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CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - An evenly rated trip led to the winner's circle in Drivingthedragon N's latest outing and she will look for a replication in the Thursday evening feature at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The 12-dash program starts off at 6:30 P.M. with the top class of the evening featuring seven female pacers vying for a $1,700 purse. Drivingthedragon N has the outside post to contend with for trainer-driver Jason Hughes and owner Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge, P.E.I. The nine-year-old daughter of Sutter Hanover was a 1:57.3 victor last week against similar company but will again have to contend with speedy four-year-old Woodmere Finesse (Driven by Gilles Barrieau) from post 5. Race analyst Les MacIsaac is taking another direction and will look to post 6 starter Julep Hanover and trainer-driver Wade Myers to prevail. "Julep Hanover can kick home with the best of them so she'll need some early pace to make that late rally work," MacIsaac said. "With the way the field is set up there's a good possibility of that so we'll give her top billing." Also in the Thursday night feature field is Diduseethat (Marc Campbell), One Hot Camshaft (Ken Murphy), Swingirl (Corey MacPherson) and Cougar Gal (Mike McGuigan). The top trot of the evening lines up in race 6 for a $1,800 purse. Majian Tango is the morning line choice from post 3 for trainer-driver Jim Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst, N.S. Other top contenders include Suicide Shift (Steven Shepherd) and Dusty Lane Jacob (MacPherson). The program will also feature a pair of classes for two-year-old pacers in races 3 and 5 for non-winners of $3,000 lifetime. Race 3 contains a field of five two-year-old pacing fillies that are eligible to the Lady Slipper stake vying for a $2,500 purse with Elm Grove Nanci (Murphy) favoured off the rail. Race 5 has a field of five two-year-old Joe O'Brien Memorial eligible pacing colts going for a $2,500 purse. Oceanview Helios (Walter Cheverie) is the top selection in that event. For race programs, live video and more go to www.Redshores.ca. By Nicholas Oakes, for Red Shores    

Fortino is rapidly earning a reputation as the harness racing Country Cups king with his victory in the $10,000 New Norfolk Pacing Cup in Hobart last night his most emphatic win this season. Leading up to last night's triumph the gelding by Sutter Hanover had bagged the North-East pacing Cup at Scottsdale and the Burnie Cup. His trainer-driver Todd Rattray made the most of poor starts from his two main rivals Finn Mac Kee and Baldock were poorly away from the standing start which left a clear passage for Fortino to make his way to the lead without interruption. Fortino rallied in the home straight to score by 11 metres from Blackjackhanover that had to work three-wide for most of the last lap with Grinable a closing third about two metres away. Rattray ensured s solid tempo and allowed the winner to stroll home his last half (800m) in a handy 58.7 over the 3060-metre trip. Fortino's next start is expected to be in the Carrick Cup on February 18 in which he will have to give away a start of 10 metres owing to his improved class rating to C6. The New Norfolk Cup was run in Hobart last night owing to the Country Club failing to meet all the requirements (documentation) to have its license renewed. Peter Staples

Fortino has earned a reputation as being quite a moody horse with his trainer Todd Rattray once describing the harness racing gelding as "a good horse with a mind of his own". But at Scottsdale last Friday the gelding was on his best behaviour and delivered a near career-best effort to win the North-Eastern Pacing Cup over 2692 metres. Fortino was expected to lead but when that position was taken by Itz Gemmas Delight Rattray was forced to try and find a spot in the one-out line and he ended by one-out-two-back which was foreign territory for the horse. But it may have been a blessing in disguise because when Rattray decided to get moving a lap fro home he had a lapful of horse. Fortino cruised to the leader as they neared the home turn with Black Centurian poised to pounce after being drawn into the race on the back of Fortino. But when Rattray called on Fortino for the big effort the five-year-old son of Sutter Hanover dug deep and hit the line a metre clear of Black Centurian with Itz Gemmas Delight four metres astern and they streeted the rest with Cats And Dogs 24 metres away fourth. "I was really pleased with this win because Fortino is not your most genuine pacer," Rattray said. "I thought he would have led because he is such a good beginner from a stand but to race out of his comfort zone and still win was great. "He was travelling super going down the back the last time but he often does that an stops but this time he was really strong at the end. "I am hoping he has turned the corner because his past few runs have been very consistent and that's very pleasing because he does have ability." Rattray will now aim Fortino at the Burnie Cup next Sunday and depending on the outcome of that event he will progress to the rescheduled St Marys Cup. Peter Staples

Charlottetown, PE - Drivinthedragon N's fire continues to burn bright as she notched her third straight harness racing victory in the Boxing Day pace Monday afternoon at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The time of the mile was 1:56.3. A force to be reckoned with since arriving to the Maritimes, The seven-year old daughter of Sutter Hanover notched her 11th win of the 2016 campaign for owner Donald Macrae. Trainer-Driver Jason Hughes utilized the 'Dragon's' great gate speed to blast off the wings and take early control through a first quarter of 29.1. The down under invader set up on the front end and didn't see a challenger until the head of the lane when Doing Some Damage angled to the outside but couldn't catch the Blue Knight and his Dragon. The trackside photo booth may have ran out of green and white ink on Monday afternoon. A pair of green and white wearing mainstays at the Charlottetown oval were red hot on the afternoon taking 11 of the 16 races. The 'Green Hornet', Marc Campbell was at his old ways on Boxing Day afternoon as he added to his single season dash record at Red Shores Charlottetown. Campbell struck gold for six winners notching his 141st victory of the meet, 210th seasonal win and 1700th lifetime trip to the winners enclosure. Kenny Arsenault who had a training triple on the card got the party started early, cashing with a pair of trot victories. A second over journey for Howmacs Pride and a front end victory for Frill Seeker (his 10th of the season) gave him the sweep of the trot races before tripling up with Dees Boy. Arsenault who is his well on his way to lifetime win number 3,000 also scored with Sendmeasign and Lucky Encounter for a whole handful of winners. Adam Merner scored a driving double aboard Likely To Win and Rash B Havior. The wager on the card was $54, 437. Harness racing returns on New Year's Eve with a special live presentation. Post time is 6:30pm. The card features fast paced action, prizes and cash draws where race customers can tag their tickets in the Wild Horses promotion with $100 jackpots on every race. Red Shores will also provide a shuttle service from Park street parking lot to the Red Shores main entrance every 15 minutes beginning at 5:30pm. For details on New Year's Eve at Charlottetown and Summerside go to www.redshores.ca By Bo Ford & Lee Drake

It was a historic Saturday afternoon harness racing card at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park as Marc Campbell notched his 131st driving victory of the 2016 season at Red Shores Charlottetown to set a new record for most wins in a single season. Campbell had been sitting on the win for an entire week and couldn't sit any longer, as he took charge with his own trainee Freddie in the Race 4 Open Trot. Campbell floated him off the wings in a six horse field from post six, riding the outside until the half and then clearing the fraction setter to drive on for the record setting victory. The Three Wisemen Stable are the owners of the 16 time winner in 2016. The ink on the record books was hardly dry when Campbell started to add to the record, scoring with Female Finesse later in the card to set the current total at 132. The 'King of Island Racing', who was recently nominated for the O'Brien Award for Horsemanship picked up his 200th driving victory on the season and his 63rd training victory with the win. The 'Blue Knight' and his dragon, Drivingthedragon N went to battle in the Saturday afternoon feature race and returned victorious once again. Handicapped with the outside post 8, it didn't take long for driver Jason Hughes to cross the mare over to the lead and dictate the pace. The daughter of Sutter Hanover picks up her second straight feature victory and third in her last four starts. Donald MacRae owns the ten time winner for 2016 who laid down fractions of :29.1, :59.3, 1:30 before closing it out in 1:59. A pair of Dusty Lane Farms employees enjoyed multiple wins at the office on Saturday, Donnie MacNeill scored a training and driving double and Corey MacPherson scored a driving triple closing out the afternoon card with Jetta Flys who picked up his third straight victory. The afternoon handle was $43,717. By Bo Ford

Drivingthedragon N made quick work of her harness racing feature race rivals on Saturday afternoon at Red Shores Charlottetown. Leaving from post 7, the Jason Hughes trainee blasted off the wings, engaging in an early dual with Motorino to the opening quarter before taking complete control and drawing off to win by six. Owned by Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge, she laid down fractions of :28.1, :58.4, 1:28.2 before closing in out in 1:58.1 over a rain soaked capital city oval. The seven-year-old daughter of Sutter Hanover is making a late case for the Aged Pacing Mare of the Year award in the region. Since arriving on red soil the mare has seven wins from 13 starts, including the Atlantic Aged Mares final and knocking off invitational superstar D Gs Camme. The victory capped off another stellar day for 'The Blue Knight', in race eight he steered Dial The Bossman to his fourth consecutive victory, using first up tactics to win by three and a quarter lengths. The two-year-old son of Artistic Fella has been impressive in his young racing career for trainer Tom Weatherbie and owner Doug MacPhee. It was part of a driving hat-trick who also scored with trainee First Art Down. Fresh off winning the Paul MacDonald Drivers Championship last week, Corey MacPherson picked up right where he left off scoring three victories on the card. Macpherson, who is enjoying a career best season scored with Just A Professor from off the pace and followed up with front-end victories about Jetster and Jetta Flys. Marc Campbell will have to wait another day to break his record for most wins in a season at Red Shores Charlottetown. He headed into the card just two back from breaking the record but only managed to score with his own trainee Woodmere Articblue, who picked up her third straight victory. Veteran reinsman Kenny Arsenault was in fine form on Saturday afternoon with a pair of victories aboard Frill Seeker and Dbs Rosco from his own outfit. The afternoon wager for the 16-dash card was $43,086. By Bo Ford

Charlottetown, PE - Drivingthedragon N made a three wide move down the backstretch and nailed pace setter D GS Camme on the line to win the Sunday harness racing top class at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park in a photo finish. Eagle Jolt (Marc Campbell) was third. Jason Hughes, who enjoyed a big day at the city track with four winners, was in the bike for the victory for owner Donald MacRae, Vernon Bridge, PE. The Sutter Hanover mare notched her eighth win from 21 starts this season. Hughes also had top honours with Whosuwinner, JK Cowboy and Dial the Bossman for the grand-slam. Adam Merner recorded a driving double. The fastest mile of the day was turned by Forever Paradise and catch-driver Corey MacPherson. The duo toured the legendary oval in 1:56.2. The pacer is trained by Kevin MacLean for owners Reg MacPherson, David and Aaron MacKenzie Campbell was kept off the score sheet Sunday so his magic number to set the all-time record for wins in a single season at Charlottetown is five. Racing returns Saturday at 12:30pm with the annual Horseperson's Day and the Paul MacDonald driving championship. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca By Lee Drake

SUMMERSIDE, PE - Post position proved to be no obstacle in Sunday's Atlantic Aged Pacing Mares final sponsored by Standardbred Canada at Red Shores at The Summerside Raceway as the Prince County Oval hosts a full-card of harness racing stakes action. Drivingthedragon N left like a rocket from post 8 to secure the lead at the 27.2 quarter in the $15,716 event for trainer-driver Jason Hughes, who recorded a training-driving triple on the card. The seven-year-old daughter of Sutter Hanover then unleashed a 57 half-mile fraction, with three-quarters in 1:26.2 while fighting off the first-over Shadows Mystery (Gilles Barrieau). A final quarter of 28.2 sealed the deal for Drivingthedragon N for a three-length victory over Ramblinglily (Ken Murphy) with Shadows Mystery finishing third. Donald MacRae of Vernon Bridge owns Drivingthedragon N. In Lady Slipper gold action on the program, Every Time won her $11,300 division with Corey MacPherson in the bike in 1:58.2, while Dustylandmissmolly captured the other division in 1:56.3 for driver Adam Merner. Merner had another gold victory on the program, winning one of three $7,600 Joe O'Brien Memorial stakes with Beau's Cowboy in 1:56, while Abner The Great (Marc Campbell) won another split, as well as Jackson K Down (Barrieau) in 1:56.3. The Lady Slipper stakes for two-and-three-year-old trotters also went postward on the program. Wicked Nick won his $8,000 Lady Slipper two-year-old stake in 2:03.3 with Gary Chappell in the bike, with the other two-year-old division going to Revenueofwindemere (Terry Gallant) in 2:05.1. Mr Bower was victorious in his $7,600 Lady Slipper three-year-old trotting assignment down the road in 2:02.3 for Kenny Arsenault. Oceanview Pancho rewrote the record books in the other three-year-old Lady Slipper split, winning in 2:00.2 as part of a driving double for MacPherson, who was at the lines for co-owner and trainer Paul Larrabee of Belle River, and co-owner William Roloson of Belfast. The victory gave Oceanview Pancho the distinction of being the fastest three-year-old trotting stallion in Island history, while the gelding record is still held by Waiting On A Woman in 1:59.1, who was also driven by MacPherson that day five years ago. Chappell, Gallant recorded training-driving doubles on the card, while trainer Ron Gass also had two winners. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Much improved Tasmanian pacer Ductape delivered a career best harness racing performance to take out the Allen Williams memorial final over 22397 metres at Devonport last night. Ductape was coming off an impressive first-up win in Hobart in a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial series that comprised six heats with each heat winner and the four fastest seconds qualifying for the final. It was a masterful drive from talented novice driver Matthew Howlett who was prepared to allow the colt to settle at the rear of the field while the lead changed hands a few times. Ductape ($3.50) came with a barnstorming finish to score by almost five metres from God Sake ($12.70) with the $3.30 favourite Coccinella 1-1/2 metres away third. The Ben Rossendell-trained three-year-old colt produced multiple minor placings as a two-year-old that included a couple of top efforts behind class opposition. But this time in the colt has produced outstanding efforts to suggest he might be competitive in some of the better quality three-year-old races later this season. Ductape is raced by the trainer in partnership with Craig White and Stuart Van Driezum who also bred the colt who is by Sutter Hanover from Elsunola Babe. "He didn't win as a two-year-old but he was in some very tough races and that was god experience," White said. "Hopefully we'll reap the benefits of that this season and so far it's been good."   Peter Staples  

Hobby harness racing trainer Ben Rossendell has a big opinion of his three-year-old Ductape so it came as no surprise that the gelding emerged triumphant at his first start for the season at UBET Park Hobart last night. With talented novice reinsman Matthew Howlett in the sulky, Ductape delivered a brilliant performance to score by almost seven metres from Maravilloso with about the same margin to Penny Will Play in a heat of the Allen Williams Memorial over 2090 metres. Ductape showed great promise last season in good quality two-year-old events without winning from eight starts. "Ductape did a great job last season and was probably unlucky not to win a couple of times," Rossendell said. "I have a good opinion of him and I expect him to come into his own this season." Ductape (Sutter Hanover-Elsunola Babe) settled last from his wide front row draw (6) and Howlett waited until the bell lap before making his move. The three-year-old gelding worked gradually around the field and joined the leader War Chest nearing the home turn before forging clear in the home straight. Ductape covered the 2090 metres in 2m.39.31s for a mile rate of 2.02.67 and covered his last 800 metres in 59.03. Rossendell made it a double when his former Victorian gelding Warrior Mac won a C1 over 2090 metres. Warrior Mac had not started since July last year and had not been to the trials but with the run of the race in the one-out-one-back position he packed too many guns for his rivals to score by almost a metre from race leader Threestones with Robert Moreau over four metres astern. "I bought this horse in Melbourne last year but he had a bit of a rough trip over in the float so after a couple of runs I had to tip him out and start again," Rossendell said. "It took a while to get him going but we finally got there. "He isn't blessed with a lot of talent but if I keep him in this sort of company he's capable of winning a couple more," he said. Peter Staples

Well bred harness racing mare Belliciouslips loomed as one of the best bets on the card at UBET Park in Hobart last Sunday and she never let her backers down with an effortless win in the Stonebridge Regal Pace over 2090 metres for C3-C4 pacers. Belliciouslips made the most of her front-row draw (gate 2) and when she easily found the front with driver Rod Ashwood aboard, the end result was never in doubt. The four-year-old mare set a solid pace and when Ashwood lifted the tempo over the closing half-mile (800m) she gave nothing else a chance to run on from the back. Belliciouslips (Sutter Hanover-Ima Blue Bell) clocked a mile rate of 2.01.1 and ran home her last half (800m) in 58.5 without being fully extended. She hit the line nine metres clear of Angela De Marco with the Christian Salter-trained Rockbank Dancer just over two metres away third. The winner and runner-up are owned by Jamie Cockshutt and Barry Cooper who have enjoyed a great season, most with horses they have acquired from New Zealand. For Belliciouslips it was her fifth win for the season and she also has notched four minor placings while Angela de Marco has won three and been paced twice from nine outings. Peter Staples

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