The fastest field ever has been assembled for the $75,000 Sobey’s Gold Cup and Saucer final Saturday night at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. And what a show it will be.
Mickey Hanover was impressive in his Gold Cup and Saucer trial, winning in a track record equaling effort of 1:50.4 for trainer Rene Allard.
Marc Campbell was in the bike for that performance but has elected to drive Aracache Hanover, paving the way for Mickey Hanover’s co-owner,
World Class driver Daniel Dube, to come sit in the bike behind the Post 8 starter.
Dube, a Quebec native who is now a resident of New Jersey, has 7,837 lifetime wins and $94 million in purse earnings.
He is known for driving greats like Gallo Blue Chip and Rocknroll Heaven.
Dube has 141 victories and $2.6 million earned so far in 2014.
Dube will also drive a few other horses on card, including General Luckypercy in the $12,250 Spud Island Classic final and Machinthesand in the $15,000 Premiers Pace final.
Mickey Hanover was formerly trained by Charlottetown native David O’Brien, who purchased the The Panderosa stallion for $15,000 in the 2009 Harrisburg yearling sale in Pennsylvania.
The then two-year-old colt raced in the $709,000 Governor’s Cup final at Woodbine Raceway for O’Brien and was switched to Allard’s care early in his three-year-old year.
Allard has three trainees in the rich final Saturday night with Island Jet and Bigtown Hero.
Bigtown Hero is a potential sleeper in the event with Brad Forward coming to drive the American Ideal six-year-old from Post 3, while Island Jet has Stratford native Robert Shepherd in the bike from Post 5.
Other entries include the Chris Oakes trained Scott Rocks (Jonathan Drury) and Shock It To Em (Walter Cheverie), as well as the Ron Burke duo of Aracache Hanover (Campbell) and Take It Back Terry (Gilles Barrieau).
An argument could be made for six horses to win this race Saturday, but the target is sure to be on Aracache Hanover’s back as Campbell and Burke teamed up to win last year’s Gold Cup and Saucer final.
A horse that is flying a little under the radar in this event is Wazzup Wazzup, who has drawn the rail off a fourth-place finish in Trial 1, pacing his own mile in 1:52.2 after making a break.
If he can stay in the action, Kingston native James MacDonald could easily find himself drinking out of the Gold Cup.
It is anyone’s race and it’s sure to be an exciting one.
Nicholas Oakes’ column appears in
The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.