Fleet Sensation Takes First Trial


Ontario invader Fleet Sensation got up in time to capture the first $12,500 Sobey's Gold Cup & Saucer trial on Saturday night at Charlottetown Driving Park, extending his win streak to seven


Favourite Fire On The Water (Anthony MacDonald) and 27-1 Pan Larceny (Marc Campbell) fired off the gate together from post positions three and four respectively. MacDonald let the hard-used Pan Larceny clear at the :27-second opening quarter before removing to the front.

Fire On The Water then took the field to the half in :55.3 and three-quarters in 1:23.4 while Fleet Sensation and driver Gilles Barrieau advanced from third around the tiring Pan Larceny.

Once the field entered the stretch, Barrieau pulled the pocket and the nine-year-old son of How Fleet He Is-Bone Chill chased down the pacesetter to score in 1:53 flat. Fire On The Water finished second with Oakmont (Danny Romo) third, Secret Weapon (Scott Young) fourth and Awesome Armbro N (James MacDonald) earning the final paycheque in fifth.

“It unfolded the way I thought it would, but I never expected Marc Campbell to [do that] –- he kind of screwed things up there for awhile," said Barrieau in the winner's circle. "But things kind of worked out. I thought Anthony had the horse to beat [and I wanted to] get a trip behind him. I never dreamt that he [Fleet Sensation] would beat that horse actually.

“Coming off the top turn, my horse really felt good in the reins and Anthony was working his pretty good, and I thought I had a crack at him coming down the lane.”

Fleet Sensation paid $12.90 to win. The veteran gelding was claimed for $4,500 at Hiawatha Horse Park on June 11 by trainer Dean Nixon of Amherstburg, Ont. and Cheri Mulcaster of Essex, Ont. He has since put together seven straight wins while climbing the claiming ranks in Ontario. The victory was his 37th lifetime and pushed his bankroll to $218,140.

"This is an amazing story about this horse getting claimed for $5,000 and here we are,” said Barrieau.

The second trial will take place on Sunday, August 14 (first-race post time 1 p.m.) while the third trial is set for Monday, August 15 (first-race post time 7 p.m.). The 52nd running of the Sobey’s Gold Cup & Saucer will be held next Saturday, August 20.

In other action, the Meridian Trotting Series for aged mares continued on Saturday night with Napanee Seelster and Flashy Image winning their respective $2,525 second leg divisions. The series, sponsored by Standardbred Canada and Meridian Farms, is for Canadian sired and/or 100 per cent Canadian owned mares.

Napanee Seelster doubled up in the series with a 2:02.3 triumph in the first division for trainer-driver Daniel MacDonald, who co-owns with Philip Pitts of Cornwall, P.E.I. and Meridian Farms’ Bill Andrew of Calgary, Alta. Warrawee Jade finished second for Brian and Blake Andrew of Meridian Farms while Scarlet Patti (Darryl MacLean) inherited third place after first leg winner Diana Car (Marc Campbell) was bumped back to fourth for making an extended break in the stretch.

Napanee Seelster, a five-year-old daughter of Angus Hall-Northern Kiss, has won three races in a row and five this year in 22 starts.

Flashy Image front-stepped her way to a 2:01 triumph in the second division for trainer-driver Gary Chappell. Dusty Lane Shelby (Corey MacPherson) and Awesome Edna (Doug MacGregor) followed for second and third.

The six-year-old daughter of Nikes Image-Flashy Glenda, who was a runner-up in the opening leg to Napanee Seelster, is owned by Wilfred and Calvin Smith of Hunter River, P.E.I. and Wayne Court of New Glasgow, P.E.I. The win was her second in nine starts this year.

The $2,700 (added) final of the Meridian Trotting Series is also slated for next Saturday, August 20.

The Spud Island Classic late closer series for aged pacing mares also continued with its second leg featuring two $2,500 splits in which Wild Ride Hanover just missed Abby Best's track record for mares by two-fifths of a second.

In the first division, Wild Ride Hanover advanced to command and opened up an eight and a half length lead in the stretch as she sprinted to the wire in 1:54.1 with John MacDonald in the sulky for trainer Ron MacDonald. First leg winner Grace And Harv (Mike Stevenson) and favourite Onehotvett (Gilles Barrieau) followed the seven-year-old daughter of Western Ideal-Warm Ways in second and third respectively.

Local resident Bruce Wood owns the mare, who has won three races in 10 starts this year.

J K Special, driven by Walter Cheverie, was a repeat winner in the series thanks to a 1:57.4 winning effort in he second split. Totally Priceless (Mark Bradley) was the runner-up and Abby Best (Todd Trites) finished third.

Trainer Joseph Smallwood also owns and bred the Cammibest-J K Beauty mare, who has recorded six wins in 18 starts during her six-year-old campaign.

For a recap of the afternoon stakes action, click here.

For results from Saturday night's harness racing card, click on the following link: Saturday Results (Night) - Charlottetown Driving Park.

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