Foiled Again! He may not have won the 2014 edition of the Molson Pace, at The Raceway, but he would certainly live up to the hype for and in that race - my first ‘big race’ call in Ontario - after moving from Alberta during the Fall of 2013… This particular race call was going to be a HUGE deal for this small-town guy from P.E.I.!
I can remember being very nervous, beforehand, on the day of May 30, 2014. Some big name horses were coming to London - Foiled Again, Apprentice Hanover and State Treasurer - among others… And then the list of drivers, for the big race, was very impressive - Chris Christoforou, Jody Jamieson, Yannick Gingras, Brett Miller, Trevor Henry, Sylvain Filion, Jason Bartlett and Mark MacDonald - most I’d only seen racing via simulcast prior to this day.
When I had heard Foiled Again was with us and in the paddock on this day - long before the crowd began to show up - I made my way there for a face-to-face visit… It was only then when I began to feel my nervous butterflies fly away… The old saying goes “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” - Winston Churchill… Now I’ve always been in a firm believer in this quote and the moment I came face-to-face with Foiled Again - was the moment a calmness came over me. He was so calm and cool - like it was just another day at the races - for one of harness racing’s greatest ever. My meet and greet with this ‘people’s champ’ was just what I needed and from that point on - I’d be good to go!
There’s always some prep work involved for calling the horses and sometimes the biggest races may get a little more attention than the others… We can go over a race - dozens of times beforehand and try to guess what ‘may happen’ for pace and trip scenarios, but for the 2014 Molson Pace - nobody could have predicted the start for race favourite State Treasurer and nobody could have imagined that he’d overcome it…
The only thing I had ‘scripted’ - for this particular race - would be my ‘salute call’ for Foiled Again as they turned for home… “This is Foiled Again being awesome - it’s awesome being Foiled Again!”… I was lucky to not have any other ‘crib note calls’ at the ready for this one - they’d have been no good to me anyway and likely would have made for a messed up call in the end… In the end - I think the call worked out well - the race itself came out even better!
2014 Molson Pace - www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=NvQJGFg-R4g&feature=emb_title
Had a chance recently to watch, listen and reminisce about - some great race calls from back in the day on a race callers roundtable… For me Tom Durkin has my favourite race call ever! It’s for the 1989 Breeders Cup with Sunday Silence winning over easy Goer… His adjectives used to describe the action, the rise in his booming voice for the stretch drive and then - when it’s over - you can really appreciate the fact in knowing that he gave it everything he had…
A great job by the ‘roundtable’ host Greg Blachard and fun catching up with fellow race caller Ken Middleton. To watch last Wednesday’s COSA TV: ‘Race Callers Roundtable’ click on this link https://standardbredcanada.ca/news/3-25-20/live-interview-middleton-doyl…
*I did have a Raceway fan/player lined up for today’s blog feature, but he was busy celebrating the birth of a new grandson - born this past weekend… Congratulations Jim Brewer and Family!
Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle
Announcer - The Raceway