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Qualifying races underway for Inverness Raceway opener Sunday

It was a star-studded cast of horses and drivers in the final qualifying race on Sunday at Inverness Raceway. From the top: Custards Dungeon (Zach Mullins), Sunshine Lou (Danny Gillis), Windemere Best Man (Redmond Doucet), and Eastcoast Invader (Monica Sutherland). All four top-class horses qualified in the two-minute range.


May 22, 2024

-by Bill Dunphy
    It was almost like opening day – the hustle and bustle of trainers and grooms getting horses ready, drivers  going from horse to horse as the races go off, owners getting in the way, the judges getting their video feed working, and the paddock judge making sure the starters are ready to hit the track.
    Yes, Inverness Raceway came alive on Sunday with seven qualifying races and 26 horses making their qualifying time in order to race for this Sunday’s opening day.
    Among those looking forward to the 2024 campaign was trainer Lanny Hanscombe.
    A horseman for more than 35 years and a veteran driver as well, Hanscombe had the pleasure of training last year’s horse of the year, Windemere Best Man, and the top three-year-old colt, Lyons Swift.
    “It was a career year for sure,” said Hanscombe, who had an incredible UTRS of .496.
    The Universal Trainer Rating System is a method of determining that status of a driver or trainer based on the amount of wins, seconds, and thirds he/she has in relationship to the number of starts.
    In 34 starts, Hanscombe’s trainees had 12 wins, 7 seconds, and 3 thirds for a win percentage of 35.3 and earnings of $13,091.
    “The horses were great for us,” he said. “Best Man is just a pleasure to work with every day. He likes to get down to business and gives you everything he has.”
    Owned by Simon Poirier and Chad MacDonnell, the six-year-old gelding by Malicious and the Artscape mare Art Blanche set a new mark of 1:56.4 last June.
    “He went right to the front out of the three-hole that day, and Zach (Mullins) gave him a great drive. But as anyone will tell you, any day that you win is a good day.”
    Hanscombe is also a part owner of Lyons Swift with J.J. MacDonald. Now a four-year-old, Swift lived up to his name with a 5-4-5 record in 27 starts. As a two-year-old at Dresden Downs, the Stay Hungry scion set a 1:57.4 mark that they hope he can match this year.
    “Both horses trained down good,” said Hanscombe after they both qualified on Sunday. “We started in February and there were a lot of cold days, but you put the work in and after that everybody hopes for the best.”
    There is another round of qualifying races scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight (Wednesday) and the first race card of the season is set for this Sunday with a 1 p.m. post time.
    It is hoped that some of the horses that qualified at Northside Downs earlier this month will be in the box for Sunday’s draw. As well, there could be some Truro horses in the mix as Truro Raceway is not racing this weekend.

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

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Inverness, Nova Scotia. B0E 1N0
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