By Diane Daniels
Tomorrow afternoon Truro Raceway will kick off the most exciting month of harness racing for the year. Twelve dashes set the stage for the July 6 program featuring the $1275 top class featured in Race 11.
The entertainment and refreshment tent, located trackside on the lower end of the Douglas Grandstand, is open for the remainder of summer, providing a cool respite from the heat.
Post time for Sunday is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with a qualifying session set for 12 noon.
Truro's most popular wager, the Pick 5, was paid out last week in the amount of $241.50. With a ceded pool of $250.00, a new Pick 5 will start again tomorrow. The Pick 5 requires players to select five winners in five consecutive races and will be offered races four through eight. This has proven to be an incredibly popular product with horseplayers. As with any wagering game offered at the Raceway, race-goers have the option to purchase an "insta-pick" to help predict a winning combination.
Ellis advances to nationals
Finishing second to Marc Campbell on June 28 in the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship in Summerside, Brookfield native Ryan Ellis booked a spot in the National Driving Championships. Red Shores in Charlottetown will host the event on August 26. Truro's current leading teamster, Darren Crowe, finished third in the competition on his bid to earn a berth in the finals.
Horseplayers looking for hot horses are no doubt turning to the MacKay Stable with three winners on deck last Sunday. Two were in hand to trainer/driver Emmons MacKay and the third to Michelles Romance, with daughter Tammy between the shafts. Ryan Ellis at the controls last Sunday was a good bet on most any ticket, going to the gate 11 times and finishing in the top three spots in all 11 drives. Also last weekend visiting catch driver Dale Spence of Saint John hit the tote board with two wins out of three rides. Spence returns Sunday getting the call on three mounts.
Clarence Farm Services Ltd. winners
June's results for the top horses and drivers are in with last year's driving champion, Ryan Ellis, sweeping the Cool Driver Award for the month accumulating 151 points. Ellis had 57 starts, 14 wins, nine seconds, nine thirds, five fourths and eight fifths. Ernie Laffin held down second spot reporting in with 81 points. SF Razamatazz showed up atop of the leader board for Hot Horse recognition earning 24 points for June to edge out Saulsbrook Quick by one point. Conditioner, Wayne Merner, led the trainers for June posting 59 points sending out 32 starters.
Atlantic Grand Circuit Week Preview
Originated in 1982 by co-founders Brent MacGrath of Somebeachsomewhere fame and current Race Secretary Joe Kelly, Atlantic Grand Circuit Week is only two weeks out. The 2014 promotions committee has sent out a preview of the highlights of the week including five cards of racing running from Sunday, July 20, through to Sunday, July 27. Traditional events will include the raceway's signature event, the NSPE Cup, along with promising a new and innovative claiming series with details to be released early next week. The week attracts the fastest performers, best drivers, trainers and most prominent owners through invitational and stake races.