Governor’s Plate News Centre

Best In East Converge On Red Shores Summerside For ‘Plate’ 51

By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

SUMMERSIDE, PE – The road to the winner’s circle in the 51st running of the Governor’s Plate became a little more complicated for the two elimination winners after drawing outside post positions for the final race of Governor’s Plate week 2019 at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.

First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the premier program with the final of 16-dashes seeing eight entrants line up in the $25,000 Governor’s Plate final presented by Township Chevrolet and Noonan Petroleum. Rose Run Quest dominated his elimination last Sunday afternoon with a front end score leaving from post 2 in 1:54.1 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Blair Hansen of Charlottetown. Tuesday’s post draw was not as kind as the If I Can Dream gelding was given post 6 for the final.

Defending champion Czar Seelster came to life in his $5,000 Governor’s Plate elimination, winning the other division in 1:54.3 with the winning combination of driver Kenny Arsenault and trainer Todd Weatherbee for owner Tammy Johnston of Stratford. The veteran 10-year-old Stonebridge Regal pacer will have to make things work out from post 7 to defend his title Saturday.

With a kinder post draw, Down On My Luck will have rail control in ‘Plate’ 51 with Walter Cheverie picking up the steer for trainer Patrick Shepherd and owner Robert Woodburn of St. Thomas, Ont. The five-year-old was a second place finisher to Czar Seelster Sunday with Jason Hughes at the lines, but Hughes elected to drive post 4 starter Do Over Hanover in Saturday’s final.

Cecil Ladner Memorial champion Bugsy Maguire will attempt to fulfill a lifelong goal for hometown owner Walter Simmons of Summerside, who looks for his first ever Governor’s Plate title. Myles Heffernan Sr., will steer the U.S. import from post 2 for trainer Wade Sorrie.

Burn Out Hanover has post 3 after rallying from last place to make the final with a fourth place finish in elimination one. The winningest driver in the history of the Governor’s Plate, Gilles Barrieau, will drive for trainer Jeff Holmes and owner Orwell Bay Stable of Orwell.

The winner of the 2017 edition of the race, Do Over Hanover, leaves from post 4 with Hughes driving for trainer Chris MacKay and owners Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge, Allard Racing of Saint-Esprit, Que., and Don MacNeill of Fort McMurray, Alta.

Screen Test made the final in his first East Coast season after racing as a top three-year-old in Western Canada in 2018. Corey MacPherson handles the driving duties for trainer Stephen Gass and owners Kicking Horse Stable of York, and William Andrew of Calgary, Alta.

The far outside belongs to post 8 starter Euchred for driver David Dowling, trainer Mike Dowling and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. A runner-up in the 2018 edition, Euchred was third in his elimination Sunday after also leaving from post 8.

Also on the top notch card will be the Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts, the $5,000 Governor’s Plate consolation, the $2,500 Andrew Perry Invitational trot and the $8,500 Governor’s Plate Fillies and Mares Open final among other top events.

Rose Run Quest, Czar Seelster To Governor’s Plate Final

By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

SUMMERSIDE, PE – Rose Run Quest had to unload a quick final quarter to best his foes but he sealed his spot in Saturday’s $25,000 Governor’s Plate final presented by Township Chevrolet and Noonan Petroleum in elimination action Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.

Marc Campbell sent his charge to the lead and controlled every fraction on his way to the fastest of two $5,000 eliminations on the afternoon program. Owned by Blair Hansen of Charlottetown, Rose Run Quest put down quarters of 27.4, 57.4 and 1:26.2 before fighting off a pair of hard closers with a 27.4 final panel to stop the clock in 1:54.1. Do Over Hanover (Driven by Jason Hughes) came up the passing lane to finish second with Bugsy Maguire (Myles Heffernan Sr.) using a three-wide brush to finish third. The final spot in the fastest elimination went to Screen Test (Corey MacPherson) as he finished fourth and will advance to the final.

The other elimination saw the defending Governor’s Plate champion Czar Seelster and driver Kenny Arsenault prevail after circling up to nail pacesetter Down On My Luck (Hughes) at the wire in 1:54.3. Todd Weatherbee trains the son of Stonebridge Regal for owner Tammy Johnston of Stratford. Third went to Euchred (David Dowling) while Burn Out Hanover (Gilles Barrieau) also gets a spot in the big dance.

Ramblinglily won her $3,000 Governor’s Plate Open Fillies and Mares elimination in a huge 21-1 upset in a mile time of 1:56.1 with Todd Trites in the bike for trainer and co-owner Allan Jones and co-owner Normand Leger of Shediac, N.B. Sodwana Bay (Barrieau) went down to defeat by half-a-length in second with Drivingthedragon N (Hughes) third and Bettim Vicky (Campbell) fourth.

Collective Wisdom and Barrieau teamed up to win the other $3,000 elimination as the American Ideal mare won in 1:56.4 for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Woodmere Farms of Marshfield. Rocknrols Image (Hughes) took a two-hole ride to finish second while West River Ambyr (Steven Shepherd) closed for third and Woodmere Chella (Dowling) makes Saturday’s $8,500 final with a fourth place finish.

Dowling had four wins on the program winning with Khitam Image (2:00.1), Shouldabeenaclown (2:00.2), The Devils Cut (1:59.1) and Varadero Hanover (1:58).

Governor’s Plate Week racing continues Tuesday evening with night card starting at 6:30 P.M. continuing on to Saturday evening culminating in the Governor’s Plate final.


SUMMERSIDE, PE – The 16 finest pacers that call the Eastern Seaboard of Canada home will go hoof-to-hoof Sunday afternoon in eliminations for the prestigious Governor’s Plate at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.

With 12 dashes on tap for the Sunday program kicking off at 1 P.M., the two $5,000 Township Chev/Noonan Petroleum Governor’s Plate eliminations will populate the final two dashes of the program.

Race 11 will see eight potential Governor’s Plate finalist face-off for the first four spots in next Saturday’s final that will mark the completion of Governor’s Plate Week racing.

Down On My Luck controls the rail in that contest with Jason Hughes in the bike for trainer Patrick Shepherd and owner Robert Woodburn of St. Thomas, Ont. The pacer has scored three wins so far this season but has yet to hit the winner’s circle in three tries in P.E.I.

Defending Governor’s plate champion Czar Seelster will leave from post 5 in the first elimination for the championship combo of driver Kenny Arsenault and trainer Todd Weatherbee. Maritime season’s record holder All Artist (Driven by Mike McGuigan) has post 3 while hard-hitting Invitational pacer Euchred (David Dowling) is saddled with post 8.

Also in the field is Hes Marvalous (Myles Heffernan Sr.), JJ Powerball (Adam Merner), Soccer Hanover (Corey MacPherson) and Burn Out Hanover (Gilles Barrieau).

Rose Run Quest and Bugsy Maguire will have another show down in the second Governor’s Plate elimination in race 12. The pair has raced against each other twice with one win each. Rose Run Quest has post 2 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Blair Hansen of Charlottetown. Owner Walter Simmons has searched for a win in his hometown race for years and the Summerside resident will have Bugsy Maguire look for a spot in the final from post 4. Heffernan is in the bike behind the Cecil Ladner Memorial champion for trainer Wade Sorrie.

Screen Test will guard the rail for Corey MacPherson while Noudidnt Blue Chip (Dowling) rides a three-race win streak into post 3.

Other entrants vying for the last four spots in the final are Half Cut (Mark Bradley), Do Over Hanover (Jason Hughes), Doctor Royal (Todd Trites) and Revenant (Merner).

The program will also see a pair of Governor’s Plate Open Mares Eliminations in race 6 and 9 carrying a $3,000 purse in each.

Trainer Earl Watts will be special guest on Inside Track with host Lee Drake. The segment airs at 12:35pm on the Red Shores network.

By Nicholas Oakes


Canada Day Card at Summerside Moves to Tuesday Night at 6:30pm

Summerside, PE – The traditional Canada Day race program scheduled for 1pm today has been moved to Tuesday at 6:30pm at Red Shores Summerside.

The Prince County Horsemen’s Club and Red Shores made the call due to unsafe track conditions.



Gettin Messi Sets Maritime Record

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – With a first over power brush heading to the half-mile marker, Gettin Messi, owned by James Whelan Jr, Vernon Bridge, PE, trotted his way in Maritime Harness Racing history Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Mike McGuigan was in the seat behind the Len McGuigan trainee for the record breaking win in race 6 of the program as Gettin Messi stopped the clock in 1:58.3 to become the new three-year-old trotting track record holder at Red Shores Charlottetown and the fastest three-year-old trotter ever in the Maritimes. Labero cut out the historic fractions of 29.1 and 58.4 before Gettin Messi came calling and took over before the three-quarters of 1:28.3. Hop Up (Driven by Corey MacPherson) finished five-and-three-quarter lengths back in second while Labero (Gilles Barrieau) was third. The former recored was held by Waiting On A Woman and MacPherson in 1:58.4.

Mike and Len McGuigan celebrated two wins as a driver-trainer duo as Shadownthetwilight was an upset winner in 1:59.

Freddie captured the $2,400 Open Trot in 2:03.1 with driven Marc Campbell sending his trainee to the front and controlling the fractions. Star Photo (Jason Hughes) sat in the pocket and finished second while Majian Tango (Jim Ripley) completed the triactor. Freddie is owned by Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston.



Drive for Charity Underway at Red Shores

Charlottetown, PE – Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Red Shores Summerside are gearing up for a busy season with exciting race series, signature events, and the 8th annual Drive for Charity, presented by Red Shores.

The Drive for Charity event features 11 of Prince Edward Island’s top harness drivers based on 2018 statistics from Charlottetown and Summerside racetracks. The drivers will partner with Island businesses to raise money for local charities. Each win will earn $25 toward their charity. The Drive for Charity promotion has raised $71,450 since its launch in 2012.

Here are the participating businesses, drivers and their charities.

Red Shores Racetrack & Casino– Corey MacPherson – Pat & the Elephant

Daniel R Ross Ltd – Walter Cheverie – Camp Gencheff

Andrew Stables – Adam Merner – Kidsport PEI

A&M Snow Removal – Kenny Arsenault – MS Society

Hansen Electric – David Dowling – Canadian Mental Health

MacQuarrie’s Meats – Ken Murphy – Upper Room Food Bank

Metro Home Building Centre – Marc Campbell – Open Door Outreach

Charlottetown Veterinary Clinic – Gilles Barrieau – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation in memory of Shelley Gass

MacRae Backhoe and Trucking– Dale Spence – Wolf Manor Equestrian Centre

Syntrak Print and Graphic Design – Jason Hughes – Autism Society PEI

Speedy Glass – Mike McGuigan – Prince County Hospital Foundation

The promotion begins on Saturday June 1, 2019 and wraps up on Sunday September 29th. The official draw was held Wednesday during a reception in the Top of the Park.

By Lee Drake

Photo 1 – David Dowling, Kenny Arsenault, Jason Hughes, Marc Campbell, Dale Spence, Adam Merner, Corey MacPherson, Mike McGuigan, Ken Murphy. Missing from Photo Walter Cheverie, Gilles Barrieau

Photo 2 – Left to Right – Halbert Pratt representing Pat & The Elephant, Harness Driver Corey MacPherson, Adam Walsh, Red Shores race manager

Photo credit Ronota Baglole

E R Quinn Takes on Thursday’s Best at Red Shores


CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – ER Quinn is being pegged as the one to beat in the featured event as Thursday night racing begins at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

The $2,600 top event goes behind the gate in race 9 with the first dash going to post at 6:30 P.M. for the 10-dash program. E R Quinn will leave from post 3 in the group with Gilles Barrieau back at the helm for trainer Jeff Holmes and Orwell Bay Stable of Orwell. The seven-year-old son of Total Truth will be making just his third start on red soil after relocating from the Ontario circuit. His first outing was a front-end romp, but was unsuccessful while trying the same tactics in his latest start, finishing fourth.

Forever Paradise has been out of commission for over 16 months but will make his first start back with rail control in the event for driver John MacKenzie and trainer Kevin MacLean. Dream On Dream On makes his East Coast debut in race 4 for trainer-driver David Dowling and owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S. A winner of 17 races and $108,000 in purses, Dream On Dream On was racing the claiming ranks in Ontario before being claimed for $8,500 by Walker. 

Race analyst Les MacIsaac is banking on E R Quinn makes a return to his winning ways.

“E R Quinn dominated from start to finish in his local debut but he wasn’t quite as impressive last week when he faded late,” MacIsaac said. “He’ll likely be on the lead again and with some rated fractions he’s eligible to rebound.”

Also in the top class field is Tempo Seelster (Driven by Ken Murphy), Likely To Win (Adam Merner), Winter Blast (Corey MacPherson), and IC True Grit (Mike McGuigan).

The first trot race of the season hits the track in race 5 on Thursday evening seeing the return of Freddie. The $2,200 Handicapped trot has Freddie leaving from post 5 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owners Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston. Also in the field is newcomer Scary Good (David Dowling) and Suicide Shift (Steven Shepherd).

By Nicholas Oakes


Barrieau Delivers with Doctor Royal at Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The ‘Doctor’ was on call Saturday evening in the Preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Doctor Royal was sent off as the heavy post time favourite in the race 12 top event for a $2,900 purse as the Mainland invader was on top at every call to win in 1:56.1. Gilles Barrieau left off the gate with the Dawn Ellis Abbott owned and trained pacer fresh off a 1:55 win in the top event at the horse’s home oval of Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia. Hes Marvalous (Driven by Myless Heffernan) applied some early pressure to Doctor Royal in the Saturday evening preferred as he stretched him to the quarter in 27.4. Doctor Royal then made front and cruised at every station to win by six lengths in 1:56.1 over Mick Dundee (Don MacNeill) and Hes Marvalous.

Barrieau was in town for the opening program of the Summer racing season and won three dashes on the card in total including a pair for trainer Ellis Abbott. The pair also teamed up to win with Nomatterwhen in 2:00 in a $2,100 fillies and mares pace, while Barrieau’s other victory was with newcomer Er Quinn in 1:57.2 for trainer Jeff Holmes and new owners Orwell Bay Stable of Orwell.

Soccer Hanover tied for the fastest trip of the night as he closed out the 13-dash program with a 1:56.1 victory for driver Corey MacPherson and owner Leith Waite of Summerside.

By Nicholas Oakes

The Horses Are Back; Opening Day at the Track

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


Information on Red Shores Qualifiers

Charlottetown, PE – Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Red Shores Summerside will be holding qualifying sessions to prep for the season openers scheduled for Charlottetown on Saturday May 4th at 6pm while Summerside starts their campaign on Monday May 20. Post time is 1pm.

Red Shores Charlottetown will hold a BBQ on the trackside patio for the qualifying session this Saturday beginning at 11:30am.

Here is the qualifying schedule.

Charlottetown Qualifiers

Saturday April 27th. Post time is 11:30am

Tuesday April 30th. Post Time 12:30pm

Summerside Qualifiers

Monday April 29th. Post Time 6pm

Contact the Red Shores race office for more information at 902.629.6634

Rollwithitharry, Neill Close Down Harness Racing Winter Meet

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The 2019 Winter racing season came to a close Saturday afternoon as Rollwithitharry won the final dash until racing resumes in May at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Drew Neill completed his rookie campaign in fine style teaming up with conditioner Jackie Matheson to win three dashes on the program including the final event with Rollwithitharry. Leaving from post 3 in the $1,800 dash, Rollwithitharry found the front and extended his lead to win in 1:59 over Pictonian Storm (Driven By Corey MacPherson) and Jds Double Dose (Dale Spence). The 11-year-old Rocknroll Hanover stallion is owned by Woodmere Farms of Marshfield, P.E.I.

Neill’s other victories came with Collective Wisdom in 2:00.2 and Howmacs Dragonator in 2:00.3.

Driver David Dowling scored four trips to the winner’s circle including the $2,400 featured event with Adkins Hanover, who circled the field to win in 1:57.1. Second went to Intended Royalty (Redmond Doucet) while Red Magician (Adam Merner) was third. Adkins Hanover is trained by Trevor Hicken for owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., Quebec.

Windemere Nancy overcame an early break to give Dowling’s first win of the day in 2:01.1 for trainer Earl Watts of Hampshire, followed by a 2:03.2 score with Vintage Winner for trainer Wade Myers. Windemereimalright gave Dowling and Watts another win on the day with a 2:02.1 mile.