The stage is set for Prince Edward Island's newest celebration as the LOTTO 649 Red Cup Classic, showcasing some of the brightest harness racing stars in the Atlantic region, touch down Saturday at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Post time is 6pm.
Then the headliner moves to Red Shores Summerside on Sunday with a 1pm post time. All the action will be carried world-wide from both locations on the Race Day network via www.redshores.ca.
Saturday night features nine starters in the Atlantic Aged Pacing Mare Series, presented by Standardbred Canada, Red Shores and PEIHRIA, for a purse of $4,780. Race analysts Gerard Smith and Les MacIsaac are split on their top choices with Smith giving the edge to Private Joke and driver John Holmes from post 2.
Holmes, who has 1,187 career wins in the bike, gets the call to drive from trainerWatts after driver Marc Campbell has booked off all drives to attend a wedding in Ontario. Private Joke has won her last two starts in impressive fashion.
While MacIsaac agrees with Private Joke as a top contender, he gives JK Special, with Walter Cheverie, top billing. “The one to her immediate right(Private Joke) has gotten the better of her in her last two meetings but as a 27 time career winner, she knows how to get it done,” said MacIsaac. “With the rail as a bonus we’ll give her the slight edge.”
Dreaming, co-owned by driver Norman Myers, Cardigan and Jason Sheppard, Vernon Bridge and trained by Michelle MacDonald, is also a triactor candidate along with General Luckypercy, trained by Jackie Matheson. The power packed line-up also includes Expressly Hanover, Darling Jane, Hot Sign, who won Thursday night, Seriousand Shooters Bay.
RED SHORES SUMMERSIDE
Bakardi Arti, owned by Darla MacEachern and Jason Sherry of Kensington, meets Bet The House, trained by Blaine McKenna, in the afternoon top class. Post time is 1pm with the feature race being called to post at 3:35pm AST.
Brodie MacPhee gets the driving assignment on Bakardi Arti, who won his last start in a fast 1:56.4 while Bet The House, driven by Jason Hughes, has been impressive this season at Summerside with trips in the 1:57 range. Blu Meadow Willie has drawn the rail for Bob MacInnis.
The veteran campaign likes to close hard so he’ll be well placed when the wings fold. Roccos Cavallo (Ken Murphy), BJ Cruiser (Walter Cheverie) and Pembroke Fella (Corey MacPherson) complete the field.
Driver Norris Rogers is booked on 11 drives Sunday. The Summerside native is teaming up with Sign Craft in the Drive for Charity event this season. Rogers is going after wins with the money being collected going to the PEI Humane Society.
Customers on PEI will also have the chance to watch and wager on all the history being made in the Belmont Stakes at Charlottetown & Summerside locations.
For more information on all the entries, results or live broadcasts go to www.redshores.ca
by Lee DRAKE