Jenn Trainor shows Aracache Hanover, who arrived in Earnscliffe Friday night and is pegged as a favourite in Saturday night's Gold Cup and Cup Trial 1 at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The fastest horse to ever set foot on a P.E.I. racetrack will headline the field in the Sobeys Gold Cup and Saucer Trial 1 tonight at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park as part of Old Home Week racing.
First race post time for the 12-dash card is 7 p.m., with the trial carded as Race 12 on the program.
Aracache Hanover has Marc Campbell in the bike for defending Gold Cup and Saucer-winning trainer Ron Burke and owners William Switala and James Martin of Clarence Center, N.Y. The Post 5 starter is being pegged as the one to beat in the Gold Cup series and with good reason, as he boasts 31 lifetime wins and $1.7 million in purses earnings along with his 1:48.1 lifetime best taken at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey.
The seven-year-old son of Dragon Again has recorded wins this year in 1:48.1 and 1:49 over larger tracks as well as victories in 1:52.1 and 1:53.1 (over an off track) over the half-mile oval at Yonkers Raceway in New York.
The horse has shown half-mile speed his whole life, winning the $547,000 Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs in Dundas, Ont., as a three-year-old in 1:52.1 by five-lengths after making a break at the start and winning an elimination of the Molson Pace at Western Fair Raceway in London, Ont., in 1:51.
Also in the speedy six-horse field is Post 1 starter Astor, the lone Maritime entry in the trials. Stratford’s Jason Hughes trains and drives the five-year-old son of Camluck for owner Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S.
The pacer landed on the Island in May, where he has won in 1:55.4 at Charlottetown and was a bang-up second to DGs Camme Sunday at the Summerside Raceway in a 1:53.4 mile.
Shock It To Em is a U.S. shipper for trainer Chris Oakes, as the Pennsylvania-based trainer has taken two horses to Charlottetown for the trials. The four-year-old Western Terror gelding has 15 lifetime wins and $205,070 in earnings to go with his 1:49 lifetime best taken at Pocono Dows in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Borden native Walter Cheverie will drive Shock It To Em for owners Hauser Bros Racing Ent Llc of Orangeburg, N.Y., Susan Oakes of Wilkes-Barre, Penn., Timothy Cable of Blasdell, N.Y., and Charles Oakes of Clarence Center, N.Y.
Bigtown Hero has post 3 for trainer Rene Allard and Quebec owners Allard Racing Inc. of Saint-Esprit and Yves Sarrazin of La Presentation, who just purchased the horse after his last start. Gilles Barrieau will drive the six-year-old American Ideal gelding, who is coming off a career best of 1:48.3 last Sunday at Pocono Downs.
Post 4 has another Allard horse, Island Jet with Robert Shepherd at the lines for Allard Racing Inc. of Saint-Esprit and Maurice Lemieux of Gatineau, Que., as well as Kapildeo Singh of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. and Howard Taylor of Philadelphia, Penn.
The four-year-old Jeremes Jet stallion has been racing almost exclusively over half-mile tracks with numerous miles in 1:52 to 1:53, including a 1:52.3 victory over Saratoga Raceway in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in June.
The outside Post 6 belongs to the only horse in the trials to have ever raced before in the Gold Cup and Saucer, Up The Credit. Trained and co-owned by Carl Jamieson of Rockwood, along with fellow Ontario owners Tom Kyron of Toronto and Joanne Morrison of Beeton, the six-year-old Western Terror stallion will have Truro Raceway’s leading driver, Ryan Ellis, in the bike. The horse was a winner in 1:53 in July over the half-mile oval at Grand River Raceway in Ontario.
Up The Credit finished fourth in the 2013 Gold Cup and Saucer final with Jamieson in the bike.
The top four horses will advance to next Saturday’s $75,000 Gold Cup and Saucer final.