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Big Night For Barrieau At EPR

Published: September 2, 2011 8:52 pm ET

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Leading driver Gilles Barrieau dominated an action packed program of harness racing at Exhibition Park Raceway on Friday evening scoring five wins on the 13-race card, including the first of two $10,320 Atlantic Sires Stakes ‘A’ divisions for three-year-old pacing colts with his own trainee The Eagle.

Taking command from the inside post position in the first ATSS division, favourite The Streak (Todd Trites) posted an opening quarter of :29.3, followed by a half in :59.4 with The Eagle lifting off from his fourth position and moving up on the outside. The Eagle and Barrieau took over command during the third interval and soared to a five length lead as he hit three-quarters in 1:29.3. The son of Justice Denied-Hot Asset then coasted to the wire for his second straight stakes win in 2:00 flat. Pictonians Souwest (Mike Stevenson) rallied three-wide from last to finish two and three-quarter lengths behind in second while Putnams Art (Bernard McCallum) finished third.

The Eagle paid $6.20 to win as the 2-1 second choice. Fresh off a win in a gold division of the Joseph O’Brien Memorial Stake on August 20 at Charlottetown Driving Park, the bay colt improved his seasonal record to 3-3-1 in 11 starts. His 2011 earnings climbed to $16,336 thanks to today’s win while his overall bankroll surpassed the $40,000 mark for owners Michael Blanchard of New Glasgow, N.S. and Barry Blanchard of Kars, N.B.

After getting away sixth in the second split, Maritimer and driver Danny Romo rallied three-wide at the third quarter mark to grab the 2:02 victory with Woodmere Ultimate (Barreau) finishing three-quarters of a length behind and Neigh Monster (Robert Laffin) back in third while two horses, early leader and breaker Woodmere Sandman (Stephen Trites) and the favoured first over attacker Riverdale Jack (Mike Stevenson), were involved in an accident taking them out of contention.

Maritimer paid $5 to win as co-favourite. George Rennison trains the son of Full Scholarship-Country Chill for owners Barbara Pearl of Hants Co, N.S. and Whim Farms of Rothesay, N.B. Having won his only race as a freshman, Maritimer has gone on to earn four more wins, two seconds and two thirds in nine starts this year, pushing his career bankroll to over $18,000.

Turntherigaround and driver Gord Hennessey converted from the pocket for a 13-1 upset the lone $2,000 ‘B’ division, winning in 1:59.2 by one and a quarter lengths over pacesetter Island Inspiration (Barrieau). Next was Shadowcross Cliff (Todd Trites), who finished over 15 lengths in arrears. The three-year-old gelded son of Arcane Hanover-C A Lady, who is now two-for-11 in his career, is owned trained by Sean Dooley for the Dooley Boys Racing Stable of Halifax, N.S.

Exhibition Park Raceway also hosted a $7,500 invitational pace, named in honour of the late Milton Downey, a well-known Port City businessman who operated a prominent stable of racehorses and had a major impact on the harness racing industry in Saint John over the years.

Joseph Michael rallied three-wide off second over cover and collared leader Oakmont for a 9-1 upset in the Milton Downey Memorial Pace.

As Tuff As Nails (Marc Whebby) went head-to-head with favourite Oakmont (Danny Romo) on the front end during opening fractions of :28.2 and :57.2 while Trites sent Joseph Michael to the outside from fourth. With As Tuff As Nails beginning to tire a the field approached three-quarters in 1:29.4, Trites fanned his charge into the three-path and eventually wore down the persistent Oakmont for the upset win. Joseph Michael prevailed by a quarter length in 1:57.3 over the pacesetter and Formal Affair (Mark Bradley), who sprinted home in :26.4 from the back of the pack.

Joseph Michael paid $20.30 to win. Eric Wilson trains the four-year-old son of Jennas Beach Boy-Jaydexter, who has won six of his 21 starts this year, for Capital A Investments Ltd. of Lower Cambridge, N.B. and Valerie Phelan of Geary, N.B. The win pushed Joseph Michael’s lifetime earnings over the $70,000 mark.

J K Special and Onehotvett doubled up in the Erwin Andrew Memorial Series with for open mares, which continued on Friday with two $3,062 divisions.

J K Special, a winner of her June 25 series division at Charlottetown Driving Park, bested Abby Best (Todd Trites) by a nose in the first division, holding off the quick closing veteran mare for the 1:59.1 triumph. Walter Cheverie drove the six-year-old daughter of Cammibest-J K Beauty to her seventh victory in 20 seasonal starts for trainer-owner Joseph Smallwood of Stratford, P.E.I. Hello America (Mike Downey) finished nine lengths back in third.

After leaving from the outside six-hole, Onehotvett and Barrieau dominated the second division en route to a 1:58.4 victory by a final margin of one and a quarter lengths. Slight favourite Grace And Harv (Mike Stevenson) and Tobins Paradise (Todd Trites) followed along in second and third. Wade Sorrie trains the six-year-old daughter of Goliath Bayama-Vals Vett, now nine-for-29 this year, for Walter Simmons of Summerside, P.E.I. The black mare won her July 24 series division at Truro Raceway.

Barrieau also earned victories aboard Shiretown Shark for trainer Dr. Hugh Baird, his own pupil Cecils Express, and Hustler Hall for Gary Wright to complete his five-bagger.

For results from Friday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Friday Results - Exhibition Park Raceway.

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