Everyone will be gunning for D Gs Camme Saturday night in the $25,000 Governor’s Plate final at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.
The four-year-old Blissfull Hall stallion has drawn the rail position in the rich final with Gilles Barrieau in the bike for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Tom Clark, Ron Matheson, Quentin and Hal Bevan, all of Charlottetown.
D Gs Camme was a winner in an impressive 1:54.3 in his elimination race Sunday afternoon in Summerside but was placed back to second for interfering on Red Rock in the first turn. If the pacer unleashes another 1:54.2 mile on this field it may be lights out Saturday night.
His competition has some firepower, as Astor has drawn Post 2 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owner Foxyhall racing of Wallace, N.S. The Camluck five-year-old has two wins, two seconds and a third since relocating to the East Coast from New York. Hughes has three trainees in the final.
Post 3 has Modern Xhibit for owner-trainer Jonah Moase of Warren Grove and driver Marc Campbell. The pacer was a recent winner in the Walter Dale Memorial in Fredericton, N.B., in a track-record tying 1:54.2 victory.
Post 4 will see Judge Jon for trainer Anthony Stymest, driver Mike Stevenson and owner Noreen Stymest of Beaver Bank, N.S. The pacer went one of the toughest trips of the elimination, finishing second to All Turain in a 1:56 mile Monday night.
Machinthesand has Post 5 with driver Brodie MacPhee, trainer Mark Bradley and owners Russell and Karen Noonan and Noonan Holdings, all of Middleton.
The five-year-old Mach Three pacer has already unleashed a 1:55 victory this season with MacPhee in the bike.
Post 6 has the newest arrival to the free-for-all ranks with Red Rock and trainer Hughes, driver Gary Chappell and owners Steven, Don and Bryan MacRae and Melissa Trainor, all of Vernon Bridge.
The four-year-old The Panderosa chestnut is now riding a three-race win streak after being placed from second in the elimination.
The third part of the Hughes entry has Narragansett and driver Corey MacPherson from Post 7 for owner Foxyhall Racing. He is likely to be considered an underdog in the race but has shown numerous fast miles, including his 1:55 lifetime best last November in Charlottetown.
Ultimate Luck will leave from Post 8 for driver Kenny Arsenault, trainer Sifroi Melason and owner Ultimate Stable of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. The Camluck six-year-old scorched the Summerside oval a few weeks ago with a 1:54.3 victory but finished fifth in the eliminations of the Governor’s Plate. He was called on to start once the Maritime Province’s Harness Racing Commission deemed trial starter All Turain and trainer Trevor Hicken ineligible to start after a positive test.
I will pick 1-6-2 to come in the race 14 finale Saturday. First-race post time is 7 p.m.
In a move that may shake up the Island trot ranks, Charlottetown trainer Kenny Arsenault has a new trainee in Frill
The six-year-old Angus Hall gelding is owned by the Ebbsfleet Stables of Stratford, Ont., which includes Charlottetown native Don McDougall. McDougall is a former president of Labatt Brewing Company and was instrumental in bringing the Toronto Blue Jays into existence. He currently serves as chancellor of UPEI.
As for Frill Seeker, the gelding boasts 11 wins and $168,770 in lifetime earnings, including a 1:54.3 victory in the cold of winter in February at Woodbine Raceway in Rexdale, Ont., for trainer Ron Waples Jr. He is entered in the third race trot tonight at Summerside with Arsenault at the lines.
Red Magician has made his way to P.E.I. for owners Dale and Ronnie Rennie of Elmsdale and trainer Clarkie Smith. The Badlands Hanover four-year-old was claimed for $20,000 in April at Woodbine and has been with trainer-driver Paul MacKenzie ever since. He was a winner his last start in 1:55.2 on July 9 at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears
in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.