By Diane Daniels - One of Truro Raceway’s signature events, the Johnny Conroy Invitational, is set for Race 10 on Sunday afternoon’s card.
The $7,500 pace has attracted six top starters including Prince Edward Island entries Touch of Lightning and All Turain, along with Jonah Moase’s Big League; Cape Breton’s JuneBugs Baby; Luck Encounter for the Foxyhall Racing Stable out of Wallace; and the lone hometown entry, Prom Mister for owner/trainer/driver Warren Grant.
Johnny Conroy was the legendary son of Prince Edward Island blacksmith Peter Conroy. He was first noticed as a skillful horseman by Nova Scotians in 1928 and he set several track and Maritime records as well as notching driving championships, establishing dash winning records and edging out the renowned Joe O’Brien for top driving honours in 1944.
Conroy retired his colors at the end of the 1962 racing season, was inducted into the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1968 and the Canadian Harness Racing Hall of Fame in 1983 for his achievements.
Members of the Conroy Family, friends and race fans will join together to celebrate his many accomplishments tomorrow. Post time for the 11-dash card is 1:30 p.m. with qualifying rounds on tap for noon.
HARNESS RACING BINGO
Not only is Truro Raceway bringing back the popular Pick-5 that was initially introduced during Atlantic Grand Circuit Week but Sunday the Truro Harness Horse Owners Promotions Committee will be launching the first edition of Harness Racing Full Card Bingo.
This is a fun way to add an extra dimension to the excitement of horse racing. Full details will be provided in the official race program. The ‘callers card’ numbers are determined from the post position number of the winning horse in each race. Bingo cards will be available for sale from members of the THHOA $2 each or three for $5.
Truro’s leading driver, Ryan Ellis, has been temporarily sidelined with a back problem and will be missing from the catch driving lineup Sunday while he takes a respite from the sulky.
UPCOMING STAKE ENGAGEMENTS
Historically, fall is always an exciting time for harness racing in Truro and this year is no exception.
On Sept. 22, the raceway will host the Nova Scotia Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Then, on Sept. 29, the Marg and Carl MacKenzie Memorial Stake for three-year-old pacing colts & fillies and the Nova Scotia Sake for two-year-old pacing colts will take place.
Popular Truro horseman Cyril ‘Toby’ MacDonald, who relocated to Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ontario last year, was home on a brief Maritime holiday this past week.
MacDonald’s son, John, campaigns out of the Ottawa track and is recognized as one of Canada’s leading teamsters. He holds down ninth spot on the driving average standings for the country.
I C ANASTRO CONTINUES STREAK
Steve Morton’s two-year-old filly I C Anastro continues to pick up purse money in the Ontario Sires Grass Roots Stake with a fourth-place finish last Wednesday at Grand River to boost her earnings to $ 23,328.
SPORT PUGWASH SETS DATE
The harness racing organizational committee for Sport Pugwash have set Sept. 21 for their annual Matinee Race Program in the picturesque seaside town of Pugwash. Invitations are extended to all local tracks with participating horses each to receive monetary compensation to assist with the cost of travelling to the event.
Post time is 1 p.m. A rain date is scheduled for Sept. 28.
TODAY AT THE TRACK
Simulcast programming today at the track kicks off with Charlottetown Red Shores at 1 p.m. and continues throughout the afternoon with Freehold, Churchill, Woodbine and Belmont.
The evening schedule commences with the second card from the historic Charlottetown Driving Park at 6 p.m. followed by Mountaineer, Yonkers and Mohwak.
LITTLE BROWN JUG
On Sept. 19, the 68th running of the premier pacing classic for three-year olds, The Little Brown Jug, will be televised live from the Delaware Ohio Fairgrounds at Truro Raceway commencing at noon.
The Jugette will also be presented live on Sept. 18 with a noon start time.
Diane Daniels is the race office supervisor at Truro Racway.