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Batavia, NY --- Sir Pugsley took full advantage of a rare inside post, a favorable trip and a failed favorite to light up the tote board in the $12,500 Open I Handicap harness racing pace at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 30). Driver Drew Monti tucked Sir Pugsley in second behind last weeks winner Howmac Dancer (Renaldo Morales III) going to the quarter as the heavy favorite Crocketts Cullen N (Larry Stalbaum) failed to negotiated the first turn and made a break as a result. Stalbaum gathered his 1-9 shot back together and rushed up the rim to pull close to the leader and remained there for the rest of the mile. The top three horses continued to pace in that order -- Howmac Dancer on top, Sir Pugsley in the hole and Crocketts Cullen N on the outside -- to the half in :57 and three-quarters in 1:25.4. When they rounded the last turn and headed into the stretch, Crocketts Cullen N faded just enough to allow Monti to extract Sir Pugsley off the pegs and he came out with a full head of steam and mowed down Howmac Dancer in deep stretch to win by a length in 1:55.2. It was the seventh win of the year and third of the meet at Batavia Downs for Sir Pugsley ($18.80) who has now earned $88,270 this year for owner Robert Woodburn. Patrick Shepherd trains the winner. In the co-featured $11,000 Open II Handicap, Rise Up Now (Shawn McDonough) tripped-out behind the front-running Brunello N (Drew Monti) for over 7/8th's of a mile before popping the deuce mid-stretch and brushing to the lead at the beam to win in 1:56.2. It was the fifth win of the year for Rise Up Now ($34.80) who is owned and trained by Steve Andzel. Driver Shawn McDonough continued his hot streak in the bike winning three more races on Saturday and he rewarded his backers with premium mutuels with all three. His longshots included Dark Horse ($44.60), the aforementioned Rise Up Now and Willey Bite ($26.40). In the last three nights McDonough has won seven races. Also on Saturday night drivers Ray Fisher Jr. and Renaldo Morales III each scored two wins. Trainers Ryan Swift, Joe Skowyra and Steve Andzel all had two wins apiece as well. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Friday (Dec. 6) with post time at 6 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- The formidable harness racing team of owner Robert Woodburn, trainer Patrick Shepherd and driver Drew Monti struck again in prime time to win both feature races on Saturday night (Nov. 2) at Batavia Downs. In the $12,500 Open I Handicap pace, Down On My Luck scored his sixth win in only eight starts at Batavia Downs this year after he made a second-over move past the half, took over the lead from the front-running Howmac Dancer (Ray Fisher Jr.) at the top of the stretch and then held off a late rush by Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) to win by a nose in 1:55.3. It was the 10th win overall this year for Down On My Luck ($3.50) who now has $63,492 on the card in 2019. Then in the $11,000 Open II Handicap pace, Sir Pugsley left from his assigned seven post and dropped in third by the quarter. But he was out and rolling early moving up to second by the half, taking over the lead from China Dream (Billy Davis Jr.) at the three-quarters and then clearing and pulling away down the lane to win by a wrapped-up 3-1/4 lengths in 1:55.3. It was the sixth win of the year for Sir Pugsley ($3.00) and pushed his bank to $81,020. Monti ended up the leading driver on the night, scoring a total of four wins and three seconds during the card. Besides Down On My Luck and Sir Pugsley, Monti also won with In Runaway Bay N (1:55.3, $8.10) and Brunello N (1:55.1, $3.60). Billy Davis Jr. also finished the night strong getting a natural hat trick in the final three races. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 6) with post time at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

Batavia, NY --- Drew Monti was on top of his game Saturday night (Oct. 19) at Batavia Downs, winning five races on the card including the weekly harness racing pacing feature with Down On My Luck who moved up to the top class $12,500 Open I Handicap after taming the Open II in handy fashion last week. Down On My Luck took back to fifth while Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) and Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) fought hard for the lead, parked two-wide to the quarter in :27.2 and the half in :56.1. Monti pulled there and Down On My Luck was now second-over in the breeze following Mr. Euroman, who had been out the entire mile. Tullow N was still rolling on the point and hit three-quarters in 1:24.3 and it was there Down On My Luck tipped three-wide around the tiring Mr. Euroman. Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) was also three-deep in the flow and was now in play for the stretch run. When the race came off the turn, Down On My Luck took the lead by a length but Black Is Back was closing fast behind him. Positions remained unchanged to the wire and Down On My Luck won by a quarter-length in 1:53.4. It was the fifth win in six Batavia Downs starts this meet for Down On My Luck ($5.50) who is owned by Robert Woodburn and is trained by Patrick Shepherd. Monti completed his five win night with Cultural Paradise (1:54.4, $11.00), Howmac Dancer (1:55.1, $4.20), Brunello N (1:55, $7.30) and Cheyenne Louie (1:57.2, $5.30). Fool Me Once (Renaldo Morales III) won the $11,000 Open II pace after leaving from post eight to lead at every station en route to a 1:55.2 victory. It was the fifth win of the year for the overlooked Fool Me Once ($26.80) who is owned by Triple S Equine and trained by Patrick Shepherd. Billy Davis Jr. and Renaldo Morales III each had driving triples on Saturday while trainers Patrick Shepherd, JD Perrin and Maria Rice all had two victories each. Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Wednesday (Oct. 23) at 5 p.m. By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs  

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Down On My Luck found all the luck he needed as he circled the field in the preferred pace stretch drive Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Walter Cheverie engineered the winning trip as he guided the Patrick Shepherd trained pacer from sixth at the head of stretch and powered past his foes to upset at 17-1 odds. Half Cut powered to the lead in the $3,000 preferred pace and driver Mark Bradley cut out splits of 27.1, 55.4 and 1:25.1 before finding himself unable to fight off Down On My Luck in the stretch drive. Half Cut finished second in the 1:55.1 mile while Do Over Hanover (Driven by Jason Hughes) was third to complete the whopping $1,132.20 triactor ticket. Robert Woodburn of St. Thomas, Ont., holds the ownership papers of Down On My Luck. Trainer Kevin Gilles scored a training double as Top Of The Morning (Kyle Gillis) was a 2:00.2 winner and Jeb (Hughes) won in 1:58.1. The card had a pair of $2,800 Open Mares paces with Sodwana Bay (Barrieau) winning one in 1:57.4 and the other split going to Traces Of Purple (Marc Campbell) in 1:56.3. For race replays and more go to By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

London, ON  - The Raceway at the Western Fair District honoured its top performers from 2018 during the annual awards night on Saturday, February 23 at the Carousel Room at the London, Ont. raceway. A capacity crown was on-hand for the event which included a reception, dinner, dancing and the awards presentation. Spicey Victor was the star of the show as the claiming trotter took home three awards, including Horse of the Year for regular trainer Len Lalonde. He was also crowned Older Trotter of the Year and Claiming Trotter of the Year. The veteran gelding scored 20 victories in 2018 with 12 of them coming at The Raceway. Driver Scott Coulter captured his first driving title at Western Fair thanks to an outstanding season in 2018. Patrick Shepherd also notched his first training title with a one-victory score over Vic Puddy. The annual Walltyme Stable Lifetime Achievement Award went to the husband and wife team of John and Linda Yake. Jennifer Pinkerton was named Ruth Herbert Horsewoman of the Year. Finally, Dillyn Jackson was crowned Caretaker of the Year. Here is a look at the complete list of the 2012 Western Fair award winners: A list of the 2018 Raceway Award winners appears below. Horse Of The Year: Spicey Victor Older Pacing Horse: Artistic Pick Older Pacing Mare: Casino Classic Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt: Maximus Power Three-Year-Old Pacing Filly: Together We Run Older Trotting Horse: Spicey Victor Older Trotting Mare: Espoir Go Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt: Cold Beer Here Three-Year-Old Trotting Filly: Miller Time Claiming Pacer: So Long Sugar Claiming Trotter: Spicey Victor Driver: Scott Coulter Trainer: Patrick Shepherd Owner: Rebecca Williamson by Greg Gangle, for The Raceway

ELORA, ON - Harness racing driver Colin Kelly and trainer Patrick Shepherd were recognized as the top performers of 2018 at Grand River Raceway on Monday night. Both Kelly and Shepherd are celebrating their first titles at the Elora, ON track. Kelly, 25, is enjoying a career-best season. In 2018, he has driven horses to purse earnings of $1.2 million and notched 182 wins, which lists him 7th in the nation. He's currently ranked in the season's top five at four other Ontario tracks. At Grand River Raceway specifically, he has 54 wins from 250 starts and $286,581 in purses. He is a career winner of 477 races and $2.1 million. Patrick Shepherd sent forward 21 winners from 99 starts at Grand River Raceway this season for earnings of $96,446. This year is a career best for Shepherd, ranking second for wins (149) and fifth for UTR (.336) in the Canadian standings. He's also currently the season leader at Flamboro Downs and was second in the trainer standings at Georgian Downs. Grand River Raceway hosted three Ontario Sires Stakes divisions of two-year-old trotting colts on Monday night, where a new record-setter emerged in race five. Sent off at 5-1, Forbidden Trade powered home to win by a neck over race favourite Dream Nation in 1:56.4. The mark bests the former track record of 1:58.1 and the all-time Canadian record (also an Ontario Sires Stakes record) of 1:57.4 set in 2010 by Daylon Magician at Flamboro Downs. Forbidden Trade is a two-year-old son of Kadabra out of millionaire champion Pure Ivory. He was a $110,000 yearling purchase for Determination of Montreal, QC and has now earned $115,000 with five wins from seven starts. He is trained by Luc Blais. Grand River Raceway's 2018 live harness racing season concludes on Wednesday when the track hosts the National Driving Championship. Post time is 6:30 p.m. by Kelly Spencer, for Grand River Raceway

MILTON, May 18, 2018 - The team of owner Carl Kuepfer and harness racing trainer Patrick Shepherd had a memorable Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The duo sent out four starters on the 12-race program and made four-trips to the winner's circle. Reinsman Doug McNair sat behind three of the winners, while Louis Philippe Roy had the other winning drive. Shepherd and Kuepfer started the evening off by sweeping the opening three-races on the card. Claiming pacer Fern Hill Breeze ($4.20) got things rolling by registering his third win in five starts. The second-half of the 'Daily Double' was won by six-year-old trotting mare Talbotcreek Suzie ($3.90), who won her second straight for the Shepherd stable and fourth-overall. The third win of the evening was the biggest price of the four-victories, as pacing mare E R Rhonda prevailed by a head in a $10,000 claiming event. The seven-year-old paid $10.50 to win. Trotting mare Stirling Boudica ($3.50) went coast-to-coast in the evening's eighth-race to cap off the memorable evening for Kuepfer and Shepherd. The eight-year-old was returning to the Shepherd barn after a week away and has now won three consecutive starts in his barn. Shepherd now has 10 wins in 27 starts this season at Woodbine Mohawk Park for an eye-catching winning percentage of 37 per cent. He currently sits third in the Trainer Standings. The $30,000 Mares Preferred was Friday's feature race with a wide-open field of nine battling from start to finish. P L Hurricane and driver Sylvain Filion came from third-over on the far turn to sweep by rivals and score a 27-1 upset in 1:52.3. Artistic Madison, who was 51-1, split between rivals to grab second. Circle The Page finished third despite making a first-turn break for the third-straight start, while Clear Idea, who won last week's edition and was the 3-2 favourite, finished fourth. P L Hurricane rarely misses a cheque and Friday's 27th career victory pushed her over $500,000 in career earnings. The seven-year-old is owned and trained by Dave Brown and now has back to back wins to bring her 2018 record to three wins and 12 top-three finishes in 18 starts. A $2 win ticket on P L Hurricane returned $57.40, while the $2 Exacta with Artistic Madison paid $847.90. Live racing continues Saturday evening with the annual Fireworks and Family Fun Night. A special post-time of 6:45 p.m. has been issued. Mark McKelvie

SUMMERSIDE, PE - Hot Deuce has landed on red soil and he proved he came here to play in Sunday afternoon's $5,000 Governor's Plate eliminations at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The Patrick Shepherd trained Hot Deuce was put on top at every call by driver Walter Cheverie as the free-legged son of Armbro Deuce laid down incredible fractions of 27, 54.4 and 1:23.1 before unleashing a 29 second closer to win in 1:52.1, just two-fifths of a second off Ys Lotus' 1:51.4 track record. Crombie A (Driven by Marc Campbell) rallied from off the pacer to finish second, with Forever Paradise (Adam Merner) finishing third and Allstar Seelster (Norris Rogers) finishing fourth and earning a berth in Saturday's $22,000 Governor's Plate final, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge. Shepherd, a native of Stratford who now resides in Ontario, trained Hot Deuce for owner Mike McAllister of Beaumont, Alta. The other Governor's Plate elimination was also claimed by a newcomer to Island racing as Do Over Hanover used first over tactics to win in 1:53.1 for driver Campbell, trainer Chris MacKay and owners Allard Racing Inc., of Saint-Esprit, Que., Red Isle Racing of North Granville and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Adkins Hanover (Merner) put down the early fractions of 27.1 and 55.1 before giving way to Junebugs Baby (Myles Heffernan), who had a tire flattened earlier in the race, up the backside for three-quarters in 1:24.1. Good Friday Three (Kenny Arsenault) was second, Invictus Hanover (Jason Hughes) was third and Junebugs Baby finished fourth to make the final. Cheverie had a driving triple on a card with one of those wins coming aboard Ramblinglily in a $2,400 Open Mares pace in 1:55.1 over Shadows Mystery (Arsenault) and Scirocco Miley Kay (Gilles Barrieau). Another $2,400 Open Mares class was captured by Prettyndangerous in 1:54.4 at 13-1 odds for driver Merner, co-owner and trainer Bo Ford and co-owner Arnold Myers, all of Charlottetown. Race favourite Woodmere Articblue (Campbell) was second with Good Luck Kathy (Hughes) rounding out the triactor. Driver Ken Murphy also had a driving triple on the program. Live racing continues at Red Shores Summerside Tuesday night at 7 P.M.featuring the Atlantic Sires Stakes for two and three-year-old trotters sponsored by Meridian Farms as part of Governor's Plate Week racing. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - A former great in Eastern Ontario harness racing will try his luck against Thursday night's finest at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post is 6:30 p.m. for the 12-dash card with Montreal Phil favoured in the race 11 feature for a $2,000 purse. The 12-year-old veteran, Montreal Phil was a former preferred pacer at Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa, but after Alpine Claiming Series action during Old Home Week he now finds himself trained by Stratford's Patrick Shepherd and owned by Stephen Morton of Nova Scotia. The pacer pushed himself over $700,000 in career earnings during his latest outing, which was a 1:57.4 score for Brad Forward, and now finds himself with post 2 and Walter Cheverie in the bike. Perfect Escape (Gilles Barrieau) looms a danger off the rail while riding a two-race win streak and Doing Some Damage (Corey MacPherson) exits preferred company to draw post 6. Ryan Desroche will make his top class debut on the program, as the 18-year-old Prince Country native drives Eagle Jolt from post 5 for trainer Marc Campbell. Race analyst Les MacIsaac likes post 2 and Montreal Phil to land in the winner's circle. "He beat some pretty good ones last week over the off track for his second straight win since relocating here," MacIsaac said of Montreal Phil. "A three-peat looks like a very strong possibility." Other entries include Cambest Kisser (Jason Hughes), Waterside Light (Campbell), Athletic Putnam (Brian MacPhee), and Cabo Pan Lucas (Vincent Poulton). A group of seven Open trotters will contest race 8 on the card, with newly minted Charlottetown track record holder Osprey Impact drawing post 3 with Cheverie in the bike for owner-trainer Paul Larabee of Belle River. The five-year-old daughter of Federal Flex scored a 1:57.2 victory on Gold Cup and Saucer night to erase Thunderaway's track record. Freddie (Campbell) will seek redemption off the rail with other top entries like Frill Seeker (Kenny Arsenault) from post 4 and Holy Molie Maggie (MacPherson) with post 5. By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores

Hanover Raceway played host to Pepsi Night and two harness racing divisions of the Alliance Filly Claiming Series Saturday night. A good crowd came out for their chance to win up to $2,000 dollars in prizes including a Patio Set, BBQ and Lawnmower.   In the Pepsi Pace, it was 12 year old Chasin Jiffy, owned by Kim Mahon of Owen Sound that held on for the victory over a fast closing Twin B JJ in 2:00.3. Chasin Jiffy used his rail advantage to control the pace past the quarter in 29.3 and the half in 1:00.2.   The son of Village Jiffy who has 26 lifetime wins continued to lead past the ¾’s in 1:30.3, and just made it home as Twin B JJ was flying to make the finish a close one. In the Allance Filly Claiming Series.  Anamazingdream esa had 2 claims on her and came into the elimination with 4 top 3 finishes in a row.   Natasha Day got away 2nd behind Zinfandart and Robert Doyle and the 2 horse stayed that was past the quarter in 29.3 and the half in 1:01.3.   Day took the lead by a head at the ¾’s in 1:31.4 and held on for the victory by a nose in 2:01.1. It was Day’s first victory of the season as a driver in 32 starts for trainer Patrick Shepherd and owner Stephen Morton of Windsor.   It was also the 4th win of her Career. In Division 2,  favorite Total Knockout and driver Tyler Moore were quickest off the gate and grabbed the early lead past the quarter in 29 seconds flat.   Moore then settled the pace down leading past the half in 1:00.3 and the ¾’s in 1:30.3 holding off all coming in the final quarter to win in 2:00.1.     The 10 Fillies will be back next week to battle again with the top finishers advancing to the Alliance Final at Grand River Raceway later this month. Next Saturday is Molson Mens Night in honour of Fathers Day.  Dad’s in attendance can enter to win over $1,000 in prizes including a Corona Deck Chair,  Coors Light Coolers, Beach Umbrella’s, and an outdoor Fire Pit.   Post time next Saturday June 18th is 7:15pm. Gord Dougan    

The $ 20,000 harness racing James Roach MacGregor Memorial will line up behind the gate in the race 12 finale on Friday night at Red Shores Charlottetown. Post-time is 7 p.m. The field of six, features four Gold Cup and Saucer trial starters that didn't qualify for the $75, 000 final and two others. The millionaire pacer Up The Credit has drawn into Post 2 for trainer - driver Carl Jamieson. The six-year-old Western Terror stallion finished fifth in his trial, pacing his mile in 1:53.1 for Ryan Ellis. The former winner of the $ 1.5 million North American Cup as a three-year-old is owned by Jamieson, Thomas Kyron and Joanne Morrison. Mach Wheel has drawn the coveted rail as he takes his stab at the lions share of the $ 20,000 purse. He was also a fifth place finisher in his Gold Cup and Saucer trial, pacing his own mile in 1:53 for owner - trainer Shane Arsenault. He was a winner two starts back at Grand River Raceway in 1:54.2. Island native Paul Mackenzie will do the driving. The brother duo of trainer Patrick Shepherd and driver Robert Shepherd will send out Duke Did It from post 4. He was a disappointing sixth in his trial which came one start after setting the track record at Truro Raceway in 1:53.2, his win streak was halted at four too. Owned by Ivan Petersheim, the nine-year-old son of Bettors Delight will look to regain form on Friday night. The only Maritime owned horse in this year's Gold Cup and Saucer trials, Astor, has drawn Post 5 in the compact field of six. He finished sixth in his Trial for Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, NS. Jason Hughes does the training and driving. One of the stars on the Maritime Free-for-all scene, Astor will look to show his Ontario invaders what P.E.I. is all about. Blissfull Bro (post 3) and Windfall Blue Chip (post 6), round out the field for the MacGregor memorial. The top three-year-old fillies the Maritimes have to offer will be on display Friday night in two Gold divisions of the Lady Slipper. Last year's top filly looks to be regaining her form heading into her $12, 700 Gold divisions, Saulsbrook Alana has drawn into post 6 in Race 9. The daughter of Western Paradise has back-to-back 1:56 and change victories for owner Reg MacPherson and trainer Kevin MacLean. The winner of just shy of $ 80,000 lifetime will get the services of Marc Campbell. Her bridesmaid last week, Absolootly Hot draws into post 3 for the Dooley Boys Racing Stable and Scott Hubbard. She paced her mile in 1:56.4 beaten only a length-and-a-quarter by Saulsbrook Alana. The daughter of Coasttocoast Yankee is trained by Earl Watts. Kenny Arsenault will do the driving for the second straight start. I C Anastro, Sea Anna Win, Pictonian Sareta, Babies Gigolo, Libertys Gig and Dusty Lane Dora round out the full-filed of eight. The 2014 Maritime Breeders champion Lovineveryminute will look to dethrone the winner of four-in-a-row Elm Grove Inarush. Lovineveryminute draws into post 5 for the River Valley Management, Windemere Farms and Lana Murphy. She has just shy of $ 60,000 in lifetime earnings. Earl Watts does the training while Todd Trites will handle the driving. Elm Grove Inarush will look to extend her win streak to five from Post 3, her last two victories have come in a career best 1:55.3 for driver Mark Bradley. The daughter of Coasttocoast Yankee is owned by Blaine Thibeau, Eddy Doucette, Gordon Macleod and Grant Mann, Doucette does the training. Mackenzie will handle the driving duties as he looks to take the late double with her and Mach Wheel. Brickyard Val, Fleurje, Briannas Angel, Bettim Jenny, Outrageous Spirit and Sail Through round out the field. The P.E.I Trotting Series Final sponsored by the PEIHRIA will line up behind the starting gate in Race 7 for a purse of $ 10, 700. Eight of the best trotters the Maritimes have to offer will contest for the largest purse they will race for this season. Zip The Lip has drawn the rail position for owner Orville Willis and Donald Sweet, fresh off of a victory in the second leg, the Sweet trainee will get the Brian MacPhee in the bike. The aged veteran of the field, the 14-year-old Abundaspin will leave from post 3, The richest starter in the field with over $477, 000 in lifetime earnings the Harold Shepherd trainee will get son Robert in the bike. Frill Seeker has drawn Post 4, after a break, a win, a break and a win since coming to P.E.I, his owners the Ebbslfeet Stables will hope the streak stays in-tacked for this week. Kenny Arsenault does the training at the driving. Beer Maggs, Pleasure Girls, Lyrical Lindy, Majian Dillon and Mopey Corey round out the field. Bo Ford

Charlottetown PE- Old Home Week is here and so are the crowds. Fans packed into Red Shores' Charlottetown for the first card of Old Home Week 2014. Teddys Place in line to the recent 1,500 win man Mike Stevenson managed to sneak up in the final strides to nail C L Eighty and Kenny Arsenault at the wire. Teddys place got away in the six hole and followed the cover of second place finisher C L Eighty who cleared fraction setter Deuce Man past the three quarters, flipping off his back at the head of the stretch to win by half-a-length in 1:58.3. Deuce Man laid down fractions of :28.2, :59 and 1:29.2. Talk Back rounded out the top three making it an Arsenault trainee one, two, three finish. Thane Arsenault owns Teddys place and also trains along with Talk Back, while Kenny trains C L Eighty. Jason Hughes picked up a driving and training double on the card extending his lead in both categories at Red Shores Charlottetown. He kicked off the first race of Old Home Week with Rocks Confession in 2:03.1 and followed it up with Blue Star Outlaw in 2:00. The Alpine $3, 000 claiming series highlighted the Thursday night card. Lexis Mandy laid parked every step for driver trainer and co-owner Neil Bambrick and Shawn Baglole, winning by a head in 2:00.3. Hello America and Mike Downey picked up the second division of the fillies and mares in 1:58.3 for owner Ellen Stevenson. The third division winner Machintosh was the only mare claimed on the opening night of the two leg series. She was on top at every call, taking a new lifetime mark of 1:58, for owner - trainer Patrick Shepherd and driver Steven Shepherd. Veteran pacer Cam Cool found himself back in the winer circle in the first division of horses and gelding, Jamie Copley trains for Ann Copley and Evan Gillis of Inverness. Marc Campbell handling the driving in 1:57. The second division went to another claimed horse, Ebandtheboys in line to Kenny Murphy rolled right down the highway winning in 1:57.3 for owner Clarkie Smith. Racing returns to Red Shores' Charlottetown tomorrow night at 7 p.m. By Bo Ford

Tuesday, August 5 2014: The 2014 edition of the Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer is full of speed. It will feature the fastest field ever assembled.  Of the 12 horses entered into the two trials, eight have lifetime marks under 1:50. Those 12 horses have earning in excess of $ 5 million. Trial 1, goes Saturday night at Red Shores' Charlottetown and the trainer-driver combination of Ron Burke and Marc Campbell are back to defend their title. This time with the fastest and richest horse in the field Aracache Hanover. The winner of over $ 1.7 million in lifetime earnings boasts a lifetime mark of 1:48.1. The son of Dragon Again best known for his wicked gate speed has drawn post 5. To his immediate right is the only entrant from last year's final Up The Credit, he will leave from post 6. The other $ 1 million plus winner in the field is trained by Carl Jamieson. He has a lifetime mark of 1:48.3 taken last year at Woodbine. Up The Credit was the 2011 winner of the North American Cup. Trainer Rene Allard will have two entries in Saturday night's first trial. From post 3 will be a first time starter from his stable Big Town Hero, The six-year-old gelding enters the Allard stable after winning in a lifetime best 1:48.3 in his last start. Island Jett is his other entry in Trial 1, The four-year-old son has drawn post 4. Allard picked this horse up two starts ago and shows two consecutive miles in 1:53.3 on half-mile tracks. Astor is the only entrant in this year's trials from the Maritime free-for-all circuit. Owned by Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, NS, Jason Hughes will handle the training and driving duties from the coveted rail position. He scored his lifetime best clocking last year at Mohawk in 1:49.4. Trainer Chris Oakes will make his first trek to Red Soil for trial 1 with Shock It To Em from Post 2. The son of Western Terror has won three of his last six starts including a 1:49.2 score at Pocono. He has just over $ 200,000 in his bankroll and a lifetime mark of 1:49 taken earlier this season. Oakes will send his second entrant in this year's Gold Cup and Saucer out in trial 2. The fastest of the six horses in Monday nights trial, Scott Rocks has drawn the outside post 6. He took his lifetime mark just three starts ago at Pocono in 1:48.3. Corey Johnson is looking to follow in his father Colin's footsteps and win his first ever Gold Cup and Saucer. His first ever entry in the Gold Cup will leave from post 5. Wazzup Wazzup is coming into trial 2 fresh off of a lifetime best score of 1:49 in his last outing at Mohawk. A pair of brother's will look to make boyhood dreams come true. Trainer Patrick Shepherd will give his Brother Robert the drive on Duke Did It from post 2. The Truro Raceway co-track record holder has won his last four starts in 1:54.4 or better. He was purchased by Ivan Petersheim after winning the Exhibition Cup in Truro. Take It Back Terry from post 1 is the second horse from this years Burke Brigade. The post 1 starter picked up a 1:51.2 victory in his second last start over Yonkers (half-mile). He enters the trial with just over $ 380, 000 in career earnings and a record of 1:50. The third entry from the Allard stable, Mickey Hanover, will contest his trial for Post 4 with Islander Anthony Macdonald scheduled to do the driving. He has won three of his last four races. Mach Wheel rounds out trial 2, the Post 3 starter was a winner Monday afternoon at Grand River in 1:54.2. He is owned and trained by Shane Arsenault. Trial 1 1. Astor Jason Hughes 2.Shock It To Em TBA 3.Bigtown Hero Gilles Barrieau 4.Island Jett TBA 5.Aracache Hanover Marc Campbell 6.Up The Credit Carl Jamieson Trial 2 1.Take It Back Terry Gilles Barrieau 2.Duke Did It Robert Shepherd 3.Mach Wheel TBA 4.Mickey Hanover Anthony Macdonald 5.Wazzup Wazzup James MacDonald 6.Scott Rocks TBA A video of the 53rd running of the Gold Cup and Saucer Race, one of North America's premiere harness racing events. The Gold Cup and Saucer Race is held annually in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island at the historic Charlottetown Driving Park and is the culmination of the annual Old Home Week celebrations. The 53rd running of the Gold Cup and Saucer Race took place on August 18, 2012. By Bo Ford Red Shores Racetrack and Casino Charlottetown & Summerside Locations 21 Exhibition Drive l Charlottetown, PEI l C1A 9S8 p: 902-620-4222 Ext 4263 l  c: 902-629.0836 l f: 902-620-4324

LONDON, Ontario . . . Mark MacDonald, one of harness racing's most talented drivers, made his return to The Raceway at Western Fair District where he made his start and was leading driver for several seasons, and captured two of the four City Of London finals tonight, part of the Molson Pace undercard. The third and fastest City Of London final, a $38,200 contest for pacing distaffers, had tons of action with MacDonald, now a regular on the New York circuit, scoring a victory. As the race got underway Trevor Henry and Face To Face overtook Miss Brandi K by the :27.3 opening panel. She hit the half in :55.3 with pressure from favourite Milliondollar Babe who was neck and neck with the leader down the backside but they were both overtaken by Lyons Katrina and MacDonald, who’d been stalking second over, and were absolutely flying by the 1:25.4 three-quarters. Lyons Katrina slowed in the stretch but held on to win in 1:57.1. Played By Anangel was a close second followed by Miss Brandi K. It was first lifetime win for Lyons Katrina, a three-year-old daughter of Major In Art owned by Geoffrey Lyons of Burford, Ontario and trained by James Morrison. Bred by Bill Loyens of London, Ontario, the filly is the second foal from $457,000 winner Milliondollarsmile, her first being $482,000 winner Windsong Jack. The fourth and final City Of London final, the $39,000 test for pacing horses, saw MacDonald and Fortune Playboy cutting the pace early as he hit the opening quarter in :27.3. He had pressure from Teranadawn at the :57.2 half but rebuffed that challenge and hit the three-quarters in 1:26 and held his position through the wire in 1:57.3. Hussys Blu Boy was second with Decroft Havaball third. Fortune Playboy, a four-year-old gelding by Rambaran, was recording his seventh win in 10 starts this year for trainer Patrick Shepherd and owner Holland Racing Stable of Niagara On The Lake, Ontario. In the $35,600 final for male trotters it ended up being a four horse race thanks to a late scratch and several breakers in the early going. That allowed Trevor Henry and Shadywood Kid easy access to the front end early and they never relinquished it. The three-year-old gelding by Pegasus Spur tripped off splits of :29, 1:00.2 and 1:30.4 and was a comfortable winner in 2:01.3 over Crime Novel and Kdazzle. Henry, the leader driver at The Raceway, co-owns the winner with John MacLeod who bred the Shadywood Kid with Henry's father Ross. Trained by Shannon Henry, Shadywood Kid was recording his first lifetime win in his 11th attempt. An exciting photo finish took place in the $34,800 final for mare trotters which saw Ja El Diamond setting the early tempo for Steve Byron through fractions of :29.3, 1:01.2 and 1:31.1. Heroine Seelster sat the pocket the entire mile and was trapped in that spot until late going when she finally found racing room and trotted up quickly but was just a nose short at the wire in 2:02.1. Oaklea Wand was third. Pat Hunt trains the winner, a three-year-old daughter of Angus Hall owned by Glengate Farms of Campbellville, Ontario. Unraced last year at two, Ja El Diamond now has three wins in six starts this year for $31,000 in earnings. From the Raceway Media Department

Growing up in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Patrick's dream was to train harness racing horses. Patrick is working hard to make good on his dream, currently having 22 horses in his care after moving to Ontario just over 3 years ago, the biggest province for harness racing. "I wanted to be a driver when I first came here (to Ontario). I wasn't real successful at it and didn't set the world on fire by any means." Patrick says. "I was driving the long shots and driving my own horses... some horses were really nice and some weren't. That's why I decided I was only going to train horses." When Patrick decided to focus only on training that's when results started to roll in, going from training 2 horses to 22 in a relative short time frame. Speaking with Patrick, it's quite surprising to find out he's only 21. The way Patrick carries himself; you would think he's 30 or 35. To the point, he's very mature for his age. "I want to do things successfully" says Patrick. "I try really hard all the time and my goal is to win. I want to win. I will drive 5 hours to Rideau Carlton, (Ottawa, ON), to win a horse race.... I want to bring owners in." There can be so much said for what Patrick aims for and the biggest element is Patrick being able to bring in more owners, this is how the sport will grow end over end. In a way it reminds me of compound interest, earnings will be made on prior earnings. What is most gratifying to Patrick is seeing one of his horses win, more so knowing the time and work he put into working with that horse and seeing the fruits of his labor pay off. Patrick expresses how much he enjoys working with each horse, tinkering with the small things that other trainers may not notice. Back in PEI, Patrick trained horses with his father, Harold. "He taught me a lot" says Patrick. "I owe him pretty much everything. He had a full time job and I went to school and there was a time we had ten horses and we did them after work and after school, being at the barn until 11:30 at night. Then going home and doing school work. We trained horses and I was (listed) as the trainer of them. He helped me, but if I wanted to change something, he would always say, 'You're the trainer'. My dad is the one who helped me out the most, taught me how to change shoeing; he's the main man behind it all." "There were times when I did change stuff (with the horses) and it back fired. Then he would give me advice that I should have done it this way or that way. That is what helped me out a lot." Patrick explains. Listening to Patrick, his dad taught him that mistakes will be made, but what you learn from those mistakes is what matters most. We all make mistakes at one point or another, but do we take the time to learn from our mistakes? "I have a business now with help from my family, my dad, my mom and my brother Robert who pretty much got me set up here in Ontario. (Robert) got me here, he bought me a car, and he's the one who put a roof over my head. He's been good." Back in PEI, working with his dad, Patrick found working with horses to be fun despite the long hours. Patrick admits it became tougher for him once he moved to Ontario. Here in Ontario the competition is steep and fierce. Woodbine and Mohawk race tracks are the two premier tracks in the province of Ontario, however the competition at any one of the other tracks is just as fierce. "You go to Flamboro Downs and you're driving against Jody Jamison, there's Doug McNair in London (The Raceway at Western Fair)... you're always going against the top drivers anywhere. Then when I started training, I was training against the best trainers, like Richard Moreau. It was my dream to train horses and that was the hard part, facing trainers like Richard Moreau and Victor Puddy, guys that put up really big numbers." Being humble, Patrick knows he is not as established as trainers like Casie Coleman, Richard Moreau and Anthony Montini but he is willing to put in the work to reach that level of success. "I won't lie, when I first got here I thought I was a rock star" admits Patrick. "I drove in with the nice shoes and tried to live the 'life'." "I was working hard, but not putting money away. When you look at the bank account and I am walking around with nice shoes on, nice training suit... and a car my brother bought me. I paid him back as we went along but I could have paid him back (quicker). It was time to get my head on straight and let's get it going. If I am going to do it, I am going to do it now." There would be times when Patrick would be at the shopping mall and he's on his phone talking to his mom or grandmother and they want to know why he wasn't saving his money. Patrick said his grandmother gave him a great piece of advice, 'it doesn't matter how much money you have so long as your bills are paid.' That's a motto Patrick is trying to live by, day in and day out. "It's night and day" Patrick explains. "I am a different person than I was. I'm the person who was working hard in PEI with my dad. I'm not the guy who came here and thought I could just live the life. You get a reality check when you come here cause everybody else here is trying to be successful. They're trying, doing everything they can and I had to pull myself to that level." "That's the stuff I'm thankful for. My family might be in PEI but I can always talk to them. They help me get my head around, even when I am having a bad day at the track." Patrick says "...they always keep me on the straight and narrow. That's what keeps me motivated." Robert Shepherd, who is Patrick's oldest brother is someone Patrick fondly looks to for advice, whether it was back when Patrick was still in school in PEI or to present day. "When Robert was in Alberta and I was still at home in PEI, he'd always be there for me to talk to or to give me advice." Patrick says, "I have another brother Stephen, but me and Robert are close. I could always pick up the phone and call him... He's been a big brother that put me on the map." Back when Patrick was in school, instead of hanging out at the bars with friends on Saturday nights, he was at the farm working, tending to the horses. "I worked, lived and did everything at the barn" is how Patrick describes his life back then. "My mom always kept my (busy) growing up, playing hockey or curling, but I stopped all that early... because I was getting more and more into the horses. I didn't care if all my friends were going to a beach party; I was going to the races. If I was not at the races, I was in bed and sick." "There's probably one thing I missed out on and that was my prom and graduation." Patrick goes on to say, "I wish I was there for my prom and my graduation. I had everything ordered and I was supposed to be there but... I finished high school early. I had all my credits and I moved here to Ontario with half a year to go. I got here, started driving, working to get some money going." "Ya I missed my prom and graduation, but I still graduated. My mom wanted me to come back, but at the time I wanted no part of that. I wanted to stay here." Since arriving to Ontario, Patrick admits he's been quite fortunate to have owners who are willing to invest in him. Especially given the timing of his move to Ontario and what has transpired with the provincial Government and now the long term uncertainty of what lies ahead for the industry. However, this doesn't seem to faze Patrick, and it's his confidence in his abilities to persevere is what I believe draws owners to him. Owners who are willing to buy more and more horses and equipment such jog carts to ensure he has all the tools to be successful. Patrick notes that any interaction is all about respect. It doesn't matter that he is 21, all that matters is he's fully committed and handles himself and all his affairs professionally. Sure he could go out on Saturday nights with friends, but knowing that he has horses racing the next day at Flamboro Downs (Hamilton, On), Patrick has come to learn what is a priority and what can wait. Patrick will see you at Flamboro Downs. Fellow trainer Richard Moreau is someone Patrick looks to as a role model when it comes to training horses. "He does his own thing. You don't hear Richard yelling and screaming or anything like that. He's a very quiet guy, very loyal guy. I want to be like Richard and win races and win the O'Brien awards." Patrick's plan for the 2014 peak summer season is simple. It is to win, but not just win; Patrick wants to put up massive numbers. "I want things to be on the up right and keep winning, I have 22 horses now but I'd like to have 42 horses." Patrick says. There is no reason to believe Patrick can't have a stable of 50 or more and I wouldn't be shocked that one day soon Patrick will have a stable of horses numbering in the triple digits. With his mind set and desire to succeed, the sky is the limit for Patrick yet my inclination is Patrick is striving for the stars and beyond. There are plenty of reasons why I can see Patrick's name amongst the stars of the game in the near future. By: Roderick Balgobin   Twitter: ScSupernova

It was 10 years ago in 2004 that harness racing driver Robert Shepherd was getting ready to drive The Bruster in the Nat Christie Memorial at Stampede Park in Alberta. This was Robert's third stakes race as a driver following his first in his native province of Prince Edward Island and the second in Alberta. During the race, Robert had The Bruster sitting almost 10 lengths behind the leader and on the final turn home, Robert swung almost five wide and drove The Bruster past the field for the thrilling win. The very same horse was purchased for $500 as a yearling and secured close to $85,000 in purse winnings at the time of the 2004 Nat Christie. At that time, Robert was the youngest driver to win the Nat Christie. An interesting note is that Robert broke his femur a year before the race and The Bruster ended up having a cracked knee shortly after the purchase. It's amazing how they both healed and joined to win such a prestigious race. It's a fairy tale story that perseverance pays off! "I always try to play it smart" is what Robert says about his style of driving. Patience is what Robert preaches and explains it's the best way to understand all that is happening around you. Robert explains, "If you get over aggressive too many times, a month or two down the road, that horse is going to get tired and not want to push himself. Then you're going to wonder what is wrong with the horse." Robert is 33 and gives credit to his learning's from training horses which allows him to better understand the horses when he's driving. "I can be aggressive or more laid back" says Robert. "It all depends on the horse, they're all different." From PEI, (Prince Edward Island), Robert moved to Ontario and worked for leading trainer Kevin McMaster. From there, Robert moved to Alberta to further his career in harness racing, working for Bill Landers and Keith Clarke. After some time of jogging, driving and training horses in Alberta and of course winning the Nat Christie, Robert relocated to Ontario where the purse money was then much higher. As soon as Robert's younger brother Patrick finished school, he came to join Robert in Ontario to form a formidable trainer-driver duo. Robert states that "...Patrick knew right from the start he was going to train horses." Currently, Robert does a lot of driving for his trainer/brother, Patrick Shepherd who is 21. There is a twelve year difference between the brothers which could lead to Robert and Patrick being more distant with one another, but that is quite the contrary. "We're just like any brothers, we have our spats but at the same time we are best friends. We might argue today and tomorrow it's forgotten about." Robert breaks down the synergy between them as Patrick is more aggressive, and Robert is more passive and this allows them to complement one another. As a young boy, Robert remembers his father taking care of horses in the mornings and during the evenings. In between, Robert's dad worked a full time job and every evening when his father came home, Robert would help his father with the horses. In 1999, Robert and a buddy Mark Bradley moved down to Florida for 8 months to work. "I had just gotten my license in PEI" Robert says. "We were grooms and assistant trainers.... We had about 15 horses and we worked with the babies. We jogged and trained them. We made a lot of good friends down there.... It was a great experience for us" For someone who has been on the horse racing business for over a dozen years, there is very little about Robert online, (the harness driver that is. The name Robert Shepherd does result in over a billion matches). Robert admits he is very low key and says "I just got on Facebook a month ago. I don't even have an email address. Well, I think I have one made up and my friend made it up for me, but I can't (remember) what it is." "Coming from PEI, it's different, I mean I like my cell phone now but I never had one until I was in Alberta. Even still, it's hard to get a hold of me by phone." Roberts says with a laugh. Someone Robert has a lot of respect for is trainer Susie Kerwood and acknowledges how much Susie has helped him. "She's been great, from the start she helped me out" says Robert. "She vouched for me and got me started when I first got here (to Ontario). She's a very good person." A few years back, Robert was unfortunately part of two racing accidents, one of which he was dragged off the track by a runaway horse and in the other, he ended up fighting for his life. This is the down side of any sport. Horses, like the drivers, are athletes and in any sport such as football, hockey, basketball and baseball, freak accidents and/or injuries occur. Whether human or horse, it's always sad. Luckily for Robert, he's been fortunate to bounce back each time and the accidents never hampered his spirits. "This is what I love" Roberts says. "If you love it, no matter what happens nothing changes." You can catch Robert driving at Flamboro Downs, where he has a lot of support from friends and family. Robert also drives at Grand River and Western Fair Raceway. Even though Robert races year round, his preference is the summer season where he can break out the short sleeve jacket while racing. As for what's his favorite style of track, he prefers the half mile tracks, but Robert will be happy with anything if it results in a win! Last year Robert finished 5th in the drivers' standing at Flamboro Downs, and currently he is in 1st place for the 2014 season at Flamboro Downs. Away from the track, Robert kicks back with a soda and friends to watch hockey. Being from the Maritimes, Robert grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan, but since residing in Ontario he's gotten caught with Toronto Maple Leafs' fever. I wonder what happens when Montreal comes to town. "My friends get so fired up, it's hard not to enjoy it" he says. Along the stairway leading to his man cave, Robert has framed pictures from his Nat Christie victory. In the man cave itself, Robert has a huge TV and a comfy recliner to rest from a tough but fun day at work. By: Roderick Balgobin of twitter:ScSupernova

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