First race post time is 6 pm for the 12-dash affair that will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the O'Brien Awards being held in Charlottetown.
The $2,000 preferred pace lines up in race 9 with Miracle Matts drawing post 3 fresh off a 2:01 victory on a sloppy track in last week's feature event.drives the pacer for owner-trainer Blois MacPhail of Cornwall. Race analyst Les McIsaac has selected Kisser to take the top spot from the outside post 6 for trainer-driver and owners Donald and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge.
"He gets the outside post every week but it hasn't prevented him from finishing in the top three each and every start since the beginning of winter, and then some previous to that," McIsaac said ofKisser. "Top billing."
Each race on the card is named in honour of a community with deep connections to Island harness racing, with the feature named the Town Of Montague Pace. Montague Owned and trained PC Shockwave has drawn the rail for owner Scott MacPhail, trainer Wade Sorrie and driver Brian MacPhee. Other entries include Le Fugueur (), Blue Star Outlaw ( ), and Nobestbfor ( ).
Race 4 will see the $1,600 Open Trot raced in honor of the community of Tyne Valley. Zip The Lip has post 2 in the compact field of five for driver Brian MacPhee, co-owner and trainer Donald Sweet and co-owner Orville Willis, both of O'Leary. The six-year-old son ofhas not seen the winner's circle since Dec. 8, with a string of seconds and thirds since then but will look to change his luck with his best post in three months.
His main competition will come from thetrained and driven Abundaspin, who won the event the last week and will look for a repeat. Shepherd will be rooting for son Patrick to win the first ever Future Star award Saturday night at the O'Brien Awards at the Delta Prince Edward and P.E.I. Convention Centre. Other entries in the Open trot include Wonderous Hanover ( ), Buckling Banbury (MacPherson), and Caliban Hanover ( ).
Other races on the card will honour the communities of Tignish, Alberton, O'Leary, Summerside, Kensington, Cornwall/North River, Charlottetown, Pinette, and Souris. The final dash of the winter meet will honour the historic rural tracks of Kinkora, St. Peter's and New Annan. After Friday, racing returns to Charlottetown on Saturday, April 26.
Besides the Friday card of racing and the Saturday night awards gala, the O'Brien Awards weekend will feature the sold out Island Kitchen Party Friday night at 9 pm, and a fan forum with some of the best in Canadian racing Saturday morning at 10 am at Red Shores Charlottetown.
by Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores