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Sophomores Star In Maritime Breeders Finals

Published: June 25, 2011 8:30 pm ET

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Honey Do Jigtime and Putnams Art were in the spotlight at Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday thanks to victories in the Maritime Breeders Finals for sophomore pacers while Abby Best, the reigning champion of the Erwin Andrew Memorial Pacing Series, helped kick off the 2011 edition of the series.

Fresh off a victory in her elimination for trainer-driver Clare MacDonald, Honey Do Jigtime wired the field of three-year-old pacing fillies in their $27,425 Maritime Breeders Final, the Ken Starratt Memorial.

Leaving from the inside post position, the daughter of Coasttocoast Yankee-Gold Luck took control of the field forcing Moon Landing (Gilles Barrieau) into the pocket and leaving Force Of Fire (Todd Trites) wide and parked out to the quarter pole in :28.4.

Honey Do Jigtime proceeded to the half in :58 and three-quarters in 1:28.4 with stablemate and elimination winner Forthena (Kenny Arsenault) angling wide around the fading Force Of Fire.

However, Honey Do Jigtime could not be caught, even with Moon Landing slipping up the rail. She prevailed in a career-best 1:57.4 by three-quarters of a length over that rival with Forthena grabbing third.

Honey Do Jigtime paid $4.30 to win as the 4-5 favourite. The bay filly was purchased for $3,000 at the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Select Sale in 2009 by Morah Kerr of Greenfield and Phonsie MacEachern of Port Hood, N.S.

“It was [a great win] and this ownership group has been waiting quite a while to get a Maritime Breeders win,” said MacDonald amidst a bustling winner’s circle celebration. “They’ve won just about everything else, but this one has always escaped them. I guess I finally made them happy.

“This filly had a big handicap last year. She was growthy and she couldn’t leave. She bothered one knee pretty good,” explained MacDonald. “She trained back this spring tremendously. ‘Do’ kind of [followed] the first few starts and then last week when she drew the rail, I said I’ll take my shot. She went around the first turn perfectly and again tonight.”

Honey Do Jigtime earned her fourth (consecutive) win in five starts this year and eighth win overall in 15 outings. The lion’s share of the purse pushed her bankroll to over $42,000.

Elimination winner Putnams Art made a last minute dash for the cash in the $22,840 Maritime Breeders Final for sophomore pacing colts, the Doug Harkness Memorial, and got up to score the victory for trainer-driver Bernard McCallum.

Pictonian Souwest (Gary Chappell) jumped out to an early four length lead during thre :28.3 opening quarter and led the strung out field to half in :57.3, followed by three-quarters in 1:26.3.

Meanwhile, Putnams Art launched a first over attack from fourth and kicked into high gear in the stretch to come on for the career-best 1:56 victory, beating out a quick-closing Putnams Power (Danny Romo) by half a length. Pictonian Souwest finished third.

"They were rolling [on the front end] pretty good so I just crossed over," said McCallum in the winner’s circle. "It takes him awhile to get rolling, but when you move him he doesn’t know when the end of the mile is. He goes big."

Putnams Art paid $8.20 to win as the 3-1 third choice in the field. The son of Southwind Balsam-Raisin Ruckus moved from Ontario to the East Coast after being purchased at the end of May by Wesley Patriquin of Debert, N.S. Unraced at two, the bay gelding has won a third of his 15 starts this year while banking over $30,000.

The first leg of the Erwin Andrew Memorial Pacing Series was also featured on the Saturday program with two-time winner Abby Best kicking off the 2011 edition. The 10-year-old Cambest-Armbro Seismic mare went wire-to-wire to win the first of three $2,675 divisions in 1:58.3. Driven by Todd Trites for trainer-owner Angus MacLean, Abby Best held off Expressly Hanover (Ryan Ellis) for the victory by a neck while Totally Priceless (Mark Bradley) finished over three lengths back in third. She paid $3.60 to win for the third time in nine 2011 outings. The winner over $115,000 lifetime now boasts 57 triumphs on her lifetime record.

Kaitlyn Rose and driver Marc Campbell rallied home off second over cover to capture the second division in 1:59.1 by one length at odds of 7-1. Allamerican Token (Brain MacPhee) closed from last to place and first over Troxel Hanover (Earl Smith) finished third. Ralph Sweet of O'Leary, P.E.I. owns the eight-year-old daughter of Full Scholarship-A Js Nuke, who earned her fifth win in 16 starts this year. The 27-time winner has banked over $105,000 lifetime.

The final division went to driver Walter Cheverie and favourite J K Special, who front-stepped her way to victory lane in 1:58.2. The six-year-old Cammibest-J K Beauty mare won by a length and a half over pocket-sitter La Pensee Du Jour (Jason Hughes) and Rof Rayson High (Sam Hodgin). She paid $4.60 to win for the third time in 12 starts this year. Joseph Smallwood owns, trains and bred the winner of 18 races and over $70,000.

For results from Saturday’s harness racing card, click on the following link: Saturday Results – Charlottetown Driving Park.

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