It doesn’t take much to lift the spirits of harness racing fans especially in Atlantic Canada and that “feel good” spirit prevailed Saturday night at Red Shores Charlottetown as a big crowd turned out for a top notch card headlined by the Maritime Breeders elimination races for three year old colts and fillies. Fans, owners and trainers were here from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and the atmosphere felt like pre-Old Home Week with stake races, a very competitive Open Mares and a sharp top class that produced a swift 1:54:2 mile in race eleven when the wind turned a little on the cool side. The 12 dash card at Charlottetown last Saturday produced a hefty $46,720 pari-mutual handle by far the best in Atlantic Canada.

Elsewhere in the Maritimes, and with the two- year olds about a month away from racing, there appears to be a shortage of race- horses-a trend elsewhere in the country and at New England race tracks. Monticello, New York, for example, offered two seven dash weekend cards- a by product of the cancellation of Ontario’s Slots program which forced many breeders out of the game and put many owners out of the game. The loss of so many broodmares has been felt the last few years, it’s just that it appears to be more noticeably at this stage in the 2019 racing schedule.

A quick glance across the Atlantic Canada landscape paints a picture similar to that at Monticello with the exception of Summerside and to a lesser extent Truro. Summerside offered a solid 10 dash card on Sunday and the wager -a hefty $28,900 on the shortened card while last Friday, Truro staged a nine- dash card, the wager $12,376-by today’s standards not bad. Northside Downs, North Sydney put together an eight- race program on Saturday and fans pushed $9,445 into the windows while on Sunday, Inverness offered a six race card and the wager $5,467. Saint John’s Exhibition Park had only 24 horses available, six races and the small fields kept fans from wagering with less than $2,000 in the total pools.

I have noticed a number of new purchases on the Maritime race cards over the past week, and I am told more are on the way. Combine the new race- horses with hopefully the emergence of a big two year old crop and we should see larger race cards, full fields and hopefully a much stronger wagering pattern develop. As I said in the opening sentences, sunshine is great for the body and soul.

No Racing Luck for Nova Scotia owned North America Cup Hopefuls at Mohawk

Two highly touted Nova Scotia owned horses went behind the gate in last Saturday’s big North American Cup elimination races at Mohawk Raceway but the draw and bad racing luck knocked both out of next Saturday’s $1,000,000 finale. Century Farroh owned by Dave Ratchford of Sydney, Nova Scotia, trained by Ian Moore and driven by Sylvan Filion drew the outside nine hole in the first elimination and that post position sealed his fate. He’s a very nice colt but facing tougher competition than he usually meets in Ontario stake competition, he needed a favourable post position and racing luck to advance to next Saturday’s final. He was parked early and was never a factor, a fate that also plagued the other Nova Scotia entry Bronx Seelster. Owned by the Three Capers Stable of Sydney and trained by Wayne McGean, Bronx Seelster left from post position six but had plenty of speed inside forcing driver Trev Henry to take back and race from off the pace. The Seelster horse sat last and was never a threat in the star studded field won by Workin Ona Mystery in 1:49, the fastest of the two trips, the other Bettors Wish in 1:49:3. One of the horses that caught our attention was De Los Cielos Deo who stormed home from last to finish 2nd, last quarter in 25 flat.

Regardless of the draw, the North American Cup next Saturday should be a dandy.

Woodmere supports Harness the Hope 2019

Woodmere Farms are training back one of their prized stallions Rollwithitharry, who should be ready to race by early July and he is the centre-piece in a unique project to help fight cancer. Shares in Rollwithitharry at $60 are now being sold and that money will be presented to Harness the Hope PEI campaign at the Charlottetown racetrack, Saturday, July 27th - a project that Woodmere Farms very much supports.

Woodmere owner Bruce Wood lost a brother-in-law and a sister to cancer over the past few years and this is near and dear to his heart. Island race fans love their horses and in Rollwithitharry, shareholders will get to know and love this high class individual.

A share in Harry comes with an official ownership certificate for the 2019 racing season that includes the chance of getting to the winners circle Old Home Week, the dream of every Maritime harness racing fan.

In addition, certificate holders participate in a tour of the Red Shores CDP operation, visit the Ron Matheson Stable, travel to the beautiful Woodmere Farm which is one of the most successful breeding operations in Canada, and enjoy the experience and thrill of owning a race horse.

You will also be able to stay in touch with Harry via his website, e-mail and social media. Shareholders will pay no bills after the initial $60 share and all proceeds go to the Harness the Hope campaign of the Canadian Cancer Society.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, a share in Rollwithitharry would make the ideal gift. You may purchase individually from Bruce or his partner Bronwyn, E-transfer to rollwithitharry@gmail.com or mail to Bruce Wood, 98 Linden Road, Marshfield, PEI C1C OJ7.

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