Day At The Track

Drivers Title up for grabs at The Raceway

07:46 AM 16 Nov 2018 NZDT
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Robert Shepherd, harness racing Scott Coulter, harness racing
Robert Shepherd
Scott Coulter

London, ON  - The harness racing drivers' title for the 2018 season at The Raceway at Western Fair District could go right down to the final program on New Year's Eve as Scott Coulter and Robert Shepherd are stride-for-stride for wins at the half-mile oval.

Coulter currently leads all drivers with 111 wins on the season while Shepherd isn't far behind with 102 trips to the winners circle.

With 20 cards remaining on the calendar this year, the dash title could come down to the wire.

"It wouldn't surprise me," said leading driver Scott Coulter. "'Shep' and I have enjoyed ourselves this year, but we also can't count out Alfie (Carroll) and Colin (Kelly). Those guys have been on a big run as of late."

The veteran driver said his devotion to The Raceway this season is a prime reason for his success.

"I really dedicated myself to Western Fair all season compared to other years," he said. It's been really paying off. I've had success and that comes from the trainers giving me their confidence and horse power.

"I think I've been more patient as of late and not over-driving," he continued. "I've been able to pick up the pieces late in the mile and not be as aggressive."

The Brantford resident banked over $1.6 million in earnings this season and is just one win shy of 250 trips to the winners circle.

Robert Shepherd is also on the verge of a milestone as the reinsman is one win away from 300 for the year.

"The main thing is staying healthy. I've had my fair share of accidents over the years," Shepherd said. "I have a young family at home so it's more important as ever to make sure I'm healthy."

The Flamborough resident was quick to credit the trainers and owners.

"I've had a lot of good clients all year that have stuck with me and that really means a lot. It's always nice to show up to work and have the power between the shafts."

Shepherd remains nine wins back of Coulter with seven weeks of racing left.

"It should be a lot of fun," said Shepherd. "Hopefully I can close the gap and make it interesting."

The Raceway is entering one of its busiest times of the year, currently operating on a three-day-a-week schedule - Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:15 p.m. and Fridays at 6:55 p.m. Wednesday night programs will be added in the new year with a 6:15 p.m. first post.

For more information, visit www.westernfairdistrict.com.

by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

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