A hot horse has drawn the rail as The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer Trial 2 hits the track in the final dash of today’s doubleheader at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park (CDP).
Rock Diamonds N has rail control in the $12,500 trial and is coming off two straight wins. Monday has two racing programs with an eight-dash card starting at 1 p.m. and a 12-dash program carded with a 7 p.m. first-race post time. The top-four horses in tonight’s trial will join the top-four finishers from Trial 1 in Saturday’s Gold Cup and Saucer final.
Ron Cushing drives morning-line favourite Rock Diamonds N in tonight’s trial. Owned by American owners Kevin Sywyk, Cushing and Frank Ranaldi, Rock Diamonds N is trained by Heidi Gibbs and has won his last two races in 1:50 at Plainridge Raceway in Massachusetts.
Post 2 starter is Ontario horse Dreamfair BJ with Travis Cullen driving for trainer Jodie Cullen. Travis drove Trial 1 winner Midway Island on Saturday.
Bet On Brett has Post 3 for Island owners Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge and Red Isle Racing of Granville, who co-own the horse with Allard Racing of Quebec. Phil Hudon will drive the Rene Allard-trainee, who has been racing in New York.
Stratford native Patrick Shepherd trains Post 4 starter Sir Pugsley, who is a new acquisition from the Ron Burke stable. The horse was racing at Plainridge Raceway, where he finished second to Rock Diamonds N in his latest race. Stratford resident Jason Hughes will drive Sir Pugsley.
Kingston native Anthony MacDonald drives Brave World from Post 5 for trainer Richard Moreau and owner Thestable.ca. The winner of $255,000 had been racing the Ontario circuit before being purchased by Thestable.ca’s fractional ownership group in late July.
Lisburn leaves from Post 6 with Charlottetown’s Kenny Arsenault driving for trainer Robert Cleary and owner Kevin Harvey of Hammonds Plains, N.S. A four-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven, Lisburn had raced as a young horse on P.E.I. before being sent to the U.S. to compete.
Rose Run Quest, a third-place finisher in last year’s race, has Post 7 for Winsloe trainer-driver Marc Campbell and owner Blair Hansen of Charlottetown.
To complete the field is Post 8 starter Avatar J with Gilles Barrieau at the reins for trainer Jamie Copley and owners Dean Larkin of Ontario and Jody Sanderson of Cornwall. Avatar J last raced at the preferred level at Rideau Carleton Raceway outside Ottawa.
The afternoon program features the Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts with $12,200 A divisions in Race 6 and 8. A trio of $2,500 B divisions hit the track in Races 1, 3 and 5.
Nicholas Oakes is covering harness racing at Old Home Week for The Guardian, culminating with the Gold Cup and Saucer on Saturday. This is his 10th year covering Old Home Week for the news outlet.