Mystic Island Wants The Spotlight


It goes without saying that Canada’s racing commentators and harness racing participants do an excellent job in helping put on the show. Although, on behalf of all the Standardbreds out there, Mystic Island wants to remind everyone that it’s all about the horses… always.

Even though his owner/trainer may have been in front of the camera commenting on some important industry topics, Mystic Island made sure if was still all about him.

Mystic Island, pictured flashing his chompers at Gerry Hudon (Image courtesy Century Downs)

Century Downs Race Secretary and Standardbred Canada Board Member Jackson Wittup recently took some time to catch up with horseman Gerry Hudon, who has made news as of late for making the tough decision to step away from the sulky, and for being a part of the SC-led Rules of Racing Committee.

Wittup did his best to discuss the subjects with Hudon, who is an institution in the western Canadian racing industry, but Mystic Island, who is a playful, gelded maiden, tried his hardest to derail the proceedings.

“He’s a homebred. He’s out of one of my own mares (Sweet Place),” said Hudon, while trying to minimize the effects of Mystic Island’s nips, subtle bites and tugs. “I thought he was going to be a nice colt last year, but he just had to grow up. I think he’s going to be a mediocre sires stakes colt that’s going to make a little bit of money down the road.”

Although the jury is still out in regard to how much Mystic Island has matured, Hudon is confident in his decision to step away from the race bike. He has said that it has been the best thing for him. Hudon even explained to Wittup that the transition away from the sulky has been easier than he had once imagined.

“They told me I couldn’t take any more concussions and it was time to make a decision,” said Hudon, “so I made a decision, and I’m actually quite happy with it. I though not being out there would bother me right off the bat, but it actually hasn’t, and I’m quite comfortable with where I’m at.”

The time away from the bike has allowed Hudon to increase his focus on other racing-related endeavours. He’s still training a successful stable, which definitely keeps him busy enough, but Hudon is now also trying to help streamline the on-track rules for Canadian harness racing, which is no simple feat.

“It’s going well,” Hudon said about his work with the committee. “It is a slow process because there is a lot of stuff that has to be done. It was something that I was all for when I was asked to join. Our industry needs to be unified across Canada and the U.S., and I think that it’s great and I’m enjoying it.”

Hudon agreed that trainers and drivers need rules uniformity, but the public does as well.

“[The public] needs to know pylon rules and interference rules. We have to have that all in line. [The public] is the biggest part of our game, so we must have [consistent rules] in order for then to know that [from track to track] the rules are going to be the same.”

Mystic Island, pictured sneaking a taste of Jackson Wittup’s microphone (Image courtesy Century Downs)
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