Talented driver Brodie MacPhee, who in 2015 gave himself a five year break from the harness racing game, plans on making a driving comeback this summer at Red Shores Charlottetown and that’s great news for some trainers or owners looking for a talented pilot with a nose for the winners circle. Prior to his self-imposed exile, Brodie didn’t always see eye to eye with those in the judges stand but his five year stint as an on-ice hockey linesman-referee gave Brodie a new perspective on officiating. Always blessed with an abundance of talent, Brodie is a more relaxed and mature driver today and there are many horse fans out there that believe this guy can drive with the best. He can challenge for a Red Shores Drivers title if he gets sufficient drives.
MacPhee is a fourth- generation horseman and comes by his love for the harness racing game honestly. His dad Brian still is a very capable trainer-driver, good enough to find the winners circle at Mohawk on his brief trips to the Ontario circuit. Brodie’s mom Isabel who passed away a few years ago was a track official at Red Shores for a number of years and she followed closely her son’s career as well as her daughter Ambyr Campbell who also trains and drives. Brodie’s uncle Ricky is also a prominent trainer in Ontario working with Carl Jamieson for years and more recently with The Stable. Ca before retiring and opening a bed and breakfast back in Clyde River.
Brian’s dad Alex is still a regular at the City track and although he’s not an active in the training and driving ranks, he was a capable driver who knew how to find the winners circle. One of his top performers was the mid-1970s Maritime Invitational standout Tar Horn who was good enough to compete in the 1975 Gold Cup and Saucer.
1975 Gold Cup and Saucer
1 Ventall Rainbow
2 Shaleen Globe
3 John The Third
5 Tar Horn
7 Drum Major N
8 La Cardy
30, 1:01:1 1:32:2 2:04:2
In the days when Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John wagered in excess of $100,000 live pari-mutual handle every Saturday during the winter months, the Cornwall horsemen figured prominently in the trips to the winners circle. Aside from Francis McIsaac, Ron Gass and Blois MacPhail, the MacPhee colors often were home first and they had a strong stable with Tar Horn, Lexington, Stephen Dale and others. If Alex or Angus MacPhee didn’t drive, Francis McIsaac was often in the bike as the Cornwall crew ruled EPR winter racing.
Alex’s first stakes win came in 1977 when he won the PEI Colt stakes for three year pacing fillies winning with his dad Richie’s Carolyn D. Richie MacPhee of Clyde River served for many years as a director of the Colt Stakes and in fact Richie was Named 1979 PEI Horseman of the Year. Carolyn D was good enough to race in the 1979 Gold Cup and Saucer, a rare feat for a homebred mare.
With this type of background or pedigree, it should be no surprise that Brodie MacPhee is destined for success in the harness racing game.
Brodie MacPhee started driving in 2004 on the Maritime circuit which still featured prominent stops at Saint John and Fredericton. By the year 2012, Brodie had emerged as one of the brightest new faces on the Maritime scene setting the track record at Fredericton in 1:54:2 with McApulco. The next summer, Brodie was back in Fredericton winning the $6500 Jennie and Joe Chippin Invitational in 1:55 with All Turain for owners Lee and Trevor Hicken. A week earlier, Brodie captured the lucrative Maritimer at Exhibition Park, Saint John winning the elimination and $11,650 final with Ramblinglily for Alan Jones and Norm Leger. He also posted Atlantic Sire stakes wins with the trotter Waitingonawoman, with pacing filly Dianna Santanna and top pacer Roscoes Child.
All Turain capped off the 2013 campaign winning the Atlantic Post Calls Horse of the Year and Invitational pacer of the year. All Turain’s sensational Breeders Crown 1:52:2 score at Red Shores Charlottetown giving the Montague owned pacer eight wins in 21 starts with earnings in excess of $28,000 for the year. Brodie also collected votes for Driver of the Year trailing Marc Campbell, Gilles Barrieau and Ryan Campbell, his best season to date.
In 2014, Brodie piloted All Turain to a 1:56 victory in Trial One of the Governors Plate in Summerside winning over Judge Jon, Astor and Machinthesand for owners Lee and Trevor Hicken losing the final to DG’s Camme. (see chart below)
When Brodie decided on a break from the race game, he was considered one of the top drivers in the region. I’d be betting he will get more than his share of live drives once the stakes season gets underway. We shall see…