Atlantic Regional Driving Series at Summerside

01:52 AM 28 Jun 2014 NZST
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Summerside, PE - The stage is set for the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship, presented by RDMD Refrigeration Saturday at Red Shores Summerside.

Post time is 6:30pm with two divisions of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares sponsored by Standardbred Canada also being added to the action. The Bell-Aliant Race Day show will carry the event at www.redshores.ca .

The top drivers in Atlantic Canada will compete in nine races with the top two finishers, based on points, moving to the National Driving Championship August 26th in Charlottetown. Team PEI will be represented by Marc Campbell, Jason Hughes and Brodie MacPhee. New Brunswick has Todd Trites and Gilles Barrieau while Nova Scotia has Ryan Campbell, Darren Crowe and Ryan Ellis. Newfoundland and Labrador will be represented by Kevin Dillon.

Race analyst Les MacIssac and Jared Stretch have compiled a special edition driver's picks for the contest. The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club Handicapping Pick 9 contest is underway. Go to www.standardbredcanada.ca for details.

MacIsaac provided a summary of the event with his top choice being Marc Campbell.

"He might as well add winning this to his list of accomplishments, a list that gets longer all the time. It includes winning last year's Gold Cup and Saucer in track record time and just for good measure setting a new trotting record on the same card.

He has a couple of excellent shots Saturday which could see him go back to back in races four and five with Ultimate Labamba and Rash B Havior," said the host of Top Picks in Charlottetown's program. "The key to the competition is a good start and to avoid as many 7th and 8th place finishes as possible. There are lots of points out there with seconds, thirds and fourths so you don't have to win them all." Ryan Ellis and Darren Crowe round out the top three for MacIsaac.

Summerside analyst Jared Stretch also puts Campbell at the top of the competition. "The reigning Gold Cup driver and O'brien award winner will look to add this driving championship to his resume, and if my selections hold true he would not only pick up wins in races # 3,5 and 8, but really should be able to pick up a good number of secondary points that would put distance on his rivals,"

The Prince county handicapper has Gilles Barrieau of N.B. second with team PEI's Brodie MacPhee third. "This draw worked out well for Brodie as he's got several horses that suit his style to a tee and a few others that he knows quite well and could certainly pull off an upset or two. In my selections, I have him taking races #6 and 7 but I wouldn't be shocked to see him come away with 3 wins on the day."

Bunny Mach has been established as the 5-2 morning line favorite in the first leg of the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares Series for driver Jason Hughes. The nine-year-old mare is coming off a seventh length 1:59.4 victory on June 19. Donald and Steven MacRae own Bunny Mach who starts from post 3. Ramblinglily (Brodie MacPhee) and Veronicavermillion (Brian MacPhee) are also listed as triactor candidates. Mattadors Rose, Prynne Hanover and Silky Britches complete the field.

General Luckypercy is favored to win the second race of the series in race 12. The Jackie Matheson trainee makes her sixth start of the season from post two in the $3,378 event. Gilles Barrieau will catch-drive for owners Jodi Lynn Matheson, Charlottetown and Jack Brown, Stratford. The all-star line-up has Andro Madi who has been super sharp in her last few starts for driver Dale Spence and trainer Jonah Moase. Moase will also send out Dirt Track Momma for Marc Campbell. Stayoutofmyaffair has the rail with Brodys Leona (pp5) and Dreaming (pp6).

Red Shores Charlottetown presents special Sunday card

Charlottetown, PE - Red Shores will present a special Sunday program with the legendary CDP oval going with a first race post time of 1pm.

Say It Again Sam has been perfect since arriving on PEI posting five wins in a row for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and Foxyhall Racing of Summerside. The three-year-old son of Well Said gets the rail in race 7 after charting a two and half length score in his last outing of 1:56.4 which included a 28.4 closing panel. This guy is fast. He takes on Leading Camdidate, Umiztagoodthing, Beckenbauer, Astor Shark and Jersey Joe.

The afternoon top class has Ultimate Luck installed as the morning line favorite and for good reason. Last week the Sifroi Melanson stable star toured Summerside in 1:54.3 under the command of Kenny Arsenault. Melanson has listed Ken Murphy to drive in the $2,200 race 11 showdown.

For the complete list of entries, top picks or live broadcast go to www.redshores.ca

by Lee Drake, for Red Shores

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