Here a stake, there a stake, everywhere a stake, stake, stake!
There’s plenty of the young equine talent being showcased this weekend at the Driving Park in Charlottetown on Saturday night, and at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon.
The three-year-old pacing fillies invade Summerside on Sunday in the Lady Slipper Series. The local oval will feature a pair of grassroots and a pair of gold divisions. Post time is 1 p.m.
To be eligible the three-year-old Lady Slipper grassroots fillies must have under $10,000 in earnings, and there’s good news in both divisions. Everybody gets a cheque! Two five-horse fields were assembled, and they’re going for good money – $7,200 each.
Woodmere Glamorous (Brodie MacPhee) is favoured to claim the top prize in the opening Lady Slipper. The Articulator filly shows some sub-two-minute performances, and has a couple of victories showing on the program.
The “major danger” filly in this division is Gascoigne Dickie. She’s been coming from well off the pace in her last three starts, only to run out of real estate at the end of those miles. She has two thirds and a second in those races, only beaten by two lengths combined. John Holmes has had a couple of drives on Dickie, and she is a solid bet on Sunday.
Pictonian Zena (Shane Bernard) should be the “chalk” favourite in the second grassroots event. The filly came from out of the clouds two starts back, pacing her mile in 1:56.4. She came right back to finish second by a nose (I thought she won it) in 1:59.3. None of her rivals has beaten the two-minute barrier.
The lightly-raced Rodeo Dream for veteran owner and trainer Dale Sobey is quietly getting better with each start. The Brandons Cowboy matron has not been out of the money since debuting in a Lady Slipper in Charlottetown.
The Lady Slipper gold events carry a hefty purse of $11,500 per division.
Since the suspension of Rambling Lily – the top three-year-old filly pacing in the Maritimes – Rose Valley has been picking up the big cheques for driver Kenny Arsenault.
Rose Valley was a 1:56 winner Old Home Week in a Lady Slipper gold, and she has stakes’ victories in the Quigg and the MacKenzie coming into Summerside.
Dianna Santanna (Holmes) had an eye-popping 16-length victory in 1:55.2 this summer in Charlottetown. The problem is inconsistency because it took her two months later to find the winner’s circle.
Misssassy Attitude (Kenny Arsenault) has seven top-three finishes from only eight starts this year. The 1:57.1 winner in sire stakes’ action in Truro comes into the second division of the Lady Slipper as the morning-line favourite. Misssassy may need Sunday’s start en route to her Atlantic Breeders Crown appearance next weekend.
Marc Campbell returns to Summerside with Western Judy. Judy has had but the one start since the Campbell suspension, although it was a winning one. This filly recovered after a break at the start to capture a division of the P.E.I. Colt Stakes.
I would like to congratulate an old friend, Vaughn Doyle, on celebrating his 1,000th career victory. The milestone win came right where it all started – the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Our friendship formed in the ‘70s and continues today. Congratulations!
Racing fans will notice the nine-horse fields on Sunday, and that is to accommodate horse people with overnight horses.
All the stake races have forced management to implement the nine-horse fields a little earlier than expected.
There will be no racing in Summerside next weekend as the Atlantic Breeders Crown is hosted in Charlottetown.
A look at Sunday’s picks:
Best bets – American Island in Race 5, and Pictonian Zena in Race 6.
Long shot possibilities – Bringhome Theblue in Race 2, and J.J. Maywest in Race 11.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.