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UPDATE: Rock Diamonds N wins The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer in 1:51.4

Rock Diamonds N, with Mitch Cushing doing the driving, won the 60th edition of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer just after midnight Sunday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Rock Diamonds N, with Mitch Cushing doing the driving, won the 60th edition of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer just after midnight Sunday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. - Jason Malloy
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

Rock Diamonds N made the impossible possible early Sunday morning as he weaved through traffic to win the 60th edition of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer in 1:51.4 at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

When the wings folded on the $60,000 race, Rock Diamonds N’s driver Mitchell Cushing was not happy with how the race was shaping up.

“My first plan was (to) maybe shake up out of there a little bit,” Mitchell said in the winner’s circle. “I figured Simon (Allard’s) horse (Somewhere Fancy) would go first over and he knew there was speed to the left, so I thought he’d take back. He did. I tried to leave to get a spot, couldn’t, so I sat back and then I was in a really bad spot sitting sixth.”

While Cushing was sitting back, Bet On Brett (Louis Philippe Roy) was sent hard to the lead to set down a quarter in 26.3 while Sir Pugsley (Jason Hughes) sat second and Bettors Fire N, with Mitchell’s father, Ron Cushing, in the bike, was in the three-hole.

In the second turn, driver Kenny Arsenault angled Lisburn out of fifth to flush cover while Rock Diamonds N was on his back.

“That really took the wind out of my sails,” said Mitchell, a Maine resident. “I’m real aggressive when I drive back at home, but everyone is already driving really aggressive in this race. So, I said, ‘Forget this I’m going to be on this guy as early as I can, get my legs on him and push him back down then follow Simon and my dad’.

“For me at least, I figured it was my dad, Simon and myself as the ones to beat. I wanted to be third over behind the best two but next thing you know I’m flushing cover to be fifth over on a half-mile track. Then we get to the five-eighths and they’re already setting up to go three-wide to protect themselves and I said, ‘We’re going nowhere’.”

Mitchell Cushing holds up The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer after winning the prestigious race early Sunday morning at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Mitchell Cushing holds up The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer after winning the prestigious race early Sunday morning at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

The driver had a choice to make.

Mitchell elected to go through the middle of the pack while the rest of the field fanned out to go around Ron Cushing, who was first-over and obviously falling out of contention.

“I took a shot to go behind my dad hoping he’d clear and there would be room,” the 21-year-old Cushing said. “He did and I said, ‘Get out of the way old man’ and I shot through, then the passing lane opened up. The trip couldn’t have been more textbook for how bad everything went when they said go.

“It was a matter of making one correct decision and having everything go right the rest of the race. I could have fanned five-deep and just hoped my horse was good enough to blow the doors off them all but that’s no realistic racing against so many good horses. That would just be an asinine drive.”

Saturday’s race was only the second time in the 60-year history of the Gold Cup and Saucer that a father-son duo drove in the same race. The only other occasion was in 2002 when Carl Jamieson finished second with R Js Dexter and son Jody Jamieson was last with Mr Brown.

“That’s the unique thing about this sport,” said the senior Cushing, who co-owns Rock Diamonds N and Bettors Fire N with Kevin Sywyk of Swartz Creek, Mich., and Frank Ranaldi of Australia. “I have to stay in shape to be on top of my game, but at 54 years old to compete in the same sport that I did when I was 16 is a rarity. To play long enough to be in the same game as your son is something else.”

Finishing order

A look at the results from the 60th edition of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer.

Horse                              Driver                                 Time

1. Rock Diamonds N       Mitchell Cushing         1:51.4

2. Somewhere Fancy     Simon Allard                1:52.1

3. Lisburn                        Kenny Arsenault          1:52.1

4. Sir Pugsley                 Jason Hughes               1:52.2

5. Midway Island         Travis Cullen                 1:52.3

6. National Debt           Gilles Barrieau             1:53

7. Bettors Fire N          Ron Cushing                  1:53.2

8. Bet On Brett            Louis Philippe Roy        1:57.3

Ron told his son earlier in the week that Rock Diamonds N was the better of his two horses after he drove the pair in their trials.

“Bettors Fire N had every opportunity to win and he just couldn’t. For me, my dad and my son to make this memory, that is what this trip was all about.”

Heidi Gibbs became the first female trainer to ever win the race.

Somewhere Fancy (Allard) finished second and Lisburn (Arsenault) completed the $546.90 triactor.

Mitchell, who now has 515 career victories, said the Gold Cup and Saucer win is undoubtedly the best of his young career.

“I got to beat my dad, but he still gets the purse cheque,” Mitchell laughed. “Me beating him was special. It’s incomparable in the atmosphere aspect. You miss something not being here. Maybe my career will go nowhere from here, but you have to be optimistic and hope good things are about to happen.”

Related links:

    • Plenty of fast times Saturday at Charlottetown Driving Park

    • The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer shaping up to be a dandy

    • FIDDLER'S FACTS: Dreams can come true

    • GOLD CUP AND SAUCER: Timing is everything

    • DOWN THE BACKSTRETCH: Plenty to be proud of

    • FIDDLER'S FACTS: Who's here for Old Home Week

    • Sir Pugsley wins The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer Trial 2

    • Midway Island wins The Guardian Gold Cup & Saucer Trial 1


Nicholas Oakes is covering harness racing at Old Home Week for The Guardian, culminating with the Gold Cup and Saucer on Saturday. This is his 10th year covering Old Home Week for the news outlet.

Rock Diamonds N won the 60th running of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucers early Sunday morning at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. From left are trainer Heidi Gibbs, Ron Cushing, one of the owners; P.E.I. Premier Dennis King, driver Mitchell Cushing, ambassador Miah Donahue or Cornwall and Colin Sly, The Guardian's regional sales manager.
Rock Diamonds N won the 60th running of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucers early Sunday morning at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. From left are trainer Heidi Gibbs, Ron Cushing, one of the owners; P.E.I. Premier Dennis King, driver Mitchell Cushing, ambassador Miah Donahue or Cornwall and Colin Sly, The Guardian's regional sales manager.

CDP Results

Harness racing results from Saturday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.

Afternoon

Race 1 – Saulsbrook Rocky (A. Smith) 11.60 2.80 3.20; Godro Get Lucky (L.P. Roy) 2.50 2.10; I Can Do It (S. Ford) 3.20.

Times: 28.4, 59.2, 130.1, 200.1. Also ran: Rich By State, J K Credit, J J Ella. Winning horse owned by Next Generation Stable, Stratford. Exactor 1-5 $33.10; Triactor 1-5-6 $383.80; Superfecta 1-5-6-3 $131.

Race 2 – Miramonttogo (D. Neill) 4.60 2.50 2.10; Mach Believe (P. Langille) 2.30 2.10; Business Time (R. Doucet) 2.30.

Times: 29.1, 59, 128.2, 159.1. Also ran: Ritas Xample, Chief Exec Officer. Winning horse owned by Irwin Neill, Charlottetown. Exactor 2-3 $8.40; Triactor 2-3-1 $29.10; Superfecta 2-3-1-5 $23; DD DD1-2 $119.60.

Race 3 – Zingers Laugh (Ma. Campbell) 4.20 2.10 2.50; Rockyroad Slimjim (K. Murphy) 5.60 2.70; Southwind Jagger (R. Doucet) 4.40.

Times: 27.4, 56.2, 126.4, 157. Also ran: Culpepper, Shanghai B G, Docs Ronhenry. Winning horse owned by Neal Moase, Cornwall. Exactor 5-1 $15.30; Triactor 5-1-3 $80.50; Superfecta 5-1-3-4 $42.20.

Race 4 – Kinross Kate (J. MacKenzie) 18.20 4.70 8.20; A Fiesty X Ample (D. Spence) 9.30 8.40; Royal Native (S. Ford) 6.20.

Times: 29.1, 59.2, 130.2, 200.3. Also ran: Classic Harmonie, Southfield Sue, Susu Heaven.

Winning horse owned by Reginald MacPherson, Stratford. Exactor 2-5 $227; Triactor 2-5-4 $1,020.20; Superfect 2-5-4-3 $367.68.

Race 5 – Always Reese (A. Merner) 16.80 11.40 3.90; Drivingthedragon N (J. Hughes) 4.10 3.50; Charlottes Western (Ma. Campbell) 2.20.

Times: 28.1, 58.2, 128.2, 157.4. Also ran: Tell Me Why, Jens Credit, Woodmere Chella. Winning horse owned by Kent Livingston, Cornwall. Exactor 1-5 $91.90; Triactor 1-5-2 $280.40; Superfecta 1-5-2-4 $202.25.

Race 6 – Midnight Matt (J. Hughes) 3.00 2.10 2.10; Smart Official (C. Cheverie) 2.20 2.10; Stature Seelster (K. Parris) 2.10.

Times: 28.1, 57.2, 126.4, 155.1. Also ran: Melanies Magic, Zero Rate. Winning horse owned by Jennifer Doyle, Vernon Bridge. Exactor 2-4 $7.90; Triactor 2-4-1 $44.60; Superfecta 2-4-1-5 $56.20.

Race 7 – Don’t Be A Hero (T. Trites) 6.90 3.30 2.60; Howmac Magic (Ma. Campbell) 2.40 2.10; Flowersonthebeach (K. Murphy) 4.20.

Times: 28.2, 57.3, 128.1, 157.1. Also ran: Feelin Haggard, Spack Jarrow, Selkirk Echo, Pineapple Express. Winning horse owned by Windemere Farms, Harris Johnston and John Howatt, P.E.I. Exactor 2-1 $10.40; Triactor 2-1-4 $59.20; Superfecta 2-1-4-5 $104.55.

Race 8 – Dreas Good Powow (B. MacDonald) 3.40 2.10 2.20; Bad Silver (M. McGuigan) 2.90 2.50; Scoot Out Of Here (Ma. Campbell) 2.10.

Times: 28.2, 57.2, 127.2, 156.2. Also ran: My Blue Eyed Angel. Winning horse owned by Joseph MacDonald, Breadalbane. Exactor 1-6 $11.20; Triactor 1-6-5 $21.20; Superfecta 1-6-5-4 $22.25.

Race 9 – Too Much Duncan (L.P. Roy) 3.70 2.40 2.10; Casimir Obama (M. McGuigan) 4.70 2.80; Buttons (Ma. Campbell) 2.10.

Times: 27.4, 56.3, 125.3, 155. Also ran: Rockin Party, Painted Desert, Give Em Heck, Emperor. Wining horse owned by Maxime Gaudreault and Steve Perreault, Quebec. Exactor 4-6 $12.70; Triactor 4-6-2 $40.10; Superfecta 4-6-2-3 $61.25.

Race 10 – Mall Peen Hammer (K. Arsenault) 7.90 5.10 2.90; Paddy Murphy (C. MacPherson) 28.80 4.40; R Es Daz (D. Dowling) 2.90.

Times: 28.2, 58.1, 128.1, 158.1. Also ran: Dusty Lane Daytona, Whipple Effect, My Mickey Lucy, Dynamo Wind, Oceanview Helios. Winning horse owned by Dooley Boys Racing Stable, Nova Scotia; and Nikway Farms, Newfoundland and Labrador. Exactor 4-5 $202.20; Triactor 4-5-7 $3,416.60; DD 4-4 $34.40.

Wager – $74,189.

***

Evening

Race 1 – Best To Hurst (S. Allard) 2.30 2.20 2.10; Late Night (J. Jamieson) 3.70 2.20; Cal Hanover (D. Dowling) 2.60.

Times: 29.1, 57.2, 126.1, 154.3. Also ran: Dragons Fire, Rising Fella, Jds Double Dose. Winning horse owned by Neal Moase, Roger Burns and Windemere Farms, P.E.I. Exactor 4-6 $5.30; Triactor 4-6-1 $36.90; Superfecta 4-6-1-7 $58.70.

Bugsy Maguire, with Austin Sorrie in the sulky, leads Euchred (Jody Jamieson) to the finish line Saturday night at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Bugsy Maguire won the birthplace of confederation series final in 1:53.2 for owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. Euchred (1:53.4) finished second while Woodmere Ideal Art (1:54) was third.
Bugsy Maguire, with Austin Sorrie in the sulky, leads Euchred (Jody Jamieson) to the finish line Saturday night at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Bugsy Maguire won the birthplace of confederation series final in 1:53.2 for owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. Euchred (1:53.4) finished second while Woodmere Ideal Art (1:54) was third.

Race 2 – Distinctiv Rusty (J. Jamieson) 2.90 2.10 2.10; Adventure Luck (C. MacPherson) 2.70 2.10; Chase N Madi (R. Gillis) 2.10; Tipperbackjack (R. Doucet) 2.10.

Times: 29, 59.2, 128.2, 157.2. Also ran: Desired Treasure, Starcastic. Winning horse owned by Andrea and Ryder Matthews Rennison, Truro, N.S. Exactor 2-3 $7.90; Triactors 2-3-1/2-3-5 $17.50/$13.60; Superfectas 2-3-1-5/2-3-5-1 $27.05/$16.40; DD 4-2 $2.80.

Race 3 – Noudidnt Blue Chip (G. Barrieau) 4.00 2.10 2.10; Hes Marvalous (M. Heffernan) 2.50 2.60; Silverhill Buddy (D. Dowling) 4.20.

Times: 28.1, 57.1, 125.4, 153.4. Also ran: Hemingway, Heaven For Sure, Painted Pony. Winning horse owned by Neal Moase, Cornwall. Exactor 1-2 $9.70; Triactor 1-2-5 $41.10; Superfecta 1-2-5-4 $72.80.

Race 4 – Lively Freddie (J.J amieson) 6.30 3.60 2.70; Your Raider Boy (R. Gillis) 7.50 3.40; Saulsbrook Lassie (A. Merner) 2.80.

Times: 28.4, 58.1, 127.4, 156.4. Also ran: Saulsbrook Quick, Sanchez Blue Chip, Thegreatmaelstrom, Dilans Mustang, Ten Mile Beach. Winning horse owned by Annette Matthews, Andrea and Ryder Matthews Rennison, Nova Scotia. Exactor 6-4 $35.70; Triactor 6-4-8 $141.20; Superfecta 6-4-8-1 $124.10.

Race 5 – Burn Out Hanover (T. Cullen) 4.30 2.50 2.10; Nogreatmischief (W. Cheverie) 2.10 2.10; Adkins Hanover (B. MacDonald) 2.10.

Times: 28.1, 57, 126.1, 155.1. Also ran: Mick Dundee. Winning horse owned by Orwell Bay Stable, Orwell. Exactor 4-2 $9.50; Triactor 4-2-1 $16.90.

Race 6 – J J Powerball (A. Sorrie) 10.70 4.80 3.10; Red Magician (A. Merner) 3.50 2.40; Atlantis (M. Whebby) 2.80.

Times: 28, 57.1, 125.3, 153.2. Also ran: Tempo Seelster, Well Did, The Big Bite. Winning horse owned by Austin Sorrie and Tammy Collings, P.E.I. Exactor 1-6 $36; Triactor 1-6-4 $95.50; Superfecta 1-6-4-3 $129.40.

Race 7 – Majian Tango (J. Ripley) 7.90 3.10 2.80; Star Photo (J. Hughes) 3.10 2.10; Daisy River (P. Lanigan) 3.70.

Times: 29, 59, 129, 158. Also ran: Daisy River, Freddie, Frill Seeker. Winning horse owned by Marylea Ripley, Amherst, N.S. Exactor 6-2 $19.10; Triactor 6-2-5 $103.60; Superfecta 6-2-5-1 $172.15.

Race 8 – Dream On Dream On (J. Jamieson) 5.40 3.20 2.40; Three Truths (K. Arsenault) 4.50 2.70; Rusty Riley (P. Langille) 2.20.

Times: 28.1, 56.4, 125.4, 156. Also ran: Heartland Eclipse, Pictonian Storm, Bank Of Dad, Noplay. Winning horse owned by Kayla Habicht Walker, Inverness, N.S. Exactor 6-5 $40.40; Triactor 6-5-3 $115; Superfecta 6-5-3-4 $136.85.

Race 9 – Bettim Vicky (G. Barrieau) 8.40 3.60 2.80; One Hot Camshaft (K. Murphy) 3.70 2.40; Sieras Rose (L.P. Roy) 3.20.

Times: 28, 57.3, 126.3, 156. Also ran: Julep Hanover, Imagine Speed, Miss Sangria, Paythelinebluechip. Winning horse owned by Danny Purcell, Nova Scotia; Greg Golden, B.C., Jeff Lilley and Blair Maclauchlan, P.E.I. Exactor 2-1 $29.40; Triactor 2-1-5 $90.10; Superfecta 2-1-5-6 $104.90.

Race 10 – Craven The Beach (S. Allard) 5.50 3.50 2.80; Shiftyn Georgie (Ma. Campbell) 5.40 4.40; Leaving A Legacy (J. Hughes) 4.00.

Times: 27.2, 55.3, 125.4, 157.1. Also ran: Dancers Pass, Cowgirl Poker, Mr Yokassippi, Seethelightsngo, W C Kenzie Cookie. Winning horse owned by Neal Moase, Cornwall. Exactor 1-3 $41.10; Triactor 1-3-8 $519.50.

Race 11 – Red Dirt Boomer (G. Barrieau) 4.20 2.80; 2.10 Red Dirt Rocknroll (D. Dowling) 3.00 2.10; Purple Poet (K. Arsenault) 2.70.

Times: 27.3, 56.1, 126.1, 156.1. Also ran: A Grand Terror, Bobjohnski, Mrs Browns Boy. Winning horse owned by Daniel R Ross, Belfast. Exactor 6-1 $7.50; Triactor 6-1-4 $21.80; Superfecta 6-1-4-5 $131.20.

Race 12 – Bugsy Maguire (A. Sorrie) 19.10 8.30 5.70; Euchred (J. Jamieson) 3.00 2.50; Woodmere Ideal Art (T. Trites) 6.70.

Times: 27.2, 55.2, 124.2, 153.2. Also ran: Do Over Hanover, Down On My Luck, Brandons Glory, Mantario, Rollwithitharry. Winning horse owned by Walter Simmons, Summerside. Exactor 2-1 $59.10; Triactor 2-1-7 $578.70; Superfecta 2-1-7-3 $1,114.71.

Race 13 – Sodwana Bay (G. Barrieau) 2.60 2.30 2.10; Traces Of Purple (Ma. Campbell) 3.80 3.30; West River River Ambyr (S. Shepherd) 7.90.

Times: 28.1, 58.2, 126.4, 155.2. Also ran: Jordies Hope, Rocknrolls Image, Collective Wisdom,  Ramblinglily, Innocent Kiss. Winning horse owned by Wayne MacRae, Nova Scotia; and Howmac Farms Ltd., P.E.I. Exactor 4-8 $17.10; Triactor 4-8-3 $104.20; Superfecta 4-8-3-1 $248.75.

Race 14 – Rock Diamonds N (M. Cushing) 12.80 5.70 4.70; Somewhere Fancy (S. Allard) 3.00 2.80; Lisburn (K. Arsenault) 9.80.

Times: 26.3, 54.1, 123.2, 151.4. Also ran: Sir Pugsley, Midway Island, National Debt, Bettors Fire N, Bet On Brett. Winning horse owned by Kevin Sywyk, Michigan; Ronald Cushing, Maine; and Frank Ranaldi, Australia. Exactor 6-4 $38.20; Triactor 6-4-5 $546.90; Superfecta 6-4-5-1 $1,086.60; DD 4-6 $14.60.

Wager – $307,144.

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