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Field announced for The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer

Gold Cup and Saucer ambassador Haley Thomson, the daughter of Arron and Michelle Thomson of Charlottetown, places the card of Rockin In Heaven on the board to set the order of Trial 1 Tuesday in Charlottetown. Rockin In Heaven is owned by Douglas E. Polley of Amherst, N.S., and Gordon E. McComb of Fall River, N.S.
Gold Cup and Saucer ambassador Haley Thomson, the daughter of Arron and Michelle Thomson of Charlottetown, places the card of Rockin In Heaven on the board to set the order of Trial 1 Tuesday in Charlottetown. Rockin In Heaven is owned by Douglas E. Polley of Amherst, N.S., and Gordon E. McComb of Fall River, N.S. - Dave Stewart

Horse trainers and owners say just being in the field is special

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Nova Scotia trainer Teesha Symes drove all the way down from Ontario to be in one of The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer trials.

Symes, from Springhill, N.S., said she’s only missed one Gold Cup and Saucer Race in her lifetime.

“I’m pretty excited. (This is) absolutely a dream come true,’’ Symes told The Guardian shortly after her horse, Rockin In Heaven, drew Post 4 in Trial 1 on Saturday. “I was in my mum’s belly here. It’s a dream come true just to be here. I’m so excited. We can only hope (to be in the final), fingers crossed.’’

Mike MacDonald displays The Evening Patriot Gold Cup and Saucer Trophy after winning Atlantic Canada’s most prestigious harness race at the Charlottetown Driving Park. It was one of his record-setting five Gold Cup wins.
Mike MacDonald displays The Evening Patriot Gold Cup and Saucer Trophy after winning Atlantic Canada’s most prestigious harness race at the Charlottetown Driving Park. It was one of his record-setting five Gold Cup wins.

A total of 14 horses will fill out the field in the two trials on Saturday and Monday at Red Shores at the Charlottetown Driving Park. The winning driver in The Guardian Gold Cup and Saucer Race will be presented with the first Michael MacDonald Memorial Trophy. A five-time winner of the Gold Cup, MacDonald, who died in June at the age of 70, was an annual competitor and major ambassador in the event.

The big race goes Saturday, Aug. 18.

Trainer Bo Ford, whose horse Rose Run Quest grabbed the six-hole in Trial 1 on Saturday, thinks Symes stands a good chance of stepping into the winner’s circle.

“Teesha Symes’ horse, Rockin In Heaven, is coming fresh off a preferred victory. Obviously, if I was to nab a favourite he would be the one that I would nab as a favourite,’’ Ford said. “With the four-hole, it looks like you might be able to get a second-over trip on his back. If he’s good enough, and I think he’s legit enough to make the final, hopefully the trip works out from the sixth hole.’’

RELATED: The Guardian returns as title sponsor of Gold Cup and Saucer.

Marc Campbell, who last won the Gold Cup and Saucer in 2015 with Take It Back Terry, will handle the reins for Rose Run Quest.

“My firm belief is that if Wayne Gretzky is on your team, he’s not on your bench. Put the best available guy out there to drive and I think I have that with Marc Campbell,” Ford said.

Blair Hansen owns Rose Run Quest, purchased for what Ford calls a “modest price’’.

“He started out in the bottom class last July so 13 months ago he was in the 2:51s and 13 months later he’s going in the Gold Cup and Saucer Trial.’’

Donnie MacRae owns Bet on Brett, who drew Post 2 in Monday’s second trial. He likes the field for both trials.

“I don’t think there’s any standouts in it. There’s no overpowering horses in there,’’ MacRae said. “I think they should be good, evenly matched fields.’’

MacRae doesn’t know a lot about Bet on Brett, having just bought him a week ago so he’d have a horse in the field. He co-owns the horse with Red Isle Racing, his son, Steven MacRae and Allard Racing Inc.

“We always try to have one,’’ Donnie MacRae said. “We’ve had one the last three, four years and this year the horse we had just wasn’t what we thought he was so we had to start looking elsewhere. As it turns out, we’re in and we drew well. The rest is up to the fate of the Gods, the horse and the trainer. I (did) the easy part; I just wrote the cheque.’’


Who’s In

A look at the horses contending for the 59th Gold Cup and Saucer.

Trial 1 (lifetime record, earnings, wins)

SATURDAY

Post 1 – Paparazzi Hanover, 1:50, $273,494, 14

Post 2 – Fool Me Once, 1:48.1, $1,101,268, 39

Post 3 – Somewhere Fancy, 1:49.2, $590,915, 34

Post 4 – Rockin In Heaven, 1:49.2, $715,201, 24

Post 5 – Father Of The Year, 1:56, $23,560, 11

Post 6 – Rose Run Quest, 1:51.1, $123,538, 27

Post 7 – Jackson K Down, 1:56.3, $123,631, 27

Trial 2

MONDAY

Post 1 – Always N The Money, 1:51, $271,992, 30

Post 2 – Bet On Brett, 1:50.1, $112,635, 7

Post 3 – Lincolnjames, 1:49.4, $358,051, 38

Post 4 – ASAP Hanover, 1:50.2, $228,749, 11

Post 5 – Newbie, 1:50.2, $270,235, 25

Post 6 – In Spades, 1:52, $111,752, 11

Post 7 – Czar Seelster, 1:51, $190,823, 28

Dave.stewart@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/DveStewart

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