Big Surf opened his 2016 season on a winning note, taking the Saturday night (May 14) feature at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Marc Campbell guided the son of the Somebeachsomewhere to victory in the $2,500 Preferred, taking command of the race from gate-charger Forever Paradise (Gilles Barrieau) en route to the opening quarter and posting fractions of :29, :59.1 and 1:28.4 to claim top honours in 1:59.3 by five and half lengths over Forever Paradise and First Art Down (Ken Murphy). The track was rated sloppy with a four second variant.
Big Surf is trained by Trevor Hicken for owners Burkie By The Bay Stables of Ten Mile House, P.E.I., and Perry Burke of Grosse Ile, Que.
Best Risque earned her second straight victory in taking the $2,350 Fillies & Mares Open Pace. Driven by Corey MacPherson, the Brian Ladner trainee held off the season-debuting Ramblinglily (Walter Cheverie) by a neck in 2:03.3. She is owned by Brian, Lillian and Kevin Ladner, all of Charlottetown.
Terry Gallant recorded a driving-training triple on the program with stablemates Southfield Sassy, owned by Southfield Farms Inc. of Summerside, P.E.I. and Toronto's Claire Colquhoun, Silverhill Cupid for Silverhill Farms of Tignish, P.E.I., and Motorino for his co-owner Eric Johnston of Summerside.
Brian Andrew recorded a training double with a driving score aboard Hurrah while his other trainee Blazing By took top honours for catch-driver Kenny Arsenault in race 13, which was marred by an accident.
Leader P L Faststrike, driven by Gilles Barrieau, made a break and went down as the field raced around the final turn, unseating his driver. Balanchine, under the command of Ron Matheson, clipped the race bike of the fallen horse, throwing Matheson to the track. Matheson was transported to hospital after complaining of a sore hip. Barrieau walked away from the spill. Balanchine and P L Faststrike were attended by the track veterinarian for some minor injuries.
Please join Standardbred Canada in wishing Ron Matheson a full and speedy recovery.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Charlottetown Driving Park.
(With files from Red Shores)