There’s another stakes-filled card of racing at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
The starter releases the field in the first race at 1 p.m.
The Joe O’Brien Memorial Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, as well as the final of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mare Series, highlight the matinee program.
The O’Brien is divided into a pair of $6,600 Grassroots and a pair of $10,000 Gold Divisions.
The fastest winner in the opening O’Brien Gold is Hilliard Graves’ Waterside Skipper by virtue of his 1:56.1 victory in a conditioned event in Charlottetown. The homebred son by Yankee Leader got “fancy stepping” in his P.E.I. Colt Stakes’ start last weekend.
Last year’s two-year-old track record-setter Forever Paradise will supply all the pressure in the first O’Brien. The Kevin MacLean-trainee has had an up and down three-year-old campaign, after a stellar freshman start.
Sunday, he will be reunited with the “Maritime Magic Man” Gilles Barrieau, who has only driven him once this year. That’s when he raced to a new record of 1:56.3.
The second O’Brien Gold Division has Scarlet Chaser (John Holmes) listed as the favourite. His only win came way back in June at Truro in 1:57.3. One has to be weary of a horse that spaces his victories so far apart.
Pownal Bay Mustang (Barrieau), on the other hand, has four trips to the winner’s circle in 2013. The latest was a 1:57 triumph in the P.E.I. Colt Stakes just four starts back, and he went wire-to-wire for a personal best of 1:56.1. Both victories were under Barrieau’s guidance!
It’s not that often that Summerside Raceway is blessed to have the very best aged-pacing mares on back-to-back weekends. However, that’s the case on Sunday as the local oval hosts the $14,520 final of the Atlantic Aged Mares Series.
Leaving on the rail is Fredericton Raceway’s track record-holder Stayoutofmyaffair. Mark Bradley has the catch-driving call on this mare that has come out of the woodwork to win her last three races. Even from the rail, I feel she is in a fight for second.
J K Special (Walter Cheverie) left hard last week, and was rewarded with the two-hole ride. At the end of that mile, she was strictly giving chase to Dirt Track Momma. I feel she is also a contender in that second-place fight.
General Luckypercy (Gilles Barrieau) has been the reigning aged pacing mare queen for the past two racing seasons. Since Dirt Track Momma arrived on the scene, she has been playing second fiddle and I feel she is only a contender in this three-horse race for place.
Dirt Track Momma (Kenny Arsenault) is strictly the one to beat.
She’s one of the winningest mares in the entire country with 16 victories. Her 1:54.2 clocking at Charlottetown was “eye popping,” and when you put Arsenault in the sulky this team is lethal.
Last week, in the final leg of this series here in Summerside, Arsenault never looked back as Momma cruised to a five-length win in 1:56. Need I not say more!
A look at Sunday’s picks:
Best bets – Forever Paradise in Race 7, and Dirt Track Momma in Race 11.
Long shot possibilities – Ton Of Luck in Race 3, and Ultimate Success in Race 8.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to email@example.com.