Muddy conditions were no match for Invitational star Time To Dance as the pacer toured a rain-soaked track to victory in Saturday evening's Preferred Pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The $3,800 Preferred Pace had Time To Dance gun off the gate from post two for catch-driver Corey MacPherson to strike the lead in :28.3 at the opening quarter. The half was reached in :59.1 with Time To Dance’s fellow Marc Campbell trainee YS Mathis (driven by Campbell) coming first-over, but failing to reach the front-stepper going to three-quarters in 1:29.4. The seven-year-old son of A Rocknroll Dance continued on the lead to draw off for a two-length victory in 1:58.4 over the track rated five seconds off after steady rain all day long. Middleton Terror (David Dowling) was second ahead of Fern Hill General (Brodie MacPhee).
Brady Doyle shares the ownership of the 44-time winner with Kent MacDonald, Brent Campbell and Ryan MacLeod.
Driver Gilles Barrieau had three wins on the night scoring with Afair Somewhere (2:00.1 winning mile) for trainer Bo Ford, JJ Landon (2:01.1) from his own barn and with Ashes To Ashes (2:03.4) from the Ron Matheson stable.
The Newfoundland and Labrador team of father Colin Sheppard in the race bike and daughter Morgan Sheppard handling the training duties had a pair of trips to the historic winner’s circle. The duo clicked with Doc Darryl (2:04.3) in Race 4 and Betterthanbutter (2:02.2) in Race 7 for the conditioner’s first lifetime training double.
Red Shores Racetrack and Casino in Charlottetown commenced the highly anticipated four-week All-Star Handicapping Challenge, delivering a thrilling program of 12 races amid challenging muddy conditions. The event marked the beginning of an intense battle among some of the best handicappers in the industry.
Week 1 of the All Star Handicapping Challenge resulted in a remarkable dead heat for first place, showcasing the fierce competition that lies ahead. Garnet Barnsdale and Dawn Lupul emerged as the front-runners, both accumulating an impressive 18 points each. Robert Reid Jr. secured a close third position with 16 points, setting the stage for an exciting competition in the weeks to come.
Commenting on the tight competition, Barnsdale stated, "As I expected, this is going to be a tight competition all the way. I'm happy to be where I am after leg one and look forward to giving my best in the upcoming races."
Lupul, sharing her thoughts on the intense competition, said, "Can we get a triple dead heat?! This is going to be tough right down to the wire! I'm thrilled to be in the leading pack and will strive to maintain my position throughout the challenge."
Reid Jr., while reflecting on the day's racing action, acknowledged the challenges of handicapping and expressed his determination, saying, "Exciting day of racing action but a tough day of handicapping. It's a marathon, not a sprint, and I will sharpen my pencil for next Saturday. The competition is heating up and I'm ready to give it my all."
Voting for the All Stars was conducted through the Player Portal at redshores.ca/racing, where fans had the opportunity to voice their support for their favourite handicappers. The results revealed that 41 per cent of fans voted for Lupul, while 24 per cent each cast their votes for Reid Jr. and Barnsdale, showcasing the immense popularity and widespread interest in the All-Star Handicapping Challenge.
To add to the excitement, a draw will take place during the Thursday, June 8 program for fans who selected either Lupul or Barnsdale to win in Week 1, offering participants an additional chance to win and be part of the thrilling action.
Week 2 of the All Star Handicappers Challenge from Charlottetown is scheduled for next Saturday, June 10 with the first race starting at 6 p.m. (ADT) / 5 p.m. (EDT).
Live racing continues Tuesday, June 6 at 6 p.m. at Red Shores Summerside featuring the first night of the Bounce Back Promotion. Fans wager $20 or more on track and receive a 20 per cent discount voucher for Summerside restaurant West End Bar & Grill. Red Shores Summerside will also launch the Spin To Win for some fantastic prizes.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - Charlottetown Driving Park.