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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 http://www.horseracingnb.com 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 http://www.horseracingnb.com 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:   http://www.horseracingnb.com   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  

It is harness racing at it's very best Friday afternoon at Saint John's Exhibition Park Raceway. Horse Racing New Brunswick, it's partners and sponsors present a ten dash action packed race card.   Post time is slated for 4:30 P.M and features the lucrative Maritimer stake for three-year-old fillies, plus the Milton Downey and the Jim Doherty Memorial.   Friday's Maritimer stake has attracted ten of the best fillies in Atlantic Canada. They will race in two elimination heats with the top eight coming back for a winner take all final. Co-sponsored by the New Brunswick Standardbred Owner's Association, the event has a total purse of over $ 22,000.   Locally owned filly Howmacscanasta has been listed as one of the favorites in her elimination.   Two memorial races will recognize two great New Brunswick horsemen on the program. Milton Downey and Jim Doherty will be honored in two separate races on Friday afternoon.   Both men were ambassadors and pioneers in the industry here in New Brunswick and their families and supporters will be on hand to remember the two gentleman.   In the Milton Downey Memorial, co-sponsored by Steve Downey and family, five pacers will square off for a purse of $4000. Starcastic whop ships in from P.E.I for the event, has been listed as the 3-1 favorite. New Brunswick's Gilles Barrieau will drive the pacer from post-five.   Meanwhile, the Jim Doherty Memorial will go with a solid field of five pacers for a purse of $ 2100 and showcases one of Atlantic Canada's best three-year-old's, Jackson K Down.   Kathy-MacLean Harvey, President of Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank all the horsemen who will be here on Friday, the fans, and the generous sponsors who supported the highly anticipated racing card.   Sponsors include the Saint John Exhibition Association, N.B.S.B.O.A, Steve Downey, Fredericton Horsemen Association, Rick Armstrong, Dairytown Veterinary Hospital, Peter and Paul Doherty.   Special thanks to the Saint John Exhibition Association for not only sponsoring one of Friday's races but contributing $4000 to enhance the afternoon's purse offerings.   Scott Waddell

After a busy week of Old Home Week racing on Prince Edward Island, harness racing makes its triumphant return to Saint John's Exhibition Park on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 P.M.   Horse Racing New Brunswick will showcase a five dash card that will include the $1350 featured event of the day to be carded as race five.   Haunto, owned by Jeff DeFazio and Gordon White will look for post-one to give them the edge in the field with driver Mark Haig,. They will be asked to take on one of the hottest stables from the region. Dr. Mitchell Downey and his father Mike will send out two starters, Stare Down and City Of The Year.   Magical Alex and Cecils Express will round out the top-class of the afternoon.   Horse Racing New Brunswick and it's partners will host the prestigious Maritimer stake as part of the Exhibition Week of racing at the Saint John half-mile track.

It was an emotional day at Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday as a three-horse spill in the fourth event of the afternoon sent two harness racing drivers to hospital.   Going into the first turn, driver Ed Harvey and his pacer Allstar Seelster had obtained a lead from post two and suddenly fell causing Dr. Mitchell Downey to become unseated from his horse Stare Down and also falling hard to track.   Unable to clear the mishap, driver Stephen Trites and Ideal Ticket became involved and Trites was dragged in the sulky until the horse came to a stop at the fence.   Driver Ed Harvey is reported to have a possible broken hand and ribs in the accident and Stephen Trites, a hyper-extended knee injury. Dr. Mitchell Downey walked away from the ordeal and came back to win the final race on the program will Fall Bliss.   Also on the card, pacer Upstairswithron won his first race in over two-years for driver Scott Hubbard and owner/ trainer Bob MacNeil. Horse Racing New Brunswick will provide updates this weekend as the drivers are evaluated further.   All three horses involved walked away from the accident with cuts and bruises and H.R.N.B will report on their condition as soon as news becomes available.   Best wishes from Horse Racing New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Standardbred Owners Association on a speedy recovery to those involved.     Scott Waddell

Harness racing returns this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway with a six-dash card at the Saint John half-mile oval starting at 1:00 P.M.    Dr. Mitch Downey will drive the veteran pacer Fall Bliss from post-five in the final race of the afternoon carrying a purse of $ 1350. Winner of his last three races, the pacer has been assigned the number five post versus his four rivals.    City Of The Year, runner-up in the Walter Dale Memorial will test his stable mate from post-four. Mike Downey will pilot the four-year-old son of Royal Mattjesty. Momara, driven by New Brunswick's top driver of 2015, Ed Harvey draws the coveted rail position. Other starters include Magical Alex and Coral Snake.    Post time on Saturday goes at 1:00 P.M. As always, free parking, free admission and simulcast on live racing available at all betting locations in New Brunswick.               

There were smiles and tears of joy for the connections of the harness racing three-year-old pacing filly Sassyandiknowit as the aptly named filly broke her maiden on Saturday afternoon at Exhibition Park Raceway.   With Todd Trites at the helm, the spunky daughter of Force Of Life, owned by Debbie Mahar of Saint John led from start to finish en route to a 2:04.2 victory. Like many small stable operations, the filly is a family affair as Deb's husband Wayne trains the filly.   She has some experienced some issues so far in her career as we see with so many horsemen, her connections brought her a long and invested both the time and passion to accomplish the feat this afternoon.   In other action, Fall Bliss continued to roll for owner Mike Downey and trainer/ driver Dr. Mitchell Downey. After winning the Walter Dale Memorial last week the pacer was the easiest of winners in 2:00.2. He is now six of nine in the 2016 campaign.   Racing will resume on Saturday, July 16th at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Scott Waddell

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