It looks like it's going to clear up to be a great race night and Rollwithitharry should have a race track rated 'fast' for tonight. This will be Harry's first road trip to race in 4 years, and being a stallion, trucking with other horses and stepping into a different paddock for the first time are all challenges that we hope he'll take like an 'old pro'!
With 16 races beginning at 6:30pm, Harry probably won't leave Charlottetown until about 5:30pm. The Matheson's have 4 other horses racing tonight in Sside including Woodmere's Collective Wisdom in the 15th for the Open Mares final. With the Carnival going in the background, there should be a great crowd and atmosphere by the time Harry goes to Post in Race 11 at 9:50pm. He'll be on the track to warm up after the 9th in his pink gear!
What to look for during the race: Harry will have to leave hard to protect his rail position, Adkins Hanover likes to race on front and we know Sock It Away will be leaving hard off the gate. With Sock It Away being the favourite to win the race, Gilles will likely be content to follow him but nobody else. In the perfect script, we want Sock It Away to see a good stiff challenge from one of the other horses at the half mile to 3/4 so he doesn't get a breather then Harry can test him down the stretch to the finish line! Fortunately, you can never write a script for a horse race... that's what makes it so EXCITING!! Good luck Harry!!!
Harry's day before race day started off with a trailer ride to AVC where he was collected for one of the last few mares this breeding season. After he returned to the track, he went out for his daily 4 mile jog. This afternoon, after his bath and a chance to rest, he got to meet one of his new shareholders, Debbie Kennedy. If anyone wants to meet Harry at the stable, feel free to contact us.
Harry raced super last night! Gilles wasn't planning to leave with him but Harry wanted to go with the gate so Gilles let him roll out of there. Harry settled in behind Sock it Away and stayed with him the whole race. They finished in 1:57.3 (Harry in 1:58.0) on a track that was rated "sloppy" . Harry had a fantastic final quarter, finishing in 28.1. Gilles commented that Harry is going to be a fun horse this summer! He loves to race even at 11 years old!!
Race replays are available on the Red Shores website, under the 'Racing' tab within 24h of the race. It's a great way to reanalyze or relive the race.
For anyone that plans to attend the races this evening, Harry will race at 9pm. With this being his first race in 6 months, we should keep our expectations curbed!
We hope he gets away well, they won't want him on front cutting out the mile, but will want Harry to finish his mile strong. Harry's been around awhile and he will let Gilles know when he wants to go. If the unexpected happens and he reaches the wire first (and wins) then whoever can make it to the winner's circle for a photo will have about 2 minutes to do so!
Here is the web address for those of you planning to watch Harry from home through the livestream: http://player.communitylive.ca/Player/Player/95
You can also reach the live broadcast through the Red Shores website www.redshores.ca, click the tab for Live Racing, and then click on Live Broadcast.
Race night programs are also available on the Red Shores website, where you can download a pdf. of the whole program. https://redshores.ca/racing/racing-programs/
Here is a glimpse of what Harry's day/ night will look like tomorrow and the gear that he wears. Thank you to Bobbi Jo Matheson for putting this together for all of us. Stay tuned tomorrow for information on watching Harry tomorrow night, live and live-stream!
Harry's race day routine:
We thought we should walk those new to Standardbreds through what we call 'draw day'! To be entered to race Saturday night, your trainer Jackie Matheson has to enter Rollwithitharry by 9am Wednesday morning. Once the horse is entered, the Race Classifier (Gerard Smith) determines which of the 12 race 'Conditions' our horse fits into. The conditions are based on his performance through his last 5 races, earnings per start etc.. Harry finished up strongly in January so he's classified as 'Preferred 2'. Keep in mind that the water isn't quite as deep the end of January as it is in JULY!
Today there were 6 horses classified Preferred 2 for Saturday night. Next, the Classifier does the post position draw between those 6 horses. As far as post position goes, inside is always better then outside. The Saturday draw was posted about 1pm today (Wednesday) while driver changes and other details all became ironed out through the afternoon. For instance, when the draw came out this afternoon for Harry's race, Gilles Barrieau was listed to drive three different horses in the same race. Gilles chose to drive Harry, so the trainers of the other two horses he was listed on will need to go to plan B for their drivers.
With the Governors Plate Eliminations attracting the best horses in Atlantic Canada on Sunday in Summerside, Harry's race 11 becomes the 'Featured Race' on Saturday night in Charlottetown. Harry drew post position #4 in the 11th race which will go to post at 9pm. We'll have more updates as Harry's first race for Rollwithitharry Racing is now only days away!
Rollwithitharry had a great weekend! He qualified on Saturday evening in 158.4 finishing 2nd to Sock it Away. On the same night his 2 year old son Woodmere Rollharrio was impressive finishing 2nd in his first lifetime start in 200.3. This was the first official race for offspring of Rollwithitharry.
Also on the weekend Rollwithitharry Racing reached over 100 shareholders. When we began this initiative, selling 100 shares felt like an overly optimistic goal but now with the support of all you, the shareholders in Rollwithitharry Racing, we can set our sights on more ambitious goals. Seeing families cheering for Harry and then visiting the Matheson's stable, listening to stories of people who just want to reconnect with harness racing, and hearing from those who want to support the awareness of breast cancer has exceeded our expectations.
The more people we have cheering for Harry the more fun it is, the more money we raise for Harness the Hope then the more awareness we can achieve together.
Rollwithitharry will be #4 in the 4th qualifier tomorrow. Qualifiers begin at 4:30, so he will go between 4:45 and 5:00. Again, anybody wanting to visit or get a photo with Harry, then just let us know. PEI 2018 Horse of the Year, Sock it Away, is in the same qualifier