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Drive On

Here's Drive On's top 5 moments of 2012

 

Here’s a list of Drive On’s personal top 5 with accompanying video. Keep in mind this is a personal list of favorites races or moments, some reflect the absolute epitome of greatness, others (see #3) are just moments that are dear to my heart.

#1 - The Little Brown Jug Final

From a purely jingoistic standpoint, it didn’t get any better for a Canadian than this year’s Jug. Ontario-bred pacer Michael’s Power, trained by first-time winner and Canadian native Casie Coleman and driven by young Canadian superstar Scott Zeron blew the doors off his rivals in the Final using a 25.2 record first quarter to issue a “NO YOU DON’T” statement to Meadowlands Pace winner A Rock N Roll Dance who was intent on getting to the front but had no choice but to take back. From a personal standpoint, Scotty winning the Jug and stamping himself as the youngest ever in his first try validated for good my prediction early in Zeron’s driving career that he would climb to the top of the mountain quickly. I took some heat for that statement on more than one occasion, but, on this day, no one could doubt The Natural, Scotty Z as he coasted to the Delaware wire an easy Jug winner.

#2 North America Cup Final

Hall of Famer Bob McIntosh’s first North American Cup win was a thriller as Thinking Out Loud powered down the middle of the Mohawk stretch to nail prohibitive favorite Sweet Lou in the shadow of the wire. Seeing this race live up close from my traditional spot on the Mohawk rail was only half the fun for me as I had predicted on my radio show North American Harness Update that TOL would upset and gave out the $133 exacta of Thinking Out Loud-Time To Roll on the Drive On blog.

 

#3 Race 3 Hanover Raceway - October 06, 2012

What better way can a guy like me celebrate his 48th birthday than to announce a live standard bred race for the very first time. What a thrill! Here is the video evidence (try not to cover your ears)

#4 Breeders Crown Aged Trot

Similar to the previous year’s edition here was a North America-Europe rivalry brewing in the BC Aged Trot. European Champion Commander Crowe, 3rd in the ‘11 edition was back and his connections stated publicly that they had learned something from the first journey and would be sending their hero to the front and letting NOBODY go early, including American champion (and Horse of the Year candidate) Chapter Seven. Little did we know that their strategy would produce the setting for a mile for the ages to be trotted:

#5 Breeders Crown 3YO Trot

Hambletonian winner Market Share came into the Breeders Crown a heavy favorite to vanquish some familiar foes and potentially win Horse Of The Year as only the fourth trotter in history to earn $2 million in one season. But Quebec-bred and owned and aptly named gelding Intimidate had other ideas. Following a stunning stretch explosion in the elims that vaulted the Canadian colt past Market Share late, Intimidate was one of the favorites in the Final. Rightfully so:

What makes this race special for me was watching many of the “little guys” celebrate wildly after their less-heralded gelding (that they paid big cash to supplement to the race) rewarded their confidence. It truly was magical to be in the middle of such a joyous celebration and Intimidate’s win provided a much-needed boost to the struggling industry in Quebec.

Those are my favorites; I’m sure you have some of your own that are equally exciting. Thank you for reading Drive On and may you have a Happy and prosperous New Year. See you in 2013!

Garnet

 

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Older Comments about Here's Drive On's top 5 moments of 2012...

Great post!
read Down the Stretch all the time as it is free at work
Thanks everyone; I intend to expand my blog next year. I also write for www.downthestretchnewspaper.com AND do an weekly internet radio show called North America Harness Update AND have a full-time job unrelated to racing. So the only real barrier is time. I invite anyone to send me a friend request on Facebook and follow me at @gocashking on Twitter. Thank you for reading my blog and giving feedback. I truly appreciate it.
Agree with railbird33 keep posting. The Jug I'd definitely like to go to. Have seen it on TV but looks like it would amazing in person. Look forward to more posts Driveon.
woked at the harness races for years now, LOVE the horses, the people, the stewards, the trainers....It is just the racing that never does a thing for me.
Driveon, YES, keep posting. I've been attending the Lil' Brown Jug for over 25+ years. It is a great day for horse racing fans. Around 50,000 fans and the best harness horses in North America for this triple Crown classic.
Driveon. I thought I read that Somebeachsomewhere will stand the 2013 season at Hanover in PA after coming back from Australia
Appreciate it and I'm going to make a point of posting more often in '13. It's hard to say how it's going to go up here still although the exodus of sires like Bettor's Delight and Dewey doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Thank God we still have Somebeach. There are a lot of crossed fingers up here, believe me.
Driveon. Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays to you. Here's to a Happy New Year for Ontario racing and some light at the end of the tunnel. I read Windsor may get a new track with the expansion of the Fairgrounds. Hope it happens. PS enjoy the posts about harness racing.
I can't argue that Buck; like I said, this is a list of personal highs and I was at every one of these races except the Jug. Foiled Again is an amazing competitor and he came through big time in the Pacing Derby when he had been discounted by the betting public. Unfortunately, I wasn't at the race that night.
Maybe, but that doesn't mean I am interested in it.
URR. When you moan about all the thoroughbreds who can't seem to make it past their three year old year, you should take a look at harness horses who commonly race into their fourth, fifth years and beyond. The top money winning pacer is 8 yrs old. There is a race at Monticello Raceway called the Au Revoir where 14 yr old horses race their last race. May be the harness people are doing something right that the thoroughbred people should emulate.
Drive on. I might have mentioned Foiled Again becoming the top pacing money winner with the Pacing Derby. I believe he is eight yr old and is now fourth on the all time list of all harness horses. I believe he will be trying to be the all time money winning harness horse.
I didn't mean to come across so rude. I read it and I was like "Where's the delete button?" Sorry. I am just not that interested in harness.
standardbreds are gritty competitiors with legs like iron
Thanks Buck; Happy Holidays and Happy and prosperous New Year bud.
It was a blast Andy
URAr. With all due respect harness racing is horse racing. It may not be thoroughbred racing but it is very exciting. You should expand your horizons.
Nice race call. Agree with the races of Chapter Seven and Intimidate.
Hey Garnet, your race call was pretty darn good! That must have been a lot of fun!

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Meet Garnet Barnsdale

 

I am an Honours Graduate from Humber College School of Journalism and a lifelong race fan and handicapper who has been watching and wagering on harness racing for more than 30 years. I was a staff writer for The Standardbred magazine in the late '80s. I will attempt to provide both beginners and veterans with valuable information and handicapping tips and advice on the top events from all major harness circuits.