Fillion, Riley Recognized; Impressive Dude Impresses At Kawartha

Samuel Fillion, Tom Riley and Jim Huck
Published: September 17, 2023 01:55 pm EDT

On Saturday, Sept. 16, Kawartha Downs recognized its leading driver and trainer for the 2023 season.

Kawartha Downs' Director of Horse Racing Jim Huck (right in the above photo) made the trackside presentation to leading driver Samuel Fillion (left) and top trainer Tommy Riley (centre).

The Future Star winner at the 2022 O'Brien Awards, Samuel Fillion has an insurmountable lead heading into the final card of season. With 140 local starts, Fillion sports a 35-24-21 summary with $135,733 in local earnings.

Riley of nearby Roseneath, Ont. has sent out 83 starters at Kawartha thus far and also sports a sizable margin atop the training leader board thanks to his 20-14-15 summary with $72,405 in purses.

With the Prospect Series finals on the horizon, Impressive Dude is certainly trying to live up to his name.

The sophomore trotting son of My MVP - Strikingimpression has won three of his last four appearances, and he doesn't need to take his track with him. He sports wins at Grand River Raceway, Georgian Downs and — most recently — at Kawartha Downs on Saturday, Sept. 16 in the final Prospect Series leg. 

Samuel Fillion sent the 1-7 favourite to the front from post five in the sole $8,900 Prospect Series leg, and the sophomore did the rest. Through fractions of :28.3, :59.2 and 1:29, Impressive Dude easily kicked clear of his foes with a :29 final panel for the 1:58 victory over Oceanview Massey (Doug Brown) and RJ Flash (Samara Johnson).

Trained by Eric Nadeau, Impressive Dude is owned by Louis-Philippe Roy of Campbellville, Ont., Michel Letarte of Boucherville, Que. and Jean Allaire of Montreal, Que. His form heading into the Prospect Series final on Sept. 27 at Grand River Raceway couldn't be better, with three of his four seasonal wins coming in his last four starts. In 26 lifetime appearances, he sports a 7-5-4 summary with $54,296 in earnings.

Kawartha Downs held a Memorial Night on Saturday, remembering those who have contributed so much to the success of harness racing at the Peterborough-area oval

Individuals honoured on Saturday included Dave "Garney" Gibson, Don Bye, Gerald Lowery, Roger Hie, Michael Peconi, Lorne & Grace Brethour, Bob Quinn, Ivan Johnson, James "Jumbo" Marchment and David Ahern.

Kawartha Downs will be closing out the season with Customer Appreciation on Saturday, Sept. 23. There will be prizes and giveaways after each race. First post time is 7 p.m.

To view the results from the Saturday night card just outside Peterborough, click the following link: Saturday Results - Kawartha Downs.