The PEI Colt stakes got underway Thursday evening, September 11 at Red Shores Charlottetown and concluded two days later with a double-header card on Saturday, the three cards contested under ideal Fall weather which provided a great background to showcase the best two and three year old pacers and trotters in the region. To give the three cards a further boost in stature, the spotlight focused on the PEI Colt stakes, the longest running such event in Canada.
The two and three year old trotters raced on Thursday night and in the curtain raiser, a PEI Colt stakes for two year olds @ $7700, Mabou Ridge (by Armbro Barrister) held off fast closing Incredible Hally (Angus Hall) in a sizzling 2:01.3, a big mile for a two year old trotter on a half-mile track. Clare MacDonald handled the winner for Arnold Rankin of Antigonish as Ed Haley’s daughter continued her long successful run of stakes winners on PEI soil.
In the other two year old PEI Colt Stakes trot on the card, veteran driver Walter Cheverie, as good as they get when it comes to drivers in this region, handled Dusty Lane Manney (by Tad the Stud) in flawless fashion carving out modest fractions before getting home in 30 seconds flat for the 2:05.4 victory and earning co-owners Danica Ellis, Sheila Clarke, Ray Cruz and Mark Dean of Nova Scotia, the biggest slice of the $7700 purse.
Later on the card, three year old Getti Messi (Armbro Barrister) trotted away from his rivals and posted his 9th win from 12 starts with an impressive 1:59:1 for driver Mike McGuigan and veteran trainer Len “Barney” McGuigan in the PEI Colt stake @ $5700. Owned by James Whelan of Vernon Bridge, PEI, Getti Messi is the fastest three year old trotter on PEI soil.
Unfortunately for buyers, there are only two yearlings by Armbro Barrister in the upcoming Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale, October 11 at Crapaud, PEI (Hip #30 and hip #68) and each is from a well bred young mare, one the 1st foal of the dam and the other the second foal. I would expect both to attract interested bidders.
There were two other three year old trot PEI Colt stakes on the mid-week card. Mile Hill Willie (by Armbro Barrister) opened five lengths on the rest of the field and stopped the timer in 1:59.2 in taking race nine for driver Gilles Barrieau and owner Paul Morrison of Cardigan; Kenny Arsenault won the other $5700 PEI Colt stakes sophomore trot as he went wire to wire with Little Miss Winnie (Tad the Stud) in 2:01.4 for Steven Sorrie of Montague. Fortunately for owners, there are 11 Tad the Stud yearlings in the Crapaud Sale, including Hip #80, a full brother to Dusty Lane Manney.
The Saturday afternoon card featured four divisions of PEI Colt Stakes for two year old fillies @ $7,300 and four for two year old PEI Colts @ $7,000. Let’s review the fillies first; Elm Grove Ocean (by Stonebridge Terror) and driver Walter Cheverie rallied from off the pace to post a sharp, life-time best of 2:00:1 in taking the curtain-raiser for owner Done for the Day Stable of New Waterford, Nova Scotia. The winner has a full-sister Elm Grove Penney, #53, in the Crapaud Sale. In the second division PEI Colt Stakes for fillies, the Ian Smith owned Betterthanbobbi (Betterthancheddar) went to the front and never looked back winning as she pleased in 1:58:4 for trainer-driver Mark Bradley.
Bradley was also back in the winners circle with another PEI colt stakes winner as Watch Me Dance (by Ameripan Gigolo) equalled her lifetime best of 1:58 winning the $7,300 event with something to spare for co-owners John and Steven Quinn and Ozzie MacKay of Moncton. Saulsbrook Ocean(Westwardho Hanover) took the final two year old event as driver Dale Spence rallied the filly from well off the pace for the 2:00.1 score for co-owners Saulsbrook Stables, Jennifer Baxter and Michael McKenzie of Nova Scotia.
As for the two year old pacers, Windemere Ryan (Malicious) took the first division in 1:58:1 for the High Five Racing Stable of Stanhope, driver Adam Merner and trainer Melissa Rennie the same duo who also sent out division four winner The Big Chase (Western Paradise) for the JTL Risk Stable of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Imalookertoo (by Shadow Play) paced away from the field in route to a 1:58.4 score for driver Marc Campbell, trainer Danny Romo and owner Robert Sumarah of Halifax to take the third division while Tobins Rebel(Camystic) paced the fastest mile of the colts with a fast 1:57.1 score for owner Danny Ross of Belfast ,PEI. If you’re headed to the Crapaud Sale, Imalookertoo has a brother, hip #110, by first crop sire Source of Pride (by American Ideal).
On the evening card, there were four divisions of PEI Colt Stake sophomore pacers and three divisions of fillies. Kenny Arsenault opened the night card winning with Kevin Harvey’s Purple Poet (Stonebridge Terror) in 1:57, fastest mile of the colts, to earn the biggest slice of the $6,800 purse. Other colt division winners were Notorious (Malicious) in 1:58.1 for driver Marc Campbell and co-owners Darryl and Gordon MacLean and Shirley Symes of Springhill; this colt has a brother in the Crapaud sale, hip #29, by Source of Pride. The stallion Malicious also sent out another colt winner in Red Dirt Boomer in 1:57 for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owner Danny Ross of Belfast. This colt also has a brother to sell in Crapaud, hip #62, Red Dirt Magic. Saulsbrook Lassie (Westwardho Hanover) in 1:57.2 was the final colt winner for driver Adam Merner and owners Jean Beliveau and Norm Legere of Dieppe, New Brunswick. The winner has a sister selling at Crapaud, hip #71,also by Source of Pride.
Clare MacDonald’s Cheeky Cherry (by Westwardho Hanover) took the first of the filly three year old divisions winning for Earith and George Riley in 1:58.1 for the largest piece of the $7,800 purse. Elm Grove Nellie (by Stonebridge Terror) cruised to an easy 1:58.1 score in another division for driver Dale Spence and owners Jennifer Baxter and Greg Francis, and it’s worth noting she has a full sister #53 in the Crapaud sale; the other filly split went to Woodmere Oleksiak in a swift 1:57.1 for co-owners Hollis Newson, Debbie Denney, Ric McNutt and Windemere Farms. This filly has a sister, hip #12,by Rollwithitharry in the upcoming sale.
Atlantic Classic Sale, October 11th Loaded with Top Bred Yearlings
I had a chance to glance over the Atlantic Yearling Classic Sale set for 2:00pm, October 11, 2019 at the Crapaud Exhibition Grounds and I can tell you there is something there for every pocket book, conditions that suggest another record sale. There are a number of outside sires represented by stallions like Sportswriter, Betterthancheddar, Warrawee Needy, Well Said, He’s Watching, Ponder, Roll With Joe, Shanghai Phil, Sunshine Beach and Thinking Out Loud which will attract buyers both within Atlantic Canada and outside the region.
A quick glance at the programs at the major tracks in North America show that our Maritime breds can compete with the big boys as Proven Lover’s son Proven Desire has beaten the top class, $44,000, at Yonkers while the trotter Pappy Go Go has been in against stock like Hambletonian winner of a few years ago Marion Marauder. There are many other examples that make buying Atlantic Canada racing stock here at our Sale a wise choice.
What makes this sale even more exciting is the number of stallions with their first yearlings entering the sales ring. Cougar Hall,p, 1:49:3 a son of Somebeachsomewhere, has seven head in the sale while Hilarious Hao p, 1:48.3 has six - 5 fillies and a colt. Physicallyinclined p, 1:49, who is still racing in the top class at Mohawk, has one yearling while Source of Pride p, 1:50.4h (by American Ideal) and Steelhead Hanover p, 1:48.3 (by Bettors Delight) have the most yearlings consigned with 15 and 12 respectively.
Now is the time to buy a Maritime bred yearling, as the quality has never been better and there’s a big market for your horse at the end of the three year old campaign. Good luck at the sale!