The first two Sobeys Gold Cup and Saucer trials are in the books.
Sunday afternoon’s $10,000 Trial 2 at the Charlottetown Driving Park was won by Hare Craft and driver Aaron Byron in 1:52.3.
Firethorn left off the rail for driver John MacDonald, with Piece Of The Rock (Scott Young) three-wide and Amazon Art (Jonathan Drury) between horses.
Piece Of The Rock took a seat in third, before Amazon Art popped the pocket to take command through a 27.2 opening quarter.
Amazon Art controlled the front in a 55.1 half and a 1:24 three quarters until Hare Craft came first up and inched by for a one-length victory.
Amazon Art finished second while Piece Of The Rock was third to punch their tickets for next Saturday’s $60,000 final.
“I knew those inside three (Firethorn, Amazon Art and Piece Of The Rock) had a lot of gate speed and I didn’t know how it was going to work out," Byron said after the win. “I was a little worried with Earl Smith being parked out, but I was hoping to get some room up the backside and it all worked out.”
All Turain was fourth, with Windemere Express fifth, followed by Heart Of Rocknroll, Firethorn and Wellthereyougo.
They will advance to Friday’s Roach MacGregor Memorial consolation race.
Hare Craft is trained by Wayne Prezcator, trainer of 2010 Gold Cup and Saucer champion Part Shark, for owners Harness Racing Canada of Mississauga, Ont., and John Di Antonio of Harwich, Mass.
Saturday night’s Trial 1 went to Stonebridge Terror and driver Anthony MacDonald in 1:52.2.
Draconian, driven by Drury, fired to the front from Post 6, before relinquishing the lead to Mystician (James MacDonald) at the 26.4 first quarter over the rain-soaked track.
Mystician set up the half in 55.3, before feeling first over pressure from Stonebridge Terror and driver Anthony MacDonald at the five-eighths mark.
Stonebridge Terror made the lead before the 1:24 third quarter and then kicked clear to a 4 1/2-length win.
Mystician hung on for second with Draconian earning third to advance to the final.
Fourth went to Panmunjom, followed by Its A Good Thing, Arabica, Carnivore and Aled Hanover.
They will advance to Friday’s consolation race.
Stonebridge Terror is trained by Travis Umphrey for owners David Lumsden of Ancaster, Ont., and Reg Pettitpas and All In Racing Stable of Shediac Bridge, N.B.
Order of finish in the Gold Cup and Saucer trials (top-three finishers advance to next Sunday’s final):
1. Hare Craft
2. Amazon Art
3. Piece Of The Rock
4. All Turain
5. Windemere Express
6. Heart Of Rocknroll
1. Stonebridge Terror
5. Its A Good Thing
8. Aled Hanover