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A look at each horse in Governor's Plate 51
Summerside’s signature standardbred race of the season will be contested at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Saturday.
The 51st edition of the Governor’s Plate, carrying a purse of $25,000, highlights the closing card of Lobster Carnival Week. The 16-dash program gets underway at 6:30 p.m.
Following is a look at this year’s Governor’s Plate field:
Down On My Luck
This horse was shipped to the East Coast by one of Canada’s leading trainers and Charlottetown native Patrick Shepherd. The multiple O’Brien nominee for Canada’s trainer of the year had the luck of the draw and has the coveted rail.
The five-year-old son of the great Camluck won over Buffalo's half-mile surface in 1:54.2 and was a solid second in his elimination.
He is a half-mile specialist with a 1:52.1 record on the four-turn oval.
Owner Walter Simmons has witnessed every Governor’s Plate ever raced and a win would solidify a brilliant career in harness racing.
The winner of the Ladner Memorial is on the inside and could remove this race off of Walter’s bucket list.
Burn Out Hanover
His mother is one of harness racing’s all-time greats. Burning Point was a millionaire winner and had a record under 1:50. She was simply awesome.
This horse will be a huge price and does have the “Maritime Magic Man” Gilles Barrieau in the sulky.
Do Over Hanover
He has timed this race perfectly and has raced himself into Governor’s Plate readiness.
The 2017 Plate champion left like a runner in his elimination to finish second at long odds to make the final.
The “Blue Knight” Jason Hughes had a decision to make and picked this horse in his quest for his first Governor’s Plate victory.
The out west invader has been impressive since relocating to the east. He put together a three-race winning streak, topping it off with a 1:55 triumph right here in Summerside. He’s playing the long shot roll, but you never say never in a horse race.
Rose Run Quest
An elimination winner last week in 1:54.1, he is a very versatile horse. He has proven he can win on the engine, or come from off the pace.
Last year, this horse paced in 1:51 and change in the Gold Cup and Saucer under the guidance of Marc Campbell. He may be the horse to beat.
He’s the Governor’s Plate defending champion and showed up to win his elimination in 1:54.3.
He’s ready for a possible repeat, but will have to overcome a poor post position. Kenny Arsenault is the driver that can make his post position a thing of the past.
The grandstand side is no place to be on a half-mile racetrack.
In last year’s Governor’s Plate, he was caught in deep stretch to finish second. This year, on the Island, he’s been on the podium in all nine starts.
The hottest driver, by far, in Summerside is David Dowling and he’ll need some kind of trip from the outside.
Click here for related story setting up Governor's Plate:
There is a 16 race presentation at historic Summerside that may produce a record pari-mutuel handle.
I’m also quite sure you can take YS Lotus’s track record and etch it in stone. It’s going to take an extremely talented Maritime horse to break the current 1:51.4 standard.
Click here for Joe MacIntyre's Hot Corner column:
This will be my final harness racing column in the Journal Pioneer. I have never missed a deadline in 22 years of bringing you harness racing stories – some about my own personal experiences and many from our own backyard here in P.E.I.
I would like to thank the readers who took the time to follow my column and it was my sincere pleasure. To those of you who took the time to vote for Canada’s Best Race Call, I could never thank you enough. The national title is something I will cherish for a lifetime. Thank you!
A look at Saturday’s picks:
Best bets – Jordies Hope in Race 5 and Sock It Away in Race 11.
Long shot possibilities – Southfield Sue in Race 3 and Euchred in Race 16.
Vance Cameron is the track announcer in Summerside and Charlottetown.