The 2014 harness racing season begins at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Monday (Victoria Day).
Post time for the holiday matinee program is 1 p.m.
After one of the roughest winters that I can recall, the equine athletes are ready to strut their stuff and get the racing season started. A full 12-race card is offered on Opening Day and, as always, there is no admission charge to celebrate the start of the racing season in Prince County.
The horse population is once again strong on P.E.I., and not so for our mainland friends. Fredericton Raceway opens on Monday with only 36 horses going post-ward. Over in Nova Scotia, Northside Downs were forced to cancel its Monday card due to lack of entries.
I would like to thank the P.E.I Standardbred Horse Owners Association for asking me to be the guest speaker at its annual dinner this spring.
For me, calling harness racing has consumed my life for almost 40 years now, and to this day I still get pumped every race card. Telling my stories has been the highlight of my career.
The fact over 300 people showed up was the most gratifying thing to me; I thought myself and the head-table guests were going to be the only people there.
To association president Dr. Colleen Dickie, board member Eldred Nicholson and the group of volunteers, I can't thank you enough.
Missed the boat
For generations the royal family has been associated with horse racing. From ownership to frequent guests of the racetrack, "The Royals" love to go to the races.
After hearing Prince Charles and Camilla were going to be 25 minutes away from a race card in Summerside on Victoria Day, I thought that someone in harness racing circles could have had some pull to bring them for at least one race in their honour.
I don't think one half-hour stop would be asking too much to bring them to an event that they're known for. The fan attraction would be astronomical, not to mention the benefit to the local oval and horse people.
After all, it is Victoria Day!
Go Habs Go!
It's no secret that I am a die-hard Montreal Canadiens’ fan, a team I inherited from my gambling Granny (my grandmother, the late Ella Coughlin), who also introduced me to this wonderful sport of harness racing.
The Canadiens, as everyone knows, start the Eastern Conference final in Montreal on Saturday afternoon.
However, you still can't stop the chirping from a lot of Toronto Maple Leaf fans, who, by the way, were on the fairways a month ago. I might also add that there is a very large number of disgruntled Boston Bruin fans that continue to whine as they get their golf clubs out.
It's time for these guys and gals to get on the Canada’s team bandwagon, and bring the Stanley Cup back home. To have a good ole boy from Summerside behind the bench named Gerard (Turk) Gallant should be enough to get on for the ride.
Until next week, bet local and Go Habs Go!
A look at Monday’s picks:
Best bets - Silverhill Lucky in the second, and Blue Meadow Willie in the 12th.
Longshot possibilities - Jersey Joe in the fifth, and High Bar in the sixth.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.