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Faves Deliver in Governor's Cup Opener

Published: October 24, 2020 4:26 pm ET

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Stakes action returned to Cape Breton with the first leg of the Governor's Cup Series on Saturday (Oct. 24) at Northside Downs.

Intended Royalty was untouchable in his $1,500 Governor's Cup first leg division, making every call a winning one for driver Redmond Doucet. After unstressed panels of :28, :58 and 1:28, the favourite uncorked a :28.2 final quarter to trip the timer nearly two lengths better than Kiss Me Im Irish (Mark Pezzarello) in 1:56.2. Runaway Mystery (Harold Leblanc) and Eastwardho Fun (Alex MacDonald) rounded out the first four finishers.

Intended Royalty (No Pan Intended - Renees Queen) picked up his ninth win of the season in 17 starts and 44th lifetime. Randy Copley trains and co-owns the nine-year-old gelding with Edward Copley of Inverness, N.S.

Southwind Ricardo picked up his third straight win in the second division, uncorking his fastest mile of the year in the process.

Junebugs Baby (Ryan Campbell) used his rail position to front the field into the first turn and down the backstretch. Public choice Southwind Ricardo (Harold Leblanc Jr.) was unable to find a spot along the rail, and was thus asked to pressure the pacesetter first over through a :28.4 opening panel. Junebugs Baby held strong on the lead as the half was reached in :58, with Southwind Ricardo continuing to press on. Heading to the third quarter, Johnnie Jack (Greg Sparling) was launched three-wide in an attempt o clear to the lead, with Southwind Ricardo putting away Junebugs Baby as the third quarter was reached in 1:27.4. Johnnie Jack forged to the front on the outside but was unable to clear as the top two turned for home. At that point, Southwind Ricardo found another gear and battled back along the rail to reclaim a lead he'd held briefly before and wouldn't relinquish before hitting the wire in 1:57.2. Johnnie Jack was more than two lengths back with Bet On Art (Ardon Mofford) and Docs Ronhenry (Leander Beaton) completing the top four.

The late-season loving Southwind Ricardo (Dragon Again - Southwind Rio) picked up his seventh win of the win of the season in 20 starts but his fifth win in his last seven starts for Nova Scotians Joel Le Blanc of Victoria Mines, Harold Le Blanc of Sydney, William Seymour & Bernie Gillis of Glace Bay.

The second leg of the Governor's Cup goes postward on Saturday, Oct. 31 with the $3,000 Consolation and $7,000 Final slated for Saturday, Nov. 7.

To view the results for Saturday's card of harness racing at Northside, click the following link: Saturday Results - Northside Downs.

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