Days of Thunder kicked off in Little Pine with some wind and sunshine. The Race Committee did an outstanding job in track preparations.
Jamie Laboucane fractured his ankle on Day 5 of Calgary stampede after his left wheeler rear kicked him in the lane way, causing him to sit out the last half of the show. Brother-in-law BJ Carey and CPCA Driver Chance Bensmiller stepped up and drove Jamie’s outfit for the remainder of the show, where he finished 31st overall. “Coming into Days of Thunder in Little Pine, I needed 2 drivers for my outfits. Danny will be driving my first outfit and BJ Carey will be driving my second. Danny is an up-coming driver, driving quite well for the past few years. I picked him because I knew he could handle my horses and trust him out there with getting them back safely. The lead team was back together from North Battleford and I put an outriding horse on left wheel and Jack, a horse that I traded Danny for on right wheel. It’s hard to let your horses go with someone else. I like to be in the box myself but picking the two guys I did, I had full trust in them. Thanks to the Sidekick’s Express and my barn crew for their on-going support!”
Danny Ringuette stepped up to the task without hesitation, winning the aggregate in Little Pine with Jamie’s outfit. “I ran into him at the gas station in Paradise Hill and he asked me there but I had a bit of an idea he would ask me. He has great horses and they are nice to drive. On day 1 they really popped together when I cued them at the top, they folded up nice and the lead team did well. They had a good run and ran hard. I don’t feel much pressure driving someone else’s outfit, I really love to drive so I was more excited to get to drive more. I sure feel the pressure when Brian Laboucane tell me how to drive a bit (laughter) but I just take it as another day, you got to go out and have fun. I love driving and I get another opportunity to do what I love.”
Kris Molle earned day money on day 2 & 3, also setting a new track record with a time of 1:11.23. “Wayne is fast, he barrels hard and he’s got lots of run in him so I had to get that jump start out of the barrels otherwise he would have taken me down the lane. The team hit hard and they hit together which is the biggest win and they ran hard together. It’s the original outfit from last year the I put them back together for a chance to get into the Dash. We’ll keep them together for a little longer I think! There’s not 1 horse on the hook that has won a ton of money on the race track but for some reason, they very fast and they work so well as a team. With how things went at the Calgary Stampede, you must learn from your mistakes and do better. I do want to do my best and get that championship run. Stampede was such an incredible experience for myself and my horses, the venue is outstanding and learning how to manage the noise and the bucking shoots is a great learning. You put a lot of pressure on yourself and the pressure of the show gets to you at times. I just want to run clean and make it! Thanks to PWM Steel and Benoit Oilfield Construction for helping me get down the road!”
Jamie Laboucane’s outfit won the Days of Thunder Aggregate with a total time 3:39.01, just ahead of Kris Molle and Wayne Knight, all within a second from each other. He proudly handed his buckle over to Driver Danny Ringuette. “We were off Barrel 2 and they started all together, we made a nice turn. They ran hard all the way to the finish line. Just a basic run that ended up being fast!” Danny explains. Jamie agreed and had this to add:” It was good, we’ve switched a lot of horses on Danny this weekend, throwing different curve balls at him every day as we’re trying to get things figured out for ourselves and the point outfit. Each night, he took a different outfit and ran fast them. We pulled off an aggregate win, which is awesome for a guy that’s never drove these horses before. On Day 3, we hooked Mugs on left leader and Credit on the right and they hadn’t run together before. We hook Coin and Jack on the front and it was nice to see them all work together like Danny said”. Danny didn’t really get bothered with all the changes: “You try your best with the outfit that’s given to you. He’s got good horses and it’s like in the spring when you see what will work the best for you.”
The Dash for Cash was also won by Jamie, with BJ Carey driving for him and Outriders Logan Pethick and Tyler McKenzie. Here’s some pictures of the weekend.