After a late-charging break in stride last week, Traces Of Purple will look to knock off the best mares in the region on a special Saturday morning program today at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Due to impending weather coming to the region, the card has a 11:30 a.m. first-race post time and the top mares will meet in Race 7 in the $2,700 fillies and mares open pace.
Traces Of Purple will leave from Post 1 in the contest with Walter Cheverie back in the bike for owner-trainer Robert Phillips of Belfast. The five-year-old daughter of Brandons Cowboy was making a late surge in the stretch drive a week ago and rolled off stride before the finish to end up third. The winner from that race, Sodwana Bay, is not entered today but runner-up Jordies Hope leaves from Post 5 with David Dowling in the bike. The Brian Lander-trained Jordies Hope has five seasonal scores, including a 1:54.4 best in Summerside.
West River Ambyr has Post 2 in the field of six with regular driver Steven Shepherd at the lines with the mare only missing one cheque in 16 outings this year.
Race analyst Les MacIsaac will side with the rail-sitter for the top spot.
“Traces Of Purple has been a model of consistency all year sporting a top-three record, north of 80 per cent, and that's against the best mares in the region,” MacIsaac said. “Landing on the pylons will make her hard to deny.”
The field also includes Drivingthedragon N (Jason Hughes), Innocent Kiss (Adam Merner) and Collective Wisdom (Dale Spence).
The top purse of the night is in the Race 11 preferred 2 pace for a $2,850 pot. IC True Grit is the morning-line choice with Mike McGuigan driving for trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Joey Gallant and Ingham Jenkins of Charlottetown. Other top entries include Red Magician (Merner) and JJ Powerball (Gordie Hennessey).
– Compiled by Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores.