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TRURO, N.S. – The Red Shores broadcast team is on the road for a special presentation as the top drivers in Atlantic Canadian harness racing converge on Truro Raceway Friday evening. The Bible Hill, N.S., oval will play host to the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship with P.E.I. sending a team of four drivers for the eight-person competition. All the action will be broadcast live on www.Redshores.ca, while hosted by Red Shores’ Lee Drake and Peter MacPhee along with Truro Raceway’s Joe Kelly and Brad McCallum.  The competition kicks off in race 1 Friday night at the Nova Scotia half-miler with a 6:30 P.M. opening post time. Each driver will compete in races 1-7 and race 9 while starting from each post position once on the eight-wide starting gate. The top two point earning drivers will advance to the National Driving Championship in September at Grand River Raceway in Elora, Ont., where the winner of that event will represent Canada at Sweden in the 2019 World Driving Championship. Defending World Driving Champion James MacDonald, a native of Kingston, P.E.I., will also be at the world event in 2019 after winning the championship in 2017 and earning Canada the right to send a second representative. Drake, manager of Marketing, Brands and Playwise with Red Shores, is excited to be part of the action at the Atlantic Regional Driving Championship Friday night. “The team at Truro Raceway has put together an outstanding card for the regional qualifier with Red Shores more than happy to help out and host the worldwide broadcast,” Drake said. “The action is sure to be nonstop all evening and hopefully one of the Atlantic representatives will go all the way to the World Driving Championship joining P.E.I.’s own James MacDonald in the top echelon of the sport.” Drivers in the Atlantic Regional qualified off of 2017 statistics with the two leading reinsmen on red soil garnering the first invitations. The ‘King’ of Island harness racing, Marc Campbell of Winsloe, will headline the Island team fresh off an O’Brien award winning season where he smashed nearly every record available to him in Atlantic Canadian harness racing. Stratford resident Jason Hughes also gets a call to attend as the popular trainer-driver is back in second place at the Red Shores Summerside driving standings so far in 2018. Gilles Barrieau is also part of team P.E.I., as the New Brunswick driver moves his stable to the Island province during the summer racing season and finds himself continually near the top of the driving standings at Red Shores Charlottetown. The final P.E.I. driver at the event is Harrington resident Ken Murphy, who finished a solid third in the 2017 Summerside driving standings and just recently went over $1 million in career earnings in the race bike. Other drivers in the event are John Gerard Kennedy, Redmond Doucet and Darren Crowe from Nova Scotia and Todd Trites representing New Brunswick. The card also features a $2,500 preferred pace in race 8 headlined by top P.E.I. pacer Mr Irresistible with Hughes training and driving for owner Danny Birt of Stratford. by Nicolas Oakes, for Red Shores

MILTON, January 15, 2018 - James MacDonald, the 2017 Harness Racing World Driving Champion, has been announced as a special guest for the upcoming Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. The 16th annual Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction is coordinated by the Milton Chamber of Commerce and will be held on February 6 at Rattlesnake Point Golf Club. A top-five driver at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks, MacDonald represented Canada and captured the 2017 World Driving Champion this past August. The Guelph, Ontario resident is now in his 10th season of driving and has won 1,745 races and driven the winners of over $23 million. MacDonald joins an impressive list of celebrity athletes attending the event, including Hockey Hall of Fame members Yvan Cournoyer, Geraldine Heaney and Billy Smith, Toronto Maple Leaf legend Ron Ellis, NHL great Dennis Maruk and Canadian Olympic wrestler Korey Jarvis. Ken Reid of Rogers Sportsnet will host the evening's festivities. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction has become one of Milton's most talked about events, raising the profile of the Milton Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Scholarship Fund. The Sports Celebrity Dinner & Auction brings together sports heroes and sports enthusiasts alike. Organized by a volunteer committee of Chamber members, the evening's program includes an autograph signing session, a cocktail reception, a gourmet meal and a silent and live auction. Bidding on the live auction items, which in past years has featured golf packages, spa packages, autographed jerseys and sports memorabilia, is one of the highlights of the evening. The festivities conclude with the celebrity athletes gathering on stage for a question and answer session led by Reid. Proceeds from the event go towards the Chamber Scholarship Fund, which helps fund post-secondary education for local high school students. Woodbine Entertainment is a proud sponsor of the Milton Sports Celebrity Dinner and Auction. Tickets are $175 and can be purchased by clicking here. Mark McKelvie

TOP local driver Gary Hall Jr had to be content with second in the Inter Dominion aboard Chicago Bull, but still snared a Group 1 win on the night. Hall Jr teamed with his father, Gary Hall Sr, and classy mare Ideal Alice to win the $125,000 Group 1 Mares’ Classic (2536m) at Gloucester Park. And it came courtesy of a typically brilliant Hall Jr driver to extricate Ideal Alice from a three-peg run rounding the final bend, find clear air and storm over the top of a super gallant Ameretto to win by a head in a slick 1min55.5sec mile rate. The NZ-bred Ideal Alice is now in foal herself and will soon be retired to return to her homeland. The win was her 20th from 63 starts with another 20 placings and earnings over $400,000. “She’s been a wonderful mare. I wasn’t sure her recent form was quite up to the likes of Ameretto and A Piccadilly Princess going into these big mares’ races, but she had three nice runs for two seconds and now this big win,” Hall Sr said. It was almost unfair to see Ameretto beaten after Kerryn Manning’s star worked three-wide for more than a lap to finally get outside the heavily-backed leader, Eden Franco, and kick away with what looked a winning break on the home bend. Eden Franco raced a little keen at times, making her vulnerable over the longer trip, and she tired late for fourth. The hardluck story, just as she was last year, was the All Stars’ A Piccadilly Princess. Mark Purdon got the gun through behind the leader and had to decide with a just over a lap to go whether to stay on the pegs and risk being pocketed or move outside the leader. Purdon stayed in, the run never came and A Piccadilly Princess hit the line hard-held in fifth spot. _______________________________________________________________________________________ FREELANCE driver Chris Voak is such a breath of fresh air. An effervescent personality, Voak is also a serious driver and shown by his two big wins in support races as well as a close fourth on roughie Vultan Tin in the Inter Dominion final last Friday night. An $85 shot, the locally-bred Vultan Tin just missed snatching third spot from the leader Tiger Tara. Voak then produced a dashing front-running drive on former Victorian trotting mare Itsgettingcalder to win the $50,000 Group 1 Trotters’ Cup (2503m). He then caused a minor upset on $12.60 shot Costa Del Maginifico to win the last race of the night for trainer Ross Olivieri. “It’s been fantastic o be part of the Inter Dominion series with Vultan Tin, who did us all proud tonight. And to win a couple of other races on the night, especially the big trot, was fantastic. It’s been a great few weeks,” Voak said. _______________________________________________________________________________________ FORMER Olympic hockey gold medallist Michael “Mouse” Brennan already has sights set on the next Inter Dominion. Brennan thinks his emerging star Mista Shark will fly his stable flag in the Melbourne Inter Dominion next year. “He’s going places. Look at the way he won his heat and the final of this (San Simeon) series,” Brennan said. “He’ll be my Melbourne Inter Dominion horse in 12 months time.” Mista Shark sat parked to win his San Simeon heat at Bunbury last Tuesday week, then found the front in a dashing drive by Michael Grantham before easily holding-off the classy El Jacko to win in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m. Shane Tritton’s buzz former Kiwi mare Reaza Grunter made an early break, just as she did on night one, and lost all chance in the final. But her win on middle Friday of the Inter Dominion series showed why Tritton’s thinks she is potentially one of Australia’s best mares. Back to Brennan and he had another reason to celebrate on the big night when stable favourite The Bucket List overcame plenty of trouble to win the Inter Dominion consolation with Grantham in the cart. “I wish it had been six heats and a final because he’s only hitting his straps now,” Brennan said. “He’s not quite up to those very best ones, but that was a super win tonight to overcame the check he got early and come from so far off them.” Former top class Kiwi pacer Ohoka Punter also showed a glimpse of his best with former with a huge second after burning midrace around the field to take the lead and fight on well for a close second. _______________________________________________________________________________________ NEWLY-CROWNED World Champion driver James MacDonald admitted to getting a huge buzz from his win aboard Skippy Rascal in one of the Sky Racing Drivers’ series heats at Gloucester Park last Friday night. Macdonald escaped a pocket from behind the leader straightening for home and Skippy Rascal picked-up quickly to rundown the leader, Simba Bromac, and win by 1.3m in a 1min55.5sec mile rate for 2130m. “I needed that,” MacDonald smiled. “The first night didn’t go so well.. “We’ve had such an amazing time over here, everyone has looked after us so well, and to land a winner on Inter Dominion final night adds to it.” The other guest international driver, US-based Marcus Miller, finished third in the race aboard Wrappers Delight. _______________________________________________________________________________________ IT was an all local finish in the Invitation Lady Drivers’ race at Gloucester Park. Talented young local Kiara Davies made the most of the pole draw on favourite Dior Mia More to lead throughout and beat Kristy Sheehy on Bettor Bling and Jocelyn Young aboard Madame Meilland. Kerryn Manning, Lauren Tritton and US visitor Hannah “Hurricane” Miller were among the beaten brigade. _______________________________________________________________________________________ LET’S hope Shadow Sax stays sound. Emma Stewart’s injury-plagued star made it six wins on end – and 16 wins from just 24 career starts – when he won the Geelong Cup last Saturday night. It was closer than expected though with former classy there-year-old Cant Refuse running a great race for third and old-stager Messini a close fourth in a 1min57sec mile rate for 2570m. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A QUEENSLAND raid is paying dividends for the KerryAnn Turner and Robbie Morris team. They snared the feature, the Christmas Cup, at Albion Park with their classy gelding Aztec Bromac, who just nabbed remarkable veteran Avonnova. They landed a treble on the night with Smokey Quartz and Come Cullect winning easily as well. _______________________________________________________________________________________ MACH Doro is enjoying Tiger Tara being away in Perth. The classy Craig Cross-trained pacer, who contested last season’s Victoria Cup, opened this campaign with a good second to Tiger Tara at Menangle on November 4. Since then he’s brilliantly won both free-for-alls he’s contested, the latest in a blazing 1min51.9sec mile at Menangle last Saturday night. Trainer-driver Jarrod Alchin landed the feature at the Menangle meeting when Ima Mystery Girl won the Group 3 Teeny Teeny Stakes for mares’ in a 1min52sec mile. The talk of the race was the flop of Mark Jones’ star Kiwi mare Rocker Band, who finished second-last, prompting stewards to open an inquiry into the performance.   Adam Hamilton

Canadian World Champion harness racing driver James MacDonald took out the third heat of the 2017 Perth International Driver Series at Gloucester Park in Perth on Friday night with a superb exhibition. Drawn the pole with the $7.70 change Skippy Rascal, MacDonald didn’t panic when he was crossed in the early battle for the lead and show his great skill and patience when he extracted the horse from the pocket turning for home and hit the line strongly to win from the $4.50 favourite Simba Bromac. American reinsman Marcus Miller was close up in third place with the $12.70 chance Wrappers Delight which had worked hard three wide over the final 900 metres of the race and fought on strongly in the straight. “It was an amazing buzz to win a race in Perth, not as good as the World Driving Championship but pretty close to it,” an ebullient Miller said post-race. “I have had an amazing stay in Perth and everybody involved in the Inter Dominion carnival has been so friendly and welcoming and the racing here is tight and exciting.” “Mick Radley and his staff here at Gloucester Park have done a superb job and the crowds have been great”. There were some 9,000 fans on-course on Friday night. James MacDonald enters the record books as the first Canadian reinsman to drive a winner at Gloucester Park. American Pat Iovine is the only other Northern Hemisphere driver to win a race at Gloucester Park and he achieved the feat in May 1976 behind a horse called Main Morris. MacDonald is the 1854th individual to drive a winner in Perth in the 53,062 races held in the city since harness racing began in Western Australia in 1910. The second of last night’s two Drivers Series heats was taken out by the $114.50 chance Courage Tells which his driver Ryan Warwick got up in the last stride to down Johnny Disco $8.70 and Three Blind Mice $17.10. With the $2.50 favourite Argyle Red finishing out of a place the first three horses home paid a trifecta dividend of $14,559. Local tipster Pat Harding, renowned for his tipping skill in terms of value selections, had selected Courage Tells as the winner on his Friday morning radio programme. MacDonald finished sixth in the final leg of the Drivers Series on the $73.70 chance Jaxon Fella while Marcus Miller, sitting in a perfect position on the leaders back had his drive Ohoka Darcy go out of its gear and break just as he was about to make a winning move. Local ace Gary Hall Jnr won the Drivers Series, sponsored by Sky Racing and Slater Gartrell Sports, with an overall points score total of 36 ahead of Ryan Warwick and Chris Lewis who each finished with 32 points. Hall failed to win a heat but was placed in three of the four races. MacDonald finished fifth with 27 points and Miller was in tenth place with 19 points. American reinswoman Hannah Miller drove the $17.50 chance Parisian Partygirl in the Retravision Invitation Lady Drivers Challenge which was won by the $1.50 favourite Dior Mia More which was driven by Kiara Davies. Miller finished in seventh place. Alan Parker

World champion James MacDonald has sound prospects of making a flying start to the International Drivers series at Gloucester Park by guiding the tough, consistent and in-form Your Excused to victory in the Sky Racing opening heat on Friday night. Your Excused, trained at Waroona by Bob Mellsop, is handily drawn at the No. 4 barrier on the front line and should be prominent. The seven-year-old is a good frontrunner, but can also perform strongly when in the breeze. He faces a hard task to get to an early lead, with speedy beginners Bad Round (barrier one) and Abraxas Blues (three) on his inside. He has performed well in his current campaign after being forced to race without cover. He could be seen in a similar role on Friday night. MacDonald, a 31-year-old Canadian, drove six winners and won the world drivers championship in Canada in August this year. Up-and-coming American reinsman Marcus Miller, who finished third, will also compete in the Gloucester Park series. He will handle eight-year-old Ona Happy Note, who will start from barrier five. Ona Happy Note has a losing sequence of 26 and has been unplaced at his past ten starts. Todd McCarthy, a brilliant young reinsman from New South Wales, will drive the Debbie Padberg-trained Bad Round, who excels as a frontrunner and is sure to take plenty of catching. In Friday night’s second heat, sponsored by Slater Gartrell Sports, local champion Chris Lewis will drive the favourite Eden Franco, a Colin Brown-trained mare blessed with sparkling gate speed. Eden Franco is a brilliant frontrunner who has won at six of her past seven starts and looks hard to beat. Victorian star Chris Alford will be in the sulky behind Madame Meilland, who is in top form for trainer Ross Olivieri and is sure to be prominent from the No. 2 barrier on the front line. MacDonald will drive A Boy Named Rosie from barrier five and Miller will handle Extreme Prince, who will start from the outside of the back line. Ken Casellas

CAMPBELLVILLE, August 31 - Harness racing fans coming out to Mohawk Racetrack this Saturday will have an opportunity to meet and congratulate James MacDonald, the 2017 World Driving Champion, ahead of the Canadian Pacing Derby card. MacDonald, 31, recently captured the 2017 World Driving Championship by besting 10 other drives from around the world to take the top prize on home soil. One of the leading drivers at Mohawk Racetrack, MacDonald became the fourth Canadian driver to capture the World Driving Championship. The special autograph session with MacDonald will get underway at 6:15 p.m. on Saturday and will take place on the main level of the Grandstand. Mohawk has put together a special photo for fans to receive and have autographed by MacDonald. Only a limited number of photos are available, so fans are encouraged to arrive early to get this special collector's item. Draw ballots will also be available at the autograph session for fans to win a special poster signed by all of the World Driving Championship participants. Mohawk will be giving away three of the signed posters with the draw taking place later in the evening. The first 300 fans to Mohawk on Saturday will also receive a free program. Post time for Saturday's Canadian Pacing Derby card is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

Charlottetown, PEI -- Canadian harness racing driver James MacDonald of Guelph, Ont. clinched the 2017 World Driving Championship (WDC), and its $25,000 top prize Friday evening (August 18) at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, Prince Edward Island. In a night to remember, a capacity crowd witnessed the hometown triumph of MacDonald, the first-ever Canadian to claim the international title on home turf. MacDonald entered the fifth and final day of competition with a 26-point lead over Finland's Mika Forss. Without a win in the first three races to clinch the overall points lead, MacDonald sealed his claim to the WDC title in the night's final of four races by earning four points for an eighth-place finish with Instant Shadow. The Canadian reinsman amassed a total of 211 WDC tournament points, ultimately besting overall runner-up Forss, who completed his drives with an accumulated 193 points for second. Marcus Miller, from the United States, tallied 181.5 points to round out the top three WDC drivers.      The 31-year-old Prince Edward Island native returned to his home province as the only one of the 11 WDC contestants to have won at least one race at each track leading up to the final leg of the tournament. MacDonald won two of five heats at Century Downs in Alberta on Saturday (August 12), teaming up with Lucky Lucka and Barossa Blue Genes, before prevailing with Mystery Bet on Monday (August 14) at his current home base of Mohawk Racetrack in Ontario. He went on to double up again at Georgian Downs on Tuesday (August 15), reaching the winner's enclosure with Shemars Lulu and Walk The Plank, before earning his sixth WDC win at Québec's Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday (August 16) aboard Federal Strike.   Hosted by Standardbred Canada, the World Driving Championship is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. The 2017 editions of the events coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations.  MacDonald is now the fourth Canadian driver to win the World Driving Championship, the first to do so on Canadian soil. Hervé Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970; his nephew Sylvain Filion won in 1999; and Jody Jamieson won the 2001 and 2011 editions of the WDC. 2017 World Driving Championship Leaderboard (final) Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. James MacDonald (Canada) - 211 2. Mika Forss (Finland) - 193 3. Marcus Miller (United States) - 181.5 4. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 166 5. Björn Goop (Sweden) - 152 6. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 148 7. Eirik Høitomt (Norway) - 136 8. Shane Graham (Australia) - 135 8. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 135 10. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 124.5 11. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 107   A more detailed release will follow.   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

TROIS RIVIERES, QUEBEC – James MacDonald, the representative of host country Canada in the 2017 World Driving Championship, added his sixth win of the tournament at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec Wednesday night to widen his lead in the contest, and the trip to the fifth and final venue, Red Shores Charlottetown Driving Park on Prince Edward Island for racing Friday, looks more and more like a triumphant “home stretch” for the 31-year-old, for he is a native of the Island province, and he may be well receiving the driving crown at the place where it all started for him. Hippodrome 3R is appreciative of having the honor of hosting eleven of the world’s best drivers in their fourth stop on their five-stop West-to-East journey across Canada in the World Driving Championship, which is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference; Canada was selected as host in honor of the country’s 250th anniversary of being a home for horse racing. The standings going into the card: James MacDonald                                            Canada                 144 points           (five wins) Mika Forss                                                          Finland                 130 points           (three wins) Marcus Miller                                                    United States     123.5 points       (three wins) Shane Graham                                                  Australia              97 points            (one win) Dexter Dunn (defending champion)                   New Zealand      93 points Noel Baldacchino                                                 Malta                    90 points Eirik Hoitomt                                                      Norway                89.5 points          (one win) Bjorn Goop                                                         Sweden                86 points             (one win) Gerhard Mayr                                                    Austria                  83 points Mark Purdon                                                     New Zealand      69 points Rik Depuydt                                                       Belgium                68 points Here is a description of the four races at the Quebec half-mile oval, all contested at 1 1/16 miles: RACE ONE ($4000 pace): Dexter Dunn, James MacDonald, and Marcus Miller were all 2-1 in the betting, and those three drivers and their horses – respectively, Imagine Speed, Ninoscredit, and Maracasso --were 1-2-3 at the quarter, though Dunn and Imagine Speed had to pay a 27 price to get to the front. The field stayed in that order until a half-mile remained, when Gerhard Mayr moved Eataam Whosurboy first-over to challenge the leader, and with a strong move with 3/8 remaining Eataam Whosurboy got in gear and started a move that carried him to the lead nearing the far turn. The key to the race was the horse with the cover behind Eataam Whosurboy – who was nobody, which allowed Miller and Maracasso to get out behind him and then move after the new leader, with MacDonald and Ninoscredit pinned in as the two horses went by. Ninoscredit came on well in the stretch, but Maracasso had the jump on him and sustained to the wire, winning by a length in 2:06.1 over the 1 1/16 miles to give Marcus Miller his fourth win of the tournament. “I wasn’t sure if I’d get that kind of trip when we left the gate,” Miller noted after the race. “But I was able to get out behind the horse who went to the lead and could keep James (MacDonald) in. I was able to keep going and win, but MacDonald got out and finished second – he’s tough, driving very well now.” DRIVERS’ ORDER OF FINISH: Miller, MacDonald, Mayr, Dunn, Depuydt, Baldacchino, Goop, Graham, Purdon, Forss, Hoitomt. LEADER BOARD AFTER FIRST 3R RACE: MacDonald 157, Miller 141.5, Forss 132, Graham and Dunn 101. RACE TWO ($4600 trot): When you work out a second-over trip from post eleven – the third trailer – on a half-mile track, you know things are going your way – and you are making things go your way. Native son James MacDonald managed to work out a second-over trip with Federal Strike in this event, following Abundasass and driver Bjorn Goop. Both were out much of the 1 1/16-mile distance, but worked their way to the front spots down the backstretch the final time. It looked for a moment as if MacDonald might not get clearance – that pesky Marcus Miller again – but this time Miller’s horse backed off, and Federal Strike moved out and took it from there, going by Abundasass as the slight favorite and winning by 1 ¼ lengths, with the added-distance time of 2:08.1 declared a 3R track record, since the books and Standardbred Canada had no record of a race over the distance listed. “I can’t believe I worked out a trip like that,” a disbelieving/euphoric MacDonald said after the contest. “But I know the respect that Bjorn Goop has earned and is given in Sweden and Europe, and when I found a way I could follow him, I figured – I hoped that would be able to carry me up. He did and then my horse got his chance, and we won.” Asked if he felt in a commanding position by now, MacDonald put his game face back on and said, “Still have to grind it out – lots of great drivers out there.” DRIVERS ORDER OF FINISH: MacDonald, Goop, Forss, Miller, Mayr, Graham, Hoitomt, Dunn, Baldacchino, Purdon, Depuydt. LEADER BOARD AFTER 3R RACE TWO: MacDonald 175, Miller 149.5, Forss 142, Graham 107, Dunn 105. RACE THREE ($4200 pace): “The Finnish Lion,” Mika Forss, looked like everything was going his way. His pacer Shanghai B G, the slight 2-1 favorite, got away in the pocket behind a strong pacesetter in Jolt’s Prayer (Dexter Dunn), saw waves of challenger fell back, then looked to move his move on the far turn. “And my horse felt good.” And then his sulky broke. “My sulky seat started to break on me, and I had to hold on (to the sulky),” Forss noted after the race. Despite being driven literally one-handed (and perhaps accounting for his bearing out in the stretch), Shanghai B G was able to rally, and he was just up at the – well, finish line for the Finnish Lion, the 1 1/16 miles in 2:06.1. “That’s never happened to me in all of my career,” the veteran Forss noticed after the race, which provided his fourth victory of the tournament. It also boosted him back into second, a half-point ahead of Marcus Miller, who was on Forss’s back throughout but could do no more than keep his 24-1 shot going for third. MacDonald was in the parked tier and rallied for fifth. DRIVERS ORDER OF FINISH: Forss, Dunn, Miller, Mayr, MacDonald, Purdon, Hoitomt, Graham, Baldacchino, Goop, Depuydt. LEADER BOARD AFTER 3R RACE THREE: MacDonald 182, Forss 160, Miller 159.5, Dunn 118 (no wins but five seconds in the tournament), Graham 111. RACE FOUR ($4400 pace): Nobody wanted to leave anything anywhere but on the track for the last local race, and the field was stacked two- (or more-) deep the entire way. But Noel Baldacchino, from the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, used the physics to his advantage: he and Tidewater Tomahawk drafted behind the pacesetting Danzig Moon in the pocket, then moved out,  was already past the former leader when he made a stretch break, and drew off, winning by 3¼ lengths over the favored Hard Rock, closing well to give defending champ Dexter Dunn his sixth second of a winless tournament, with that MacDonald guy from Canada working his way through with 23-1 shot Winoc Jimmy for third. It was the first win of the tournament for Baldacchino, and oddly Tidewater Tomahawk, who was the program choice, returned $16.30 to win. DRIVERS ORDER OF FINISH: Baldacchino, Dunn, MacDonald, Depuydt, Hoitomt, Forss, Goop, Purdon, Miller, Graham, Mayr. AFTER THE FOURTH ROUND OF THE TOURNAMENT: James MacDonald                                            Canada                 192 points           (six wins) Mika Forss                                                          Finland                 166 points           (four wins) Marcus Miller                                                    United States     162.5 points       (four wins) Dexter Dunn (defending champion)                  New Zealand      131 points Noel Baldacchino                                              Malta                    120 points           (one win) Shane Graham                                                  Australia              113 points           (one win) Bjorn Goop                                                         Sweden                111 points           (one win) Gerhard Mayr                                                    Austria                  109 points Eirik Hoitomt                                                      Norway                108 points           (one win) Rik Depuydt                                                       Belgium                85 points Mark Purdon                                                     New Zealand      83.5 points FINISHING LINES – Also featured during the card was the draw for Sunday’s $200,000 Prix d’Ete, for the leading four-year-old pacers in North America. The entrants, with their post positions and listed drivers: 1, Sintra (Jody Jamieson); 2, Lyons Snyder (Daniel Dube); 3, Awesomeness (driver TBA); 4, Roll Away Joe (Louis Philippe Roy); 5, Western Fame (Trevor Henry); 6, Stonebridge Beach (Stephane Pouliot); 7, Sports Authority (Pierre Luc Roy); 8, Dr J Hanover (Doug McNair). Bali went one of the fastest miles in Hippodrome 3R history when he won a $3800 pace in 1:53.1 for Team Auger, sprinting home in 56.1 under the guidance of the track’s leading driver, Stephane Brosseau … In a $4200 trot, the mare Lucky Promesses won her seventh straight start, here in 2:01.2 for breeder/trainer/driver Jerome Lombart. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Canadian harness racing driver James MacDonald propelled himself back to the top of the 2017 World Driving Championship standings, overtaking Finland's Mika Forss after winning two of Tuesday night's (August 15) five tournament races at Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ont. MacDonald, who entered the third leg of the Championship in second place behind Forss, drew first blood in the evening’s first tournament event, reaching from the pocket with Shemars Lulu ($7.60) in 1:59 after stalking duelling leaders through the middle stages of the race.  He also teamed up with Walk The Plank ($5.20) in the night’s third Championship race, clearing, yielding, and pulling from a clear pocket on approach to the far turn before powering to a decisive 1:55.1 victory. In addition to his pair of wins, MacDonald notched a pair of minor placings, finishing second with Art Of The Deal behind James And Morgan in the night’s penultimate event, and saving third with Im The Man in the evening’s last race as Hetties Honey circled up from behind a contested pace to win. James And Morgan ($40.80) gave Norwegian Eirik Høitomt his first win of the Championship, drafting in the pocket behind MacDonald and 25-1 pacesetter Art Of The Deal before reaching up the pegs in 1:57. Hetties Honey ($15.90) took advantage of sustained pace pressure afore in the finale, circling three-wide up the far side to overtake a stalled Ken Kan Win and wear down co-favourite Waikiki Hanover (Marcus Miller, USA) for a 1:57.2 victory under Australian Shane Graham. Forss, who slipped from first to second in the standings, was first past the post with A Boy Named Suuzz in the evening’s second tournament race, but was disqualified behind Jansen Hanover ($28.20, Miller, USA) after committing a pylon violation on the second turn. MacDonald reclaimed command and opened up a 144-130 lead on Forss through the third leg of the five-city Championship, while American Miller closed the gap behind the top pair, with 123.5 points heading out of Ontario.  Graham (97) gained into fourth spot over defending champion Dexter Dunn (93) of New Zealand, followed by Noel Baldacchino (Malta), Høitomt, Björn Goop (Sweden), Gerhard Mayr (Austria), Mark Purdon (New Zealand), and Rik Depuydt (Belgium). The action shifts to Trois-Rivières, Que. on Wednesday, August 16, where Hippodrome 3R will host the fourth leg. After that, the drivers will head to Prince Edward Island's Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park for the fifth and final leg of the Championship on Friday, August 18, one of the major highlights of Old Home Week. The top point-earner at the end of the five legs will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion and win $25,000 in prize money. The World Driving Championship – along with the 25th anniversary edition of the World Trotting Conference, to be hosted in Charlottetown – are both held every two years and will coincide with the 250th Anniversary of horse racing in Canada, and Canada 150 celebrations. 2017 World Driving Championship Leaderboard (after three of five legs) Rank - Driver (Country) - Points 1. James MacDonald (Canada) - 144 2. Mika Forss (Finland) - 130 3. Marcus Miller (United States) - 123.5 4. Shane Graham (Australia) - 97 5. Dexter Dunn (ITA/New Zealand) - 93 6. Noel Baldacchino (Malta) - 90 7. Eirik Høitomt (Norway) - 89.5 8. Björn Goop (Sweden) - 86 9. Gerhard Mayr (Austria) - 83 10. Mark Purdon (New Zealand) - 69 11. Rik Depuydt (Belgium) - 68   Jeff Porchak World Driving Championship Media Liaison standardbredcanada.ca

TROIS RIVIERES, Quebec - The Hippodrome 3R will host leg four of the five-stop World Driving Championship this Wednesday, August 16, and an evaluation of the drivers' likely performance in the four races through an evaluation of the track's knowledgeable morning line reveals some interesting patterns - ones that could help reshape or shape the standings before the final leg at Charlottetown two days afterwards. The World Driving Championship is held every two years in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference, which in 2017 is being staged in Canada, as the country celebrates its 250th anniversary of horse racing. The two drivers to watch in the H3R harness competition figure to be James MacDonald, representing host country Canada, and Noel Baldacchino, from the tiny (316 square kilometers) Mediterranean island of Malta. The races to be used for the competition at H3R are races 5 through 8 - with, unusually, MacDonald drawing the favorite in the first two races and Baldacchino in the latter two in the random draw matching drivers and horses. In just as strange a coincidence, two other drivers have drawn the second choices in consecutive races. Dexter Dunn, a New Zealander and the defending World Driving Champion, was evaluated as second behind Baldacchino's horses in races 7 and 8, and Marcus Miller, of the United States, is second choice to MacDonald's sulky assignments in races 5 and 6. The full projection, understandably, finds Baldachino and MacDonald rated as the top two, with the former having a one-point edge based on their other two mounts. Dunn is rated third and Miller fourth - but Miller would do well to get as many points as he can from his first two drives, as his horses in the final two races are both evaluated to be - last, eleventh! Then again, Miller already is in the lead after the first leg of the series, and morning lines have been known on occasion to not always reflect how the racing takes place. Plus, we have yet to find a racehorse that could read the morning line in a program to see how they might do! Post time at the Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday is 7:15 pm. The entire race card will be simulcast, not only throughout North America, but also to Australia and New Zealand. H3R is also holding a meet and greet for the race fans with all eleven drivers starting at 6:15 pm and the opening ceremonies for the night will start on the racetrack at 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com or www.standardbredcanada.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

August 2, 2017 - Standardbred Canada today announced that harness racing driver James MacDonald will represent Canada in the upcoming 2017 World Driving Championship, taking place from August 12 to August 18 at racetracks across the country. MacDonald, 31, was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and currently resides in Guelph, Ontario. He stands among the top five drivers in Canada with $1.79 million earned, and has 95 wins this season. Last October, MacDonald finished second in the National Driving Championship held at The Raceway at Western Fair District. The National Driving Championship has been used since 2007 to determine Canada's representative for the World Driving Championship. "It means a lot, obviously," said MacDonald. "I would've liked if it had happened on different terms but I'm really excited, I can't wait to wear the red and white and to compete all across Canada. I'm just happy to be here, especially with the last leg being in PEI. It's a big deal for me. I haven't been home in three years. I get to see some friends and family and I'm sure there will be a big turnout rooting for me." Over his career, MacDonald has won 1,677 races and earned $22.4 million, primarily racing on the prestigious Woodbine Entertainment circuit. He has won the Milton Stakes twice at Mohawk Racetrack, and won the Battle of the Belles Stakes at Grand River Raceway twice. The World Driving Championship, hosted by Standardbred Canada, will take place at five different racetracks in four provinces, with 11 drivers from around the world competing. The first leg kicks off at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino near Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, August 12, followed by Mohawk Racetrack in Campbellville, Ontario on Monday, August 14, and Georgian Downs, in Innisfil, Ontario on Tuesday, August 15. The event then moves to Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivières, Quebec on Wednesday, August 16, and finally to Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park, on Prince Edward Island, for the fifth leg on Friday, August 18. MacDonald hopes his familiarity with the tracks will offer him a hometown advantage. "I've won a race at all the tracks we're racing at," he says. "I won two races in Calgary last year when we were out there for a charity event, Mohawk and Georgian I've raced at lots, and I won one at Three Rivers when I was there a few years back. I got my first lifetime win in Charlottetown. I know the styles that work, so I think I got that, but if I don't, I know a couple people I can talk to." Each WDC leg is scheduled to have four or five races. Drivers earn points based on their finishing position, and the top point earner at the end of the event will be declared the 2017 World Driving Champion, and win $25,000 in prize money. MacDonald replaces Brandon Campbell in the WDC. On Tuesday, August 1, Standardbred Canada announced that Brandon Campbell was removed as Canada's representative for the 2017 World Driving Championship.   Kathy Wade Vlaar  

CAMPBELLVILLE, July 31 - Harness racing trainer Dave Menary was expected to win Monday's second leg of the Dream Maker at Mohawk Racetrack, but it was the least likely of his two starters to come through with the victory. Menary trainee Trump That was the overwhelming favourite in a field of five two-year-old pacing colts and geldings competing for $14,000. Trump That enjoyed a two-hole ride and took the lead in the stretch, but couldn't kick away from his rivals and got picked off by a charging Dragon Time and driver James MacDonald. Dragon Time sat fourth throughout the opening stages before hitting full flight in the stretch and getting up to win in 1:53. The gelded son of Bettor's Delight paced a :27.3 final-quarter to win by a half a length. Brackley Beach finished third, while Albergo Hanover was fourth. Webmaster Hanover showed the way until the top of the lane and posted fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:24.2. He faded back to finish fifth. Owned by Menary Racing Inc, Michael Guerriero, Larry Menary and Alan Alber, Dragon Time was a $50,000 purchase at last October's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. The Bettors Delight gelding now has two wins in four starts and $19,180 banked. Dragon Time paid $11.20 to win. Dragon Time The $39,800 Dream Maker Series final will take place next Monday (August 7). Live racing continues Tuesday night at Mohawk Racetrack. A special post time of 6 p.m. is in effect due to the RCMP Musical Ride performance taking place during Tuesday's card. Mark McKelvie

JULY 2, 2017 - The upsets continued in Ontario Sires Stakes Gold action on Sunday evening as the harness racing three-year-old trotting fillies battled in two divisions at Georgian Downs. After a mid-card deluge that saw the track downgraded from 'fast' to 'sloppy', the fillies squared up for the first division in the seventh race. Fans had established Magic Presto, a winner in the Gold Series season opener and the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association Stake, as the heavy favourite from Post 5, with On A Sunny Day and the other June 8 Gold winner, Sweet Of My Heart, as their second and third choices. As the gate swept away from the field of eight Sweet Of My Heart left smartly from Post 1, but before the :27.4 quarter the early leader was on an extended break and out of contention. Janderson inherited the lead and took the field to a :57.3 half, but driver Sylvain Filion had On A Sunny Day on the move from third and Magic Presto and driver Trevor Henry were hot on their heels. On A Sunny Day took command before the 1:26.2 half and was almost immediately under pressure from Magic Presto. The fillies matched steps through the final quarter and it took a photo to determine the winner; On A Sunny Day by a nose in 1:54.4. Magic Presto settled for second and Majestic Kat finished well behind the duelling leaders in third. It was the second win of the season for On A Sunny Day and her first in sophomore Gold Series action. As a two-year-old the daughter of Muscle Mass and Dicent No was a four-time winner at the Gold Series level, banking $183,750 for owner Determination of Montreal, QC. Luc Blais of Lochaber Ouest, QC bred and trains the filly. In the second division, the final race of the evening, fans sent Milton, ON resident Filion and his mount Royal Witch off as their top choice, but locked in a battle with Paradise Image for top spot Royal Witch also skipped off stride. Left alone on the front third choice Paradise Image cruised effortlessly through fractions of :28.2, :58, and 1:27.3 on her way to a three and one-half length victory in 1:57.1. Mrstery Bear and Tymal Reign rounded out the top three. "She's a big, good gaited thing and she's so handy, she gets off the gate like a rocket," said driver James MacDonald. "Today she got there easy, and I wouldn't have minded following Sylvain, but his made a break so I just, once he run I just kind of took the front and the rest is history." MacDonald drives Paradise Image for trainer Mike Keeling of Cambridge and owners P C Wellwood Enterprises Inc. of Cambridge, Paradise Stable of Hamilton, Dale McNeill of Campbellville and Ron O'Neill of Puslinch, ON. The Guelph resident stepped into the Kadabra daughter's race bike at the beginning of June and, while they have had success, it has occasionally been a perilous place to reside. "I started driving her a couple weeks ago. She can act up a little bit in the post parade, she can be pretty bad, so they asked me if I minded driving her, and I said 'No,' and she's been good, she's raced good all three times I drove her," explained MacDonald. "She was first up her first start in the Gold (June 8) and was third, and then she win out of the two-hole last week (June 19), and today she win on the front. "She doesn't turn. Turning is a problem. Sometimes she'll run out the gates, and sometimes she'll kick, she's not a real treat in the post parade to drive sometimes," said MacDonald about the filly's behavioural quirks. "Today she was an absolute kitten, she didn't do anything wrong, but she can perform from time to time." MacDonald relied on the assistance of the Georgian Downs outrider to make the turn into the starting gate and to escort the filly back to the winner's circle. They will have another opportunity to be guided to the Gold Series winner's circle on July 22 when the fillies compete in Leg 3 at Mohawk Racetrack. Georgian Downs will welcome the Ontario Sires Stakes program back to Innisfil next Saturday, July 8, hosting the Grassroots debut of the two-year-old trotting colts. The first race goes behind the starting gate at 7:15 pm. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

JUNE 26, 2017 - Harness racing driver James MacDonald climbed onto the race bike behind Future Headlines for the first time at Grand River Raceway on Monday evening and piloted the three-year-old pacing filly to her first victory of the year in a personal best 1:54.1. Starting from Post 2 in the first of two $95,600 Ontario Sire Stakes Gold Series divisions, MacDonald was able to follow post-sitter Fade into the first turn. Content to shadow Fade through fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:25.2, MacDonald waited until the fillies were squared up in the stretch before tipping Future Headlines to the outside and pointing her at the finish line. Sure of her goal, fan favourite Future Headlines powered home to a one and one-quarter length victory. Pacesetter Fade settled for second and 2016 division champion Yaris Bayama was third. "It worked out really good," said MacDonald. "I didn't know how the race would set up, you never really know, sometimes you think everyone's going to leave and no one does, and sometimes you think no one is going to leave and everyone does. So I was really happy with the trip I could get and she responded perfectly. "She just had to use her speed for really an eighth of a mile, so when she came out she went by them, and she did it very easy," added the Guelph, ON resident. MacDonald crafted the win for trainer Colin Johnson of Repentigny, QC and his partners Thomas Kyron of Toronto, ON, David Heffering of Port Perry, ON and By The Beach Stable of Brick, NJ. The daughter of Sportswriter and 2008 freshman Grassroots champion Tomorrowpan ($546,291), Future Headlines was a $20,000 acquisition from the 2015 Harrisburg Yearling Sale and has now banked $177,530 for her owners in 14 lifetime starts. "Any time you can win those races, they're not easy to win, so any time you can win a Gold, you've done something right," said MacDonald, who will have a second chance to put the filly in a Gold Series winner's circle on July 22 at Mohawk Racetrack. In the second Gold division Action Majesty got a confident gate-to-wire steer from Guelph resident Doug McNair. Leaving from Post 2 McNair sent the fan's second choice straight to the front and rolled through fractions of :27.2, :57.3 and 1:25.3 without facing a serious challenge. The pair sailed under the wire one and one-quarter length winners in 1:54, besting favourite Soiree Seelster and Aint Three Ok. "She is handy on a small track, that made my job a lot easier," said McNair. "She's always had quick speed, I usually use it late on the big track, but that's tough to do on a half." The Royal Mattjesty daughter is trained by the driver's father Gregg McNair, also of Guelph, for owner-breeder Kenneth Sommer of Sheffield, OH. Monday's win was Action Majesty's first of the sophomore campaign. A two-time Gold Series winner at two, the filly has earned $203,642 in her 12-race career. "She's been racing against the best fillies in North America, and racing good against them, so hopefully she keeps it up as the year goes on," noted McNair. Both Action Majesty and Future Headlines competed against North America's best in the Fan Hanover Final at Mohawk Racetrack on June 17, finishing seventh and fifth respectively, and their connections are hoping they continue to deliver at a high level through the rest of the stakes season. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Grand River Raceway on Wednesday, July 19 with the third Grassroots event of the season for the three-year-old trotting fillies. OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com Ontario Racing

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 20 - Winning five-races in a night at Mohawk Racetrack is no easy task, but for the second consecutive evening, a harness racing driver was able to do just that. James MacDonald made five trips to the winner's circle on Tuesday's 10-race card. The Guelph, Ontario resident teamed up with trainer Mark Steacy for three of his five victories. The duo of MacDonald and Steacy scored their victories with a pair of three-year-old trotting fillies (Ticket To Seattle and Majestic Kat) and six-year-old trotter Harper Blue Chip, who's first victory of the season boosts his career earnings to $933,012. MacDonald's two other victories on the evening came with six-year-old pacer E L Wild Spirit and six-year-old trotter O Narutac Perfetto. MacDonald's five wins were recorded from nine drives on Tuesday's program. This season at Mohawk, MacDonald has recorded 31 victories and driven the winner's of over $500,000. His totals numbers for 2017 currently sit at 64 wins and earnings of $1.1 million. MacDonald is the second driver this week to post a five-win night, as Trevor Henry scored a handful of victories on Monday evening's card at Mohawk. The three-win night for Steacy gives him 11 wins this season at Mohawk and vaults him up to sixth in the trainer standings. Live racing resumes Thursday night at Mohawk Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

TORONTO, January 14 - Modern Legend became harness racing's newest millionaire with a 1:50.4 victory in Saturday's $34,000 Preferred at Woodbine Racetrack. The Dave Drew trainee was able to reach the career milestone by capitalizing off a second-over steer from driver James MacDonald. Modern Legend was able to power by American Virgin, who had led the field from the start, in the stretch to get the job done by a neck. Company Man finished third, while Nickle Bag was fourth. A nine-year-old son of Modern Art, Modern Legend has been a top performer for several years on the WEG Circuit and scored his biggest victory to date in the 2014 Canadian Pacing Derby at Mohawk Racetrack. Modern Legend recently returned from an 18-month layoff in December and the Drew trainee appears on the right path to returning to competition against the older pacing heavyweights. Saturday's victory gives Modern Legend, who has a career mark of 1:47.2, 23 wins from 71 career starts. He paid $5.80 to win. Mark McKelvie

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