Keep It Real makes North America Cup

Doug Harkness
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TRURO - Maritime harness racing has another contender in Canada's richest horse race, the $1.5-million Pepsi North America Cup.
Keep It Real, who like last year's winner Somebeachsomewhere started his sophomore season training at Truro Raceway, qualified for the big show Saturday with a solid second-place finish to Well Said in the fastest of four $50,000 elimination heats.
Owned by prominent Dartmouth horseman Wayne Whebby, the son of Real Artist just missed reeling in Well Said with a 26-second closing quarter, missing by a quarter-length in the 1:50 mile.
It was the first loss in seven starts for Keep It Real, who was saddled with the outside Post 10.
"He raced real big. It was a tough trip but he finished strong," said Whebby, who added driver Steve Condren was "really high on his performance."
Whebby was hoping for an improved post position for this Saturday's Cup final when Keep It Real will attempt to become the second Maritime-owned horse in a row to win, following in the footsteps of Schooner Stables' Somebeachsomewhere.
Veteran trainer Emmons MacKay helped get Keep It Real ready for the races.
It was another big weekend for Maritime connections in harness racing's fast lane.
At The Meadowlands, Jimmy Whelan's four-year-old Drop Off matron, Thebeastfromtheeast, lowered her record to 1:50.2 in winning a $17,000 fillies and mares race for Brian Sears. The clocking equaled the fastest mile ever by a Maritime-bred performer, matching the record of Kickin Up Dirt.
Foaled at Woodmere Standardbreds near Charlottetown, Thebeastfromtheeast improved on her 1:50.4 record in her last start.
On Saturday at The Meadowlands, Palone Ranger, a horse trained by Sydney Mines native Greg Peck, took the feature in 1:49.4.
At Mohawk Raceway on Saturday, Federal Flex made a successful seasonal debut with a 1:56 victory in an elimination heat of the Goodtimes Trotting Series, winning handily for Bible Hill native Jody Jamieson and trainer Jeff Gillis of Margaree Forks.
On the same card, former Gold Cup and Saucer winner Silent Swing took a $30,000 class in 1:51.1 for Randy Waples and co-owners David Shea and Reginald Pettipas of Shediac Bridge, N.B.
Shadow Play is among eight starters in the $168,000 Des Smith Classic at Rideau Carleton in Ottawa this Saturday. The seven-year-old Northern Luck gelding won the race last year. Dr. Ian Moore says he expects the four-year-old stallion will be ready for the Des Smith.

Atlantic Post Calls

Organizations: The Meadowlands, Goodtimes Trotting Series

Geographic location: Maritime, North America, Canada Dartmouth Charlottetown Sydney Mines Bible Hill Shediac Bridge Ottawa

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Recent comments

  • Mary
    January 18, 2010 - 09:59

    Joey Shea is training Keep it Real at the Baycairn training center in Campbellville, Ontario and had him since the horse was there - maybe Emmons McKay had him at first.
    Please check your records and if I'm wrong I apologize.