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PEI Pilots To Battle For Title Belt

Published: December 30, 2014 9:51 pm ET

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It all comes down to New Year’s Eve for two Island drivers vying for top driving honours at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Marc Campbell holds a one race advantage over Jason Hughes in the 2014 drivers’ race with 124 trips to the winner’s circle for Campbell, compared to 123 for Hughes. The first race of the special 14-dash program gets underway at 7 p.m.

Hughes is in the midst of a career year in the sulky, as the 41-year-old Stratford resident has 177 season victories to go with $285,216 in driving earnings as well as 97 training wins and $159,394 made as a conditioner. The horseman already swept the training and driving race at P.E.I.’s other track, the Summerside Raceway, and will attempt to make history as it is believed no single person has won both training and driving crowns at the two tracks in the same year.

Hughes has a healthy lead in the Charlottetown trainer’s standings with 72 victories compared to second place Jackie Matheson with 64.

But to make history happen, Hughes has the overcome Campbell, the most dominant driver in Island racing the past five years who is also riding a career high single season win total of 193 races heading into Wednesday’s action. Campbell has 12 drives on the program while Hughes will see the starting gate 11 times.

The program also features the final start for two 14-year-old veterans as Abundaspin and JK Crusher will make their final appearances on the racetrack. JK Crusher is owned by Stephen Sweet of Springfield West and trained by Jansen Sweet and will end his career in race 3 on the night with Mike McGuigan driving from post 4. The gelding, out of Maritime champion JK Beauty, boasts 33 career victories.

Abundaspin will end his storied career in race 4 on the card with trainer-driver Harold Shepherd at the lines from post 6 for owner Mikaela Lustic of Warren Grove. The classy trotter has 82 lifetime wins and $485,443 in earnings since his career started in 2002 in Pennsylvania. The trotter will have a special trackside retirement presentation after his race.

Some new promotions are set to hit Red Shores including Casino Days starting Jan. 4 with different prizes and rewards every day, plus the Deep Freeze Bounty Poker Tournament set for Feb. 21 and 22. Check out Redshores.ca for more details.

Live Racing continues Saturday afternoon at a new post time of 12:30 p.m. that will be in effect all of January.

(CDP)

To view entries for Wednesday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Wednesday Entries – Charlottetown Driving Park.


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