In Spades sharp in On­tario

Son of Bet­tor’s De­light could make trip to Sum­mer­side for Gov­er­nor’s Plate

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

Har­ness rac­ing on the ‘Gar­den of the Gulf’ will of­fi­cially be in full swing on Mon­day af­ter­noon as Red Shores at the Sum­mer­side Race­way opens up for the sea­son with Vic­to­ria Day rac­ing.

The 12-dash pro­gram is set to kick off at 1 p.m. The Prince County rac­ing sea­son will cel­e­brate a mile­stone this year with its sig­na­ture event, the Gov­er­nor’s Plate, hold­ing its 50th edi­tion on July 14.

The At­lantic Cana­dian sig­na­ture event al­ready has a horse with a tar­get placed square on his back if any­one wants to land in the win­ner’s cir­cle on that Satur­day evening in July.

In Spades has been sharp in On­tario rac­ing so far in 2018 for new owner Wal­ter Sim­mons of Sum­mer­side, who would like noth­ing more than to win his home­town race. In Spades was a spec­tac­u­lar win­ner in 1:52.4 on Sun­day over the tight halfmile oval at The Race­way at Western Fair Dis­trict in Lon­don, Ont.

The four-year-old son of Bet­tor’s De­light was on top at ev­ery call for driver J. Har­ris with frac­tions of 26.4, 56.1 and 1:24 en route to his fast vic­tory in the $11,500 pre­ferred pace. The trip would have been the fastest mile of the sea­son on a halfmile track in Canada had it not been for the Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup elim­i­na­tions held last week­end at Flam­boro Downs.

Canada Wide

The On­tario Re­gional Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship was held Wed­nes­day night at The Race­way at Western Fair Dis­trict.

Trevor Henry won the event and will ad­vance to the Na­tional Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship along­side sec­ond-place fin­isher Louis-Philippe Roy. Strat­ford na­tive Robert Shep­herd fin­ished fifth in the event. Henry and Roy will be two of the eight driv­ers at the Na­tional Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship in Septem­ber at Grand River Race­way in On­tario, with the win­ner of that event head­ing to the World Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship set for 2019 in Swe­den. Kingston na­tive James Mac­Don­ald will be at the World Driv­ing Cham­pi­onship look­ing to de­fend his ti­tle, giv­ing Canada the op­por­tu­nity to send two par­tic­i­pants. Who’s Hot

Car­toon Daddy has been noth­ing short of im­pec­ca­ble so far in the 2018 sum­mer meet, giv­ing his trainer Rachel Andrew a per­fect three-for-three sum­mary. Andrew trains the six-year-old son of Art Ma­jor for own­ers Brian Andrew of Mil­ton and Wil­liam Andrew of Cal­gary.

While also stand­ing for stal­lion duty at Merid­ian Farms, Car­toon Daddy took a sea­sonal record of 1:56.2 last week for driver Corey MacPher­son and will get his big­gest test to date Satur­day evening in the pre­ferred pace carded as Race 9 on the Red Shores at the Char­lot­te­town Driv­ing Park pro­gram.

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