It was a big night for driver/trainer Donald Howlett as he took a pair of wins at Cornerstone Raceway Friday.
The big win of the night came in the sixth race on the card, the Frank Farrell Memorial Pace.
Howlett drove Royal Will to the victory, in a season-to-date best time for the Raceway of 2:00.3, out-pacing Oblivious Boy with driver Richard Remillard, and Brian Gray with Best For Blues to the top three spots.
“He’s handy. He’s starting to become real handy,” said Howlett of Royal Will, after the five-year-old paced to its third straight win in Yorkton.
Howlett said they had started to think the horse was not going to perform for them. He explained they bought Royal Will in Ontario, and raced him in Ontario, where he did not do well.
“His times were good in Ontario, but he didn’t perform in Edmonton,” he said.
They put him out to pasture last fall, and now he seems to have found his pace in Yorkton.
Howlett said Yorkton’s track seems to fit for Royal Will.
“Dirt tracks suit him better,” he said.
That all said Friday’s win, and the solid time, were somewhat unexpected, starting from the sixth position.
“It’s tough to win out of six on a half-mile track,” said Howlett, who had already noted the race had not developed the way he had it planned. “… Not at all. I had the six hole and was just trying to get around the track.”
Howlett also won race eight on the night with Outlaw Spider.
Remillard had earlier taken Winwood Thunder to the gelding’s third straight win at Cornerstone, but after the completion of the night’s card refused an interview on Thunder’s win.
Gray, who a week earlier had a hat trick of wins, repeated the performance with a trio Friday. He took the night’s opening race with Maid To Order, captured the ReMax Blue Chip Reality Feature Race with Stagger Lee, and the Outlaw Stables Fillies & Mares Pace with Ms Julia Rose.
The Kahkewistahaw Gas & Convenience Store Feature Race was topped by Cheynne Dusk with Garett Isman on the bike.