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Gold Cup Undercard Full Of Action

Published: August 23, 2015 1:46 am ET

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While the main event was postponed after a storm rolled in late Saturday night (August 22), the Sobeys Gold Cup & Saucer undercard went off without a hitch.

Three-year-old pacing colts and geldings faced off in a pair of $10,800 Gold divisions of the Joe O'Brien Memorial Stakes earlier in the evening.

Dixieland Band extended his stakes streak to six with a wire-to-wire romp in the first split, lowering his lifetime mark to 1:55.3. Driver Gilles Barrieau directed the son of Ameripan Gigolo through fractions of :28.1, :58.3 and 1:28.1 en route to the two length triumph for trainer Kevin MacLean and the P.E.I. ownership group consisting of Reg MacPherson, David Mackenzie, and Aaron Mackenzie. J J Romeo followed in second with Proven Desire settling for third-place.

BNGs Express, another son of Ameripan Gigolo, rallied wide off cover to win the second division in 1:56.2 for trainer/driver Danny Romo and Nova Scotia owners Thomas Hawco Jr. and George Della Valle. He prevailed by four lengths over Ross Melvino, with third-place finisher R Es Aiden trailing by the double-digits.

The afternoon's Grassroots winners each took new lifetime marks in their $5,200 divisions. Arnold Dick was victorious in 1:57.4 with Paul MacKenzie catch-driving for horseman Terry Gallant while Tammy Lynn MacKay's Windemere Shadow prevailed in 1:57.2 in rein to Gilles Barrieau. Gritty Player earned his first win of the season in 1:57 for trainer/driver Clare MacDonald.

A handful of series also concluded on Saturday and among the winners was Ramblinglily, who completed a sweep of the Spud Island Classic. Driven by Walter Cheverie, the five-year-old daughter of Articulator earned her 30th career win in the $9,000 final, prevailing from the pocket by three-quarters of a length over For All We Know in 1:56.1. The homebred mare is now eight-for-10 on the season for trainer Allan Jones and co-owner Normand Leger, both of New Brunswick. Local owner Simon Hughes's Stayoutofmyaffair and trainer/driver Jason Hughes won the $2,500 consolation race in 1:56.4 during the afternoon program.

Fresh off a narrow victory in a preliminary leg of the Island Trotting Series last week, Ontario invader Kennel Buddy prevailed off a three-hole trip in Saturday's $9,000 final, defeating the popular pacesetter Weskey in another close call in 1:58.3. David Dowling trains and drives the winner for owner Allan Neal.

Dowling and Neal also won the $6,300 Alpine Claiming Series final for mares with their stable's new addition, last week's dead-heat winner Goodmorningdiva, in 1:57.2. Walbert prevailed in a tight finish at odds of 15-1 in the $7,500 final for horses and geldings, giving him back-to-back victories for trainer/driver Jason Hughes and Islander Ashley Gamester. Cam Cool was a wire-to-wire winner in the consolation, scoring his 62nd career win 1:57.1 with Gilles Barrieau driving for trainer James Copley and owner Ann Copley of Nova Scotia.

Newcomer Clic K turned in a season's best performance wiring the $3,000 Premier's Pace field in 1:54 in his first start for Ron Matheson and the Plo Stables of P.E.I. Gilles Barrieau picked up his seventh driving win from the double-header and moved within six of the 4,000-win milestone.

Silverhill Shadow drew off to a six and a quarter length victory in 1:54.2 in The Papermaker Pace, which carried a purse of $1,900. Paul Mackenzie drove the season-debuting Ontario Sires Stakes graduate, who now races from the Terry Gallant stable.

The $1,700 Norman MacPhail Memorial Pace produced a dead-heat finish as Coral Snake (Luke Armstrong) and Blue Star Outlaw (Jason Hughes) tied in a 1:57.2 mile.

Red Shores has announced the 56th running of the Sobeys Gold Cup & Saucer has been rescheduled for Sunday, August 23 at 3 p.m. (AST).

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following links: Saturday Afternoon / Saturday Evening.

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