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Secret Weapon Romps In MacGregor Memorial

Published: August 19, 2011 10:18 pm ET

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Secret Weapon and driver Scott Young rallied three-wide down the backstretch and stormed home to capture the $20,000 Gold Cup & Saucer Consolation, named in honour of James "Roach" MacGregor, on Friday night at Charlottetown Driving Park.

With the late scratch of Strand Hanover, the field in the Friday finale was reduced to seven. Formal Affair (Mark Bradley) took control of the pacers from Post 2 while Awesome Armbro N (James MacDonald) made a break leaving the gate keeping Southwind Lynx (Mike Stevenson) out wide. Formal Affair reached the opening quarter in :27.1, followed by the half in :55 with Southwind Lynx unable to find a spot at the rail.

The leader opened up a two length lead down the backstretch while Young had Secret Weapon on the move from fifth and sent the 3-1 third choice wide around the fading Southwind Lynx. The Wayne Preszcator pupil swept to command before hitting three-quarters in 1:24.3 and poured it on down the stretch to score an open length victory in 1:52.1. Formal Affair followed 12 lengths behind for second with Carnivore (Terry Gallant) rounding out the top three.

"He was a lot sharper warming up in the post parade this week and Wayne told me he had a great week training. He was awesome tonight, for sure," said Young in the winner's circle. "Last week [in the Gold Cup & Saucer Trial] I had a little trouble at the rail. He didn't leave as good as I thought he would, but this week I made him leave a little harder to get spotted better and when I called on him he was definitely there. I had to go three-deep pretty early and I wasn't sure how much that was going to affect him, but when we hit the backstretch he was pacing and I thought I was going to get to him [Formal Affair]."

Secret Weapon paid $8.60 to win for the seventh time in 16 seasonal starts. The nine-year-old son of Western Hanover-Falcons Secret, who finished fourth in Trial 1, is owned by the Secret Weapons Stable of Waterloo, Ont. The former Gold Cup & Saucer starter finished third by just a half-length to All The Weapons in the 2009 final and fourth in the 2010 consolation.

"They're great people," said the 19-year-old Guelph, Ont. resident of the ownership group. "They gave me the opportunity to come down here and drive this horse. You get noticed when you drive horses like this and I can't thank them enough for letting me drive him."

Secret Weapon earned his 43rd career win while making his 200th start and pushed his bankroll to $510,340.

Friday's card also featured the Lady Slipper Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies. After kicking off her career with three consecutive wins in May, Elm Grove Future returned to victory lane for the fourth time in her career in the first of two $11,400 gold divisions of the Lady Slipper.

Acton Noisey (Darren Crowe) left from the inside post position and carved out fractions of :28.2, :57.2 and 1:27.1 with Elm Grove Future and driver Mike Stevenson in the pocket and favourite Grayland Rain (Marc Campbell) looming first over. With Grayland Rain beginning to fade around the final the turn, Elm Grove Future pulled the pocket and struck the front at the top of the stretch. The Largo-Elm Grove Starlite filly kicked home in :29.2 to score a three and a half length victory in a career-best 1:56.4. K D Go Onn (Gilles Barrieau) came on for second over Acton Noisey.

Elm Grove Future paid $15.60 for the 6-1 upset. Trainer Frank Banks owns the bay filly with Melissa Banks of Summerside, P.E.I. She now boasts four wins and three seconds on her 12 race record with $13,120 banked.

Charolettes Maggie returned to her winning ways in the next gold division following a break in stride in her last start.

Bemused (Marc Campbell) hustled to command before the opening quarter in :27.4 and took the field past the half :58 before driver Gilles Barrieau sent Charolettes Maggie first over from fourth. The daughter of Royal Mattjesty-Midnight Beach applied pressure to the pacesetter past three-quarters in 1:28.2 and took over in the stretch to score in a career-best time of 1:57.3. Ultimate Spirit (Todd Trites) shot up the rail to grab second place honours over Bemused.

Charolettes Maggie paid $3.80 to win as the odds-on favourite. The brown filly has won seven of her nine starts while banking $11,507 in her debut season for trainer Tom Weatherbie and owner Shaun MacIsaac of Charlottetown.

Three $5,800 grassroots divisions of the Lady Slipper Stake for three-year-old pacing fillies were held during the afternoon card with driver Mark Bradley scoring a double in the stakes action. Driven by Bradley, Yankee No More ($6.20) romped to an 18 length victory in a career-best 1:57.4 for trainer Darren Smith, who co-owns with Ernest Smith of Cornwall, P.E.I. while the John Montgomery-trained Princess Leader ($3.30) also went wire-to-wire to win by one and a half lengths in a new mark of 1:59.3 for owner L. Leigh Jewell of Summerside, P.E.I. Woodmere Grinny ($4.20) and Barrieau converted from the pocket to win the other division by four and three-quarter lengths in 1:59.1 for trainer Wade Sorrie, who also shares ownership with Walter Simmons of Summerside, P.E.I.

Live racing continues Saturday with a stakes packed double header, concluding with the $60,000 Sobey's Gold Cup & Saucer. First race post time for the afternoon card is set for 1 p.m. with the evening program sscheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

To view Friday’s harness racing results, click on the following links:

Friday Results (Afternoon) – Charlottetown Driving Park

Friday Results (Night) – Charlottetown Driving Park

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