Island Trainer/Driver & `Magic` Filly Seek World

Island Trainer/Driver & ‘Magic’ Filly Seek World Record
Hal Hennessey
Meridian Magic and her trainer/driver Kenny Arsenault continued their
chase for the North American wins record last Saturday at Exhibition Park
Raceway. They racked up numbers 22 & 23 as the filly, co-owned by
breeder Barry Martin and his partner Jim Gillis of Sydney, won both the
elimination and the final of NB’s Maritimer Stake for 3 year olds. That
leaves Arsenault and MM just 5 short of the record of 28 consecutive wins.
It was set by the great Cam Fella, who retired in 1984 with earnings of over
$2 million dollars and a mark of 1:53.1. According to Maritime racing
statistician Scott Green, Meridian Magic’s 12 wins this year also ties the
North American record for her age and gender.
------------------------------------Last Saturday’s card opened EPR’s biggest week of racing. It continues this
Thursday with the Erwin Andrews Memorial. This series, held throughout
the Maritimes, is sponsored by Meridian Farms and brothers Bill and Brian
Andrew in memory of their father. Saturday features the 3 YO Atlantic Sires
pacing colt stakes, Harness Racing New Brunswick’s $6,000 Invitational
and the Ingham Palmer Memorial. There’ll be plenty of Island horses in the
hunt and if you can’t be there, you can watch it all on the net at
----------------------------Atlantic Lotto’s Tom Mullally, confirmed to me early last week that the info
I gave you on the Old Home Week bet was basically right on. I have to
thank my usual sources for the help on that. Mullally tells me the total bet
was just over the million mark - $1,027,000 to be exact. I’m not going to
bore you with numbers, but suffice it to say that the overall increase for the
week was $51 K. As well, the bet on the Gold Cup & Saucer was up by
$55,000, while the ‘in house’ live gain that day was $36,000. No doubt the
weather helped matters, however I believe the caliber of the racing also
brought a lot of the Island’s casual race fans to the ‘Charlottetown Driving
Park’ through the week. Folks were there this year that I haven’t seen in
quite a while. Hopefully they liked what they saw and will come back more
---------------------------------Speaking of ALC - being of a cynical nature, I am always somewhat
suspicious of their intentions. And this is no reflection on the local
management team headed by Mullally. This has to do with the ALC’s head
office crowd in Moncton. When I see Wes Sheridan being quoted in the
press as possibly allowing them to get involved in Online gambling, I get
that creepy-crawly feeling - especially given the public’s almost unanimous
disapproval. The governement has $25 million plus invested in a casino and
racing facilities at the ‘Charlottetown Driving Park’, not to mention the
‘Summerside Raceway’ project. So why even consider going into business
against yourself? Craziness!
-------------------------------SRW was a hot bed of stake racing last week. For ‘Downhome’ reinsmen it
kicked off with the Lady Slipper Stakes. Steve Sorrie and Ralph Annear’s
Maple Leaf Spirit remained undefeated in the 2 YO Trot class. The mile this
time was in 2:04.3 and boosted her earnings to over $21,000 in 7 starts. In
the 3 YO Trot stakes, Bert Honkoop’s BJ Eldorado made it 5 wins in 7
starts. Mike Stevenson has teemed the Meadowagogo gelding to almost
$12.000 in earnings this year.
Garry MacDonald’s sophomore filly Kims PJs won her division in 2:02.
She’s now 3 for 5 this year with earnings of nearly $9 K. Garry also trains
and drives.
Winsloe’s MacLean family and their homebred Scarlet Patti continue to
dominate the 3 YO Trot and won again in 2:04.3. That’s 17 wins in 20 starts
lifetime and earnings of $49,569.
Friday night at SRW in the Bob Dewar Memorial for 3 year old pacing colts,
Dan Ross’s Mr. Salming was a winner in 1:56.4. He shares ownership with
Boyd MacDonald.
Also on the Friday night card, they raced 2 divisions of the Erwin Andrew
Memorial. The Ultimate Stable of NB won the first dash with Tobins
Paradise in 1:59.2. She was driven to the win by Summerside’s Norris
Rogers. In the 2nd division it was Grace and Harv in 1:58.1 for driver/trainer
Gilles Barrieau. It was the mare’s 6th in a row. She’s owned by Wayne
MacRae of Nova Scotia and North Wiltshire’s Howmac Farms.
And I wouldn’t want to end this report without mentioning that our friend
Cindy MacDonald won the CDP’s Open Trot Saturday night with
Saulsbrook Balance. Willie Murphy did the teeming and the mile was in
2:02. Cindy trains and shares ownership with Souris’ Tanya MacKinnon.
Garry MacDonald won the fast class by open lengths with Formal Affair, in
a slick 1:54.1. He’s owned by Ronnie & Dale Rennie. It was all available on
the net at
-----------------------------Last night (Wed) Tobins Star, under the command of driver Brian MacPhee,
won the feature race in a torrid 1:55.2 at ‘Summerside Raceway’. The Philip
Doucette trainee burst off the wings to deliver a gate to wire impressive
victory over Courtside and Raging Leru. It was MacPhee’s third win on the
program. Doucette co-owns the five-year-old gelding with Tom Lynch of
Gary Chappell and Marc Campbell recorded driving doubles on the card .
---------------------------Tonight (Thurs) The John “Buddy” Campbell Memorial, presented by
Meridian Farms, gave fans a great show at the ‘Charlottetown Driving Park’.
In the first $9,200 division, Rustico Redflame, in line to Joey Pineau, and
The Iceman Aireth, with Marc Campbell in the bike, hit the finish line
together to record a rare dead-heat for win. The time of the mile for the twoyear-old trotters was 2:08.1. Alyre Pineau of Hunter River and Harris
Johnston, Cornwall, share ownership of Rustico Redflame while Greenoaks
Farm from Ontario hold the ownership papers on The Iceman Aireth. Border
Town finished third.
The second division of the Buddy Campbell stake saw Waiting on a Woman,
and driver Corey MacPherson, play hardball with Maple Leaf Spirit through
an opening panel of 30 seconds flat. Once in command, MacPherson drove
through stations of 59.2 and 1:29.3 to deliver a track record performance of
2:00.4 for two-year-olds to end Maple Leaf Spirits winning streak at six. The
owners are Mitchell and David Tierney of Cornwall. Mitchell handles the
training duties. The winning mile of 2:00.4 snapped the record of 2:02.2 by
Saulsbrook Balance in 2007.
Riccaras Sun held off Pans O Silver by a neck to win the feature race in
1:56.2 for driver Mike Stevenson. Kenny MacInnis of Charlottetown was the
winning owner. Mighty and Strong was third to complete the triactor.
Racing returns to Charlottetown on Saturday night at 7pm while
Summerside hosts the holiday Monday card at 1pm.
----------------------------------------News from ‘Away’
Sources in Saint John tell me a major announcement will be made at Harness
Racing New Brunswick’s fall meeting September 11th. I’m told that the new
Moncton casino will be allowed to open a satellite operation at EPR. Part of
the proceeds are to go to NB harness racing. Why are you surprised? There’s
an election on!
Mark MacDonald won the $164,383 SBOA stake with Western Silk last
Friday night – mile in 1:50.3
The Ronnie MacLean trained Bestofbothworlds captured a Kentucky Sires
Stake event at Lexington’s famed Red Mile recently. Driven by Brian Sears,
the 3 YO filly took a new mark of 1:50.4.
Robert Shepherd didn’t suffer any serious injuries when he got dumped from
the bike prior to the start of Flamboro’s race card last Friday night. He was
taken to hospital, to be checked out, but soon released. Scary part is he had
to wait 30 minutes for an ambulance. Not good.
Bill Andrew’s Meridian Farms West bred and sold the top yearling at the
recently concluded Alberta sale. The Camystic filly Cool One went for a
cool $25K. Interestingly enough, she was bought by former Alberta premier
Ralph Klein.
Rocky Bubba was a winner on Georgian Down’s Extreme Racing card
Saturday night. Took a division of the 5/8th mile event in 1:10.2. He’s owned
by Rene Allard and Windamere Farm’s Earl Watts.
--------------------------Tip O’ The Whip? Kenny Arsenault and Meridian Magic of course.
Questions/Comments? [email protected]
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