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Horse Racing New Brunswick will host a superb Saturday afternoon harness racing card at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, N.B as the coveted Milton Downey stakes for two-year-olds take center stage.   Named in honour of Saint John businessman and racing pioneer, Milton Downey, the race will see a total of three divisions, two colt and one filly for a combined purse of close to $20,000.   First division in race three will see a colt part-owned by Saint John interests Gary Mott, and Robert Tilley. Steel Reefer, a two-time winner this season for Saint John Hall of Fame trainer/ driver Gilles Barrieau has drawn post one.   In six lifetime starts, the son of Steelhead Hanover has two-wins, three seconds and close to $ 17,000 in the bank. He has a record this season of 1:57.2 taken at Summerside Raceway. Wayne MacRae of Nova Scotia also owns a share of the colt.   He will be tested by the five entry Woodmere Alvin and the talented driver Redmond Doucet in the bike. He has shown consistency with five on the board finishes from seven starts, including a 1:59.1 victory.   Division two of the colts looks to be a battle of two more Steelhead Hanover colts and a colt by State Treasurer. Jason Hughes will pilot Justcallmedoc who has a charted line of 1:55.4 two starts back. Barrieau has post two with Dustylanegoliath who was second to sensational Woodmere Stealdeal in his last mile, charted in 1:56.4.   Rounding out the big three in division two is Saltwater Savage who has been a force to be reckoned with all season. He has four-wins from five starts, including a record of 1:56.4. Mark Bradley will pilot the top contender.   In the lone filly division, Need To Know from outside five and a red-hot Jason Hughes brings a solid resume to Saint John with three wins and three seconds in six starts. The daughter of Warawee Needy has a lifetime speed badge of 1:59.   Tobins Brownie is another one to watch for from the Jonah Moase stable who has a victory to her credit this year in 1:58.4. Woodmere Stella, from post one has the second highest earnings this season in the race and the Earl Smith pupil will have Gilles Barrieau in the sulky.   Saturday's big card also will see the Roddy Goguen Memorial Pace that is slated as the finale of the afternoon. Gold Cup and Saucer finalist and local entry Father Ofthe Year is the morning line favourite and has paced both of his last two miles in the 1:53 change.   Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to extend their gratitude to all of the horsemen and women who are shipping in for the afternoon of racing and welcome fans back to the track after a brief hiatus to allow local entries to take part in other cards in the Maritimes.   Post time is 1:00 P.M at the Saint John oval with wagering available in Saint John, Moncton and Fredericton and through HPIBet on-line.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

This Saturday, Horse Racing New Brunswick will host the Maritimes largest harness racing purse event in stake races this season as the Barrieau/McIsaac stake goes for $40,000 and has drawn a full field of starters.   Named in honor of Rufin Barrieau & Francis McIsaac, the race will go as race six on the seven dash program which gets underway at 1:00 P.M at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John.   Tobins Rebel has been listed as the morning line favourite and will be driven by Moncton native Gilles Barrieau, the nephew of Rufin Barrieau fow owner Dan Ross of Price Edward Island.   There are three New Brunswick pacers entered in the rich stake which include Little Manny, J J Austin and Bouttagetlucky. It's the largest purse of the season for stake horses and second only to the prestigious Gold Cup & Saucer in Prince Edward Island later this month.   by Scott Waddell, for Horse Racing New Brunswick    

After a thrilling stretch drive victory last Saturday, four-year-old Pickpocketprincess looks to dominate her male rivals again this Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Last Saturday she was hampered with the outside post position and battled Fatheroftheyear in a thrilling stretch duel to score the victory. She will have a better post this week, as the daughter of Varadero Hanover will score from post position two.   So far this season, the mare has three wins from six starts for owner-trainer-breeder Wayne Hubbard of Saint John. She already has established a new record this season, after a 1:57.3 triumph. John Davidson picks up the live catch-drive this Saturday in the finale. She is the lone distaff in the field.   Other starters in order of post position are Bugger Max ( Mark Haig ), Double D Deluxe ( Don Dickinson ), Fatheroftheyear ( Dr. Mitchell Downey ) and Paris Beau with Stephen Trites.   Post time for race one on Saturday, presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick gets underway at 1:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for  Exhibition Park Raceway

Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway will see a celebration of retirement for aged pacing horse Skippy as Horse Racing New Brunswick and along with Greenhawk, Shur Gain and Debbie Mahar have stepped up to salute the classy harness racing son of Camluck who this year, reached the age of fourteen years old.   Harold Defazio owns the ironsided pacer who has accumulated over $82,000 in career earnings and a lifetime best of 1:56.3 taken at Bangor Raceway. One of his biggest wins on the Maritime racing circuit was back in 2015 as he captured the prestigious Walter Dale Memorial for his regular pilot Mark Haig.   Defazio, who purchased the son of Camluck in Ontario back in 2012, and since then the horse has become so much more than just a racehorse, he is a member of the Defazio family.   Many races, road trips to other tracks including South of the border, the colourful Defazio has decided it's time to give the horse a well earned retirement. He had hoped 2020 would see him be his final year of racing, after prepping him for the season and ready to qualify, something was just " off " with the horse. Defazio decided then it was time to call it a career. He closes his career with twenty-nine wins, just one shy of thirty.     Skippy will be trackside after race number four on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway. Local sponsors Cindy at Greenhawk and Sarah at Shur Gain have co-sponsored gifts of celebration including some much deserved treats, grooming bag, and a plaque and cooler donated by Debbie Mahar.   Congratulations to Harold & Sandra Defazio who have always treated the horse as part of their family with lots of TLC, treats, and pampering during his time since arriving on the scene in 2012. Post time is at 1:00 P.M with a six-dash card at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John.   Scott Waddell  

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — Harness racing is getting back underway in more jurisdictions every week after a complete shutdown two months ago at tracks across North America due to the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic. New Brunswick has announced its first card of the season will be June 6 at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, while Nova Scotia indicated this week that racing will return to its three tracks in June with final details being ironed out. In the U.S., Illinois received the green light to go, and New Jersey will hold qualifiers this week while awaiting confirmation on when live racing may resume. While live racing is back, there is not a single jurisdiction allowing fans back at the track for at least the time being. The first qualifiers of the season were held Saturday afternoon at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park with more than 60 horses entered in nine dashes in front of an empty grandstand. Race fans caught the action live at from the comfort of their own homes. More qualifiers were scheduled for Thursday evening at the capital oval followed by afternoon cards Saturday and Sunday at 12:30 p.m. leading up to the first card of live racing on Thursday, June 4. Mixed into the qualifying crowd are some new names to East Coast racing. Vegas Rich (24 wins, $121,499 earned, mark of 1:53.1 at Kawartha Downs) qualified Saturday for trainer Jansen Sweet and owner Frank Sweet of Knutsford. The Million Dollar Cam nine-year-old had been racing the $7,000 claiming ranks at Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa. Much Adoo (26 wins, $401,347, 1:49.4 at Mohawk) is now part of the Ron Matheson stable and is owned by Bruce Wood’s Rollwithitharry Racing of Marshfield. The Classic Card Shark eight-year-old pacing mare was claimed for $7,500 from Dover Downs in Delaware. Miss Kabana (nine wins, $59,181, 1:54 at Mohawk) is now owned by Gary Poulton, Gail MacDonald and Trevor Warren of Charlottetown. A five-year-old daughter of Mach Three, Miss Kabana has been racing the $15,000 claimer at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Ontario, pacing in 1:55.4 in her latest start in March. There have also been some additions to the top pacing ranks on the East Coast with more sure to come. Lisburn, a finalist in 2019 in The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer, is back on the East Coast in the Kenny Arsenault stable for owner Kevin Harvey of Hammonds Plains, N.S. The five-year-old pacer was a force in the preferred ranks in the fall before moving back to Ontario for the winter meet at Mohawk. Avatar J, a third-place finisher in last year’s James (Roach) MacGregor Gold Cup and Saucer consolation, has been placed in the Danny MacDonald stable of Charlottetown by owners Jody Sanderson of Cornwall and Dean Larkin of Edwards, Ont. The six-year-old American Ideal pacer was racing the Ontario circuit for trainer Ron MacDonald and was a winner in 1:52.2 in March at Mohawk. Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at Reprinted with permission of The Journal Pioneer  

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Harness racing takes place Saturday in all three Maritime provinces and the numbers tell us a whole different story in each. Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John was once the top track in our region and now sits as the only track operating in New Brunswick. Back 30 or 40 years ago, a live wager on a 10-race Saturday afternoon card would be in the $130,000 range. There are five races on Saturday involving 27 horses chasing purse money that totals $5,900. Back on June 8th, they had six races with a wager of just $1,600. The top mile that day was only 2:01.1. Racing wraps up in Saint John in November, with only 10 cards until then. In Nova Scotia, Northside Downs in Sydney has eight races Saturday featuring 61 horses and a total of $8,100 in purse money. Nova Scotia also has live racing in both Truro and Inverness and the wagers are usually up to $15,000. Although the sport is surviving in Nova Scotia, its numbers pale in comparison to P.E.I. It is a big day in Charlottetown on Saturday as a 12-race program involving 90 horses will chase a healthy purse pool of $27,300. The top race is the $5,500 Cecil Ladner Memorial Pace featuring the best invitational horses competing. Saturday’s program comes after 11 races on Thursday and followed by a 10-race program in Summerside on Sunday afternoon. Wagers at both Island tracks are usually in the $25,000-to-$50,000 range and those numbers increase in the heart of the tourist season. It would appear that those involved with, or fans of harness racing, are much better off if you live on P.E.I. By Joe MacIntyre Reprinted with permission of The Journal Pioneer

With a decade between wins, driver John Davidson, a fan favorite in New Brunswick and Maine racing, made his triumphant return to the bike last Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway. Davidson last scored a win way back in 2009, a year that saw him win thirteen races in sixty starts, and a respectable driving average of .351. In his career, he has piloted close to 2200-wins, and $ 2.3-million in purse money. With two victories in last Saturday's first card of the season, the Saint John native is looking to continue that momentum going into Saturday's live card.. He will see action in all five races on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway, presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick. Post-time is at 1:00 P.M that includes a $ 1500 winners over pace which takes place in the finale. Davidson will pilot HP Bushido Dragjet from post-two for owner Keith B Camick, Willow Grove, NB. Other starters include Itsgottabemyway ( Mark Haig ), Team Edward ( Todd Trites ), City Of The Year ( Dr. Mitch Downey ) and Father Ofthe Year ( Mike Downey ).. Wagering is available at the Sulky Room Lounge in Saint John, K.V Billiards in Quispamsis, Winners Lounge in Fredericton, and in Dieppe at Pub 1755. For more information, please visit the official website of Horse Racing New Brunswick at Scott Waddell

After a long off-season, harness racing in Saint John, N.B gets back into full swing on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway at 1:00 P.M. Horse Racing New Brunswick will showcase a total of six races on the season opener including a $ 1500 winners over event. Bugger Max, one of the most consistent pacers in Saint John last season, will have post-one for owner's Gordon White and Dale Orr. Mark Haig will be in the drivers seat on the nine-year-old gelding. Newcomer to New Brunswick, Team Edward will see his first action in Saint John on Saturday. Owned by Mallory Davies of Geary, N.B the veteran son of Bettors Delight will be under the guidance of Todd Trites. Rounding out the top-class are the Ellen Stevenson trained Father Ofthe Year for Mike Downey and City Of The Year for driver Dr. Mitch Downey. Also available on Saturday, is off-track wagering on the 2019 Kentucky Derby from Lexington. Horse Racing New Brunswick will offer wagering on the prestigious race at all it's simulcast venues, including in Saint John at the Sulky Room Lounge. Horse Racing New Brunswick extends a big thank-you to all of the horse people involved in Saturday's race card, and best wishes to all on a successful 2019 in racing to everyone. For more information, please visit the official site of H.R.N.B at Scott Waddell

Union Man Hanover, in line to veteran teamster Mike Downey goes into Saturday's top-class of the afternoon as the morning line favorite at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, N.B.   Leaving from post-three the pacer was a winner in his last appearance at E.P.R and will tangle with three formidable foes in the $ 1350 featured sixth race. Nova Scotia pacer Good Friday Three will have the advantage of post-one for last year's driver of the year award winner Todd Trites.   City Of The Year with youthful Luke Armstrong will also compete in the winners over pace along with Instant Shadow and catch-driver Stephen Trites in the bike.   Racing fans and horsemen can now find a copy of Saturday's live program, Kurtis Johnston's race analysis, and can watch live racing on YouTube on Horse Racing New Brunswick's official channel with first post at 1:00 P.M.   All can be found on H.R.N.B's new website by visiting:   by Scott Waddell, for Horse Racing New Brunswick    

Horse Racing New Brunswick will feature a live dash of harness racing at Exhibition Park Raceway starting Saturday at 1:00 P.M.   Saturday will see a top-class staged as race five of the afternoon program that carries with it a purse of $ 1350. Last year's top pacer in the province, Fall Bliss and Dr. Mitchell Downey has drawn the coveted rail position in the fifth race of six being staged.   He will face his stablemate City Of The Year for trainer/ driver Mike Downey from post three. Other starters in the main event are Jackson K Down ( Steve Mason ) and Real Bigg ( Mark Haig ) from post four.   Free admission, free parking, and the very best in live horse racing on Saturday, June 2nd at Exhibition Park Raceway. Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank both local horsemen, fans, and out of town ship-ins for supporting this weekend's program.   by Scott Waddell, for Exhibition Park

After an off-week at Exhibition Park Raceway, Horse Racing New Brunswick will host a six-dash harness racing program on Saturday at 1:00 P.M.   In race five of the afternoon, Ideal Ticket, owned, trained and driven by local horseman Scott Hubbard will drive the pacer who has reeled off four straight victories. He has the advantage of post-one in the fifth.   His last victory marked his 30th career win as the son of Full Of Fun has been in the top three in eight of his nine starts in 2017.   Saturday's top-class of the afternoon will feature a field of four to contest the main event which is slated to go as race four.   K D Overdrive, owned by Stephen Downey will have rail control for trainer/ driver Steve Mason. In just three years at the races, he is just shy of $ 70,000 in lifetime earnings. Real Bigg ( Mark Haig ) leaves from post two, while the father-don duo of Mike & Mitch Downey draw three and four.   Mike will handle City Of The Year who sports a lifetime best of 1:57.4 at Bangor Raceway and son Dr. Mitchell Downey pilots Fall Bliss from the outside. His best winning effort of the season comes at Exhibition Park in 1:58.   Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank those horseman who will make the trip from out of town Saturday to take part in the program.   Scott Waddell  

Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John will be the home of the absolute best card of harness racing in 2017 in the picturesque province of New Brunswick on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 P.M.   Horse Racing New Brunswick, in partnership with it's generous sponsors along with the New Brunswick Standardbred Breeders Owners Association showcase a total of thirteen ( 13 ) exciting dashes.   Not only will it be the biggest sanctioned race card of the season, it brings with it the Maritimes most unique and challenging races, the lucrative Maritimer Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies.   Saturday's mammoth card of racing will also feature the $4,500 Milton Downey Memorial and the timeless classic stake, the Williamson Stake for Atlantic Canada's best two-year-old pacers.   Race one will catapult the action underway starting at 1:00 P.M. Besides the talent of horses amassed for Saturday's card, some of Atlantic Canada's top drivers and trainers will showcase their horses.   Todd Trites, the leading driver in New Brunswick this season will drive in ten of the thirteen dashes including the coveted Williamson stakes with each division carrying purses of $ 5500. Todd will also pilot one of trainer Earl Watt's pupils in the prestigious Maritimer.   Gilles Barrieau, one of the most talented driver's to ever come out of New Brunswick will be in Saint John on Saturday and will suit up in eight of the thirteen races. Barrieau, who has been recognized nationally for his driving skills and horsemanship, goes into the card with over $ 230,000 in seasonal earnings and a stellar .375 driving average.   Saturday's free-for-all pacers will lock heads for a purse of $ 4500 in the Milton Downey Memorial co-sponsored by the Downey family. In honour of the Saint John businessman and horseman, he is the patriarch of the Downey family who are fixtures in the New Brunswick racing industry.   Leading the way will be Junebugs Baby, winner of the classic free-for-all race the Walter Dale Memorial in 1:58.4 for trainer/ driver Myles Heffernan earlier this season at E.P.R.. He will bust the gate from post-four and is well-known for his eye-popping gate speed.   Dr. Mitch Downey will pilot Fall Bliss from the rail spot and has been ultra impressive the last two-years in New Brunswick including six wins at his home base in Saint John. Other starters include Good Friday Three ( Gary Chappell ), Elm Grove Kaboom ( Earl Smith ) and His Boy Elroy ( Bernard MacCallum ).   It is interesting to note that all three provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island will be represented by owners, trainers, drivers, grooms and fans. This card displays the far reaching audience it has attracted for the action packed program.   There will be four divisions of the Williamson Stake with over $ 20,000 in purse money and two eliminations of the Maritimer along with the final on the same card carrying a total purse of over $22,000 in prize money. This makes it by far the richest day of racing in the province this season. It also marks the final day of a very successful Saint John Exhibition.   Scott Waddell

Horse Racing New Brunswick played host to the final harness racing card for 2016 on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Todd Trites was crowned the tracks driving champion on Saturday. He is a former Maritime dash winning driver and one of the most popular catch drivers on the circuit.   Meanwhile, Saturdays fastest mile was turned in by the best pacer in New Brunswick this season. Dr. Mitchell Downey guided Fall Bliss to victory in the days top class in 1:59.1.   A son of Blissful Hall, Fall Bliss scored his 11th win of 2016 racing campaign. Three-year-old K D Overdrive was runner up in the days main event.   That wraps up the 2016 racing season that saw a total of fifteen race dates. Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank all horsemen for their support along with everyone who played a part in the success of this past season.    

Multiple award winning harness racing driver Gilles Barrieau will see action this Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Horse Racing New Brunswick will host the provinces last race card of the harness racing season after this past Monday's card was cancelled due to poor weather and track conditions.   Saturday's top-class on Saturday afternoon will include the provinces top overnight horse of 2016 in New Brunswick, Fall Bliss. Dr. Mitchell Downey will pilot the pacer from post-five in race five.   Meanwhile, three-year-old stakes winner K D Overdrive will have Gilles Barrieau in the bike from post-two in the afternoon's $ 1350 main event on the five-dash program.   Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank all horsemen, volunteers, staff and everyone who made racing in New Brunswick possible for the 2016 racing season.   Post time for race one at Exhibition Park Raceway is scheduled for a 1:00 P.M start.   Scott Waddell

Horse Racing New Brunswick will close out the provinces harness racing schedule for 2016 on Monday, October 10th at 1:00 P.M at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Six races are scheduled with the track's driving title on the line. Todd Trites has one more win than Dr. Mitch Downey going into the afternoon's action.   Trites, a former Maritime driving champion has been hot of late coming off a three win performance last week. He will have the advantage as he is driving in all six races.   Downey meanwhile will drive two on the day including the top overnight pacer of 2016 in the province. Fall Bliss. He will see action in the final of the season in the top-class of the afternoon.   Horse Racing New Brunswick extends thanks and best wishes on this Thanksgiving weekend to fans, horsemen, volunteers, and everyone who made 2016 racing possible in New Brunswick.

An usual suspect at Exhibition Park Raceway will look to win his third straight event as racing continues this Saturday at the port city oval in harness racing action. Six races will be presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick with race one scheduled for 1:00 P.M. There was a large contingent of fans and supporters in last Saturday's winning circle presentation for Upstairswithron as he paced to a gate to wire effort en route to a 2:02.3 victory. Bob MacNeil owns the five-year-old son of Quick Comeback who is making himself a solid pick for most improved horse in 2016 in New Brunswick. Last year, the big strapping pacer went without a win all season. He owned a modest 2:06.2 pacing record taken back in 2014. So far this year, he sports a new record of 2:01.2 taken over Fredericton Raceway. Popular catch-driver Chris Davies gets the call this Saturday in the afternoon's final race. Saturday's top-class will feature a battle of Mike Downey entries as Fall Bliss, last week's top-class winner will take on City Of The Year in the day's premier event for a purse of $ 1350. Scott Waddell  

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