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Atlantic Sires Stakes Wrap Up

Published: October 9, 2016 12:26 pm ET

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The top two and three-year-olds in the 2016 Atlantic Sires Stakes program invaded Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park on Sunday, Oct. 9 for the Thanksgiving weekend harness racing tradition of the Atlantic Breeders Crown Championships.

Two-Year-Old Trot

Pappy Go Go tracked down 3-5 favourite Wicked Nick in the stretch to win the opening $9,000 championship, sponsored by Meridian Farms, for trainer/driver Marc Campbell.

With the inside post advantage, Wicked Nick (Gary Chappell) secured the lead while BJ Lorado (Brian MacPhee) fired from the outside post eight and crossed into the pocket spot through a :30.1 first quarter. As Wicked Nick led the field in front of the grandstand to the half in 1:01.4, Campbell made his move with Pappy Go Go from mid-pack with Mary Leah (Danny MacDonald) tracking his cover. Pappy Go Go confronted the race leader at the third quarter mark in 1:32.2, but Wicked Nick held command around the final turn. However, Pappy Go Go trotted by down the stretch to win in 2:02.4 by two and a quarter lengths with Wicked Nick settling for second and BJ Lorado closing inside for third.

The Tad The Stud-Paging Willy gelding showed improvement winning the championship after breaking stride in five of his eight prior starts. Despite those miscues, he's won five times while banking over $20,000 in purses for owner Grayland Farm of Pugwash, N.S.

"He was really good," said Campbell of the William Andrew-bred trotter, who was a $4,000 yearling acquisition from the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Yearling Sale. "He's been a good colt for us all year. He's had a couple of issues here and there with his gait and everything like that, but we changed some stuff on him lately and he seems to be settling down and kind of turning into a nice racehorse."

Sent postward as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, Pappy Go Go paid $6.10 to win.

Three-Year-Old Trot

Glencove Zani earned his second straight Atlantic Breeders Crown title with a career-best 2:01.2 wire-to-wire effort in the next $9,000 Meridian Farms-sponsored championship for veteran driver Leonard 'Barney' McGuigan and trainer/owner Edward Smallwood of Stratford, P.E.I.

McGuigan left from post four with Glencove Zani to secure the lead while forcing 4-5 favourite Mr Bower (Kenny Arsenault), the divisional point leader with a perfect four-for-four Atlantic Sires Stakes record, to settle in behind past the :29.1 first quarter. Glencove Zani proceeded to carve out middle splits of :59.3 and 1:30.4 before widening his lead in the final eighth of the mile to five and a half lengths. Mr Bower was the runner-up while McGuigan's son Mike steered the winner's stablemate, Oceanview Lefty, to a third-place finish.

Glencove Zani paid $5.50 to win as the 8-5 second favourite.

The Bo W-Butterscotchsundae gelding notched his third win of the season from 10 starts and eighth victory lifetime. Bred by Carl Bagnall of Stratford, P.E.I., Glencove Zani was purchased for $2,000 from the N.S. Provincial Exhibition Sale as a yearling by Smallwood and he has since earned $33,994.

Two-Year-Old Filly Pace

Marc Campbell collected another championship title as Filly Forty Seven fought off her attackers to win the $22,000 two-year-old filly pace final in a career-best 1:58.3.

Goodmorning Ky (Norris Rogers) worked to clear Shesaroyal Cowgirl (Mark Bradley) into the backstretch, but Campbell had Filly Forty Seven on the move early from third and swept past those two fillies at the :28.3 first quarter. After the :58 half, 7-5 favourite Woodmere Dreams (Gilles Barrieau) went on the attack and gained a slight advantage on the outside down the backstretch, but Filly Forty Seven fought back and regained the lead past three-quarters in 1:27.3. Woodmere Dreams didn't let up down the stretch though while Goodmorning Ky closed inside, Kinda Like Her (Jason Hughes) searched for a clear path between horses and divisional point-leader Elektra Express (Ryan Ellis) rallied on the far outside. However, Filly Forty Seven fought them all off to prevail by a quarter-length. Woodmere Dreams secured the runner-up role while Elektra Express finished third over Kinda Like Her.

"She's kind of a one-speed, big mare and she's just getting better and better," said Campbell. "She fought hard today, she fought really hard. She's just kind of starting to put it all together. She's kind of a big, clumsy thing, but she's kind of got it together now."

Sent off as the slight 3-2 second choice, Filly Forty Seven paid $5.10 to win.

She is owned by Darryl MacLean of Winsloe, P.E.I., Katelyn Smallwood of Stratford, P.E.I., Cory Carver of Montague, P.E.I., and Tanya Tremblett of Sydney Mines, N.S.

Bred by Wendell Williams of Ellerslie, P.E.I., the Proven Lover-This Marks A Lady filly was purchased for $8,000 as a yearling from the Atlantic Classic Sale by her connections. She has now won half of her 10 career starts and $37,066 in purses.

Two-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace

Trainer Trevor Hicken earned his very first Atlantic Breeders Crown victory as Tobinator and driver Corey MacPherson delivered on their 4-5 pari-mutuel promise in the $22,000 two-year-old colt pace.

Leaving from post four, Tobinator forged to the front over insider Carters Caper (Clare MacDonald) and divisional point-leader Nameisonthehalter (Marc Campbell) through a :28.3 opening panel and never looked back. The Coastocoast Yankee-Southern Blue gelding led through middle fractions of :59.1 and 1:28.1 while Jigtime Jones (Rinaldo MacDonald) pursued first over and Mighty Cowboy (Darren Crowe) fanned three-wide off his cover to no avail. Meanwhile, Tobinator extended his lead heading for the stretch and cruised home for the 1:58 victory, with Nameisonthehalter closing within a length for the second-place honours over Carters Caper.

After the race, MacPherson noted that his front-end game plan with the favourite worked to perfection.

"I was real happy [with the draw]... I thought that would be a good spot on the gate and I could get to where I wanted to be, which was the front. He raced huge," said MacPherson.

Tobinator is now eight-for-12 in his career with $41,825 in earnings for owners Robin Burke of Ten Mile House, P.E.I., Luke Burke of Pleasant Grove, P.E.I., Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile, Que., and Kent Livingston of Cornwall, P.E.I.

The gelding, who was a $5,000 yearling acquired by the Burkes and Livingston from the Atlantic Classic Sale, completed a sweep of the two-year-old championships for breeder Wendell Williams.

Three-Year-Old Filly Pace

West River Ambyr held off pocket rival All About Madi to win her $22,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown final for trainer/driver Clare MacDonald.

The Antigonish, N.S. horsewoman and her daughter Haley bred the Brandons Cowboy-West River Rosie filly, who improved upon her runner-up result in last year's championship.

With defending champion Howmacscanasta (Gilles Barrieau) breaking stride from the inside, West River Ambyr fired to the lead from post three with All About Madi (Gary Chappell) crossing into the pocket spot from post seven. West River Ambyr set fractions of :29, :59.1 and 1:28.2 while turning back first-over challenger Southfield Sassy (Terry Gallant) and persevered in a win photo with the pylon-skimming All About Madi for the 1:58.4 victory. Every Time (Corey MacPherson), the 9-5 favourite, came on for third.

"It's the place to be today," said MacDonald of her front-end strategy. "Every horse that went to the front seemed to hang on. This little mare has always done her best work off the front."

The divisional point-leader just ahead of All About Madi and Howmacscanasta, West River Ambyr was overlooked by the betting public at 15-1 and returned $33.50 to her backers for a $2 win ticket.

"Her last few starts have been sub-par and she ended up with a few little issues," noted MacDonald, adding that "she raced huge again."

West River Ambyr earned her fifth victory of the year from 14 starts. A 10-time winner lifetime, she now has $74,765 in the bank.

Three-Year-Old Colt & Gelding Pace

Beaus Cowboy made every call a winning one in rein to Adam Merner in the afternoon's final $22,000 championship for the Glamour Boys.

Leaving from post five, Beaus Cowboy worked his way to the lead over insiders Lukes Cowboy (Kenny Arsenault) and Heart And Soul (Clare MacDonald), and carved out panels of :28, :57.4 and 1:27 en route to the 1:56.4 victory. Divisional co-leader Heart And Soul advanced first-over, but Abner The Great (Marc Campbell) fanned three-wide from behind and edged past that rival in the race for place.

"This would be probably the biggest victory I've had," beamed Merner as he headed to the winner's circle. "The colt was awesome. I thank you very much Alex MacPhee and Ronnie Gass. I'm just glad to be along for the ride."

Gass trains while Clyde River, P.E.I.'s MacPhee owns the winner, who was bred by Basil Hunter of Stratford, P.E.I.

"He's always been a fast colt. He had some problems, but he was good today," Merner said of the Brandons Cowboy-Beau Live In Me gelding, whose late-season streak expanded to four straight wins.

Beaus Cowboy has earned a total of six wins from 20 starts throughout the year. Lifetime, he has won nine races and purses totalling $43,915.

Sent postward as the 7-2 second choice to last year's Atlantic Breeders Crown champion Jackson K Down (sixth), Beaus Cowboy paid $9.10 to win.

Open Handicap Trot

Trotting mare Osprey Impact ($5.20), who set the all-age trotting track record of 1:57.2 in her last victory on August 20, turned in another impressive winning mile in this week's $2,500 Open held during the Atlantic Breeders Crown undercard.

Driver Corey MacPherson left from post four with the five-year-old daughter of Federal Flex-Summerhill Hallie and she trotted past insider Striking Lindsey (Gilles Barrieau) around the first turn to reach the quarter pole in :28.2. There was no movement from her rivals following in single-file fashion to the half in :57.3 until Freddie (Marc Campbell) began to advance from the back of the six-pack. With traffic trouble developing in front of him, Freddie charged three-wide in pursuit of the leader, but it was too late for the 1-2 favourite. Osprey Impact had opened up more than three lengths on top by the 1:27.2 third quarter mark and she cruised home for the 1:58.1 victory. Freddie was a hard-closing second over Striking Lindsey.

Osprey Impact now boasts four wins and six second-place finishes from 13 starts this year for owner/trainer Paul Larrabee of Belle River, P.E.I. Her 12th career win bumped her bankroll to $45,825.

Mares Open Handicap Pace

Despite a contested opening quarter, 3-5 favourite Drivingthedragon N ($3.30) held on at the wire to extend her win streak to five in a row competing against the Maritimes' top distaffers in a $3,500 Open on Sunday afternoon.

Leaving from the outside post in the compact field of five, Drivingthedragon N and trainer/driver Jason Hughes raced three-wide around the first turn and pressed on to clear Shadows Mystery (Gilles Barrieau) while Ramblinglily (Ken Murphy) took back to third during a :26.4 first quarter duel. The middle half was less exciting as the mares were content to follow Drivingthedragon N through fractions of :57.1 and 1:27.3. However, they weren't about to let Drivingthedragon N finish without a fight. Ramblinglily closed outside and Shadows Mystery came through inside, but Drivingthedragon N managed to hold on for the 1:56.2 victory by a head.

"I figured they'd play a little hardball today, but she overcame that when she made the front there," said Hughes, who trains the seven-year-old Sutter Hanover-Shark Alert mare for owner Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge, P.E.I. "Ramblinglily gave me [a little scare]. She's just a good mare."

Drivingthedragon N is five-for-six since arriving in P.E.I. this summer and has 19 victories overall for total earnings of $108,178.

Preferred Pace

In another close call, 9-5 third choice Big Surf ($5.70) persevered on the lead in the $5,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown Invitational. The five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Skinny Dip gelding edged out D Gs Camme in the photo finish bringing MacPherson, Hicken and the Burkes back to celebrate in the winner's circle.

Big Surf took the lead from post two and controlled the pace through panels of :27, :56.4 and 1:25 while 4-5 favourite D Gs Camme (Gilles Barrieau) advanced from mid-field into a two-hole opening. Barrieau launched D Gs Camme back out into the stretch, but Big Surf held on by a head for his 19th career victory in 1:54.4. Smiley Bayama (Adam Merner) closed inside for third.

Big Surf now boasts back-to-back wins this month against Red Shores' Preferred pacers and has four victories in 12 starts on the year. Lifetime, he has earned $107,357 in purses.

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


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