Three-year-old pacing filly Ramblinglily and driver Brodie MacPhee captured The Maritimer trophy after winning an elimination heat and the final three races later on the Saturday afternoon card at Exhibition Park Raceway.
The Articulator filly followed up a 1:59.4 front end score in an $8,289 elimination heat with a 1:59.3 victory from the two-hole in the $11,052 final.
Ramblinglily followed the other elimination winners, Scootin For Joy and Mike Stevenson, through opening fractions of :29.4 and 1:01.4 before the pacesetter broke stride and first over Rose Valley took over command en route to the 1:30.4 third quarter mark. However, Ramblinglily kicked home in :28.3 to push past Rose Valley, driven by Kenny Arsenault, before the wire for the quarter-length victory. Rose Valley, the favourite in the first and fastest elimination heat who missed by a head in a 1:58.4 mile, was followed three lengths behind by third-place finishers Putnams Kream and Bernard McCallum. Scootin For Joy recovered to finish fourth.
"'Lily' handled the heats quite well," MacPhee told Trot Insider after the race. "She was actually a little more relaxed in the second heat until I moved her off of Kenny's helmet, where she grabbed the bit and took off herself. I thought part way down the stretch that I had it won, but Kenny's filly was fighting hard. My filly showed her true grit and got up in the last stride or two for the win.
"My filly loves to race and she showed it today," continued the 27-year-old Cornwall, P.E.I. reinsman. "Kudos to Rose Valley who went a tough trip and fought gamely right to the wire."
While MacPhee celebrated his first Maritimer driving victory, he played a role in getting a former champion of the stakes event to the winner's circle. MacPhee paddocked the 2003 winner, P H Snuggler, who was trained and driven by his father Brian.
Ramblinglily is owned and bred by trainer Allan Jones of Riverview and Normand Leger of Shediac, N.B. The consistent filly now boasts eight sophomore wins and has yet to miss the board in 11 outings this year for earnings of $46,617. She's also the Maritime Breeders champion and divisional leader in the Atlantic Sires Stakes with a four-for-five record.
Favoured in both her elimination and final, Ramblinglily returned $4.20 to win the 19th edition of The Maritimer.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Exhibition Park Raceway.
Reprinted with permission by www.standardbredcanada.ca