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AT THE TRACK: It’s been a big year for Campbell stable

Fredericton Raceway to celebrate 130 years of harness racing

Published on September 9, 2017

The standardbred racehorses are returning to Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Sunday. 

Vance Cameron
Journal Pioneer

The regular 1 p.m. post time is in effect for the 12-race program.
Just to recap my predictions on trying to pick all 13 winners from last Monday, the day started out spectacular as I had all the winners in the first six races. However, that’s when things started to go south! 
The final seven races I managed only one inner, three seconds and three off-the-board horses. It’s respectable and not easy, and that’s why I’ve only tried this twice.
 
Sunday’s feature
Sunday’s 11th race will be the afternoon’s feature for $2,100. Last week’s winner, Rash B Havior, will look to double up for Marc Campbell. He won from the rail a week ago, and will be hampered by the outside post on Sunday.
 
Campbell dominates
The Marc Campbell Stable has been a dominating force so far in 2017. I spoke with Campbell prior to last week’s card in Summerside. He insists it’s his reliable and trustworthy help that has given him the opportunity to lead the Maritimes in about every category possible. 
To put the Campbell barn into perspective, here are some numbers that are astonishing –  Marc leads the entire country in drivers percentage at .464, he is seventh in the land in races won at 159, Campbell’s .547 training percentage is just shy of 100 points better than the next percentage trainer in all of Canada and Campbell’s 81 victories out of his own stable is third in the entire nation.

Fredericton 130
The volunteer group at Fredericton Raceway has put together an amazing card for Saturday. Brian Embelton and Brent Briggs are just two of the many who put this matinee program together. 
This means the New Brunswick capital city track will celebrate 130 years of harness racing. The group raised just under $20,000 for purses, and there will be plenty of presentations throughout the day.
There is no betting, anyone can drive and it’s not sanctioned by Standardbred Canada or the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission. 
Congratulations and good luck to all!
 
Flashback
There was a gentleman by the name of Ken Le Drew, and he was a highly respected person in Western Canadian Harness Racing. Mr. Le Drew found me my first announcing job outside of the Maritimes in Sudbury Downs. 
This was a half-mile track replicated to a smaller Flamboro Downs. It would only be a six-week job as Mr. Le Drew had working commitments in Calgary, and wouldn’t take over the reins at Sudbury until be completed his Calgary term.
I also received a call from Mr. Le Drew about a track in Saskatoon, Sask., that was re-opening to standardbreds after being closed to this breed for several years. I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to try calling on the five-eights-mile track. 
After arriving in Saskatoon I was also handed the assistant-to-the-race-secretary portfolio, and I was surprised how much I enjoyed that end of it. I must admit the five-eights-mile was challenging, but it was a wonderful experience. 
The racetrack was Marquis Downs and the announcer’s booth was alongside the press box – two floors above the racing officials, so all communication was done over the phone.
I was able to meet some Western legends like Ed Tracy and Jerv Clifton, and some Island friends like Billy Companion Jr. Oh by the way I forgot to tell you I never met Ken Le Drew in person!

Picks
A look at Sunday’s picks:
Best bets – MJ’s Little Martha in Race 4, and Sendmeasign in Race 12.
Long shot possibilities – Patrick Q in Race 5, and Relleno Hanover in Race 6.

Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to jpsports@journalpioneer.com.