CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The 2017 Weekend Of Champions kicks off Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park featuring 11-dashes including the Atlantic Breeder’s Crown consolations for two and three-year-old pacers.
The card kicks off at 12:30 P.M. with the $5,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown consolations in races 4, 6, 8 and 10 featuring the top performers of the Atlantic Sires Stakes season who did not make the top eight spots for Sunday’s championship finals. Mick Dundee has shown on numerous occasions he can tussle with the top colts and that earns him the status as morning line favorite in the race 10 three-year-old pacing colt consolation. Don MacNeill of Charlottetown owns, trains and drives the son of Aahm Canadian Now with him leaving from post 5 in Saturday’s contest.
Shesaroyal Cowgirl is top choice in the race 8 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown three-year-old pacing filly consolation for trainer-driver Mark Bradley and owner William Andrew of Calgary, Alta. The post 4 starter will battle seven foes.
The first crop of Image Of Dawn has been well represented by JJ Powerball who is the early favorite in the race 6 two-year-old pacing colt consolation for trainer Austin Sorrie and owners Walter Simmons of Summerside and Tammy Collings of Hazel Brook. Leading driver Marc Campbell picks up the drive on the three-time winner as regular driver Gordie Hennessey has elected to drive fellow Sorrie trainee Dustylanesam off the rail.
Woodmere Saphire closes out her two-year-old Atlantic Sires Stakes season with post 4 in the race 4 two-year-old filly consolation. Gilles Barrieau drives the daughter of Articulator for trainer Jackie Matheson and New Brunswick owners
Thomas McGuffog and Bruce MacDonald of Fredericton and Geoffrey Macneish of Douglas.
Saturday will also see a sold-out banquet presented by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owners Association starting at 7 p.m. in the Top of the Park restaurant at Red Shores. The event will celebrate the achievements of several stars of the Atlantic Canadian breeding industry and four Atlantic Canadian racing families will be honoured.
From New Brunswick, the family of Steve Mahar has been involved with standardbreds for over 50 years. Steve is the winningest driver from New Brunswick with over 5,000 victories in the sulky. From Newfoundland and Labrador, the Sheppard family will be recognized for their long involvement with standardbred racing. The Polley family of Amherst, Nova Scotia, who have experienced success locally and across North America, will be lauded. The MacDonald family from Charlottetown, PEI lived a block from the Charlottetown Driving Park and from the late 1960s, and brothers Mike and Paul would provide many memorable moments on the nearby racetrack and beyond.
Championship Finals Set For Action
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The saying in harness racing goes ‘It All Comes Down To The Breeder’s Crown.’
The Sunday afternoon program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park will be the main event on the Weekend Of Championships with the culmination of the 2017 Atlantic Sires Stakes season in the Atlantic Breeder’s Crown finals.
First race post time is 12:30 P.M. for the 14-dash program.
The $9,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown finals for trotters line up in races 3 and 5 sponsored by Meridian Farms. Pappy Go Go has been on another world all season as he rides a nine-race win streak into the race 5 $9,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown three-year-old trot final from post 6 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Grayland Farm of Pugwash, N.S.
Another Campbell trainee, Buckaroo, gets morning line status in the race 3 two-year-old trot Breeder’s Crown from post 7 for owners Larry and Kathy Chappell of Marshfield. The $9,000 event will see Buckaroo battle with arch rival Ticked (Driven by Myles Heffernan) from post 3. Buckaroo has the two-year-old trotting record to his credit but has yet to defeat Ticked in a race where both horses have stayed on stride.
The draws in the two-year-old pacing Atlantic Breeder’s Crowns were not kind to the presumptive favorites as both horses drew post 8. Royaltywestho has yet to finish worse than second in her rookie campaign but has to start on the far outside of her seven rivals in the race 7 two-year-old pacing filly final for a $20,000 purse. Walter Cheverie drives the daughter of Westwardho Hanover for co-owner and trainer Joseph Baxter and co-owner Gregory Francis of Windsor, N.S.
Sock It Away can claim both Island two-year-old pacing colt track records to his credit but has to contend with post 8 in his $20,000 Atlantic Breeder’s Crown final. The son of Pang Shui will have to circle his seven contenders at some point in the mile whether it is off the gate or coming for home. Campbell will drive the colt for trainer Kevin Maclean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford.
The draw was kinder to the top choices in the three-year-old championship finals. Filly Forty Seven is selected as top choice in the race 11 $20,000 three-year-old pacing filly Atlantic Breeder’s Crown for trainer-driver Campbell but the division has been extremely competitive all season long. Fellow Campbell trainee Elektra Express leaves from post 5 in that race with Ryan Ellis handling the reins while Traces Of Purple has defeated both fillies on separate occasions and gets the services of Gilles Barrieau from post 3.
The $20,000 three-year-old pacing colts championship final hits the track in race 13 with Mighty Cowboy the morning line choice with rail control for trainer-driver Darren Crowe and owner David MacDonald of Halifax, N.S., in a race where an argument can be made for any of the eight entries to land in the winner’s circle.
In other action, the Atlantic Breeder’s Crown Open trot hits the track in 8 for a $2,500 purse, a $3,500 Open Pacing mares class lines up for a $3,500 pot in race 12 while a $5,000 Invitational pace closes out the card in race 14.
By Nicholas Oakes