Reflecting on the year in harness racing we had some good, some bad and some ugly. We'll forget the bad and the ugly for this post. We read enough of it.
So, let's go with the best of 2007. In my opinion, which ain't worth much.
Race of the Year: This is a tough one. The 3YO Breeders Crown Colt Pace certainly added spice. Brian Sears with Always a Virgin parked out Tell All in a scorching half. A bomber with George Brennan - Artist View - picked up the pieces. Snow White's race at Lexington was a jaw-dropper. World Record.
But I pick the 2007 Metro Stakes as my race of the year. The big guns were there - George Teague, Duane Marfisi, and others with powerful horses. Lo and behold a strapping son of Ontario sire Mach Three, owned by a few people from the booming metropolis of Truro Nova Scotia took home the prize. And take it home he did - in World record fashion. Somebeachsomewhere's Metro win is my race of the year.
Race Call of the Year: Every year it is the same for me. Old time harness racing. Small town harness racing. Grassroots harness racing. Vance Cameron at the Gold Cup and Saucer. The fireworks at the start almost had Mr. Cameron jumping out of the announcers booth. I loved it. It was infectious. I love the crowd too. We don't see that enough. You do out east though - every year.
Feel Good Story of the Year: Joe Canadian, a claimer at Sarnia's Hiawatha Horse Park had a nasty accident last year. The water truck and him didn't get along. He was badly beat up and I don't think too many would have thought putting him down wasn't a probable option. But don't tell 20 year old Britt Kennedy that. She nursed him back to health, and less than a year later he was racing for her again. And winning. It is a great story. Woodbine won a Hervey Award for it. Pats on the back all around. And to Ms. Kennedy: Well done!
Best Day at the Track: North America Cup night at Mohawk. It is about time they brought it there. It was fabulous. And the place was packed. A great night of racing which was enjoyable for the fans. We need more like that.
I hope we can top those in 2008. We just might. Snow White and Somebeachsomewhere might be able to rewrite record books. There were many good 2YO and 3YO trotters and pacers. The classics this year could be well worth the price of admission.
Happy new year everyone and all the best in 2008.