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Governor’s Plate 49 goes at SRW on Saturday night

Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race should not lack drama


Published on July 14, 2017

Kenny Arsenault warms up Good Friday Three before the second Governor’s Plate elimination at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Good Friday Three, owned by Walter Simmons of Summerside and trained by Austin Sorrie, will leave from Post 6 in the $22,000 Governor’s Plate final, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, on Saturday night.

©Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE – One thing is certain about Saturday’s Governor’s Plate.

Jason Hughes drives Invictus Hanover during the second Governor’s Plate elimination at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon. Hughes will steer Invictus Hanover from Post 5 in the $22,000 Governor’s Plate final, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, in Summerside on Saturday night.
Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer

The 49th edition of Summerside’s race should not lack drama.
“It’s going to be interesting,” said driver Marc Campbell. “I think it’s going to be quite a cavalry charge to that first turn. . . It’s going to be a really good race for everybody to see.”
Following are the views of all eight drivers:

Forever Paradise
Adam Merner has the coveted rail position in his first-ever Governor’s Plate.
“We drew a good post, and have a nice horse to drive,” said Merner. “With a little luck, you never know.”
Forever Paradise finished third in the first elimination.
“He’s a super fast horse, he has a real good burst of speed and if we can save a little for the end of it, we could get a piece of the pie,” offered Merner. “I’m going to leave, but I’m not going to leave as hard as he can leave. I’m going to go out for a piece for sure.”

Do Over Hanover
Campbell and Do Over Hanover will look for a repeat performance from Post 2 after winning the second elimination in 1:52.1.
“He raced well,” assessed Campbell. “They told me he was lazy, and he was. He’ll be a little sharper and more used to the climate this week.”
Campbell is hoping to utilize a good post position.
“I don’t see him on the front by any means, but if we can sit three or four going to the quarter pole I will be pretty happy,” he added.
When asked if he’ll have a game plan, Campbell commented: “You try to, but I’ve told people before, and you can ask most drivers, that strategy only really works maybe every one out of 10 times, if that. What I like to do is go in with a loose-laid plan, and kind of hope things happen the way you think it’s going to happen.”

It’s going to be interesting. I think it’s going to be quite a cavalry charge to that first turn. . . It’s going to be a really good race for everybody to see.

Driver Marc Campbell

Click here for story on Jordan MacKay:

Allstar Seelster
Veteran Norris Rogers returns to the Governor’s Plate with Allstar Seelster – the fourth-place finisher in the first elimination.
“I think he has a little bit left in him, and can go a little faster,” said Rogers. “I don’t know if he can go in 52 or something, but I think he can go in 53 and that may get the job done. You never know.”
Rogers, who has Post 3, says he’ll “have to leave out a little bit” at the start.
“There’s going to be some good speed,” said Rogers. “I’m hoping to be sitting close enough that I can get a good chunk of it.”

Click here for related story on drivers talking about significance of Governor's Plate:

Junebugs Baby
Myles Heffernan feels Junebugs Baby “can step up a few notches.”
However, that is after he overcame a flat tire in the sulky just before the half-mile mark in the second elimination.
“The flat tire tired him a bit as he was dragging dead weight,” said Heffernan. “He hung onto fourth. I expect him to be a little better this week, and I’ll make sure my tires are pumped up.”
Heffernan, who describes Junebugs Baby as “a tough little horse,” likes Post 4.
“Hopefully, he’ll get tagged along, we’ll get tripped out and with any luck we will be pretty close at the finish,” added Heffernan.

Click here for Vance Cameron's column on the Governor's Plate:

Invictus Hanover
Jason Hughes acknowledges it’s “hard to say” how things will unfold.
“There is some gate speed on the outside and there is some on the inside, so I think there’s going to be some good speed off the gate,” analyzed Hughes, who added Invictus Hanover drew a “good post” position – No. 5. “I don’t know if he will get into a tussle off the gate, but I should be able to get set up pretty good.”
Hughes was pleased with Invictus Hanover’s third-place finish in the second elimination.
“He got into some road traffic,” offered Hughes. “He’s the type of horse he likes to keep rolling along . . . he hasn’t been used hard yet, and I think he still has a little left in the tank. I like him.”

Click here for Joe MacIntyre's Hot Corner column:

Good Friday Three
Kenny Arsenault and Good Friday Three leave from Post 6.
“I’d imagine they are going to be leaving, so I hope there’s some early speed so I can mop them up at the end,” said Arsenault. “There is so much inside speed, you can’t do anything else but take back.”
Good Friday Three had a strong place showing in the second elimination.
“I was very impressed with him,” assessed Arsenault. “He never quit, and was still charging at the wire.
“If they get a fast half in front of him, it seems to me he’s a finisher, so anything can happen.”

Click here for story on Governor's Plate eliminations:

Hot Deuce
Walter Cheverie faces the dreaded Post 7 after equalling Hot Deuce’s lifetime mark of 1:52.1 in winning the first elimination.
“You just see what happens when they say, ‘Go,’” said Cheverie. “It’s the same as every race, you take a look over when the gate comes around the turn and see what other horses are doing, and who has the whip up and who doesn’t.”
Cheverie acknowledges there “are a bunch” of horses that like to leave inside.
“I don’t want to get stung inside four deep on the first turn and then make front, because you are going to get beat,” explained Cheverie. “You are going extra distance, and you are going wide open to the quarter.”

Click here for Vance Cameron's 'Contenders and Pretenders' column on July 8:

Crombie A
Crombie A, the second-place finisher for Campbell in the first elimination, will have to deal with the outside Post 8.
“It doesn’t matter, somebody has to leave from there,” said catch-driver Gary Chappell. “There is not much sense leaving hard with them fellas, but you never know what will happen inside either.
“You just see how it goes.”

Click here for story on Governor's Plate draw:

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Need to Know
A look at the Governor’s Plate:

This is the 49th edition of Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race.

The Governor’s Plate final, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, will go for a $22,000 purse.

The Governor’s Plate features the top four finishers in each of two $5,000 elimination races held on Sunday, July 9.

Ys Lotus set the current Red Shores at Summerside Raceway track pacing record of 1:51.4 mile in winning the 2016 Governor’s Plate.

Saturday’s final card of the Lobster Carnival meet will feature 16 dashes. The first race is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Post time for the Governor’s Plate is listed as 10:55 p.m.

Past Winners
Governor’s Plate winners, with drivers in parenthesis:
1969 – Kim Ash (Art Porter).
1970 – Firebolt (Art Porter).
1971 – Gons Bulter (Elmore White).
1972 – Peter A Forever (Joe Goguen).
1973 – John The Third (Emmett Bernard).
1974 – Canu Bay (Horace Willis).
1975 – John The Third (Emmett Bernard).
1976 – Royal Relate (Orville Willis).
1977 – Freddie Rick (William Roloson).
1978 – Kitley Township (Russell Burgoyne).
1979 – Flying Caper (Marcel Barrieau).
1980 – Saul’s Pride (Joseph Smallwood).
1981 – The Butler Machine (David Pinkney).
1982 – Big Hugh (Sonny Rankin).
1983 – Glen Reynolds (Jody Hennessey).
1984 – Winners Accolade (Doug Walsh).
1985 – Angels Shadow (Marcel Barrieau).
1986 – Winners Accolade (Jody Hennessey).
1987 – Steve B Down (Steve Mason).
1988 – The Papermaker (Dr. Ian Moore).
1989 – Working Overtime (Frank Fagan Jr.).
1990 – Sharley Sham (Paul MacDonald).
1991 – Manilow Hanover (Earl Smith).
1992 – Kilkerran Ingle (Emmons MacKay).
1993 – No Worries (Phil Pinkney).
1994 – Hornby Blaze (Danny Romo).
1995 – Horan Hanover (Garry MacDonald).
1996 – DH: Luna Fantasia (Danny O’Brien) and Quick Challenge (Dr. Ian Moore).
1997 – Acton Amigo (Garry MacDonald).
1998 – Comedy Hour (Gilles Barrieau).
1999 – Dexters Lion (Todd Trites).
2000 – Barney Baron (Walter Cheverie).
2001 – Mcgetty (Dr. Ian Moore).
2002 – Pierce Seelster (Dr. Ian Moore).
2003 – Bramalea Road (Doug MacGregor).
2004 – Igoddago (Mike Stevenson).
2005 – PH Breakaway (Todd Trites).
2006 – Paperback (Danny Romo).
2007 – Dunachton Gale (Phil Pinkney).
2008 – Outlawpositivcharg (Terry Gallant).
2009 – Outlawpositivcharg (Terry Gallant).
2010 – PH Bestman (Todd Trites).
2011 – Serious Damage (Kenny Arsenault).
2012 – Mcapulco (Gilles Barrieau).
2013 – Wild Dragon (Gilles Barrieau).
2014 – D Gs Camme (Gilles Barrieau).
2015 – D Gs Camme (Gilles Barrieau).
2016 – Ys Lotus (Marc Campbell).