The battle for harness racing top gun at Red Shores' Charlottetown is ready to heat up quickly.
With Old Home Week just three days (two, Tuesday) away, the drivers and trainers are preparing for 16 race cards over 10 days.
sit in the spot he likes to sit in most races, right on the front. With 212 drives this season in Charlottetown, Hughes has returned 47 winners back to the winners enclosure. The Stratford native is atop the driving leader board for earnings with $ 55, 688 earned this season at Charlottetown. The 'Blue Knight' carries a UDRS of .356 at the capital city oval.
Chomping at the bit from second is. Campbell currently sits four back with 43 wins from 180 drives. He holds the record for most wins in a single season at Red Shores Charlottetown with 130. The three-time defending Francis McIsaac Memorial Champion (Most wins during Old Home Week) seems to bring his A-game to the track with him afternoon and night during Old Home Week, it could make for an interesting battle throughout the week. Heading into Old Home Week the former O'Brien Award winner bats .361.
The race for show is a neck and neck drive heading into the big week.currently sits in third with 22 victories from 124 drivers. Cheverie is a four time winner of the Francis McIsaac, last winning it in 2008. The veteran driver has over $28,000 earned this year heading into Old Home Week and a UDRS of .323.
A two way tie for fourth rounds out Charlottetown's top drivers. Premier catch-driverand Ronnie Matheson who does most of his driving out of his son Jackie's stable both have 21 wins a piece. Arsenault has 164 trips around the track this year and is closing in on $ 30, 000 for this season, He is also a four time winner of the Francis McIsaac award, last winning it in back-to-back years of 2009 and 2010. Matheson has only 109 drives this season, but he did pick up his 1, 000 lifetime driving victory earlier this season, he carries a UDRS of .333 heading into Old Home Week.
(20), (18), (15), (12) and (10) round out the top ten.
On the trainers side of things, the race isn't as close.
Hughes has a commanding lead with 33 victories this season. His power packed stable has been on fire this season with horses like Say It Again Sam, Stayoutofmyaffair, Astor and Red Rock. Hughes has 152 starts this season and has hit the top three in 72 of those starts. He has a .330 UTRS in Charlottetown.
is all alone in second. Last years winningest trainer at Charlottetown has topped in 24 winners from 143 starts. He has $32, 101 in earnings this season and his stable has been the brides made 23 times this season.
Youngster Jonah Moase is having a career year in his third season as a trainer. Moase is currently in third with 16 wins this season from only 63 starts. The 18-year-old has the highest UTRS out of any trainer with more then 55 starts.
Another two-way tie rounds out the top five, and once again Arsenault finds himself in the fourth place tie. He andeach have 13 winners this season at Charlottetown. Arsenault has just over 100 start with 103 while Bradley has just over 50 starts with 55.
Darren Trainor (10), Ronnie Gass (9),Watts (9) round out the top eight with a three-way tie for ninth. Joe Smallwood, Len McGuigan and each have 8.
By Bo Ford