CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Czar Seelster’s top-three streak ended last week but most of his competition from that start are out of the picture for this afternoon’s feature at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
First race post time is 12:30 p.m. for the 13-dash program with the preferred pace lining up in Race 9 for a $2,500 purse. The Governor’s Plate and Roach MacGregor Gold Cup and Saucer consolation winner gets the services of Mike McGuigan in the race bike again this week after finishing fifth in the preferred class last week. The second-, third- and fourth-place finishers from that race are not entered on P.E.I., today but the winner of the race, the red-hot Three Truths, gets billed as the morning-line favourite from Post 5 with Kenny Arsenault in the bike.
Jackson K Down returns to competition this week with Gilles Barrieau in the bike from Post 1 while Winter Blast rides a two-race win streak into Post 3 for driver Jason Hughes. Half Cut has Post 2 in the compact field, dropping out of three-year-old stakes racing to take on his aged foes.
Race analyst Les MacIsaac thinks it has been too long since Czar Seelster, who is trained by Todd Weatherbee for owner Tammy Johnston of Stratford, has seen the winner’s circle and pegs him for the top spot Saturday.
“Last week reinforced the old adage that anything can happen in a horse race when Czar Seelster finally finished out of the top three,” MacIsaac said. “He's now gone close to a month without a win, which is an eternity for him, and since his two main rivals are absent from this one, he gets top billing.”
The card also has the Maritime Breeder’s final for two- and three-year-old trotters. Race 4 has the $7,000 Maritime Breeder’s two-year-old trot final with Mile Hill Willie riding a five-race win streak into the race with Post 2 for trainer-driver Gilles Barrieau and owner Paul Morrison of Cardigan.
The three-year-old trotters line up for a $7,850 pot in Race 7 with West River Cindy (Ken MacDonald) leaving from Post 3 while Maritime champion Buddy White has Post 6 for driver Adam Merner.
Race 10 on the card sees the racing return of Rollwithitharry, who has rail control in the $1,800 class with Barrieau in the bike for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Woodmere Farms of Marshfield. Rollwithitharry has not raced since 2015, coming to P.E.I. for stud duty starting in 2016 and selling his first crop at public auction this fall. He is installed at 8-1 morning-line odds for this afternoon’s program.
– Compiled by Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores.