Old Friends Reunite In Red Shores Opener

Atlantic Canada harness racing

The 2022 harness racing season kicks off Saturday (May 7) at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and the card will feature a reunion 19 years in the making in both feature events. 

The spring racing season will feature 6:30 P.M. post times for evening programs starting this Saturday with a 13-dash presentation.

In the sixth race, the $2,850 Fillies and Mares preferred pace, the two-time Gold Cup and Saucer winning combination of driver Gilles Barrieau and trainer Colin Johnson reunite with morning line favourite Ladylike from Post 6 for owner Debbie Element of Village Green. Barrieau and Johnson were responsible for Gold Cup and Saucer wins in 2000 with Canaco Simon and 2002 with London Mews N, but the last time Barrieau drove one from that stable was N Xample in the 2003 Gold Cup and Saucer final.

The path will not be easy to turn the reunification into a winning performance as Atlantic Sires Stakes graduate Tobins Brownie has Post 4 for trainer-driver David Dowling, who is the regular driver for the Johnson stable but must drive his own trainee. The four-year-old daughter of Stonebridge Terror was a force on the AtSS trail last year. Newcomer Premier Bettina leaves from Post 5 with Corey MacPherson picking up the drive on the 10-time winner from the powerful Jennifer Doyle stable. 

The evening preferred will head postward in the Race 13 finale, with Barrieau and Johnson also favoured in that dash teaming with outside Post 8 starter Mikey Camden. Owned by Element and Raymond Huschka of Great Britain, the Camluck pacer scored a 1:52 romp in the James (Roach) MacGregor Gold Cup and Saucer consolation last year. 

Screen Test holds down Post 6 with MacPherson at the controls for trainer Ron Gass and owners William Andrew of Alberta and Kickin Horse Stable of York. A winner of nine races in 2021 and 32 lifetime, Screen Test is the top choice from race analyst Peter MacPhee, who likes the pacer to cap off the Saturday night program in the Post Time Picks. 

“What a fantastic year he had in 2021 scoring nine wins and a record of 1:52.1,” MacPhee said. “This is an excellent group, but he’s been here before and with Corey on board they hit the wire first.” 

Completing the field are Burn Out Hanover (Brady Sweet), My Land (Jason Hughes), Premier Joy A (Adam Merner), Boys Turn (Dowling), Dylan Sam (Ken Murphy) and GA Speed Sammy (Mark Bradley). 

Red Shores is launching some new wagering features for players. The Pick 4 has proven to be quite popular with horseplayers so this year, and Red Shores will be offering two opportunities to play the Pick 4 as part of their wagering menu.  The first one will be available on Race 2 and the second will cover the last 4 races of the program featuring a low 15 percent takeout.  

Catch all the world class harness racing action live at the track or tune into the  Race Day broadcast at Redshores.ca. Online wagering is available at HPIBet.com. To view the entries for Saturday, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Charlottetown Driving Park.

(Red Shores)