The show went on

Gold Cup and Saucer fi­nal on a Sun­day af­ter­noon one to re­mem­ber

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - Ni­cholas Oakes’ col­umn ap­pears in The Guardian each Fri­day. He can be reached at nichola­soakes@hot­

In re­cent weeks, we re­capped some of the top mo­ments in Is­land rac­ing dur­ing 2015 and now it is time to look at the very best Is­land har­ness rac­ing had to of­fer. This is the third part of a three-part se­ries. 10. All soul In a dev­as­tat­ing per­for­mance, Heart And Soul made him­self the fastest Mar­itime-bred twoyear-old of all time, win­ning his P.E.I. Colt Stakes divi­sion in 1:55.3 over the Red Shores at the Char­lot­te­town Driv­ing Park (CDP). Clare MacDon­ald trains and drives the colt for own­ers Earith and Ge­orge Ri­ley. 9. The ac­ci­dent In a race many will never for­get, Wil­low War­rior went down in the Gov­er­nor’s Plate open mares fi­nal on July 18 at Red Shores at the Sum­mer­side Race­way with most of the field barely miss­ing her ex­cept for Veron­i­caver­mil­lion. Gen­eral Luck­ypercy won the race, while un­seated driver Mark Bradley and Mike McGuigan suf­fered mi­nor in­juries. 8. The two-hit won­der Thun­der­away rewrote the record books for aged trot­ters at both Is­land tracks dur­ing 2015. Ja­son Hughes trained and drove the trot­ter, which was a win­ner in 1:57.3 on Aug. 1 in Char­lot­te­town and 1:58.1 over Sum­mer­side on Aug. 9. 7. The stand­ings In a year-long, hard-fought bat­tle, Hughes and Marc Camp­bell went toe-to-toe for top driver at the CDP. The lead switched a num­ber of times but Hughes tied the score 113-113 in the fi­nal race of the cal­en­dar year on Dec. 31. 6. Hard­ball in plate fi­nal De­ter­mined is the best word to de­scribe Si Se­malu in the $22,000 Gov­er­nor’s Plate fi­nal in July in Sum­mer­side, as he used rail con­trol to park heavy favourite D Gs Camme for the best part of a 26.3 first quar­ter. D Gs Camme took a brief seat but found a way out through a gru­elling 55.4 half be­fore win­ning the race. The race was full of con­tro­versy as The Rev fin­ished se­cond and was placed sixth for some iffy in­ter­fer­ence on R Caan.

5. Aus­tralian fastest ever on Is­land

Crom­bie A stamped him­self as the fastest pacer to ever tour an East Coast oval af­ter a 1:50.3 vic­tory in his Gold Cup and Saucer elim­i­na­tion in Char­lot­te­town for driver Brad For­ward and trainer Rene Al­lard.

The nine-year-old son of Life Sign was touted as the horse to beat that week af­ter win­ning in 1:50.1 over Yonkers Race­way be­fore com­ing to Canada.

He went off as favourite in the Gold Cup and Saucer fi­nal but failed to hit the board. 4. Souris’ horse He is the lone horse to make the list that didn’t grace red soil, but Is­land-owned State Trea­surer was phe­nom­e­nal on the North Amer­i­can scene, even good enough to win the Dan Patch award for aged pacer in the U.S. and be nom­i­nated for an O’Brien award for aged pacer in Canada. Trained by Dr. Ian Moore, the horse owned by Sally and Paul MacDon­ald put $986,960 in his bank ac­count through­out the 2015 sea­son. 3. The ri­valry Proven De­sire and Dix­ieland Band went toe-to-toe nearly ev­ery week in the three-year-old pac­ing colt divi­sion with some epic stretch drives. Dix­ieland Band was the At­lantic Breeder’s Crown cham­pion, while Proven De­sire was vic­to­ri­ous in the Mar­itime Breeder’s and Is­land Breed­ers fi­nals. The duo raced against each other nine times with Dix­ieland Band claim­ing five wins and Proven De­sire vis­it­ing the win­ner’s en­clo­sure the other four starts.

2. Rained out Gold Cup and Saucer

In 2008, we ex­pe­ri­enced the Gold Cup and Saucer card on a Sun­day af­ter­noon, but we never imag­ined the day just the his­toric race would be rained out. Then af­ter 11 p.m. on Aug. 22, 2015, imag­i­na­tion be­came re­al­ity. The first 12 races were run but by the time the Gold Cup and Saucer horses were parad­ing, the pre­cip­i­ta­tion had be­come too much to han­dle as the CDP oval be­gan to wash away. The next day led way to one of the most un­usual race cards in the his­tory of East Coast rac­ing.

1. Take It Back Terry in Gold Cup and Saucer 56

The car­ni­val was gone and the Old Home Week races were over, ex­cept for one. The $60,000 Sobey’s Gold Cup and Saucer fi­nal was rained out the night be­fore but Sun­day, Aug. 23, at 3 p.m. the show went on. Take It Back Terry cap­tured the lone race of the day in 1:50.4 in front of 10,000 race fans for driver Camp­bell, trainer Ron Burke and own­ers Burke Rac­ing, Weaver Br­uscemi, Lawrence Karr and Phillip Col­lura. Atta Boy Dan (An­thony MacDon­ald) was se­cond with Lu­can Hanover (Jonathan Drury) third.

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