CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The 2019 Summer racing season is about to swing into full gear with opening day Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 13-dash card kicks off at 6 P.M. featuring special promotions for Kentucky Derby Day. The first leg of the Thoroughbred Triple Crown has a 7:50 AST estimated post time with Red Shores Charlottetown holding a Derby hat contest with an official photo booth set up for Ladies and Gentlemen who arrive in the front entrance. Patrons will also receive a ticket on the live product, the Kentucky Derby and a ballot for a chance to win prizes. All photos will be uploaded to the Red Shores web site for a fan-voting contest later.
Doctor Royal marches into town as the heavy favourite in the race 12 featured event carrying a $2,900 purse. The mainland pacer ships in from Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia for trainer Dawn Ellis Abbott after annihilating his foes by 15 open lengths in 1:55 in his East Coast debut at the Bible Hill half-miler. Gilles Barrieau will be back on the Island to drive Doctor Royal from post 6 in the field of eight horses. Hes Marvalous makes his Island debut from post 2 in the event with Myles Heffernan Sr., in the bike for owner Jackie Heffernan of Summerville. The six-year-old son of Delmarvalous was racing in the $10,000 claiming class at Plainridge Raceway in Massachusetts. Midnight Matt is another newcomer in the Saturday evening preferred class with Adam Merner in the bike from post 7 for trainer Jennifer Doyle of Earnescliffe. A four-year-old son of Royal Mattjesty, Midnight Matt was claimed from the Ontario circuit in February for $18,750.
With most of the field fresh off of qualifier in the 2:00 range, Doctor Royal’s chart line of 1:55 is more than enough for race analyst Les MacIsaac to plug him into the top spot of his selections.
“Doctor Royal made his Maritime debut at Truro last week and had it been a fight, it would have been stopped early,” MacIsaac said. “That’s quite a trip for this time of year and it sure makes this one look like a race for place.”
Also in the field is Confident Fella (Driven by Marc Campbell), Mick Dundee (Don MacNeill), Burn Out Hanover (Kenny Arsenault), Tobinator (Corey MacPherson) and Adkins Hanover (David Dowling).
Red Shores is launching a new show called Inside Track on Saturdays. Race Day broadcast hosts will interview members of the harness racing community prior to first race post parade. Vance Cameron, who received an honor for Canada’s best race call recently, will join Lee Drake on the segment scheduled to air at 5:35pm AST.
By Nicholas Oakes