Notes from the Backstretch: Rising temperatures, faster finishes and Chappell earns sure spot
The big news from Fraser Downs is that the final spots have been determined for the Standardbred Canada Western Regional Drivers championship to take place at Fraser Downs April 26.
Bill Davis and Jim Marino had secured positions many weeks ago but the final spots went right down to the final day of qualifying April 13.
Former PEI resident John Chappell earned a spot for sure and depending how many horses are entered for that day, Scott Knight may have also made the championship.
Chappell is a member of the well-known racing family in PEI and is thrilled at the possibility of competing in the National Championship if he were to be one of two drivers going forward from the Fraser Downs event.
Brandon Campbell, Travis Cullen and Gerry Hudon will represent Alberta, Richard Remillard from Saskatchewan and Don Howlett from Manitoba will round out the field at the Western Regional Drivers championship. See you April 26, 12:45 p.m., at Fraser Downs!
With the temperatures rising this past weekend, the horses' winning times lowered. Eleven of the 22 winners went faster than they have ever gone before.
The last weekend of April represents one of the biggest weekends of the year in B.C. racing, on Friday night Fraser Downs will feature close to $250,000 in purses (four stake races), Saturday afternoon the Standardbred Canada Western Region Drivers Challenge at Fraser Downs to end the meet and Hastings Park in Vancouver will kick off the Thoroughbred season on Sunday.
Live Racing resumes this Friday (April 18) at a 12:45 p.m. special holiday post time, and Sunday afternoon at 12:45 p.m. (April 20).
– Jackson Wittup is executive director of Harness Racing B.C.