What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. Well we found out this past Saturday as the unstoppable force rolled on while the immovable object never did get a chance to be moved.
Southwind Ricardo was the unstoppable force Saturday in the $5,000 Governors Cup series final, forced to drive on from the word go with no holes to be found, and forced to push the immovable Blacky Black, riding a six race win streak, three wide all around the first turn through a snappy 28.3 opening quarter after Pictonian Fancypas and Gerry Snow refused to let either of the two heavy favorites make front. That Regent St parking ticket would be the demise of Blacky Black, who had not been passed at the Downs when making the front, since his arrival at Northside. Black Black was forced to follow a parked Southwind Ricardo through a torrid 58.1 opening half on a track rated good with a two second variant. Just before the three quarters, Southwind Ricardo would wear down Pictonian Fancypas and clear to the lead, and from there the six year old gelding proved he was the class of the field on this day, driving off in the stretch to win by six and a half lengths, with Pictonian Fancypas holding off Wildcat Jet for second in the 1:59.2 mile. Makes Me Stupid, Acclerator, Perfect Major, Brookdale Buster and Blacky Black rounded out the finish order.
Southwind Ricardo and Blacky Black had swept each of their respective opening two legs, but the much anticipated showdown never really materialized, with Blacky Black drawing the dreaded outside post 6 in the eight horse field final. Brett LeBlanc, who also drove Southwind Ricardo to a win in last years final, guided the pacer to his ninth win on the season for owners Joel and Harold Leblanc, Willie Seymour and Bernie Gillis.
Driver Gerard Kennedy will not be the top dash winning driver at Northside for the first time in a number of seasons, maintained second place overall with a driving triple on the November 8th card. Those wins included two of his own pacers, Spider Man Hanover and Burn Em Up Burr, whose wins came in 2:01 and 2:04.3. Fex Education, owned by Donald Kennedy, led all the way to prevail in 2:05.3, holding off a late challenge from Blue Line and Private Practice. Kennedy currently sits nine wins behind Mark Pezzarello, who has 33 wins, with one card remaining. Ryan Campbell, with 20 wins, sits all alone in third. Brian ODonnell leads all trainers on the season with 16 wins, followed by Barry Bates at 13 and Joseph Poirier with 11.
Mandatory Retirement and Final Card
The final card of the 2019 season goes Saturday November 16th, marking what should be the final career starts for In The Studio and Broadway Bill. Ironically both pacers picked up wins since our last edition on the same program on November 2nd. Broadway Bill won for owner James Hogan and driver Mark Pezzarello, in 2:01.2, while In The Studio grinded out a 2:03.4 win for owners Norm Fiander and Brent Bradbury, and driver Ryan Campbell. A pair of other fourteen year old regular pacers at Northside for many years, Dreamfair Van Dam and J N J, are currently winding down their careers at Red Shores Charlottetown. In our next edition we will recap our final card of the season and look back at the year of 2019. Until then we extend to our readers good luck, good racing, and good handicapping.