SUMMERSIDE, PE – Speed was on display Sunday afternoon as 14 horses contended for spots in next Saturday’s 50th edition of the Governor’s Plate, presented by Township Chevrolet Buick GMC, at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.
Adkins Hanover pushed the issue early in the first $5,000 elimination as driver Ambyr Campbell sent the pacer to the front with blistering opening fractions of 27 and 55.2. That was when race favourite Euchred and driver Adam Merner abandoned the pocket to make a move for the front, touching down on the pylons before the three-quarters of 1:24.3. The Terry Gallant trainee finished out the mile unchallenged, winning in 1:54 for owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S.
Second went to Mr Irresistible (Driven by Jason Hughes), while Nogreatmischief (Walter Cheverie) was third and Keep Coming (Corey MacPherson) completed the top four pacers that will make their way to the historic $22,000 final.
The second $5,000 elimination capped off the Sunday afternoon program as Czar Seelster posted an upset at 8-1 odds with Kenny Arsenault at the lines for trainer Todd Weatherbee and owner Tammy Johnston of Vernon Bridge. Do Over Hanover and driver Jason Hughes guarded the rail at the start, parking out race favourite In Spades (Austin Sorrie) to the quarter in 27 seconds flat. In Spades would gain the front with fractions of 55.3 and 1:25.2, while Czar Seelster watched the action from the pylons in third. Czar Seelster advanced around the last turn to nail In Spades at the wire, while Do Over Hanover finished third and Cartoon Daddy (Dale Spence) finished fourth to punch his ticket to the final.
Driver Arsenault said the trip worked out perfectly for Czar Seelster to land on the wire first.
“They were playing some hardball on front and I was hoping they would as that horse of Sorrie’s, In Spades, is a nice horse and if he had of got cheap fractions he would have been hard to beat,” Arsenault said trackside after the victory.
The fifth to seventh place finishers in each elimination will populate the $5,000 Governor’s Plate consolation, which will contain Give Em Heck, Tobinator, Fast N Victorious, Adkins Hanover, Zero Rate and Ashes To Ashes.
Governor’s Plate week racing continues Tuesday evening at 7 P.M. featuring the two and three-year-old trotters in Atlantic Sires Stakes action.
By Nicholas Oakes