Mike Noonan didn’t mind travelling from Summerside to Charlottetown an extra day to see The Guardian 2018 Gold Cup and Saucer race.
Saturday’s heavy rain caused the track to be unsafe, moving the entire day of harness racing to Sunday.
“I usually come down for the afternoon and night, but when it rained yesterday afternoon I decided not to,” Noonan said Sunday.
The last time the Gold Cup and Saucer race was moved was 2015; the last time the entire day of racing was postponed was 10 years ago.
- Heavy rain postponed The Guardian 2018 Gold Cup and Saucer to Sunday evening.
- 2015 was the last time the Gold Cup and Saucer race was moved to Sunday.
- 2008 was the last time the entire day of racing was moved to Sunday.
- Full coverage of The Guardian 2018 Gold Cup and Saucer in sports
The Campbell Amusements exhibition rides —which usually fill the parking lot of the Red Shores Racetrack and Casino, lighting up the space and pumping tunes into the night — were gone. They packed up after Saturday’s heavy rain.
Cecil and Claudette Keeping said they probably wouldn’t be at the racetrack for The Guardian’s Gold Cup and Saucer had it not rained the day before. The Keepings, who frequent Red Shores Racetrack and Casino year-round, said admission at the door for Old Home Week and trouble finding parking means they haven’t usually come to the big race other years.
“We would love to come in and not worry about the fair,” Cecil said.
“We don’t want to have to spend money to get in,” he added, noting they would rather pay for racing and other entertainment.
Claudette agreed there should be access to the race track, with an admission for the exhibition sold separately.
Noonan, on the other hand, said he likely would not have come if it rained again Sunday. But the day was sunny and he was motivated to see his nephew Russel Noonan race prior to the 11 p.m. finale.
“I’ve been coming every year for the last 15 to 20 years. I’m a horse racing fan.”
Noonan wasn’t the only long-standing harness racing fan in the crowd. It was the 59th Gold Cup and Saucer and Charlottetown-born Shirley Higgin has been to the last 39 of them.
This year she flew in from Calgary for the race. She also had a nephew in a race prior to the Gold Cup.
“Half Cut in the 5th race. My nephew Mark Bradley is driving it.”
Plenty of people arrived at the Red Shores Racetrack and Casino early to see afternoon racing before The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer.
Beryl Diamond said Saturday’s rain didn’t matter; they don’t often miss the Gold Cup race. Her husband, John, already had a winner picked for the big race.
“Somewhere Fancy,” he said. “The girl who picked him is a friend of a friend.”
Diamond turned out to have every reason to be confident in his choice. Somewhere Fancy driven by Simon Allard captured the $60,000 Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer title Sunday night with a time of 1:50.4.
“It’s a good horse,” Diamond said Sunday afternoon.