National Driver Championship at Charlottetown

06:40 AM 26 Aug 2014 NZST
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2014 Canadian National Driving Championship
2014 Canadian National Driving Championship

The question of who will wear the red and white of Canada at the 2015 World Driving Championship will be answered Tuesday night at Red Shores Charlottetown.

Eight of the best drivers from their respective regions will gather in Charlottetown to contest the National Driving Championships presented by Standardbred Canada, P.E.I Harness Racing Industry Association, P.E.I. 2014 Inc. and Red Shores. Post-time for the special 12-dash card is 7 p.m.

The competition to see who can fulfill the dream of representing their country will get underway in Race 3. This year's NDC is a little different than previous, this year Standardbred Canada held a draft to allow the drivers to pick the horses they wanted to drive. Two-time World Driving Champion Jody Jamieson has selected to drive the rail horse C J Bluefin, a favourite heading into the National Driving Championship, Jamieson will have to fend off seven other foes. Sylvain Lacaille took his first round selection in Race 3, selecting the two-entry Caughfoolinaround for owner Maggie Mccarthy and trainer Roy Reynolds.

Quebec native Guy Gagnon had the first overall selection and took Umiztagoodthing in Race 10 from Post 5. Todd Walsh trains the five-year-old Modern Art gelding who took a lifetime best in his last race of 1:56.4.

The Alberta representative, and son of former Island horseman Sanford Campbell, had the second selection in the draft. Brandon Campbell chose post 2 starter in Race 5 All Out. With two second place finishes in his last two starts, the Clarkie Smith trainee is listed as the morning line favourite. B.C. native and the second representative from the Western Region, Jim Marino had the seventh overall pick he landed the 5-2 favourite Playful Patty in Race 4. Owned by Taylor Mcguigan the newcomer to Charlottetown will look to make her mark on Tuesday night.

The third overall selection went to 'The Rocketman' Billy Davis Jr. Making his first trip to P.E.I., the second entrant from Ontario will look to keep the NDC crown in Ontario, the place it has been for the past three events. Davis selected Ton Of Luck for the Ultimate Stables. Leaving from Post 5 in the sixth race, the three-year-old daughter of Camluck finished third in her last start pacing in 1:57.4.

The 'Flying Pilot' Ryan Ellis had the fourth overall selection and drafted Mcdaisy Cutter for owners John and Stephen Quinn of Charlottetown. The daughter of McArdle has a no-worst-than second record in her last four starts.

The hometown pride, Marc Campbell was saddled with the eighth overall pick, and if that wasn't bad enough, his first pick in the draft also won't line up behind the starting gate. Campbell selected Panacotta from Post 1 in Race 8 but he made a break on Saturday, and after a questionable review it was deemed Panacotta had broken equipment after his break and not before, putting him on the qualifying list.

So instead 'King Campbell' will look towards the ninth overall selection in the draft, Rash B Havior. The four-year-old Lis Mara gelding played a contributing factor in gaining Campbell the victory in the Altantic Regional Driving Championship. The pair went right down the highway in the Championship winning in 1:56.4, a new lifetime mark.

The Champion will be decided during eight of the 12 races on the card. The event concludes in Race 10. The special Tuesday card will also feature the $ 25, 000 Founders Cup and the $5,000 Builders Cup.

Wazzup Wazzup has drawn into Post 6 for trainer Corey Johnson. The six-year-old son of Life Sign is owned by the Rolling Hills Racing Stables of Uxbridge, ON. Tuesday night he will gain the survives of the Maritimes top driver Marc Campbell. Only beaten a neck, pacing his own mile in track record time, 1:50.4, in the 55th running of The Sobeys Gold Cup and Saucer, Wazzup Wazzup is the morning line favourite. He picked up a lifetime mark of 1:49 just three starts ago before landing on P.E.I. for the Gold Cup and Saucer trial.

Millionaire pacer Up The Credit, winner of the James 'Roach' MacGregor memorial on Friday night of Old Home Week will look to knock off the runner-up in the Gold Cup and Saucer. A winner of over $ 1.3 million in career earning, the six-year-old Western Terror horse has drawn into Post 3 for trainer and co-owner Carl Jamieson along with Tomas Kyron and Joanne Morrison. Jody Jamieson will do the driving. The trio of Jody, Carl and Up The Credit have been a dynamic one in the past winning the $1.5 million dollar North American Cup in 2011.

A winner of this year's Governors Plate in track record fashion of 1:53 at Red Shores Summerside, D Gs Camme moves into Post 4, fresh off of a 1:52.2 victory on Gold Cup night in the final of the Premier's Pace. A winner of four-in-a-row, the four-year-old son of Blissfull Hall will look to continue his winning ways for the ownership group of Hal and Quentin Bevan, Tom Clark and Ronnie Matheson. Gilles Barrieau will make the trek from Saint John, NB to handle the driving duties for trainer Jackie Matheson. All Turain, Ultimate Luck, Astor and Mach Wheel round out the power packed field of seven starters.

The 12th race on the card will feature the $ 5, 000 Builders Cup. The race will recognize the local contribution by two local horsemen to the sport of harness racing on P.E.I. Those two horsemen are Doug Hill of Startford, PE and Eric Johnston of Summerside, PE.

Modern Xhibit in-line to Jamieson has been listed as the morning line choice from Post 3. The Jonah Moase trainee was a winner in this years Walter Dale Memorial in Fredericton and also finished fourth in the Governor's Plate. The field also includes, Narragansett, Red Magician, Blissfull Bro, Cabo Pan Lucas, Machinthesand, Red Rock and Windemere Express.

Please note. There is not live racing Thursday at Red Shores Charlottetown. Live racing returns Wednesday to Red Shores Summerside at 7pm and Saturday in Charlottetown at 6pm. For information on race dates go to www.redshores.ca

by Bo Ford, for Red Shores

 

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