying for the NA Cup final, three year old Century Farroh rebounded with a nice win in the NA Cup consolation, pacing to a new mark of 1:49.2 for Sylvain Fillion and the Ratchford Stable. The other locally owned entry, Bronx Seelster, had to endure being interfered with, and was taken out of contention, settling for fifth in a placing. Both pacers will hopefully continue to make their mark on what is a long and competitive season of stakes action. In our next issue we will look at recent action at Northside and local stakes horses venturing to Lobster Carnival week at Summerside. Until then we extend to our readers good luck, good racing, and good handicapping.