Truro Raceway is gearing up to present a traditional autumn classic tomorrow.
The $7,500 Johnny Conroy Memorial Invitational will feature eight Atlantic Canada speedsters with hometown favourites including Barbara Pearl's Maritimer, P H Bestman for Dr. James Shive and Encore Seelster for Danica Ellis and Valerie Reid.
Out-of-town challengers include Joseph Michael of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island entries Carnivore and Panmunjom, winner of the Chippin Memorial in Fredericton and the Saint John Exhibition Invitational, and Silver Dragon out of Cape Breton.
Five-year-old Arabica, owned by Hardy Mill Stable, will garner attention with an impressive resume showing wins in the Cecil Ladner and Governor Plate Elimination.
With youthful zeal, seasoned veterans, early speed and late stamina combined with talented and shrewd drivers, this field offers the potential for an incredible horse race from gate to wire.
The Johnny Conroy Memorial Invitational is dedicated to the memory of Conroy, a noted Maritime horseman recognized for devotion to both horses and the sport of harness racing.
Conroy campaigned during the mid-1900s before hanging up his colours in 1962. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1983.
Truro Raceway is pleased to welcome Conroy's daughter Della, son John and family members tomorrow to join the celebration of their father's life and harness racing accomplishments.
Post time is 1:30 p.m. with a qualifying session programmed for noon.
For the second consecutive week, Brookfield teamster Ryan Ellis put on a driving clinic by posting five wins on Sept. 9. Tomorrow, the 32-year-old reinsman will be looking to continue his winning ways getting the call on eight mounts.
Ellis tops the driving leaderboard with 56 victories for the year.
As they have been called upon before to demonstrate, in the face of a common emergency or adversary horsemen are quick to come together in a unified front and Monday's flood was an example of this camaraderie.
As the waters rose the horsemen, staff and grounds crew joined forces to ensure the horses were safe and dry, moving them to higher ground.
The clean-up process also brought these resilient folks together as well as members of the harness racing communities, associations and businesses from Prince Edward Island who shared resources, time and equipment in an effort to make an overwhelming job a little easier and lighter for all.
Feisty three-year-old Autumn Gottem, formerly owned by prominent horse connection Robert ‘Sonny' Siteman and schooled by popular trainer/driver Darren Crowe, seems at the top of his game for current New York owner Frank J. Bellino.
Trained by Tony Osullivan and driven by Doug McNair, the son of Presidential Ball lowered his lifetime mark to 1:51.3 at Mohawk Raceway to capture the seventh race on Monday.
Autumn Gottem went through the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition select yearling sale as Hip # 24 in 2010 and brought a top price of $11,800.
The Sept. 2 Truro Harness Horse Owners Association 50-50 cash prize remains unclaimed.
The winning ticket number 222019 is worth $169.50. Ticket holder may pick up the prize at the race office. Proceeds of the 50-50 go towards the Super Dave Grooms Challenge and the annual Children's Christmas Party.
The ninth annual Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Standardbred Select Yearling Sale is slated for Friday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 pm at the Agridome.
A choice selection of fillies and colts consigned by leading Maritime breeders will cross the auction block. A complete list of the yearlings is available at www.truroraceway.ca.
A full slate of thoroughbred and harness racing action is being televised this afternoon on Truro's simulcast program including both an afternoon and evening card from Red Shores Charlottetown featuring the PEI two and three-year-old colt stakes. The Little Brown Jug will be televised live from Delaware, Ohio on Sept. 20.
Diane Daniels is the race office supervisor at Truro Raceway.