There were numerous great moments from this past racing season here in New Brunswick, from track records to great stretch battles to breathtaking dominations by our fantastic equine athletes. With all that in mine, I've decided to do a countdown of my favorite moments from the 2021 Horse Racing New Brunswick season.
#5: Tobins Brownie 3-year-old filly track record
Tobins Brownie is one of my favorite horses to watch in the Maritimes and I was very happy to see her compete at Exhibition Park Raceway three times through the season. The best of her three starts in the port city was easily her track record performance in the Maritimer Stake on September 4th. Dealt with the moderately tough task of leaving from post position 6 in the 9 horse event she was still able to make easy work of her competition in the $20,270 contest; as she went right to the top and carved out fractions of 28.1, 58.3 and 1:28.4 before storming home in 28.1 for the 6- and three-quarter length win in 1:57. David Dowling was the winning trainer and driver on the 3-year-old daughter of Stonebridge Terror for owners James Quinn, Carl Peterson, Katherine Lakie and Brittany Watts.
#4: National Debt’s win in the Walter Dale Memorial
After going two years without the Walter Dale Memorial Invitational being held, the 2021 edition was certainly going to be a good one with a competitive 5 horse field featuring Rideau-Carlton Raceway invader National Debt. The July 30th contest that was part of the rich Barrieau-Mcisaac card went to the gate in race #8 on the day with previously mentioned National Debt being the post time favorite paying $.20 on the dollar leaving from post position 2. When the gates opened National Debt followed the truck right out and went right to the top where he put up fractions of 28.1, 57, and 1:26 before he closed it out with a 29.1 split for the 1:55.1 win. National Debt was driven by David Dowling for trainer Colin Johnson and owner Francois Morin.
#3 Woodmere Ideal Art and Little Manny’s battle in the Autumn Gold Series final
Woodmere Ideal Art and Little Manny exchanged punches all year long at EPR this season and the duo closed the year in the best possible fashion. The Autumn Gold Series was a series for horses who raced at EPR all year to have a chance to go for bigger money at the end of the year, the finals were divided into four groups, the best one going for $4,000 that featured a field of four made up of K D Overdrive, Instant Shadow, Little Manny, and Woodmere Ideal Art. It was heavily anticipated to be a great battle between the two sons of Articulator and they did not disappoint. Little Manny and driver Stephen Trites made Woodmere Ideal Art and driver David Dowling work for the lead through an opening quarter of 26.4 before Dowling was able to push on and clear to the lead as they made their way to the half. Woodmere Ideal Art was able to catch a breather in the second quarter as they got to the half in 57.4. Little Manny was back out chasing the lead as they went up the backstretch and both horses stepped on the gas and duked it out all the way to the wire with Woodmere Ideal Art coming out on top by only a nostril in a mile of 1:56.1. It was a tremendous battle between two horses who raced hard all year. I really think the fans enjoyed the battle and credit to both horses for fighting all the way to the wire.
#2: Time To Dance’s romp in the Roddy Goguen
The best horse in the Maritimes made his way to Saint John on September 11th for the Roddy Goguen memorial and gave racing fans exactly what they wanted. Driven by trainer Marc Campbell in the $6,000 event, Time To Dance left from post position 3 and took his time getting to lead before clearing at the quarter pole which he arrived at in 28.2. From there, he was able to control the fractions of 57 and 1:26 before flying home in 27.1 to win by six in a time of 1:53.1. I have a lot of respect for Time To Dance, his speed is truly incredible.
#1: Dustylanegoliath’s track record
This years group of maritime colts was simply the best of all time; Dustylanegoliath, Woodmere Stealdeal and Rotten Ronnie going toe-to-toe all year long was awesome to watch. On July 30th, the three of them were set to do battle in the $40,000 Barrieau-Mcisaac stake. Unfortunately, Rotten Ronnie ended up being scratched but Woodmere Stealdeal and Dustylanegoliath both had their eyes on the winners share of the rich purse. Dustylanegoliath left from the inside post position 1 with Woodmere Stealdeal forced to take back early. Up the backstretch, Woodmere Stealdeal made a charge for the lead as they went by the quarter in 28 seconds; the group went by the half in an astonishing 54.4 and made their way up the backstretch for the second and final time, they arrived at three quarters in 1:24.3 and at the head of the lane Dustylanegoliath went right on by Woodmere Stealdeal and drove off to win in a track record 1:53. I would have never thought a track record would have been broken by a 3-year-old but that is just how good the 2021 division was.
Well there you have it, my top five moments from the 2021 New Brunswick season. I hope you enjoyed.