It’s never easy to predict the winner of a major harness race whether in North America or Europe, whether the Hambletonian, the North American Cup, the Little Brown Jug or the Gold Cup and Saucer and after looking at the credentials of the horses competing in the 2019 Cup and Saucer, it’s a tough task to select which eight horses will advance to the next Saturday’s classic showdown. To complicate matters, the horses competing this year race primarily in Maine, Quebec, Ontario and the United States. Some are best on a half-mile track, some on bigger tracks like 5/8 of a mile, 7/8 like Mohawk, or on a half-mile track like Yonkers, New York, which is much more banked than Charlottetown.
Factor in the long truck travel to PEI and the impact it will have on the horses, and, of course, the all-important draw for post positions and you have a race with so many variables that makes it no easy task in picking the elimination winners let alone the Gold Cup and Saucer.
Defending champion Somewhere Fancy has drawn a favorable #2 post position in this Saturday’s Trial 1 and last year this horse showed he loved the racing surface with a blistering 1:50:4 victory, plus he’s handled by the brother duo of driver Simon and trainer Rene Allard, #2 trainer in the USA in money and wins. He looks like the best of this group but as we witnessed last Saturday in the Hambletonian, the heavy favorite Greenshoe got beat. Remember the old adage, anything can happen in a horse race.
This is the 60th edition of the Gold Cup and Saucer race which is considered one of the most important events in the world of harness racing. The Trials take place Saturday night, August 10th and Monday evening, August 12th and I’d suggest being at Red Shores Charlottetown early as the place will be packed.
For harness racing fans, you may want to save this edition as it has many feature stories including one on the three horses that have won back to back Gold Cup and Saucers. Somewhere Fancy will be looking to join that trio in Gold Cup and Saucer history. (see story page on page 3)
Fractional Ownership and Gold Cup and Saucer
Anthony MacDonald and the Stable.Ca have purchased a horse that is able to compete in the Gold Cup and Saucer and for the second consecutive year have offered Island horse fans in on the opportunity to own a piece of a Gold Cup and Saucer horse. Last year, Lincoln James advanced to the final and he most recently won the $12,000 Open at Hawthorne in 1:52 with plenty to spare. This year, the horse is Brave World and his O’Brien winning trainer Richard Moreau will bring him to PEI on behalf of the Stable.Ca, which has almost 700 owners from 12 countries around the globe. I believe all available shares have been sold and the 15 investors will be anxious to see what happens next Monday night in Trial # 2 when Brave World leaves from post position #5 seeking Gold Cup and Saucer glory.
Hambletonian Crown stays in Canada; Allards win with Whendovescry
Bob McLure drove Forbidden Speed to a massive upset of heavily favoured Greenshoe in the $1,000,000 Hambletonian last Saturday afternoon at The Meadowlands in New Jersey. Owned by the Determination Stable of Montreal and trained by Luc Blais, Forbidden Speed (by Kadabra) grabbed command of the field at the head of the stretch and held off fast closing Greenshoe to post the 1:50 victory returning $31 for a $2 win ticket and triggering a $700 plus triacata return. The win keeps the Hambletonian Crown in Canada as last year Rick Zeron’s Atlanta scored a sensational victory, the mare defeating the boys in the biggest trot race in North America.
Also on the Hambletonian card, Whendovescry (by Muscle Hill) went to the front for Simon Allard and trainer Rene Allard and trotted away from the field winning the $500,000 Hambletonian Futurity in a sizzling 1:50 flat.
Shartin N took the Open Mares at the Meadowlands in 1:46:4, fastest mile ever paced by a female horse, drawing away in the stretch for the world record. Also on the star studded card Lather Up proved too much for the best aged pacers in the world winning the Sam McKee Memorial and dominating this division which includes McWicked.
Richard Moreau, Allards Here for Gold Cup and Saucer
The Gold Cup and Saucer continues to attract the biggest names in the industry as Rene Allard will be here for Old Home Week with a couple of his pacers from Yonkers, New York while Canada’s Trainer of the Year Richard Moreau will likely be here with Brave World, a horse he now trains for The Stable.Ca under Anthony and Amy MacDonald.
Moreau, 54, has won six consecutive Trainer of the Year Awards in Canada and thus far this year has a commanding lead in the Trainers category with $2.54 million in earnings and in wins at 161 mostly in Ontario. Among his best stars last year were Jimmy Freight, the top mare Witch Dali, Backstreet Shadow p, 1:47:4, now with the Burke Stable, and the trotter Big Rich among his 60 horse stable. Rene Allard currently sits 2nd in the USA in money among Trainers with $3.7 million and is 2nd in wins at 211 trailing Ron Burke who tops the money list at $10.5 million and wins at 571.