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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – There is no question Meridian Farms has been the biggest player in Atlantic Canadian harness racing for the first part of the 21st century and sadly the chief architect of its P.E.I. operation has left us far too soon. Brian Andrew passed away Wednesday at the age of 70 after a lifelong career in the Island education system and a passion for harness racing. An accomplished trainer and driver, Andrew operated Meridian Farms in Milton in partnership with younger brother William. A devoted fan of the industry, Andrew poured his life into Island racing, serving on boards like the P.E.I. Harness Racing Industry Association and the Atlantic Classic Sale Committee, among other commitments. No one could ever question Andrew’s resolve to lend a helping hand to other horse people and always make decisions that were in the best interest of the industry as a whole. Known for his friendly demeanour, Andrew could almost always be seen with a smile on his face and always called anyone he came across pal. RELATED: Click here for a 2014 feature on Andrew. His standardbred nursery and racing operation at the Meridian Farms location in Milton was always pristine with Andrew making sure everything was always presentable and professional. Under Andrew’s tutelage, Meridian Farms would stand the top stallions in the Atlantic Sires Stakes program and would be the top consignor to the two Atlantic yearling sales every fall. A fierce competitor on the race track, Andrew drove some of the top overnight pacers at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP) with horses like Ironside, War Cry Ranger, Victory Creed, Matt Trapper and Every Day and would dabble with trotters racing the open classes like Players Champion and Shy Beauty, among numerous others. As a driver, Andrew recorded 398 wins and $485,587 in earnings since his first trips in the race bike in the 1970s. His driving duties were toned down considerably this season with just 45 drives and his last trip to the winner’s circle as a driver was in June at the CDP aboard trot mare Hello Chipper. As a trainer, Andrew conditioned 270 horses to 270 wins with more than $310,000 in prize money. Fittingly, Andrew’s final training win was in an event steeped in history as Keep Coming claimed the Johnny Conroy Memorial Invitational pace at Truro Raceway in Bible Hill, N.S., with a 1:55.1 victory for driver David Dowling. We have lost another giant of the game. To his wife Carol and children Blake and Rachel, I share my deepest sympathies. As for Brian, may you rest in peace pal. Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at Reprinted with the permission of The Guardian

A few fresh faces along with the top stallions in Atlantic Canadian harness racing dot the list of eligible horses for the 2016 Atlantic Sires Stakes breeding season. A total of 21 studs are paid into the program with the deadline on Jan. 31 to pay horses in for the breeding season, though late nominations can be made. On the trot side, the sire of the top money earning two-year-old trotter of the 2015 season is back in the game after a one-year hiatus from the program. Neal is back at stallion duty for Meridian Farms of Milton after siring top two-year-old trotter High Bid. From just his first racing crop in 2015, Neal, a grand circuit stakes winner in his own right, sired five stakes winners from just eight foals. A new addition to the program for 2016 is Striking Lindsey, standing at Blair Campbell's Camco Farms in North Wiltshire. The 10-year-old son of Striking Sahbra was a winner of 18 races and $628,128 in purses while taking a mark of 1:54.1 at Mohawk Raceway. He was trained exclusively by Gregg McNair in his career, while winning a $120,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Gold Final and finishing second in the $300,000 O.S.S. Super Final. The horse is owned by Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire. Tad The Stud returns to stud for another year at Meridian Farms. The Windsong's Legacy stud has his first crop of 12 two-year-olds currently training down while he bred 14 mares last season. Millionaire trotter Armbro Barrister also returns at Meridian Farms for 2016. The richest son of Malabar Man, Armbro Barrister bred 26 mares during the 2015 season. Black River stands in Kensington for owners Sandra and Garth Cole. The 19-year-old son of Donerail has a long list of top stakes performers, including Maritime champions like 2005 champion two-year-old trotter Maple Leaf Noble, 2004 champion Dunmore TCB, 2006 champion Dunmore TKO and 2004-2005 champion Rustico Red River. The trotting side has a real rarity as the sires of both 2015 Atlantic Breeders Crown trot final winners are not paid into the program for the 2016 breeding season. Paymenowpaymelater captured the three-year-old Atlantic Breeder's Crown trot last season but her sire, Northern Bailey, is no longer standing stud on P.E.I. and is not paid into the program after being sold to Wisconsin. Northern Bailey had been one of the most successful trot stallions in the past eight years of the program with Maritime champions Waiting On A Woman, Oceanview Kate, Seanchai, JK Blaze, Tyne Valley, My Daisy Duke and Rash Statement. Not to mention Est Non Ila Dulcis, the fastest Maritime Bred trotter ever in the Maritimes. Northern Bailey bred 11 mares in 2015 while standing at Camco Farms. Last year's two-year-old trot winner Glencove Zani also has his father, Bo W, absent from the program this breeding season. Owned by Carl Bagnall of Stratford, Bo W had just one foal in 2015 and was bred to four mares. Besides Glencove Zani, Bo W has also sired 2012 Maritime Champion Sweetwater Rukkus. Also missing from the program after standing in 2015 is Delcrest Julian. Last season was the first year at stud for the son of Oaklea Julian, who bred just four mares while stationed at Meridian Farms. Next week, we will take a look at the pacing side of the 2016 stallion roster. Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at By Nicholas Oakes Reprinted with permission of the  website  

Charlottetown, PE - The stage is set for the $7,000 Maritime Breeders final for three-year-old trotters Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time is 6pm. The final is named in honor of John "Buddy" Campbell, a longtime horseman, race secretary and former starter at the CDP. It's presented by Meridian Farms. Race analysts are split on their decision of top choice with Gerard Smith listing JK Blaze and driver Walter Cheverie as the one to beat while Les MacIsaac puts Paymenowpaymelater, with Marc Campbell in the bike, as his top play. Phoenician, owned by Buntainwood Farm, Brackley Beach and trained by Nick Oakes, should also be in the hunt while another top contender, Suicide Shift, will have to navigate post 7 for driver Steven Shepherd. The rich final, scheduled for post at 7:25pm, also stars Windemere Ty (Jack Panting), Dusty Lane Jacob (Ken Murphy) and Tyne Valley (Kenny Arsenault). Campbell gets another live drive aboard Forever Paradise in the evening's preferred pace in race 11. Trainer Kevin MacLean sends out the pacing star as they go after their 14th win of the season. Nogreatmischief, My Lucky Killean, All Turain and Machinthesand will try to spoil the party. The evening will also feature the Amateur Driving Series sponsored by Chuckie's Sports Excellence. The drivers include Kyle DesRoche, Shane Baglole, Nick MacGillivray, Drew Neill, Taylor Doyle, Ashley Gamester, Travis Timmons, Ryan DesRoche, Austin Sorrie and Chad Taylor. Acton O So Royal draws the rail in Summerside Feature Summerside, PE - Acton O So Royal goes after this third win in a row when he appears in the top class Sunday at Red Shores Summerside. Post time is 1pm. Gary Chappell is back in the bike for owner Wayne Pike, Winlsoe, PE and trainer Colleen Chappell. The six-year-old is coming off back to back winning performances including a 1:57.4 score. He'll line up beside J RS Hurricane from the Jean Charles Belliveau stable and race analyst Jared Stretch's top selection. Ken Murphy is listed the drive. The power packed field also includes Cambest Kisser, Outside the Wire and Motorino. In other action, DBS Rosco will attempt to extend his winning streak to three in the afternoon's back-up class. The pacer is owned by Robbie Shaw, Derek Folland and trainer Wendell Shaw. Rosco steps up to battle Blu Meadow Willie who is only three wins away from his 60th lifetime score. Driver Walter Cheverie goes into the weekend of racing only four wins away from career win 2,500. Cheverie has six drives Saturday and down to drive 11 Sunday at Red Shores Summerside. For entries, top picks and live broadcast go to www.redshores.cae A. Drake Red Shores Racetrack and Casino    

The Atlantic Sires Stakes-Meridian Farms two and three-old trotters are heading to Inverness Raceway on Wednesday night for what is sure to be some competitive harness racing action. Two divisions of the two-year-old trotters will each go for a purse pool of $9060. Meanwhile the three-year-olds will also go in two divisions each trying to capture the winner's share of the $8280 purse. Meridian Farms, Atlantic Canada's largest Standardbred breeding operation, is a major sponsor of the Atlantic Sires Stakes trotting events. First race post time on Wednesday at Inverness Raceway is 7:30 pm. Lynne MacLennan Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association

Trained in Ireland by harness racing Mark and William Flanagan, Meadowbranch DJ is only two points off the top in the Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion series after three rounds. The final stage, back at the distance he set a track record at in round one, will be run on Sunday in Portmarnock, Ireland. The current leader he needs to beat is his duelling partner from across the sea, Brywinsmagicpotion. The now retired to stud Mystery Chase racked up twenty-nine wins at the track and amassed prize-money of $774,677. He was a sub 1:50 performer and won the Meadowlands Pace Consulation as a three year-old. However his best achievement has to be finishing second to Somebeachsomewhere, the day he broke the world record and put himself into the harness racing history books. He now stands at stud at Meridian Farms in High River, Alberta. His full brother, three years his junior, was purchased at the Harrisburg Standardbred Horse Sales in Hanover when Meadowbranch Stables bought his pregnant dam. They originally went to buy Mystery Chase, but found themselves the under bidders, thus settling for his full brother. Meadowbranch DJ since has not disappointed his connections; with over twenty thousand pounds sterling in prize money as a multiple free-for-all winner. He dominated the curtain raiser to the Anglo-Irish Inter Dominion series at York in June, breaking the track record in his ten-length romp. The chief challenger from Great Britain however, Brywinsmagicpotion, wasn’t allowing Mystery Chase’s brother to have it all his own way, fighting back to beat him in the second round. It was a gutsy performance and unsurprisingly another track record fell by the wayside as the pair pushed past breaking point to secure the sole ticket to Australia. At York last Saturday, both had to settle for second and third, as the Scottish Astounding led from pillar to post to take the third stage, in the third track record in as many races. He however can’t win overall, having missed the second stage. This confirms the race as a two-horse event, with Brywinsmagicpotion just ahead with it all to play for come Sunday. For Mark and William Flanagan winning the series would give them a second chance in Australia, having taken Sable Matters in 1997 to the Inter Dominion but for him to pick up an injury at the last moment. Mark Flanagan concluded “We’ve done it before, why not do it again? Dermot Weld won the Melbourne Cup, why couldn’t we win the Inter Dominion?” By Michael Andrews

The Meridian Farms Atlantic Sire Stakes for harness racing two and three-year-old trotters took centre stage Tuesday afternoon at Red Shores Charlottetown. Paymenowpaymelater extended his unbeaten win streak to five in the Race 6 division of two-year-old trotters. The two-year-old filly by Northern Bailey let the dust settle off of the gate before charging to the lead just past the quarter, going on to win by two and a half lengths in 2:05.2 for owner Wade Peconi. Clare MacDonald drove for the first time for trainer Earl Watts. With the victory Paymenowpaymelater pushes her lifetime earnings well over $15,000 in five starts. Wait For Me was second and Suicide Shift finished third. J K Blaze picked up the victory in another division of two-year-old trotters. Favourite Tyne Valley did not receive a fair start and that opened up a wide open betting bored. Walter Cheverie sent the daughter of Northern Bailey to the lead and never looked back winning in 2:09.2 for owner and trainer Joe Smallwood. Windemere Ty was second and Windemere Tribe was third. Dusty Lane Jewel put in a gutsy effort for Charlottetown's new leading driving Marc Campbell. The daughter of Nureyev made a break heading into the first turn but managed to get away third in the compact field of five. The Campbell trainee grinded out a first over attack to nail trot setter B J Matador on the line. Skyanne finished third. Southfield Shadow took the fastest of the three Meridian Farms Atlantic Sire Stakes for three-year-old trotters on the afternoon card, she stopped the clock in 2:01.3 for the driver - trainer combo of Terry Gallant and Thane Mann. Owned by the Southfield Farms of Summerside, the filly tracked down the leader Villager past the three-quaters after he laid down fraction of :29.3, :59.3 and 1:31.1, to win by four lengths, B J Comanche finished second and Villager hung on for third. Phantom Beau was able to convert off of a perfect two-hole ride in Race 7 for driver Kenny Arsenault. Owned by Peter Breau and trained by John Pineau, the three-year-old son of Bo W moved out around the final turn and defeated Dusty Lane Galaxy who finished second while Arizone Ray finished third, time of the mile was 2:03.1. Young-gun driver Jack Panting made his work look pretty easy in the final trot division of the day. He fired Dunmore Chance off of the gate before letting favourite Saulsbrook Pippa clear to the lead going to the half, Panting made his move around the last turn and went on to win by five lengths in 2:04. Grandfather Ralph Annear owns and trains. Driver Brian Andrew picked up a driving double on the card. He got his winning started with War Cry Ranger in race 3 making every call a winning one in 2:00.1. His second win came with a four wide move up the back stretch aboard Honor Roll. Time of that mile was 2:00.2. The fastest mile of the afternoon went to Cabo Pan Lucas in the last race on the card. Driver Paul Mackenzie sent the seven-year-old chestnut gelding right down the road winning by two lengths in 1:56.4. Gary Poulton co-owns and trains along with co-owner Alan Walker. Cabo Pan Lucas laid down fractions of :28.3, :59, 1:28.3, 1:56.4. Bo Ford

Harness racing trainer Rene Allard has been waiting a long time for this, but after Monday nights trial 2 it looks like he has a very fair shot at winning his first ever Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer. Mickey Hanover in-line to last years winner Marc Campbell made every call a winning one stopping the clock in 1:50.4 tying the track record at Red Shores' Charlottetown. Allard has been coming to P.E.I. since 2009, trying to win the Gold Cup and Saucer and after Monday nights trial, it could be in his near future. "It's pretty special. Every year it seems like a lot of disappointment but it's not an easy race to win. We keep getting closer and closer," said Allard. "I knew the horse was feeling really good and he came to the Island real sharp so I liked his chances. He was awesome." 'King' Campbell did exactly what Allard asked of him, he sent Mickey Hanover out of the gate from post four laying down fractions of :26.2 :54.2 and 1:22.4 before closing in out in :28. "I asked Marc, plan A is put him on the point, plan B or C you figure it out," said Allard. Campbell said the objective was just to get him into the final. "I just got to the front, I tried to get him a little breather in there and Rene said he may try and get his own breather in going to the three-quarters. I just made sure I kept him alive and didn't get caught sleeping." Campbell took a clean sweep of the trials after winning trial 1 with Aracache Hanover. "The objective was just to get him into the final," Campbell said about trying the track record. " Both trips were pretty amazing. They're both good horses, they're both class act horses." Campbell said he felt like he may have had a little more left in the tank. "He's a big lazy, grinding horse. I just chased him down to the wire, but I'd imagine he'd have a little more if someone had came fighting him." As for Allard he said it doesn't matter the time going into Saturday night $ 75, 000 final "Time only counts in jail. Saturday we would like to win but time doesn't matter. We can only hope for the best." Campbell said it's a dream come true to win both trials. "Just to get into a trial is really exciting, to get to drive power like Rene Allard and Ron Burke's horses, for those guys to give you the call on their horses it means a lot. It picks your head up and gives you a little more confidence." Take It Back Terry finished two lengths back, Scott Rocks finished third and despite a break heading around the five-eights turn Wazzup Wazzup punched the final ticket into Saturday nights final. On the undercard, Say It Again Sam in line to trainer - driver extended his win streak to 10 converting off a perfect two-hole ride to provide a minor upset over favourite Im Drinkin Doubles in 1:57.3. Campbell had a driving double, winning with Yankee No More in 1:57.3 earlier on in the card. Teddys Place managed to string together a pair of Old Home Week victories winning the 11th race in 1:57.4 for Mike Stevenson. Racing returns to Red Shores' Charlottetown tomorrow afternoon featuring the Meridian Farms Atlantic Sire Stakes for two and three-year-old trotters. Tune in Tuesday night for the live post position draw for the Gold Cup and Saucer at 8pm. Bo Ford    

Atlantic Sires Stakes two and three-year-old trotters provided exciting harness racing action at Inverness Raceway on Wednesday evening, including setting a new track record for three-year-old trotters. Dusty Lane Galaxy took the new track record when he crossed the finish line in 2:03.4 with driver-trainer Gary Chappell in the bike. The bay trotting gelding is owned by Peter Buchanan, North Wiltshire, PE and the Estate of George Boswall, Frenchfort, PE. The other three-year-old trot event on the evening card went to B J Comanche and driver Clare MacDonald in 2:04.2 for owner-trainer Bert Honkoop of Montague PE. The two-year-old trotters also had a chance to shine as Tyne Valley and driver Mike Stevenson captured first place honours in their event in 2:11.1 for owners William and Scott Roloson, Belfast, PE and Kristi Pickering, Charlottetown, PE. The second two year-old trotting event went to Paymenowpaymelater and driver Kenny Arsenault in 2:06.4 for owner Wade Peconi of Stanchel, PE. The Atlantic Sires Stakes trotting events across the Maritimes are presented by Meridian Farms. Not to be out done by the trotters, the two-year-old pacing fillies also strutted their stuff at the Inverness oval. Woodmere Dancenart and driver-trainer Clare MacDonald won their 'A' division event in 2:01.2 for owners Morah Kerr, Greenfield, NS and Phonsie MacEachern, Port Hood, NS. The other 'A' division event on the race card went to Jann Down and driver Gilles Barrieau in 2:01.4 for the Downey Stables of Quispamsis, NB. I Can Do Anything crossed the finish line first in the lone 'B' division event with owner-driver-trainer Keith Ford in the bike. Gordon Neill of Charlottetown, PE, shares the ownership papers on the two-year-old filly. Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action heats up again this weekend as a full slate of events will take place during Old Home Week at Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park. For a complete schedule of events and to view current point standings, visit Lynne MacLennan  

A new track record for three-year-old fillies was set on Sunday afternoon at Inverness Raceway with Elm Grove Inarush clocking the impressive 1:55.3 mile. The three-year-old pacing filly was under the command of driver Mark Bradley in the first of two Atlantic Sires Stakes 'A' division events. The ownership papers on the filly are held by Blaine Thibeau, Eddy Doucette, Gordon MacLeod and Grant Mann of Kensington, PE. Saulsbrook Alana and driver Marc Campbell captured the second 'A' division event in 1:56.4 for owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford, PE. Two 'B' division events were further highlights on the afternoon race card with the first dash going to Rhondas Example and driver Mike Stevenson. Meanwhile Happy To Scoot took first place honours in her division with Wade Sorrie in the bike. Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action returns to Inverness Raceway on Wednesday. The Atlantic Sires Stakes-Meridian Farms two and three-year-old trotting events will be featured during the evening card of racing. Joining the trotters at the Inverness oval will be the Atlantic Sires Stakes two-year-old pacing fillies. First race post time on Wednesday is 7:30 pm. by Lynne MacLennan, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association  

Charlottetown PE- A newcomer to the Island racing scene was quick to leave his mark at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park Thursday night. Red Magician made his first start on red soil a winning one for owners Dale and Ronnie Rennie of Elmsdale. The four-year-old chestnut gelding laid down fractions of :28.4, 1:00.1, 1:30.4 before closing it out in 2:00 over a track carrying a four seconds variant. Kenny Murphy handled the driving duties for trainer Clarkie Smith. Shock The Rock was second and Windemere Express finished third. The 4-H Club of P.E.I were at Red Shores in full force Thursday night, as they cheered Hurrah right into the winners circle. The three-year-old Shadow Play colt was a winner in 2:01.2 for trainer - driver Mark Bradley. Hurrah is part of a new promotion this season at Red Shores called Hurrah 4 Island Charities, in partnership with Meridian Farms. It sees the horses entire earnings each month donated to charities across P.E.I. This months charity is the 4-H club of P.E.I, members from the Montague 4-H club joined he connections in the winner circle. Caliban Hanover notched another victory into his belt in the Open trot for trainer - driver Ronnie Gass. The nine-year-old picked up his 40th lifetime victory for his owner Wendell MacDonald of Cornwall in 2:03. Twelve different drivers picked up victories on the 12-dash card. Racing action returns to Red Shores' Charlottetown Saturday night with a 6 p.m. post time. by Bo Ford, for Red Shores

The best two and three-year-old trotters and pacers in the Maritimes will be showcased at Truro Raceway this week as part of Atlantic Grand Circuit Week harness racing action. The Atlantic Sires Stakes-Meridian Farms two and three-year-old trotting events will be featured during Tuesday evening's card of racing. The two-year-old trotters will go in two divisions, each with a substantial purse pool of $8420. Meanwhile the three-year-old trotters will also go in two divisions each with a purse pool of $8360. Joining the trotters on Tuesday's race card will be the Atlantic Sires Stakes two-year-old pacing fillies. First race post time on Tuesday is 6:30 pm. Atlantic Sires Stakes racing action will continue on Thursday evening when the two-year-old pacing colts meet for some serious competition. Two 'A' divisions, each worth over $10,000, will be highlights on the race card. Two $2500 'B' divisions will round out the card. First race post time on Thursday is 6:30 pm. On Saturday it will be the Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing colts time to shine. This will be the fourth meeting of the colts this race season and the racing is sure to be competitive and fast. Points earned in each Atlantic Sires Stakes trot and 'A' pace event go towards securing entry to the season-ending Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships. For the complete Atlantic Sires Stakes race calendar, as well as current point standings, visit by Lynne MacLennan, for the Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association  

Summerside, PE - The feature race at Red Shores Summerside was declared a no contest after the starting gate wing fell off at the beginning of the race. One of the entries, Outside the Wire, driven by Brodie MacPhee, suffered some scrapes and bruises in the mishap. There were no other injuries. The Atlantic Sires Stakes for two and three-year-old trotters were in the spotlight during Lobster Festival Week. The stakes were presented by Meridian Farms. Paymenowpaymelater, owned by Wade Peconi, Stachel, won the first two-year stake for Kenny Arsenault and trainer Earl Watts. The time of the mile was 2:07.4. JK Blaze and Walter Cheverie captured the second two-year-old division. Cheverie did the driving for owner, trainer Joe Smallwood, Stratford. Cheverie and Smallwood teamed up to win a three-year-old trot stake with JK Hustler. Seanchai also captured his $8,620 division for trainer Nicholas Oakes, driver Brodie MacPhee and Buntainwood Farm, Brackley Beach. For complete results go to by Lee Drake, for Red Shores

Summerside, PE - It's trot night at Red Shores Summerside Tuesday, with the Atlantic Sires Stakes - Meridian Farms two-year-old and three-year-old trot taking center stage. Post time is 7 pm. Stakes action gets under way in the third race with seven two-year-olds making their career debuts for a purse of $8, 820. Paymenowpaymelater leaving from post 2 is the morning line favourite for owner Wade Peconi of Stanchel. Earl Watts trains the two-year-old Northern Bailey - Credibility filly and will hand the lines to veteran driver Kenny Arsenault. Paymenowpaymelater is coming off an impressive qualifier where she was a going away winner in 2:09 with Arsenault in the sulky. She will do battle with Dusty Lane Jacob from the rail (Clare MacDonald), B J Matador gets post 3 fresh off a 2:13.3 qualifying victory for owner-trainer Bert Honkoop, Brian MacPhee will do the driving. The field also includes Bayriver (3-1), Oceanview Roz (6-1), Rustico Lighthouse (7-2) and Phoenician (10-1). Race 5 features the first division of the three-year-old trotters, Saulsbrook Pippa has been saddled with post 6 after a 2:03.1 victory in the Maple Leaf Trot with Corey MacPherson in the bike. The winner of $11,681 in lifetime earnings is owned by John Pineau of Hunter River and Myron Ford of Harrington, Pineau also handles the training duties, MacPherson will drive. Wait For Me will have post one in the second division of the two-year-old trotters, Wait For Me is a full sister to former Maritime Champion and Red Shores Summerside's current track record holder Waiting On A Woman. The daughter of Northern Bailey - Southwind Faith is owned and bred by Mitchell and David Tierney, Mark McKinnon does the training and driving. Last season's Maritime Breeders and Breeders Crown champion Phantom Beau will compete in the final division of the three-year-old trotters. He was victorious in his last start for owner Peter Breau of Moncton. Phantom Beau will leave from post 7 at 4-1 odds, Pineau does the training and Arsenault will handle the driving duties against seven other rivals. Oceanview Rose is one of those rivals, she picked up a 205.4 victory in her division of the Maple Leaf Trot last Wednesday for owner-trainer Bill Roloson, Mike Stevenson who is closing in on win number 1,500, will drive. Outside The Wire is the morning-line choice in the Race 11 feature, last time out he was a winner in 157.1 for owners Andrew Avery and John Brodrick, Craig Avery is the trainer and Brodie MacPhee will do the driving from post 4. Putnam Mackenzie leaving from the 3 spot ships in from Ontario where she was a winner in her last start in 1:56 over the powerful Woodbine circuit, Kent Livingston of Cornwall and Dan Livingston of Stratford are now the owners with Alan Taylor taking over the training duties from former Gold Cup and Saucer winner Dean Nixon, Gary Chappell is scheduled to do the driving. The rest of the field includes Tyber Champ (Edward Strongman), Capitalism (Jason Hughes), All Out (Kenny Murphy) and R Sonoflife (Marc Campbell). For the complete list of entries, results or live broadcast go to by Bo Ford, for Red Shores  

The Atlantic Sires Stakes for  two and three-year old pacers and trotters will be showcased at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway next week, as part of the annual Summerside Lobster Festival harness racing action. A full stale of Atlantic Sires Stakes events will take place throughout the course of the week, beginning with the two-year-old pacing colts on Monday evening. Two 'A' divisions will each go for a substantial purse pool of $13,600 and two 'B' divisions will each go for $2500. First race post time on Monday is 7 pm. On Tuesday evening the two and three-year-old Atlantic Sires Stakes-Meridian Farms trot events will be hosted by Red Shores at Summerside. Meridian Farms, Atlantic Canada's largest Standardbred breeding operation is a major sponsor of the Atlantic Sires Stakes trotting divisions. The two-year-old trotters will go in two divisions, each for a purse pool of $8820, and the three-year-olds will also go in two divisions for $8620. First race post time on Tuesday is 7 pm. Atlantic Sires Stakes events will continue on Wednesday when the two-year-old pacing fillies meet for competition. The racing action on Thursday will include the Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing fillies and on Friday the three-year-old pacing colts will take to the Summerside oval. For a complete listing of Atlantic Sires Stakes events and to view current point standings, visit by Lynne MacLennan, for Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A number of Island charities will be rooting for Hurrah to cross the finish line first all year long. The three-year-old pacer will be racing for the Hurrah for Island Charities promotion, a joint venture between Meridian Farms and Red Shores that will see an Island charity selected each month and all purse money earned by the horse will flow directly to them. Owned by Island native William Andrew, owner of Meridian Farms, and George Rogers, both of Calgary, Hurrah is trained and driven by Mark Bradley in Charlottetown. The partnership will see seven charities receive the horses earnings, with a different recipient each month from June until December. "It's going to be a nice venture that we want to do," said Brian Andrew of Meridian Farms. "The people that are responsible for the charity, we hope they will come out to the race track and become fans for us as well." Hurrah was bred by Windemere Farms of North Wiltshire, then purchased by his current owners for $8,100 at the 2012 Atlantic Classic yearling sale in Crapaud. The Shadow Play colt banked $3,977 as a two-year-old, while he has already earned $885 in his first two starts of his three-year-old campaign, all while never missing a cheque. "He's looking fit and ready so I'm hoping with a little bit of luck we'll have a good season," Brian said. Hurrah will be teamed up with the Autism Society of P.E.I. for the month of June, while in July his proceeds will switch to the 4-H Council of P.E.I., with a number of other charities lined up afterwards. There will be a cheering section set up for members of the charities to cheer on Hurrah on race day. William Andrew is more than happy to support local charities, after doing a similar promotion in Alberta the past few years with horses like Starring Role, Polka Dot and Shaker Boy. He says he saw the charities getting excited over the horses racing, bringing upwards of 40 people to see them compete. "We'll look after the training bills and 100-per cent of the purse earnings, not just the profits, will go to the charity," William said. The horse owner and former UPEI Chancellor says he selected Hurrah partly because he was a honest racehorse that was always in the money and because he has faith in Bradley and his girlfriend Melissa Rennie to embrace what is trying to be accomplished. "In tough times the racing community is there," William said. "We are involved in the community and give back to the community. There are a lot of more than capable trainers. I just thought Mark and Melissa would be a good fit. This is a very transparent way to show we are doing some good." Hurrah is entered to race Saturday night in race 4 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park, leaving from post 2 with a $1,000 purse on the line. by Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores

Darren Crowe is a 23 year veteran who feels blessed to have been able to be in harness racing for this long. Darren has been one of the leading drivers at Truro Raceway for many years and has made quite an impact on horsemen throughout his career, including last year's top driver, Ryan Ellis. "The last four years we've been going at it" says Darren about the competition between him and Ryan Ellis for top driver at Truro Raceway. It's definitely about bragging rights and as Darren says "we give it to each other pretty good." One thing all horsemen enjoy is joking and having fun with one another. "I enjoy my job and I love getting out of bed each morning and coming to work and a lot of people can't say that" says Darren about his passion for working with horses. Darren in past years raced in Alberta and in Ontario at Western Fair Raceway and Flamboro Downs. One key race Darren drove in was the Nat Christie in Alberta. "It was pretty cool; I just got there a couple days before I went to work for Meridian Farms. Bill Andrews, he had a couple of horses in it and one of them made the finals, so it was pretty cool to be in it. I think Hawaiian Cowboy won it that year." Darren says. Hawaiian Cowboy won the Nat Christie in 2001 by 4 ½ lengths driven by Luc Ouellette. Darren is currently the Active Director for Standardbred Canada in the Atlantic region and his goal is to voice the opinions and concerns of his fellow horsemen constructively. Darren is a family man with a two-year-old son Brennan and his wife of three years is Robyn. "We weren't going to have any children, but we decided to have one.... I love spending the afternoons with him. We have this little fella and we are happy with him so we are going to quit at one." Darren says with a chuckle. To the point, when it comes to horse racing, Darren's most proud of being able to do what he loves for this length of time. He definitely doesn't take his work for granted. "Once you have a kid your perspective on life changes a bit. Things that used to bother me, like getting parked in a race or a horse going lame... things happen and you move on. I can go home and see my little fella and hangout with him." "For example I grew up on a dairy farm" explains Darren. "My best friend growing up has a dairy farm and in the afternoon if my little fella wants to go do something we'll go hangout there and do some field work or milk some cows, he enjoys it. That's how I unwind." With Darren growing up on a dairy farm, he got into horses through his best friend's dad and grandfather, who both had horses. "I kind of took a liking to them and came up through that way, cleaning stalls and jog their horses."Darren explains. "They were friends with Phil Pinkney who was an O'Brien award winner for Horsemanship and he's in the barn next to me and I grew up around Phil, watching what he did with young horses and shoeing. I shoe horses for Phil now, probably 18-20 years and I learned so much from him in regards to shoeing and looking for soundness." "I've had great owners over the years" says Darren. "Good owners, that's the key. You have to have owners that are going to stand behind you." Through the years, Darren has had quite a few horses pass through his care that have gone on to be quite successful, but the biggest name of all would be Somebeachsomewhere! "I got to shoe Somebeachsomewhere when he was here in the Maritimes." Darren says. "That was cool, going on to be the horse he was. I got to say I got to shoe him as a yearling til his 3-year-old year when he left." "As it turned out now, nobody knew he was going to be the horse he was as a yearling. He is just a nice horse, a little rough to shoe cause he would throw you around a little bit." Darren admits. "Now that he's the sire he turned out to be its pretty cool thinking I got to shoe that horse when he was here." Darren does have a pair of Somebeachsomewhere's shoes left as a keepsake which is pretty awesome, what a piece of horse racing memorabilia to have! Darren plans on getting the shoes chromed and then displayed on a plaque. Darren likes to keep shoeing simple and not make it complicated as others try to make it. It's about having proper angles and keep the levels right. "Horses are horses and you got to keep it simple" says Darren. "A lot of people get hung up on shoeing in regards to different shoes and fancy shoes... messing with their angles. A lot of it has to do with confirmation of the horse. If the horse has good confirmation, chances are you're not going to mess with the shoeing very often. Just keep it simple and he'll be what he's going to be. God made them that way, that's how they're going to be." Darren doesn't get hung up on what races he has won or hasn't with the exception of one given that he's a Truro native. "The Exhibition Cup, that's the free for all race of the year. During the Grand Circuit week and it wasn't for a lot of money, maybe $7,500 but I had the longest shot on the board at 99-1 and the horse ended up winning that race." Darren says. One major aspect to horse racing Darren feels the sport needs is better marketing and more attention. "I always thought the show they had on Monday nights on the Score was a pretty good show. Then they changed it a little to Bet Night Live, I think people like the interaction and interviews with the drivers and trainers talking about their horses. It's not on anymore, probably due to funding." During the discussion with Darren, they idea of company sponsorship came up such as putting company names on numbers or even if Nike got into the business and designed helmets for drivers. Having the Nike logo on the back or side of helmets would be awesome and the ad revenue can go towards purses or even to drivers. With drivers including Sidney Crosby or Steven Stamkos and sporting shirts in ads and being paid to do so. What if Scott Zeron had his race jacket designed by Reebok and in billboard ads you see him sporting the jacket with the Reebok logo and the next big upcoming race featured right beside the logo and which track the race would be taken place? Even t-shirts with the Under Armour logo and the name of top horses like Foiled Again or Vegas Vacation beside it. That could be a fashion trend that could draw potentially millions of dollars for the horse racing industry. Drivers, trainers, owners and race tracks could all draw in funds in sponsorship revenue. All other sports do it, why not horse racing? Start with the biggest races and have it trickle down to the point where all tracks and all races can attract news fans through new trends. Kids might want to sport a pair of Nike Shoes that are nicknamed 'The Captain' and have Captaintreacherous' profile on the shoe, or major stake names that he's won designed in the trainer's or driver's colors. Why not? It's different and new, if it hasn't been done up to now, who says it can't work? "Look at NASCAR and what they do with their sponsorship" says Darren. "It's boring up until the last ten laps but look how much they do." In the TV show Duck Dynasty, the characters are sporting Under Armour camouflage shirts... if hunting can get that type of sponsorship, why not horse racing. "It's a great show" says Darren. "Why not? It would have to be the right sponsor and they'd have to get some kind of bang for their buck right." "There's a lot that can be done promotion wise, but I think TV would be the best route." Darren explains. "If Jody Jamieson won a race on national television and he had Nike on his suit, that's a pretty good plug for Nike." Or after certain races, the winning driver is filmed drinking Powerade or Gatorade or Chocolate Milk. Drinking Milk would help promote another farming industry as well. "Jeff Gural at the Meadowlands, he runs it his way but it seems to be working" according to Darren. "He wants people to bet and he's pretty well on the right track I think." Definitely check out the interview by Standardbred Canada's website featuring Trot Radio host Norm Borg and Meadowlands' owner Jeff Gural, (Episodes 319 and 320). It's a beautiful discussion about open communication and drawing positive attention to the sport. By, Roderick Balgobin  Twitter: ScSupernova

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