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Barrieau Cleans Up In Atlantic Finals

Published: October 11, 2015 1:30 pm ET

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The Thanksgiving weekend would not be complete without the Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships, and on Sunday afternoon, Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park hosted the Sires Stakes finals, which were dominated by Gilles Barrieau.

The Saint John, N.B. horseman capped off the 2015 Atlantic Sires Stakes season by driving five of the Atlantic Breeders Crown champions. He swept the two-year-old pacing divisions with his own trainee, filly Howmacscanasta, and the Stephen Mason-trained gelding Jackson K Down. He also swept the Open pacing events with the mare General Luckypercy and D Gs Camme, both from the Jackie Matheson stable, and finally closed out the card aboard defending Atlantic Breeders Crown champion Dixieland Band in the Glamour Boy division for trainer Kevin MacLean.

"Jeez, it's been really good!" said Barrieau at the end of the program. "It's been a great summer and it's been a great ride with all these nice colts and fillies. I can't thank the owners and trainers enough. It's been a great ride."

Two-Year-Old Trot

Glencove Zani kicked off the stakes action with a 14-1 upset victory in the $9,000 Meridian Farms-sponsored final as he went wire-to-wire in 2:06.2 for veteran driver Len McGuigan and trainer/owner Ed Smallwood of Stratford, P.E.I.

Da Master and Time Warp broke stride behind the gate and then Cardigan Jack self-destructed when the wings opened, but Glencove Zani left well for the lead from post three with Howmac Gypsy in the two-hole and 9-5 favourite Craigh Na Dun advancing into third-place. Glencove Zani posted evenly rated panels through the first half-mile in 1:04 and kept the pocket-pulling Howmac Gypsy at bay down the backstretch towards three-quarters in 1:35.3. Glencove Zani continued to lead the trotters into the stretch en route to the career-best triumph with Howmac Gypsy chasing in second while Craigh N Dun broke stride. Da Master managed to catch the field after his early miscue and came on for third-place.

Entering the race off a Lady Slipper Stakes victory on Oct. 4 at Summerside, the Bo W-Butterscotchsundae colt now has two wins in eight starts and earnings of $11,401. Carl Bagnall bred Glencove Zani, who sold for $2,000 at the Nova Scotia Provincial Yearling Sale.

Three-Year-Old Trot

After winning an early battle for the lead over divisional point leader J K Blaze, the 4-5 favoured filly Paymenowpaymelater went all the way to take the $9,000 three-year-old trot, which was also sponsored by Meridian Farms.

J K Blaze and Mike Stevenson established the early lead from post four while driver Marc Campbell left from post six with Paymenowpaymelater looking to drop into the pocket spot. However, Paymenowpaymelater found herself parked out and drove on to challenge for the lead, eventually clearing at the :28.4 first quarter mark. Paymenowpaymelater then cruised through middle splits of :59.3 and 1:31.1 while Windemere Ty stalled first over prompting Phoenician to fan wide down the backstretch. J K Blaze was the leading filly's closest pursuer down the stretch though, but Paymenowpaymelater was strong to the wire, winning in 2:02.3 by two and a half lengths. J K Blaze held on at the pylons in a three-across finish for second-place. Suicide Shift finished third over Phoenician.

"I was kind of hoping to drop right in behind Mike, but the hole wasn't there so I kind of kept going with her," said Campbell of his racing strategy in the first quarter. "I hadn't left with her a whole lot this year -- we kind of covered her up and kept her fresh. Today was 'go' day."

The daughter of Northern Bailey and Credibility notched her fourth straight stakes win and she is now seven-for-10 on the year for trainer Earl Watts. Paymenowpaymelater was bred by Eldred Nicholson and Peter Buchanan and was purchased for $6,700 from the Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale by Wade Peconi of Stanchel, P.E.I.

The consistent trotting filly, who had missed the Atlantic Breeders Crown last year due to sickness, now boasts a career bankroll of $58,590.

"I just love her gait, she's very good to drive," praised Campbell. "She's a very nice trotter; she trots clean and she trots nice. You can drive her like a pacer most days."

Two-Year-Old Filly Pace

After a spotty summer campaign, Howmacscanasta was on her best behaviour and romped to an open-length victory in the $22,000 championship for freshman pacing fillies.

There was a three-across battle for the lead into the first turn as Howmac Annie, West River Ambyr and Scarlet Saphire left together. With the inside post advantage, Howmac Annie secured the leading role over top divisional point-earner and 6-5 favourite West River Ambyr. Glory Jean got away third while Scarlet Saphire took back to fourth.

After the 29-second first quarter, Howmacscanasta advanced first over from fifth and challenged early leaver Howmac Annie past the half in :59.4 before clearing to command down the backstretch.

Howmacscanasta began to draw away from the field as she passed three-quarters in 1:29 while Brookdale Liz, who had followed her cover, dropped into the gaping pocket and West River Ambyr tipped to the outside. However, Howmacscanasta continued to poured it on down the lane and was a dominant winner in 1:59.2. West River Ambyr finished 10 lengths behind in second over Brookdale Liz.

"She's been a frustrating filly all summer long and I finally got her the way I wanted her," noted trainer/driver Gilles Barrieau after the race. "It took awhile, but patience paid off, I guess, so hopefully she'll be good from here on out."

Howmacscanasta entered the Atlantic Breeders Crown off a flat 2:02 qualifying mile following a pair of miscues in September stakes. When she wasn't breaking stride this season, Howmacscanasta was winning, earning four victories in nine starts for owners Wayne Mac Rae of Fall River, N.S. and Robert Tilley and Lester Mott of Saint John, N.B. The championship victory boosted her earnings to $25,462.

A daughter of Articulator out of Stonebridge Capri, Howmacscanasta was bred by Gord McDonald and was purchased for $6,500 by her connections at the Atlantic Classic Yearling Sale.

Open Mares Pace

Driven by Barrieau for the Matheson siblings, General Luckypercy earned her 50th career win in the $3,000 Invitational while defeating favourite Ramblinglily in 1:57.3.

General Luckypercy left from post one and forced Best Risque to settle behind her in the early going. Once the top two mares settled in line, Ramblinglily swept from third to first by the 28-second first quarter mark and continued to lead past the half in :57.3 and three-quarters in 1:28.1. However, Barrieau tipped General Luckypercy outside as they entered the homestretch and wore down Ramblinglily for the one and three-quarter length victory while Best Risque closed along the pylons and held onto third-place.

The nine-year-old Blissfull Hall-Periella Hanover mare is now a six-time winner from 15 seasonal starts. She is campaigned by Jackie and Jodi Lynn Matheson of Charlottetown.

Two-Year-Old Colt Pace

The Downey Stables' Jackson K Down and K D Overdrive swept the top two spots in the their championship as the former freshman pacer overtook the latter down the lane in a 1:58.2 mile. Barrieau was aboard the Stephen Mason trainee to add another Atlantic Breeders Crown trophy to his collection.

Jackson K Down left from post two, but gave way to the parked out K D Overdrive and catch-driver Marc Campbell during the :28.1 first quarter. The stablemates remained one-two through middle splits of :58.1 and 1:28.2 while divisional point leader Heart And Soul made a non-threatening move in the outer flow. As the freshman pacers turned for home, Barrieau pulled 1-2 favourite Jackson K Down from the pocket and swept by K D Overdrive for their fourth consecutive victory. Magical Cowboy followed in third.

With a near perfect nine-for-10 record, the homebred Camystic-Village Jericho gelding has amassed over $40,000 for his Quispamsis, N.B. connections.

Three-Year-Old Filly Pace

Peaking at the perfect time, even-money favourite Dustylane Msvickie took the lead during the opening quarter and never looked back, giving Campbell another championship victory.

Dustylane Msvickie overtook early leaver Elm Grove Joanette down the backside and carved out fractions of :27.4, :57.3 and 1:26.4 while drawing away from her rivals for the wide-open win in 1:57.1. Three Pink Bows came on for second over Elm Grove Joanette, both finishing more than nine lengths behind the winner.

Dustylane Msvickie made just one start as a freshman and failed to win an Atlantic Sires Stakes event this summer, but just made the championship with a pair of top-three finishes in the program. With the change in season benefiting the Ameripan Gigolo-Shes A Doll filly, she was riding a three-race winning streak coming into the Atlantic Breeders Crown.

"She had some allergy issues all summer and the fall weather just came and it really, really helped her; the allergies kind of went away. It's just made a big difference in her," explained Campbell. "She's just starting to learn how to leave. She's got a 63 inch hopple and she's a really big mare, but she's got it together now."

Dustylane Msvickie's richest win to date pushed her career earnings to $28,401 for the Pugwash, N.S.-based Grayland Farm, who acquired the Meridian Farms-bred filly for $4,200 as a yearling from the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Sale. She now has six wins in 20 starts this year.

Open Pace

Being parked outside worked out to D Gs Camme's advantage as he avoided a break by the leading Silverhill Shadow and went on to win the $5,000 Invitational for the hot-handed Barrieau.

Silverhill Shadow emerged from a three-way tussle off the gate with the lead over 3-5 favourite Clic K while D Gs Camme remained parked out and pressed the pace through a :27.3 opening quarter. It was then that Silverhill Shadow took a bad step at the quarter-pole and broke stride, shuffling the field. Clic K came through into the passing lane while the rest of the trailers were able to get by around Silverhill Shadow. D Gs Camme came away with the lead and proceeded to the half in :57.2 and three-quarters in 1:26.3 while drawing away from the rest of the pack en route to the victory in 1:56.1. The Blissfull Hall-Cam Me Kindly gelding won by four and three-quarter lengths over Clic K, who held on for second-place just ahead of All Turain to complete a 1-2 finish for the Jackie Matheson stable.

Matheson's father Ron shares ownership of the five-year-old pacer, who has won half of his 12 seasonal starts, with local owners Quentin Bevan, Hal Bevan, and Tom Clark.

Three-Year-Old Colt Pace

Barrieau closed out Atlantic Breeders Crown Day with his fifth victory in the featured stakes and seventh total on the 15-race program as he guided defending champion Dixieland Band wire-to-wire in the finale.

The Glamour Boy divisional leader and 2-5 favourite carved out panels of :27.3, :57 and 1:26.3 before turning for home with a three-length advantage on his foes. Dixieland Band maintained his leading margin down the stretch as he romped to the 1:57.2 triumph, his 12th in 17 starts this year for the Kevin MacLean stable. Proven Desire, the outside eight-hole assignee with Campbell aboard, survived an overland trip to finish second over Ultimatelyhandsome.

"I had the five-hole and the other colt [Proven Desire] -- he's a real nice colt too -- he had the the eight-hole and I was hoping he would run into traffic like that," said Barrieau. "You know, anytime you draw eight, you're going to get some sort of traffic. That's where I was kind of looking to see where he was spotted, but like I said, the trip turned out real good."

Covered in mud due to the wet weather conditions, Barrieau said the track held up well today.

"The track is not bad actually, just water laying over top of the earth," he explained. "I'd give it a couple of seconds off probably, but no, the track's been good all afternoon with that little bit of rain we got."

Dixieland Band (Ameripan Gigolo-Divine Justice) now boasts 20 wins from 28 starts lifetime and has amassed $115,548 in career earnings for owners Reginald MacPherson and David Mackenzie, both of Stratford, P.E.I., and Aaron Mackenzie of Winsloe, P.E.I. The $8,100 Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Sale purchase was bred by William Andrew.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Charlottetown Driving Park.

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