May 23,2018Lauren Zandee
On April 28 at 11:30 a.m., Dave Kelly arrived at the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino stables to get ready for a day that would become a record-setting personal best. His day began with an uneasy three-year-old filly in the qualifiers that was “very promising,” said Kelly. “She trained really well and we actually had [really] high hopes for her […] but whatever happened the week before going into the qualifier [I don’t know]. She may have gotten cast in the stall or maybe she stepped on a rock or something, but she definitely didn’t cooperate by any means.”
After a trying qualifier, Kelly headed back to the driver’s room to check out the program and see which horses he would driving. He reset his mind after that qualifier and got ready for that first race. At this point, Kelly’s day started to turn around.
When asked about his race plan, Kelly commented that “you can have a plan A, but my theory is you just make a decision off the gate and see where everybody else’s decision lands.”
Kelly’s instincts for that day must have been spot on as he went to the Winner’s Circle five times with only six starts. Five wins and one second is by far the best day Kelly has ever had.
Kelly’s hot streak began with QUEEN OF THRONES from a second-over trip to a one-and-one-half length victory in the opener, winning in 1:56.2. Secondly, was CAMITA B AND E, where Kelly won with an identical time of 1:56.2. Thirdly, there was MISS BOJANGLES with a winning time of 1:57.4. Kelly’s fourth winner came from fan favourite OUTLAWBURNTPOPCORN going a first-over mile before winning by half a length over pacesetter RUN AND TELL with a winning time of 1:57.1. The fifth and final win of the day for Kelly was with HUSH A BYE BABY and a time of 1:56.4. HUSH A BYE BABY is also one of the 10 horses that train out of Kelly’s stable. “We’ve been growing pretty steady over the last month,” said Kelly.
Kelly’s recent wins have also put him in a position to compete in the Western Regional Driving Championship on June 23. “When I competed in the Driver’s Championship two years ago, I think I had a little immaturity and got a bit too excited and tried to win it in the first three races. Going into it this year, I’ve got a little more experience and have learned a little bit more since the last Driver’s Championship and hopefully that works to my advantage” said Kelly.
The top two drivers that come out of the Western Regional Driving Champion will advance to the National Driving Championship in Ontario in September and then the winner from that competition will go to Sweden to compete in the World Driving Championship.
Century Downs Racetrack and Casino wishes you the best of luck Dave!