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Atlantic Champions Crowned

Published: October 12, 2014 12:47 pm ET

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The top performers from the 2014 Atlantic Sires Stakes season invaded Charlottetown Driving Park this afternoon (Sunday, Oct. 12) for Atlantic Breeders Crown Day, which featured six divisional championships worth over $100,000 in purses.

Tyne Valley ($5.50) kicked off the Atlantic Breeders Crowns winning the $9,000 Two-Year-Old Trot, sponsored by Meridian Farms, in wire-to-wire fashion for driver Mike Stevenson and trainer Bill Roloson.

With three scratches in the field -- including division point leader Paymenowpaymelater -- another Roloson trainee Oceanview Roz drew in off the Also Eligible list to make up the six-horse final, but it looked to be a three-horse race as they turned for home.

Track record holder Tyne Valley had led through fractions of :32, 1:04 and 1:35.1 with Suicide Shift following and J K Blaze moving first up in third while the rest of the trotters followed multiple lengths in arrears after making breaks. Down the stretch, Tyne Valley held off Suicide Shift at the pylons as she drifted out and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 2:06.3. J K Blaze followed in third.

Bred by Bill Andrew, the Northern Bailey-Tymal Maroma filly was a $2,700 Atlantic Classic Sale yearling and is owned by her trainer along with Scott Roloson of Belfast, P.E.I and Kristi Pickering of Charlottetown. She is now six-for-10 in her career with earnings climbing to $22,290.

Seanchai ($3.30) survived a first over journey to win the $9,000 Three-Year-Old Trot, also sponsored by Meridian Farms, giving driver Jason Hughes his first Atlantic Breeders Crown trophy.

Dusty Lane Galaxy took the lead off the gate over defending champion Phantom Beau, but division point leader B J Comanche was on the move early, bypassing a spot in the two-hole and clearing to command by the :30.1 first quarter mark. As he led the field past the half in 1:01.3 and to three-quarters in 1:32.4, Hughes sent the Nicholas Oakes-trained Seanchai first over from fifth and gained the upper hand coming off the final turn. Seanchai put away B J Comanche in the stretch and drew away for the 2:04 triumph. Dusty Lane Galaxy finished over four lengths behind in second and J K Hustler, who drew in after Southfield Shadow was scratched, finished third.

"I just wanted to get him off the gate and get him around the turn there and then get him up into the hunt," said Hughes of his racing strategy. "I just wanted to edge up and I knew he had it then."

"Jason gave him a great drive and he's a tough horse," said winning owner Derek Buntain of Buntainwood Farms.

Seanchai concluded his winless, nine-race freshman campaign with a runner-up finish in last year's Atlantic Breeders Crown. The Meridian Farms-bred gelding now has three wins in a row and four from seven sophomore starts with his career earnings climbing to $23,170. The son of Northern Bailey out of King Kong Kate is a full brother to the Roloson-trained, two-time Atlantic Breeders Crown champion Oceanview Kate.

Woodmere Dancenart ($12.20) and trainer/driver Clare MacDonald rallied home off cover to prevail in a four-across finish in the next $22,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown for two-year-old pacing fillies.

Dusty Lane Bria cleared division point leader Jann Down with Woodmere Dancenart getting away third through a :29.1 first quarter. Dusty Lane Bria continued to lead the fillies through middle splits of 1:00 and 1:30.1 with Woodmere Articblue advancing first over from sixth and Woodmere Dancenart able to move out on her back before fanning wide and out-sprinting her rivals to the wire in 2:00.1. Finishing three-quarters of a length behind, Woodmere Articblue edged out the pylon-skimming Jann Down and pacesetting Dusty Lane Bria for the runner-up honours.

"She wears earplugs and halfway down the stretch behind the gate she gave her head a jerk and she pulled her earplugs out," note MacDonald after the race. "I was kind of a passenger at times and had to fight pretty hard to keep her in a hole. Anyways, it worked out. Mike Stevenson's mare [Swift Taylor] gapped off [cover] enough up the backside that she got to take a shot."

An $11,000 Atlantic Classic Sale yearling, the Articulator-Shadow Dancer filly has won six of her 11 starts, including three Atlantic Sires Stakes, to earn $36,791 for owners Morah Kerr of Greenfield, N.S. and Phonsie MacEachern of Port Hood, N.S. She was bred by Wallace Wood.

Two-year-old pacing colt Dixieland Band ($3.00) continued his late season win streak as he captured the following $22,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown.

Driven by Gilles Barrieau, Dixieland Band earned his fifth stakes win in a row for owners Reginald MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford, P.E.I. and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe, P.E.I.

Inside starter Dixieland Band gave way to the leaving Proven Desire off the gate, but was back out for the retake before the :29-second first quarter mark. The Kevin MacLean trainee continued to front the field through middle splits of :59 and 1:29.1 unchallenged as Pictonian Basil could not sustain his first over bid from the backfield. Down the stretch, Dixieland Band held off the late-surging Proven Desire to prevail by a quarter-length in 1:58.3. George finished eight and a half lengths back in third.

"I didn't want to get caught," said Barrieau of his early move. "As it turns out I just retook and took it from there...and he got the job done. It's a real pleasure to drive him. I'm just fortunate to get a nice, live drive like this today."

Dixieland Band was an $8,100 Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Sale purchase and has won six of his eight starts to earn $30,752 in purses. The Ameripan Gigolo-Divine Justice colt, who was bred by Bill Andrew, began his career winning at the Atlantic Sires Stakes "B" level in mid-August before stepping up to win two "A" divisions during his current win streak.

Dubbed "The Queen of Kensington," three-year-old pacing filly division standout Elm Grove Inarush ($2.20) delivered her connections their first Atlantic Breeders Crown trophy with a wire-to-wire romp in the $22,000 championship.

"It's just incredible," said reinsman Mark Bradley on his way back to the winner's circle. "To pick up a drive up like her all year, it's an unreal feeling. They put a lot of trust in me all year and she's come through every week pretty much. She gives it her all every week."

The Coastocoast Yankee-Seawind Alpha filly is trained by Eddy Doucette and co-owned with fellow Kensington, P.E.I. partners Blaine Thibeau, Gordon MacLeod and Grant Mann.

Elm Grove Inarush left from post four and never looked back, leading through panels of :28.3, :59.1 and 1:28.3 en route to the 1:58.1 four and three-quarter length victory. Down the backstretch, Fleurje advanced around outsider Pictonian Sareta, who was parked from the start, and came on for second while defending champion Saulsbrook Alana closed from last to show. Elm Grove Inarush's biggest challenger this season, Lovineveryminute, was scratched.

Elm Grove Inarush was bred by Seawind Amg Stbs 2005 Inc. and purchased for $5,000 at the Atlantic Classic Sale. She has earned $70,484 of her $117,185 bankroll this year with 12 victories in 17 starts, including a pair of track record performances at Inverness Raceway and Summerside Raceway. She closed out her sophomore campaign riding a four-race win steak.

The three-year-old pacing colts put on quite a show in their $22,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown with Arties Magic ($9.40) prevailing in a blanket finish for driver Todd Trites.

"It was pretty exciting," said Trites. "You could throw blanket over a bunch of us there. It was a good race."

Arties Magic rallied three-wide off cover and edged out the pylon-skimming pocket-sitter Hollywoodgigolo, first over Just A Professor and division point leader Rancousy.

Rancousy had turned back early challenger Tobins Fusion through a :27.3 first quarter and led through middle splits of :57.4 and 1:27.3 before being swarmed down the stretch. Arties Magic prevailed in the photo finish in 1:59 flat.

Earl Watts trains the Articulator-Drop Of Magic gelding for breeder Windemere Farms of North Wiltshire, P.E.I. and co-owner Clive Balderston of Moncton, N.B. After going winless in nine freshman starts, he's earned the bulk of his $48,707 bankroll this year with eight wins in 13 starts, including three Atlantic Sires Stakes.

"This colt has been sick and Earl did a good job getting him back for today," said Trites. "I just waited as long as I could and tried to reel them in in the stretch. This horse always shows up and he's been big here for a couple of big races this year. They've done a good job with him."

Charlottetown Driving Park also hosted a pair of $3,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown Invitationals for Open pacers.

Ramblinglily ($2.70) went wire-to-wire in 1:57 in the mares division with For All We Know advancing first over to place ahead of pocket-sitter General Luckypercy. Marc Campbell picked up his fourth winning drive of the day aboard the four-year-old homebred Articulator-Crafty Jewel mare, who is owned by trainer Allan Jones of Riverview, N.B. and Normand Leger of Shediac, N.B. The victory was Ramblinglily's third in a row.

D Gs Camme ($12.90) turned in a flashy 1:53 open length victory in the finale with Astor and Mach Wheel rounding out the top three finishers. The son of Blissfull Hall and Cam Me Kindly posted a winning margin of 11 lengths.

"It's been an awful nice ride all summer long," said driver Gilles Barrieau, who also won the Governor's Plate and swept the Premiers Pace with the Jackie Matheson trainee. "It ended up in a good way so I just want to thank the team."

The locally owned four-year-old pacer's connections include Quentin and Hal Bevan, C. Tom Clark and Matheson's father Ron.

Atlantic Breeders Crown weekend also included $5,000 consolations for the pacing divisions on Saturday night and the winners were: two-year-old filly Elm Grove Joanette in 2:00 for trainer/driver Kenny Arsenault; two-year-old colt Bngs Express and horseman Danny Romo in 2:00.4; three-year-old filly Outrageous Spirit in 1:57.4 with Gilles Barrieau aboard for trainer Jackie Matheson; and three-year-old colt Woodmere Rondevous in 1:57.3 with Mike Stevenson driving for Anthony Stymest.

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

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