CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The 2018 winter meet comes to a close Saturday afternoon at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP).
The final card of the season has a 12:30 p.m. post time with 11 dashes on tap, including a seven-horse top class in Race 10.
The ultra-consistent Eagle Jolt is the favourite in the preferred pace with O’Brien-nominated Marc Campbell in the race bike. The veteran son of Village Jolt turned 11 years old on the customary Jan. 1 birthday of all Standardbred horses, but is fresh on the heels of another successful season. Eagle Jolt had an impressive summary of 10 wins from 32 starts in 2017 with a seasonal best of 1:56 over Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway and $15,828 in red soil earnings. He has started out 2018 in similar style with second-place finishes in both of his outings.
The horse on the far outside of the top event had an even better year in 2017, as the iron-tough Forever Paradise leaves from Post 7. The eight-year-old son of Western Paradise is consistently one of the top earners on the Island year-after-year and last season was no exception with $19,236 in the bank for owners Reg MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe. He started off 2018 with second- and third-place finishes and gets Ken Murphy at the lines to finish off the winter meet.
After Saturday, live racing takes a hiatus until April with race dates to be announced soon.
My condolences to the MacGregor family on the passing of Carolyn MacGregor. The 85-year-old is the wife of the late James (Roach) MacGregor, who passed away in 2000. A successful trainer-driver in his own right, ‘Roach’ was instrumental in bringing horses to P.E.I. for the Gold Cup and Saucer and the race’s consolation in named in his honour.
Roach and Carolyn had three children, Tricia, Tanya and Doug. Doug has also had a solid career as a trainer-driver and is still a regular at the CDP.
A horse sale is in the works for 2018 with the Atlantic Standardbred Winter Mixed Sale slated for Saturday, March 24, at 1 p.m. at the MacMillan Show Centre in Bible Hill, N.S. Organizers are hoping to get a healthy catalogue of horses and not just standardbreds. Organizers are accepting entries of broodmares, stallions, weanlings, racehorses, horses of mixed breed and any kind of equipment. To make an entry for the sale contact Paul Walker of Bethel at 1-902-388-8093.
Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park:
Race 1 – Redwhiteandboots
Race 2 – Woodmere Articblue
Race 3 – Little Navajo
Race 4 – Lexis Mandy
Race 5 – Zingers Laugh
Race 6 – Dusty Lane Zendaya
Race 7 – Iswhatitis
Race 8 – Cyrax
Race 9 – All Out
Race 10 – Nogreatmischief
Race 11 – Pictonian Storm
Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.