The third edition of the Battle of the NB Three was the featured event on the Saturday, June 26th card of live racing at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, as Little Manny, Woodmere Ideal Art and Blood Money were set to battle in the winners over $1901 top class pace in the sixth and final race of the afternoon’s program.
The field of five pacers which also featured Ultimatelyhandsome and K D Overdrive lined up behind the gate with post time favorite Little Manny going from post three while Woodmere Ideal Art and Blood Money were going from post positions four and five respectively. When the gates closed and the starter said go it was Woodmere Ideal Art and driver Todd Trites darting towards the front while his stablemate Ultimatelyhandsome (Robert Laffin ) followed him right out from Post two as the two Sifroi Melanson trainees got away 1-2 around the first turn with K D Overdrive (Kyle Mason) getting away mid-pack from third in the early going; Little Manny (Stephen Trites) and Blood Money(Dr. Mitchell Downey) were both forced to take back to fourth and fifth in the early stages of the race. Woodmere Ideal Art went by the opening quarter in a sharp 28.2 and came down the lane with a clear lead. At that time Little Manny started his charge towards the front as he was first up on the outside as they passed the half in 57.1, Blood Money had then made his move as last weeks top class winner was second over on the outside right behind Little Manny as the field marched towards three quarters. Woodmere Ideal Art was staying strong on the lead as he arrived at three quarters in 1:26.3 then Woodmere Ideal Art finished off the mile with a closing panel in 28.3 for a mile in 1:55.1. Little Manny dug in late for the place prize while Blood Money reached up for the show dough. The mile was the fastest trip at the Port City oval since the 1:53:4 track record performance by Big League back in 2013.
It was Woodmere Ideal Art’s 23rd lifetime victory and third on the season for owners Ultimate Stables of Greater Lakeburn NB and trainer Sifroi Melanson.
Driver Todd Trites collected three wins on the card as he scored victories with previously mentioned Woodmere Ideal Art, but also with the teenager Magical Alex in the first race as the 14 year old son of Harrods was a wire to wire winner in 2:04. It was the geldings 61st win on his career for owner/ trainer Bob McNeil. Trites also got a win with Ebandtheboys in race 2 in a mile time of 2:00 flat giving the driver the sweep of the early daily double which paid $36.80 on a $2 ticket.
Other winners on the day were Instant Shadow in race 3 in 1:59.1, Emperor in race 4 in 1:59.4 and Whiskey To Wine in race 5 in 1:59.
The total handle for the six race card was $3,247. There is still lots of great racing action coming this season at Exhibition Park Raceway. For more information on what’s happening in NB visit horseracingnb.com.