As Lobster Festival harness racing continues
The glamour boys of harness racing arrive in Summerside on Friday.
There will be six divisions of the Atlantic Sire Stakes for three-year-old colts on the 12-dash program, which goes post-ward at 7 p.m.
The three B dashes will each go for purse pools of $2,500, and the A events will go for $9,420 at Red Shores Summerside.
The first B Division in Race 2 has posted Heroes Never Die, out of the red-hot Jason Hughes barn, leaving from Post 3. The two-time winner of four starts as a two-year-old is not faring out too well at three. He’s 0-for-11, so for all you punters you’re on your own for this race.
My Kinda Crazy (Mark Bradley) gets top billing in the second B stake in Race 6. Two starts back he couldn’t be caught, taking a record of 1:59.3. No one else in this race shows a sub-two-minute mile.
West Prince colt
There’s a West Prince colt as the morning-line favourite in the final B stake in Race 9. Tobins Delight has rail control in this division.
After taking a record of two minutes, he followed with a bang-up second-place finish in 1:59.3. Only one other colt in this race has been better than two minutes, and that is Dallas (Post 7). He should supply some pressure late.
A small but select field – all five entries will pick up money – starts right there behind the gate to contest the first A event in Race 4.
J.J. Laser is the classifier’s choice, and he’s winless on the season. He’s a hard-closing colt out of the successful Kevin MacLean barn, and that could all change on Friday when you add Marc Campbell into the mix.
The next A Division of the three-year-old pacing colts is, from my corner, a wide-open affair in Race 8. Arties Magic (Todd Trites) is on a three-race winning streak. He has two Atlantic Sires and the Maritime Breeders final under his belt.
Dumas Walker (Myles Heffernan) has the rail, and is used to taking home some P.E.I. dollars. He won his Bob Dewar Memorial Stake in Summerside this spring and had a stellar two-year-old campaign, winning over $50,000.
Darren Crowe’s Rancousy is no slouch either, posting back-to-back A victories. He’s a versatile colt who can leave or come from off the pace. He has drawn Post 5.
Much like the previous A Division, the final test for these colts has no clear-cut favourite in Race 10. The morning line has Just A Professor (Mike Stevenson) picked to win. He’s another colt with multiple starts and zero victories.
Settlement Request (Gilles Barrieau), one of the top colts from a year ago, is not the colt he was last year, but he does have a win this season.
Elm Grove Intrepid (Darren Crowe) should use the inside post to his advantage. He only has the one start in the Crowe Stable, and it was a third-place A finish in North Sydney, N.S.
The real “sleeper” in this race is Mr. Vaive. Pooker McCallum, who just celebrated his 1,500th win, trains and drives this colt for his Nova Scotia connections. He will be a “price horse” and could deliver. Beware!
Saturday, I’ll have my annual Governor’s Plate column. In case you didn’t know, six of the eight contenders I selected before the two elimination races made the final.
A look at Friday’s picks:
Best bets - Bad Date in Race 11; Painted Pony in Race 12.
Long shot possibilities - Camco Striker in Race 2; Mr. Vaive in Race 10.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.