By Diane Daniels
Truro Raceway is always all about the horses but never more so than during Atlantic Grand Circuit Week, which starts tomorrow with the first of five exciting cards.
Organized in 1982 by manager Brent MacGrath, the extensive racing program was developed to bring together the fastest horses and finest owners, drivers, trainers, and grooms to sustain and promote the sport.
Truro Raceway has welcomed thousands of visitors and hosted hundred of events over the years and is proud to be able to maintain the tradition of Atlantic Grand Circuit Week as it continues to grow adding fresh and innovative events each year designed to enhance the harness racing experience for both participants and race goers alike.
Two divisions of the second leg of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series will help kick-start the fastest and biggest week of harness racing in Nova Scotia.
Post-time for tomorow's 14-dash program is set for 1:30 p.m. while the qualifying sessions start at noon. Truro horsewoman Rhea Chase will open the program with ‘O Canada' from victory lane.
Schedule highlights from Atlantic Grand Circuit Week are as follows:
Sunday, July 22 - Atlantic aged pacing mares series
Tuesday, July 24 - two-year-old pacing fillies - Atlantic Sires Stakes; two-and-three-year old trotters - Atlantic Sires Stakes
Thursday, July 26 - two-year-old pacing colts - Atlantic Sires Stakes; Neil ‘Chops' Campbell Young Guns Driving Challenge
Saturday, July 28 - three-year-old pacing colts - Atlantic Sires Stakes; $7,500 Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Invitational Cup
Sunday, July 29 - Frank and Beth Stanfield Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies
Partnering with Little Wonders Day Care Centre, Truro Raceway will host the annual children's fun day featuring games, face painting, BBQ and ice cream along with busker style children's entertainment on July 28.
Immediately following, Green Hawk - Truro and the raceway are spearheading the first annual open house, which will feature a comprehensive slate of interactive activities including meeting and talking with drivers, trainers and owners.
Exhibits of equipment, gear, and horse shoes will be on display along with several information booths including Standarbred Canada's I Love Canadian Harness Racing, Horse Player Interactive where folks can learn to read a program, and the Maritime Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association with details on retired or non-racing standardbreds available for adoption.
Contests, prizes, handouts and the BBQ will continue throughout the afternoon from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Eighteen-year-old Paul Langille of Lower Onslow, owner of Jenakam and Longnwinding Road, successfully completed the Standardbred Canada driver's examination and has now joined the ranks as one of the Truro drivers.
Barbara Pearl, owner of the scrappy pacing titan Maritimer and Justanothercowboy, a two-year-old son of Brandon's Cowboy, recently passed the Standardbred trainers test and is now qualified to be listed as trainer on her own stock.
Summer is beach season but for Somebeachsomewhere fans, it is always ‘Beach' time and followers of the superstar are keenly interested in the world champion's offspring.
Last Sunday, the two-year-old filly Heroine Hanover, sired by the charismatic performer and out of an Abercrombie dam, Hattie, laid down a 2:04.2 qualifying trip in Truro for connections Saulsbrook Stables of Windsor and Kentucky horseman Louis Willinger in line to Al McNeil.
Reg Petitpas of Shediac Bridge, N.B., co-owner of the magic pacer, is now the owner of a Beach ‘baby' named Varadero Hanover. The two-year old colt won his first lifetime start in June at Mohawk Raceway, Ont., for Petitpas, covering the ground in 1:55.1 for trainer Stephen Mahar and reinsman Sylvain Filion.
MacGrath, who co-owner and trained the legendary ‘Beach,' recently relocated his two-year-old filly Bienvenue Hanover and colt Sepia Sands, both sired by Somebeachsomewhere, to Paul McDonnell's training camp in Toronto.
A complete schedule of events for Atlantic Grand Circuit Week is available at www.truroraceway.ca.