Terry Gallant drives Outlawpositivcharg, 7, manages to edge out Formal Affair, 5, at the wire in the first of two $5,000 Governor’s Plate Elimination Invitational Paces at Summerside Raceway. Time of the mile was 1:55.2. Transcontinental Media photo by Jason Simmonds
SUMMERSIDE — Outlawpositivcharg and veteran trainer-driver Terry Gallant will compete in the Governor’s Plate for the fourth consecutive year.
Summerside Raceway staged two $5,000 elimination invitational paces on Sunday night to set the field for Saturday night’s 43rd running of the Governor’s Plate. The top-four finishers in each of the two eliminations qualify.
Also advancing were second-place finisher Formal Affair, owned by Ronnie and Dale Rennie of Elmsdale; third-place finisher As Tuff As Nails, owned by Wayne Whebby of Dartmouth, N.S., and Jepson Hanover, owned by Paul Gray of Pugwash, N.S., was fourth.
While the sentimental favourite around the racetrack, Outlawpositivcharg was not the betting favourite in the first elimination.
If history has any impact, of his three consecutive entries into the Governor’s Plate, Outlawpositivcharg and Gallant have two wins in 2008 and ‘09 and a second-place finish in 2010.
In Race 11, the field broke quickly off the gate, with Formal Affair and Mark Bradley grabbing the early lead. Marc Whebby took the betting favourite, As Tuff As Nails, to the front, and the two battled it out throughout most of the race, cutting fractions of 27:2, 56.3 and 1:26 before entering the stretch run. The mile was clocked in 1:55.2.
Gallant was looking for running room down the stretch, but had to go to the outside to find it to take the race at the wire.
Fred Lamont of Calgary, Alta., owns Outlawpositivcharg.
“He (Outlawpositivcharg) came to play,” said a jubilant Gallant after the race. “Outlaw loves the lead.
“He loves going out front. I guess I kind of like it, too, as much as him. So, everything all set up. I don’t know who let me in the hole going into the first turn, but thank you whoever you were.”
As the race progressed, Gallant knew he had to make a move.
“I get moving,” he said. “Kenny’s (Oliver) horse Sombrero Blue Chip shows 51, so I said there’s no better horse to follow than Kenny Oliver’s horse. I followed him and he was banging at him, and I see that he’s empty.”
Gallant took Outlawpositivcharg three-wide to get a clear track in front of his horse.
Gallant said Outlawpositivcharg doesn’t normally run three-wide, but he had no other choice in order to get the win. He called on the seven-year-old gelding, and he responded.
“I kept him going and kept him three-wide,” he said. “He fooled me tonight (Sunday). That’s all I can say.”
Results/entries in Monday's Guardian