Although morale took a nose dive recently with the announcement that an A.L.C study ruled out the viability of a racing facility in Saint John, 2013 was one for the ages.
What a memorable year for young driver Dale Spence Jr. who now owns the two major track records at Exhibition Park Raceway.
It was a combination of youth and speed that saw owner Jonah Moases' Big League and Dirt Track Momma set new speed standards and had the Maritime racing fraternity in a frenzy.
Big League set an all-new pacing standard by winning in 1:53.4 during exhibition week. That bested Sandy Hanover and Woodmere Topcats previous best of 1:54.3.
Many thought that the pacing standard for aged horses at E.P.R was one of the safest track records in the region. As they say, "you couldn't write a better script".
Here you had one of the up and rising stars in Spence, and owner Moase who is well-known for investing in the sport.
On a Saturday afternoon in October, the tandem once again teamed up for a track record, this time with pacing mare Dirt Track Momma in an eye-popping, jaw dropping 1:55.3 to set the new mark.
It was destiny for the team of Spence/ Moase in 2013 at Exhibition Park Raceway and it was simply meant to be. Media latched on to the story of Big League and what it meant for New Brunswick.
They say every record is meant to be broken but its going to take another storybook to take these well deserved records away from these young stars of Maritime racing.
With 2013 in the book for another year, one can only hope that 2014 is just as exciting as 2013 but that's going to be tough.
by Scott Waddell for HRNB