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New Brunswick's Marquee Events Nearing

Published: July 29, 2021 12:25 pm ET

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Racing fans are in for a treat on Saturday afternoon (July 31) at Exhibition Park Raceway as Horse Racing New Brunswick presents the Barrieau/McIsaac Stake and Walter Dale Invitational at 1 p.m.

So many storylines go into the blockbuster program that will feature the fastest three-year-old in Maritime racing history, as well as the fastest horse regardless of age in Cape Breton.

Horse Racing New Brunswick will not only hold the richest stakes race of 2021 racing season in the Maritimes, but it will also host Canada's oldest free-for-all event in the Maritimes with the storied Walter Dale Invitational worth $5,000.

Taking a look at the Barrieau/McIsaac, there is star power galore. Gilles Barrieau trainee Dusty Lane Goliath, a winner this season of 1:53.3 over Red Shores Charlottetown, will take rail advantage into the $40,352 stakes for three-year-olds.

Daniel Ross owns the son of Steelhead Hanover who has yet to miss the board this season in six outings, including four victories for Barrieau, who leads the Maritimes in wins this season going into the afternoon card.

Right next door from post two, it's the fastest three-year-old in Maritime history as Marc Campbell will pilot Woodmere Stealdeal for owners Kevin Dorey and Robert Sumarah of Nova Scotia.

He was unbeaten last season in 13 starts and was a winner of over $68,000. He broke numerous track records as a freshman pacer and now holds the Truro Raceway track record for three-year-olds as he sizzled a trip in 1:52.2 with Campbell in tow.

From post three, it's Rotten Ronnie and Redmond Doucet who paced the fastest mile in Cape Breton racing history after beating Woodmere Stealdeal in a 1:53.3 trip last weekend. He has rounded into tip-top shape going into Saturday and will be looking for his fourth win of the season.

Eight horses in total will answer the starter's call in the rich stake, which also includes two fillies in the event. Saturday will also feature the historic Walter Dale Invitational, made famous by Fredericton Raceway, and the tradition carries on this weekend with five starters.

Colin Johnson, who received his early lessons at Exhibition Park Raceway in the horse industry under the watchful eye of veteran horseman Jody Hennessey, brings the early morning favourite into the event.

Johnson, a winner of over $30 million in purse money, and fresh off his 3,500th career training win, brings Ontario invader to Exhibition Park Raceway as National Debt has drawn post two in the $5,000 invite.

Fresh off two straight wins at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa, he will be piloted by David Dowling. He already has six victories this season, including a 1:52.3 win and over $33,000 for owner Francois Morin.

Woodmere Ideal Art, no stranger to the free-for-all circuit this year, will have the inside post for the Ultimate Stables and driver Robert Laffin. He owns the season's best time at Exhibition Park this season on the strength of his 1:55.1 win.

Two other New Bruunswick pacers will start in the classic invite. Blood Money, owned and trained by Dr. Mitch Downey, will have post three. He has a win over the half-mile oval of Saint John in 1:56.3 and has a lifetime mark of 1:50.

Little Manny, owned by Dean and Brad McLaughlin and Mark Taylor, will score from post four for regular pilot Stephen Trites. He was a third-place finisher in the Governor's Plate consolation and paced his own mile in 1:54.1.

Rounding out the group is three-year-old pacer Batterup Hanover, fresh off a second-place effort in the Lindsay Construction Cup while pacing his own mile in 1:52.2 behind Time To Dance.

It's not often in the Maritimes a three-year-old ends up in the free-for-all ranks, but his owners, Debbie Francis, Rosanne Langille and Doug Lowthers and trainer- driver Paul Langille have a special colt. His second-place effort to Time To Dance shows he's a legitimate threat, and the connections hope they have a solid free-for-all Maritime pacer for years to come.

Horse Racing New Brunswick would like to extend its gratitude to the horsemen and women who will make the trip to the province of New Brunswick in such challenging times on Saturday.

On another positive note, with New Brunswick moving officially to the green phase Friday at midnight, patrons and horsepeople are no longer required to wear masks, but if people feel safer to do so, Horse Racing New Brunswick is in full support.

To view Saturday's complete entries, click the following link: Saturday Entries – Exhibition Park Raceway.

(Horse Racing New Brunswick)

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