Eighteen (Tyler Moore) went wire to wire last night to win the Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer in 1:51, tying the track record for aged pacers. Tyler Moore took advantage of the rail position and fired out, allowing him to make each point of call a winning one with fractions of :26.4, :54.2, 1:22.1, and 1:51 at the wire, holding off a fast closing Mystician. Amazon Art finished third.
After watching the races last night from Charlottetown Driving Park, I was longing for the old style of racing I remember from the past when the racing was much more exciting for the fan to watch. In the following two replays, you will see three and four wide drives in the backstretch the second time around, two tiers of horses of horses racing, and movement throughout the entire mile. Something quite different from today's typical races. Heck, half mile track racing which was exciting.
No, the miles were not necessarily fast when compared to other tracks but to the gambler, does it matter if a race goes in 2:01 or 1:52? Of course not, they want to see exciting races with those wide-sweeping moves and prolonged challenges on the outside. They rather have three or four horses at the wire in 2:01 instead of seeing horses romping in 1:49. Track and world records mean something to breeders and their owners, but track records doesn't impress the gambler; they want to cash tickets. If we are going to have people wait fifteen minutes between races, we may as well give them two minutes of excitement instead of a yawn-fest.
For at least one night, I got to enjoy what made me fall into love with harness racing in the first place. Unfortunatley, it may be another year until I get to see it again.