Two divisions of the Island Aged Pacing Series are featured at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Sunday.
The wings of the Mark’s Work Wearhouse starting gate releases the first race at 1 p.m.
General Lucky Percy has been the true “Iron Lady” of Maritime mares for the past three years. She leads the morning line in the opening $3,040 fast-class division.
The 38-time winner has Gilles Barrieau truck into Summerside for the driving assignment. This mare has a 1:55.2 Summerside victory this year, just missing the track record, and over $10,000 in 2013 earnings.
Stayoutofmyaffair has the rail in this division. She just established the aged mare track record last weekend in Fredericton, winning in 1:55.2. Kenny Arsenault, who had the “catch drive” in that record performance, gets the call on Sunday.
It’s hard to believe this mare raced in winners of $301 in her last five starts before she became the fastest mare in the history of the New Brunswick capital.
Local mare Doober Hoozzitz (Terry Gallant) has fallen on hard times lately. She got off to a great start after arriving in the Maritimes. The eight-year-old mare from out west paced to a 1:56 new record in Charlottetown, but is winless in her last eight starts.
The hottest aged pacing mare on the East Coast is Dirt Track Momma. Kenny Arsenault will attempt to sweep the two legs on Sunday.
During Old Home Week, Momma took a shot at the longest surviving track record in Charlottetown. That one belongs to Little Black Book dating back 20 years to 1993. Momma stopped the clock in 1:54.2, a mere two-fifths of a second from the record.
Joe Smallwood’s stalwart mare J.K. Special has the pole position in the second division of the open mares. She’s the senior of Sunday’s field at age eight. Regular pilot Walter Cheverie knows her like a book, and will give her a tidy steer from the rail.
Lucky Boot Cam (Jason Hughes) rounds out the classifier’s choice. This mare won two starts back in 1:56.2. She did it right on the “choo choo” and should get some respect at the windows.
Last Sunday, after competing in the seventh race in Summerside, an absolute tragedy occurred with the very sudden passing of Philip Doucette.
The acting president of the Prince County Horsemen’s Club collapsed after returning to the barn, and never regained consciousness.
Philip was a strong voice for Summerside Raceway at all industry and harness racing meetings across the Island. The no-holds-barred “Tignisher” stood up for Summerside Raceway in his quest for more race dates, and he wanted industry leaders to know that Summerside Raceway was on the map.
I’ve got lots of fond memories associated with Phil. Our friendship dates back to the mid-1970s. As a matter of fact, I’ve had more “road trips” with Phil than anyone that I have been associated with in harness racing. Phil was one of those guys who would do anything for you.
Out of all those road trips, there was never – and I mean never – one of them that wasn’t a good time. We didn’t win them all, not even close, but it seemed like we did. He was just a “great guy” to travel with.
I have my own “man cave” at our residence here in Summerside, and Philip was a frequent visitor. He always had at least one cup of tea and a story to tell. He could come up with a tale involving myself that even I had completely forgotten about, and by the time he was finished it had all come back to me.
The harness racing family will hold a ceremonial horse shoe as we say good bye on Sunday.
To Philip’s wife Marlene, children Jennifer and Nicholas, my sincere condolences. I’m very proud to say that Philip Doucette was my “solid” true friend. Rest in peace “Dr. Phil,” you will never be forgotten.
A look at Sunday’s picks:
Best bets – American Island in Race 5, and Dirt Track Momma in Race 9.
Long shot possibilities – Duchess Killean in Race 2, and Ultimate Luck in Race 11.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.