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Laidman Returns For Announcer Idol

Published: March 15, 2015 10:24 pm ET

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Flamboro Downs' first-ever Announcer Idol contestant, Darrin Laidman, Morning Show Host at 95.3 FreshFM, was back behind the mic on Sunday in an attempt to capture the second edition of the media challenge for charity. Meanwhile, Flamboro Downs' leading driver and trainer, brothers Robert and Patrick Shepherd, won seven of the evening's 11 races combined.

Assisted by track announcer Gary Guy, MS Society supporter Laidman called the action-packed third race while adding some colourful commentary of his own as Motor Shark and the hot-handed Robert Shepherd came "out of nowhere" to win in 1:58.2 for trainer David O'Brien and owners Tommy Collings and Arthur Jay.

As the field of nine $5,000 claiming pacers left the gate, Fontanas Boy and Phil Hudon quickly crossed over to command. "Number eight, Fontanas Boy, has got a nice little lead there," called Laidman. "He had his Wheaties this morning!"

But a duel developed as Jetta Flys and Anthony MacDonald advanced on the outside to challenge the early leaver at the quarter pole.

"He is moving. That is Jetta Flys, number five, coming up on the left," said Laidman. "He's trying to take him, he's trying to take him. They're trash-talking. He's saying 'look at me, look at me, look at me!'"

Coming around the turn in front of the grandstand, Fontanas Boy pulled clear, but Jetta Flys was not done yet.

"There he comes again, there's Jetta Flys, he's right up there," called Laidman. "He's trash-talking: 'I'm going to pass you,' he says. 'I'm going to smoke right by ya!' And there he goes. Jetta Flys looks like he just took the lead there. I think he just gave him the finger while he drove by him," joked Laidman. "Maybe he didn't, no. This is a neck and neck battle everybody!"

But as the pacers headed into the backstretch one last time, Fontanas Boy broke stride. Although Jetta Flys took over the lead, he was not home free with Motor Shark on the move from the backfield.

"And here comes number three, Motor Shark," announced Laidman. "Motor Shark with the fierceness of Jaws is coming right up on him. The theme music is playing from Jaws! He's ready to pass number five, Jetta Flys. Look at him coming around there. He's got it going on!"

This new battle continued as the field entered the homestretch.

"There comes Motor Shark and he's going to get it...And bam! Out of nowhere. Out of nowhere, Motor Shark!"

Motor Shark ($4.90) prevailed by three-quarters of a length over Jetta Flys.

The victory in the Announcer Idol race kicked off a five-win night for Shepherd, who teamed up with his younger brother Patrick for a pair of Sunday night successes with Tim T ($3.50) and Windemere Stanley ($14). He also won two races for the Isabelle Darveau stable with Haunto ($4.50) and Talk Balk ($10.40).

Meanwhile, Patrick completed a training grand slam with Billy Davis Jr. driving his other winners, including freshly claimed Sky Desperado ($5) in the $7,500 Preferred 3 Pace and Strokin ($8.30). Davis had a four-win night of his own, also sweeping the early Daily Double.

The Shepherd siblings currently hold the lead in the track's driving and training standings this year -- Robert with 50 driving victories and Patrick with 20 training wins.

Defending Announcer Idol champion Brian West, Y108's Afternoon Drive Host, will close out the media announcing competition next Sunday, March 22. Voting will commence the next day as fans select their favourite race calls from the nine contestants.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Flamboro Downs.


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