Day At The Track

Matheson and Barrieau claim driver’s championship

12:37 PM 29 Nov 2014 NZDT
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Charlottetown Driving Park, harness racing
Charlottetown Driving Park
Brian McInnis TV Media Photo

Charlottetown, PE – Drivers Ron Matheson and Gilles Barrieau tied at the top of the standings and were crowned co-winners of the 2014 Driver’s Championship presented by PEISHOA Saturday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Barrieau got the ball rolling with Woodmere No Fool for trainer-owner Garth Cole of Kensington in the opening leg and continued to stay near the top of the board throughout the eight race competition on the strength of three second place finishes and a third.

Matheson was consistently picking up points on the day and started to climb up the leader board with back to back second place scores and then nailed the closing leg aboard Van Zant for his co-owner Tom Clark of Charlottetown. The victory gave Matheson 10 more points while Barrieau placed 7th giving him only 4 points in the closer leaving them tied at 62.

The PEISHOA had a special ceremony when they retired the EF Acorn memorial trophy and dedicated a new trophy to the top drivers of the annual championship in honor of the late Paul MacDonald. MacDonald won the top driver award on several occasions throughout his career and held the record for most wins in a single season for 24 years. Members of the MacDonald family were trackside for the Barrieau and Matheson presentation.

Marc Campbell put in a great effort posting four winners in the contest but was unable to capitalize after suffering a few disappointing finishes. The former driving champ tied in the runner up spot with Corey MacPherson with 55 points. MacPherson rallied with a couple of seconds and thirds to stay in the hunt. Campbell and MacPherson were presented with the hardware by the Hon. Ron MacKinley, minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development. The other participants included Jason Hughes (50), Mark Bradley (48), Terry Gallant (43), Vince Poulton (41). Bradley was placed into the championship after a miscalculation by the PEISHOA.  Bradley was content to sit on the sidelines but Gary Chappell, who was originally scheduled to race, insisted Bradley be able to compete.

In other action, Howmacs Missy gave Campbell five on the program when they crossed the wire first in the afternoon finale. The filly is owned by Howmac Farms, North Wiltshire and Wade Peconi, Stanchel. Earl Watts is the trainer.

Honeymoonisover (Bradley) and JK Queen (Walter Cheverie) won their trot assignments.

by Lee Drake, for Red Shores

 

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