© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Gilles Barrieau and D Gs Camme lead the field towards the wire in the first of two $5,000 Governor’s Plate elimination races at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon. The Jason Hughes-driven Red Rock, left, was placed the winner after the judges ruled D Gs Camme interfered with him just past the eighth pole.
SUMMERSIDE – An inquiry by the judges determined the winner of the first Governor’s Plate elimination on Sunday afternoon.
D Gs Camme, who had the rail, finished first but was placed second. The No. 3 horse, Red Rock, was declared the race winner. The judges ruled D Gs Camme interfered with Red Rock just past the eighth pole at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway.
“My plans changed, and I went from Plan A to Plan B pretty quick at the eighth pole,” said Jason Hughes, who trains and drives Red Rock for Island owners Donald MacRae, Bryan MacRae, Steve MacRae and Melissa Trainor. “I was planning to go to the front.”
Hughes, who praised Red Rock for not going off-stride, went on to explain how the confusion unfolded.
“I was just floating off the gate with the horse, and Earl (Smith and Tough Of Lightning) crossed over in front of me, and I was just going to keep on going when we came out of the turn,” continued Hughes. “Gilles Barrieau, with the (No.) 1 horse, was a little late coming out, so I just dropped back down and stayed in the three-hole.
“Then at the half I popped him out, let him float up on the outside and he just kept digging.”
D Gs Camme had stopped the clock in 1:54.2, but the adjusted race time for Red Rock was 1:55.1. Fractions were 27, 56.1 and 1:25.
“He paced right through to the wire,” said Hughes, who also trains the four-year-old charcoal gelding by The Panderosa-Heathers Reaction-Covert Action. “He was good and strong, and I expect him to be a little better next week (Saturday).”
The Marc Campbell-driven Modern Xhibit and Narragansett, with Mark Bradley in the bike, also qualified for Saturday’s 46th running of the $25,000 Governor’s Plate, sponsored by Summerside Chrysler Dodge. The final four qualifiers will be determined in Monday night’s second $5,000 elimination.
It was an exciting stretch run as a group of horses were neck and neck approaching the wire behind D Gs Camme in search of the other three berths.
“They were all right there,” said Hughes, who drove All Turain to a fourth-place finish in last year’s Governor’s Plate final. “I looked over and they were coming four-wide. He (Red Rock) just kept digging.”
Three $2,250 open mares eliminations were also part of the opening Summerside Lobster Festival harness racing program. The final will go Saturday night.
Nine-year-old Onehotvett, owned, trained and driven by Wade Sorrie of Montague, won the first division in 1:59.
Barrieau drove seven-year-old For All We Know to a 1:58.1 win in the second elimination for owner Bruce Wood of Marshfield and trainer Jackie Matheson.
Hughes picked up the first of his two driving wins with eight-year-old Stayoutofmyaffair in the third elimination for the open mares. Time of the mile was 1:57. Hughes trains the Stayoutofmyaffair for owner Robbi Hughes of Stratford.
Other winners on the 12-dash card were:
Lexys Mandy (2:00), Brand New Deal (2:01.4 – a maiden record), Canvasback Bud (2:01.2 – new race-win record), Just Coastin Along (2:00.4), Paphos (1:58.4), Darth Bader (1:56.3), Ultimate Faith (1:58.1) and McMaverick (1:57.3).
Campbell, last year’s winner of the Basil Whelan Memorial Award for top driver during the then Lobster Carnival meet, registered a driving hat trick.
The total live wager was $22,700.
Live harness racing resumes on Monday, with the 11-dash program getting underway at 7 p.m.
How They Finished
Order of finish for Governor’s Plate elimination:
1. Red Rock (2P1)
2. D Gs Camme (1P2)
3. Modern Xhibit
5. Ultimate Luck
6. Likely To Win
7. Touch Of Lightning
Note: Carnivore was scratched.