Montague’s Austin Sorrie, 19, is one of the nominees for the Rising Star Award which will be presented on February 1st at the O’Brien Awards in Mississauga Ontario. Sorrie posted his first ever lifetime win with his own Thebestofme (202:1) in May, 2018 at Red Shores Charlottetown and is enjoying his first full season in the bike since deciding to move to Ontario on a full-time basis last January. Racing primarily at Western Fair, London and at Flamboro, Sorrie has a small stable of his own but has caught the attention of trainer Patrick Shepherd who uses the Islander frequently. This past season in Ontario, Sorrie has won 72 races with purse money nearing $400,000. December 7th, Sorrie posted his first ever victory at Mohawk raceway winning with the Walter Simmons owned Bugsy Maguire in 1:52.2 in a $13,000 overnight race.
Others nominated in the Future Star category and in the running with Sorrie for Future Star honours are Alberta based but Nova Scotia born and raised Dave Kelly and Ontario’s Kyle Bossence. In the Award for Horsemanship, CDP regular Gilles Barrieau is one of three nominated, the others are Mario Baillargeon and Rod Hennessey of Alberta.
Colt Stakes Meeting, Customer Appreciation Day
PEI Horsemen Setting New Goals for 2020
If you’ve been following the Atlantic Canada harness racing scene and in particular the situation on Prince Edward Island you should be approaching the upcoming season with a great deal of optimism. Since our last edition of the Atlantic Post Calls, we have attended a “re-structuring of sorts” within the PEI Colt stakes as a ten member committee has been formed with Bruce Wood of Woodmere Farms and Scott Roloson as President and Vice-President respectively of the group which represents standardbred breeders on PEI. The recent meeting at the Red Shores CDP grandstand drew a big crowd in excess of 70 people by my count which tells me that interest is certainly at a high point.
Norman Hall who has served as the PEI Colt Stakes president on a volunteer basis for the past 40 years received a boisterous applause for his work over the years and the Atlantic Post Calls thanks Norman for his work on behalf of the harness racing game. Norman has seen the numbers in the PEI Colt Stakes Association slide as well as a drop in the number of stallions and he put forward his thoughts on how to rectify the situation.
Blaine MacPherson of HowMac Farms shared the podium with Norman and while they didn’t always agree on how to get from point A to point B, they nevertheless, presented differing options which is a healthy process for any organization. Meeting like these are great for our industry and I can see nothing but good coming from such gatherings.
In addition in the days prior to the closing of the PEI legislature, the government of the day once again voiced its support for the harness racing game which is the type of news that horsemen want to hear whether in PEI, Ontario or any other USA jurisdiction. We have been fortunate here over the years in that governments, either Red or Blue, have come out in support of harness racing which is essential if the industry is flourish and grow.
Customer Appreciation Day attracts a Big Saturday Crowd
Cardigan horseman Mike Currie and Blaine MacPherson of the PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association along with the good folks at Red Shores organized Customer Appreciation Days last Saturday and it attracted a big crowd, many of whom I haven’t seen at the tracks in years, if not ever. Many great prizes were handed out, and as expected the prizes brought out the fans. As a result, the pari-mutual windows were congested which is always great news at any race track-casino. The Dining Room upstairs was packed and in a festive mood as the patrons pushed more than $48,000 into the pari-mutuals.
On the Customer Appreciation Day card, Bobby Magennis of Belle River won the free subscription to the Atlantic Post Calls for a year as his name was drawn after race 13.