Governor’s Plate Notebook

Jason Simmonds
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SUMMERSIDE – News and notes for the 46th annual Governor’s Plate:

Three in a row?

Gilles Barrieau has an opportunity to become the first driver to win three straight Governor’s Plates.

If the veteran reinsman accomplishes this feat, it will mark three straight victories after winning with Mcapulco in 2012 and Wild Dragon in 2013.

“You always want to be in these types of races,” said Barrieau. “There is a nice atmosphere and it’s a nice thrill to be in these races, whether you do good or bad.”

 

Missing piece

Just about the only thing thing missing from Marc Campbell’s impressive driving resumé in standardbred racing is a Governor’s Plate victory.

“I would love to win it,” said Campbell. “Everybody knows I love racing in Summerside.

“I always have some luck up there. It’s a race I’ve been wanting to win.

“I’ve been close a couple of times, I’ve been second and third and it would be really nice to win it for sure.”

Campbell, who has won a Gold Cup and Saucer and has over 1,200 wins and $2.5 million in earnings, can achieve that goal on Saturday night. He will drive Modern Xhibit from Post 3 in the $25,000 race at Red Shores Summerside.

“It’s a race I look forward to every year,” said Campbell. “I love it up there, and I want to do good in it for sure.”

 

First appearance

Corey MacPherson of Cornwall will drive in his first Governor’s Plate behind Narragansett from Post 7.

“It’s pretty exciting,” said MacPherson, 25. “I have never driven in a prestigious event like this.

“I have driven in a few stake races, but never in a big aged invitational race.”

 

A decade ago

Mike Stevenson is hoping history repeats itself. Stevenson drove Igoddago to victory 10 years ago in the 2004 Governor’s Plate. Stevenson will drive Judge Jon from Post 4.

“It’s a race I look forward to every year. I love it up there, and I want to do good in it for sure.” Driver Marc Campbell

“It’s one of the premier races here on the Island,” said Stevenson. “Now that I’m living on the Island it would be a great thing.

“I love it here, and I really like Summerside. It’s a nice feather in your cap.”

 

Third appearance

Brodie MacPhee, a fourth-generation horseman, will be driving in his third Governor’s Plate. He is looking for Machinthesand to give him his first Plate win from Post 5.

 

Summerside native

Gary Chappell, who has never won his hometown race, is the only Summerside native entered in this year’s Plate. He is making his return to Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race after a nine-year absence.

Chappell has been driving for over 30 years, and is jus shy of 2,500 career victories.

 

No stranger

Kenny Arsenault will make his sixth Governor’s Plate appearance in the last eight years behind Ultimate Luck from Post 8.

Arsenault is the last driver other than Barrieau to win the Governor’s Plate. He drove Serious Dame to victory in 2011.

 

Fourth appearance

Jason Hughes will drive Astor from the two-hole, and the trainer-driver is well on his way to surpassing 100 wins again this season.

This will be Hughes’s fourth Plate appearance.

 

With files from Bo Ford

 

 

Geographic location: Summerside, Prince

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