CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Sock It Away has been brushing aside most of his aged competition but gets a fresh foe in the preferred pace Monday night during a special New Year’s Eve harness racing presentation at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 13-race program starts with a special 6:30 P.M. post time as Red Shores will countdown to the 2019. Sock It Away is favoured in the race 12 feature with Marc Campbell back in the bike from post 5 in the $2,500 preferred pace for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford, P.E.I. He will have some high powered opposition as he looks to close out his three-year-old season as Euchred ships back to the East Coast from Ontario racing and draws post 4 for owner Kayla Habicht Walker of Inverness, N.S., driver Adam Merner and new trainer Melissa Rennie.
Race analyst Les MacIsaac sees Sock It Away as the likely horse to hit the wire first and record win number 20 of the season.
“Sock It Away has been making some high calibre opposition look pretty ordinary since the stake season came to a conclusion winning three of four and just missing in the other one,” MacIsaac said. “It looks like the road to the winner’s circle goes through him.”
Also in the featured field is Winter Blast (Driven by Jason Hughes), Red Magician (Corey MacPherson) and Burn Out Hanover (Kenny Arsenault).
Collective Wisdom will look to deliver as the morning line favourite in the race 11 Open Mares pace for a $2,350 purse. Rookie driver Drew Neill will again handle the five-year-old daughter of American Ideal for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Woodmere Farms of Marshfield, P.E.I. She will face six rivals including Ramblinglily (Merner) who ships in from the mainland after recently racing the top class at Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia.
Mr Irresistible will be the favourite to close out the calendar year in the race 13 New Year’s Eve pace with Hughes at the controls for conditioner Jennifer Doyle.
Island native Ryan Desroche, who is building a catch driving career in Ontario, is also home for the holidays and will pick up three drives on the New Year’s Eve program.
By Nicholas Oakes
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – He received the lone blemish of his three-year-old campaign in his latest outing but Sock It Away will look to make amends on the special Boxing Day program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 15-dash holiday card gets underway at 12:30 P.M. with the $2,400 featured event lining up in race 14. Sock It Away was perfect in his first 18 starts this season but tasted defeat on Dec. 1 as Czar Seelster narrowly defeated him in the stretch drive. With Czar Seelster absent, Sock It Away will be heavily favoured to defeat his six Boxing Day foes for driver Corey MacPherson, trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford, P.E.I. Eagle Jolt knocked off the top class on Dec. 15 and gets post 2 this week with Marc Campbell having to drive his own trainee and missing the mount on Sock It Away. Winter Blast has also been a force in this class and will leave from post 6 Wednesday for driver Jason Hughes and conditioner Jennifer Doyle.
Freddie returns to Canadian racing in race 6 of the program handed the outside post 5 in the $1,800 affair listed as a Handicap Trot. The son of Majestic Son was racing in New England for owner Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston, P.E.I., but is now back in the stable of trainer-driver Campbell as the post time favourite. Other top entries include Frill Seeker (Brian Blanchard) and Suicide Shift (Harold Shepherd).
Rookies drivers have played a large role in Island racing recently. Austin Sorrie eclipsed Corey MacPherson’s rookie win total of 31 victories in the 2009 season, as the Montague driver recorded win number 32 of his career during the last live program. Fellow rookie pilot Drew Neill has eight drives on the Boxing Day card including Collective Wisdom in the race 9 Mares Open for a $2,350 purse.
By Nicholas Oakes
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The more from Central Canada to the East Coast can be good for the soul and in case of Burn Out Hanover it is also good for his confidence as he heads into the Saturday afternoon feature undefeated at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 15-dash program kicks off at 12:30 P.M. with Burn Out Hanover leaving from post 5 in the race 14 top class for a $2,400 purse. Corey MacPherson picks up the catch driving call for owner-trainer Jeff Holmes of Orwell, P.E.I., after the three-year-old son of Well Said has prevailed in both East Coast tries. Winter Blast is the morning line favourite from post 7 with Jason Hughes at the lines for conditioner Jennifer Doyle, while stallion Rollwithitharry has post 6 with promising rookie driver Drew Neill picking up the mount from the Jackie Matheson stable. Race analyst Les MacIsaac chooses to take an inside route with post 2 starter Eagle Jolt as his top choice to hit the winner’s circle with trainer-driver Marc Campbell.
“Eagle Jolt is a versatile type with enough gate speed to get well spotted and a pretty good late kick and that can be a dangerous combination,” MacIsaac said. “With many of his rivals moving up in class there could be nothing to stand in his way.”
Also in the field is Confident Fella (Driven by Dale Spence), Likely To Win (Adam Merner) and The Big Bite (Kenny Arsenault).
The Open mares clash bridles again this week in race 9 carrying a $2,350 purse. Collective Wisdom will look to keep her momentum going after beating this group last week. The Jackie Matheson trainee has post 7 with Neill again picking up the drive for owner Bruce Wood of Marshfield, P.E.I. Other top entries include Killean Finale (Ken Murphy) and Prettyndangerous (David Dowling).
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Picking up the pieces from an early speed duel, Salmonier Storm claimed the top pace of the week at long odds Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Ambyr Campbell was in the bike for the winning trip, which is the third straight for the seven-year-old son of Western Ideal, stopping the clock in 1:58.2 in the $2,500 preferred pace. Hitting the wire first at 18-1 odds, Salmonier Storm prevailed for owner Brian MacPhee of Clyde River, P.E.I., over pacesetter Winter Blast (Driven by Jason Hughes) and third place IC True Grit (Mike McGuigan).
The colours white, green and black frequented the winner’s circle on the 15-dash program with a total of seven wins scored between the ‘King’ of Island racing and a promising rookie driver.
Marc Campbell continued his reign of the Red Shores driver’s standings with four wins on the day to put him at 121 victories this year at the capital oval. Campbell started his good fortune in race 10 of the day winning with Charlottes Western in 2:01.4 for trainer Jeff Lilley of Milton, followed by a win in race 11 with Malabrigo in 2:00.1 from his own stable. Confiden Fella supplied the third part of the quadruple in race 12 with a 1:59.2 victory from the O’Leary stable of Ralph Sweet then finished the card off winning with Jetta Flys in 2:00.1 for Stephen Quinn of Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Drew Neill scored the first driving triple of his career just two days after his 19th birthday. The Winsloe driver connected with Miramonttogo in a front end score of 2:03.4 for his father Irwin Neill, then scored a pair of wins for trainer Jackie Matheson of Stratford, P.E.I. later on the card. Howmacs Dragonator was the first part of the Neill-Matheson double with a 2:01.3 win then Collective Wisdom won the $2,350 Fillies and Mares Open pace in 1:59.1 for owner Bruce Wood of Marshfield, P.E.I.
Brian Blanchard celebrated his first Canadian driving win as he teamed up with Frill Seeker to captured the $1,800 Open trot in 2:05.3. The U.S. driver was in the bike for trainer Kenny Arsenault and owner Ebbsfleet Stables of Stratford, Ont. It was win number 73 of Blanchard’s driving career but the rest of his victories came in his native Maine.
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Winter Blast has proven to be an iron tough adversary and will be looking to channel that talent to the winner’s circle in the Saturday afternoon top class at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 15-dash Saturday afternoon program kicks off the action at 12:30 P.M. with the preferred pace hitting the track in race 14 for a $2,500 purse. Winter Blast has been in every triactor ticket for six starts but has not seen the winner’s circle since Oct. 27. Most of his more rugged company is absent this week as he is installed as the 5-2 morning line favourite from post 6 for driver Jason Hughes, conditioner Jennifer Doyle and owner Danny Birt of Vernon Bridge, P.E.I. Rockin Indy has settled in nicely to East Coast competition and will leave from post 7 as the second choice on the morning line for driver Corey MacPherson. Rail control belongs to Eagle Jolt (Driven by Marc Campbell) as the veteran pacer will look to rebound off of last week’s sixth place finish after winning convincingly the week before in 1:58.2.
Race analyst Les MacIsaac will side with Winter Blast to overcome post 6.
“The six hole might curb your enthusiasm but Winter Blast is not facing any of those that have beaten him in recent starts and that’s got to count for something,” MacIsaac said. “He looks like the one to knock off.”
Also in the field is Salmonier Storm (Ambyr Campbell), Pictonian Storm (Austin Sorrie), Diggin In (Adam Merner), I C True Grit (Mike McGuigan), Mr Irresistible (Kyle Gillis) and The Big Bite (Kenny Arsenault).
Killean Finale will put her modest streak to the test in the race 9 Fillies and Mares Open for a $2,350 purse. Ken Murphy will drive the Clifford Murphy trainee from post 7 while riding two straight wins at this level for owners Dr. Mary McNiven and Pacemaker Stable of Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I. Collective Wisdom has not been out of the triactor ticker in her last six starts, all in this class, and will again have Drew Neill at the lines from post 6. Prettyndangerous has posed a risk in this class all season and is sitting on two straight second place finishes with post 5 to work from this week with David Dowling at the controls.
Red Shores will have a memorial horseshoe after race 6 of the afternoon card in memory of the late Brian Andrew who passed away this week.
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – All good things must come to an end and such was the case with Sock It Away Saturday afternoon when his win streak was snapped at 18 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Czar Seelster controlled the front end in the $2,650 preferred pace at the capital oval and was able to fight off the first-over advance of the undefeated Sock It Away in 1:57.2 over a track rated two-seconds off. Kenny Arsenault sent Czar Seelster the lead through splits of 29.3, 59.1 and 1:28.1 with Sock It Away (Driven by Marc Campbell) head-to-head with him at that third panel. Sock It Away cleared to the front late in the mile but the veteran Czar Seelster battled back to win by a neck and hand Sock It Away his first loss of his three-year-old season. Winter Blast (Jason Hughes) rounded out the triactor. Czar Seelster is owned by Tammy Johnston of Stratford, P.E.I., with Todd Weatherbee handling the training duties.
Arsenault scored five wins on the Saturday afternoon card as the seasoned pilot clicked with The Big Bite in 2:01.2 for Thane Arsenault of Charlottetown, Toad River in 2:01.4 for Barry Folland of Cape Traverse, Burn Out Hanover in 2:00.4 for Jeff Holmes of Orwell and Traces Of Purple in 2:01.2 for Robert Phillips of Belfast, P.E.I.
Killean Finale captured the $2,350 fillies and mares open pace with a 1:59.4 score over Prettyndangerous (David Dowling) and Collective Wisdom (Drew Neill). Ken Murphy drove Killean Finale for trainer Clifford Murphy and owners Dr. Mary McNiven and Pacemaker Stable of Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I.
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Fending off Gilles Barrieau in a driving competition takes skill but that is exactly what Adam Merner did in the Paul MacDonald Memorial Driver’s Challenge Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The competition was part of Horse Person’s Day sponsored by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association with eight drivers competing in eight races on the Saturday program.
Merner finished the day with 62 points for his first MacDonald Memorial win with Barrieau finishing two points back in second and Corey MacPherson finishing third with 56 points.
Barrieau started off the action winning the first leg in a 2:01 romp with Dilans Mustang with Merner finishing second. Merner finished second again in the second leg as David Dowling and Good Lucky Kathy clicked in 2:01.2. Southfield Sassy would give Merner his first taste of the winner’s circle in the MacDonald Memorial challenge as edged out Mach An Angel (Driven by Dowling) by a neck in 2:01.4. Merner snagged a fifth place finish in leg four but still keep second place Barrieau at bay as the New Brunswick driver finished sixth. Barrieau attempted to close the gap winning with Casimir Obama in 1:59.1 in the next leg but Merner kept close with a second place finish behind Casimir Nunzio. Outrageous Spirit supplied Barrieau with his third win in the challenge with a mile time of 2:01.2 while Merner and Cougar Gal faded to fifth. Mach Of Ballykeel then supplied a surge up the passing lane in leg seven for driver Merner while Barrieau finished fourth to give Merner a four point advantage going into the eighth and final leg. Merner’s lead was near squandered in the final dash of the competition as Hemingway made a break past the half-mile marker and provided interference to other horses. Hemingway finished fifth and was placed eighth but Barrieau was unable to capitalize with Loves A Challenge as he finished sixth and did not close the point gap.
Also in the challenge David Dowling finished the day in fourth place with 53 points, with a three-way tie in fifth place at 48 points between Ambyr Campbell, Ron Matheson and Mike McGuigan while Kenny Arsenault finished eighth with 45 points.
Rollwithitharry and Barrieau captured the $2,500 Preferred 2 pace in 1:58.4 for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Woodmere Farms of Marshfield, P.E.I.
The $2,350 Fillies and Mares Open pace saw an upset with Killean Finale and Ken Murphy winning in 1:58.4 for trainer Clifford Murphy and owners Dr. Mary McNiven and Pacemaker Stable of Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I.
By Nicholas Oakes
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – The annual Paul MacDonald Memorial Driver’s Challenge takes centre stage Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 14-dash card kicks off at 12:30 P.M., as part of Horse Person’s Day sponsored by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association. The MacDonald Memorial trophy will be presented to the top driver in the eight person competition that includes drivers qualifying under three different criteria. The top four dash winners are invited to the event and they include Gilles Barrieau, Adam Merner, Corey MacPherson and David Dowling. Leading dash winner Marc Campbell qualified for the event but is vacationing in the U.S. during the challenge. Mike McGuigan and Kenny Arsenault will compete on the day as the top two percentage drivers with over 75 starts, while the top two percentage drivers with 40 to 75 starts are Ron Matheson and Ambyr Campbell, the first female to compete in the annual championship.
All eight drivers will face off in eight dashes on the card in races 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 13 with points earned in each race by order of finish with the top point earner being awarded the MacDonald trophy at the end of the day.
Driving statistics were combined from Red Shores Summerside and Charlottetown up until the end of October. All drivers must be members of the P.E.I Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association.
Also on the Saturday card, Dustlanemissmolly rides a three-race win streak into the race 9 Fillies and Mares Open pace with Myles Heffernan Sr., in the bike for trainer Myles Heffernan Jr., and owner Jacke Heffernan of Summerville, P.E.I. The daughter of Brandon’s Cowboy has been assigned the outside post 6 after beating this class the past two weeks.
The race 14 finale has a field of seven Preferred 2 pacers with Winter Blast installed as the morning line favourite after a bang-up second to a romping Sock It Away in last week’s Preferred pace. Jason Hughes is back in the bike behind the post 4 starting Jennifer Doyle trainee for owner Danny Birt of Vernon Bridge, P.E.I. Other top entries include Nogreatmischief (Walter Cheverie), who draws post 1 after scoring a pair of wins at Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia, and post 5 starter Czar Seelster (Arsenault).
By Nicholas Oakes
Nov. 17, 2018
Dustlanemissmolly Building Streak In Mares Open
By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Dustlanemissmolly and her driver have one thing in common, they do their best work off the front end, and they showed it Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The Myles Heffernan Sr., driven pacing mare was sent to the lead and never looked back in the $2,350 Fillies and Mares Open pace Saturday afternoon. Trained by Myles Heffernan Jr., the daughter of Brandon’s Cowboy laid down unchallenged splits of 29.3, 1:01.1 and 1:31.4 before sprinting home in 29.2 to close out the mile in 2:01.1 over sloppy conditions. Second went to Julep Hanover (Driven by Wade Myers) while third was claimed by Collective Wisdom (Drew Neill). Dustlanemissmolly, who won her third straight heat and second straight in the fillies and mares Open, is owned by Jackie Heffernan of Summerville, P.E.I.
Harold Shepherd scored a training and driving double on the 13-dash program including a win with Suicide Shift in a short field of Open trotters. Shepherd won by five lengths in 2:05 in the $1,950 Open trot over Frill Seeker (Kenny Arsenault) and Professor Gordon (Jason Hughes). The son of P Js Nabby is co-owned by Shepherd of Stratford, P.E.I., along with Margo Fisher of Fredericton, N.B.
Shepherd also won with Harbourlite Jerry from his own stable in 2:01.3 for owner Ralph Jardine of Arthur, Ont.
Check out www.Redshores.ca for race replays and more.
Nov. 18, 2018
Sock It Away Makes It 18 Straight
By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Sock It Away has proven to be untouchable in 2018 as he extended his undefeated season to 18 straight in the Sunday afternoon preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Leading driver Marc Campbell engineered the winning trip as he put down fractions of 28.1, 57.4 and 1:27.2 with a final time of 1:56.2 by five open lengths in the $2,650 preferred pace a track rated two-seconds off. Undefeated in his three-year-old season, Sock It Away is trained by Kevin MacLean for owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford, P.E.I. Winter Blast (Driven by Jason Hughes) was second with Mick Dundee (Don MacNeill) completing the top three.
The preferred was one of three wins for Campbell as the Winsloe driver clicked with Rising Fella in 2:03.1 from the Jansen Sweet Stable of O’Leary. Campbell’s other win was with Malabrigo as she celebrated her 30th lifetime win from the Campbell stable in the $1,600 Eddie Power Memorial pace.
Hughes made three trips to the winner’s circle as a driver on the program winning with Diggin In in 2:00.2 for Brian Ladner of Charlottetown, Casstielle in 2:04.1 for Trevor Easter of Morell and with Beach Cloud from his own stable in a 2:04.4 trip.
Live racing continues Saturday Nov. 24, featuring Horseperson’s Day with the Paul MacDonald Memorial Driving Championship sponsored by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association.
CHARLOTTETOWN, PE – Sock It Away made the step up to more seasoned competition but still made easy work of them as he continued his perfection in the Sunday afternoon top event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Marc Campbell was in the bike for the three-year-old colt’s 17th win in-a-row from as many starts in 2018 for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford, P.E.I. Rockin Indy (Driven by David Dowling) set the early tempo in the $2,650 Preferred pace from post 1 cutting out splits of 28.4 and 59.1 before Sock It Away converted his first-over assault into a front-end trip before the three-quarters of 1:28.1. The son of Pang Shui, who was making his first career start out of stakes competition, kicked clear in the stretch to romp by seven lengths in 1:57.1 over a windy track with a two-second variant. Rockin Indy was second while Winter Blast (Jason Hughes) finished third.
Ryan Doucette celebrated his first career win as a trainer on the Sunday afternoon card as Delcie Hanover posted a mile 5-1 upset in race 2. Ken Murphy was in the bike for the 2:03 effort for the South Rustico trainer.
Windemerenightlife continued his undefeated streak since coming home to P.E.I., as he scored in 1:59.4 for driver Dowling and owner-trainer Clair Sweet of O’Leary, P.E.I. The four-year-old son of Articulator was making his fourth straight trip to the winner’s circle since coming back to his birthplace from Ontario in October.