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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
The 52nd edition of the Governor’s Plate, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, will finish off Governor’s Plate week racing on Saturday evening at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway.
This season has been strange in many aspects as horse people and fans must comply with public health protocols. The crowds we are used to for these signature events are not in the cards this season as fans are relegated to watching from home unless they have a dinner reservation at the track or are one of the first 50 people to show up on the tarmac.
Another seasonal oddity happened with the draw, as the final looked like Avatar J’s race to lose after handily disposing of his competition in 1:53 in his $5,000 elimination for driver Gilles Barrieau, who made it to P.E.I. when the Atlantic bubble opened on July 3, trainer Danny MacDonald and owners Dean Larkin and Jody Sanderson. His path to the winner’s circle on Saturday night became far more complicated after he drew Post 8 for the $25,000 Governor’s Plate final in Tuesday’s official post-position draw.
Defending champion Rose Run Quest, who won the other elimination, will leave from the favourable Post 2 for trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Blair Hansen. It will be one of two entries for the Campbell stable as Time To Dance has Post 6 in the field of eight.
Summerside owner Walter Simmons has chased this race for decades but has yet to find the winner’s circle in the Prince County classic. He will have two entries: Post 3 starter Mantario and Post 4 starter Bugsy Maguire.
The hard-leaving Hes Marvalous has rail control in the invitational race for driver Myles Heffernan Sr., Screen Test will leave from Post 5 for driver Corey MacPherson and another race favourite, Simple Kinda Man, has Post 7 with Jason Hughes at the lines.
The Saturday program begins at 6:30 p.m. for the final card of Governor's Plate week.
Governor’s Plate winners from the past 10 years.
2019 – Rose Run Quest, 1:53.
2018 – Czar Seelster, 1:53.2.
2017 – Do Over Hanover, 1:53.2.
2016 – Ys Lotus, 1:51.4.
2015 – D Gs Camme, 1:54.3.
2014 – D Gs Camme, 1:53.
2013 – Wild Dragon placed first in 1:53.4 over Proven Lover.
2012 – McApulco, 1:53.2.
2011 – Serious Damage, 1:54.3.
2010 – PH Bestman, 1:53.1.
The early portion of the week saw a pair of new track records at the Summerside Raceway as Avatar J’s 1:53 Governor’s Plate elimination win tied the stallion pacing record set by D Gs Camme in 2014.
Tuesday evening had Windemeredontuworry lower the trotting stallion record with a 1:59 win for driver Brodie MacPhee, trainer Norris Rogers and owner Eric Johnston of Summerside.
Atlantic Dream Stable
The entries for the first annual Atlantic Dream Stable competition close Saturday evening. Presented by the P.E.I. Standardbred Breeder's Association, the Atlantic Dream Stable will see one lucky entrant win $1,000 at the end of the stakes season with the entry fee at just $20 each. All proceeds will go to the IWK Health Centre in Halifax. To enter, visit Atlanticdreamstable.weebly.com and select two horses from each division with the entrant with the highest total earnings come November earning the grand prize.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.