CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The Paul MacDonald Memorial Driving Championship came right down to the last race Saturday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP).
Corey MacPherson went into the final leg with a one-point lead over Marc Campbell, Jason Hughes and Gilles Barrieau. As fate would have it, MacPherson finished fourth in the final leg with those three drivers finishing in the triactor ticket.
Campbell won with Fly With Max in 1:57.2 to put him just one win away from his overall CDP wins record, after winning a race earlier in the competition.
The victory secured the MacDonald Memorial trophy for Campbell with 61 points, over Jason Hughes (60) and MacPherson and Barrieau with 59 points each. Kenny Arsenault came in fifth with 53 points in the eight-race championship, followed by Adam Merner (50), Earl Smith (40) and Don MacNeill (34).
Nogreatmischief captured the feature in 1:57.1 for co-owner, trainer and driver Walter Cheverie and co-owner the estate of John Thompson of Charlottetown, who recently passed away. The $2,250 event saw newcomer Silverinyourpocket (Hughes) finish second and Weather Hanover (Dale Spence) in third.
Merner, Hughes and Barrieau also had driving doubles on the program, while Hughes' wins both came from his own stable for the training double.
Adkins Hanover dominated the preferred pace Sunday at CDP, but all eyes were on Marc Campbell as the Winsloe reinsman continued his historic season of East Coast racing.
The 'King' of Island racing had two winners on the program as he slid past his all-time driving win record at the track, winning with Female Finesse in 2:02.2 to tie his 144 single season win record at the capital oval. Later in the card, Campbell teamed up with Best Risque for win 145 of the season as he continues his march towards a new win standard.
Adkins Hanover had the fastest win of the day, capturing the $2,550 preferred pace in 1:55.4 for trainer Trevor Hicken and owner Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile., Que. Czar Seelster (Steven Shepherd) finished second but was placed sixth for interference while on a break during the stretch drive. Rose Run Quest (Campbell) was third and placed second, while Red Magician (Adam Merner) was placed third.
Kyle Gillis of Charlottetown had a moment he will never forget as he scored his first lifetime driving win. The 20-year-old Truro, N.S., native steered veteran pacer Top Of The Morning to a 1:59.4 victory off a two-hole ride. Gillis trains and leases the now 29-time winner.
Hughes had three wins on the 12-dash card, winning with Mr Irresistible in 1:58.3 for conditioner Jennifer Trainor of Earnescliffe, Ultimatelyhandsome for trainer Sifroi Melanson of New Brunswick and Old Buck in 1:58.4 for Alan MacDonald of Summerside.
Norris Rogers and MacPherson both had driving doubles on the program.
– Compiled by Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores.