Governor’s Plate field set
Hot Deuce, Do Over Hanover win elimination races Sunday
The field for Prince County’s most prestigious standardbred race is set.
Hot Deuce and Do Over Hanover won the two $5,000 elimination races before Sunday at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway. The top-four finishers from each elimination advanced to the $22,000 Governor’s Plate final, presented by Summerside Chrysler Dodge, on Saturday night.
The Patrick Shepherd-trained Hot Deuce, a five-year-old bay gelding by Armbo Deuce-Hot Dam Here Iam-A Stud Named Sue, stopped the clock in Race 11 in 1:52.1, which equals his lifetime best and was the fastest trip of the day.
“He’s a real nice horse,” said Summerside native Walter Cheverie, who drove for owner Mike McAllister of Beaumont, Alta. “The nicest horse I have ever driven probably.”
Crombie A finished second, Forever Paradise was third with Allstar Seelster fourth.
“It was a nice field of horses, and I drew the middle of the gate (Post 4) with a real nice horse,” said Cheverie. “He got off the gate real good, got to the front and he races real well on the front.”
Hot Deuce led all the way and cut out fractions of 27, 54.4 and 1:23.1. Cheverie said he hoped to jump out front early.
“That or sit in the top three,” said Cheverie. “You want to be handy the front in a race like that.”
It was the first time Cheverie had driven Hot Deuce.
“I let him pace, and just hung onto him,” said Cheverie. “That’s what Patrick told me and gave me real good advice. He said he’s your kind of horse, hang onto him and he’ll haul you as far as you want to go.”
The second elimination had a more exciting finish as Marc Campbell drove Do Over Hanover to a 1:53.1 win for Allard Racing Inc. of Quebec, Red Isle Racing and Steven MacRae of P.E.I. Red Isle Racing is comprised of a group of 11 individuals from the Kensington area.
“It kind of worked out the way I figured it would,” said Campbell, who got away fourth. “I thought there would be a lot of early speed, and if I was sitting four or five I was happy.
“We got some good cover, and he cleared going to the three-quarter pole. From there he dug in, and he’s a grinder.”
As the field turned for home, the top-four finishers were all grouped together before Do Over Hanover pulled away in the stretch run.
“I almost cleared going up the backstretch, I didn’t quite have enough room,” explained Campbell, who drove Ys Lotus to the current track pacing record of 1:51.4 in the 2016 Governor’s Plate final. “If I had have cleared there he probably would have went a little faster.
“I didn’t want to get in trouble and hit somebody. We played it safe and went from there.”
Chris MacKay trains Do Over Hanover, a four-yearold bay gelding by Western Ideal-Driven to Sin-Jennas Beach Boy.
Walter Cheverie drives Hot Deuce to a 1:52.1 win in the first of two $5,000 Governor’s Plate eliminations at Red Shores at Summerside Raceway on Sunday afternoon.