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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 nicholasoakes@hotmail.com. By Nicholas Oakes Reprinted with permission of the theguardian.pe.ca  website  

 Red Shores Summerside will host a big harness racing card with 13 races and over $123,000 in purse money on the line. The historic Prince County oval is no stranger to headlines and Sunday will put some of the region’s heavy hitters on the page. First race post time is 1pm with Time Warp leading the charge in the Lady Slipper stake opener for two-year-old trotters. Danny MacDonald will handle the daughter of Neal from post 2 for owners Boyd MacDonald Produce Ltd, Daniel Ross, breeder William Andrew, Calgary, Alberta and Brian Andrew who runs the Meridian Farms East operation from Milton Station, PE. Time Warp makes her ninth start of the season and will need to keep a close eye on Da Master (Terry Gallant) from post 5. The big match-up of the afternoon comes up in race 12 when the three-old colts, dubbed the glamour boys, line up behind the starting gate in a division of the Joe O’Brien gold. Dixieland Band, with Gilles Barrieau in the bike, has drawn the rail with Proven Desire firing from post 5 for Marc Campbell. The son of Proven Lover is owned by Blair Hansen, Meghan MacDonald, John Thomas, NS. These two have been trading punches all season with Proven Desire taking top honours in their last test in the Turner at Truro in 1:57 flat while Dixieland Band, owned by Reg MacPherson, David and Aaron MacKenzie, took first place in Charlottetown at the PEI Colt stakes for trainer Kevin MacLean. The other O’Brien gold has BNGS Express (Danny Romo), Camco Titan (Campbell) and JJ Romeo (Mike Stevenson) vying for the biggest pay day. Arnold Dick, trained by track announcer Vance Cameron, lines up from post 5. The Atlantic Aged Pacing Series, presented by Standardbred Canada, has nine finalists going for $16,517. Ramblinglily goes into the event as the favorite but has to maneuver from post in the back tier for Walter Cheverie. Cheverie could opt to follow rail sitter For All We Know as they blast off the gate for position. The Jackie Matheson trainee will have Summerside’s winningest driver Gary Chappell at the controls while stable-mate General Luckypercy, who put an end to Lily’s streak last week, comes out of post 5 for Barrieau. The power-packed line up also has Romance in Camelot (Campbell), Bettim Jenny (Jeff Lilley), Best Risque (Clare MacDonald), Brodys Leona (Ken Murphy), Stayoutofmyaffair (Jason Hughes) and Rose Valley (Kenny Arsenault). I’m predicting an upset in the final. Don’t miss any of the action Sunday with nine Lady Slipper stakes, three Joe O’Brien stakes and one Atlantic Aged Pacing series final.  Lee Drake

How long High Bid can stay undefeated is a question asked a lot lately but the son of Neal keeps delivering and his next chance to keep his stellar season intact is Thursday night at the harness racing meeting at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 7 pm for the 12-dash card, which features two $10,600 divisions of the Blair Andrew Memorial stake for two-year-old trotters in races 2 and 4. Race 2 has High Bid leaving from post 4 for driver Walter Cheverie and owner-trainer Joe Smallwood of Stratford in the first $10,600 Blair Andrew Memorial split. The two-year-old son of Neal has been perfect is seven career starts and will look to continue his winning ways in a field that includes Unsinkable One (Corey MacPherson) and Oceanview Lefty (Ed Smallwood). The second division in race 4 has Time Warp favoured off the rail in the field of six with Danny MacDonald training and driving for owners Boyd MacDonald Produce of Crapaud, Daniel Ross of Belfast, Brian Andrew of Milton and Bill Andrew of Calgary. The Neal filly has six top three finishes in seven lifetime starts and will face Da Master (Terry Gallant) and Rustico Duchess (Kenny Arsenault) in Thursday's contest. The evening top class lines up in the race 12 finale with Cabo Pan Lucas the classifier's choice off the rail for driver Vincent Poulton, trainer and co-owner Gary Poulton and co-owner Alan Walker, all of Charlottetown. The chestnut son of The Panderosa doesn't have far to look for his main competition as Van Zant has post 2 for driver Ron Matheson and Nogreatmischief has post 3 with Cheverie at the controls. Veteran pacer Balanchine (Gordie Hennessey) leaves from post 7 and can never be counted out. Other entries include Shock The Rock (Mike McGuigan), Painted Pony (Mark Bradley), PL Faststrike (Gilles Barrieau) and The Big Bite (Mike Stevenson). Nicholas Oakes

High Bid is still undefeated. The two-year-old trotter won his seventh start in a row for driver Walter Cheverie and trainer-owner Joe Smallwood Thursday at the harness racing meeting at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The son of Neal, bred by Meridian Farms, took off from the starting gate and never looked back winning by open lengths in 2:05.1 in PEI Colt Stakes action.   BJ Classic was second with Cardigan Jack third. Cheverie and Smallwood were also successful with JK Blaze taking the three-year-old trot assignment in 2:01.3. It was his third victory in a row for the son of Northern Bailey and breeder William Andrew, Calgary, Alberta. The other winners in the PEI Colt Stakes were Paymenowpaymelater (Marc Campbell) and Rustico Duchess (Kenny Arsenault), In other action, Prince Adam, with Gilles Barrieau in the bike, captured the Super 8 - Charlottetown pace in an impressive 1:55.2. Nick Macgillivray does the training for owner Johan Moase, Cornwall, PE. The PEI Colt stakes, one of the longest running programs in Canada, returns Saturday with a double-header at 1pm and 7pm. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake

The top rookie and sophomore trotters on the East Coast did battle Thursday night at the harness racing meeting at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. High Bid remained undefeated in his career with a 2:06.1 victory in his $6,000 Lady Slipper two-year-old trot division for driver Walter Cheverie and owner-trainer Joe Smallwood of Stratford. The Neal gelding now boasts six career wins in as many starts after defeating Wheres The Partyat (Marc Campbell) and My Monies On Me (Corey MacPherson). The other two-year-old splits were won by Da Master (Campbell) in 2:07.4 and Cardigan Jack (Brian MacPhee) in 2:06.1. Race 1 was marred with an accident at the quarter as Dunmore Ace (Jack Panting) and Silverhill Flame (Darrell Neill) were tangled up in the trailing spots and did not finish. Both horses and drivers walked away unscathed from the incident. In three-year-old Lady Slipper action, JK Blaze went through a tough front end journey to win his $7,700 division in 2:00.4 for driver Cheverie and owner-trainer Smallwood. JK Blaze fought off Phoenician (Jason Hughes) early in the mile through cut throat fractions of 28,4, 58 and 1:28 with Phoenician second and Tyne Valley (Mike Stevenson) third. Paymenowpaymelater won the other three-year-old division in 2:01 for driver Campbell, trainer Earl Watts and owner Wade Peconi of Stanchel. Red Shores also played host to the third leg of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares series with Ramblinglily extending her win streak to six-in-a-row with a 1:57.1 victory, giving Cheverie his third win on the program. Best Risque (Clare MacDonald) won the other division in 1:56.1 for co-owner and trainer Brian Ladner and co-owners Lillian and Kevin Ladner, all of Charlottetown. Marc Campbell had four victories on the program. Live racing continues at Red Shores Charlottetown on Saturday evening with a 6 pm opening post time. Lee Drake  

Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway held the 2015 edition of the Callbeck Stakes at the harness racing meeting on Wednesday for two-year-old fillies and colts. Time Warp set the stage in the opening dash when the trot filly, in line to Danny MacDonald, powered her way to the front and delivered a 2:04.3 performance to tie the Summerside track record for two year-old fillies. The daughter of Neal is owned by Boyd MacDonald Produce Ltd, Daniel Ross, Belfast, breeder Bill Andrew, Calgary, Alberta and Brian Andrew, Milton Station, PE. Beaus Cowboy then took the spotlight in the very next race when the Alex MacPhee owned colt tripped the timer in a dazzling 1:58.1 for a five length score. Corey MacPherson was in the bike for trainer Ron Gass. KD Overdrive (Steve Mason) and trotter Da Master, owned by Eric Johnston, Summerside and driver Terry Gallant, recorded back to back romps in their respective Callbeck divisions while Howmacs Annie remained undefeated in her young career with a 1:59.2 clocking for driver Gordie Hennessey, trainer Tom Weatherbie and the ownership group of Kyle Gardiner, Michael Currie, Cardigan and Jerry MacKinnon, St. Peters Bay, PE. High Bid, Jackson K Down and Scarlet Safari are three for three in 2015 stakes action. For the complete results of the Callbeck stakes at Summerside go to www.redshores.ca Lee Drake

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