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Saturday Night Live On PEI

Published: April 4, 2020 10:57 pm ET

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On Saturday evening (April 4) members of Prince Edward Island's harness racing industry hosted another episode of ‘Virtual Tack Room’, a web series aimed to help shed some light during a dark time in the harness racing industry.

Tonight co-creator and Red Shores hosts Lee Drake and Peter MacPhee along with race historian Jerry McCabe interviewed Corey MacPherson, Wally Hennessey and Dr. Ian Moore.

First to take a trip down memory lane was trainer/driver Corey MacPherson. The island native reminisced upon memories of the second richest Maritime-bred horse in history, Waiting On A Woman. The son of Northern Bailey initiated his career under the care of trainer Mitchell Tierney with MacPherson at the controls during his two and three-year-old seasons. Waiting On A Woman was also named as the Maritimes Trotter Of The Decade.

“I broke the horse at Ronnie Gass’ and it was very early when I turned him the right way and let him trot along. I actually called Mitchell and told him ‘I don’t know how fast we went but this horse is something special. He’s a car. This would have been in about March of his two-year-old year. He showed me so much potential early on, he was smart and he did everything so easy. He was a big long horse and he stretched every inch out of every stride, the push that he had was unbelievable.

“The day he set the track record at Summerside I remember discussing with Mitchell that we were fairly certain he could win the race and Mitchell said to me ‘Do you think if you let him roll along that he could break the track record’ and I told him there was only one way to find out. So that's what we did.”

MacPherson and Waiting On A Woman succeeded in breaking the track record that day, setting a new record of 1:59.3.

The Maritime legend Wally Hennessey was next to take a trip down memory lane. With an illustrious career one might concur it may be difficult for Hennessey to choose just a few memorable moments.

Perhaps one of the most defining moments in his career would be the role he played in the career of Moni Maker.

“Moni Maker was sired by two world champions, I don’t think there was ever any doubt that she wasn't meant to be an amazing horse. I actually made the mistake a couple times of choosing another horse over her early in her career and I almost lost her as a drive. But, the people who drove her instead of me made mistakes too so I was lucky to get her back. She was an amazing horse. What Moni Maker did for a five or six year period was truly something that will never be seen again in the harness racing industry. She actually ruined me because no matter what horse I drive, they will never compare to her.”

Hennessey also reflected on the influence his father had on him. “I never wanted compliments from my father, I wanted him to be hard on me. It made me who I am today."

Another Maritimer now residing in Florida during the cold winter months, Dr. Ian Moore was the final guest on the episode of ‘Virtual Tack Room’.

While Moore has won several major stake races throughout his successful career, the horse whom he accomplished the majority of those stakes wins with would be Shadow Play.

“When Shadow Play won the Little Brown Jug, he showed me more courage and more heart and more desire to win than any other horse I have ever been associated with. He came up lame after the first elimination, at that time it was hard to tell if it was an abscess that had developed or a separation. In the meantime, Dave Miller [driver of Shadow Play] had just set a track record with Lonestar Legend, and when they were interviewing him, they asked him which horse he was going to drive in the final and he said he came there to drive Shadow Play and that’s who he was going to drive. I had the blacksmith put a pair of leather pads, something he had never worn before in his life. Everything ended up in our favour that day - we were lucky we were in the first elimination so we had about an hour and a half in between. Dave came to the horse, I handed him the lines, and said if he takes one lame step just bring him back. He never came back and the rest was history.”

The episode of ‘Virtual Tack Room’ is available below and was produced by Universum Media.

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