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Charlottetown, PEI -- Canadian harness racing driver James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont. clinched the 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC), and its $25,000 top prize Friday evening (August 18) at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, Prince Edward Island. In a night to remember, a capacity crowd witnessed the hometown triumph of MacDonald, the first-ever Canadian to claim the international title on home turf. MacDonald entered the fifth and final day of competition with a 26-point lead over Finland's Mika Forss. Without a win in the first three races to clinch the overall points lead, MacDonald sealed his claim to the WDC title in the night's final of four races by earning four points for an eighth-place finish with Instant Shadow. The Canadian reinsman amassed a total of 211 WDC tournament points, ultimately besting overall runner-up Forss, who completed his drives with an accumulated 193 points for second. Marcus Miller, from the United States, tallied 181.5 points to round out the top three WDC drivers.      The 31-year-old Prince Edward Island native returned to his home province as the only one of the 11 WDC contestants to have won at least one race at each track leading up to the final leg of the tournament. MacDonald won two of five heats at Century Downs in Alberta on Saturday (August 12), teaming up with Lucky Lucka and Barossa Blue Genes, before prevailing with Mystery Bet on Monday (August 14) at his current home base of Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. He went on to double up again at Georgian Downs on Tuesday (August 15), reaching the winner's enclosure with Shemars Lulu and Walk The Plank, before earning his sixth WDC win at Québec's Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday (August 16) aboard Federal Strike.   Hosted by Standardbred Canada, the World Driving Championship is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. The 2017 editions of the events coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.  MacDonald is now the fourth Canadian driver to win the World Driving Championship, the first to do so on Canadian soil. Hervé Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970; his nephew Sylvain Filion won in 1999; and Jody Jamieson won the 2001 and 2011 editions of the WDC. 2017 World Driving Championship Leaderboard (final) Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. James MacDonald (Canada) - 211 2. Mika Forss (Finland) - 193 3. Marcus Miller (United States) - 181.5 4. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 166 5. Björn Goop (Sweden) - 152 6. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 148 7. Eirik Høitomt (Norway) - 136 8. Shane Graham (Australia) - 135 8. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 135 10. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 124.5 11. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 107   A more detailed release will follow.   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

The World Trotting Conference Symposium opened to members of the public on Wednesday with a full day of sessions, in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The schedule began with a keynote address from Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario CEO Jean Major, a regulator of gambling for the last 27 years. He said that since Ontario introduced legal casino gaming in 1992-93, horse racing has lost its “complete dominance” in provincial gambling, dropping to “less than 11 percent” of dollars wagered there annually.   Major said Ontario is moving from a prescriptive approach to a new, outcome-based way of regulating the alcohol and gaming industries. Next, a panel discussion on the “Brave New World” of betting provided insights on wagering analytics. Dean Towers, secretary of the Horseplayers’ Association of North America, said that handle on sports betting had doubled during the same period that games of chance, like slots, were declining in popularity. Fixed-odds wagering and carryovers were two growing trends Towers identified as capturing gamblers’ interest. Brad Cummings, founder and CEO of Equilottery LLC, said that “the problem is not the product -- it’s the packaging.” He presented data showing how the quick-pick horse racing lottery game could help attract the Millennial-aged players currently lacking in the sport’s customer base. Woodbine Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Information Technology, Chris Lush, said most of the volume on the company’s Horseplayer Interactive wagering site came from Baby Boomers. He added that newcomers “look at our tote systems and they are lost”, but a recently-introduced “Woodbine app” for mobile devices was part of company outreach to “make [wagering] more interactive, more fun.” Christopher Schick, representing Golden Bear Racing LLC, which operates Cal-Expo Harness, focused on betting options and how they were received by the gambling public. “Each track needs a signature wager,” he said, but some offer “too many gimmicks” relative to respective pool size. Schick noted that “guaranteed pools drive handle”, while reduced takeout is unattractive to Cal-Expo’s biggest bettors, who prefer lower host fees and more rebates. Next, equine health was front and centre. Dr. Kathleen MacMillan, assistant professor of equine ambulatory medicine at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island, provided an overview of some of the most common conditions affecting Standardbred racehorses. Her topics included respiratory health, fractures, and gastric ulcers. Adrienne Herron, a traceability systems specialist, followed with a presentation about the microchipping of horses. She said that although the practice is still gaining wider acceptance in the Standardbred industry, it will be implemented as a mandatory identification measure in registered Canadian Thoroughbreds, beginning with foals of 2017. Herron said that microchipping was safe and valuable for accurate, immediate racehorse identification, as well as faster cross-border horse transport.  An afternoon panel discussion addressed the topics of medication control and research. Dr. Carolyn Cooper, director of equine drug control at the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) cautioned that “you really need to know where your compounded medications come from”, because questionable “trunk-of-a-car compounding” could result in positive tests for prohibited substances. She noted that natural health products also face “little to no regulatory oversight”. Lydia Brooks, manager of research and analysis for the CPMA, said environmental contamination was “a challenge in the testing for prohibited substances”, because of the many possible ways for horses to come into contact with trace amounts of controlled or prohibited substances. She said cobalt poses a threat to equine health, and was identified as a prohibited substance by the CPMA beginning in 2015. “The good news is that cobalt levels have decreased significantly since cobalt was first identified as an issue in Canada.” United States Trotting Association president Russell Williams described the evolution of racing regulation as a response to the sport’s development as a gambling entity. The Hanover Shoe Farms chairman said there was no clear need for the National (US) Uniform Medication Testing Program in harness racing, as it would shift federal program costs to horsepeople and fail to utilize “the human capital in the regulatory system that we now have.” In the afternoon, the Symposium featured a trio of panel discussions on ways to promote harness racing to new audiences. They followed a lunch presentation by Woodbine Entertainment’s Tom Via, who introduced plans to make Mohawk Racetrack into a “year-round mecca of North American harness racing.” “The Facts About the Fracs” examined the topic of fractional ownership. Mats Norberg, a board member with the Swedish trotting organization Svensk Travsport, described the highly-popular Rikstravet model of sharing a racehorse. The trainer selects the particular trotter for the fractional owners, said Norberg. “One payment, all-inclusive” billing, and the ability for owners to exit a fractional group if they so choose, have helped make Rikstravet a success. Justin Van Daele, marketing director for TheStable.ca, spoke on behalf of founder Anthony MacDonald’s Ontario-based fractional ownership group. He said that at a cost of roughly $24 a month, per share, The Stable removed the element of unwanted surprise from the cost of racehorse ownership. Live-streaming drone video on training days, and keeping in touch with owners via “chain e-mails, three to six times a week”, helps owners feel connected, added Van Daele. Paul Ryneveld, general manager of Alberta’s Century Downs, said the track’s racing club was established, in part, to help remedy the local racehorse shortage. “The goal was to bring horses from out of the jurisdiction to the province,” he said. Ryneveld noted that a “new class of license” initially needed to be developed in consultation with Horse Racing Alberta, ensuring that “no current horse owner would be a part of the racing club” as a means of “hidden ownership.” Century Downs Racing Club purchases and manages the racing careers of its horses. In 2017, there are 94 members, each paying $250 per year. Mike Tanner, executive vice-president and CEO of the US Trotting Association, said that while the breed registry cannot own or sell horses, it can help in other ways. He mentioned time-limited fractional stables based at Scioto Downs in Ohio, and The Meadows in Pennsylvania, although concerns that horse shares might be considered “securities” under U.S. law have made it a challenge to replicate the model of TheStable.ca. Later, the symposium theme shifted to working with government. Don Marean of the U.S. Trotting Association stressed the importance of open communication with elected officials, and Joe Faraldo, representing the Standardbred Owners Association of New York, emphasized the value of printed materials and transparency. Gilllaume Maupas, from France’s Le Trot, drew attention to the people and horses that distinguish the racing industry from other forms of gaming today. The Honourable J. Heath MacDonald, the Minister of Economic Development and Tourism for the Province of Prince Edward Island, spoke about the importance of the relationship between government and the horse racing industry, stressing that the industry has many important messages and must make sure that government has the data and information to make informed decisions. The day wrapped up after a rapid-fire “Lightning Round” of marketing ideas from international panelists. The audience voted on their top three marketing pitches from Harness Racing New Zealand’s Edward Rennell, Standardbred Canada’s Darryl Kaplan, Adriana Spatzner of Ontario Lottery and Gaming, Johan Lindberg of Svensk Travsport, and Red Shores marketing manager Lee Drake. Results will be revealed today (August 17), when the WTC Symposium resumes at the Delta Prince Edward Island.  The full schedule is available at StandardbredCanada.ca. Darryl Kaplan World Trotting Conference Media Liaison  

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: Retromedia Publishing is pleased to announce the launch of World Harness Racing at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, at 3:30 p.m., on Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Special head table guests include Hall of Famers Wally Hennessey and John Campbell, as well as Hon. Robert Mitchell who will give their thoughts on the book, which gives prominence to the harness racing histories and legends of 17 cooperating countries and the histories of several industry leaders. Publisher Larry Resnitzky says he published World Harness Racing to tie in with the 2017 World Trotting Conference and the fifth leg of the World Driving Championship – both being held in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Every International Trotting Association delegate and official observer to the conference will receive a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of the sponsors, as a keepsake for their time on the Island. Jerry McCabe, managing editor and co-author of World Harness Racing, says the mini-chapters, with over 100 photos are as fascinating as they are familiar and he’s sure there will be stories read that move the industry forward. The selection of driving legends chosen by the sport-governing bodies for each of the cooperating countries for the book will spark reaction. “Any time you have to narrow a list of all-time greats, there’s going to be discussion,” he said. “There’s going to be some that will surprise in a pleasant way, and some that will surprise by omission.” “John Campbell will be at the launch in his new capacity as the president and CEO of The Hambletonian Society, which is one of the 16 sponsors of the book,” he added. Many from around the world will be familiar with the front cover which features Wally Hennessey and Moni Maker; Varenne; and the flags of the contributing countries: Canada, United States, Ireland, United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Russia, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The 176-page paperback book will be available for sale and signing by John Campbell, Wally Hennessey and a few of the co-authors at the main-floor event. It will also be available at select bookstores and online at retromedia.ca. ......................................................................................................... AT A GLANCE Special head table guests at the book launch will include Wally Hennessey and John Campbell – two of the greatest harness drivers in history and two of the most humble, professional and accessible people in the industry, along with the Hon. Robert Mitchell, who gave his unfettered support from the outset for this commemorative harness racing book. Under the government letterhead, a letter bearing Robert Mitchell’s signature was sent out to the harness racing governing bodies of 20 countries from five continents. In it, a request was made for a short review of harness racing history, as well as their selection for three of their country’s driving legends, related biographies and accompanying photos. An amazing 17 countries responded to the minister’s request. Support from sponsors, beginning with Red Shores Racetrack and Casino/Atlantic Lottery Corporation and the Government of PEI, and also from some of the best-known breeders, racetracks and organizations in the harness racing world, made the project possible. Wally Hennessey is a third generation of Hennessey horsemen and the Prince Edward Island native is most famous for his driving career with the trotter Moni Maker, once the richest Standardbred in history. Hennessey continues to be one of the most consistent top drivers in the sport today. He has been inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, the United States Harness Racing Hall of Fame, The Florida Sports Hall of Fame and the PEI Sports Hall of Fame. John Campbell, a native of Ontario, is a third generation Campbell horsemen. He is the leading money winning driver in the world with close to $300 million won. Campbell is also the youngest person ever to be inducted into the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame. He’s also an inductee in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. Some of the great horses he’s driven include Mack Lobell and Tagliabue. Campbell recently retired from driving and is now the president and CEO of the The Hambletonian Society, one of the sponsors with a mini-chapter on its history in this book. This unique World Harness Racing book is a labour of true love provided to the reader for their enjoyment, thanks to the people from each of the 17 cooperating countries, Retromedia Publishing’s team and the sponsors. Sponsors include some of the best-known breeders, racetracks and organizations in the sport: Century Downs/Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, Government of Prince Edward Island, Red Shores Racetrack & Casino/Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Schooner Stables/Hanover Shoe Farms, Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association, Meridian Farms, The Hambletonian Society, Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment, Hippodrome 3R, Standardbred Canada, Tara Hills Stud, WinBak Farm, Preferred Equine, Woodbine Entertainment Group, Woodlands Stud and The Raceway at Western Fair District.

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Winning two straight Open trots has been a tough feat this harness racing season but Osprey Impact accomplished the goal Thursday night at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Walter Cheverie engineered the winning trip in the $1,850 Open trot with a 1:58.2 score for owner-trainer Paul Larrabee of Belle River. Newcomer Murmur Hanover (Driven by Jason Hughes) laid down the fractions of 29.1, 58.4 and 1:29.1 before making a break late in the mile to finish third while Freddie (Marc Campbell) got up for second. Cheverie worked some magic earlier in the night in the first leg of the Alpine $5,000 claiming series as he found the winner's circle with In Cahoots at 35-1 odds. The 1:58.3 victory was scored in the $1,750 first leg of the claiming series for trainer Kenneth Wilkie, who had two wins on the night, and owner Jamie Whalen of Vernon Bridge. There was a placing in the second $1,750 Alpine division as Beechwood Tiger (Myles Heffernan) won the event but was placed third for interference while Beau Seelster was awarded the win in 1:58.1 as part of a Campbell driving quadruple for trainer Keith Barrington of Nova Scotia. The $1,200 Macpherson Roche Smith Chartered Professional Accountants and Management Advisors pace was captured by Best Risque in 1:56.2 with Hughes at the lines. Live racing continues Friday evening at 7 P.M. with the official opening of Old Home Week 2017. Go to www.Redshores.ca for full race results and more. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Charlottetown, PE - The official harness racing draws took place this morning for two Sobeys Gold Cup & Saucer trials that will lead up to the 58th running of Prince Edward Island's signature race on Saturday August 19th at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. There are 16 Islanders who are connected to six starters as owners or trainers in the 2017 trials. The first trial will be Saturday August 12th with the second trial being staged on Monday August 14th. For race dates, live race broadcasts, race replays and more go to www.redshores.ca Here are the fields:   Sobeys Gold Cup Trial 1 1. Windsong Leo by Jeremes Jet 2. Do Over Hanover by Western Ideal 3. Shadow Place by Shadow Play 4. Skyway Boomer by Sportswriter 5. Stover by Rocknroll Hanover 6. Always At My Place by Always A Virgin 7: Crombie A by Life Sign   Sobeys Gold Cup Trial 2 1. Arque Hanover by Rock N Roll Heaven 2. Good Friday Three by Mach Three 3. YS Lotus by If I Can Dream 4. McKinney by Santanna Blue Chip 5. Junebugs Baby by Western Paradise 6. Sports Lightning by Sportswriter 7: Sapphire City by Metropolitan   Red Shores Racetrack and Casino Charlottetown & Summerside Locations

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Do Over Hanover was in a league of his own in the Saturday evening harness racing preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Mike McGuigan was in the bike for the fastest win of his career as Do Over Hanover controlled the front end at every call through fractions of 27.2, 55.1 and 1:24.1 en route to a 1:53.1 victory by six open lengths in the $2,400 preferred pace. Adkins Hanover (Kenny Arsenault) released Do Over Hanover to the lead past the quarter to sit second and finish second with Elm Grove Kaboom (Earl Smith) completing the healthy $218.20 triactor with race favorite Crombie A finishing seventh. It was the sixth win in a row for Do Over Hanover with Chris MacKay training the four-year-old son of Western Ideal for owners Red Isle Racing of North Granville, Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge and Allard Racing Inc., of Saint-Esprit, Que. Dixie Lullaby found redemption on her native red soil in the $2,250 Open Mares pace with a 1:57.4 victory with Walter Cheverie in the bike for co-owner and trainer Kyle Fellows of Rockwood, Ont., and co-owner Carl Stafford of Conception Bay South, N.L. Good Luck Kathy (Jason Hughes) was second with Prettyndangerous (Adam Merner) third. Ken Murphy and Adam Merner both had driving triples on the card with Gilles Barrieau and Kenny Arsenault winning two races in the bike and trainer Ron Gass scoring a pair of victories. For complete results go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The top two finishers from this year's Governor's Plate final are back in action Saturday night at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park and Crombie A is looking forward to the harness racing rematch. First race post time is 6 P.M. for the 14-dash program with 2017 Governor's Plate champion Do Over Hanover leaving from post 6 in the $2,400 race 13 preferred pace with Mike McGuigan at the lines for trainer Chris MacKay and owners Allard Racing Inc., of Saint-Esprit, Que., Red Isle Racing of North Granville and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. The four-year-old son of Western Ideal rides a five-race win streak into the event but has not made a start since winning the Governor's Plate final in 1:53.2 on July 15. Crombie A was second that night but has since raced on July 22, winning the $7,500 Exhibition Cup final at Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia in a track record performance of 1:52.4. Adam Merner gets the driving call from post 7 this week for trainer Earl Watts and owners Kapildeo Singh of Yortown Heights, N.Y., and Allard Racing. Race analyst Les MacIsaac gives the nod to Do Over Hanover from post 6. "Do Over Hanover arrived on the Island in the midst of a three race win streak and he's since extended that to five," MacIsaac said. "With tons of early speed to his inside he'll have to come from off the pace but he's shown he's got the versatility to handle any style. Top billing." Other entries in Saturday's top event include Elm Grove Kaboom (Earl Smith), Adkins Hanover (Kenny Arsenault), Forever Paradise (Walter Cheverie), Good Friday Three (Gordie Hennessey) and D Gs Camme (Gilles Barrieau). Race 10 has the $2,250 Open pacing mares with a field of eight top mares assembled with Shadows Mystery getting the nod as the morning line favourite in the absence this week of perennial Open winner Ramblinglily. Barrieau drives Shadows Mystery for trainer Jackie Matheson and owner Gordie Ford. Other top entries this week include Dixie Lullaby (Cheverie) and Prettyndangerous (Merner). Catch all the action live at the track with the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash promotion being offered again this weekend or check out www.redshores.ca for live video and more information. Nogreatmischief Looks For Third Straight Feature Victory at Summerside The front end will not be up for grabs Sunday afternoon at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway as Minor Wisdom has rail control in the preferred pace. The first of 11-dashes kicks off at 1 P.M. with the race 10 feature seeing Minor Wisdom off the pylons with Jason Hughes back in the bike for owner-trainer Kristina McCourt of Kensington. The seven-year-old daughter of American Ideal consistently employs front end tactics and will look to knock off four rivals in her Sunday contest. Nogreatmischief is the favourite in the $2,200 event with Walter Cheverie training and driving the six-year-old son of Bettors Delight that he co-owns with John Thompson of Charlottetown. Eagle Jolt leaves from post 2 and will team up with Ryan Desroche in the sulky as trainer Marc Campbell races in stakes action in Nova Scotia. Race analyst Bo Ford sees the two-race win streak and consistent 1:55-1:56 speed of Nogreatmischief as too much to pass up on. "After a couple of starts in 2017 Nogreatmischief has started to show he knows what it is all about," Ford said. "His recent form is exceptional and he'll get a great post to work with. Top call." KD Overdrive (Stephen Mason) and Pictonian Storm (Wade Sorrie) round out the featured field. Race 8 has a tight knit field of six pacers going for a $1,800 pot. Machinthesand drops out of preferred competition to draw post 3 with Norris Rogers in the bike for trainer Hughie Murphy with other top contenders including Keep Coming (Myles Heffernan) and Old Buck (Hughes). Double Decker makes his East Coast debut in race 5 with Norman Myers co-owning and driving for trainer Michelle MacDonald and co-owner Roger MacDonald of Cardigan. The five-year-old son of Mister Big has three lifetime wins to his credit with a mark of 1:56.4 taken over the five-eighths oval at Kawartha Downs in Peterborough, Ont. He gets post 1 in the $1,300 class with Myambrose (Hughes) the morning line choice form post 2. Check out www.redshores.ca for live video, race programs and promotional information including the ongoing $100,000 Dash For Cash. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Picking a name out of a hat may be as accurate as trying to predict the winner in Thursday evening's tightly knit featured harness racing event at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 12-dash program with Likely To Win the morning line choice from post 5 in the $2,000 race. Adam Merner trains and drives the 34-time-winner for owners Blenise Young and Lester Campbell of Nova Scotia and Jeffrey Campbell of Alberta. The seven-year-old son of Western Terror was victorious in his latest outing winning in 1:57.1. Narragansett has been part of the action in virtually every one of his 2017 starts but gets post 6 in the field of half-a-dozen with Jason Hughes in the bike. Race analyst Les MacIsaac doesn't see the post as a major detriment to Narragansett's chances of landing on top. "Narragansett is always a threat with that dangerous late burst, especially in a compact field with not as much traffic," MacIsaac said. "If he can get some live flow and a cover trip to bring him into it late his chances go way up." Other entries in the race include Give Em Heck (Colin Sheppard), The Big Bite (Kenny Arsenault), Instant Shadow (Gilles Barrieau) and Denver Dolly (Marc Campbell). Campbell continues to lead the dash race at the capital oval by a healthy margin with 65 wins so far this season compared to Hughes in second place with 32 wins. The former O'Brien award winning driver has a chance to add to his total in Thursday's race 3 Open trot event as he drives Freddie for the Three Wisemen Stable of Kingston fresh off a 1:58.3 victory in his latest. His arch-rival, Osprey Impact, leaves from post 6 with Walter Cheverie in the bike while he has post 7 in the $1,850 event. At least one win streak will end in race 9 on the card with Nikes Cowgirl (Campbell) riding a three-race win streak into post 2 while Julep Hanover and owner-trainer-driver Wade Myers has post 3 fresh off a pair of victories in 1:57 and change. For live video, race programs and promotions go to www.redshores.ca By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

SUMMERSIDE, PE - A pair of front enders and a dead closer have their paths collide in the Wednesday evening harness racing top class at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The special Wednesday evening card has the first of 13-dashes getting underway at 7 P.M. with the top pacers lining up in race 12. Pictonian Storm is the morning line choice in the $2,100 race with Gary Chappell in the bike for trainer Austin Sorrie and owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. The six-year-old son of Western Paradise has been solid all season with a tendency to do his best racing late in the mile and gets post 5 to work with this week. Keep Coming has post 2 in the top class after proving he likes it on front since relocating to the East Coast. Myles Heffernan drives the four-year-old son of Mystery Chase for trainer Brian Andrew, who co-owns with William Andrew of Calgary, Alta. Keep Coming has the right post to see a path to the front but Minor Wisdom will complicate matters as the Kristina McCourt trainee gets Jason Hughes in the bike and shows a string of 27 second quarters with her cutting the mile. Race analyst Bo Ford leans towards closing tactics from Pictonian Storm as the way to the winner's circle. "Pictonian Storm is on a different level than he has been in recent memory, after a lifetime best two back he followed suit with a crush victory the next time out," Ford said. "We can't dare go against him on recent form." Other entries in the Wednesday evening top event include Painted Desert (Adam Merner), Machinthesand (Ken Murphy) and H P Bushido Dragjet (Marc Campbell). Race 7 on the program is the Clifford Wedge Memorial pace for a $1,200 pot. Western Sexy is the morning line choice from post 4 with Adam Merner driving for trainer Phil Sizer and owner Jason Sherry of Kensington. The race 13 finale will see Southfield Spirit try to protect her two-race win streak with Merner in the bike for trainer Frank Banks while Ultimatelyhandsome if the favourite fresh off a 1:57 victory in Charlottetown with Hughes in the bike for the Ultimate Stable of Greater Lakeburn, N.B. Check out www.redshores.ca for race programs, live video and promotional information By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

Charlottetown, PE - Red Shores and the PEI Harness Racing Industry Association has announced a change to the Old Home Week race schedule. There will be no live harness racing program on Thursday afternoon August 17, 2017. The Atlantic Sires Stakes for two year-old pacing fillies will move to the Thursday evening program. Post time is 7pm. For a complete list of race dates and post times for Old Home Week leading up the World Driving Championship and the Sobeys Gold Cup & Saucer go to www.redshores.ca Red Shores Racetrack and Casino

SUMMERSIDE, PE - It was mega stakes Sunday at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway and a number of harness racing win streaks were reduced to rubble on the afternoon card. The 15-dash card had a stakes event in every race and the win streaks starting falling in the first event of the day. The Callbeck Memorial Stakes for two-year-old trotters was part of the card and race 1 had Ticked (Myles Heffernan) make a break and missed the winner's circle for the first time in his young career. That $4.700 division was captured by Windemeredonyuworry for so-owner, trainer and driver Terry Gallant with Eric Johnston of Summerside sharing ownership of the two-year-old son of Armbro Barrister. A Pure Heart was a winner in 2:05.3 in his $4,700 split for trainer-driver Danny MacDonald and owners Boyd Macdonald Produce Lltd of Crapaud, Dan Ross of Belfast and Brian Andrew of Milton Station. Oceanview Eunomia scored a maiden breaking victory in 2:07 for driver Walter Cheverie, and owner-trainer William Roloson of Belfast. Buckaroo (Campbell) tasted defeat for the first time in his career finishing second in that race. Sock It Away maintained his undefeated season winning his $5,400 division of the Callbeck Memorial stake for two-year-old pacing colts in 1:58.2 with Gilles Barrieau in the bike for trainer Kevin MacLean and owner Reg MacPherson of Stratford. The son of Pang Shui defeated second place Oceanview Magnum (Marc Campbell) for that colt's first career loss. Half Cut won the fastest division in 1:57.4 with Mark Bradley in the bike behind the two-year-old son of Stonebridge Terror for trainer Tom Weatherbie and owners Kyle Gardiner and Michael Currie of Cardigan, Joseph Gardiner of Mount Stewart and Jerry Mackinnon of St. Peter's Bay. The other $5,400 divisions were won by Big Talking Man (Ken Murphy) in 1:58.3, Tobins Optimism (Barrieau) in 2:00 and Dustylansam (Gordie Hennessey) in a 2:01 victory. The Callbeck Stake for two-year-old pacing fillies had four divisions with R Es Shabla delivering as the heavy favourite in her division in 1:59.2 for trainer-driver Mike McGuigan and owner Lloyd Parsons of Carmanville, N.L. Scarlet Desire was a 1:59.2 winner in her split for trainer-driver Campbell while the other divisions were claimed by Windemereimalright (Clare MacDonald) in 2:01.1 and Private Di (Kenny Arsenault) in 2:00.3. In the $4,600 splits of the Maple Leaf Trot for three-year-olds, Miss Meala Ridge won her division for trainer-driver Clare MacDonald and owner Gerard Moulins of Summerside, while snapping Windemerepartyman's (Jack Panting) win streak at two. Pappy Go Go continued his undefeated season in his Maple Leaf trot division winning in 2:02.2 for trainer-driver Campbell and owner Grayland Farm of Pugwash, N.S. Majian Tango claimed the other division in 2:01.4 for trainer-driver Jim Ripley and owner Marylea Ripley of Amherst. Live racing at Red Shores Summerside continues Wednesday evening at 7 P.M. with a 13-race card on the books. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Adkins Hanover did the early roadwork but Elm Grove Kaboom was there to pick up the pieces in the Saturday evening harness racing Preferred Pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Adkins Hanover and driver Adam Merner controlled the front end in the $2,400 event through fractions of 28.1, 56.3 and 1:25.3 before a hard closing Elm Grove Kabooma and trainer-driver Earl Smith got up to score a quarter-length win in 1:55.2. Adkins Hanover was second with Forever Paradise (Mike McGuigan) finishing third. Larry and Kathy Chappell of Marshfield own Elm Grove Kaboom as the pacer scored his 10th lifetime win and took a new career best win time. The photo finish was put to good use in the $2,250 Mares Open Pace as Ramblinglily scored a tight win in 1:56.4 over Shadows Mystery (Kenny Arsenault) and Woodmere Articblue (Marc Campbell). Walter Cheverie drove Ramblinglily for trainer and co-owner Allan Jones of Riverview, N.B., and co-owner Norman Leger of Shediac, N.B., for the mare's 54th lifetime win. Merner served up a grand slam on the card winning four dashes. Likely To Win was a 1:57.1 winner in a $1,900 class for trainer Melissa Rennie and Nova Scotia owners Blenise Young of Long Point and Lester Campbell of Judique as well as Jeffrey Campbell of Calgary Alberta. Merner's other wins came aboard All Turain in 1:58.2 for trainer Trevor Hicken of Montague, Zero Rate in 1:58.4 for trainer Michael Gallant of Charlottetown and Artist List in 1:58 for trainer Ron Gass of Cornwall. Kenny Arsenault had a driving double on the program winning with Three Truths in 1:58.1 for Paul Doyle of Charlottetown and with Miramichi David in a maiden breaking 2:00.1 for trainer Mike Campbell. Marc Campbell also scored two winners as he continues to lead the driving standings at the capital oval. Campbell's wins came with a 1:58.1 victory on Jdcyril for trainer Kevin MacLean of Kinross and with Twin B Shadow in 1:58.4 for owners Douglas Matheson of Mount Albion and Stewart MacDonald of Charlottetown. The Gormanizor was a 2:00.2 winner for trainer-driver Jason Hughes with "The Blue Knight" scoring another driving win with Ultimatelyhandsome in 1:57 for trainer Sifroi Melanson to cap off the program. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Forever Paradise landed on the scene late but that is all it took to land in the harness racing winner's circle in Saturday evening's $2,400 preferred pace at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Mike McGuigan was reunited with the seven-year-old son of Western Paradise for the 1:57.3 victory for trainer Kevin MacLean and owners Reg MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe. Adkins Hanover and driver Ambyr Campbell set the tempo with fractions of 28.2, 58.1 and 1:28.1 before Forever Paradise emerged from mid-pack with the fastest closing quarter of the race to secure the victory as part of a McGuigan driving double. Adkins Hanover was second with Jeb (Kenny Arsenault) finishing third. Forever Paradise rewarded his backers with a $19.60 win ticket while the 4-3-7 triactor paid a healthy $629.40. Julep Hanover has knocked on the door all season without a win but she decided to change her narrative in style Saturday night in the $2,250 Open Mares Pace. The eight-year-old daughter of Western Ideal was a 1:57.3 winner in the Open event as the longest shot on the board at 10-1. Wade Myers of Charlottetown trains, drives and owns the pacing mare as she converted a pocket ride behind Best Risque (Ken Murphy) into a narrow victory. Best Risque was second with Brodys Leona (McGuigan) completing the $558.90 triactor. Kenny Arsenault hit a career milestone on the program winning his 3,000th career race with Private Di in 2:01.3. Arsenault, of Charlottetown, trains the two-year-old daughter of Mach Three for Wade Peconi of Stanchel. Arsenault scored later in the program with Pownal Bay Saul in 1:59.4 for trainer Tom Weatherbie and owner Ian Smith of Charlottetown. Oh To Be Me rang in another birthday for trainer-driver-owner Gary Chappell of Charlottetown on the program. The now 57-year-old driver scored a 10-length victory in race 10 for a $1,400 purse in 1:57.1. Live racing continues at Red Shores Charlottetown Thursday evening with a 6:30 P.M. post time and Saturday at 6 P.M. Ryan Desroche Day Sunday In Summerside Sunday afternoonwas a good day to have Ryan Desroche in the sulky as he tripled up at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The 19-year-old reinsman had four drives on the 12-dash afternoon program with him scoring three wins. Desroche had been winless so far this season as a driver but showed with the right horsepower he can deliver. The party started for the driver in race 5 as Onehotvett scored a first over victory in 2:01 for trainer Austin Sorrie and owner Tammy Collings of Hazel Brook. Painted Desert was the second part of the Desroche driving triple and the first half a training double for Kristina McCourt of Kensington, who trains Painted Desert for Perry Burke of Grosse-Ile, Que. The time of the mile was 1:57.4 in the $1,600 dash. Desroche and McCourt reunited in the afternoon finale as Capitalism was on top at every call to win the $1,400 race in 1:59.1. The only Desroche mount not to hit the circle was Ultimate Faith, who still mustered a second place finish for trainer Philip Desroche, the driver's father. Pictonian Storm captured the afternoon featured event for driver Gary Chappell and trainer Austin Sorrie, for his second training win on the day. The 1:56.4 victory saw Machinthesand (Ken Murphy) finish second with Minor Wisdom (Wade Sorrie) finishing third. Chappell had two wins on the program as he also won with Mia Lotta in 2:02.3. Live racing continues at Red Shores Summerside next Sunday afternoonfeaturing the Callbeck Memorial stake for two-year-old pacers and trotters and the Maple Leaf trot for three-year-old trotters. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - Nogreatmischief was in the triactor in the Governor's Plate consolation and now gets status as the morning line favourite Thursday night as harness racing resumes at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 P.M. for the 10-dash program with Walter Cheverie driving and training Nogreatmischief from post 3 in the race 9 $2,100 featured pace. Cheverie co-owns the six-year-old son of Bettor's Delight with John Thompson of Charlottetown. Nogreatmischief was third in Saturday night's $5,000 Governor's Plate consolation at Red Shores Summerside while pacing in 1:55.4. His competition comes in the form of post 2 starter Starcastic with Brian MacPhee at the lines for trainer Jackie Matheson fresh off a nosed out finish in 1:55.1 the same night in Summerside. A pair of top pacers will ride two-race win streaks into the event including The Big Bite off the rail with Thane Arsenault in the bike and Elm Grove Kaboom with post 6 for trainer-driver Earl Smith. Race analyst Les MacIsaac likes the chances of Cheverie landing in the winner's circle with Nogreatmischief in Thursday's featured event. "After three starts Nogreatmischief should be just about where he wants to be from a conditioning standpoint," MacIsaac said. "He also gets a heaping helping of class relief after tackling the bearcats for two starts at Summerside. He looks like the one they'll have to knock off." Other entries include Mach Of Ballykeel (Gary Chappell), Narragansett (Jason Hughes) and Darth Bader (Ed Harvey). The top trot of the night hits the track in race 3 as Holy Molie Maggie draws clear of Open company and gets post 4 for driver Cheverie, co-owner and trainer Jeff Holmes of Orwell and co-owner Trevor MacDonald of Vernon Bridge. The $1,700 class has Chappell controlling the rail for the Glenn Claybourne trained Wedgewood while I Aint No Lady gets post 2 with Jason Hughes at the lines for Garth and Sandra Cole of Kensington. The back-up pace is scheduled for race 10 with IDK the morning line choice with Ken Murphy in the bike for trainer Deanna Clow with Tempo Seelster (Hughes) and Simon Said (Cheverie) listed as top entries. Check out Redshores.ca for live video, race programs and promotional information. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores

SUMMERSIDE – An innocent comment paved the way for a group of “hobby harness racing horsemen” from the Kensington area to realize a dream. That is winning Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race – the $22,000 Governor’s Plate, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge – at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Saturday night. “It was kind of a fairy tale story,” said Matt MacKay, who assembled the 11-member Red Isle Racing group. “All the dots connected, and it went from a simple joke into winning the Governor’s Plate. It’s a pretty remarkable feeling.” MacKay has owned horses for 12 years, and recalled a business conversation he had with Rene Allard, who is known as one of the top trainers in harness racing. “Rene wanted a spot for the summer for Governor’s Plate and Old Home Week, and he also wants to retire here,” said MacKay. “I ended up being his realtor, and Rene ended up buying a house a couple of doors down from me (in North Granville). “The inside joke is I would look after his house if he found me a horse for the Gold Cup and Governor’s Plate. It was a running joke for three or four months, and one day he called me and said, ‘I found you a horse.’” This is where the four-year-old bay gelding Do Over Hanover enters the story. It was kind of a fairy tale story. All the dots connected, and it went from a simple joke into winning the Governor’s Plate. It’s a pretty remarkable feeling. Matt MacKay Click here for story on the 49th running of the Governor's Plate: Ownership group MacKay reached out to his “hobby horsemen” friends, and within 24 hours Red Isle Racing was formed and partnered with Allard and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Red Isle Racing is comprised of both veterans and newcomers to the industry. “Some of them have been hobby horsemen for 20, 30 years, and never had this chance (racing in a race like the Governor’s Plate),” added MacKay. “There are a few who are new to the business. Obviously, to win the Governor’s Plate with the first horse they had, they are hooked for life. “Out of the 11 we probably had about 100 fans who just came to see this horse.” Red Isle Racing owns 50 per cent of Do Over Hanover while Allard and MacRae each own 25 per cent. MacKay acknowledged this would not have been possible without Allard. “He loves P.E.I.,” said MacKay. “He races for $20,000 US a night in New York, and he is here with us (for the Governor’s Plate).” Click here for related story on Jordan MacKay: Marc Campbell, who drove Do Over Hanover to a 1:53.2 win in the Governor’s Plate, feels it’s great for the industry to have so many Islanders involved. “Until (Saturday) I didn’t know who all owned him,” said Campbell in a post-race interview. “One of the owners, Blaine Thibeau, his kid plays against my kid at the rink all the time. It’s pretty cool.” The ownership group is hopeful Do Over Hanover will get an invite to the Gold Cup and Saucer Trials in Charlottetown next month. “I hope we can get to the Gold Cup, it’s been a big dream,” said MacKay. “Governor’s Plate was a dream, and we accomplished it.” Group Members of Red Isle Racing: Matt MacKay Garth Cole Blaine Thibeau Gordon MacLeod Eddie Doucette Cory Sudsbury Jason Rice Mike James Ron Barrett Don MacNeill Ken Ramsay By Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer Reprinted with permssion of The Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE, PE - Saturday night is show time at Red Shores at the Summerside Raceway. The 49th edition of the Governor's Plate, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, lines up in race 16 on the program for a $22,000 purse. The special first race post time for the 16-dash program is 6 P.M. Hot Deuce is installed as the morning line favourite after a convincing win in his Governor's Plate elimination on Sunday afternoon and again gets the services of Walter Cheverie as the Borden-Carleton native looks for his second career win in the Prince County classic. The free-legged pacer is shouldered with the tough post 7 Saturday but considering he shows a parked out first quarter in 26.4 at the half-mile oval at Flamboro Downs in Ontario, where he starts may not mean much when the wings fold. Patrick Shepherd trains Hot Deuce for owner Mike McAllister of Beaumont, Alta. Elimination two winner Do Over Hanover has a more favourable starting point with post 2 at 3-1 morning line odds and Summerside's leading driver in the seat while riding a four race win streak. Marc Campbell drives the horse for trainer Chris MacKay and owners Allard Racing Inc., of Saint-Esprit, Que., Red Isle Racing of North Granville and Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge. Rail control in the prestigious event belongs to Forever Paradise at 10-1odds with Adam Merner driving for trainer Kevin MacLean and owners Reg MacPherson and David MacKenzie of Stratford and Aaron MacKenzie of Winsloe after finishing third in his elimination. Allstar Seelster is the longest shot on the board at 12-1 but gets post 3 with Norris Rogers in the bike for owner and trainer Ed Harvey of Tyne Valley. Junebugs Baby leaves from post 4 at 6-1 odds after showing in recent weeks that he can knock off the East Coast's finest pacers with wins in the Cecil Ladner Memorial Invitational at Red Shores Charlottetown and the Walter Dale Memorial in Saint John. Myles Heffernan trains and drives the son of Western Paradise for owner Jackie Heffernan of Summerville. Post 5 starter Invictus Hanover has for Summerside Raceway leading driver Jason Hughes in the bike at 8-1. Hughes also trains the pacer as he dreams of winning a race that has so far eluded his career. Invictus Hanover is owned by Foxyhall Racing of Wallace, N.S. Good Friday Three has post 6 as the 7-2 third choice in the race with Kenny Arsenault driving for 17-year-old trainer Austin Sorrie, the youngest conditioner in the race, and owner Walter Simmons of Summerside. The relative newcomer to P.E.I. was second in his Governor's Plate elimination pacing in 1:53.4. Arsenault previously won the 2011 edition of the Governor's Plate joining Campbell and Cheverie as the only past winner's driving in this year's final. Former Charlottetown track record holder Crombie A completes the field with post 8 at 4-1 odds with the winningest driver in the history of the Summerside Raceway, Gary Chappell, in the bike looking for his first Governor's Plate victory. Earl Watts trains the 11-year-old son of Life Sign for owners Allard Racing and Kapildeo Singh of Yorktown Heights, N.Y. The current Red Shores Summerside track record is 1:51.4 set by Ys Lotus in the 2016 Governor's Plate final. Undercard The night promises to pack a punch before the 49th running of the Governor's Plate caps off Governor's Plate week racing in Summerside. The program features the Atlantic Sires Stakes for three-year-old pacing colts with $12,940 A-divisions in races 11 and 14. A trio of Atlantic Sires Stakes B-divisions for three-year-old pacing colts line up in races 4, 6 and 8. The $2,200 Premier's Pace preferred class lines up in race 12 with Jeb (Hughes) the race favourite over Starcastic (Gilles Barrieau) and Machinthesand (Ken Murphy). Mr Irresistible is the morning line choice with rail control in the race 13 $5,000 Governor's Plate consolation with Hughes in the bike. Other top entries include His Boy Elroy (Bernard McCallum) and Nogreatmischief (Cheverie). The race 15 Governor's Plate Open Mares final carries a $3,500 purse with Ramblinglily riding a five-race win streak for driver Walter Cheverie and trainer Allan Jones of Riverview, N.B. The hard hitting field of eight also includes Good Luck Kathy (Hughes) and Prettyndangerous (Merner). Catch all the action live at the track with the $100,000 Dash For Cash promotion being offered on the card to live patrons. Check out Redshores.ca for live video, race programs and promotional information. By Nicholas Oakes For Red Shores  

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