Nick’s Picks

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

The week we have all been wait­ing for is fi­nally here.

Old Home Week 2017 of­fi­cially kicks off Friday evening dur­ing the 7 p.m. card of rac­ing with 13 cards be­ing held over 10 days, cul­mi­nat­ing with the 58th run­ning of the Sobey’s Gold Cup and Saucer Satur­day, Aug. 19 at the Char­lot­te­town Driv­ing Park.

The week of rac­ing has evening cards ev­ery day at 7 p.m., ex­clud­ing Sun­day, along with 1 p.m. af­ter­noon cards to ac­com­pany the night pro­grams on both Satur­days and on Mon­day, Thurs­day and Friday.

The field of 14 world-class pac­ers for the Sobey’s Gold Cup and Saucer tri­als was an­nounced at the Tues­day morn­ing press con­fer­ence and it in­cludes all kinds of Is­land flavour.

The trio of Sports Light­ning, Stover and Sky­way Boomer are owned by Is­land na­tives Jody San­der­son and Dean Larkin, along with Cape Bre­ton na­tive Jamie So­p­ley, who trains the pac­ers. San­der­son is a na­tive of York Point but now re­sides in Doha, Qatar, where he works as a banker, while Larkin is orig­i­nally from New Glas­gow but works as a po­lice of­fi­cer in Kanata, Ont.

Do Over Hanover is owned by the Is­land brigade of Steven MacRae of Vernon Bridge and Red Isle Rac­ing of North Granville, along with trainer Rene Al­lard of Penn­syl­va­nia. Al­lard also has de­fend­ing cham­pion and CDP track record holder Ys Lo­tus in the sec­ond trial with driver Louis Phillippe-Roy re­turn­ing to drive the pacer. Friday at 7 p.m. at the CDP: Race 1 – Hay­bar­tender Race 2 – Flash In The Pang Race 3 – Twom­ac­sone­shadow Race 4 – Fly With Max Race 5 – Jet­ster

Char­lot­te­town na­tive Jason Ryan picks up the drive on Wind­song Leo in Trial 1 for trainer Danny O’Brian, for­merly of New Brunswick and McKin­ney in Trial 2 for trainer Kyle Fel­lows. The pride of Sum­merville, P.E.I., Juneb­ugs Baby is in Trial 2 for Myles Hef­fer­nan while Good Friday Three is also in that race for trainer Austin Sor­rie and owner Wal­ter Sim­mons of Summerside.

Dy­lan Davis is a name un­fa­mil­iar to many Is­land race fans as he sends Arque Hanover to the gate in Trial 2 but the Delaware based con­di­tioner has bought a num­ber of Is­land horses to take to Dover Downs to race over the years in­clud­ing At­lantic Breeder’s Crown cham­pion R Es Mary.

As has been the norm in re­cent events, CDP lead­ing driver Marc Camp­bell picks up the drive on the Ron Burke en­try of Al­ways At My Place and Sap­phire City.

The tra­di­tional open pac­ing mares se­ries failed to fill this year but of­fi­cials at Red Shores made some tweaks and have the 16 best pac­ing mares on the East Coast com­pet­ing in Races 8 and 11 for $2,500 purses. The top four from each race will get an in­vite to a Mares In­vi­ta­tional

World Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship

The World Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship kicks off Satur­day evening at Cen­tury Downs in Cal­gary, Alta., as Kingston na­tive James Mac­Don­ald rep­re­sents Canada. A book com­mem­o­rat­ing the event be­ing held in Canada, named World Har­ness Rac­ing, will be launched Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon at 3:30 p.m. at the CDP with special guests in Hall of Famers Wally Hen­nessey and John Camp­bell. The book con­tains sto­ries across the globe with 17 coun­tries con­tribut­ing to help the pub­li­ca­tion get put to­gether in P.E.I. Ev­ery del­e­gate and of­fi­cial ob­server at the launch will get a com­pli­men­tary copy.

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