Along the Backstretch: Fruitful homecoming for Hudon, tears for Spider M

A retirement blanket for 15-year-old racehorse, four wins for Davis, and Hudon joins Surrey Food Bank effort.

Owner/trainer Daniel Gabourey is donating racehorse Buddy Hope's December winnings to the Surrey Food Bank.

The “Old Boy,” Spider M, just couldn’t make his final lifetime start at Fraser Downs on Boxing Day.

The 15-year-old came up a little sore the morning of the race so the team of Janice Wheeler and Ken Dorman decided not to risk any permanent damage before he is turned out to have fun at their farm.

Spider M was able to come over to the winners circle for a retirement blanket presentation with family and friends. Owner Janice Wheeler had to wipe tears away a couple of times thinking about how “Spider” will not be at Fraser Downs every morning to meet her.

Trainer/driver Bill Davis had a good Boxing Day. Bill drove to the winners circle four times, with three of those wins coming from his own stable.

The little horse, Buddy’s Hope, finished a solid fourth in his quest to help the Surrey Food Bank. Buddy raced three times in December and contributed $2,126 which will be matched by Fraser Downs and Harness Racing BC.

Phil Hudon was basically born and raised in Cloverdale and left with his dad, B.C. icon Joe, when he was 15.

Phil brought his family to B.C. to visit friends and mom Shirley and when he heard about the Surrey Food Bank fundraiser, he offered to donate his drivers fee on Sunday (Dec. 28).

Since Phil left B.C., he has won close to 4,000 races and his drives have garnered over $47 million in purses. Phil drove in 10 races and compiled a record of one win, three seconds and a third and only missed getting a cheque in one race.

Phil’s contribution to the day was $350, raising the overall total for the Surrey Food Bank to over $8,300. I will give a complete total and recap next week. Phil will be driving at Fraser Downs on New Year’s day as well.

Fraser Downs will be giving away a 50” smart TV on New Year’s Day. All you have to do is fill out an entry form on the back of the program.

Fraser Downs will be racing New Year’s Day (1:45 p.m.), Friday, Jan. 2 (7 p.m.) and Sunday, Jan. 4 at 12:45 p.m.

– Jackson Wittup is executive director of Harness Racing B.C.

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