Kiss Me Im Irish just missed as the public choice in the first Winners Over Pace of the 2023 season at Northside Downs, but the top-class veteran rewarded her supporters and connections on Saturday (May 20).
With rail control to her advantage in the $1,600 weekly feature, Kiss Me Im Irish stepped out alertly and gained early control of the mile. Driver Ryan Campbell and Kiss Me Im Irish quickly had company on top as favoured Southwind Ricardo (Brett Leblanc) had every intention of challenging for the front end. The advances were rebuffed with disdain. Kiss Me Im Irish and Campbell kept that pedal to the metal through panels of :28.2, :58 and 1:27.2 before closing the mile in :30.3 for the 1:58 score.
Full credit to Southwind Ricardo in finishing second, parked every step of the mile — even poking a half-length in front at the half — and still around at the end of the battle to finish second by 1-1/2 lengths. A Better Man (Gerard Kennedy) rounded out the top three.
Ian MacNeil trains and co-owns Kiss Me Im Irish (Big Jim - First Lady Of Art) along with Bernard MacNeil of Miscouche, P.E.I. and Joseph MacNeil of Ingonish, N.S. The six-year-old North Sydney stalwart secured her 26th career victory to lift her career stash of cash to $41,707. As the 2-1 second choice, she paid $6.40 to win.
To view the results from the Saturday card of harness racing in Cape Breton, click the following link: Saturday Results - Northside Downs.