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Yorkton Offers Mixed Bag Of Winners

TravisCullenYorktonJune1edi.jpg

Published: June 2, 2012 12:03 am ET

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After rain washed away a week of racing, the standardbreds were back on the track at Cornerstone Raceway in Yorkton Friday.

And it was a full night of racing with 10 races on the card, every one of them with a full field of eight horses.

Through nine races nine different drivers had taken horses to the winner's circle. Then, finally, in the 10th Manitoba driver Travis Cullen made it a pair taking eight-year-old Cambest gelding Parker Hall to the top spot in 2:03 over Feisty Nukes, with George Isman in the cart, and Philip Giesbrecht with Everybody Dance.

Cullen said the parade of different drivers getting to the winner's circle wasn't a surprise on a night when the races were highly competitive.

"Everybody's out there for the same reason, to make some money, to win the race," he said.

Early in the season it is also harder to gauge how races might play out as Cornerstone Raceway attracts drivers from Manitoba before their race season starts, as well as Saskatchewan drivers.

Some horses are also coming in from other tracks, while others are coming back into action after a winter off, so trends are not yet known, said Cullen.

"Half of mine have been off," he said, adding "two, or three were [racing in Alberta] and a couple in Ontario. I was in Alberta myself and did pretty good."

As for the win with Parker Hall, Cullen said, "I was expecting big things from that horse," noting the eight-year-old gelding has a lifetime-best time of 1:54.4. It also helped Parker Hall drew the rail position.

"Post position is the biggest advantage in racing," he said, "especially if you've got a front-ender."

And that is how Cullen attacked the race, taking Parker Hall to the lead from the start pole and leading throughout.

"That was the plan, to go right to the front," he said, adding it was the strategy he and co-owner Ken Hanson had determined for the race.

Cullen said he expects a good summer from Parker Hall.

"I'm hoping, as long as he holds up. He's been a great horse in his life," he said.

As for his earlier win, Cullen had topped the fourth race of the night with nine-year-old Albert Albert gelding Louisville Elmer over Brian Gary, with Loneridge Lad, and Richard Remillard, with I Kan Dee.

"I never drove the horse before," noted Cullen, adding the 2:05.2 winning time was not that good, "but the time doesn't matter as long as you get the money. The time's not on the cheque."

Friday's Open Pace was won by 9-1 upsetter Outlaw Spider and Glenn LeDrew in 2:00.2. James Jeffers conditions the six-year-old Freedoms Pass gelding for Manitoba owner Bev Huys. Terrorizer and Philip Giesbrecht finished five and a half lengths behind while Modern Look and Ron Cullen rounded out the top three finishers.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Yorkton Exhibition.

(Trot Insider exclusive story and photo by Calvin Daniels)


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