CHARLOTTETOWN – Miracle Matts and Cambest Kisser will knock heads in the Friday night feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
First-race post time for the 12-dash card, which will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the O’Brien Awards being held in Charlottetown, is set for 6 p.m.
The $2,000 preferred pace lines up in Race 9, with Miracle Matts drawing Post 3 fresh off a 2:01 victory on a sloppy track in last week’s feature event. Corey MacPherson drives the pacer for owner-trainer Blois MacPhail of Cornwall.
Race analyst Les McIsaac has selected Cambest Kisser to take the top spot from the outside Post 6 for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owners Donald and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge.
“He gets the outside post every week, but it hasn’t prevented him from finishing in the top three each and every start since the beginning of winter, and then some previous to that,” McIsaac said of Cambest Kisser. “Top billing.”
Each race on the card is named in honour of a community with deep connections to Island harness racing. The feature is named the Town Of Montague Pace.
Montague-owned and trained PC Shockwave has drawn the rail for owner Scott MacPhail, trainer Wade Sorrie and driver Brian MacPhee.
Other entries include Le Fugueur (Marc Campbell), Blue Star Outlaw (Brodie MacPhee) and Nobestbfor (Walter Cheverie).
Race 4 will feature the $1,600 open trot raced in honour of the community of Tyne Valley. Zip The Lip has Post 2 in the compact field of five for MacPhee, co-owner and trainer Donald Sweet and co-owner Orville Willis, both of O’Leary. The six-year-old son of Ken Warkentin has not seen the winner’s circle since Dec. 8, with a string of seconds and thirds since then, but will look to change his luck with his best post in three months.
His main competition will come from the Harold Shepherd-trained and driven Abundaspin, who won the event last week. Shepherd will be rooting for son Patrick to win the first-ever Future Star award at the O’Brien Awards at the Delta Prince Edward and P.E.I. Convention Centre on Saturday night.
Other entries in the open trot include Wonderous Hanover (Mike McGuigan), Buckling Banbury (MacPherson) and Caliban Hanover (Ron Gass).
Other races on the card will honour the communities of Tignish, Alberton, O’Leary, Summerside, Kensington, Cornwall/North River, Charlottetown, Pinette and Souris. The final dash of the winter meet will honour the historic rural tracks of Kinkora, St. Peters and New Annan. After Friday, racing returns to Charlottetown on Saturday, April 26.
Besides the Friday card of racing and the Saturday night awards gala, the O’Brien Awards weekend will feature the sold-out Island Kitchen Party on Friday at 9 p.m., and a fan forum with some of the best in Canadian racing at Red Shores Charlottetown on Saturday at 10 a.m.