Red Shores Casino and Racetrack has been offering up entertaining harness racing cards throughout June and for those that reserved the limited seats inside the track, they were treated to first-class meals in their first taste of live racing. To date, Red Shores has been a model when it comes to self-distancing, the tightest in the province, and looking after the health and safety of their patrons has been their goal from day one. Let’s hope harness racing can return to normal in the very near future.
The harness racing has been high-end and I would go so far that the racing is as competitive and fast as any track in the country. On Saturday night, June 13, all ten races produced miles in 1:57.4 or better including a 1:54.2 mile by Avatar J for owners Dean Larkin and Jody Sanderson, trainer Danny MacDonald and driver Jason Hughes. There were a number of other eye-popping miles on the card including a gate to wire 1:55.2 score by Ten Mile Beach for driver Brett LeBlanc of New Waterford, Nova Scotia, who co-owns with fellow Caper Joel Leblanc and Time to Dance’s blistering 1:55.4 wire to wire effort for owners Brent Campbell and Matt McDonald with trainer-driver Marc Campbell in the bike.
Ten Mile Beach and Time to Dance opened up in the stretch and drew away from tough fields in the lane. The final race put a huge exclamation mark on the program as three year old Windemere Ryan (by Malicious) opened his 2020 campaign with an impressive 1:56.2 nose victory over fellow sophomore Tobins Rebel. Adam Merner drove the winner for trainer Melissa Rennie and owner The High Five Racing Stable of Stanhope, PEI.
The ten miles in 1:57.4 is a first for the historic Charlottetown track and it should tell fans and simulcast followers that the calibre of horses here right now is far more talented than any horse colony in the past. Charlottetown has more good horses here and that tells me that race fans can watch quality racing every time the starter blows that bugle.
Talented and popular driver Corey MacPherson moved closer to the 1000 wins lifetime plateau as he won three in a row on the Saturday, June 20th card including a sizzling 1:54.4 victory with Screen Test over Lisburn, Simple Kinda Man, Avatar J and Bugsy Maguire in the $3200 Charlottetown feature. The winner is owned by the Kickin Horse Stable of York, PEI and Bill Andrew. MacPherson also won with Tobins Rebel in 1:55.3 and with Soccer Hanover in 1:55.4.
Baby Races Set for Red Shores Monday, June 29th at 6:00 pm
One of the highlights of every harness racing season, the annual baby races for two year olds, is set for Red Shores Charlottetown next Monday, June 29 at 6:00 pm. A number of first crop sires will have horses in to go and that’s likely to include babies by State Treasurer, Source of Pride, Hilarious Halo, Tobago Cays and Steelhead Hanover, plus two year olds by reliable proven sires like Rollwithit Harry, Malicious, Stonebridge Terror and Shanghai Phil. First year sire State Treasurer has already had a couple of his babies win qualifying races in Ontario while Arthur Blue Chip has a terrific looking filly Lady Arthur owner by Serge Savard and Ron Maclellan that qualified impressively in 1:59 with ease at Mohawk.
I have been told that a Source of Pride and a State Treasurer have trained already here in 2:00 and I’m sure there are others have haven’t been unleashed just yet. It’s the unexpected that makes the baby races so enjoyable. These races can be seen via simulcast at Red Shores.
Red Shores Summerside, Opener Saturday, June 26
Annual Canada Day Card set for 1:00 July 1st
Live harness racing returns to Red Shores Summerside, Friday, June 26th at 6:00 pm with limited spectators. As in Charlottetown, fan attendance is limited and those wishing to attend inside at the West End Bar and Grill in the lower level of Red Shores must make a reservation. Customers that want to be there at Red Shores Summerside on opening night, Friday must call 902-620-4264. Reservations are also required at the Oval on the upper level of Red Shores Summerside and fans are urged to call 902-436-5551, I would hurry as these seats go quickly.
Red Shores racetracks have made safety their top priority for participants and fans and I can tell you from experience they do a first- rate job. Physical distancing and the use of personal protective equipment are in place as both properties have gone all out in making safety a highest priority. Further details at redshores.ca.
Although there are limitations on fans on site, harness racing lovers can wager on the races at Summerside via The Red Shores Race Day broadcast and on-line betting platforms HPIBet.com
North Sydney, Truro, EPR in Action
Governor’s Plate - Spence on Contender
It’s uplifting to see Truro Raceway, North Sidney and Exhibition Park back in action and with qualifiers being held on the weekend at Inverness, we’ll soon have all our unique family members back together again. The coronavirus has certainly changed the game and altered the stakes schedule and it may have set the Invitational circuit back a week or two.
One of the early candidates for the Governor’s Plate is Dr Ian Moore’s Casimir Richie P, a recent 1:49:4 winner at Mohawk Raceway. Dale Spence and his wife to be MacKenzie MacInnis worked this past winter for Dr Ian Moore in Florida and word out of Ontario is that Ian will send the Casimir horse down for the Governor’s Plate and Dale Spence, one of the region’s up and coming young drivers, will handle the driving assignment.
I talked with Red Shores Director of Racing Lee Drake late Thursday afternoon and he confirmed that the Governor’s Plate eliminations will be contested Sunday, July 5th and the Plate final will go on Saturday, July 11th at Summerside.