Sophomores Star In Turner Stakes At Truro

Saulsbrook Ian winning at Truro Raceway
Published: May 21, 2023 05:12 pm EDT

The stakes season kicked off at Truro Raceway on a rainy Sunday afternoon (May 21) with three divisions of the Donnie & George Turner Memorial Pace for three-year-olds.

Despite a trailing tier start from post nine, Saulsbrook Ian (pictured above) finished well in front of his rivals in the $10,900 colt and gelding division, equalling his lifetime mark of 1:57.3 over the 'good' track for trainer Jamie Smith and Red Oak Stables of Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Driven by Corey MacPherson, Saulsbrook Ian swept up from mid-pack after a 30-second opening quarter and cleared early leader No Boats On Sunday (Myles Heffernan)  approaching the three-eighths mark. The Betterthancheddar-Atlanta Girl gelding led the way to the half in 1:00 and began to open up on the field with back-to-back :28.4 final quarters, expanding his margin to nine lengths by the wire. No Boats On Sunday followed in second and Howmac Charmer (David Dowling) rounded out the top three.

Sent postward as the 9-2 third choice off a successful season's debut in Charlottetown on May 6, Saulsbrook Ian paid $11.20 to win here. The victory was his fourth in a dozen career starts.

The win gave MacPherson as stakes double as he topped a Turner field of fillies with the season-debuting Maritime star Our Girl Annie taking her $10,400 division in 1:59 flat.

Our Girl Annie winning at Truro Raceway

MacPherson sent Our Girl Annie second-over from mid-field down the backstretch the second time and rallied three-wide to take over command off the final turn. The 4-5 favourite prevailed by three-quarters of a length with Singing Ramona (Gilles Barrieau) escaping from the pocket late to get up for second while Redland Misspretty (Ken Murphy) settled for third after leading the fillies through fractions of :27.4, :59.1 and 1:28.3. 

Our Girl Annie, who was awarded divisional honours in her rookie campaign by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owners Association, paid $3.90 to win.

Trained by Eddy Doucette, the Arthur Blue Chip-Windsun Kenda filly returned to her winning ways after capping off a $45,669 freshman season with back-to-back victories in the Atlantic Breeders Crown and Maritime Breeders Stakes. She improved her lifetime record to 7-1-2 from 10 starts for breeder Blaine Thibeau and co-owners Jessica and Jennifer Thibeau, all of Kensington, P.E.I.

Woodmere Clara was the fastest Turner winner of the day with an impressive 1:56.1 career-best performance over the improving track conditions in the final filly division for trainer/driver Clare MacDonald.

Woodmere Clara winning at Truro Raceway

Woodmere Clara gave way to Shadow Of A Lady (Paul Langille) in the first turn, but retook the lead at the :28 first quarter mark and never looked back. She fired off middle splits of :56.3 and 1:25.4 then held clear of the the big favourite, 1-4 shot Rock N Roll Cays (Ken Murphy), who went first-up to take second and chased the winner 1-1/2 lengths behind to the wire. Woodmere Clara paid $8.50 to win as the 3-1 second choice. Rosetown Mary (Corey MacPherson) finished third.

Woodmere Clara broke her maiden in her final start of her two-year-old season last October at Truro Raceway and has now gone three-for-three to start her sophomore campaign. Clare MacDonald co-owns the Hes Watching-Sounds Perfect filly  with Rinaldo MacDonald of Antigonish, P.E.I., Phonsie MacEachern of Port Hood, N.S., and Ian Tate of St Andrews, N.S.

In other Sunday harness action, Batterup Hanover continued to dominate the top pacing class at the new meet, besting reigning Truro Horse of the Year American Risk in the $2,500 Winners Over for the third week in a row.

American Risk quickly crossed to command by the first turn and set fractions of :28.3, :59.2 and 1:28.4, but Batterup Hanover later took aim down the backside during the final lap and the favourite progressed into the pocket heading for home before blowing by the pacesetter for the 1-1/4-length victory in 1:57.1. 

Paul Langille trains and drives the five-year-old Betting Line gelding, a career winner of 15 races, for owners Debbie Francis, Rosanne Langille, Douglas Lowthers and Chantel Langille.

Batterup Hanover ($2.80) was just one of five winning drives on the 12-race card for Paul Langille, who also sent out Rusty Riley ($4.40) and Preceptor ($4.80) from his own stable. Truro's defending driving champion also helped Danny Romo complete a training triple of his own as Langille drove Woodmere Amora ($21.20) and Miramichi Walkter ($24.10) to upset victories. Romo drove his stable's other winner, Imalookertoo ($3.80).

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results - Truro Raceway.

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