CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The finest pacers dotting the Eastern Seaboard of Canada will face off Saturday evening in memory of Cecil Ladner at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 11-dash card kicks off at 6 P.M. Saturday with the $5,000 Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational lining up in the evening finale. Ladner was a pivotal organizer and supporter of Island racing up until his death in 2005, when he was serving on the board of Harness Racing P.E.I. The lifelong horseman owned a number of top competitors including stakes winner Rouge Baron, Gold Cup And Saucer finalist Back From The Past and hard hitting overnight horses like Legend Killean, Dunachton Nukes and GOK. Saturday, the fastest standardbreds East of Quebec will put their noses on the starting gate in his honour and it is anyone’s race to win.
Mr Irresistible was a decisive winner in last Saturday’s preferred pace with a 1:55.1 victory over a sloppy track with a two-second variant with Charlottetown’s leading driver Marc Campbell in the seat. Campbell will drive the five-year-old son of Mister Big again this week and gets rail control as the favorite for trainer Jennifer Trainor and owner Danny Birt of Stratford.
Goliath Reigns has post 2 at 6-1 odds after shipping in from competition at Truro Raceway for trainer Dawn Ellis and driver Todd Trites after winning in 1:56.2 over the Nova Scotia half-mile oval on June 11.
Post 3 has Nogreatmischief with 12-1 odds for co-owner, trainer and driver Walter Cheverie of Nine Mile Creek and co-owner John Thompson of Charlottetown. The Bettor’s Delight pacer has not made a start since October but was a qualifying winner in 1:58 recently in Charlottetown.
Junebugs Baby has post 4 at 8-1 with Myles Heffernan driving for owner Jackie Heffernan of Glace Bay, N.S., after finishing second in 1:56.2 in his latest start.
Post 5 belongs to the other Nova Scotia ship-in with Bernard McCallum training and driving His Boy Elroy at 10-1 odds for owner Dan MacRae of Baddeck, N.S., with his latest effort a winning one in 1:57 over the Truro Raceway.
The richest pacer in the field is a newcomer to Charlottetown with Invictus Hanover making his second start on red soil and drawing post 6 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. The son of Yankee Cruiser is at 7-2 morning line odds as he looks to add to his $305,000 bankroll.
Post 7 belongs to a pacer that makes front no matter where he leaves. Adkins Hanover has Brett MacDonald making the trip from Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa to sit behind the pacer in the absence of regular pilot Corey MacPherson. Adkins Hanover has been laying down devastating fractions in recent weeks for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., QC, but hasn’t seen the winner’s circle since May 13.
The far outside post 8 goes to a six-year-old pacer that surprised the top class on June 10 with an upset victory after a two-hole ride. Give Em Heck is unlikely to get as nice a trip from the outside of the starting gate this week for driver Gilles Barrieau, trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Colin Sheppard of Spaniards Bay, N.L.
Check out redshores.ca for race programs, live video and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash.
By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores