They're Off And Pacing At The Loop

Standardbreds at The Loop

A new era of harness racing began in Manitoba on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 5) as The Loop launched its inaugural season. 

Baylor Bobby and driver Blake Piwniuk will go down in the history books as winning the first ever race at the new Red River Exhibition half-mile track in Winnipeg.

Trained and owned by Aidan Taggart, the three-year-old Armbro Baylor gelding took the lead after the first lap and never looked back in a $3,300 maiden pace, winning his career debut by 19 lengths in 2:05 over fillies Shirley Scooter (Cory Manning) and Palmers Puddin (Darryl Mason). The track was rated 'good' with a one second variant.

Piwniuk dominated the opening day program with five wins, teaming up with trainer Trevor Williams for three. 

The first sub-2:00 mile at The Loop was put in the books by the streaking pacing mare I Will Do It, who set fractions of :29, :58.4 and 1:29.3 en route to a 1:59.3 track record in the $4,200 feature for Open mares and conditioned pacers. After a perfect mini meet against Miami Fair's top distaffers, the eight-year-old Camluck mare extended her win streak to four for Piwniuk and Williams, drawing 5-1/2 lengths clear of pocket-pursuer Pure Addition (Tyler Grundy) in the stretch with stablemate Lil Screamer (Michel Rey) completing the top three. I Will Do It is owned by Adam Mace of Altona, Michael Williams of Winnipeg and Aurel Vodon of Virden, Manitoba.

Piwniuk also scored victories with five-year-old claiming pacer Tuff As Buff in 2:02.3 and sophomore filly Handcuffed in 2:01.3 -- both on four-race win streaks of their own -- for the Williams stable. The Macnutt, Sask. reinsman closed out the nine-race card with a winning catch-drive aboard the Mathew Howlett trainee Litizor in 2:03.1.

Live harness racing will continue at The Loop every Saturday through the end of October, with a special race date set for Sunday, Sept. 3. Post time will be 2 p.m. until October, when it switches to 1 p.m. 

To view Saturday's complete harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - The Loop

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