Big League has quickly moved into the big leagues of harness racing in the Maritimes.

The four-year-old gelding, with Saint John-area roots, shattered the 17-year-old track record at Exhibition Park Raceway in Saint John by four-fifths of a second on Friday night.

Twenty-year-old driver Dale Spence of Saint John was in the sulky for the record-setting mile trip in 1:53.4, shattering the old mark in a sport where records are usually set by tiny fractions.

"It was really a miraculous performance by him," said Spence.

"I mean, he's quite an animal."


Dale Spence drove Big League for the first time in the record-setting race. (CBC)

Spence met Big League for the first time just moments before the race.

"He wanted to race. I knew the track record was going to fall," said Spence.

"He's a complete athlete."

Big League is now owned by Johan Moarse from Prince Edward Island. But he was raised and trained in Saint John.

Sean Dooley trained Big League and raced him as a two-year-old when he won all nine of his races.

"Certainly in the Maritimes he's well equipped to keep himself a superstar, and its nice to have a young fella with a Saint John connection out driving him," said Dooley.

Spence and Big League will team up again this weekend in Fredericton.

"That was one of the first questions they asked when I got back to the Winners Circle — 'Can you go to Fredericton?'" Spence said.

"I said … 'Jonah, I would walk there if I had to.'"