Chappell Stakes kicks off Summerside Raceway year

Doug
Doug Harkness
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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Summerside Raceway was to kick off its 2007 season on Wednesday night, featuring two $10,000 divisions of the Ruby Chappell Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Named in honor of the matriarch of the prominent P.E.I. racing family, the Ruby Chappell is the first stakes test of the Maritime harness racing season.

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. - Summerside Raceway was to kick off its 2007 season on Wednesday night, featuring two $10,000 divisions of the Ruby Chappell Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies. Named in honor of the matriarch of the prominent P.E.I. racing family, the Ruby Chappell is the first stakes test of the Maritime harness racing season.

The first division, which is programmed as Race 6, features an early season showdown between three of the top two-year-old fillies of the 2006 season.

Atlantic Sires Stakes champion Southview Special drew Post 2 for Walter Cheverie with Island Galeforce (Gilles Barrieau) leaving third and Maritime Breeders champion Southview Sally from 5th. Island Galeforce, owned by breeder Dr. Bob Webster was selected two-year-old pacing filly of the year at both Charlottetown and Summerside.

Others in this division were Woodmere Showgirl, Blow By Blue, You Old Smoothie and Oceanview Lorrie.

Island Velvet, in rein to Cheverie, drew the rail in the 8-horse second division that looks like a wide-open affair.

The 13-dash season's opener also features a $2,500 class with six starters, including Rigio Hanover, a 1:57.3 winner at Charlottetown earlier this year.

Post Time is 7 p.m.

Northside Downs Licence Approved for North Sydney

The Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission has given the green light for Northside Downs in North Sydney to open for the 2007 harness racing season.

"Their licence has been approved." said Dr. Paul Hogan, director of racing for the MPHRC, who said the Cape Breton racetrack would hold the first set of qualifying races on Tuesday.

Hogan, who was in North Sydney to inspect the track facilities over the weekend, says the track has been granted 29 race dates for the season, but the date for the official opening has still not been determined.

Northside Downs president Ray Bragg said earlier that he was aiming for an early June opening. It looks like either June 9th or June 16th could be the target date.

Harness racing was first introduced at North Sydney in 1898 and continuing at intervals until 1957. The track, located on the Cape Breton exhibition grounds, has been used as a training tracks for years with matinee races held on several occasions.

The last races were held at Northside Downs on Sept. 9, 1989.

Northside Downs applied for a licence from the MPHRC last fall after the closure of Tartan Downs in Sydney resulted in no harness racing in industrial Cape Breton for the 2006 season.



Alantic Post Calls

Organizations: Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission

Geographic location: SUMMERSIDE, North Sydney, Charlottetown Cape Breton Sydney

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