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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 13, 2020
The horses will be off and racing on Thursday, June 4, at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP).
The capital oval could be the only harness racing track in North America operating at that point due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
At least at the outset, there will be no fans in the grandstand or around the track while racing participants will have to adhere to a number of health protocols while racing. Those details are currently being worked out.
Island owners and trainers have collected some new stock for the coming meet, including a possible challenger for top dog on the East Coast.
Silver Beast has moved into the Loyalist Road stable of trainer Brittany Watts, and the four-year-old son of Betterthancheddar shows some serious speed to take on P.E.I.’s best. A 10-person conglomerate of Island owners purchased Silver Beast, a winner of five races from just 22 lifetime starts.
The pacer has a lifetime best of 1:52.4 over Woodbine Mohawk Park in Ontario and has shown he can leave the gate hard, including a 26.2-opening quarter from the far outside Post 10 at Woodbine. His lone start on a half-mile track was a front-end mission in the Ontario Sires Stakes at Grand River Raceway where he was narrowly beaten in 1:53.4.
Brandon Hanover (12 wins, $110,892 earned, lifetime mark of 1:52.1 at Woodbine) is a new addition for owners Wayne MacRae of Fall River, N.S., and Howmac Farms of North Wiltshire. The Big Jim five-year-old has paced in 1:54.4 over Flamboro Downs’ half-mile oval already this year.
The maiden three-year-old World Wonder is a new addition for trainer Michael Gallant of Charlottetown. The Betterthancheddar three-year-old shows pacing in 1:55 over Woodbine last season.
Beyondthesilence N (20 wins, $221,139, 1:53.2 at Yonkers Raceway) has been acquired by Chris Davies of York and Kent Livingston of Cornwall. The 11-year-old veteran son of Courage Under Fire was racing the $10,000-claiming ranks in New York.
Time To Dance (nine wins, $58,563, 1:53.2 at Woodbine) was claimed during the winter by Brent Campbell of Charlottetown. The A Rocknroll Dance four-year-old has paced in 1:55.2 over Flamboro this year.
The open pacing mares ranks look to be getting deeper this year, too.
Berazzled (17 wins, $466,246, 1:50.2 at Philadelphia) has been picked up by Neal Moase of Warren Grove. The six-year-old Charley Barley mare was a winner in 1:57.3 over an off-track at Saratoga Raceway’s half-mile oval in New York this year.
Dreamfire Zenfire (eight wins, $79,981, 1:53 at Woodbine) was been purchased by Ryan and Everett MacLeod of Souris and placed in the Marc Campbell stable. A winner in her last two outings, the Sunfire Blue Chip mare has only missed the top-two once in her last seven starts.
Falls Creek (22 wins, $115,316, 1:54.1 at Georgian Downs) is now under the care of Bo Ford in Charlottetown. The Badlands Hanover five-year-old was a winner in 1:58.4 in the $7,000 claiming ranks at Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa in her latest.
Southwind Ion (20 wins, $199,444, 1:51.3 Woodbine) is now owned by Jennifer Doyle and Danny Birt of Earnescliffe. The duo purchased the Sportswriter five-year-old from the Carmen Auciello Stable of Ontario, where she was racing the conditioned ranks at Woodbine.
On the trot side, Glider Man (13 wins, $94,530, 1:56.4 at Woodbine) was also purchased by Doyle and Birt with his latest start a winning one in 1:58.2 at Flamboro for trainer Randy Van Meer.
Supreme Monarch (eight wins, $120,477, 1:58.4 at Flamboro) is now owned by Jamie Whalen of Avondale. The nine-year-old trotting daughter of Federal Flex was timed in 1:59.3 in her latest start at Flamboro.
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.