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Speedy Saturday At Northside Downs

Published: August 1, 2020 8:00 pm ET

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The Atlantic Sires Stakes rolled into Cape Breton on Saturday (August 1) bringing some of Eastern Canada's best two- and three-year-olds to Northside Downs. And for the second straight week, the stakes races resulted in track record performances.

Saturday's action included a track record even before the card of pari-mutuel harness racing technically started. In a non-betting event before the card, Mabou Ridge was a wire-to-wire winner in a lifetime best 1:59.3 to capture the single $13,600 AtSS event for three-year-old trotters. That's the fastest trotting mile ever at Northside, shaving one fifth of a second off of Buckaroo's 1:59.4 score from August 2018.

Trainer Clare MacDonald was aboard Mabou Ridge (Armbro Barrister - R Rocket Rachel) for breeder-owner Arnold Rankin of Antigonish, N.S. Never worse than second as a freshman with a 7-3-0 record from 10 outings, Mabou Ridge now sports a 2-0-1 record from three sophomore starts. In 13 lifetime appearances, Mabou Ridge has stashed away an impressive $56,491.

MacDonald swept the trotting stakes of the day, guiding Mr Finlay Ridge -- the two-year-old full brother to Mabou Ridge -- to victory in the single $15,380 AtSS event for rookie trotters. Mr Finlay Ridge sat in the pocket behind Fireball Friday (Myles Heffernan Sr.) through early fractions of :32.3 and 1:06.1 before pulling the pocket at the half. The rookie trotted his back half in a solid 1:01.1 to win with ease over Dusty Lane Milo (Adam Merner) and Galeowind (Darryl MacLean) in 2:07.2.

Now two-for-three as a freshman, Mr Finlay Ridge boasts $16,239 in earnings for owners MacDonald, breeder Arnold Rankin and Ian Tate of St. Andrews, N.S.

Two $9,240 AtSS 'A' divisions for three-year-old pacing colts were also featured on the card, with upsets in each. Mr Kelly (Adam Merner) came from fourth and last at the head of the stretch to sweep by his rivals and capture the first AtSS A division in 1:57.2.

Owned by Marsha Knox and Kyla & Wade MacDonald of Stanhope, P.E.I., Mr Kelly picked up his fourth win of the season in six starts, with earnings of $11,071 on the year and $30,390 lifetime. Melissa Rennie trains the gelded son of Rollwithitharry - Yankee Checkers.

The second division went to Harry G, who pounced on dueling rivals Johnnie Jack (Greg Sparling) and Windmere Ryan (Merner) down the backstretch before sprinting away to win by more than 10 lengths in a sharp 1:55.4.

Trainer Paul Langille engineered the winning drive aboard Harry G (Rollwithitharry - Chris N Tel Arrow) for owners Arleen & Chantel Gillis of Truro,N.S. and Christina Gillis of Campbellville, Ont. The win was the fourth on the year for Harry G and seventh lifetime, lifting his earnings over the $25,000 mark.

The single $2,500 AtSS B division went to Theycallmedude, a maiden-breaking winner for driver Clare MacDonald and trainer / owner Todd Hardy in 1:59.2.

Local standout Runaway Mystery had his win streak snapped at four by Euchred, who was coming in off a 20-length victory in his most recent test at Inverness Raceway. With regular pilot Redmond Doucet aboard, Euchred trounced his five rivals in the $1,500 Winners Over Pace by more han 10 lengths with the mile timed in 1:56.2. Accelerator (Greg Sparling) and Runaway Mystery (Harold Leblanc Jr.) completed the top three.

A winner of five starts in 10 tries this year, eight-year-old Euchred (Shadow Play - Tipsy Taters) picked up the 57th win of his career with earnings totalling $137,561. Walter Walker trains for owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S.

To view the results for Saturday's card of harness racing at Northside Downs, click the following link: Saturday Results - Northside Downs.

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