Red Shores To Host Championships

Published: October 6, 2017 12:33 pm EDT

As the saying in harness racing goes, “It all comes down to the Breeders Crown.”

The Sunday afternoon (October 8) program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park will be the main event on the Weekend Of Championships with the culmination of the 2017 Atlantic Sires Stakes season in the Atlantic Breeders Crown finals.

First race post time is 12:30 p.m. for the 14-dash program.

The $9,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown finals for trotters, sponsored by Meridian Farms, line up in races three and five. Pappy Go Go has been on another world all season, as he rides a nine-race win streak into the fifth-race three-year-old trot final from post six for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Grayland Farm. Another Campbell trainee, Buckaroo, gets morning line status in the third-race two-year-old trot, starting from post seven for owners Larry and Kathy Chappell. The $9,000 event will see Buckaroo battle with arch-rival Ticked (Myles Heffernan) from post three. Buckaroo has the two-year-old trotting record to his credit, but has yet to defeat Ticked in a race where both horses have stayed on stride.

The draws in the two-year-old pacing Atlantic Breeders Crowns were not kind to the presumptive favourites, as both horses drew post eight. Royaltywestho has yet to finish worse than second in her rookie campaign, but has to start on the far outside of her seven rivals in the seventh-race two-year-old pacing filly final, which carries a $20,000 purse. Walter Cheverie drives the daughter of Westwardho Hanover for co-owner and trainer Joseph Baxter and co-owner Gregory Francis.

Sock It Away can claim both Island two-year-old pacing colt track records to his credit, but has to contend with post eight in his $20,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown final. The son of Pang Shui will have to circle his seven contenders at some point in the mile whether, it is off the gate or coming for home. Campbell will drive the colt for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson.

The draw was kinder to the top choices in the three-year-old championship finals. Filly Forty Seven is selected as top choice in the eleventh-race $20,000 three-year-old pacing filly Atlantic Breeders Crown for trainer-driver Campbell, but the division has been extremely competitive all season long. Fellow Campbell trainee Elektra Express leaves from post five in that race with Ryan Ellis handling the reins, while Traces Of Purple has defeated both fillies on separate occasions and gets the services of Gilles Barrieau from post three.

The $20,000 three-year-old pacing colts championship final hits the track in race 13, with Mighty Cowboy the morning line choice with rail control for trainer-driver Darren Crowe and owner David MacDonald in a race where an argument can be made for any of the eight entries to land in the winner's circle.

In other action, the Atlantic Breeders Crown Open trot hits the track in race eight for a $2,500 purse, a $3,500 Open pacing mares event lines up for a $3,500 pot in race 12, and a $5,000 Invitational pace closes out the card in race 14.

Consolation Action On Saturday Program

The Saturday afternoon (October 7) program at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park features 11 dashes, including the Atlantic Breeders Crown consolations for two- and three-year-old pacers.

The card kicks off at 12:30 p.m. and features a quartet of $5,000 Atlantic Breeders Crown consolations in races four, six, eight, and 10, featuring the top performers of the Atlantic Sires Stakes season who did not make the top eight spots for Sunday's championship finals.

Mick Dundee has shown on numerous occasions he can tussle with the top colts and that earns him the status as morning line favourite in the tenth-race three-year-old pacing colt consolation. Don MacNeill owns, trains and drives the son of Aahm Canadian Now, who leaves from post five in Saturday's contest.

Shesaroyal Cowgirl is top choice in the eighth-race three-year-old pacing filly consolation for trainer-driver Mark Bradley and owner William Andrew. The post four starter will battle seven foes.

The first crop of Image Of Dawn has been well represented by JJ Powerball, who is the early favourite in the sixth-race two-year-old pacing colt consolation for trainer Austin Sorrie and owners Walter Simmons and Tammy Collings. Leading driver Marc Campbell picks up the drive on the three-time winner, as regular driver Gordie Hennessey has elected to drive fellow Sorrie trainee Dustylanesam off the rail.

Woodmere Saphire closes out her two-year-old Atlantic Sires Stakes season with post four in the fourth-race two-year-old filly consolation. Gilles Barrieau drives the daughter of Articulator for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Thomas McGuffog, Bruce MacDonald, and Geoffrey Macneish of Douglas.

Saturday will also see a sold-out banquet presented by the PEI Standardbred Horse Owners Association starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Top of the Park restaurant at Red Shores. The event will celebrate the achievements of several stars of the Atlantic Canadian breeding industry and four Atlantic Canadian racing families will be honoured.

From New Brunswick, the family of Steve Mahar has been involved with Standardbreds for over 50 years. Steve is the winningest driver from New Brunswick, with over 5,000 victories in the sulky. From Newfoundland and Labrador, the Sheppard family will be recognized for their long involvement with Standardbred racing. The Polley family of Amherst, Nova Scotia, who have experienced success locally and across North America, will be lauded. The MacDonald family from Charlottetown, PEI lived a block from the Charlottetown Driving Park and from the late 1960s, and brothers Mike and Paul would provide many memorable moments on the nearby racetrack and beyond.

(Red Shores)