By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The heat is turning up for the 2017 racing season at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and a pair of pacers fresh from Ontario racing are sure to keep the temperature rising on Saturday evening.
First race post time is 6 P.M. for the 10-dash Saturday evening card with Adkins Hanover returning from competition at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ontario in the $2,400 featured Red Shores pace. Adkins Hanover delivered a devastating 1:52.4 victory over Rideau Carleton in the dead of winter and draws post 4 on the opening card for driver Corey MacPherson, trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Quebec.
The pacer was flawless in his lone Island start before the meet shut down for the winter. That form is enough to secure the support of race analyst Les MacIsaac.
“We only saw this guy for one start in the winter but in that one he secured the lead, hit another gear and never looked back,” MacIsaac said of Adkins Hanover. “Corey will likely want to employ a similar strategy in here and if they don’t torture him, he could be the one they’ll have to knock off.”
The race also has Mr Irresistible making his East Coast debut from post 3 for trainer Jennifer Trainor and owner Daniel Birt of Stratford. Jason Hughes will drive the 11 time winner, who is fresh off a 1:54.1 victory over the half-mile oval at Flamboro Downs in Ontario. Other entries include Pictonian Storm (Wade Sorrie), Junebugs Baby (Greg Bailey) and Eagle Jolt (Marc Campbell).
The P.E.I. Poker Challenge pacer has a tight knit field of six in race 6 on the program. The $2,100 event has Mybestolxfriendray favoured from post 2 for driver Campbell and conditioner Trainor, who co-owns with Helen Dunning of Stratford and Donna Van Meer of Ontario. Other top contenders include Simon Said (Adam Merner) and D Bs Rosco (Kenny Arsenault).
The race 10 Greenhawk pace has Smiley Bayama the favourite from post 7 for trainer-driver Ron Gass in the $1,700 race.
The winter meet ended with Campbell controlling the leaderboard with 10 wins to lead all drivers. MacPherson is second with eight wins while Merner and Arsenault are in a tie for third with seven victories each.
Gass leads the training standings with six wins, ahead of Arsenault and Campbell tied with five wins each.