Nick Boyd, one of Kawartha Downs’ leading drivers this season, missed the track’s closing night card this past Saturday due to a trip to Alberta, but he still managed a trip to the winner’s circle.
Nick was out west to compete in the Olds Fall Classic, an annual showcase of top quality cattle. He shows Blond d’Aquitaine stock, a breed he’s known since childhood thanks to his grandfather. But like any true blooded horseman, he searched out some harness horses while he was there.
“We’re stabled at the Cow Palace in Olds, Alberta, and I noticed some joggers propped alongside the barn so I went in and looked around and met Joe Ratchford who has his horses there. We got talking and he asked if I’d drive at Century Downs today (Sunday),” explained Nick.
“I didn’t have my suit so I got it and my helmet and boots sent out to me and I had five drives. It was great; it’s a wonderful facility and I was really surprised by the number of people who knew me from driving at Kawartha Downs.”
One of Ratchford’s pupils, Iwontdothatagain, gave Nick his first Century Downs victory in just his second steer of the day much to the surprise of the pundits. The longest shot on the board, the five-year-old gelding paid $110.90 to win. Ratchford shares ownership of the son of Stoneridge Regal with Gordon Baxter.
“I almost had another win in the eighth race, I had it won a few feet before the wire and was caught late and finished a real close third,” Nick added. That steer was behind Secrets Mystery a three-year-old colt owned and trained by Allan Goertzen of Calgary.
“It was a great day, the people were so friendly. I spent some time with Fred Gillis (racing manager at Alberta Standardbred Horse Association) and we talked about me coming back out to drive again. All the horses I drove were longshots so it was a good feeling to do that well.”
Nick ended up fourth on the Kawartha Downs’ driver leaderboard for the 2016 season, behind Gord Brown, Reg Gassien and Rick Webb.