One of the oldest traditions in Summerside is Dominion Day (Canada Day) harness racing.
That tradition continues at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Tuesday, with an opening post time of 1 p.m.
Foxyhall Racing’s Narragansett returns to Summerside as the morning-line favourite for trainer/driver Jason Hughes. He gets a little class relief after competing in the Ladner Memorial Series, where they were pacing in the 1:55 and 1:56 range.
Veteran pacer Lisfinny (Norris Rogers) has rewarded the tireless efforts of co-owner Mary-Jean Noye by posting three consecutive victories. The nine-year-old son of the Panderosa wired the field in his last outing, stopping the clock in 1:56.3.
Talking about hot veteran horses, how about Rocky Schurman’s Carrera Angel?
He’s another nine-year-old who took a new race record last week in Summerside. Marc Campbell, catch-driving for the “Rockmiester,” left hard with “The Angel” and tucked him in for a two-hole ride.
At the end of the mile, “The Angel” moved into the passing lane and landed on the line first. He closed out that mile in 28.2 to take a personal-best record of 1:56.4. That win has him in the Canada Day feature, and it just may be a first for Rocky to be in this race with one of his own. Good luck!
The ageless Walter Simmons has recently purchased Blissfull Bro from some Nova Scotia connections. He had contracted Willis Silliker to handle the training duties.
This horse had some soundness issues in Ontario, where he was racing some very nice horses and pacing 1:50 and change, with one of those kicking quarters in 26 and a piece. Blissful Bro finished second in the Ladner consolation, and will test his talent from the outside post on Tuesday for Campbell.
The Atlantic regional driving championship lived up to all the hype. The nine drivers put on a “driving clinic,” and the Island will have representation at the nationals.
Campbell emerged as the overall winner by night’s end, accumulating 71 points. Ryan Ellis of Team Nova Scotia was in the runner-up position, and will also participate in the national final in Charlottetown in August. That means there will be a lot of green silks representing the Maritimes.
Live matinee harness racing program set for Tuesday
I don’t know who created this point system for the competition, but they deserve a lot of credit. They raced eight races and there was no clear-cut winner, which tells you of a system that works.
The weather conditions were perfect, the track was in excellent shape and our equine athletes put on quite a show. Congratulations!
Although the season is just getting underway, Campbell is poised to capture another dash title in Summerside. Campbell is the only driver with double-digit wins – 15. Gilles Barrieau holds down the place spot with nine trips to the winner's circle. Corey MacPherson rounds out the top three with eight wins to his credit.
One the training side, veteran Kensington horseman Thane Mann heads his counterparts with seven victories. There’s a dead heat in second place between last year’s overall winner Phillip DesRoches and Allan Taylor, a newcomer to the leader board. There's a five-way tie in the show spot.
Just a reminder to get your Prince County Horseman's Club Membership because I've seen too many times where people go unrecognized for their accomplishments because they don't have a membership. Memberships are available at the 50/50 booth on the tarmac, north of the grandstand.
A look at Tuesday’s picks:
Best bets - Honeymoonisover in Race 4, and Silverhill Lucky in Race 6.
Long shot possibilities - Paphos in Race 7, and Ultimate Labamba in Race 10.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.