CHARLOTTETOWN – Rail control could prove to be the path to the winner’s circle in Saturday’s preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
The 11-dash Saturday program kicks off at 6 p.m., with Red Magician leaving from Post 1 for driver Adam Merner. Melissa Rennie trains the son of Badlands Hanover for owners Dale and Ronnie Rennie of Elmsdale.
Red Magician is fresh off a third-place finish in this class while pacing in 1:55.3, and both the pacers that defeated him that day are not in this Saturday class.
The $2,350 race is the Aleisha DeRoche Celebration Pace, and Zero Rate is also in the group after dropping out of the Governor’s Plate series in Summerside, and gets Ken Murphy in the bike for trainer Michael Gallant. Rockin Indy is a newcomer to East Coast racing, and gets Post 5 in his debut for driver Walter Cheverie and new owner-trainer Troy Murray of Clyde River.
“Red Magician is racing as well as he ever has just four starts into the season, and should be just about where he wants to be from a conditioning standpoint,” race analyst Les MacIsaac commented. “Rail control will provide him with the opportunity to cut it or sit and stalk, and either of those scenarios could see him get it all.”
Other preferred pace entries are Perfect Escape (driven by Ron Matheson), Give Em Heck (Drew Neill) and Oh To Be Me (Gary Chappell).
The $2,100 Race 7 is in memory of Gary (Prunes) Campbell, and Big Surf rides an undefeated streak into the event. David Dowling picks up the catch-driving call behind Big Surf as the Warren Grove driver is seven wins shy of the 1,000-win plateau.
Dowling will look to add to those totals with Big Surf from Post 3 for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., Que.
Other top entries include Heart And Soul (Cheverie) and Likely To Win (Merner).
The Saturday program will be part of National Caretakers Appreciation Day. Grooms for each horse will be announced during the post parade and entered for prize draws along with special certificates of recognition.
Compiled by Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores.