Day At The Track

Lilley Filly gathers attention in harness racing

12:49 AM 15 Mar 2018 NZDT
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The ascension of Bettim Jackie in Ontario racing is gathering attention both from Island racing enthusiasts and Ontario horsemen as well. The Island bred filly, who learned her early lessons from trainer Jeff Lilley at the Charlottetown Driving Park, recently won in 1:53.4 at Woodbine Raceway, her second victory in a row on the tough Woodbine circuit.

The 3-year old daughter of Andreoli Hanover has continued to improve with every start and has nearly $50,000 in earnings so far this year. Her 2-year old campaign was a bit inconsistent in the Maritimes but she did show some immense talent on occasion and recorded a Lady Slipper-Grassroots victory at the Summerside Raceway in August.

Trainer Jeff Lilley has had a lot of success with his “Bettim” named pupils, Bettim Jackie looks like she could be the best one yet.

The other current success story from Maritime breds and stakes graduates in the region is the exploits of Pappy Go Go on the New York racing scene. In our last column we mentioned the 4-year old trotters’ big win at the Meadowlands in 1:53.4. Since then, the talented son of Island sire Tad The Stud was a winner once again at the Yonkers Raceway half mile oval in 1:57.3. Pappy Go Go was undefeated through his Maritime campaign last year.

The PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association banquet will be held on April 14 at the Murphy Centre in Charlottetown. American trainer Erv Miller who has over 5,000 winners to his credit and over $78 million in stakes earnings will be the co-speaker along with his daughter Hannah who is a two-time amateur driver of the year in the United States. The PEISHOA will also host their annual curling event on March 24 at the Charlottetown Curling Club.

The tumultuous situation in New Brunswick harness racing has led to the cancellation of race dates that were slated for the Fredericton Raceway in 2018. On top of that, it looks like the long running stakes events in Fredericton, the Bill Quigg Memorial and Williamson Memorial, will be renamed and take place in Saint John. The industry in New Brunswick has been on life support for the past few years, with some in-fighting taking place as well, leading to a heart that is barely beating.

By Shane Bernard

Reprinted with permission of the site

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