Charlottetown has major race card Saturday

12:56 PM 21 Jun 2014 NZST
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Charlottetown, PE - It's the first day of summer on Saturday at Red Shores at Charlottetown Driving Park and the city track will feature one of the biggest cards of harness racing this season with the Cecil Ladner memorial final and consolation along with two divisions of the Maritime Breeders finals for three-year-old fillies and colts. Post time is 6pm. The Bell-Aliant Race Day broadcast will carry all the action beginning with the pre-show at 5:30pm AST.

Art of Illusion has been selected as the favorite in the eight horse Ladner final for driver Darren Crowe. The newcomer, owned by Halifax businessman David MacDonald, was awesome in his Island debut busting off the gate from post 8 to level the competition in a crushing 1:54.1 performance. That victory ended All Turain's winning streak at ten. The Trevor Hicken trainee will take him on again from post 7. Brodie MacPhee will do the driving.

Astor was also impressive in his Ladner elimination finishing a strong second in line to Jason Hughes. The son of Camluck posted a 28.4 closer and a 1:54.2 mile in only his second start after being purchased by the Foxyhall racing stable of Summerside. Hughes and Foxyhall racing will also send out Narragansett from the rail for catch-driver Kenny Arsenault.

The final also has elimination winner Machinthesand leaving from post 2. Established at 7-2 on the morning line, the pacer overcame his outside post to pull off a one length victory for driver Brodie MacPhee, trainer Mark Bradley and owners Noonan Holdings Ltd- Russell & Karen Noonan of Middleton. MacPhee is committed to All Turain so Marc Campbell gets the call to drive. The line-up also includes Schooner (Brian MacPhee), Coral Snake (Ryan Ellis) and Perfect Escape (Gilles Barrieau).

Sterling Seelster has been selected as the top choice in the Ladner Consolation by race analyst Les MacIsaac. "He was a non- factor in the first leg but the outside post had a lot to do with it," said MacIsaac. "He's already shown that he's quite capable of going with this type and this improved post should give him a chance to prove it." Sterling Seelster is owned by Marie Cameron of Summerside and trained by Doug MacGregor.

The rich maritime breeders finals will also highlight the program. The three-year-old fillies will race in the Ken Starratt memorial for $22,100. Lovineveryminute goes into the event with an impressive resume that includes back to back stakes victories and a track record performance over Truro.

The team is back together with Todd Trites driving for the Earl Watts stable and owners River Valley Management, NB, Windemere Farms, PE and Lana Murphy, NB. Elm Grove Inarush will try to settle the score for driver Mark Bradley. Eddy Doucette trains the filly who made $46,701 in 2013 for his co-owners Blaine Thibeau, Gordon MacLeod and Grant Mann. Pictonian Sareta has to start from post 8 for driver Mike Stevenson and owner Daniel Ross, Belfast. The roster also has Briannas Angel (pp3), Outrageous Spirit (pp4), Sail Through (pp5), Fleurje (pp6), JJ Mistress (pp7).

The colt's final, named in honor of Atlantic Post Calls founder Doug Harkness, will go to the gate in race 11. Dumas Walker gets the nod for Myles Heffernan after his two length score in 1:57.3 in the elimination. The Atlantic Breeders Crown champion takes on Settlement Request (Gilles Barrieau) and Rancousy (Darren Crowe) who are also listed as triactor candidates. The other starters in the $18,900 final are J Ps Warrior (Brodie MacPhee), Arties Magic (Todd Trites), Wine to Go (Kenny Arsenault), JJ Laser (Marc Campbell) and Tobins Fusion (Mike Stevenson).

For complete list of entries, top picks and the Bell-Aliant Race Day broadcast go to www.redshores.ca

by Lee Drakes, for Red Shores

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