Per Henriksen is a well known horseman at Kawartha Downs. The Norwood, Ontario, trainer also serves as one of representatives for the Ontario Harness Horse Association at Kawartha.
Chances are if he was watching racing from the Meadowlands tonight, he’d be very proud. Mission Brief was a dominant winner in the Continental Victory Stake leading her driver, Yannick Gingras to call her the best trotter in training right now.
Her trainer, Ron Burke, simply said she’s the best horse he’s ever had, and that’s high praise from a man who has had a stable full of superstars, including the richest of all time, Foiled Again.
Tonight’s win was the 10th in 14 tries this season for Mission Brief. She also has three second place efforts (including in the Hambletonian against the boys). Her only off the board finish came in last month’s Breeders Crown final where she broke stride.
Eight years ago, almost to the day, Henriksen started a filly in the $500,000 Breeders Crown Final, also at the Meadowlands. Against long odds, and a field that included the great Pampered Princess, his filly pulled off the victory which would prove to be her final career start.
Yannick Gingras was also in the sulky for Southwind Serena’s victory and fittingly tonight he was aboard her daughter, Mission Brief.
A native of Norway, Henriksen moved to this area in 2003 and quickly made his presence felt, winning an O’Brien award just a few years later. Noted for his skill with trotters, Per conditioned Southwind Serena for Quebec owner George Lowenfeld, a retired professor from Concordia University in Montreal, whose stable is known as the Andrea Lea Racing Stables.