Bet The House and trainer Blaine McKenna opened the 2012 harness racing season at Red Shores Summerside winning the evening's feature and recording the fastest mile of the night in 1:57.1 on Sunday (May 20).
McKenna, who co-owns Bet The House with Gary Arsenault of Miscouche, listed the services of driver Jason Hughes. Hughes sent the six-year-old Bettor's Delight gelding to the front from post 6 laying down fractions of 27,4, 58 and 1:27.3. Rich Raider finished second for Mark Bradley while Life Savior completed the triactor for driver Marc Campbell.
The opening card was full of speed, drivers with multiple wins and trackside presentations which included the Wendell Shaw Appreciation Pace in race 9.
Shaw, family, friends and members of the Prince County Horsemen's Club, was in the winner's circle to present a cooler to Jason Sherry, Darla MacEachern, trainer Duane MacEachern and driver Marc Campbell after Bakardi Arti won the event in 1:59.2. The PCHC held an appreciation dinner earlier in the day for Shaw.
Ultimate Success won his third in a row for owner Willis Silliker of Summerside. The Stacey Lund trainee, under the command of driver Gary Chappell, stopped the timer in 2:00 flat to keep his winning streak alive.
Campbell, Brian MacPhee and Terry Gallant had driving doubles to launch the new season at the historic oval.
Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park - Saturday feature
Arabica, with Jason Hughes in the bike, was able to catch fraction setter Outlawpositivcharg in deep stretch to win the Saturday feature pace at Red Shores Racetrack & Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The time of the mile was 1:56.4. Unstoppable Speed and Corey MacPherson held on for third.
Hughes had a big night scoring three victories on the program while Mike Stevenson made two trips to the winner's circle.
Julaire (Angus Hall) was impressive in the Open Trot. The newcomer flashed a gate to wire trip in 2:00.4 for driver Marc Campbell. Caliban Hanover, who returned home after racing in Ottawa, was second for Ron Gass. BJ Eldorado grabbed the show spot.
Racing returns to Charlottetown Thursday at 7pm and Saturday at 6pm. Red Shores Summerside will present a Sunday card at 1pm.