Young, Gillis Sweep Gold Cup And Saucer Trials

Funatthebeach N
Published: August 12, 2023 11:46 pm EDT

With a pair of powerful performances, stablemates Funatthebeach N and Covered Bridge swept the first two trials of the Gold Cup and Saucer, presented by the Atlantic Lottery Corporation, on Saturday (Aug. 12) at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. 

The first $12,500 trial had Funatthebeach N victorious in line to Scott Young for trainer Jeff Gillis and owner Mark Ford of Campbell Hall, N.Y. Young hustled his charge to the lead from post four while pacing around post two starter Twin B Tuffenuff (Gilles Barrieau). Funatthebeach N tripped the first quarter in a comfortable :27.1 before Roll Em (Marc Campbell) came calling first-over after getting away third. Roll Em was released to the lead while Funatthebeach N took the garden ride through fractions of :54.3 and 1:23.2 prior to reaching up in the stretch drive for a three-quarter length win in 1:50.4. Roll Em was second with Twin B Tuffenuff third and joining them in the $100,000 final on Aug. 19. 

Driver Scott Young said in the winner’s circle that the race unfolded very close to how he envisioned. 

“I kinda saw the race like that and I have watched Roll Em race a little bit and I figured he couldn’t snap off the car, especially not from the rail,” said Young. “When I cleared Gilles and touched the brakes, I heard footsteps and I knew there is only one horse it could be. Roll Em is a status horse so I figured he wasn’t a bad one to follow. By the time we turned for home, my horse was just raging to get going.” 

Young said racing out of a hole is a potential recipe for success in next week’s final. 

“Same kind of trip,” said the Ontario driver. “They go a quick half in front of him he smells blood. He’ll swell up.” 

The second $12,500 trial had different tactics but the same result as Young eased off the rail at the start with Covered Bridge with Bayfield Beach (Jody Jamieson) first to the front. Young then asked his charge for speed to head to the lead and was in control of every fraction with splits of :27.3, :55.4, 1:24 and 1:51.2. American History (Dale Spence) was parked out to the quarter then ducked in a hole before taking a shot first-over to finish four lengths back in second earning a berth in a final while Bee Two Bee (Jason Hughes) sat last and reached up for third at the finish. 

“I was worried that Bayfield Beach or Bee Two Bee would be leaving,” Young said after the race. “Bayfield Beach can leave so he looped me at the start but Bee Two Bee didn’t leave then my only worry was whether American History would clear going to the quarter. If he did, I was going to be left first-over.” 

Both trials had slower opening quarters than historically when it comes to Gold Cup and Saucer trial action and Young thinks the Gillis trainees have everything to do with it. 

“When you’re driving Covered Bridge or Funatthebeach, everyone else is looking for you,” said Young. “I think it’s just the respect those two animals get. So if someone wants to leave out in :26, you better be ready because these guys have three more :27 quarters in them.” 

The final three spots for the prestigious final will be decided with the third trial on Monday evening. 

Also on the Saturday program, Our Girl Annie won her $14,240 Atlantic Sires Stakes A division for three-year-old pacing fillies in 1:56.2 for driver Corey MacPherson and trainer Eddy Doucette. The other A split was claimed by Next In Line (Jamieson) in 1:55.2. 

The $5,000 Birthplace Of Confederation Open Mares eliminations were won by Plain Jane (Campbell) in 1:55 and Chelski (MacPherson) with a 1:54 score. 

New Legacy was the best in the Colonel Dan Old Home Week Trot Series dash, presented by Fox Group, in 1:57.3 for a $5,300 purse with Merner in the seat for trainer Colin Johnson. 

Merner and Campbell both had driving triples with the Melissa Rennie stable made a trio of trips to the winner’s circle. 

Live harness racing continues Monday (Aug. 14) evening at 7 p.m. as part of Old Home Week 2023. 

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click the following link: Saturday Results - Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park

(Red Shores; video of Trial #2 not available)

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