Taking control of the driving standings at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park, Marc Campbell reigned on top of the Paul MacDonald Memorial Driving Championship on Horseperson’s Day on Saturday, Nov. 18, presented by the P.E.I. Standardbred Horse Owner’s Association.
Campbell had three winners during the competition to finish the day with 67 points and receive the Paul MacDonald Memorial Trophy. Gilles Barrieau was second with 58 points with Jason Hughes third at 56 points. Defending champion Corey MacPherson had three wins during the competition but a pair of eighth-place finishes relegated him to fourth place with 54 points. Following in the tight standings were Steven Shepherd (47 points) in fifth, Adam Merner (46 points) in sixth, David Dowling (45 points) in seventh and Mark Bradley (43 points) in eighth.
The competition started in race three with MacPherson steering his trainee Machbook Pro to a 1:58.3 victory. Barrieau took control of the points standings in the second leg in race three with Selkirk Echo (1:57.2) for trainer Ron Matheson before MacPherson won the next division in race five with Outrageous Style (1:58.3), also from the Matheson barn. Brumby (1:56) won the next leg in race six for trainer Mike McGuigan with Campbell supplying the winning drive but Barrieau still was atop the standings in first.
Campbell took sole control of the leaderboard in race eight as Bradley won with Big Boy Hill (1:58) for trainer Jennifer Doyle and Campbell was second with Keeper Floored. Campbell then dominated the next two divisions winning with Bump In The Road (1:59.2) for Brett Leblanc and Woodmere Heather M (2:00.2) from the Tom Weatherbie barn. Mr Rielly won the final MacDonald Championship dash in 1:57.4 for trainer-driver MacPherson but Campbell was second with Brookdale Ollie to clinch the title.
Campbell now sits with a three-race lead in the driving standings over Hughes as he looks for his 14th straight season as leading driver in Charlottetown.
In other overnight action, MacPherson also won race seven with former Atlantic champion Windmeredontuworry (2:01.1) for trainer Kyle Desroche and with Rosetown Mary (1:57) in the finale from his own barn for a handful of driving wins and a trio of training victories.
D Gs Elsa (1:57) and driver Ken Murphy won the $3,500 Fillies and Mares Preferred Pace for trainer Luke Burke and owner Robin Burke of Brackley.
Jessiejesorjessica (2:00.1) was a winner in the $3,100 Open Trot with Dowling driving for trainer Doyle and owner Danny Birt of Earnscliffe.
Horseperson’s Day also featured three miniature horse races with Olaf and five-year-old Harrison Dowling winning the first division over Dapper Dan (Ahlea Fudge) and Cookie Monster (Brooklyn Wallace).
Traffic got tight in the second mini-race as 11-year-old Mylah Campbell sat last and threaded the needle with Whiskey for the top prize. Second went to Hudson Sliter driving Midnight Dooley and Mayo Neighs third in line to Brielle Campbell.
The final division had 10-year-old Lucas Heffernan-Bailey taking the short route to the winner’s circle in the race bike behind Turbo. Daisy was second for driver Aidan Hughes while Liam Myers grabbed third with Witchy.
Live racing continues Sunday, Nov. 19 at 12:30 p.m. at Red Shores Charlottetown.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
(With files from Red Shores; Photo from left to right: Devon MacDonald [grandson of Paul MacDonald], Marc Campbell, Danny MacDonald [son of Paul] James Perrot [president of the PEISHOA])