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MILTON, ON - September 5, 2020 - Harness racing driver James MacDonald engineered his second consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby stunner, guiding Dorsoduro Hanover to a 43-1 upset on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Ron Burke trained Dorsoduro Hanover and MacDonald sat fifth-over turning for home and swept by rivals promptly for a 1:48.4 victory in the $540,000 event. "I always though the seven claimer was my race," joked MacDonald, who also drove Courtly Choice to a 34-1 upset in last year's event. "I'll take the Derby, it's a real honour just to be in it and to win it...I can't even put it in words." A hot opening-quarter of :25.1 was put up by American History after rocketing off the gate along with rail starter Bettors Wish and Backstreet Shadow. Bettors Wish quickly rushed from third to first and led by the half in 52.4. The third-quarter saw Backstreet Shadow come first up at Bettors Wish with the pacers dueling by three-quarters in 1:21.1. The field fanned out wide with the front horses tiring at the head of the lane, setting up a wild finish that saw Dorsoduro Hanover sweep by after being ninth to win by 3 ½ lengths. Dancin Lou came from third-over to finish second, while Century Farroh was third after sitting second-over turning for home. Sintra finished fourth. A five-year-old gelding, Dorsoduro Hanover came into the 'Pacing Derby' off a hard-closing third-place finish in the Dan Patch at Hoosier on August 22. The Burke trainee is now three for eight on the season and sports career numbers of 17 wins and over $1.9 million earned for owners Burke Racing Stable, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb, Weaver Bruscemi and Wingfield Brothers. "Mark Weaver had messaged me earlier in the week and told me the horse had been great, but just had been drawing terrible and then the draw came out and he drew (post-eight)," said MacDonald. "It was one of those races when it looks like there is four or five or six that can win, if you're in the outer flow and they get battling it's usually a long shot that comes in. "Ronnie did such a great job, they were at the half in :52.4 and I was just standing up in the stirrups, like he was ready to go. Thanks a lot for the drive." Dorsoduro Hanover's victory gave trainer Burke a sweep of Saturday's, tagging alongside Atlanta's win in the Maple Leaf Trot. A $2 win ticket on Dorsoduro Hanover returned $88. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment  

MILTON, June 12, 2020 - So Much More and harness racing driver James MacDonald flipped the script this week to capture Friday's $32,000 Mares Preferred on Friday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A field of eight older pacing mares clashed in the feature race with all eyes on last week's dominant winner Boadicea, who was sent off as the 1/5 favourite. Boadicea got front-end respect after surging out to the lead, posting fractions of :27.1, :55.4 and 1:23.3, 1:50.4. So Much More, who finished second last week, started a first-up bid from fifth racing into the far turn. In the stretch, Boadicea couldn't repeat last week's performance when trying to kick clear. So Much More continued to grind away and wore down the leader to power by late for the victory. Kendall Seelster came through for a runner-up finish, while Boadicea settled for third. Sylph Hanover was fourth. "She just surprises me every time she races," said MacDonald of So Much More. "Boadicea is such a good mare, (I) just hoped to work out a trip and give her a good race down the lane. She overcame a bad trip and is all guts." A Big Jim four-year-old, So Much More has been putting together a strong campaign, now holding a record of five wins and eight top-three finishes in 11 starts this season. Friday's victory pushes her over $100,000 for the season. So Much More is trained by Don Beatson, who shares ownership with Ken Beatson and Cole England. She is now a 24-time winner in her career with $353,730 in earnings. A $2 win ticket on So Much More returned $9.20. So Much More MacDonald's victory with So Much More gave him three for the evening and eight overall this week at Mohawk Park. The former World Driving champion noted that momentum is a big factor in success. "Any driver will say the same thing, when you're hot you're hot and when you're cold, you're ice cold." Two New Zealand mares were impressive tonight pacing fast miles. They were Major League N and Better Be Donna N. Major League N Major League N (Gotta Go Cullen) made it two in a row with another power house front winning performance in 1:50.4. Better Be Donna N Better Be Donna N (Betterthancheddar) won in 1:50.1. She has had 37 starts in Canada for 11 wins, 4 seconds and 7 thirds for $188,000. Live racing continues Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m. Mark McKelvie        

Standardbred Canada reports that the odds-on harness racing favourite So Much More landed on the lead late in the mile and withstood a late charge from Sly Eleanor N to win the $32,000 Fillies and Mares Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (March 7). Sly Eleanor N launched to the lead with Reclamation ducking into the pocket and So Much More venturing first over from third for the front. Past the first quarter in :26.4, the four-year-old Big Jim mare edged towards the front and cleared command past a :55.4 half. Reclamation angled out of third around the final turn and drew within a length of the leader passing three-quarters in 1:24.3. So Much More turned away Reclamation’s challenge into the stretch and faced a pocket-popping rally from Sly Eleanor N nearing the finish, but held off the lunge by a head in 1:52.1. Kendall Seelster swept from last for third. Co-owned by trainer Don Beatson with Kenneth Beatson and Cole England, So Much More won her fourth race from eight starts this season and her 23rd from 42 overall, earning $326,850. James MacDonald drove the $2.90 winner. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Standardbred Canada reports that So Much More, sent off as the 7-5 favourite, fired off cover to land first at the finish in the $36,000 Preferred Pace at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Saturday (Feb. 15). Kendall Seelster led the field to a :27.2 first quarter with Easy Lover Hanover sitting in the pocket. Driver James MacDonald lagged So Much More off the gate and sat seventh around the first turn, but caught cover to race third over into a :56.1 half. Fixed Idea led the overland charge around the final turn, drawing on near-equal terms with Kendall Seelster past three-quarters in 1:23.1 and taking a narrow lead into the stretch. MacDonald angled So Much More off cover and dashed down the centre of the track to the lead in the final stages, winning by a length over pocket-popper Easy Lover Hanover. Fixed Idea settled for third. A four-year-old mare by Big Jim, So Much More won her 22nd race from 40 starts, surpassing $300,000 in earnings. Trainer Don Beatson co-owns the $4.90 winner with Kenneth Beatson and Cole England. Trainer Richard Moreau claimed victory five times during the 11-race card. He began with back-to-back victories midway through the card, with Blu Crew ($6.00) winning in near wire-to-wire fashion and Legion Seelster ($3.30) winning in wire-to-wire fashion. Two races later, Sylph Hanover ($15.50) won in near gate-to-wire style while Wheels On Fire ($5.30) capped Moreau’s evening with a first-over grind to victory. The finale on the program, giving Moreau his fifth win on the night, featured a mandatory payout to the Jackpot Hi-5. Moreau trainee Peace Out Posse ($30.20) ripped off cover to win, with Play Jet Ray finishing second, 66-1 shot Ramblingamblinman closing for third, Foot Soldier finishing fourth and Freddy Bear rounding the ticket. With over $300,000 bet into a $150,000 carryover, the ticket combo of 9-4-2-8-3 returned $41,354.03 on a $.20 ticket. To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Harness racing driver James MacDonald celebrated his birthday in the winner's circle after guiding favourite So Much More to victory in the $32,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Handicap Pace featured on the foggy Friday night (January 10) program at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Caught three-wide through the first turn, So Much More kept on rolling and took over command after Kendall Seelster cleared Double A Mint at the :27.2 quarter pole. The bettors' choice continued to lead through middle splits of :57.2 and 1:26 and was clear in the drive to the wire to score by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:54.2. Double A Mint shook loose in the stretch and rallied on to nab second-place honours ahead of Kendall Seelster while drifting towards the center of the track. So Much More was sent postward as the even-money favourite following back-to-back December wins and a closing third-place finish in her season's debut last week behind Youaremycandygirl and Kendall Seelster. She paid $4.20 to win. The victory was the 20th lifetime for the four-year-old Big Jim mare, who has banked $264,170 across 36 starts. Trainer Don Beatson shares ownership with Kenneth Beatson of Palgrave, Ont., and Cole England of Exeter, Ont. To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park. From Standardbred Canada/Mohawk Park

Standardbred Canada (SC) is pleased to announce that a National Driving Championship (NDC) will be hosted in 2020 and the winner will have the opportunity to represent Canada in the 2021 World Driving Championship. The location of the 2021 WDC has yet to be confirmed. James MacDonald, World Driving Champion in 2017, and Doug McNair, winner of the 2018 National Driving Championship, represented Canada in the 2019 World Driving Championship held in Sweden in May of this year. Rick Ebbinge of The Netherlands was the winner, marking the first WDC title for his country, while McNair just missed the podium with a solid fourth place finish and MacDonald finished in ninth. In 2020, a regional driving championship will be hosted in each of Standardbred Canada’s four regions, and the top two drivers from each of those events will have the opportunity to compete in the National event. All championships are one-day events, consisting of eight races with drivers earning points based on their official finishing position. SC has used this Driving Championship format since 2007 to determine Canada’s representatives to the World Driving Championship which takes place every other year in conjunction with the World Trotting Conference. Past winners of the NDC title include Brandon Campbell (2016), Jody Jamieson (2014 & 2011), Brad Forward (2009), and Gilles Barrieau (2007). Canada has won the WDC on five occasions. Herve Filion won the inaugural edition in 1970 and the next winner was his nephew, Sylvain Filion who won the 1999 event. Jody Jamieson is the only Canadian driver to have two titles on his resume, winning in 2001 and 2011. In 2017 Canada hosted the WDC and James MacDonald was crowned the Champion. A Request For Proposals for host tracks has been issued and the selected host tracks will be announced in mid January.

MILTON, ON - August 31, 2019 - Courtly Choice and driver James MacDonald stormed by harness racing rivals in the stretch for a 30-1 upset victory in Saturday's $525,000C Canadian Pacing Derby at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The Blake MacIntosh trained four-year-old rallied from sixth with a :25.3 final-quarter to nail heavy-favourite Lather Up at the wire for a 1:48.4 victory. "It was amazing, I can't even put it into words I'm so happy," said MacDonald. "I've been trying to get a crack at one of these big ones in Canada and I just haven't had a lot of luck and tonight the race set up great and the horse was just unbelievable." Lather Up and driver Montrell Teague brushed from fourth to first entering the backstretch to overtake This Is The Plan, who cut a :25.4 opening-quarter. Courtly Choice and MacDonald got away seventh in the field and were following defending champion McWicked. After a :54.1 half, Lather Up was confronted by first-up challenger Done Well heading to three-quarters. The racing action got tight going to three-quarters, as This Is The Plan was climbing over the back of Teague with Lather Up. The 1/5 favourite has previously had issues with turns and gave up a short-advantage to Done Well at three-quarters in 1:22.1. Courtly Choice and MacDonald were set up to follow McWicked around the final-turn, but the defending champion moved back down to the rail. Courtly Choice ultimately was placed a couple lengths behind the second-over challenger Western Fame turning for home. In the stretch, Lather Up embraced the straightaway and tried to pull away from rivals. Victory appeared to be within reach for Lather Up, until all eyes focused on Courtly Choice flying on the far outside, powering by rivals to reach up for a half length victory. Lather Up settled for second, while Western Fame was third and This Is The Plan finished fourth. "I can't even explain the feeling he was pacing so hard," said MacDonald of Courtly Choice. "I knew I had a lot of pace, but he was just trying to get into gear, and then everyone was kind of just fanning out and I didn't know what Lather Up would do because he always comes back on and he's just such a great horse. "Lather Up has just been unbeatable, and just special to watch. Even just to be on the track is an honour and then to get to beat him in front of my home crowd... it was amazing." A four-year-old son of Art Major, Courtly Choice picks up his fourth win in 12 outings this season and 16th of his career. Last year's Little Brown Jug champion has now earned over $1.3 million for owners Hutt Racing Stable, Mac And Heim Stables, Daniel Plouffe and Touchstone Farms Inc. The Canadian Pacing Derby victory is the first for driver MacDonald and trainer MacIntosh, who noted the victory ranks near the top for him personally. "Right up there because winning at your home track and we were an underdog coming in," said MacIntosh, noting that Courtly Choice was starting to return to top form in recent weeks. "I knew that James was taking care of him there the last couple weeks, and he looked like he was back to his old self, (I'm) just ecstatic about this." Courtly Choice paid $71.30, $9.20, $4.60. The $2 Exacta with Lather Up returned $205.90, while the $2 Trifecta with Western Fame paid $1,946.20. The Superfecta completed by This Is The Plan paid $6,524.75 for a $1 ticket. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment

MILTON, ON - AUG. 15, 2019 - Ontario's talented harness racing two-year-old pacing colts put on a good show at Woodbine Mohawk Park Thursday as three of the youngsters paced to personal best efforts winning their Grassroots divisions. Driver Trevor Henry and Usurper kicked things off in the first race with a front-end effort from Post 1 that saw them hang on for a nose victory over a hard-closing Remembering Shorty. Aces Rock rounded out the top three in the 1:54.3 mile. "He's a consistent colt, doesn't do nothing wrong and just goes about his work," said Henry. "He can do it from anywhere I think. He drew good the last few times, and he's good gaited, so he finds himself close to the front." The win was Usurper's first in Grassroots action after finishing second and third in the first two legs. Dr. Ian Moore of Cambridge, ON trains the Sportswriter son for Next Generation Stable of Stratford, PEI, who offered up $22,000 for the full-sister to $659,193 winner Voracity at last fall's Harrisburg Yearling Sale. Henry also won the last $23,150 division with Quick Tour, opting for another front-end effort that saw the fan favourite go gate-to-wire from Post 4 in a personal best 1:53.2. Better B Swift was one length back in second and Lous Delight was another length and one-quarter behind in third. "He's a really nice colt. He's real handy, you can do whatever you want with him," said Arthur, ON resident Henry. "He was kind of a steal at the sale." Quick Tour is owned by trainer Mark Horner of St. Marys and R A W Equine Inc. of Burlington, ON who acquired the Mach Three son for a modest $7,000 at the 2018 Harrisburg Yearling Sale. In four lifetime starts the gelding has already netted $30,480 and with two wins and one second in Grassroots action, he currently sits atop the two-year-old pacing colt standings with 125 points. Driver James MacDonald also made two appearances in the Grassroots winner's circle on Thursday, steering Bettors Delight sons Delightful Terror and Day Delight to wins in the second and third divisions. Starting from Post 2, MacDonald settled Delightful Terror in fourth as Doc Fanelli took the field to a :28 opening quarter. Heading by the :56.3 half MacDonald sent the fan favourite after the lead and the pair had things well in hand by the 1:25 three-quarters. Delightful Terror then opened up a two and one-quarter length margin on his peers before the 1:53 finish. Dontblvmejustwatch and Night Watchman closed well to claim second and third. "It just took him a couple starts to get his feet underneath him, and then I rushed him there a couple weeks back (July 16) and he made a break. Since then he got a couple nice trips and won and he's starting to figure out what to do," said MacDonald. "He's a good little racehorse. He was more than willing tonight." MacDonald steers Delightful Terror for trainer Shawn Steacy of Guelph and owners Shelly and Robert MacMillan of Waterloo, Doug Millard Stables of Woodstock and Vivian Bell of St. Thomas, ON. A $32,000 purchase out of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Delightful Terror has now won his last three starts, Thursday's Grassroots division and two overnight events at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "He's learning more and more every week and willing to do it, and every time you ask him for a little more he's always got lots left," added Guelph, ON resident MacDonald. "Hopefully if he keeps improving he should be tough to beat going forward." In the third division MacDonald and Day Delight lined up at Post 6 and went straight to the front. Never tested through fractions of :27.3, :55.4 and 1:24.1, Day Delight drew away to a six and one-quarter length win in a personal best 1:52.1. Beach Demon and Menlo Park finished second and third. "He was big, good gaited, strong - strong from start to finish," said MacDonald, who was making his first appearance in Day Delight's race bike. "I had actually driven his mother and he looked a lot like her and acted like her, and she was a good two-year-old." The colt's mother Kims Royal Day was one of the top two-year-old pacing fillies in Ontario in 2012 and earned $328,803 in her career. She has already produced $205,934 Shadow Play gelding Levis Day, so owners Bill Manes of Rockwood, Lloyd Stone of Portland, numbered company 10462217 Canada Inc. of Gloucester, ON and Wayne MacRae of Fall River, NS offered up $55,000 to acquire Day Delight from last fall's Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. Victor Puddy trains Day Delight - who had one win in overnight action to his credit before Thursday's outing - and the Mountain, ON resident let MacDonald know the colt was ready for battle in his second Grassroots start. "Victor's in PEI right now, but he texted the groom and said he got kind of a tough trip last time, just kind of got shuffled around and didn't get much of a chance," said MacDonald. "And he said he thinks he's ready to win and try and race him on the front if you can, and no problem tonight, he was very ready." My Land captured the other $23,500 division, picking up his second Grassroots win with a 1:52.1 personal best that saw him stalk pacesetter Bee Two Bee through the early going before circling to the front and pulling away to a one and one-half length victory. Better Take It and Mission Bay closed hard to finish second and third. Phil Hudon drove My Land to the win for trainer Gerard Demers and owners La Ferme Tag Inc. of Papineauville, QC. The Badlands Hanover son was a $10,000 acquisition at last fall's London Selected Yearling Sale. On Friday evening (Aug. 16) the Gold Series two-year-old pacing colts will step to centre stage at Woodbine Mohawk Park, competing in Races 4 and 8. Friday's program gets under way at 7:50 pm. Complete results from Thursday's program are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0815wbsbsn.dat. The two-year-old pacing colts will return to Grassroots action on Sunday, Sept. 1 at Clinton Raceway. From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

CLINTON, ON -  AUG. 11, 2019 - The trip to Clinton proved worthwhile for reinsman James MacDonald on Sunday as he notched a driving hat trick, with two of the wins coming in Grassroots divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. MacDonald kicked off the afternoon's Ontario Sires Stakes action with fan favourite Halo Its Me, taking the lead early and hanging on for a one-half length victory in 2:00. Blue Magic closed well, but could not catch the pacesetter, and Cambridge Kate was four lengths back in third. "I kind of took my time in the first turn. She was trotting good, but I didn't want to ask her to put Scott (Young with Blue Magic) in behind me so I just let her idle around, let Scott clear, and then as soon as we straightened out I came back around. And the rest is history," said MacDonald, who lined up at Post 3 with Halo Its Me. "She was really strong." Sunday's win was Halo Its Me's second in Grassroots action this season. The Archangel daughter also triumphed in the July 16 event at Georgian Downs. Along with a runner-up finish in the Grassroots season opener Halo Its Me now has 125 points and sole ownership of top spot in the division standings. MacDonald made his first appearance in the filly's race bike in an Aug. 1 overnight at Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Guelph, ON resident is confident Halo Its Me can pad her point total when the sophomore trotting fillies head to the Campbellville oval for their last regular season Grassroots test on Sept. 17. "She raced really well the last Grassroots starter race at Mohawk (Aug. 1). I was impressed with her," said the driver. "Hopefully she can get in a division at Mohawk (Sept. 17) where she can do some damage." Connie and David Chisholm of Brighton, ON bred and own Halo Its Me and Connie handles training duties on the winner of $43,445. Two races later MacDonald picked up his second win in an overnight event with two-year-old pacing colt Macpherson Thunder and two races after that he was back in the Grassroots winners circle with Rebellious Lady. Starting from Post 5, MacDonald fired Rebellious Lady to the front and the fans' second choice never faced a challenge. After cruising through fractions of :30.3, 1:02 and 1:32.3 the Angus Hall miss powered down the stretch to a four and one-quarter length victory in 2:02. Vimy Ridge Venus and Glide N Go rounded out the top three as the rest of the seven-horse field struggled with breaks. "She got out of the gate good and the race was never in question, she just drove forward from there and I never had to ask her," said MacDonald. "Never a worrisome moment, that's for sure." A two-time Grassroots winner as a two-year-old, Sunday's victory was Rebellious Lady's first of her sophomore campaign. Trainer Duane Marfisi leases the filly through his Green And Gold Ltd. of Guelph, ON. The other two Grassroots divisions went to first-time Ontario Sires Stakes winners Witches N Angels and Kashe. Fan favourite Witches N Angels and driver Trevor Henry went straight to the front from Post 6 and never looked back, rolling through fractions of :29, 1:00 and 1:30.1 on their way to a 2:00 score. Warrawee Ultra and Angel Status finished second and third, six and one half lengths behind Witches N Angels. Joe MacIsaac of Freelton, ON trains Witches N Angels for Andy Stewart and Lennan MacIsaac of Inverness, NS and breeder Carolyn Williston of Carlisle, ON. Sunday's win was the Archangel daughter's first of the season. Lightly rated Kashe took full advantage of a late error by pacesetter and fan favourite Splurge On Me to pick up her first Grassroots win. Sitting second-over in the outer lane when Splurge On Me went off-stride, Kashe out-sprinted the rest of the challengers down the stretch to secure the 2:01 victory. Absynthe Hanover was one and three-quarter lengths back in second and Holiday Harlot was two more lengths back in third. Wayne Henry of Arthur, ON drives, trains and owns Justice Hall daughter Kashe, who now has three wins on her sophomore resume. In addition to the Grassroots action, Clinton Raceway fans were treated to a bake sale, barbecue, 50-50 draw and silent auction by the Stratford Warriors on Sunday. The Junior B hockey club raised over $3,000 thanks to the support of their Clinton-area fans. Complete results for Sunday's program, which saw $47,998 wagered, are available at https://standardbredcanada.ca/racing/results/data/r0811clntnn.dat. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

JUNE 27, 2019 - Driver James MacDonald and trainer Shawn Steacy teamed up for two wins and two seconds in Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots action at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday night. The duo kicked off the Grassroots program in the fourth race with fan favourite Moonshine Kisses, who took command of the race before the halfway marker and powered home a five length winner in 1:50. Balder Son closed well to finish second and pocket-sitter Silver Beast was third. "I was really pleased with his effort because I think he's got a great attitude. His attitude has come a long way from last year and that's what's made him a better horse. He's more focused, he's more willing to put in a full effort," said Steacy. "And 1:50 was a real big mile. I think that's the fastest Sunshine Beach there is now, if I'm not mistaken." Steacy shares ownership of the Sunshine Beach colt with his mother Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, ON and Diane Bertrand and Robert Gilhespy of Edmonton, AB. The win was Moonshine Beach's third of the season and, added to his runner-up finish in the May 19 Grassroots opener, gives him a total of 75 points and a share of second-place in the division standings. Guelph, ON residents MacDonald and Steacy were back in the winner's circle one race later with OK Kudo, who reeled off a :27 last quarter to score his first lifetime win in 1:52. Dreamfair Moxy was one-half length back in second and Missile Seelster was one more length back in third. "OK Kudo I was really happy with. He's been waiting to win, he's about three weeks overdue that horse," said the trainer. "So many times I thought tonight was his night, tonight was night, and he'd let me down. Tonight he just had to prove that he could do it." Another son of Sunshine Beach, OK Kudo had recorded one second, two thirds and two fourths in overnight action and a seventh in the Grassroots season opener since making his sophomore debut in early May. Breeder Oak Knoll Stables of Campbellcroft, ON and Stephen Downey of Quispamsis, NB share ownership of the colt. Steacy and MacDonald's other two Grassroots starters, also sons of Sunshine Beach, finished second in their divisions. Phils Sun battled Sportsline down the stretch, but was unable to reel in the heavy favourite. Sportsline stopped the Woodbine Mohawk Park teletimer at 1:50.3, reaching the wire three-quarters of a length ahead of Phils Sun, with Jay Eye Em another length back in third. Trevor Henry piloted Sportsline to his eighth win in nine sophomore starts for trainer Jim Watt of Clinton and his co-owner Harry Parrott of Goderich, ON. With two wins in Grassroots action the Sportswriter son currently shares top spot in the division standings with 100 points. "Phils Sun, he raced a huge mile and only got tired in the last couple steps and got beat by a horse that's, in my mind, a super horse for a Grassroots horse," said Steacy of Sportsline. In the last division fans sent MacDonald and Priceless Beach off as the top choice, but the pair was unable to catch pacesetter The Regulator in the stretch. After moving to the front at the :54.1 half, The Regulator reeled off a 1:22.1 three-quarters and then sprinted home to a 1:49.4 victory. Priceless Beach was two and three-quarter lengths behind in second, one-half length ahead of third-place finisher Better Moonon Over. Arthur, ON resident Trevor Henry picked up his second Grassroots win aboard The Regulator, steering the Bettors Delight son to victory for trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain, Dale Towle of Leamington and Michael Horwood of Tecumseh, ON. The win was the first in Ontario Sires Stakes action for The Regulator, who dropped down from the Gold Series level for Thursday's test. "Sportsline's a nice colt. He's got a quick turn of foot. Jim just has to figure out how to stop him from drifting in the stretch. The Regulator is just a nice colt. I can't believe he paid as much as he did his first time in the Grassroots," said Henry of his winning mounts. The other $23,850 Grassroots division went to Sugartown, who also recorded a personal best with his 1:51.2 victory. Sugartown finished three-quarters of a length ahead of fan favourite Cliffhanger and that much more ahead of third-place finisher Carlisimo. Doug McNair piloted Sugartown to his second straight Grassroots win for trainer Richard Moreau and owner W J Donovan of Delray Beach, FL. With two Grassroots wins under his belt, the Sportswriter son shares top spot in the division standings with Sportsline. The three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will make their third Grassroots start on August 5 at Grand River Raceway, where MacDonald and Steacy will attempt to replicate Thursday's success. "We had a real good night," said Steacy. "We can always think about Golds maybe later on with some of them, but they seem to be very comfortable where they are, so we'll probably just race some overnights and prepare for the next one." The Gold Series three-year-old pacing colts and geldings will square off in their second event on Saturday, June 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The $159,600 Gold division is slated as Race 5 on Saturday's program, which gets under way at 7:55 pm.   OSS Program Information For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit: www.ontariosiresstakes.com   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing Woodbine Mohawk Park

Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by the USTA/BetAmerica, is excited to announce the line-up for Thursday morning (May 16th) at 10:30 a.m. They will be joined by Dr. Jeffrey Greenstein, Katricia Adams, James MacDonald, and Andrew 'Shades' Demsky. In a special Pacing For The Cure segment, Mike Bozich had a chance to sit down with well-known immunologist Dr. Jeffrey Greenstein. Greenstein has been integral in finding a cure for not only for Multiple Sclerosis, but for other autoimmune diseases as well. It will be the second of a two-part interview. Part one aired last Thursday (May 9th). Trainer Katricia Adams will also join the program. Adams, trainer of Indiana State Champion Fiftydallarbill, will talk about the 4-year-olds progress thus far this season. She will also talk about her career and how she got started in the sport of harness racing. Mike and Mike will also be joined by Driver James MacDonald, who picked up his 2,000th career win Monday (May 13th) at Woodbine Mohawk. He will chat about his career in the sport and what the future holds. MacDonald won the World Driving Championship at Red Shores Charlottetown in 2017. Also joining the show will be Andrew Demsky, best known as 'Shades' for wearing stylish sunglasses during his stint as public handicapper for Tampa Bay Downs. Demsky was recently hired by the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association to be their new Director of Digital Media and Creative Services. Post Time with Mike and Mike presented by USTA/BetAmerica can be heard live every Thursday at 10:30 a.m. via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com or on the archive at www.betamerica.com/BARN.   Mike Bozich  

MILTON, May 13, 2019 - James MacDonald posted a Grand Slam Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park to reach 2,000 career driving wins. The Guelph, Ontario resident entered the evening three wins shy of the harness racing milestone and came through with the number he needed, plus one, by steering Marquis Volo, Cue Hall, Fast N First and Rockin Wizard to victories. MacDonald's milestone score saw three-year-old pacing colt Fast N First display plenty of grit to hold off challengers in the lane for his second win of the season. The Blake MacIntosh trainee is eligible to the Pepsi North America Cup. MacDonald, who started driving in 2009, has posted six 200-plus win seasons during his career and topped $3 million in earnings in each of the last five years. His 2019 numbers now sit at 52 wins and over $900,000 in earnings. The 2,000 win milestone comes just 11 days before MacDonald competes in the 2019 World Driving Championship. The 33-year-old is heading to Sweden as the defending champion after winning the 2017 event on home soil. Fans can meet MacDonald and fellow driver Doug McNair, who is also competing in the World Driving Championship, on Saturday evening at Mohawk Park during a meet and greet from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.   Mark McKelvie

MILTON, ON - October 11, 2018 - Round one of the Harvest Series came to a close Thursday with Ontario sired two-year-old colts and geldings in action at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A group of 21 pacers were split into three divisions, while 17 trotters were separated into two divisions. Each of Thursday's round one divisions went for $17,000. Sportswriter gelding Mantario and driver Sylvain Filion were able find room in the lane to split rivals for a half-length score in 1:54.1. The Scott McEneny trainee received a two-hole trip and despite being stuck behind a tiring leader at three-quarters, slid off the rail and shot through for his third win of the season. Shadow Tail was second, while Better Than Some was third. Mantario has now earned $22,128 in 10 starts this season for owners M And L Of Delaware LLC. The $60,000 Harrisburg yearling purchase matched his career-best of 1:54.1. He paid $7.90 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Millenium Seelster and driver Chris Christoforou captured the second division in gate to wire fashion. The Charalambos Christoforou trainee stopped the clock in 1:55.2 to break his maiden. Lifetime Delight was second, beat two-lengths, while Better Than Cash was third. Millenium Seelster's maiden-breaking score came in his fifth start and pushes his earnings to $10,418 for owners Charalambos Christoforou and Banjo Farms. The $42,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $15.10 to win. Sunshine Beach colt Carlisimo rallied from third-over to win the third pacing division in 1:55.2. The James 'Friday' Dean trainee left well to get away second, but got shuffled back in the middle-half before sliding off the rail into a third-over spot. Joe Mcdude crossed the wire second, beat half a length, while Rousseau was a close third. Carlisimo now has four wins in 10 starts and has earned $42,148 for owner Reginald MacPherson. The $13,000 Atlantic Classic sale purchase paid $5.30 to win. Archangel gelding All Wrapped Up picked up his second consecutive coast-to-coast victory to take the first split for rookie trotters. The Rob Fellows trainee and driver Trevor Henry won by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:58. Cool Clifford finished second, while Cousin Peter was third. All Wrapped Up is now two for six with $15,250 earned for owners Fellows, Arpad Szabo, Blair Corbeil and Mike McAllister. The $11,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase paid $4.20 to win. Angus Hall gelding Sinful muscled his way to a career-best 1:58.2 victory in the second trotting split. The Jack Moiseyev trainee and driver Chris Christoforou popped out from second nearing three-quarters, taking the lead at the top of the lane and trotting off to a length and a half score. Scarlett Raider finished second, while Jmr Pinarello was third. Sinful's tally improves his rookie numbers to two wins and $20,780 earned in eight starts. The $17,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase is owned by Friends Forever Racing, Emma Christoforou, All You Gotta Know Stable and Pamela Schmidt. The Moiseyev trainee Sinful paid $17.50 to win. Ontario sired two-year-olds, who were non-winners of $30,000 as of September 30, 2018, were eligible for nomination to the Harvest Series. The next leg for colts and geldings goes next Thursday (October 18). Live racing continues Friday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

MILTON, ON - September 27, 2018 - The duo of driver James MacDonald and trainer Mark Steacy are sitting pretty heading into Saturday's $400,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships at Woodbine Mohawk Park. MacDonald, who sits sixth in the Lampman Cup standings, has a drive in all eight of Saturday's $50,000 finals and will team up with Johnston Cup leading trainer Steacy in five of the finals. The Steacy/MacDonald duo is clicking at a winning percentage of nearly 20 per cent with more than 350 starts this season on the Woodbine circuit and those numbers could rise with several legit contenders in Saturday's finals. Rookie trotting colt Royale Elite (Race 2, PP5) enters his Grassroots final off a hard-fought second-place finish to A Royal Line (PP2, Henry/McIntosh) in his Semi-Final. The sons of Royalty For Life battled the length of the stretch with A Royal Line prevailing by a head. "He drew the rail unfortunately last week and I just kind of got him in a tough spot," said MacDonald of Royale Elite. "He's been handy and anyone that's been watching sees his times maybe haven't been the best, but the lengths he's made up down the lane in some of those races and the way he won at Grand River (September 12) in my mind he's still the one to beat, him and McIntosh's horse." Royale Elite has won four of seven starts this season and earned $45,232 for owner/breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable. He has been saddled with morning-line odds of 9/2. Rookie pacing filly Freya Seelster (Race 5, PP4) is one of two morning-line choices for MacDonald and Steacy in the Grassroots finals. A daughter of Sunshine Beach, Freya Seelster charges into the final on a four-race win streak, which started with a 1:53 maiden-breaking score on August 20 at Mohawk Park. "She's been dominant in the Grassroots this year," said MacDonald. "They were hoping she would learn to be a Gold filly and I think she probably will next year. She's a big long-legged filly and she's been winning pretty easy." A $26,000 London Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Freya Seelster has won four of six starts and earned $42,005 for owners Katherine Steacy, Bertrand Gilhespy Stable, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell. "I know there are a couple good ones in there," noted MacDonald. "But I think if I can find her somewhat of a comfortable trip she'll give us a good effort." Augus Hall gelding Jammin Jack (Race 6, PP8) has overcome recent breaking issues and is the 5/2 morning-line choice in thee-year-old colt and gelding trot final. Unraced as a two-year-old, Jammin Jack has five wins and $51,312 earned in 16 starts this season for owner Hutt Racing Stable. The Steacy trainee has been streaky with stretches of top-results, but also breaking issues in consecutive starts. Jammin Jack made consecutive breaks in starts on August 26 and September 10. Despite the miscue on September 10, the Steacy trainee recovered to pick up the victory and then qualified two-days later for a clean line to enter the Semi-Final. The Angus Hall gelding captured his Semi-Final in 1:59.2 and will seek a third-consecutive victory in Saturday's Championship. "He's a little bumpy, but you just got to take your time with him," said MacDonald. "He's got a big engine and he loves doing it. He drew the eight-hole and if I can get him somewhat in a striking spot turning for home or somewhere easy I think he's the one to beat as well." MacDonald and Steacy will also team up in Saturday's finals with two-year-old trotting filly Pyrrha (Race 1, PP1) and three-year-old pacing filly Lady Bubbles (Race 3, PP10). Not one to get ahead of himself, MacDonald is excited for Saturday's Grassroots Championships. "It should be a good day for hopefully Mark and I and the crew." Post time for Saturday's $400,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots Championships is 7:10 p.m. To download a free program for Saturday's card, click here. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

There were few surprises at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday night as the top two-year-old trotting colts and geldings padded their point totals in the last Grassroots event of the regular season. After finishing second twice and third once, Cousin Peter finally found the winner's circle in the first $18,450 Grassroots division. Starting from Post 1 driver Louis Philippe Roy settled Cousin Peter in the pocket behind Priceless Ruler and followed the pacesetter through fractions of :28.4, :59.3 and 1:29.4. In the stretch Roy slid Cousin Peter into an open lane and the colt reeled in Priceless Ruler and first-up challenger Magical Journey to score a neck victory in 1:59.2. Fan favourite Magical Journey was second and Priceless Ruler settled for third. "He's a horse that doesn't really look fluid when you sit behind him, but he wants to try and has a big heart that makes him forget his little issues," said Roy. "I might be wrong, but he's a horse that I expect to improve a lot between two and three years old." Roy steers the Johnny William son for trainer Richard Moreau and owners Sergis Racing Stable LLC of Canton, NY and Saverino Spagnolo of Ottawa, Ontario. With a total of 122 points the consistent Cousin Peter finished the season in third spot and will be among the favourites in the Sept. 20 Grassroots Semi-Finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The second division saw point leader Royale Elite get a pocket trip behind Archway, who led the field to fractions of :29.4, 1:02.1 and 1:33.2. Coming off the final turn driver James MacDonald tipped Royale Elite out from behind the pacesetter and the colt powered home to a two length win in 2:02.4. Archway finished second and fan favourite Judge Ken recovered from an early break in stride to be third. "The trip worked out great; no stress," said trainer Mark Steacy. "We'll keep to the same schedule for next week and hope to stay sound and healthy." Wednesday's win was Royale Elite's fourth in Grassroots action. He was also victorious at Georgian Downs, Hiawatha Horse Park and Woodbine Mohawk Park. His only loss came at Woodbine Mohawk Park in the July 31 event where he finished third behind two colts that are ranked among the top 10 Gold Series competitors. With his near perfect record, Royale Elite leads his peers into the post-season with 212 points. Steacy trains Royale Elite for owner-breeders Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Quebec and the conditioner's concerns about keeping the Royalty For Life son healthy are more than just lip service. His stablemate Rap Royalty, ranked fifth in the standings, was scratched out of Wednesday's first division due to sickness. "We're hoping Rap can rebound to race next week," noted Steacy, who currently leads all trainers in the Ontario Sires Stakes standings in pursuit of his third straight Johnston Cup title. The final division saw LA Magic record his first victory in just his second lifetime start. The Kadabra son and driver Jody Jamieson stormed away from Post 2 and never looked back, reeling off fractions of :29.2, 1:00.3 and 1:30.3 on their way to a one and one-half length win in 2:01.2. Lightly rated Fitzgibbons trotted into second, leaving fan favourite A Royal Line the third-place spoils. "I've schooled him and qualified him and he is naturally gifted with a flawless gait," said Jamieson. "I really thought he could ambush them off the gate tonight and win, and that's exactly what he did." Jamieson crafted the win for trainer Duane Marfisi and owner Gary Morritt of London, Ontario. With a fifth-place result in his Sept. 3 debut, LA Magic finishes the season with a total of 55 points and heads into the Semi-Final tied for ninth spot, but Jamieson is expecting him to be a serious player. "He'll be the freshest horse in the Semis next week," pointed out the driver. "Hopefully he'll use the light schedule to his advantage." The top 20 points earners with at least two starts in the Grassroots program will advance to next week's Semi-Final. The top five finishers from each $20,000 Semi-Final will earn a berth in the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

Rain and fog greeted the three-year-old trotting colts and two-year-old pacing fillies as they gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Monday night for their last regular season Grassroots events. Driver James MacDonald piloted one winner on each gait and said the rain-soaked track, which officials rated five seconds slower than normal, was tiring and difficult to navigate for both the trotters and pacers. "They were all struggling," said the Guelph resident. "It was deep and heavy." The trotting colts kicked things off in the first race and MacDonald had a few a stressful moments as Jammin Jack went off stride at the start. Fortunately the fan favourite recovered quickly and caught up with the field as they rolled into the first turn. A total of three horses made breaks before Legend Within reached the :30.1 quarter and two more went off stride heading for the 1:02 half, which left Jammin Jack sitting fifth. Heading for the 1:33.1 three-quarters MacDonald sent the gelding up the outside behind Daylon Phantom and Mister Magic and at the top of the stretch Jammin Jack found another gear, digging in to score a neck victory in 2:02.3. Mister Magic was second and Legend Within held on for third. "I was very worried, because he usually doesn't re-set like that, that was the first time I've ever seen him re-set that quick," said MacDonald of Jammin Jack's early miscue. "I thought he was the best horse in the race if he didn't get beat up too bad. After he run and he landed back, and I caught the field right away, I was confident he could still win." The win was Jammin Jack's first-ever in Grassroots action and his fourth of the season. The Angus Hall son is conditioned by Mark Steacy for owner-breeder Hutt Racing Stable of Paoli, PA. With the victory, Jammin Jack boosted his point tally to 68 and moved up to fifth spot in the three-year-old trotting colt and gelding Grassroots standings, earning him a berth in the Sept. 21 Semi-Final. The only hiccup is that, because he also made a break at the start in the August 26 Grassroots event at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Jammin Jack will have to requalify before Steacy can enter him in the Semi-Final. The entry is due Tuesday, Sept. 18 by 10:30 am. "There's a chance he might not get to race in the Semi-Final," noted MacDonald, pointing out that the trotter will need to lay down a flawless qualifier before Tuesday morning. "But if we can get him qualified I think he'd be one of the horses to beat for sure. And Majestic Fire, same thing, if I can get him qualified. I think they both have a real good shot to get real good money in the final." Jammin Jack's stablemate Majestic Fire, who also went off as the fans' top choice, made a break heading for the three-quarters in the second $19,150 sophomore trotting colt division, just before Barney Mac unleashed a finishing kick that propelled him to a two and three-quarter length victory in 2:03.1. Say You Do finished second and pacesetter T Barrr held on for third. Campbellville resident Chris Christoforou piloted Barney Mac to the victory for trainer Per Henriksen and owners Tor Jan Larsen of Norwood, Ontario and Adv Racing Stable LLC of Pawling, NY. The win was the Cornaro Dasolo son's second of the season and his first in Grassroots action. Barney Mac made his first four starts of the Ontario Sires Stakes season at the Gold Series level, so he will not be eligible to compete in the Grassroots Championship in spite of Monday's victory. Horses are required to start in at least two regular season events in order to compete in the post-season. MacDonald and Steacy were back in the winner's circle after the second $19,150 pacing filly division as Freya Seelster picked up her second Grassroots, and third straight, victory. The Sunshine Beach daughter delivered an impressive effort over the rain-soaked surface, sitting on the outside throughout the mile and refusing to yield in the stretch. The fan favourite hit the wire a neck ahead of Lyons Javelin in 1:58.4. Karans Choice completed the top three. "She raced huge, huge," said MacDonald. "I had put her on the lead her last two, so I was hoping I could find her a nice trip. I moved her first up, just grinding away slow, and when I called on her at the top of the track she really responded well." Freya Seelster is owned by Katherine Steacy of Lansdowne, Shawn Steacy and Guy Haskell of Guelph, Ontario and Bertrand Gilhespy Stable of Edmonton, Alberta. In just five starts the filly has tallied three wins, one second and one third and heads into the Semi-Final in a three-way tie for third with 100 points. The other two pacing filly divisions were captured by Shadow Sparks and Turncoat, who both made their first visit to the Woodbine Mohawk Park winner's circle. Louis Philippe Roy piloted Shadow Sparks to her first lifetime victory for trainer Paul Reid and owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, PA. The Shadow Play daughter paced under the wire in 1:59, one length ahead of fan favourite Free Exchange. Lady Driver was third. Shadow Sparks will advance to the Semi-Final round with a total of 55 points. Turncoat completed the stakes events in the tenth race, cruising home a two and one-half length winner in 1:59.4. Moffat resident Jody Jamieson piloted the daughter of Badlands Hanover to the win for owner-trainer Matthew Waltz of Clayton, MI. Buckingham and Twin B Friendly finished second and third behind the fan favourite. Monday marked Turncoat's debut in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, so she will not be eligible to the post-season. The top 20 point earners with two regular season starts from the two-year-old pacing filly division will return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on Thursday, Sept. 20 for two $20,000 Semi-Finals. The trotting colt and gelding Semi-Finals go postward on Friday, Sept. 21. The top five finishers from each Semi-Final will advance to their respective $50,000 Grassroots Championship on Saturday, Sept. 29. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

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