New Brunswick harness racing fans got to see a great couple of days of racing in early September as Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John hosted stakes filled cards on both September fourth and eleventh. The local EPR punters definitely showed their appreciation for the great racing action as the port city oval set seasonal wagering handles on both cards. On September fourth the wagering handle was just shy of $10,000 on only seven races with a $200 carryover on the pick-5, and on the eleventh, they almost tallied over $13,000 on eleven dashes. That handle was more than their seasonal record from the 2020 season. Credit to Horse Racing New Brunswick for their hard work this season.
September fourth was anticipated to be a great day of racing with seven races on tap featuring the Maritimer Stake for 3-year-old pacing fillies along with six other competitive conditioned events. In the Maritimer, it was all Tobins Brownie and trainer/driver David Dowling getting the biggest share of the rich $20,250 purse, as the duo went wire to wire in a well rated track record mile of 1:57. The 3-year-old filly record was previously held by both Whiskey To Wine and Woodmere Skyroller, in fact Woodmere Skyroller’s record occurred in the 2020 edition of the Maritimer in which David Dowling was the winning driver in that record as well. Tobins Brownie’s record was her thirteenth win on her career and put her purse earnings to over $87,000 on 21 starts.
Other winners on the day were Instant Shadow in race 1 for driver Marc Campbell in 1:58.4; Kcs Starlite and Stephen Trites were wire to wire winners in race 2 in 2:02; in race 3, Joes Beauty made her return to NB a winning one with a 1:58 mile time; Ultimate Flyingnun was a photo finish winner in race 4 with a hard fought 2:00.2 win; Creepin was an impressive winner in race 5 with a commanding open length victory in 1:58.2; And in race 7 Woodmere Ideal Art was a good winner in 1:57 after a lengthy inquiry revealed that there was no need for placings after possible interference that did involve Woodmere Ideal Art.
September eleventh was a heavily anticipated day of racing with 11 dashes on tap featuring the Dawn and Ted Bremner Memorial for 3-year-old pacing colts and fillies. The Roddy Goguen invitational was also a featured event on the day along with a division of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series and the Inaugural edition of the NB Breeders stake for 2-year-old colts and fillies. I’ve decided to cover this card in order from race 1 to race 11 because five of the eleven were stake races.
In race 1 it was Brumby putting his name in history books as he captured the 2-year-old colt division of the inaugural NB Breeders. David Dowling piloted the son of Pang Shui to a wire-to-wire victory in the $11,040 contest. Brumby is owned by the Five Guys Horses N Lies stable of Charlottetown PEI and is trained by Jamie Smith. He was bred by Belinda Grey of NB.
The second race was the fillies division of the NB Breeders which was won by Mermaid Magic in a 16 length romp in 1:59 for driver Brodie Mac Phee and trainer Tom Weatherbie. The 2 year old daughter of Big Jim is owned by David Kennedy and Ian Smith, she was bred by Dr Mitchell Downey of Saint John.
The third race, a NW $251 L5 was won by the ageless Philanthropist, as the Grey 14 year old gelding was victorious over stablemate and fellow 14 year old Magical Alex. It was a seasons best mile for the pacer in 1:59.3.
Paris Beau was a winner in the fourth race in 1:59 for owner/trainer Doug Beckwith and driver Gilles Barrieau. The drop down in class certainly seemed to help the 9-year-old veteran pacing gelding by Neutralize.
In race 5 Thankyouallmyfans dug in to win by a head in 2:00.1 for Driver David Dowling and trainer Richard Allaby. Kate Macneil of Saint John is the owner of the 6-year-old gelding by Baron Biltmore who definitely is a “fan” of New Brunswick air, as that was his fifth win this year at EPR.
In race 6, a division of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series, it was Arc Light and trainer/driver Marc Campbell closing hard in a last quarter of 28 seconds to win by a neck over Ladylike in 1:56.1. Woodmere Skyroller finished third in the $4,950 contest with fraction cutter Filly Forty Seven finishing fourth.
Mistifying put in an impressive performance in race 7, the filly division of the Dawn Bremner memorial after making a break at the start she was able to storm home in 28.1 to win over Plain Jane and Tobins Brownie in 1:57.1. The 3-year-old daughter of Source Of Pride is owned by Darryl Maclean, Gordon Maclean and Stephen Downey. Darryl Maclean is also the trainer, the winning driver was none other than the maritime magic man Gilles Barrieau.
Barrieau followed up the stakes win with a minor upset in race 8 with Ebandtheboys paying $10.40 to win on a $2 ticket, The 12-year-old black son of Whosurboy stopped the clock in 1:58 flat. That win gave owner/trainer Doug Beckwith a double on the afternoon.
The 3-year-old colts did battle in race 9 with Woodmere Stealdeal coming out on top over track record holder Dustylanegoliath in a division of the Dawn Bremner Memorial. The sensational gelding by Steelhead Hanover was victorious for owners Robert Sumarah, Kevin Dorey, Glenn Macdonald and Frank Brundle. Danny Romo does the conditioning, Marc Campbell steered the colt to the 1:54 flat victory.
In race 10 it was Little Manny and co-owner-driver Stephen Trites in 1:57, after making an uncharacteristic break in his last start he was able to rebound strong and give trainer Charlie Miles his 100th training victory.
Time To Dance put on a show in race 11, the Roddy Goguen Memorial with an ultra-impressive victory in 1:53.1. with a closing quarter in 27.1 for owners Brent Campbell and Matthew McDonald. Marc Campbell was the winning trainer and driver of the 5-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance who has been the maritime free-for-all champ all season long.
EPR also hosted a five race card on September 18th with Woodmere Ideal Art taking down his rivals in the featured WO $1551 L5 in 1:55 flat with driver Todd Trites for trainer Sifroi Melanson. Other winners on that day were Love In Paradise in 2:02.1, Bouttagetlucky in 1:59, Pickpocketprincess also in 1:59 and K D Overdrive in 1:59.3. The total handle for the five races was $2,690.
NB owned Kcs Starlite was a winner in a division of the PEI Colt Stakes on Saturday in 2:00.4. The 2-year-old daughter of Source Of Pride is owner by Donny Bishop, Bruce Macdonald and Charlie Miles. Kenny Murphy was in the bike for the winning steer. The filly has yet to finish out of the top 3 as she has a summary of 2-1-1.
That’s all for this month, see you in the October edition!