D Gs Camme best bet of the night

Vance Cameron
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In Saturday night's Governor's Plate

When the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission deemed All Turain ineligible for the Governor’s Plate final, it sent shock waves around the Maritimes.

When the Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission deemed All Turain ineligible for the Governor’s Plate final, it sent shock waves around the Maritimes.

Now with the headliner out of Saturday’s $25,000 race in Summerside due to a positive test in Fredericton, N.B., on Canada Day, it certainly makes it an anyone-can-win event. 

I look for D Gs Camme to come out with the title. He simply destroyed his rivals in the first elimination, before a judgment call removed him from the winner’s circle. Gilles Barrieau retains the driving assignment for owners Quentin Bevan, Hal Bevan, Ron Matheson and Tom Clark of Charlottetown. Jackie Matheson trains the four-year-old Blissfull Hall stallion.

He has a 1:51 record and $53,000 in the bank, and will add to that Saturday. I think he’s the best bet of the night.

Astor

The fastest horse in the classic is Astor from Post 2. His 1:49.4 clocking at Mohawk Racetrack last year makes him one of the fastest to compete in the Plate. He roughed it up a bit in his elimination and hung on to finish third, with a tired closing quarter of 30.3 seconds. He has a couple of Charlottetown wins of 1:55.4 and 1:56.4.

The Camluck gelding is the first of two Foxy Hall Racing entries and one of three Jason Hughes trainees, which is a Governor’s Plate record. Hughes has selected this horse as the one he’ll drive. The winner of over $120,000 will take action on the tote board.

 

Modern Xhibit

Modern Xhibit has drawn Post 3. The gelded son of Modern Art has a 1:51.2 record over the mile track, and has 12 lifetime victories. He overcame an outside start in his elimination to finish third.

The Jonah Moase-owned-and-trained entry has only three Maritime starts, and all are on-the-board finishes. The talented Marc Campbell is looking for his first Governor’s Plate, and it will take one of those magical drives to get there. Beware!

 

Judge Jon

Mike Stevenson won the Governor’s Plate 10 years ago, and a decade later takes a shot with Judge Jon. He’s another Camluck in the field with a 1:53.1 record and over $115,000 of prize money.

Noreen Stymest owns and Anthony Stymest is the conditioner. Judge Jon made it interesting, only beaten by a head in his elimination, as the longest shot on the board.

 

Machinthesand

Brodie MacPhee will miss the drive behind All Turain, but will steer Machinthesand.

MacPhee has a winning history with the Russell and Karen Noonan-owned horse, including back-to-back 1:55 and 1:56 winner’s circle appearances in Charlottetown.

Mark Bradley trains the Mach Three gelding that finished fourth in his elimination.

 

Red Rock

Red Rock is the second Hughes-trained entry in the Governor’s Plate.

The chestnut son by the Pandarosa has won over Vernon Downs (seven-eights-mile track) and Dover Downs (five-eights-mile track) in 1:52.2. He tested the half-mile track at Younkers and posted two wins – 1:53.4 and 1:55.3 – before being purchased by Donald, Bryan and Steven MacRae and Melissa Trainer, all from Vernon Bridge.

Red Rock inherited his elimination win in 1:55.1 after D Gs Camme was placed. Summerside Raceway’s winningest driver Gary Chappell will catch-drive, and is looking for his first Governor’s Plate triumph.

 

Narragansett

The second Foxy Hall Racing-owned, and the third Hughes-trained, entry is Narragansett from Post 7. The gelded son of the great Rock N Roll Hanover was finishing strong on the end of the mile in his elimination to finish fourth.

Corey MacPherson will be driving, and will be a long shot to say the least.

 

Ultimate Luck

The grandstand side post will go to Ultimate Luck by virtue of a lucky draw into the race. The six-year-old horse replaces All Turain.

Owned by the Ultimate Stable, this horse scorched Summerside Raceway in 1:54.3 a month ago to record the meet’s fastest mile.

Kenny Arsenault will drive and has a Governor’s Plate on his mantle at home. He gets a shot at redemption, but has a long road to hoe from out here.

 

Track record

The 46th edition of the Governor’s Plate is the most competitive field in recent memory, and, in my opinion, P H Bestman’s 1:53.1 track record is as “safe as a church.”

Also Saturday, the Lobster Festival open mares final and consolation will be contested along with the Governor’s Plate consolation.

The weather looks perfect for a night at the races.

 

Picks

A look at Saturday’s picks:

Best bets - JVS Ring in Race 1, and Sterling Seelster in Race 8.

Long shot possibilities - Ulla Bayama in Race 5, and Keystone Nobility in Race 13.

Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to jpsports@journalpioneer.com.

Organizations: Maritime Provinces Harness Racing Commission, Younkers

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Summerside, Fredericton Vernon Bridge Red Rock

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