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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

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

After a successful Canada Day last Friday at Fredericton Raceway, the harness racing spotlight this weekend will focus on Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John with a six-dash program that gets underway at 1:00 P.M.   Fall Bliss, in line to Dr. Mitchell Downey heads the top-class of the afternoon as he is fresh off his triumphant win in this year's Walter Dale Memorial. He will be faced with the outside post five this week in race five, the $ 1350 feature.   Coral Snake and driver Luke Armstrong will be seeking his second straight win from the number three post. He was an impressive winner at Fredericton Raceway on Canada Day and will be looking to continue his winning ways Saturday.   Other starters in the five horse main event include Haunto with the user friendly post-one for Mark Haig and trainer, Gordon White. Ed Harvey will send out Momara from post two and veteran pacer Jann Down will round out the field for trainer and driver Steve Mason.   This Saturday will mark card number four on the New Brunswick racing season which still includes a number of scheduled events over the next few weeks. As always, a big thank you to all horsemen and fans for supporting racing in N.B.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

On Canada Day, the nation's oldest racetrack will stage one of the most storied races in Canada, the Walter Dale Memorial.   Fredericton Raceway will host a small, but mighty card on Friday with post time scheduled for 1:00 P.M.   Going as race five on the program, the Walter Dale has attracted five competitive starters in the $ 2500 event.   Mike Downey, and son Dr. Mitchell Downey will represent two of the starters. Fall Bliss, in line to Dr. Downey has the coveted rail position. He comes off a top class victory in Saint John last Saturday.   Skippy, a fan favorite and a model of consistency will have young gun Luke Armstrong in the bike from post two. Harold Defazio owns the son of Camluck.   Miss Oromocto, who has been competing against the Maritimes best pacing mares will square off with the boys on this day for Mark Haig.   Owned by Sharon and Richard Burchill and the Lands of Hopewell Cape, the former stakes star will line up from post three.   Threes A Crowd with Todd Trites will score from post four for his Nova Scotia based trainer, Dr. Trevin Shive. Mike Downey and four year old City Of The Year round out the solid field with the outside post.   Free admission, free parking, lots of chances to win some great prizes at Fredericton Raceway on Friday afternoon. Post time for race one is 1:00 P.M as the tradition continues at the historic oval.   by Scott Wadell, for HRNB  

Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John will be the place to be this Saturday afternoon as the track will host it's second harness racing card of the season in New Brunswick.   After qualifying sessions this past weekend, four freshman pacers will square off in the first of five races that are set to begin at 1:00 P.M.   Kinda Like Her, a daughter of Ameripan Gigolo will score post-one in the first race for catch-driver Sam Hodgin. Sean Dooley, no stranger to success with the young pacers is the trainer of the filly.   Putthecherryontop will make her debut for trainer Tommy Gunn from post-two. She's a daughter of Brandons Glory out of the solid race mare Wylde Cherry. Mark Haig will steer the filly for the Gunn Stable.   Truro based P H Bossman ships in for Dr. Trevin Shive and driver Todd Trites from post number three. He's a son of Carnivore for the popular Shive connections from Novas Scotia.   Rounding out the group of two-year-olds in race one are the handsome son of Articulator, Teddy Barcus for team Armstrong. Luke is the trainer of note on the pacer with his father Rick in the bike.   Rounding out the first dash are Fredericton based pacers Windemere Jimmy and Take Off Eh. Saturday's featured event goes as race four for a purse of $ 1350.   In the main event, Magical Alex will look to win his second straight for team MacNeil of Saint John and regular pilot Todd Trites. In all, thirty-one horses are entered in Saturday's overnight card.   Scott Waddell

Harness racing in the province of New Brunswick will officially kick off on Saturday, June 18th at 12:30 P.M at Saint John's Exhibition Park Raceway.   Five races will kick-off the 2016 racing season at the port city half-mile oval that will include a $ 1350 featured race as the fifth of the afternoon.   Veteran pacer Magical Alex has drawn the coveted rail position for catch-driver Todd Trites and owner Bob MacNeil of Saint John.   Known for his quick gate speed, Magical Alex will look to put away four other rivals in the finale on Saturday. Last year's Rookie of the at Fredericton Raceway, driver Dr. Mitch Downey will pilot Stare Down for post-two.   Skippy, a son of the great sire Camluck will leave post-three for driver Mark Haig and his connections. Rounding out the top-class is Only The Lonely with Rick Armstrong and Haunto with trainer/ driver Ed Harvey the king of last year's race meet at Fredericton Raceway.   Post time Saturday is slated for 12:30 P.M and many horsemen, including Steve Mason will be headed to Prince Edward Island after the racing with stake stars Jackson K Down and K D Overdrive competing in the Maritime Breeders final at Red Shores.   Also on the grounds of Exhibition Park on Saturday will be the popular Rib Fest with some of the best B.B.Q specialists in all of North America taking part. There will also be live music and other activities available throughout the day.   Scott Waddell    

Saint John harness racing driver Mark Haig reached a milestone on Friday night in his racing career at Truro Raceway winning his 500th win of his career.   Haig, who started his driving career following in his Dad Tony's footsteps in the year 2000, scored with four-year-old pacing mare Miss Oromocto to register his career victory number five-hundred.   Sharon and Rick Burchill own the pacing mare with co-owner and trainer Mel Land of Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick.   In 2014, he captured his first-ever driving title at his home track at Saint John's Exhibition Park Raceway.   Haig has become one of the most popular catch-drivers in New Brunswick, and has won over $ 560,000 in career winnings, and sports a very respectable lifetime driving average of .270.   Scott Waddell    

There's been a buzz recently around the racetracks in New Brunswick as another harness racing season is just around the corner in the picturesque province. Horsemen have been very fortunate this season with the co-operation by mother nature as we experienced a much less bolder winter than we had last season. With still no support from the provincial government, the horsemen remain focused and optimistic for the upcoming season. This means that not as many days were missed by both returning race horses as well as stake hopefuls prepping for the 2016 lucrative stakes season. Speaking to Debbie Mahar, she reports that Saint John has been a bee-hive of activity and also states that the track in Saint John is having maintenance done on it this weekend to improve the track for the coming spring training season and for racing preparations. Tentatively, the 2016 racing season in New Brunswick is set to begin on Monday, May 23rd with an annual holiday card at Canada's oldest racetrack, Fredericton Raceway. Qualifying dates are expected to be announced shortly by Horse Racing New Brunswick. by Scott Waddell, for the HRNB  

Canada's oldest racetrack- Fredericton Raceway- will wrap-up it's final live card of the 2015 racing season with a matinee program that kicks off at 1:00 P.M on Saturday afternoon.   Going into the final card of the meet, Todd Trites and Ed Harvey are deadlocked for the top driving honours with twelve wins each. Trites will have the advantage on Saturday as he suits up for five drives to Harvey's three.   Also, Mark Haig remains just one win shy of his 500th career victory and will have five chances to get one victory and reach the career milestone.   Included in the six-dash program will be the $ 1000 featured event of the day with Darth Bader looking for his second consecutive victory.   Ed Harvey, the track's leading conditioner with fourteen wins on the season, will drive the pacer from post-two. Newcomer C L Royal Star will leave post-one for the father/ son duo of Rick and Luke Armstrong.   Magical Alex ( Todd Trites ) and Skippy ( Mark Haig ) round out the four starters that will do battle in the top-class which is scheduled as race five. Live racing is scheduled to commence in Saint John at Exhibition Park on October 3rd.     Scott Waddell

Fredericton Raceway's top trainer, Ed Harvey took Saturday afternoon's top-class at the capital city oval with a 1:58.3 triumph.   Leaving from post-two, Harvey pointed the big strapping pacer to the lead and led at every marker. Saturday's top event was reduced to three starters and the pacer went unchallenged for the entire mile.   Mark Haig scored one driving win on the afternoon and stands one shy of winning his 500th career race. Fredericton Raceway will wrap up its 2015 harness racing season on Saturday, September 26th with post time scheduled for 1:00 P.M.   In other New Brunswick related news, Downey Stables and their two outstanding two-year-old colts both won on Saturday afternoon at Red Shores in Charlottetown. Both pacers will driven to victory by Gilles Barrieau in divisions of the P.E.I colt stakes.   Scott Waddell    

Mark Haig, Exhibition Park's leading driver in 2014, sits just two-wins shy of five-hundred in his career going into Saturday's seven-dash harness racing program at Fredericton Raceway.   Post time is scheduled for 1:00 P.M and Haig will pilot Couleur Magnifique from the rail position in the $ 1000 feature. Eric Lakes of Fredericton owns the pacing mare who will face three other rivals in the main event.   Haig is slated to drive in five of the seven races being contested on Saturday and is enjoying a career season in 2015 with several stakes victories with three-year-old New Brunswick filly Miss Oromocto.   Darth Bader will leave from post-two for Ed Harvey who sits second in wins at the capital city oval with eleven wins, one shy of leader Todd Trites. Magical Alex will be looking for his second straight victory and has the catch driving services of Chris Davies.   Rounding out the field is Coral Snake for rookie teamster and co-owner Luke Armstrong who will guide the six-year-old pacer from the outside post position. This Saturday's card is a lead up to the following Saturday which will mark the final live card of the season at the track.   Racing is scheduled to switch to Exhibition Park Raceway on Saturday, October 3rd.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Fredericton Raceway will be the host of traditional Monday Labour Day harness racing card on Monday presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick.   Post-time is set for 1:00 P.M and the afternoons feature is the prestigious Williamson stakes for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies.   Among the starters will be K D Overdrive and Jackson K Down from the powerful Downey Stables of Quispamsis, N.B.   K D Overdrive is coming off a win at Red Shores in the Joe O'Brien stakes while Jackson K Down tasted his first lifetime defeat in another division and will be looking for redemption.   Both pacers will be under the guidance of Gilles Barrieau.   Monday also features a $ 1000 top-class that will include the Milton Downey Memorial winner, American Terror.   As always, wagering is available on-line through Horse Player Interactive and streamed live on Horse Racing New Brunswick's official website.   Scott Waddell        

It's been a wonderful harness racing story in New Brunswick this season, one of many but a standout performance by filly Miss Oromocto in the classic Maritimer stake was one for the ages on Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Purchased at the Atlantic Classic P.E.I sale in 2013, hip # 95 garnered a final bid of $ 2000. Mel Land of Cookies Lighting fame and Sharon Burchill who owned stakes winner Camco Kyle, purchased the filly.   As a two-year-old she showed tremendous potential in winning three of five races and bankrolled close to $7500. Not a bad year for her connections who decided to lightly race the daughter of former P.E.I track record holder, Driven To Win.   Land, a well known and respected trainer in the region was busy prepping the promising filly this spring and she made her 2015 debut in Summerside with Mark Haig in the drivers seat and notched a new lifetime mark of 1:59.4.   She continued to improve and has gone on to win five stake races this season including the one and only Maritimer stake. This unique event in the Maritimes tests the endurance of young fillies by having them win both the elimination and the final to claim the overall title in one afternoon.   Miss Oromocto did just that for her driver Mark Haig and owners Land and Burchill. She captured her elimination heat and advanced to the final to take on seven other quality fillies for the showdown.   Stage was set and because of her elimination win, she had the chance at either post one or two in the draw. As luck would have it, she drew the rail for last year's driver of the year in Saint John, Mark Haig.   Haig went into the final confident and poised as they set up behind the starting gate. When the wings flew open it was a surprise to many to see a filly from the far outside, post position eight go for the lead as they sped to the opening eighth.   This is where things got really scary not only for her cheering owners and fans, but every driver in the race. Woodmere Arcticblue, in line to Stephen Trites made a horrible misstep while going for the lead as they battled past the first turn. Luckily, no horses or drivers were hurt but the incident left a couple horses breaking stride including Haig and Miss Oromocto.   Haig, who has developed into one of the most underrated drivers in the region did an outstanding job getting the filly back on track and she then inherited the lead. It was up to her after that as she controlled her own destiny.   After the rock dust had settled the small but mighty filly was not to be beat on this afternoon and stopped the clock in 1:59.4. She is Maritimer champion and now has earned over $44,000 lifetime. Not bad at all for a $2000 yearling purchase named Miss Oromocto who caught the eye of the sharp conditioner Mel Land.   As history will write, Miss Oromocto was champion of the 2015 Maritimer stake in Saint John for her elated connections and talented teamster, Mark Haig. With the industry struggling in the province, this is one of the feel good stories of 2015 and it looks like she may not be done yet.   Scott Waddell

Racing returns to Saint John on Saturday afternoon with a number of events including the prestigious Milton Downey Memorial which carries a $ 2500 purse.   Slated for race seven on the eight-dash program, the field includes Walter Dale Memorial winner, Skippy from post-one.   Facing five other rivals, Skippy has drawn the inside post-one for driver Mark Haig and owner Harold DeFazio.   Gilles Barrieau, at time of this writing was just five-wins shy of his 4000th career driving victory. He will sit in the bike on the number two entry American Terror, a winner of seven races this year from the powerful Ed Harvey stable.   Young Michael Folkins will send out the veteran pacer Rocknroll Band from post-three for catch-driver Todd Trites. Post-four belongs to the iron sided pacer J Rs Hurricane for Jean Charles Belliveau of Scouduc, New Brunswick.   He has been a tough competitor over the past couple of years on the New Brunswick circuit and has drawn the services of the capable Lonny Stokes. Ed Harvey's second entry in the field leaves from five as Ed will handle the driving chores of the steady pacer Darth Bader.   Rounding out the Downey Memorial is Coral Snake for co-owner Luke Armstrong. Luke captured his first-ever victory with the pacer during Old Home Week and makes his first top-class drive. He shares the ownership with his father Rick.   Saturday also will feature the Maritimer stake that will race in two divisions for three-year-old fillies and a final all raced in the same day. Over $ 21,000 in purse money is available for the ten entrants that are set to go.   Post time is Saturday at 1:00 P.M.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Two of New Brunswick's best known names in harness racing circles are both on the verge of milestones in their careers.   Mark Haig, last year's leading driver in Saint John is six-wins shy of his 500th career victory heading into Saturday's card at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Haig, winner of 494 races lifetime, added wins this past week in Prince Edward Island to inch closer to his personal milestone.   Meanwhile, Gilles Barrieau who will drive at both Summerside and Prince Edward Island on Wednesday and Thursday is six-wins shy of his 4000th career win.   Coming off a huge Old Home Week in P.E.I, the Dieppe, N.B native is also expected to drive Saturday in Saint John.   Scott Waddell

Lost but not forgotten in all the storylines from Old Week on Prince Edward Island is that rookie harness racing driver Luke Armstrong of New Brunswick scored his first-ever career victory.   Armstrong, a fifth generation horseman scored his milestone win with veteran pacer Coral Snake after leading the entire mile.   His race actually ended in a dead-heat but Luke still gets full credit for the win.   After completing his necessary qualifying drives, he made his debut on Gold Cup and Saucer night.   Leaving from post-one, the confident youngster took the veteran pacer Coral Snake to the front to cut out his own destiny.   Coral Snake crossed the wire in 1:57.2 with Blue Star Outlaw in a dead-heat effort. It was the pacers eighteenth win in his career and third of the season.   Luke won for co-owner along with Rick Armstrong.   They have deep roots in the harness racing industry in N.B.   Racing in New Brunswick returns in a big way this Saturday ( August 29th ) at Exhibition Park Raceway featuring the lucrative Maritimer stake for three-year-old fillies and the Aged Mares series as part of the program.   Scott Waddell        

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