SUMMERSIDE, PE - Carnivore capped off a Marc Campbell harness racing driving triple to propel the Island reinsman to victory in Saturday night's Atlantic Regional Driving Championship at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. Campbell scored a 1:55.1 win with Carnivore in the final race of the competition for trainer Marvyn Webster and owner Valleygrove Farm of Kensington, P.E.I. Campbell finished the competition with 71 points to send him to the National Driving Championship on August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. "I'm feeling really good," Campbell said after the victory. "I had a good line up and the horses raced good. It's always close these kind of things and that's what makes it really exciting." Pictonian Press finished second to put Nova Scotia driver Ryan Ellis into the other spot for the National's with 65 points, while PC Shockwave finished third to give Darren Crowe 55 points, finishing third in the competition. "It started out good and I just had good horses I guess," Ellis said. "After looking at the card I thought I had a shot and the horses came through." Jason Hughes finished fourth in the competition with 50 points, while Gilles Barrieau was fifth with 49 points followed by Todd Trites (41), Brodie MacPhee (31), Ryan Campbell (31) and Kevin Dillon (27). Hughes opened up the competition in race 2 with a 2:01.1 victory aboard Miracleonthehudson to give him the early lead over Silverhill Princess (Todd Trites) and Diagram Hanover (Ellis). Lyndale Royal captured race 3 in a 10-length 1:56.4 score for Ellis over Ok Chivas (Marc Campbell) and Rivervues Legacy (Crowe), giving Ellis the points lead. Ultimate Labamba captured race 4 in 1:58 giving the top spot to Marc Campbell with second going to Just Coastin Along (Hughes) and Whitesand Artist (Gilles Barrieau) third. Rash B Havior delivered as the post time favorite in race 5 to widen the lead for driver Marc Campbell with Bad Date (Crowe) second and The Warden (Brodie MacPhee) third. Dance Hanover captured race 6 to propel Trites into third place with second in that race going to Blu Meadow Willie (MacPhee) and Joachim (Ryan Campbell) third. Race 7 had Darren Crowe bring himself into contention with a 1:57 victory aboard Barrett Jackson ahead of In Cahoots (Barrieau) and Smackwaterjack (Ellis). Its Handsome Hank captured race 8 in 1:59.1 to put Ellis into second place behind Marc Campbell with Roccos Cavallo (Kevin Dillon) second and River Paradise (Hughes) third. Marc Campbell sat out race 10 to see Barrieau score with Keystone Nobility over Tyber Champ (Darren Crowe) with Onehotvett (Ryan Ellis) third. Marc Campbell and Ellis will join Jody Jamieson, Billy Davis Jr., Brandon Campbell, Jim Marino, Guy Gagnon and Sylvain Lacaille in the National Driving Championship. The Summerside card also featured two divisions of the Atlantic Aged Mares Pacing Series with Bunny Mach capturing the first division in 1:56.2 for trainer-driver Hughes and owners Donald and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) was second with Prynne Hanover (Mike McGuigan) third. The second division went to General Luckypercy and Barrieau in 1:56.1 for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Jack Brown and Jodilynn Matheson of Charlottetown. Andro Madi (Dale Spence) was second with Dirt Track Momma (Marc Campbell) third. By Nicholas Oakes
Summerside, PE - The stage is set for the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship, presented by RDMD Refrigeration Saturday at Red Shores Summerside. Post time is 6:30pm with two divisions of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares sponsored by Standardbred Canada also being added to the action. The Bell-Aliant Race Day show will carry the event at www.redshores.ca . The top drivers in Atlantic Canada will compete in nine races with the top two finishers, based on points, moving to the National Driving Championship August 26th in Charlottetown. Team PEI will be represented by Marc Campbell, Jason Hughes and Brodie MacPhee. New Brunswick has Todd Trites and Gilles Barrieau while Nova Scotia has Ryan Campbell, Darren Crowe and Ryan Ellis. Newfoundland and Labrador will be represented by Kevin Dillon. Race analyst Les MacIssac and Jared Stretch have compiled a special edition driver's picks for the contest. The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club Handicapping Pick 9 contest is underway. Go to www.standardbredcanada.ca for details. MacIsaac provided a summary of the event with his top choice being Marc Campbell. "He might as well add winning this to his list of accomplishments, a list that gets longer all the time. It includes winning last year's Gold Cup and Saucer in track record time and just for good measure setting a new trotting record on the same card. He has a couple of excellent shots Saturday which could see him go back to back in races four and five with Ultimate Labamba and Rash B Havior," said the host of Top Picks in Charlottetown's program. "The key to the competition is a good start and to avoid as many 7th and 8th place finishes as possible. There are lots of points out there with seconds, thirds and fourths so you don't have to win them all." Ryan Ellis and Darren Crowe round out the top three for MacIsaac. Summerside analyst Jared Stretch also puts Campbell at the top of the competition. "The reigning Gold Cup driver and O'brien award winner will look to add this driving championship to his resume, and if my selections hold true he would not only pick up wins in races # 3,5 and 8, but really should be able to pick up a good number of secondary points that would put distance on his rivals," The Prince county handicapper has Gilles Barrieau of N.B. second with team PEI's Brodie MacPhee third. "This draw worked out well for Brodie as he's got several horses that suit his style to a tee and a few others that he knows quite well and could certainly pull off an upset or two. In my selections, I have him taking races #6 and 7 but I wouldn't be shocked to see him come away with 3 wins on the day." Bunny Mach has been established as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the first leg of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series for driver Jason Hughes. The nine-year-old mare is coming off a seventh length 1:59.4 victory on June 19. Donald and Steven MacRae own Bunny Mach who starts from post 3. Ramblinglily (Brodie MacPhee) and Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) are also listed as triactor candidates. Mattadors Rose, Prynne Hanover and Silky Britches complete the field. General Luckypercy is favored to win the second race of the series in race 12. The Jackie Matheson trainee makes her sixth start of the season from post two in the $3,378 event. Gilles Barrieau will catch-drive for owners Jodi Lynn Matheson, Charlottetown and Jack Brown, Stratford. The all-star line-up has Andro Madi who has been super sharp in her last few starts for driver Dale Spence and trainer Jonah Moase. Moase will also send out Dirt Track Momma for Marc Campbell. Stayoutofmyaffair has the rail with Brodys Leona (pp5) and Dreaming (pp6). Red Shores Charlottetown presents special Sunday card; Charlottetown, PE - Red Shores will present a special Sunday program with the legendary CDP oval going with a first race post time of 1pm. Say It Again Sam has been perfect since arriving on PEI posting five wins in a row for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and Foxyhall Racing of Summerside. The three-year-old son of Well Said gets the rail in race 7 after charting a two and half length score in his last outing of 1:56.4 which included a 28.4 closing panel. This guy is fast. He takes on Leading Camdidate, Umiztagoodthing, Beckenbauer, Astor Shark and Jersey Joe. The afternoon top class has Ultimate Luck installed as the morning line favorite and for good reason. Last week the Sifroi Melanson stable star toured Summerside in 1:54.3 under the command of Kenny Arsenault. Melanson has listed Ken Murphy to drive in the $2,200 race 11 showdown. For the complete list of entries, top picks or live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca by Lee Drake, for Red Shores
The field for the 2014 Atlantic Regional Driving Championship, scheduled for Saturday, June 28 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Summerside in PEI, has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Gilles Barrieau (N.B.) • Marc Campbell (P.E.I.) • Ryan Campbell (N.S.) • Darren Crowe (N.S.) • Kevin Dillon (Nfld.) • Ryan Ellis (N.S.) • Jason Hughes (P.E.I.) • Brodie MacPhee (P.E.I.) • Todd Trites (N.B.) The top two drivers from the nine-race competition will join Brandon Campbell, Billy Davis Jr., Jody Jamieson, Jim Marino and the top two drivers from the Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. To read the rest of the story click here.
FRASER DOWNS Sea Deuce fought off favourite Big N Bad to win the $50,000 Tom Burke Memorial Pace for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings on Saturday night at Fraser Downs. With the inside post advantage in the field of eight, Sea Deuce and driver Serge Masse set up shop on the front end. The Gord Abbott trainee led the way past fractions of :28, :58.2 and 1:25.4 with Big N Bad and Bill Davis pulling the pocket down the backstretch. The top two were head-to-head at the third quarter mark and continued to wage war down the stretch with Sea Deuce prevailing by a head in 1:55.4. Big N Bad settled for runner-up honours while the winner's entrymate, Ideal Art and John Abbott, followed two lengths behind in third. Sea Deuce paid $6.10 to win as part of the Abbott entry sent off as the 2-1 second choice. Seaspray Stables Ltd. of Nanaimo, B.C. owns both Sea Deuce and Ideal Art with B. Michael Timpano of Phelpston, Ont. also sharing ownership of the winner. Sea Deuce is a homebred gelding sired by Armbro Deuce out of Cassidys Grin. Unraced as a freshman, Sea Deuce earned his first B.C. win from two provincial starts. He started his sophomore campaign in Ontario, where he earned his other victory at Woodbine Racetrack in February. Masse drove a total of four winners on the 12-race card. His other victories were with his own trainees, including the maiden-breaking freshman colt Great Quote ($12.80) in another close race in 1:59.1, the repeating Mares Open champion Phone Terror ($5.90) in 1:55.2, and open length winner Panic At The Disco ($3.20) in 1:57.3. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Fraser Downs. ALBERTA DOWNS Driver Philip Giesbrecht steered a pair of popular Alberta Stardust winners on Saturday afternoon at Alberta Downs while Nighttraintovegas came close to the two-year-old pacing filly track record. Giesbrecht worked out similar trips for Triple Action and Sweet Sugar in their respective $18,767 Alberta Sires Stakes divisions, sending both favoured fillies to the lead past the opening quarter mark. Triple Action (Brandons Cowboy-The Three Of Us) took the lead down the backstretch and cruised to a two and a quarter length victory in 1:57.3 for trainer Joe Ratchford and owner Raggs To Riches of Aidrie, Alta. while Tim Brown trainee Sweet Sugar (Tajma Hall-Hide The Candy) was on the move at the quarter mark and romped to a three and three-quarter length score in a career-best equalling 1:58.3 for owners Sandra Brown of Langley, B.C. and Archie Melnyk of Sherwood Park, Alta. Triple Action completed a sweep of all three ABSS legs for two-year-old pacing fillies. Sweet Sugar is also undefeated in ABSS action although she has only competed in the last two events. With Brandon Campbell in the bike, Nighttraintovegas left from the outside post position in the fastest $18,467 division and drew off to a seven and three-quarter length victory in 1:55, just missing the track record for freshman fillies by one-fifth of a second. Richard Schneider trains Nighttraintovegas, a daughter of Camystic out of Midnight In Vegas who is five-for-six in her career. The near perfect filly boasts two wins in ABSS legs with her only blemish a second-place finish in the second round. She is owned by Dick Schneider of Sherwood Park, Alta. and Edmonton's David Halmosi. The Alberta Stardust is the final leg of the Alberta Sires Stakes for two-year-old pacing fillies. The top performers of the season will face off in the rich Battle of Alberta Super Finals on Saturday, Nov. 2 at Northlands Park. Top training honours on the day when to Kelly Hoerdt, who won three consecutive races with four-year-old gelding My World ($9.50), ABSS sophomore filly Emotions Run Wild ($5.30) and the streaking five-year-old mare Just Saucy ($2.30). To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Alberta Downs. NORTHSIDE DOWNS Barefoot Contessa survived an overland journey to pull off an 11-1 upset the $2,200 New Waterford Centennial Pace as the only mare in a field of eight on Saturday afternoon at Northside Downs. Barefoot Contessa and driver Ryan Campbell wore down the 3-2 favourites, Grandtacular and trainer-driver Russell MacDonald, to win the featured finale by a head in 1:59 flat. Cloudy Bay followed the winner's cover to a third-place finish two and a half lengths behind for Adam Merner. New Waterford trainer Andrew Campbell claimed the seven-year-old Western Terror mare two starts ago on Sept. 14 at Northside for $2,400 following back-to-back winning efforts. Saturday's victory was her fifth of the season in 21 starts and 17th lifetime. She paid $24 to win. Ryan and Andrew Campbell also teamed up to win an earlier race with four-year-old pacing mare R Es Sobrina in 2:00.1. First-time starter Majian Magic took the non-wagering $3,200 Nova Scotia Series Stakes for two-year-old trotters as her only rival in the race, the Danny Romo-trained and driven Dunmore Bravo, broke stride and finished a distant second. The time of the mile was 2:18.3 for the homebred Northern Bailey filly, who is owned, trained and driven by James Ripley of Amherst, N.S. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Northside Downs. CHARLOTTETOWN DRIVING PARK Sent postward as the longest shot on the toteboard, Bunny Mach defied her odds with a four and a half length victory in the featured $2,200 Fillies & Mares Open Pace on Saturday at Charlottetown Driving Park. Gary Chappell worked out a second over trip aboard 14-1 longshot Bunny Mach and once her cover cleared she sprinted home in :28.3 for the 1:55.1 upset victory. Favourite Veronicavermillion and Brodie MacPhee finished second after advancing first over and pocket-sitter J K Special, with Walter Cheverie aboard, was third. Bunny Mach produced a win payout of $31.90. The victory was the 30th lifetime for the eight-year-old Mach Three mare, who is currently trained by Stephen Quinn for Vernon Bridge, P.E.I. owners Donald MacRae and Steven MacRae. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following links: Saturday Results - Charlottetown Driving Park. (reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca)
Atlantic Sires Stakes three-year-old pacing colts met for harness racing action at Red Shores Summerside Raceway last night, demonstrating lots of speed on the PEI oval.
Ryan Campbell knows only too well about the reality of harness racing in Nova Scotia. He is a young man with a wise head on those 25-year-old shoulders of his. He loves driving, he loves horses, he loves Nova Scotia - but he also realises that to make a decent fist of life in the Maritimes he has to have another job to support his passion for harness racing.