Day At The Track
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Charlottetown, PE - Only four tickets remain to the big dance at Red Shores Charlottetown on Saturday night. Those tickets will be punched Monday night when Trial 2 for the Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer lines up behind the gate in the race 12 finale. Harness racing post time is 7 pm. Trainer Ron Burke will look to sweep both trials with Take It Back Terry from the rail. Aracache Hanover picked up the victory in Trial 1 for Burke and driver Marc Campbell in 1:51.4. The Burke Brigade will turn to Gilles Barrieau to do the driving on Monday night. Take It Back Terry was a winner two starts back at Yonkers (half-mile) in 1:51.2. Trainer Corey Johnson makes his first start on Red Soil in Trial 2 with the 5-2 morning line favourite Wazzup Wazzup. Already a fan favourite on P.E.I. for his name, he has drawn into post 5. Islander James MacDonald will return home from Ontario to try and punch his ticket into the 55th running of the Sobey's Gold Cup and Saucer. Wazzup Wazzup picked up a new lifetime mark in his last start winning at Mohawk (seven-eights) in 1:49. Rene Allard will lock down a third spot in the Gold Cup. He finished second and fourth in Trial 1 with Bigtown Hero and Island Jet, while Mickey Hanover will take his shot from Post 4 in Trial 2. Allard will turn the lines over to Saturday nights winning driver 'King Campbell', Anthony Macdonald was scheduled to drive but has commitments in Ontario. Mickey Hanover finished sixth in his last start but had a three race win streak prior to that outing, with a 1:49.2 score just two starts back. Scott Rocks will look to rock the field from the outside Post 6. Another trainer looking to land a second horse in the $75,000 final, Chris Oakes will turn to Ontario based driver Jonathan Drury. Owned by Susan Oakes and Chuck Pompey of Pennsylvania, 'Scott' was seventh in his last start off of a scratch but prior too those two he knocked off four straight with a lifetime best 1:48.3 score. A pair of brothers will look to make dreams come true when they team up from Post 2 with Duke Did It. Trainer Patrick and driver Robert Shepherd are hoping to punch their ticket with the Ivan Petersheim freshly purchased winner of four-in-a-row. Duke Did It torched the Truro Raceway in his last start winning in 1:53.2 and tying the track record. He hash't missed a top two finish in his last eight and during that streak he has won six times. Island native Paul Mackenzie is the only driver other than Campbell to win the Gold Cup and Saucer he will turn to the 3-entry Mach Wheel to land him in the prestigious race one more time. The Shane Arsenault trainee was a winner in his last start at Grand River (half-mile) in 1:54.2for National Driving Championship finalist Jody Jamieson in the bike. The top four finishers will join Aracache Hanover, Bigtown Hero, Shock It To Em and Island Jet on Tuesday night for the live post position draw. The undercard is highlighted by the 9 top class. Say It Again Sam will look to extend his win streak to double digits on Maritime soil from Post 4. The three-year-old son of Well Said has yet to be collared since relocating to the Maritimes for Foxyhall Racing. The 'Blue Knight' Jason Hughes handles the training and driving. Im Drinkin Doubles is listed as the 5-2 morning line favourite. Coming in off of a 1:55.3 victory at Truro in his last Owners R G Mcgoup LTD and trainer Wayne Whebby will look to snap the streak at nine. Marc Whebby will drive the three-year-old Shadow Play gelding. Bonnys Mac, Salute and Junebugs Baby round out the compact field of six. By Bo Ford

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 30 – When it comes to being involved in big races, small-time Maritime trainer/owner Wayne Whebby knows exactly what it feels like. The 71-year-old veteran conditioner has raced in the Pepsi North America Cup, Breeders Crown, Adios and Governors Cup to name a few, but on Saturday he’ll have his first taste of Metro Pace pie. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia resident will send out Play It Again Sam from post nine in this year’s $683,000 edition. “It’s a terrific feeling, but we’ll have our work cut out for us,” Whebby said. “We’re very fortunate to be in it, but there are a lot of other nice colts in there too.” Play It Again Sam was a $25,000 yearling purchase from last year’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale. He was a horse that was on Whebby’s radar at the auction. “I looked at him and really liked him,” he said. “He was very late in the sale (hip 706), which was good and bad. The price might be lower, but if I didn’t get him, I might be stuck with nothing.” Whebby wasn’t looking for a partner at the time, but that soon changed. The youngster also caught co-owner Ron McLellan’s eye (R G McGroup Ltd). He was in pursuit of any offspring sired by Shadow Play, of whom he also owns a piece. “Ron and I have been friends for years and we also came across another horse by Shadow Play named Im Drinking Doubles. Im Drinking Doubles was earlier in the sale and we got him for $32,000 and we were fortunate enough to get Play It Again Sam for $25,000. That’s how Ron and I became partners.” Whebby then shipped his two new purchases home to Truro, Nova Scotia to begin their early lessons. “Emmons MacKay broke them and got them going and did an absolute terrific job,” Whebby said. “I’d come in and train with him a few days a week and oversee things, but he deserves the credit.” When Play It Again Sam was training down, Whebby never got overly confident in his youngster. “I’ve been down this road before and sometimes they pan out and sometimes they don’t,” he said. “He did everything right and we knew the speed was there, but you never know what can happen once they line up behind the gate.” When both horses were near qualifying, Whebby called upon his son, Marc. “Marc did most of the fine-tuning on both of them,” said the veteran horseman. “He put the finishing touches on them and raced them in Truro. I like it that way because Marc gives terrific feed back and makes sure everything is the way it should be. He’s also a terrific blacksmith and overall good horseman. “We have a system that we use between Emmons, Marc and I and it’s been successful, so we’re not going to change,” he continued. So far this season, Play It Again Sam has sparked the attention of his owners with a 7-0-1 record from eight starts and $55,627 this season. “We brought him along accordingly and he raced very well in Truro, but again, racing in Truro and racing at Mohawk are two different leagues. He’s progressed very well and shows that he has the speed to belong.” Whebby then shipped Play It Again Sam west to Ontario to the barn of trainer Dr. Ian Moore, another Maritmer. Moore had two entries in this year’s Metro, but Moore’s other entry, Arthur Blue Chip has been scratched due to sickness, therefore Play It Again Sam will look to be crowned this year’s champion for the Maritime connections. Looking ahead to Saturday’s Metro Pace, the richest event for two-year-olds in North America, Whebby remains optimistic about Play It Again Sam. “I think it’s a very evenly matched group of colts this year,” Whebby said. “There’s not a particular standout yet and a lot will depend on racing luck and who benefits from the best trip. I sure hope that’s us. “Between, Ron, his wife, Gail, Marc and Emmons and I, we’re having a lot of fun this season,” Whebby continued. David Miller will be at the helm from post nine in race seven on Saturday evening. by Greg Gangle  

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 22 – After taking two of three divisions of the Nassagaweya Stakes this past Saturday, Dr. Ian Moore’s Arthur Blue Chip and Play It Again Sam are on top of their game heading into the Metro Pace eliminations, Saturday at Mohawk. Both freshman pacers are fresh off a 1:52 career best and are sired by Shadow Play, who Moore campaigned to $1,559,822 in earnings from 2007-2009. Arthur Blue Chip, who has banked $174,495 already this season, has a 4-0-1 record from six starts for Shadow One Racing. The $135,000 yearling purchase is a half brother to Kenneth J (1:49.3 - $1,592,755). He will begin from post four in the first of three eliminations for driver Randy Waples. Moore’s other entry, Play It Again Sam, remains undefeated in seven starts this season and was a new addition to his stable within the past few weeks. The youngster was sent to Moore from longtime friend and trainer Wayne Whebby from Nova Scotia. Play It Again Sam has banked $50,827 in his young career for Whebby and R G McGroup Ltd. Waples will also steer Play It Again Sam from post one in the second elim. This morning, WEG’s Communications department spoke with Moore about his Metro Pace elimination starters. To view the interview, click the link below: http://bcove.me/yuoutmoq Greg Gangle

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