Wednesday, May 31, 2017

5th Annual Greatest Horses ever developed at Fredericton Raceway

When I first came up with the concept of writing a blog about the most successful horses Fredericton Raceway ever produced, I wondered if I would be able to determine who the greatest Fredericton horse of all time was.  I soon realized that this would be an impossible task.  Can you really compare horses from one era to another?

I decided that I would focus on the modern era and I categorized horses based on lifetime records, race times, money earnings and career wins to see if it made the task of determining the best any less difficult. 

It is important to note that all of the horses were stabled and trained at Fredericton Raceway at the beginning of their careers.  Some were bred in the Fredericton area and others were purchased at yearling sales in Atlantic Canada and throughout North America.

Since there is no one source to comprise this very specific criteria of horses developed in Fredericton, I mostly relied on my own recollections and the great memories of horse people in Fredericton.

The following is a tribute to the talent of the trainers in Fredericton so here is a look at some of the best of the modern era.

Top 25 Fredericton horses, mares and geldings by lifetime records

1:50.3f   All Star Dragon   Trainer:  Stacy Gay
1:50.3f   Flying Cowboy   Trainer:  Charlie Miles 
1:51.2m   Jaguar Knight   Trainer:  Sheldon Watts
1:51.2s   Amble Over Hanover   Trainer:  Everette Hanson
1:52.1s   Spudland Sierra (Mare)   Trainer:  Brent Briggs
1:52.1m   Woodmere Topcat   Trainer:  Lloyd Denton
1:52.4s   Sealcrest Dragon   Trainer:  Mike Downey
1:53s   Manrayson Jo   Trainer:  Brian Embleton & Garnet Taylor
1:53.1f   Northern Raucous   Trainer:  Mike Downey
1:54h   Igoddago   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
1:54h   Saulsbrook Light   Trainer:  Sheldon Watts
1:54.1f   Oscar Dielahoya   Trainer:  Sandra Foley
1:54.1h   Money Maven (Trotter)   Trainer:  Everette Hanson
1:54.1f   Tornado Tim (Trotter)   Trainer:  Everette Hanson
1:54.2f   Youbetiwould   Trainer:  Phil Sowers
1:54.2f   Milliondollardad   Trainer: Philip Reid
1:54.2f   Terra Cotta Lad   Trainer:  Charlie Miles  
1:54.3s   Bonavista Bay   Trainer:  Sandra Foley
1:55h   Bear Island Tyler   Trainer:  Mike Downey
1:55.2f   Summer Radiance (Mare)   Trainer:  Doug McCarty
1:55.3s   Armbro Supernova   Trainer:  Sandra Foley
1:55.4f   Vic’s Sample   Trainer:  Stephen Trites
1:55.4f   Ryan Flyin   Trainer:  Ned Lindon
1:56h   Woodmere Sandman   Trainer:  Stephen Trites
1:56Rose Valley (Mare)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell

Bubbling under:  Pipe Major 1:56.1f; Daytona Fearn 1:56.1f; Jags Desperado 1:56.1s; Slick and Easy 1:56.2f; Princetown Cody (T) 1:56.2m; Mr. Rude 1:56.3h; Rookies Raisin 1:56.3h; Bayside Traveler 1:56.3f; Barons Boy 1:56.4q; Big Bucks Bomber 1:56.4f

It should be noted that Jaguar Knight and Spudland Sierra established new standards when they took their lifetime records.  Jaguar Knight paced the Meadowlands in 1:51.2 for Mike Stevenson in May 1994 and became the fastest Maritime-bred horse of all time and the second fastest Canadian-bred.  He held the Maritime-bred distinction for almost eight years until February 2002 when Dakota Express paced the Meadowlands in 1:51.1.  Spudland Sierra’s win in 1:52.1 for Jody Jamieson in July 2004 was the fastest ever by a New Brunswick-bred mare and second only to Dexter’s Wine (1:52) by a Maritime-bred mare at the time.

Top 7 Fredericton horses by winning times on a half-mile track

1:53.1   All Star Dragon
1:54      Igoddago
1:54      Saulsbrook Light
1:54.1   Money Maven (Trotter)
1:54.3   Woodmere Topcat
1:54.3   Northern Raucous
1:54.4   Tornado Tim (Trotter)

All Star Dragon is not only the fastest horse ever developed in Fredericton but also the fastest ever over a half-mile track. If I had included individual races by each horse, All Star Dragon would have been on each list nine more times.  He has won in 1:53.1 (twice), 1:54.1, 1:54.2, 1:54.3 and 1:55 two times each, all at Yonkers or Freehold.   Igoddago would have been on this list three more times.  He has won in 1:54, 1:54.2, 1:54.4 and 1:55, all in the Maritimes.  He has also won in 1:55.2, 1:55.3, 1:55.4 and 1:56 in the Maritimes.  He won one race at Flamboro in 1:55.4.  Saulsbrook Light has won in 1:54 and 1:54.1.

The fastest trotter on a half-mile track is Money Maven (1:54.1).

Top 7 Fredericton horses by individual WINNING times in 1:53 or better (trotters 1:55)

12   Flying Cowboy
  Amble Over Hanover
6   Jaguar Knight
  Spudland Sierra (Mare)
3   All Star Dragon
3   Money Maven (Trotter)
3   Tornado Tim (Trotter)

Flying Cowboy had a winning time better that 1:51 on four occasions in his career.  He has won in 1:50.3 and 1:50.4 two times each.

Top 5 Fredericton horses by individual race times in 1:53 or better REGARDLESS OF FINISH

50   Amble Over Hanover
41   Flying Cowboy
35   All Star Dragon
23   Woodmere Topcat
17   Spudland Sierra (Mare)

Fredericton horses with $100,000+ lifetime earnings

$464,183   Money Maven (Trotter)   Trainer:  Everette Hanson
$351,440   Tornado Tim (Trotter)   Trainer:  Everette Hanson 
$324,965   Northern Raucous   Trainer:  Mike Downey
$253,852   All Star Dragon   Trainer:  Stacy Gay
$220,538   Amble Over Hanover   Trainer:  Everette Hanson
$212,298   Igoddago   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
$192,141   Flying Cowboy   Trainer:  Charlie Miles
$189,388   Oscar Dielahoya   Trainer:  Sandra Foley
$188,716   Ryan Flyin   Trainer:  Ned Lindon
$173,473   Princetown Cody (Trotter)   Trainer:  Kelly Watts
$153,719   Woodmere Topcat   Trainer:  Lloyd Denton
$143,129   Milliondollardad   Trainer:  Phil Reid
$129,727   Big Bucks Bomber   Trainer:  Sandra Foley
$128,457   Jaguar Knight   Trainer:  Sheldon Watts
$124,877   Spudland Sierra (Mare)   Trainer:  Brent Briggs
$123,106   Pipe Major   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
$110,264   Tidy Point   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
$110,225   Knightime Roger   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
$108,328   Baron’s Boy   Trainer:  Paul Jennings

Everette Hanson's two trotters, Money Maven and Tornado Tim, vaulted to the top two places on the money list this year and are both still racing in New York.  Northern Raucous has the distinction of winning the richest race when he captured the $100,000 Ontario Sires Stakes final in 1:53.2 at Georgian in October 2004.  

Top 7 Fredericton horses by money earnings in an individual season

$156,630   Money Maven   2016
$114,853   Northern Raucous   2004
$107,785   Tornado Tim   2016
$94,292   Flying Cowboy   2014
$78,810   All Star Dragon   2012
$77,330   Jaguar Knight   1994
$68,680   Spudland Sierra   2004

Fredericton horses with lifetime earnings greater than $100,000
and lifetime records better than 1:55 for pacers and 1:57 for trotters (alphabetically)

All Star Dragon
Amble Over Hanover
Bear Island Tyler
Flying Cowboy
Jaguar Knight
Money Maven (Trotter)
Northern Raucous
Oscar Dielahoya
Princetown Cody (Trotter)
Spudland Sierra (Mare)
Tornado Tim (Trotter)
Woodmere Topcat

Top 15 Fredericton horses by lifetime wins in the modern era

73 Tidy Point ($110,264-1:58.3f)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
70 Elixir Grade ($48,357-1:59.1f)   Trainer:  Paul Jennings
62 Igoddago ($212,298-1:54h)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
55 Mormac Coral (Mare) ($20,995-2:03.3f)   Trainer:  Stephen Trites
53 Pipe Major ($123,106-1:56.1f)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
53 Beth Seelster (Mare) ($70,604-1:59f)   Trainer:  Mike Downey
53 Angels Class ($33,511-1:59f)   Trainer:  Steve Trites
53 Jon Fifer ($31,429-2:03.1h)   Trainer:  John McMulkin
50 Daily Special ($93,129-2:00.4f)   Trainer:  Mike Downey
48 Knightime Roger ($110,225-1:58.2f)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
47 North Wind Mac ($62,810-1:59.3)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
47 Prancer Pete ($30,565-2:05.3h)   Trainer:  Charles Rammage
46 Night Hunter ($81,520-1:59.2f)   Trainer:  Mike Downey
46 Birdton Bert ($44,635-1:59.1h)   Trainer:  Tom Belmore
45 Vulga Wil (Mare) ($52,775-1:59.4f)   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
45 Paris Motion ($30,961-1:59.3h)   Trainer:  John Stewart
43 Special Reward ($56,107-2:02.2h)   Trainer:  Mike Downey
43 Lively Gold (Mare) ($19,810-2:04.3h)   Trainer:  John Stewart

Mike Campbell dominates with six places on this list - including three of the top five positions- for a total of 327 wins.  All but Vulga Wil raced until they were at least 10-years-old.  If we had gone to Top 16, Campbell would also have Starson (41) next on the list.

Honorable Mentions – outstanding horses who didn’t make any of the above lists (alphabetically)

All Finesse – 2:01.2f - 30 wins - $42,816   Trainer:  Mike Downey
Balmaghie Breeze – 1:57.4f - 28 wins - $55,349   Trainer:  Sheldon Watts
Casis Salute – 1:58.4f - 26 wins - $44,777   Trainer:  Phil Sowers
Knightly Glib – 1:59h – 27 wins - $46,404   Trainer:  Robert Stevenson
Misty Hill Mary – 1:59.4h - 39 wins - $94,736   Trainer:  Mike Campbell
Rulesnregulations – 1:58.2h – 39 wins - $51,902   Trainer:  Stephan Decourcey

A World Record holder who didn’t make any of the above lists

Classic Gene was a son of Southampton V-Adele Daeres who was purchased by Carol Thornton and Joan Sowers for $5,200 in 1979 at a yearling sale in Ontario.  The horse was broke and trained by Joan’s husband Philip Sowers and began his racing career as a two-year-old in Fredericton.  He won two races in Saint John early in his sophomore year, January 1981, and was then sold to U.S. interests.

Later that year he established a world record for one and one-quarter miles on a five-eighths mile track at Liberty Bell Park in Philadelphia when he paced in 2:31.2, lowering Belle Action’s old record of 2:32, established in 1958.  Sowers was quoted as saying, “I knew he could really go a distance but it’s really something to set a world record.”

The world record is currently held by Boulder Creek – 2:19.4.

Classic Gene raced until the age of eleven and ended his career with 19 wins, $80,256 in earnings and a lifetime record of 1:58.2m. 

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Below I have alphabetically assembled 12 horses that are arguably the best of the modern era.  I have included relevant statistics relating to lifetime records, summaries, money earnings, longevity and career highlights for your consideration.

The greatest Fredericton horses of the modern era (alphabetically)


ALL STAR DRAGON (Dragon Again-West Star Lady)
p.6,1:50.3f-1:53.1h ($253,852)
Lifetime record:  173-29-28-22
$4,500 yearling purchase at 2006 New Jersey Classic
Owner:  Stacy Gay
Trainer:  Stacy Gay

Career Highlights
At 3, won five of seven starts
At 4, winner Walter Dale Memorial (1:57) in Fredericton; HRNB invitational (1:57.2) at Saint John; third in Robert McCain Memorial at Woodstock; awarded Most Improved horse at Fredericton Raceway
At 5, claimed for $15,000 and has earned over $160,000 since then
At 6, won in 1:50.3f and 1:50.4f, the fastest winning miles ever by a Fredericton trained horse
Last raced August 2012


BIG BUCKS BOMBER  (Ralph Hanover-Lurene Lobell)
p.5,1:56.4f-1:57h ($129,727)
Lifetime record:  135-31-33-19
$4,200 purchase at 1988 Toronto Fall Mixed Sale as an untrained two-year-old
Owner:  Sandra Foley, Fredericton
Trainer:  Sandra Foley

Career Highlights
At 3, placed in early closing races at Montreal
At 4, winner Walter Dale Memorial (1:59) at Fredericton; first Fredericton-owned horse to win
At 5, raced Invitational circuit placing second in Gold Cup and Saucer at Charlottetown
At 6, winner Provincial Cup trial (1:57) at Saint John equaling track record; winner Provincial Cup final (1:58.3)
At 9, winner Earle Avery Memorial at Woodstock and early closer final at Fredericton
Retired September 1995
Fredericton Raceway Hall of Fame 2010


DAILY SPECIAL (Dominion Byrd – Wendy Chief)
p.3,2:02.3f;6,2:00.4f ($93,129)
Lifetime record:  203-50-35-33
$2,700 yearling purchase at 1976 Fredericton Horse Sale
Owner:  David Kileel, Fredericton
Trainer:  Mike Downey

Career Highlights
At 2, Atlantic Sires Stakes champion; 12-8-4-0-$6,682-2:10.4h; won a qualifier in 2:25.4 on June 25, 1977-first charted mile
At 3, earned over $13,000 on the Atlantic Sires Stakes circuit
At 4, established new track record at Fredericton breaking Walter Dale’s 42-year record; second to Scotch Gauman in Walter Dale; awarded Horse of-the-Year at Fredericton Raceway
Retired to stud in 1987 and sired four winners, 3 in 2:10
Fredericton Raceway Hall of Fame 2004


IGODDAGO (Drop Off-Sakra Posey)
p.3,1:56.2h;7,1:54h ($212,298)
Lifetime record:  236-62-56-38
Owner:  Michael Campbell, Brian Lean, Ronald Roy
Trainer:  Michael Campbell

Career Highlights
At 2, awarded top two-year-old colt at Fredericton Raceway
At 3, winner $25,850 early closer at Montreal (1:56.4); Duck Acorn at Charlottetown (1:56.2); awarded top three-year-old colt at Fredericton Raceway
At 4, awarded top four-year-old at Fredericton Raceway
At 5, winner Johnny Conroy at Truro (1:55); awarded Horse of-the-Year at Fredericton Raceway
At 6, winner Governor’s Plate at Summerside (1:55.3); ABC final at Charlottetown (1:56)
At 7, winner at Charlottetown (1:54) – Maritime record; awarded Horse of-the-Year at Fredericton Raceway
At 8, winner at Charlottetown (1:54.4)
At 9, awarded Horse of-the-Year at Fredericton Raceway
At 11, awarded Horse of-the-Year at Fredericton Raceway
Won 4 races in 1:55 or better, 9 races in 1:56 or better – second best Maritime-bred of all time
Retired August 2010
Fredericton Raceway Hall of Fame 2009


JAGUAR KNIGHT (Knightly Blue Chip-Dana Hanover)
p.3,1:58h;4,1:51.2m ($128,457)
Lifetime record:  64-20-6-7
$24,000 yearling purchase at 1991 Atlantic Classic
Owner:  Wayne Hill
Trainer:  Sheldon Watts

Career Highlights
At 2, winner ASS at Summerside, Saint John, Charlottetown and Truro (1:59.2)
At 3, winner PEI Colt and Duck Acorn (1:58) at Charlottetown; Barrieau-McIsaac at Saint John
At 4, won four consecutive and seven of nine races at the Meadowlands; 1:51.2 record was fastest ever by any Maritime-bred at the time (1994), a mark that stood for almost eight year; four wins better than 1:52

Retired November 1994
At 9, returned to races and won at Charlottetown (2:00.4)
Retired to stud in 1999 and sired eight winners, 3 in 2:00
Fredericton Raceway Hall of Fame 2004

MONEY MAVEN (Revenue S-The Raven)
p.7,1:54.1h ($464,183)
Lifetime record:  166-26-33-16
$2,200 weanling purchase at 2010 New Jersey Classic
Owner:  Everette Hanson
Trainer:  Everette Hanson

Career Highlights
Numerous wins in the Preferred and Invitational trot classes in Ontario and New York
Richest horse (regardless of gait) ever developed in Fredericton


NORTHERN RAUCOUS (Northern Luck-Armbro Raucous)
p.3,1:53.2f;7,1:53.1f ($324,965)
Lifetime record:  268-39-35-33
$11,000 yearling purchase at 2002 Canadian Classic
Owner:  Albert Goodine & Andrea Dolan
Trainer:  Mike Downey

Career Highlights
At 2, won first four lifetime starts; winner OSS grassroots at Clinton; second OSS grassroots at Sudbury & Dresden
At 3, winner $100,000 OSS grassroots final at Georgian (1:53.2); winner OSS grassroots at Sudbury & Georgian
Richest horse ever developed in Fredericton
Last raced November 2011


PRINCETOWN CODY (Trotter) (Bannister-Gold Pendant)
t.8,1:56.2m-2:00.1h ($173,473)
Lifetime record:  226-21-40-39
Owner:  Kelly Watts & Keith Ford
Trainer:  Kelly Watts

Career Highlights
At 2, winner ASS trot at Saint John
At 3, second ASS at Saint John, Truro, Charlottetown; third ASS at Fredericton and Dairy Queen elimination at Saint John
Last raced August 2003


SPUDLAND SIERRA (Mare) (Knightly Blue Chip-First To Fly)
p.6,1:52.1s ($124,877)
Lifetime record:  78-18-15-10
Owner:  Brent & Weldon Briggs
Trainer:  Brent Briggs

Career Highlights
At 3, won first three lifetime starts at Flamboro
At 4 & 5, awarded Mare of-the-Year at Fredericton Raceway
At 6, won three consecutive races at Woodbine; 1:52.1 record was fastest ever by a New Brunswick bred mare and second fastest by any Maritime-bred mare at the time (2004); three wins better than 1:53
Retired June 2005
Fredericton Raceway Hall of Fame 2007


TIDY POINT (Set Point-Tidy Lobell)
p.4,1:58.3f ($110,264)
Lifetime record:  352-73-77-55
$3,000 yearling purchase at Octoberfest Yearling Sale in New Jersey
Owner:  Roy Goodine
Trainer:  Mike Campbell

Career Highlights
At 3, won 13 of 26 races
At 4, winner Robie Kaizer Memorial at Truro; winner Abbeland-Pepsi early closer at Moncton; second in Gold Cup & Saucer consolation at Charlottetown; third in Walter Dale Memorial at Fredericton;
At 5, second in Governor’s Plate at Summerside
At 6, winner Pepsi Invitational at Sydney (1:59.1) new track record; winner Dieppe Classic at Moncton
At 7, winner leg of Alpine Autumn Gold Series at Saint John; second in Gold Cup & Saucer consolation at Charlottetown; second in Alexander Memorial at Saint John; second in Ferguson Memorial at Sydney
At 8, Aged Pacing Horse of the Year at Saint John
Winningest horse ever developed in Fredericton
Last raced February 1995


TORNADO TIM (Trotter) (Revenue S – Cyclone Annie)
t.9,1:54.1f ($351,440)
Lifetime Record:  214-39-26-18
$7,000 yearling purchase at Harrisburg
Owner:  Everette Hanson
Trainer:  Everette Hanson

Career Highlights
Numerous wins in the Preferred trot classes in Ontario and New York
First trotter in history to surpass $250,000 in lifetime earnings.


WOODMERE TOPCAT (Drop Off-Fern Seelster) 
p.4,1:54.3h;6,1:52.1m ($153,719)
Lifetime record:  142-29-14-23
Owner:  Lloyd and Amy Denton
Trainer:  Lloyd Denton

Career highlights
At 2, winner ASS & PEI Colt at Charlottetown; second in Dairy Queen final to Chatham Hoochee
At 3, winner ASS at Summerside & Truro; Bill Quigg at Fredericton (1:58.1)
At 4, winner Walter Dale at Fredericton; set track records at Saint John (1:54.3) and Summerside (1:55.3); won four races in five starts at Meadowlands; awarded Atlantic Canada Horse-of-the-Year
At 8, winner ABC Invitational at Charlottetown
Raced entire career free-legged
Last raced June 2004
Fredericton Raceway Hall of Fame 2008

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I would like to acknowledge the contributions of Patrick Eastwood to this blog.
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