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Harness racing returned with a flurry on Canada Day at Fredericton Raceway as the prestigious Walter Dale Memorial was held as the main attraction.   Carded as the final race of the afternoon, it was a New Brunswick owned, trained and driven pacer who came out on top.   Skippy, a nine-year-old fan favorite horse in the province made a thrilling late move in the final quarter of the mile to win the coveted pace for owner Harold DeFazio of Saint John and driver Mark Haig.   Gilles Barrieau had Prince Edward Island invader Forever Paradise on top for most of the mile before being overtaken in the lane by Skippy who is known for his late brush in the later stages of the race.   Time of the mile was 1:58.1 in a race that say all six horses within three lengths of each other at the top of the stretch.   Racing will return this Thursday night as Fredericton Raceway will play host to traditional night racing at 7:00 P.M.   Scott Waddell

FREDERICTON, NB, June 26, 2015 - Horse Racing New Brunswick (HRNB) is pleased to announce the start of the live harness racing season in New Brunswick. Kicking things off on Canada Day in Fredericton is the first race card of the season that includes the popular, historical Walter Dale Memorial sponsored this year by Moosehead Breweries.   The history of Walter Dale goes back to 1937 when the legendary horse set a record that many tried to beat for over forty-two years. Every year horses and drivers attempt to break the current track record, most recently set in 2012 by McApulco at 1:54.2 and matched in 2014 by Modern Xhibit. This year the Walter Dale Memorial is set as an invitational that will focus primarily on a very competitive field of New Brunswick horses.   The day's program will of course include other races of various classes. There will be a Raffle, Food Vendors on site, Winner's patio will be open, 50/50 Draw, and more. Most important is the excitement in the air as the twenty-one day race season gets underway. Admission to Fredericton Raceway is free so bring the family for some fun and entertainment. Enjoy a walk by the barns to see the horses up close, cheer on the horses and Drivers as they race for the finish, celebrate part of your national holiday amid the excitement of a sport that has been part of our national fabric since the 1800s.   This year Fredericton Raceway will host ten race days, the Saint John track at Exhibition Park is scheduled for ten race days, and Woodstock will have a race day during Old Home Week. "We are focused on the harness racing sport thriving and growing in New Brunswick. To achieve that growth, providing more jobs and thrilling race days, the best road forward is a grass-roots approach", stated new Executive Director, Roberta Nixon. HRNB and the New Brunswick Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association have established twenty-one days of racing this year will make it possible to expand that next year.   Roberta Nixon   Horse Racing New Brunswick

Harness racing is thriving on P.E.I. but is struggling on the Mainland. There seems to be a shortage of top-class horses early in the Maritime harness racing season. Only five were entered in last weekend's Cecil Ladner race in Charlottetown, which in past years featured eliminations, a final and was a kickoff to the region’s top races. The Governor’s Plate in Summerside is three weeks away, and time will tell if there are enough horses for eliminations. The 2015 season is off to a great start on P.E.I. There have been healthy wagers, including almost $49,000 in Charlottetown on June 13 and Summerside wagered over $22,000 the last two Sundays. Pretty good numbers that will only get better with the summer tourist season. The same cannot be said about tracks in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. New Brunswick only starts Wednesday in Fredericton, and the industry is all but dead in that province. The Saint John, Fredericton and Woodstock tracks have 15 cards on tap over July and August, which is very little to get excited about if you are a horse owner in that province. Truro had its curtain-raiser Thursday, but only $4,000 was wagered on eight races. If you have the money to get a good horse, the bleak-looking picture in two of the three Maritime provinces is a good reason to keep your money. Those around the sport on P.E.I. have reason to be thankful for what we have here. by Joe MacIntyre  

There will be a couple of new drivers on the scene in New Brunswick this season as harness racing is set to resume at Fredericton Raceway on July 1st.   One is a first-timer in 2015 with a couple of qualifying tilts under his belt. Luke Armstrong, youngest son of trainer/ driver Rick Armstrong will be looking to get his rookie start in New Brunswick.   Another driver, Doug Folkins Jr is revitalizing his career after some time away from the sport. He started driving back in the year 2000 and has over 600 career drives and fifty ( 50 ) lifetime wins.   He too has a qualifier under his belt but with the situation in New Brunswick with horse population in Saint John, he has found it tough to get drives to accumulate his points.   Talking with Doug today he says that he is willing to travel to pick up qualifying drives to attain his goal of having his license renewed for the start of the racing season. " I am willing to travel and will also be in Ontario soon for a visit". He continues, " I would love the opportunity to get some qualifying action so I can drive this season. It's just so tough in New Brunswick right now."   Both young drivers are looking for opportunities and we need more people involved in the sport in New Brunswick and the Maritimes. Anyone who could lend a helping hand in giving these find gentlemen a hand in getting their licenses, it would be great.   Doug Folkins can be reached by cell phone at 506-721-2133. He will be in Ontario from June 17th- 25th.   Scott Waddell

On behalf of the Saint John Harness Horsemen Association, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks and gratitude for supporting our fundraising efforts on May 8th in Saint John.   We would like to recognize and thank all the sponsors, volunteers, and those who came out to support our group initiative to raise funds to upgrade and maintain the racing surface at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Response and support leading up to, and including the May 8th fundraiser was overwhelming to say the least. We doubled our goal of financial support and once again the harness racing industry came together from New Brunswick and other jurisdiction's.   We are excited to return to racing this summer on July 1st ( tentatively ) at Fredericton Raceway and we invite you to take in all the harness racing action this year and appreciate as always support from fans and industry participants in New Brunswick.   Sincerely,   Debbie Mahar,   Saint John Harness Horsemen Association                  

After twenty programs of harness racing in New Brunswick, the winner has been announced in Horse Racing New Brunswick's handicapping challenge.   Adam Saunders walked away the overall winner with a total of $344.00 over the twenty cards of racing conducted at both Exhibition Park and Fredericton Raceway.   Sponsored by Horse Player Interactive, Horse Racing New Brunswick and the Ontario Sires Stakes ( Woodbine Entertainment), Saunders wins $ 1000.00 in cash plus an Ontario Sires Stakes super final jacket.   Saunders decided to take the cash prize in lieu of the trip that was the grand prize thanks to our sponsors.   Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to thank Klaus Ebner of Woodbine Entertainment and Lisa Hocking - Ontario Horse Racing for their contributions and support of this joint effort.   Below are the final tallies for competitors over the twenty-weeks of handicapping. H.R.N.B sends out a big thank-you to all of the competitors who took part.   Adam Saunders 344.00 Kayden Buchanan 319.00 Rose Doyle 306.70 Brad MacPherson 244.80 Jenn Ritchie 183.20 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 111.20 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

With the 2014 season in the books at Fredericton Raceway, Todd Trites walked away with another dash winning crown at the capital city oval.   Trites had an outstanding season with 13-wins on the circuit. That was three better than second place driver Mark Haig. He finished the campaign with 10-wins on the year.   Rounding out the top-three was veteran driver Mike Downey who won seven times on the 2014 racing season.   Top percentage driver at Fredericton with at least thirty drives was Todd Trites at .401. He also led the way in purse winnings with over $ 20,000 earned at his home base.   In the training category, there was a three-way tie in the standings. Mike Downey, Ed Harvey and Mike Campbell all finished up with six-wins each. Downey led all trainers at Fredericton in money will close to $ 6700 earned.   Mike Campbell led the way in training average with a superb .562 average for the season.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Horse Racing New Brunswick have provided an update on their year-long handicapping challenge after Saturday's card at Fredericton Raceway.   Adam Saunders has two reasons to celebrate as he is the weekly winner of a H.P.I prize and still leads the contest after eighteen weeks with $ 308.50. He leads second-place capper Kayden Buchanan while Rose Doyle rounds out the top-three.   Week nineteen will take place this coming Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John. Congrats to Adam and best of luck in the next leg of the contest.   Totals After Week 18   Adam Saunders 308.50 Kayden Buchanan 254.00 Rose Doyle 251.00 Brad MacPherson 236.80 Jenn Ritchie 183.20 Bruce Smith 114.85 Dale Spence Sr 94.80 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Saturday afternoon at Fredericton Raceway is a day that harness racing driver young Kent Beattie will remember for a lifetime.   In his fifteenth career drive, the promising rookie captured his first career victory at his hometown track.   Provoke Me, owned by Gary Beattie of Fredericton, was making his final start of his career as the nine-year-old veteran did all the work on a front-end winning performance.   Time of the mile was 2:02.2 as the pacer drove on to a two and a half-length win to best Royal Putnam and OK Elegant.   Fastest mile of the day was turned in by Joseph Michael who despite less than ideal conditions on the blustery Saturday afternoon, scored in 1:56.3. Todd Trites drove the local owned pacer as one of his two wins on the program.   Racing wrapped up for 2014 racing season at the capital city track and Horse Racing New Brunswick extends thanks to all who made the year a success despite many challenges.   Next card of racing will be contested on Saturday, September 27th at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John.   Scott Waddell

Fredericton Raceway will host its final live card of the 2104 racing season on Saturday, September 20th at 2:00 P.M.   Nine dashes will be carded on the afternoon that features a full field of eight starters in the afternoon's featured event.   Going as race nine, the race will feature last week's top-class winner at Exhibition Park Raceway, locally owned Joseph Michael. He captured his 43rd lifetime win and now has over $ 128,000 in earnings. He is owned by Andrea Dolan, Lower Cambridge-Valerie Phelan, Geary, NB.   Todd Trites will drive the seven-year-old son of Jennas Beach Boy. He took a new lifetime record this season in Windsor, Maine of 1:53.3. Eric Wilson trains the pacer who has drawn post two.   Wave That Banner, also hailing from the high producing Eric Wilson stable has drawn the rail position in the $ 1500 event and he too is coming off a win last week.   Four-year-old pacing mare Ramblinglily also comes off a strong outing as she won a leg of the aged pacing marries series at Red Shores last Saturday in 1:56 which was a new record for the mare. In that race she unleashed a last quarter of :27.1 to take the new speed badge.   Other starters in the Saturday top-class include Dance Hanover, Man In Pink, Magical Alex, American Captain and Kass Hall. Post time is scheduled for 2:00 P.M at the picturesque half-mile oval.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

Veteran pacer Man In Pink, a son of Camluck will look to continue his impressive season in New Brunswick this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway.   Mark Haig, one of the most consistent drivers in the province, will drive for owner Gordon White in the top-class offering a purse of $ 1500. Haig goes into Saturday's card with twenty-one wins and a .398 driving average.   Man In Pink comes off an eye popping win this past Saturday at Fredericton Raceway as he scored a 1:56.3 win and recorded his 29th career win. He will have post four in the five horse field.   Joseph Michael, a third place finisher in the prestigious Joe & Jennie Chippin Memorial on Saturday will have the challenge of the outside post-five for driver Todd Trites.   Other starters are Magical Alex, American Captain and J Rs Hurricane. Racing will start at E.P.R at 2:00 P.M presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick. There will be a total of seven races on the afternoon.   Week 16 standings in HRNB Handicapping tourny   Week sixteen proved to be another challenge for those partaking in the year-long handicapping challenge presented by Horse Racing New Brunswick.   Two players, Adam Saunders and Rose Doyle shared the top honours with just $ 10.40 earned in the three selected dashes. They will split a $ 25.00 prize from Horse Player Interactive.   Overall, Adam Saunders leads the way with $ 268.60 good enough for first place. Rose Doyle made a move and now sits in second place with $ 216.40 with Kayden Buchanan rounding out the top-three.   Week seventeen will take place this Saturday at Exhibition Park Raceway. Below are the complete standings after the sixteenth week.   Adam Saunders 268.60 Rose Doyle 216.40 Kayden Buchanan 208.20 Brad MacPherson 207.10 Jenn Ritchie 164.90 Bruce Smith 105.50 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers  31.00 Dale Spence Sr 18.60   Overall winner will receive a trip for two to Toronto. Best of luck to those playing along this week.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB                        

Horse Racing New Brunswick will offer an outstanding fifteen race program this Saturday afternoon at Fredericton Raceway to close out exhibition week.   Post time is set to go at 2:00 P.M on Saturday and will feature three major events. First will be the Bill Quigg Memorial stakes for three-year-old pacers. There are four separate divisions, all carrying purses of $ 6850.   New Brunswick stabled horses will be front and center in the Quigg stakes. In the three-year-old colt divisions, Settlement Request, Clipper Skip, Elm Grove Icecream, Cruise Level, and Tobins Fusion will all see action.   On the filly side, Absolootly Hot will leave post one in her division of the Quigg stake and comes off a strong outing in the Maritimer in Saint John.   Two other features will also be included on Saturday. H.R.N.B will honor the memory of long time owner, and Fredericton businessman Albert Goodine. It will carry a purse of $ 2500 and will feature a field of eight. Kass Hall comes off his overpowering win in the Milton Downey Memorial on   In the invitational pace for $ 7500, there are five starters that will compete in the event named in honour of Jennie & Joe Chippin. D Gs Camme ships in from P.E.I and sports a 1:52.2 mile on his card at Red Shores this year. Gilles Barrieau will guide the pacer from post-two.   Modern Xhibit is back in Fredericton after a strong outing last time he raced there and leaves post-one. All Turain is also back for his first start in a number of weeks and will leave post-three. New Brunswick owned Joseph Michael has post-four while Schooner will start from the outside.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Horse Racing New Brunswick have released the standings of their year-long handicapping challenge after two-cards taking place this past weekend in Saint John and Fredericton.   There is now fifteen (15) weeks in the books and Adam Saunders has opened up a sizable lead on his rivals going into week sixteen ( 16 ) at Fredericton this Saturday.   Saunders leads with $ 258.20 and that is good enough for a $ 50.00 lead over second place handicapper Kayden Buchanan ( $ 208.20 ). Brad McPherson rounds out the top-three at $ 207.10.   In the past two-weeks, Horse Racing New Brunswick will award Adam Saunders with the top weekly prize in the last two legs. This adds up to a $ 50.00 H.P.I prize.   Those playing along are reminded that the next leg will be held this Saturday at Fredericton Raceway on September 6th. Below are the complete standings up to date.   Adam Saunders 258.20 Kayden Buchanan 208.20 Brad MacPherson 207.10 Rose Doyle 206.00 Jenn Ritchie 164.90 Bruce Smith 105.50 Wayne Hubbard 45.30 Roy Flowers 31.00 Dale Spence Sr 18.60   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB

New Brunswick owned two-year-old harness racing filly Miss Oromocto won a division of the lucrative Williamson Stake at Fredericton Raceway on Monday afternoon.   Owned by Mel Land in partnership with Sharon Burchill, Mark Haig drove the pacer to victory in 2:01.4 in the $ 6000 stake.   In other action Monday, veteran Mike Downey enjoyed a banner day as he scored a trio of winners. City Of The Year, owned by Dr. Mitchell Downey was impressive as the two-year-old sailed to a 2:01 new record.   Downey's other wins came with Override and Night Talker. Dance Hanover took the top class of the afternoon in 1:58.2 while Skippy turned in an impressive 1:58.3 win for Mike Stevenson and owner Harold DeFazio.   Fredericton's afternoon card also saw the best wager of the season in New Brunswick as nearly $ 20,000 was registered. Next card at Fredericton Raceway is Saturday afternoon.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB    

Horse Racing New Brunswick are pleased to host yet another holiday racing card this season with the annual Labour Day program at Fredericton Raceway on Monday, September 1st at 12:00 P.M.   Monday's premier event will showcase the top two-year-old pacers in Atlantic Canada in the Williamson Stakes. Four division of freshman pacers will carry purses of $6000 per dash.   New Brunswick pacers are led by filly pacer Jann Down. Bred by the Downey Stables of Quispamsis, the filly has four-wins in six outings this season. She has reeled of four straight victories and her bankroll stands at over $ 22,000.   Gilles Barrieau will drive the daughter of Articulator in race eleven on the thirteen dash card on Monday from post position seven for trainer Steve Mason who is stabled in Saint John.   Monday's program also marks the beginning of FREX 2014 racing that will see another action packed card scheduled for Saturday, September 6th.   by Scott Waddell, for HRNB      

Young harness racing trainee Luke Armstrong will be looking for his second lifetime training win after nabbing his first this past Monday at Fredericton Raceway.   Armstrong will again harness-up five-year-old pacer Coral Snake, a son of Bettors Delight comes off an impressive win of 2:01.3 on New Brunswick day.   Luke's father Rick Armstrong will drive the pacer who was recently acquired from David MacDonald.   There will be a total of seven dashes on Saturday afternoon with first post scheduled at 2:00 P.M. Top-class of the day will feature five starters that include Casimir Japa, Man In Pink, ROF Samurai, J Rs Hurricane, and Dance Hanover.   Also on the card, young gun Kent Beattie will seek his first lifetime driving win in race-four with Provoke Me from post-two and has been listed as one of the favorites on the morning line.   Scott Waddell

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