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DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Governor’s Plate countdown underway

Governor’s Plate week racing continues tonight at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway.
Governor’s Plate week racing at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway. - Jason Simmonds

Big week of racing in Summerside begins Sunday

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. - Prince County harness racing kicks into high gear starting Sunday afternoon with the beginning of Governor’s Plate week racing culminating in the 50th running of the Governor’s Plate final next Saturday.

Sunday afternoon has the elimination of the Governor’s Plate along with the elimination of the Governor’s Plate open mares series.

There is no racing Monday evening again this year, while Tuesday evening has the Atlantic Sires Stakes for two- and three-year-old trotters. Wednesday sees the start of the season for the two-year-old pacing fillies in Atlantic Sires Stakes action, while the two-year-old pacing colts begin their A and B stake contests Thursday evening in the Atlantic Sires Stakes. Friday evening has the Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing fillies then the action all comes together Saturday evening with the 50th running of the Governor’s Plate presented by Township Chevrolet Buick GMC. The Saturday, July 14, program will also feature the Governor’s Plate open mares final and the Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts.

Maritime Scene

Thanks The Atlantic Regional Driving Championship was held last Friday at Truro Raceway in Bible Hill, N.S., with Gilles Barrieau and Redmond Doucet advancing from the competition.

Those two will advance to the National Driving Championship in Ontario in September with the winner of that event representing Canada at the World Driving Championship in Sweden in 2019 alongside Kingston native James MacDonald.

During the eight-race Atlantic contest, Barrieau reigned supreme as part of team P.E.I., with three wins and 72 points in total. Redmond Doucet had two wins to finish second with 61 points, while Stratford resident Jason Hughes was just barely bumped from a spot into the nationals. Hughes finished in a dead heat for third in the final race after winning two races during the competition to finish one point back of Doucet with 60 points. If Hughes had of finished third alone, instead of in the deadheat, he would have garnered an extra point to put him in a tie with Doucet. Tiebreaking rules in the competition go by number of wins, then seconds and so on until the tie is broken. With Doucet and Hughes both with two wins, Hughes would have won the tiebreaker by having a second place finish while Doucet had none. It was just another case of harness racing showing why mere centimetres make all the difference.

Nick’s Picks

Saturday at 6 P at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park:

Race 1 – Easy DC Does It

Race 2 – Top Of The Morning

Race 3 – Tobins Lightning

Race 4 – Smiley Bayama

Race 5 – Dustylanekazaam

Race 6 – Painted Pony

Race 7 – Southwind Ricardo

Race 8 – Jetta Flys

Race 9 – Narragansett

Race 10 – Mick Dundee

Nicholas Oakes' column appears in The Guardian each Friday. He can be reached at

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