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Bigtown Hero Equals Record In Gold Cup & Saucer

Published: August 16, 2014 11:52 pm ET

Last Comment: August 17, 2014 9:03 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Turning for home, it was a two horse breakaway in the 55th running of the $75,000 Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer with Bigtown Hero and driver Brad Forward battling past Wazzup Wazzup in a track and Canadian record equalling performance to close out Old Home Week at Charlottetown Driving Park on Saturday night.

Scott Rocks (Jonathan Drury) fired to the lead, but trial winner and even-money favourite Aracache Hanover (Marc Campbell) was on the move early, sweeping around that foe during a :26.4 opening quarter.

Take It Back Terry (Gilles Barrieau) began to advance from mid-pack with Forward rolling Bigtown Hero out three-wide as they passed the midway mark in :55.2. Meanwhile, Wazzup Wazzup (James MacDonald) swept up from third to take over the lead from Aracache Hanover.

Wazzup Wazzup raced past three-quarters in 1:23.3 with the wide rallying Bigtown Hero advancing into second and those two took off turning for home. Bigtown Hero kept on rolling and edged by Wazzup Wazzup in deep stretch for the 1:50.4 victory. The winner's stablemate, Island Jet (Robert Shepherd), came on from the back of the pack to finish third, over seven lengths behind.

Buried inside going to the half, Forward noted, "I was in trouble. Obviously I had a lot of horse and he was on the iron. I was see-sawing him, I was just [trying to] get out and it was all him from there. [Wazzup Wazzup] was fighting me off, but as soon as I asked this horse down the lane, he just stepped on by.

"It was the most exciting win I've had in my life," said the Newfoundland native as he was hoisted up by winning trainer Rene Allard amidst a packed winner's circle. "Nothing compares to it. Nothing compares to it. This is absolutely the best race I've ever won in my life."

"I thought he could get the job done and obviously he did," said Allard of his driver choice. "He always drove for me in Ontario back when I was there and he won a ton of races for me and I thought Brad was the man for the job and I'm very happy we got it done."

In search of a horse to ship to P.E.I. for the Gold Cup & Saucer, Bigtown Hero was recently purchased by Allard Racing Inc. of Saint-Esprit, Que. and Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation, Que.

"It was a bit of a last minute thing. He raced on Sunday in Chester [Pennsylvania] and I was looking for a horse for this race and bought him on Monday just before the draw," noted the Quebec native, who had been trying to win the historic race since 2009.

"I want to say thank you to all the owners every year who send me horses and buy horses with me," said Allard, who was joined in the winner's circle by his family, including father Michel, making it just 15 minutes prior in time for the race off his flight. "And thank you to everybody who took care of my stable in the U.S. for two weeks while I was gone."

Bigtown Hero paid $17.30 to win as the 7-1 fourth choice. The six-year-old gelded son of American Ideal earned his 22nd career win and increased his bankroll over $150,000.

The complete order of finish was: Bigtown Hero, Wazzup Wazzup, Island Jet, Take It Back Terry, Scott Rocks, Aracache Hanover, the third Allard entry and trial winner Mickey Hanover (Dan Dube), and Shock It To Em (Walter Cheverie).

Undercard Full Of Action

The Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer wrapped up an action-packed double-header on Saturday, which also saw Forward and Allard combine to win the $7,300 final of the Alpine $3,000 Claiming Series for fillies and mares with Lexis Mandy. The seven-year-old Royal Mattjesty mare, who was victorious in a season's-best 1:56, was claimed during last week's second leg by her current connections, including Allard Racing Inc. and Randy Copley of Inverness, N.S. While Neil Bambrick lost that mare, he did win the afternoon's $2,500 consolation with Whitesand Artist, who also paced a season's-best mile of 1:56.4.

Cam Cool completed a sweep of the Alpine Series for horses and geldings and earned his fifth win in a row with a 1:57 seven length romp in the $6,500 final. Also claimed from the second leg of the series, the 10-year-old Camluck gelding was driven by Colin Kelly for trainer Dave Kelly of Cornwall, P.E.I. and co-owner James Perrot of Stratford, P.E.I. Driven by Gilles Barrieau, 11-year-old veteran pacer Long Life prevailed in the $2,500 consolation, halting the teletimer at 1:58.2 for his new owner and trainer Allison Montgomery of Charlottetown.

D Gs Camme was another series sweeper in the Premiers Pace, taking the $15,000 final in a a new season's mark of 1:52.2 by nearly eight lengths. The Jackie Matheson trainee is riding a four-race win streak, which began in the Governor's Plate. Barrieau drove the four-year-old Blissfull Hall gelding, who is locally owned by Quentin and Hal Bevan, Tom Clark and Ron Matheson. He swept from third to first after a snappy opening quarter and never looked back, powering away from early leader Ultimate Luck, who was collared at the finish line by Schooner in a photo for place.

Four-year-old pacing mare Russian Kisses also wrapped up a perfect record in the Spud Island Classic with a 1:55.2 two and a half length triumph in the $12,250 final for the father-son, trainer-driver team of Harold and Robert Shepherd. Robert also co-owns the daughter of Badlands Hanover with Americans Joseph Travis and Forrest Bartlett. She advanced first over after getting away fourth and took the lead approaching the three-quarters mark with General Luckypercy, a round two division winner, rallying off cover for second-place honours and Dirt Track Momma finishing third. The $2,500 consolation was won by the Bambrick-trained Veronicavermillion, who edged out Ramblinglily by a nose in 1:58.1 with Brian MacPhee driving for owner Alex MacPhee of Clyde River, P.E.I.

A Gold Cup & Saucer Consolation starter last year, Junebugs Baby swept off the cover of 10-race streaker Say It Again Sam down the backstretch to win the $2,650 Norman MacPhail Memorial Pace in a season's-best 1:56.4 by a quarter length over the closing Kass Hall, with Eagle Jolt finishing two and three-quarter lengths behind in third. Myles Heffernan picked up the driving assignment behind the five-year-old son of Western Paradise for trainer/breeder Fraser Turnbull of Dominion, N.S. and co-owner John Turnbull Jr. of Glace Bay, N.S.

Island Gigolo and Arties Magic were victorious in a pair of $11,000 Gold divisions of the Joe O'Brien Memorial Stakes also carded on Saturday night for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings.

For the second straight year, Island Gigolo grabbed "Gold" in the O'Brien Stakes, this time converting a pocket trip into a career-best 1:56.1 triumph with Ryan Ellis catch-driving. He defeated the pacesetting Settlement Request by three-quarters of a length, with Dumas Walker finishing eight lengths back in third. Tom Weatherbie trains the Ameripan Gigolo colt for owner/breeder James Pound of Hunter River, P.E.I.

Winless in nine freshman starts, Arties Magic has transformed into a multiple stakes winner in his sophomore campaign and on Saturday he wore down the pacesetting Tobins Fusion before the three-quarters mark and drew off by nearly eight lengths for a new lifetime mark of 1:55.3. Just A Professor overtook Tobins Fusion for the runner-up honours. Earl Watts trains the Articulator colt, who is now six-for-nine on the year, for breeder Windemere Farms of North Wiltshire, P.E.I. and co-owner Clive Balderston of Moncton, N.B.

Trainer/driver Mark Bradley won two of the four $4,800 Grassroots division of the O'Brien Stakes, which were contested on the afternoon card. My Kinda Crazy was seven lengths the best in the fastest split in 1:57 while Hurrah, racing for charity, scored in 1:59. The other Grassroots winners were Tobins Delight with MacPhee aboard in 2:00 and the Mike Stevenson-driven Woodmere Rondevous in 1:57.1.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Afternoon / Night.

August 17, 2014 - 9:03 amCongratulations Brad, it was

Congratulations Brad, it was a great personal enjoyment for me to see you winning the Cup & Saucer.
Knowing you’re always a contender I immediately thought you had a shot when I saw you listed. Both of your wins for the night were nothing short of text book perfect for the way to get the job done.
Again, Congratulations.

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