The Lady Slipper Stakes for two- and three-year-old trotting colts and fillies are featured on the final Wednesday card of the 2014 meet.
Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway now switches back to Sunday matinee racing, with the exception of our traditional Monday matinee program on Labour Day.
The Lady Slipper is divided into three divisions of the two-year-olds, and a pair of three-year-old events.
J.K. Blaze (Walter Cheverie) is the favourite in the opening Lady Slipper. The chestnut son of Northern Bailey has a couple of stakes victories this year, winning here in Summerside in his first lifetime start in a Atlantic Sire Stake.
He took his 2:09.2 record in Charlottetown in his last start, which was also an Atlantic Sire Stake.
The second $5,800 two-year-old test has Suicide Shift (Steven Shepherd) as the morning-line favourite. The son of P J’s Nabby finished third in his debut in the Atlantic Sire Stakes. He showed some step in that race, trotting a mile in 2:06.2.
Three-time winner Tyne Valley (Mike Stevenson) is in the opening division. The Northern Bailey filly took her record of 2:07.4 right here in Summerside in winning her Callbeck Stake.
The 2014 outstanding two-year-old trotter is Paymenowpaymelater, a winner of all five of her freshman starts. She’s a daughter of Northern Bailey, and has combined winning by more than 35 lengths in her early career.
Her dominance over her rivals has been nothing short of spectacular, and the talented Marc Campbell will catch-drive for the first time.
Local filly Southfield Shadow (Terry Gallant) was awesome Old Home Week, winning in a personal-best 2:01.3. This filly has an amazing burst of speed, and showed us all she’s in the running for year-end awards in the three-year-old trot category.
BJ Comanche (Clare MacDonald) hasn’t been worse than second this year. The Bert Honkoop homebred has stakes victories in Truro and Charlottetown. He will provide solid competition, and a third win this year would not be a surprise.
Gary Chappell’s Dusty Lane Galaxy gets top call in the other Lady Slipper three-year-old trot. Galaxy has just the one win this year, and it came at Inverness.
The front-stepping son of P J’s Nabby established a track record on that occasion in 2:03.4. Chappell is also closing in on a career milestone as he is only six wins away from the 2,500-win club.
Tote board numbers
My most asked question lately is about the unofficial numbers taking so long to be posted on the tote board at both Red Shore tracks.
There’s no excuse folks, because the racing commission has installed the very best high tech photo finish system in harness racing. There’s no longer what we use to call a splash down result, or waiting for a photo finish person to create a photo.
The results are available in seconds. Any time you watch a simulcast when the race is over, the camera shows the time of the race and they post the unofficial results right away.
I’ve had horses leave the winner’s circle after winning by a nose and be back in the test booth before the numbers are posted on the board.
I can take you back to when Ronnie Blanchard used to post the numbers by hand sometimes quicker than they are posted now. Hopefully, the commission reads this and the unofficial numbers can be posted a little quicker.
Goodbye old friend
Harness racing, Summerside Raceway, my family and myself lost a very good mentor, colleague and a friend last week, with the passing of Donnie Ross.
Donnie was the longest-serving member of the SRW staff, dating back more than 45 years. Don was the charter and from the very first time I met him back in 1977, he was a man of great integrity, accountability and professionalism.
My sincere condolences to Don’s wife Margaret and son Steven.
A look at Wednesday’s picks:
Best bets - Paymenowpaymelater in Race 7, and Casimir Luciano in Race 13.
Long shot possibilities - Tyne Valley in Race 3, and Incredibility in Race 9.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown. Comments and suggestions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.