By Diane Daniels
Weather reports are forecasting clear skies for Monday's holiday race card at Truro Raceway. The schedule change from the regular Sunday program is a result of the Atlantic Breeders Crown weekend, which is taking place at Red Shores Charlottetown.
Truro's traditional Thanksgiving Day pace is slated for Race 7 with Roy Burton's Eye Forty Seven looking strong off of the rail to grab the ‘pumpkin pace.' The seasoned pacer Membership brings a ton of back class to the gate and could be tough leaving out of the 2 spot. Royal Wedding, the three-year-old son of Coasttocoast Yankee, could also surprise the holiday crowd.
Monday also brings eight closely matched contenders to the weekly Top Class with Kenny Greene's St. Lads Dagwood garnering the most attention along with Encore Seelster in line to Truro's top reinsman Ryan Ellis and Barbara Pearl's Maritimer.
Ross Toole's Putnams Force is coming off a three-week plus layoff and having been lightly raced for the season could prove to be an upset at the wire for the favourites.
Post time for Monday is 1:30 p.m. with qualifying sessions at noon.
For the fourth consecutive month, teamster Ryan Ellis has earned top driving honours to pick up Clarence Farm Services Ltd. Cool Driver Award.
September saw Ellis accumulate 124 driving points with 15 wins, five seconds, six thirds, four fourths and three fifths out of 41 starts for a .404 average.
Laying down a perfect four-for-four record for September, Dale Pinkney's Push Back received Hot Horse accolades for the month.
Pam MacKenzie, equine consultant for Clarence Farm Services, will be trackside Oct. 14 to give gift certificate presentations to the winners.
Art Major, Dale Pinkney's four-year-old son of world class sire Push Back, is making a name for himself at the local oval with five consecutive wins and registering a life's best of 1:58.1.
Pinkney is a lifelong horseman recognized as a strong developer of young stock and at this point his current protégé appears to have more ‘go' in reserve.
In today's fast-paced stake oriented sport of harness racing, there are few standardbreds making it to the mandatory retirement age of 14.
Truro Raceway, however, is the home track of two such competitors - Kenny Parker Jr's Membership and Magic Ombre owned by Raymond White of Prince Edward Island.
At the end of the 2012 both of these game campaigners will be hanging up the harness after a job well done and enjoying a new life in retirement. Many non-racing standardbreds, whether they remain with their current owners or are re-homed, often are enjoy their non-racing life by become pasture buddys, saddle and cart horses or family pets.
Information on horses available for new homes can be found on the Maritime Standarbred Pleasure Horse Association website.
Although many of Atlantic Canada's high profile race cards for 2012 are now in the books, Truro Raceway still has three major racing events scheduled.
On Oct. 14 and 21, Truro will host the rich and celebrated Maritime Breeders Eliminations and Finals for two-year-old pacing and trotting colts and fillies. Winding down the stake season on Oct. 28 will be the Donnie & George Turner Memorial for three-year old colts and fillies.
The racing committee of Sport Pugwash has announced a matinee harness racing card for Saturday, Oct. 13 (rain date - Oct. 20) for the Pugwash Racetrack located on Miller Road.
Post time is 2 p.m. There is free admission, lots of parking, canteen facilities and local entertainment between races.
Race fans visiting the track today will be able to enjoy the excitement of the Atlantic Sires Stakes finale Breeders Crown being televised live from Red Shores Charlottetown commencing at 1 p.m. Thoroughbred and harness racing will continue through out the afternoon and evening featuring Belmont, Flamboro, Woodbine, Keenland and other major race tracks.
Diane Daniels is the race office supervisor at Truro Raceway.