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DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Ramblinglily named pacing mare of the decade in Atlantic poll

Ramblinglily, with Gary Chappell at the lines, crosses the finish line at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Ramblinglily, with Gary Chappell at the lines, crosses the finish line at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Steady and relentless, Ramblinglily was a slam dunk when it came to naming the aged pacing mare of the decade.

The homebred daughter of Articulator earned the title in a poll of local harness racing participants. Bred by the New Brunswick partnership of Allan Jones of Riverview and Normand Leger of Shediac, Ramblinglily has amassed an incredible 69 wins, 33 second and 21 thirds for 123 top-three finishes from 155 career starts with $195,063 in earnings while never leaving the Maritimes.

The now 10-year-old started her career in 2012 with four victories, including an elimination of the Maritime Breeders stake and the consolation of the Atlantic Breeders Crown.

She truly began to shine as a three-year-old, as she teamed up with driver Brodie MacPhee to capture the $25,400 Maritime Breeders final for pacing fillies, as well as the $22,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown and two heats of The Maritimer stake at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John, N.B.

Her biggest win at three was arguably her final start as she won the lone $14,440 Turner memorial division at Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia while beating solid three-year-old pacing colts Forever Paradise and Untouchable One.

Her four-year-old season in 2014 was a transition period for the pacing mare, but her divisional dominance began in the fall as she captured the $16,520 Atlantic aged pacing mares final, the only time she was victorious in that final.

Walter Cheverie teamed up in the race bike with the mare for the next three seasons. Ramblinglily had a stranglehold on the division with a string of seven straight wins at one point in 2015 and a string of eight straight victories during the 2017 season. She also captured the $3,500 Atlantic Breeders Crown aged mares invitational in October 2017 at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP) in line to Ken Murphy.

All told, she won the regular fillies and mares open class at the CDP 19 times in between winning aged mares series races and mares invitationals. She would appear in the Atlantic aged pacing mare series again in 2015 (finishing second), 2016 (second), 2017 (fourth) and 2018 (fourth).

She is currently training back for a return to the track in 2020.

What they said

Here’s what harness racing officials had to say about Ramblinglily.

- “Ramblinglily was a super filly and is a tremendous race mare. She could easily (race) anywhere, but she has stayed in the Maritimes and grown a big fan base with her speed and courage.”
Breeder William Andrew
- “Since her three-year-old campaign, (she) was the best Maritime bred in Atlantic Canada. Explosive speed.”
Driver Brodie MacPhee
- “The pride of Maritime racing. Everyone loved to watch her race but hated to race against her.”
Trainer Bo Ford
- “Ramblinglily was simply awesome. It is every small stable’s dream to have one like her.”
Driver Mike McGuigan
- “When you look at Lily's lifetime record, you have to go with her. Strong, dominant and consistent.”
Trainer Carl Bagnall

Top Five

A look at horses who received the most votes for aged pacing mare of the decade in a poll of Atlantic Canadian harness racing officials.
1. Ramblinglily
2. General Luckypercy
3. JK Special
4. Sodwana Bay
5. Drivingthedragon N

Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at


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1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

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