Governor’s Plate Champion Do Over Hanover Returns

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Island harness racing continues down the road to the 50th edition of Governor’s Plate on July 14 and last year’s defending plate champion will be contesting the Sunday afternoon preferred pace at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.

The Prince County oval has 13-dashes on tap Sunday with a 1 P.M. first race post time. The 2017 Governor’s Plate champion, Do Over Hanover, is back on red soil for the 2018 season and makes his first start off the bench in the race 12 top class for a $2,500 purse. Jason Hughes will drive the Chris MacKay trainee for owners Allard Racing of Quebec and Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge. The race is fittingly sponsored as the first leg of the Governor’s Plate Decade Of Champions with Red Shores honouring past champions from 1969 to 1980. Connections of those champions are invited out to the track for a special pace on designated cards leading up to this year’s final.

Do Over Hanover is undeniably the class of the field but his only charted line since April was a 2:00.3 second place finish in a qualifier and he has hardened competition to contend with Sunday. Fast N Victorious makes his P.E.I. debut from post 6 in the field of as many. Adam Merner will do the driving behind the winner of $120,000 for trainer Stephen Gass and owners Kent Livingston of Cornwall and Wade MacDonald of Stanhope. The five-year-old son of Art Major last raced at Plainridge in Massachusetts, pacing in 1:55 and change. Salmonier Storm leaves from post 2 for trainer-driver Ambyr Campbell with an impressive summary of six straight on-the-board finishes, while last week’s top class winner, Mando Fun, has post 5 with Kenny Arsenault at the lines.

Race analyst Bo Ford cautiously selects Do Over Hanover for the top spot this week.

“This is Do Over Hanover’s first start off an average qualifier for this bunch,” Ford said. “It doesn’t need explanation but here it is – $127,630 in 2017 is more than the whole field made combined last year, and there wasn’t any of them that won the Governors Plate or raced in the Gold Cup. Even if he gets beat, we look smarter for picking him, then if we don’t pick him and he wins.”

The field is rounded out by Heart And Soul (Driven by Walter Cheverie) and Confident Fella (Marc Campbell).

The $100,000 Dash For Cash continues on the Sunday program with two lucky patrons that spend $10 or more on a single wager getting chance at the grand prize on race 13.

By Nicholas Oakes

Field Set in Cecil Ladner Memorial

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The top pacers on the Eastern seaboard of Canada will meet Saturday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park for the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational and In Spades is set to shake things up.

First race post time is 6 P.M. for the 12-dash card with the $5,000 Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational carded as the evening finale. In Spades landing on Prince Edward Island for his East Coast debut to the stable of 18-year-old trainer-driver Austin Sorrie for owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. The talented four-year-old pacer has already put together a solid 2018 season with five wins from 20 starts on the tough Ontario circuit included a blistering 1:52.4 mile over the half-mile oval at The Raceway at Western Fair District in Ontario just last month. He gets post 5 for his debut. The seven best horses in Atlantic Canada will try to fend off his advances Saturday evening in the first free-for-all test of the season.

Euchred has reigned supreme so far this season and lands with post 4 Saturday for driver Adam Merner, trainer Terry Gallant and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. The six-year-old son of Shadow Play sports four wins from his last five starts and gets the support of race analyst Les MacIsaac.

“A couple of new faces have landed on the scene to try and put an end to his domination.” MacIsaac said of Euchred. “He’s coming off a Maritime seasonal mark last week for his fourth win from his last five tries. The road to the winner’s circle could go through him.”

Intended Royalty ships in from Cape Breton but is shouldered with post 8 for the team of driver Redmond Doucet and trainer Randy Copley while riding a four-race win streak. Czar Seelster has been hot lately and leaves from post 3 Saturday for trainer-driver Todd Weatherbee fresh off a just beaten second place finish to Euchred in 1:54.4. Other entries include Mr Irresistible (Driven by Jason Hughes), Cartoon Daddy (Corey MacPherson), Rose Run Quest (Marc Campbell) and Ashes To Ashes (Gilles Barrieau).

The ‘King’ of Island racing, Campbell will continue his quest for 2,000 wins in Atlantic Canada alone in his career on the Saturday program. The O’Brien award winning horseman needs six more victories to achieve the historic feat.

The $100,000 Dash for Cash promotion will go on the Cecil Ladner Memorial

By Nicholas Oakes

Innocent Kiss Turns Away Rivals at Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Thursday evening’s card was cut short after issues with the starting gate at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park but Innocent Kiss was still able to defeat eight foes.

The capital oval program was cancelled after just four races for the safety of all horses and drivers with malfunctions in the starting gate as the main concern. Innocent Kiss won the fastest dash of the program disposing of her maiden status with a 1:59.3 romp by 14 open lengths for driver Adam Merner. Second went to Lyndale Coco (Driven by Jason Hughes) in the $1,200 event while Dustylanejazz (Corey MacPherson) completed the triactor. Innocent Kiss, a three-year-old daughter of Westwardho Hanover, is trained by Melissa Rennie for owners Merner of Charlottetown and Max Sehl of Port Morien, N.S.

Hop Up was the quickest trot winner, stopping the clock in 2:00 with MacPherson in the bike for owner-trainer Keith Campbell of Tyne Valley. Rosberg (Hughes) was second over third place Majian Chester (Jim Ripley).

Live racing is set to resume Saturday evening at Red Shores Charlottetown with 12-dashes set for a 6 P.M. start time featuring the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational. Saturday will also feature the Future Stars of the 2018 season with the first two-year-old racing qualifiers of the season with a 11 A.M. start time at Red Shores Charlottetown.

By Nicholas Oakes

Red Shores Cancels Card

Charlottetown, PE – Red Shores officials cancelled the last five races on the harness racing program Thursday night after a malfunction with the starting gate. The next program is Saturday June 23. Post time is 6pm.

 

Sodwana Bay, West River Ambyr Win Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Elimins

SUMMERSIDE, PE – The top aged pacing mares in Atlantic Canada had their first stakes meeting of the 2018 season with Sodwana Bay recording the fastest mile of the day and unseating the undefeated Ramblinglily at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.

With Gilles Barrieau in the bike, Sodwana Bay used a first over advance to capture her $3,870 division of the first leg of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series. Drivingthedragon N set the tempo of 28.1, 57.4 and 1:26.3 in line to Jason Hughes with Sodwana Bay grinding away on the outside before kicking clear in the stretch to win by two-and-three-quarter lengths in 1:55.3. Sodwana Bay was making her East Coast debut for trainer Barrieau and owners Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S., and Howmac Farms Ltd., of North Wiltshire. Second went to Prettyndangerous (Driven by Adam Merner) while Ramblinglily (Gary Chappell) had her win streak snapped at three victories to finish third.

The other $3,870 division went to West River Ambyr and driver Steven Shepherd in a mile time of 1:57.4 over Brief Interlude (Merner) and Best Risque (Hughes). A five-year-old daughter of Brandons Cowboy, West River Ambyr is trained by Harold Shepherd for owners Haley Shepherd of Stratford and Clare MacDonald of Antigonish, N.S.

Mando Fun hit the winner’s circle in the $2,200 featured event stopping the clock in 1:56.2 with Barrieau in the bike. The mild up setter is co-owned and trained by Paul Biggar of Tyne Valley and co-owned by Donald Callbeck of Kensington. Salmonier Storm (Ambyr Campbell) rallied for second with race favourite Heart And Soul (Walter Cheverie) completing the triactor. Barrieau recorded a driving triple on the card also winning with Moramappo in 2:00.2 for trainer Stephen Mason of New Brunswick.

Austin Sorrie recorded the fastest win of his young driving career as part of a training and driving double. Sorrie clicked with JJ Powerball in 1:56.1 and Dustylanesam in 1:58.

Live racing continues on Prince Edward Island with live racing Thursday at Red Shores Charlottetown followed by another card Saturday evening featuring the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational. Red Shores Summerside holds live racing again next Sunday afternoon, June 24, at 1 P.M.

By Nicholas Oakes

 

Sock It Away, Royaltywestho Crowned Maritme Breeders Champions

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Sock It Away showed he did not need an inside post position or to see any pylons in the first lap to capture Saturday evening’s Maritime Breeders final for three-year-old pacing colts.

Marc Campbell was at the lines of Sock It Away as he left from post 8 in the $18,000 Doug Harkness Memorial Maritime Breeder’s final and elected to take the overland route to the front end. Race favourite Half Cut (Driven by Mark Bradley) laid down the early splits of 27.4 and 56.3 with Sock It Away in the outer flow before clearing to the lead past the half. Three-quarters were reached in 1:26.2 then Sock It Away cruised home to a 1:56.1 victory over Dowahs Boy (Adam Merner) and Woodmere Ideal Art (Jason Hughes). The winning colt is trained by Kevin MacLean for owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford.

Royaltywestho landed in the winner’s circle in the first three-year-old pacing filly stakes final of the 2018 season as Walter Cheverie guided her to victory in the $22,100 Ken Starratt Maritime Breeder’s final. R Es Shabla (Mike McGuigan) set the tempo on the front end with splits of 28.2, 58.2 and 1:28.3 with Royaltywestho stalking in the pocket. Cheverie moved the daughter of Westwardho Hanover down the stretch and she responded with a 28.2 closing panel for a time of 1:57.1. R Es Shabla was second with Woodmere Ceilidh (Clare MacDonald) completing the triactor. The champion filly’s ownership papers are held by Gregory Francis and Joseph Baxter of Windsor, N.S., with Baxter also handling the training.

Euchred was the winner in the $2,650 Preferred pace for the fastest mile of the 2018 Atlantic Canadian racing season with a winning time of 1:54.4 for driver Merner, trainer Terry Gallant and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. A hard closing Czar Seelster (Todd Weatherbee) finished second with the show prize going to Cartoon Daddy (Corey MacPherson).

Campbell had two other wins on the card for the driving triple winning with Elm Grove Kaboom in 1:57.3 and Pure Friendship in 1:59.3, both from his own stable.

By Nicholas Oakes

Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Presented by Standardbred Canada

SUMMERSIDE, PE – If the first part of the 2018 racing season has shown us anything it’s that Ramblinglily just will not quit but will face her biggest test to date Sunday afternoon at Red Shores Summerside.

First race post time is 1 P.M. for the 13-dash program featuring the first leg of the Atlantic Aged Mares Pacing series presented by Standardbred Canada. Ramblinglily is shouldered with post 8 in a $3,870 division in race 11 with Gary Chappell back in the bike for co-owner and trainer Allan Jones of Riverview, N.B., and co-owner Norman Leger of Shediac, N.B. The daughter of Articulator has been perfect so far this season but has a fresh face to contend with Sunday afternoon. Sodwana Bay ships in from the Ontario circuit to draw post 2 in her East Coast debut for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owner Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S., and Howmac Farms Ltd., of North Wiltshire. The No Pan Intended Mare has a trio of second place finishes in her last three outings and is installed at 7-2 morning line odds Sunday afternoon. Other top entries include Prettyndangerous (Driven by Adam Merner) and Drivingthedragon N (Jason Hughes).

The other $3,870 Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares division is in race 9 with Shadows Mystery the morning line choice from post 5 with Gilles Barrieau picking up the catch drive for owner-trainer Gordie Ford. West River Ambyr has been very consistent so far this season with six straight top two finishes and leaves from post 8 this week for driver Steven Shepherd. Woodmere Finesse is installed as third choice fresh off a 1:57.2 victory at Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia for trainer-driver Bernard McCallum.

The race 12 top class has Heart And Soul favoured with rail control for trainer-driver Walter Cheverie and owner Riley Farms Ltd., of Summerside. Salmonier Storm (Ambyr Campbell) and Confident Fella (Marc Campbell) are top contenders in the $2,200 event.

The card also features the kick off of $100,000 Dash For Cash where you spend $10 or more on a single wager and receive a ballot for a chance at the grand prize. Two lucky patrons will be picked each night and asked to select the complete order of finish of a eight horse race late in the program. Patrons have until race 9 to get their ballots.

By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores

 

Champions To Be Crowned Saturday At Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The top two sophomore paces in Atlantic Canada have avoided each other so far in 2018 but their much anticipated match-up will happen Saturday night in Maritime Breeder’s final action at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

The 12-dash Saturday card kicks off at 6 P.M. with the Doug Harkness Memorial Maritime Breeder’s Final for three-year-old pacing colts lining up in race 11. Half Cut and Sock It Away are both perfect from three starts this season while drawing into different divisions every week. That ends Saturday as Half Cut will leave from post 6 in the $18,000 final for driver Mark Bradley as the morning line favourite. Tom Weatherbie trains the son of Stonebridge Terror for owners Kyle and Joseph Gardiner, Jerry MacKinnon, and Mike Currie. Sock It Away was unlucky again on draw day with his undefeated streak on the line from post 8 in the Championship final. Marc Campbell drives the Summerside Raceway track record holder for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford.

Other entries in the final include Woodmere Ideal Art (Driven by Jason Hughes), Dustylanewesty (Clare MacDonald), Tobins Lightning (Kenny Arsenault), The Colonel (Gilles Barrieau), Rockin Party (Danny Romo) and Dowahs Boy (Adam Merner).

The Ken Starratt Memorial three-year-old pacing filly Maritime Breeder’s Final hits the track in race 9 for a $22,100 purse. Royaltywestho is the presumptive favourite from post 3 fresh off an easy 1:57.4 victory in her elimination for driver Walter Cheverie, co-owner and trainer Joe Baxter and co-owner Gregory Francis of Windsor, N.S. R Es Shabla had the faster elimination win with a time of 1:56.3 but draws post 7 for driver Mike McGuigan, trainer Leonard McGuigan and owner Lloyd Parsons of Carmanville, N.L. The field is completed by Saulsbrook Coral (David Dowling), Woodmere Saphire (Corey MacPherson), Woodmere Ceilidh (MacDonald), Kahlua Morning (Jason Hughes), Chocolate Terror (Darren Crowe) and Woodmere Chella (Barrieau).

The preferred pace lines up in race 10 for a $2,650 pot as the top pacers in the Maritimes prep for next week’s Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational. Euchred is the morning line choice from the rail with Merner in the seat for trainer Terry Gallant and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. Other top entries include Ashes To Ashes (Barrieau) and Rose Run Quest (Campbell).

The card also features the kick off of $100,000 Dash For Cash where you spend $10 or more on a single wager and receive a ballot for a chance at the grand prize. Two lucky patrons will be picked each night and asked to select the complete order of finish of a eight horse race late in the program. Patrons have until race 9 to get their ballots.

By Nicholas Oakes

Historic Night For Campbell

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The ‘King’ of Island harness racing continued to rewrite the history books Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park as he scored win number 2,000 of his career.

Marc Campbell, 33, became the youngest driver based in Atlantic Canada to hit the 2,000 win plateau after hitting the wire first with Freddie in the $1,950 Open trot with a mile of 2:02.3. Freddie is owned by Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston and also trained by Campbell. Holy Molie Maggie (Driven by Walter Cheverie) was second with Hop Up (Corey MacPherson) third.

The wins kept coming for Campbell as the Thursday program continued with two more winners from his own stable. Diduseethat was a 2:03.1 winner while Nikes Cowgirl closed out the program in 2:02.2.

Driver John MacKenzie made some history of his own in the opening dash of the program as Saulsbrook Bailey had a maiden breaking score of 2:05.3 while giving MacKenzie his first lifetime victory in the race bike. MacKenzie was in the driver’s seat for trainer Kevin MacLean and owners Reg MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe.

Give Em Heck captured the $2,200 featured pace stopping the clock in a mile time of 2:01.3 with Gilles Barrieau at the lines for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Colin Sheppard of Spaniard Bay, N.L. Second went to Nogreatmischief (Cheverie) with Narragansett (Jason Hughes) completing the triactor.

Atlantic Bursary Application

The 2018 season marks the twelfth consecutive year that Standardbred Canada and the Atlantic provinces have partnered to offer the Atlantic Provinces Bursary Program. This project could award up to five students in the Atlantic provinces bursaries towards their post secondary education this year.

If you are a student residing in the Atlantic provinces and attending a post secondary institution (trade school, community college or university) this fall, this is an opportunity that could help you pay for your tuition.

The bursaries will be awarded based on participation in the industry, academics and financial need. Applicants will be required to submit a typewritten essay on one of the following topics:

What could Standardbred Canada do to celebrate the 30th edition of the O’Brien Awards? (2018 Awards Gala will take place in February 2019). Tell us why you love Canadian harness racing.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens and be a child or spouse of an active Standardbred Canada member or an SC member themselves. Applicants must be currently enrolled in a post secondary institution as of September 1, 2018.

Past recipients of the Atlantic Bursary are not eligible and students pursuing graduate degrees are not eligible.

A maximum of five bursaries worth up to $1,000 each will be awarded. Applications are available now and must be received at Standardbred Canada by June 15, 2018.

The successful applicants will be announced in early July.

This program is supported and funded by various organizations from the Atlantic provinces and Standardbred Canada. Partners from the Atlantic provinces include the Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association, Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association, and the ‘Stretch Drive Fund,’ a fund created by the Atlantic Provinces Harness Racing Commission’s race officials.

For a bursary application, email kwvlaar@standardbredcanada.ca or click here.