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An Oshawa native is being honoured for his career in harness racing. Paul MacDonell is joining the list of this year’s Class of 2020 inductees into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (CHRHF). “It feels great, it really does,” says MacDonell of the recognition. “There’s a very small amount of people in the hall of fame and to be a part of it, it’s really, really something.” Founded in 1976, the CHRHF inducts 10 people and horses from categories, including Builders, Jockeys, Trainers, Drivers, Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds. MacDonell joins the roster as a Standardbred Driver. MacDonell’s driving career is highlighted by both consistency and superstars, with earnings surpassing $1 million for 33 consecutive years, due in part to piloting such horses as Hall of Fame Honoured Members Somebeachsomewhere, Admirals Express, and Invitro. “I raced a horse called Somebeachsomewhere who will probably go down in history as one of the best race horses of all time, and that includes the world,” says MacDonell. “He was a dynamic horse that everyone followed back in 2008, and he was just one of those super heroes, like Secretariat from the Thoroughbred side, or Northern Dancer,” he continues. “Somebeachsomewhere was, in our business of harness racing, Standardbred side, one of the best of all time.” Macdonell has also been the primary pilot for millionaires Village Jiffy, Village Connection, Elusive Desire, Bigtime Ball and Laddie. The Oshawa native’s major stakes victories include three Metro Paces, five Confederation Cups, and eight Breeders Crowns, as well as a record 16 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals to his credit. MacDonell was also awarded an O’Brien Award as the 2008 Canadian Driver of the Year, and to date, has chalked up more than 15,000 top three finishes, 5,623 wins, and has driven horses to in excess of $122 million in purse earnings. MacDonell attributes his successful career to his love for horses, which started at a young age. “My dad had a few horses in the Oshawa area. He worked at General Motors and did it part time. After school I would go to the barn with my dad,” he says, adding that he was around 10 or 11 years old at this time. “I fell into looking after the horses with him and helping him out, which then graduated into a career of harness racing,” says MacDonell. MacDonell explains you start with getting your trainer’s licence and then you graduate to become a driver. He started his driving career at Kawartha Downs when he was 18, about 38 years ago, and remains active in the business today. The now Guelph resident continues to race, and mostly works in training the horses for competition. “I think most of it is just my love of the horses, I love being around the animals, and then of course getting them ready to compete. And as MacDonell reflects on his accomplishments throughout his career, his advice for up-and-comers in the industry is simple. “It’s just like any career. It doesn’t happen overnight,” says MacDonell. “You have to really invest in it. It’s hard work. It’s not easy. Just like any professional that’s made it to a high level, you have to invest and you have to really, really work at it.” By Courtney Bachar Reprinted with permission of /The Oshawa Express

Three of the most respected horsemen in Canadian harness racing — Jack Darling, Paul MacDonell and Ben Wallace — took part in an interview to discuss their careers on Wednesday (April 8). The interview with the three Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame nominees and pair of inductees was streamed on COSA TV’s Facebook Page and conducted by Greg Blacnhard. The trio of horsemen, who have known each other for decades, revisited memorable moments throughout their spectacular careers, answered questions from fans and filled the audience in on how they are keeping busy while harness racing across North America continues to take a hiatus due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Both MacDonell and Wallace were ecstatic about their inductions into the Hall Of Fame. “I was overwhelmed by the news. It was hard to believe and it still is now,” MacDonell said of the news. “You work all your life and you don’t even think about Hall Of Fame status as you’re going but here we are all these years later.” The induction for Wallace posed as a time to reflect on the years composing his career. “The horses you always remember, the races you won and the horses that you dealt with are etched in your mind. I was just awash with memories of 50 years of racing horses for a living. The people that you conjure up in your mind that you remember from years ago that either worked for you or worked alongside you and stories of the fun times and tough times…it was all that type of stuff that really took over me. I had a tough time sleeping because I kept revisiting various evenings and situations that popped up. “We always remember the good times of our horses and we struggle through some of the bad ones, the memories of the horses are prevalent whether I am a Hall Of Famer or not,” noted Wallace. “But, the Hall Of Fame brings out this other memory void for everybody.” Although Darling’s name was not on the winning ballot, the lifelong horseman was still very grateful for the honour. “It’s funny when something like this happens, you really go into the memory banks. It really is an honour to be considered for something like that. I’m really happy for both of these guys, they’re both good friends and both very well deserving of their inductions.” Between the trio of horsemen is a list of great racehorses they have all been associated with over the years. While that list is near endless, there are always a few that standout the most. For MacDonell, a memorable horse and perhaps one of the greatest horses he has driven in his career — arguably one of the greatest racehorses in history — would be none other than Somebeachsomewhere. Blanchard revisited Somebeachsomewhere’s first Ontario start at Grand River Raceway. “I was probably expecting more from him than most would have because I had the opportunity to train him at Mohawk in between his qualifier and his race at Grand River,” recalled MacDonell. “The first time I sat on him, you could tell there was something very special about him. He was just a powerful horse and it was hard to believe that he was just a two-year-old. I did have a little bit of insight on him and I remember driving to the track this night feeling some excitement to see what he was going to be all about. He still went way above my expectations. “[In his first career start] I felt so much power in him, I was just making sure that he was going to be okay on a half-mile track. I had a ton of horse and I was just waiting on him to do his thing. He did that :54 mile with so much ease it was scary.” A memorable performer for now Hall Of Famer Ben Wallace would be a Hall Of Famer he conditioned, Blissfull Hall. “He was a ridgling which was concerning to some, but I’ve had ridglings before and it didn’t bother me. He was such a powerfully-built colt, he looked like early speed would be in his repertoire but what happened was the testicle was bothering him. He made well over a hundred thousand as a two-year-old and was locked on a line the entire time. I remember saying to Daniel [Plouffe] who owned him that if he doesn’t come off the line, we’re going to have to go in and remove it. We opted not to take it out and I took him and Armbro Rosebud, who was an O’Brien Award winner, to The Meadowlands coming into their three-year-old seasons — I figured that surface would be perfect to bring them up on. I remember jogging Blissfull in the middle of February or so and as I was jogging him it appeared to be that the other testicle had come down and sure enough it did. “From that day on he was just an exceptionally fast horse and a gentleman horse at that. His speed got him out of any trouble that he may or may not have gotten himself into. He opened many doors all over for me again.” Darling, who is prominently known for developing young horses into champions, has a near infinite list of memorable horses who have walked through his stable including 1997 North America Cup winner Gothic Dream. Perhaps one who is more memorable would be Northern Luck — a horse who certainly overcame tough ‘luck’ throughout his career. “In his three-year-old year, I had two horses in the North America Cup. Gothic Dream won his elimination and Northern Luck won his elimination as well. Gothic Dream was a big name at the time and Northern Luck was just starting to come up. Trevor Ritchie drove Northern Luck and said to me ‘I hope you’re not going to be disappointed if Northern Luck beats Gothic Dream next week.’ On the way home from the races that night he [Northern Luck] took some kind of a claustrophobic fit in the trailer and he almost took his entire hind foot off. You would have never dreamed he would have ever been able to walk again let alone race. So he missed the final of the North America Cup and he was off for about three months, but he came back strong after that. He was a very aggressive horse that always wanted to go forward.” Northern Luck passed on his desire to go forward to many of his offspring, some of which were conditioned in their early years by Darling such as Silent Swing and Jr Mint. Great memories were shared among the horsemen who have become lifelong friends over the years and insightful information on developing younger horses and choosing future champions was shared with the audience. The feature can be viewed below. Central Ontario Standardbred Association  

ELORA, ON - SEPT. 4, 2019 - Scorched Romance kicked off the Ontario Sires Stakes harness racing action at Grand River Raceway on Wednesday evening, cruising to a three and three-quarter length victory in the first of five $22,800 Grassroots divisions for the two-year-old trotting fillies. "She's been coming up to a good mile like that," said driver Paul MacDonell. "She's been knocking at the door pretty much every week, so I expected a good race out of her tonight." Starting from Post 4 MacDonell and Scorched Romance landed in third as Validation led the field of eight to a :29 quarter. Heading for the :59.4 half the reinsman moved Scorched Romance to the outside and the fan favourites started to advance on the leaders. Scorched Romance had taken command by the 1:30.2 three-quarters and from there she simply pulled away from her peers, reaching the wire in 2:01. Peppas Angel finished second and Validation was third. "I had lots left there, she was trotting really strong at the wire even though she went kind of a tough trip," noted Guelph, ON resident MacDonell. "There's not much to her really, she's pretty automatic. Makes my job easy, that's for sure." MacDonell piloted the Kadabra daughter to her first lifetime win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman and owners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL and David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. Driver James MacDonald won the next two divisions, piloting both Th Present and Moana to victory from Post 4. Making his first appearance in Th Present's race bike, MacDonald eased the Royalty For Life daughter away from the starting gate and watched from fifth as Queen M and fan favourite Aphrodite Duke battled to a :29.14 opening quarter. Still fifth as Aphrodite Duke trotted by the :59.1 half, MacDonald tipped Th Present out three-wide around a stalled Expelliarmus heading by the 1:30.1 three-quarters and the filly kept on rolling, catching Aphrodite Duke and then holding off Chelseas Magic to claim a head victory in 2:00.4. Chelseas Magic was second and Aphrodite Duke finished two lengths back in third.   Cambridge, ON resident Marcel Barrieau trains Th Present for his partner Gestion Mastel Inc. of Longeuil, QC. The filly was also a narrow winner in the July 14 Grassroots opener at Georgian Downs. With Moana, MacDonald went straight to the front and stole fractions of :30.1, 1:02.3 and 1:32.1 before kicking home to a 2:01.3 victory. Zakarina was one and one-half lengths back in second and Jayport Echo was for more lengths behind in third. MacDonald drives the Muscle Mass daughter for trainer Shawn Steacy of Guelph and fractional ownership group Landmark 12 of Lansdowne, numbered company 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, ON and Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, QC. The win was Moana's first in four lifetime starts. "Th Present raced great. I just wanted to be careful with her leaving the gate, because I saw she had made some breaks, but she was all business tonight and when I showed her some racetrack, she knew what to do with it," said Guelph resident MacDonald. "Moana just crushed tonight. I was able to get her to the front easy, get easy fractions, and she was full of trot when I needed her." Zebs Flur also got her first lifetime win in the fourth $23,150 division. Starting from the advantageous Post 1, driver Stephen Byron went straight to the front and never looked back, cruising through fractions of :29.1, :59.3 and 1:30 on the way to a 2:00.1 victory. Fan favourite Canadian Titan was two lengths back in second and Emily Antoinette was seven more lengths back in third. "I was pretty happy with her. I was hoping for those results actually. I thought she was due," said trainer John Bax. "She's game, she really wants to, I love her attitude." Bax trains the Muscle Mass daughter for his Bax Stable of Campbellville, Don Allensen of Wyoming and Goin To The Show Stable of Peterborough, ON. The last division went to Yen and driver Trevor Henry of Arthur, ON, who got away third from Post 3 and watched Muscles Aplenty ring up a :29.1 quarter before swinging to the outside heading for the 1:00 half and taking control. One and one-half lengths ahead of her peers by the 1:29.3 three-quarters, fan favourite Yen hit the wire two and one-half lengths the best in 2:00. Enjoyin My Life was second and Kads Kiss was third. "It's always been there, she just, she's figuring it out," said trainer Julie Walker. "She's always had the head for it. All the drivers say her big quality is how smart she is." Walker trains the E L Titan filly for owner-breeder Overseas Farms Ltd. of Cambridge and the Carlisle, ON resident said there was never any pressure on Yen, who has not been worse than third in her four Grassroots appearances and was also victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 30. "She is a late foal (early June) and we always had that in our head, that she didn't have to race at two, or we didn't have to race her early, but every time we trained her she did her job and just kept going," explained Walker. "That's kind of why we're still in the Grassroots." The two-year-old trotting fillies will make their last regular season Grassroots start at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Sept. 19. From there the top 20 point earners will advance to the Sept. 27 Semi-Finals, with the top five finishers from each Semi-Final moving on to the $50,000 Grassroots Championship at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Oct. 5. Ontario Sires Stakes action continues at Grand River Raceway on Monday, Sept. 9 with the fourth Grassroots Leg for the two-year-old pacing fillies. Complete results for Wednesday's program are available at From the Ontario Sire Stakes  

JUNE 3, 2019 - On Monday the three-year-old trotting fillies gathered at Woodbine Mohawk Park for their first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold event and fans got a look at two impressive youngsters who could be battling for divisional supremacy all summer. In the first $107,200 division Haveoneforme, making her first start since winning the May 18 SBOA Stake Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park, was sent off as the heavy favourite. Driver Paul MacDonell of Guelph, ON took advantage of the tepid :29.1 opening quarter and rolled Haveoneforme to the front from Post 8 and then cruised comfortably by the :57.4 half. Last year's division champion HP Titania Runner attempted to press Haveoneforme from the outside, but was not up to the task, going off stride before the 1:26.3 three-quarters. From there it was all smooth sailing for the fan favourite, who hit the wire a five length winner in 1:55.3. Royal Esteem finished second and Angies Luckeylady was third. "She's a very strong filly. Every time I've raced her so far she's just trotted through the wire really strong," MacDonell told Woodbine Mohawk Park's Jason Portuondo from the winner's circle. "That's what really makes her, probably separates her from most of the others." MacDonell crafted the win for trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman of Allentown, NJ and his partners Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON and Little E LLC of New York, NY. A $70,000 acquisition from the 2017 Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Haveoneforme was unraced at two, but has made up for lost time since making her debut on Jan. 25. In eight starts she has recorded six wins and Monday's victory was the Kadabra daughter's third straight. Three races later Bright Eyes M, who finished second to Haveoneforme in the SBOA Final, was also sent off as the favourite. Starting from Post 9, Bright Eyes M effortlessly grabbed control of the front, reaching the quarter in :28.2. From there the Kadabra daughter and driver Stephen Byron were completely untroubled as they rang up a :57.1 half and 1:26.3 three-quarter on their way to a five and one-quarter length victory in 1:55. Sams Arsenal and HP Bruxelles trotted into second and third. "It's a long year, but it's sure starting good," said Campbellville, ON resident John Bax, who trains Bright Eyes M for Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, KY. Monday's win was the filly's third in four sophomore starts, her only loss coming to Haveoneforme in the SBOA Final. A $72,000 purchase from the 2017 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, Bright Eyes M made just three starts at two before her connections decided they would be better off allowing her to grow into her big frame. "As a two-year-old, she was what I call a typical Kadabra, just a real heavy horse. She eats well, but that was her problem," said Bax. "She was pretty heavy in the front and that was her issue. I mean she's a good-sized mare, but she carries a lot of flesh and she's solid. She doesn't look like a wide receiver; she looks like a lineman or a linebacker. There's nothing graceful about her, she's just all power." Bax added that the filly's size may require careful management this season, both in her number of starts and the size of racetracks she competes over. "I think the plan would be not over race her and try to keep her healthy all through the year," said the trainer. "When you're going for that kind of money you don't have to go every week, there's less pressure." The next opportunity for Haveoneforme and Bright Eyes M to tangle in Gold Series action will come July 3 at Grand River Raceway. If they continue to have success the pair could also meet up in a series of open stake events in late summer. Three-year-old trotting fillies continue to be in the spotlight at Woodbine Mohawk Park this week as the Campbellville oval hosts their Grassroots season opener on Tuesday evening. The fillies will battle in a quartet of divisions on the June 4 program, kicking things off at 7:10 pm in Race 1.   OSS Program Information   For rules, notices, Program changes, up-to-date point standings, race replays, and more, visit:   OSS Program Administration Ontario Racing c/o Woodbine Mohawk Park

MILTON, May 11, 2019 - The first harness racing stakes events of the season were contested Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, as Ontario Sired three-year-old fillies were in the spotlight. A total of five $25,000 eliminations for the SBOA Stakes were conducted on an 11-race card. A group of 23 pacing fillies were split into three divisions, while 22 trotting fillies battled in a pair of divisions. The pacing side saw Sunny Dee lead the way by keeping her perfect record intact with a 1:52.3 score. The Sunshine Beach filly got her cue from driver Trevor Henry to rush up to the top from fourth in the second-quarter and never looked back. Sunny Dee led by three-quarters in 1:25.1 and was able to hold a pair of challengers at bay in the lane to win by three-quarters of a length. Better Single finished second, while Summer Charm was third and Village Joules was fourth. Now undefeated in six career starts, Sunny Dee has amassed $53,000 in earnings for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Al McIntosh Holdings Inc. She paid $2.70 to win. Thats Incredible joined her McIntosh teammate Sunny Dee in the winner's circle by also taking an elimination Saturday. Thats Incredible                                   --Photo New Image Media Driven by Trevor Henry, Thats Incredible was pacing in third entering the far turn when she got tied up for a moment with outside challenger Deb. Despite the contact, the McIntosh trainee unleashed a strong :27.1 final-quarter to shoot by rivals in the final-eighth for a career-best 1:53 score. Disturbed Hanover finished second by a length and three-quarters. Ideation Hanover was third, while Deb finished fourth. A daughter of Bettors Delight, Thats Incredible picked up her second win in three starts this season and fifth overall. She now has $69,488 earned for owners Robert McIntosh Stables Inc, C S X Stables and Dave Boyle. A $2 win ticket on Thats Incredible returned $17.40. Pocono invader Girls Got Rhythm powered by rivals for a career-best 1:52.3 victory in the opening division for pacers. Doug McNair placed the Nicholas Devita trainee in a second-over spot turning for home and the daughter of Sportswriter delivered a :27.1 kicker to win by three-quarters of a length. Betcha Baby finished second, while Freya Seelster was third and Jessicas Legacy fourth. Girls Got Rhythm was sent off as the favourite and returned $4.60 for a $2 win ticket. She now has four wins in five starts and has earned $37,100 for owner John Cummins. Girls Got Rhythm                                              --Photo New Image Media On the trotting side, Haveoneforme started in the second-tier and found the finish line first for driver Paul MacDonell. The Richard 'Nifty' Norman trainee moved from fourth to first in the second-quarter and pulled away in the lane to win by four-lengths in 1:56.2. Royal Rhythm finished second, while Madam Shazam was third. The top-five was rounded out by Mattys Smilin and Northern Royale. Haveoneforme                                                 --Photo New Image Media A daughter of Kadabra, Haveoneforme was unraced as a two-year-old and has now won four of six starts. Her earnings moved to $36,597 for owners Enzed Racing Stable Inc, Mel Hartman and Little E LLC. Haveoneforme paid $3.80 to win. John Bax trainee Bright Eyes M improved to two for two on the season with a career-best 1:56.2 score in the second elimination. Steve Byron gave the Kadabra filly a two-hole trip, which she capitalized on by trotting home in :27.3 to win by 2 ¼ lengths. Bright Eyes M                                               --Photo New Image Media Teddys Littleangel cut the mile and finished second. Mercedes Talma, Warrawee Ultra and Presto Change O completed the top-five. Owned by Menhammar Stuteri Ab, Bright Eyes M is now two for five in her career and has earned $23,312. She paid $15.10 to win. Post position draws for each SBOA final took place following Saturday evening's elimination. The top-three finishers from the pacing eliminations advanced to the final, plus Village Joules, who advanced from a draw of the fourth-place finishers. The top-five finishers from the trot eliminations advanced to the final. All eliminations winners were able to select their post. The trot final will go for a purse of $164,290, while the pace final will battle for a purse of $165,290. The SBOA Stakes finals will highlight next Saturday's Fireworks and Family Fun Night card at Mohawk Park. Post time has been pushed up to 6:45 p.m. The post positions for each final are listed below.   $164,290 SBOA Trot   1. Royal Rhythm 2. Haveoneforme 3. Bright Eyes M 4. Mercedes Talma 5. Warrawee Ultra 6. Mattys Smilin 7. Presto Change O 8. Northern Royale 9. Madam Shazam 10. Teddys Littleangel AE: Blue Magic   $165,290 SBOA Pace 1. Village Joules 2. Sunny Dee 3. Thats Incredible 4. Girls Got Rhythm 5. Better Single 6. Summer Charm 7. Freya Seelster 8. Ideation Hanover 9. Betcha Baby 10. Disturbed Hanover AE: Jessicas Legacy   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications C: 905-864-9110            

The Thursday (April 25) qualifying session at Woodbine Mohawk Park was interrupted by a chain reaction accident that sent multiple drivers to the track. The harness racing accident occurred in race four. The chart from the race states that the Paul MacDonell-driven Prestige Seelster fell to the track in the second quarter of the contest and the rest of the horses in the dash were pulled up. Woodbine Entertainment’s Mark McKelvie, who was calling the qualifier, stated that drivers Phil Hudon, Anthony MacDonald and Bob McClure each hit the track after having been unseated. McKelvie added that Hudon and MacDonald were able to get up under their own power and were walking on the track, but that McClure stayed down longer. McClure was eventually able to sit up and be attended to by the on-track paramedics. After some time passed, McClure and MacDonald were taken to hospital. The nature and severity of any of the drivers’ injuries are currently unknown. McKelvie also stated that all of the horses that were involved in the accident were corralled and returned to the paddock for inspection. Trot Insider has learned that Hudon, who was limping after the ordeal, was able to get changed out of his driving colors and make his way home. Two extra ambulances were brought in to attend to the scene for McClure and MacDonald. Trot Insider was told at the scene that McClure hurt his hip, has a very sore back, and required a stretcher, while MacDonald sustained injuries to his wrist and elbow. Trot Insider will update this story when more information is learned.   from Standardbred Canada

Ten sophomore trotting fillies made the trip to The Raceway at Western Fair District on Tuesday evening to compete in a pair of $94,000 Gold Series divisions, and both races featured upsets as the favourites failed to live up to fan expectations. Apprentice M scored her first win of the season in the first division, inheriting the lead around the final turn when pacesetter Zorgwijk Sophia and fan favourite Illusioneesta made breaks as they battled for control. Unfazed by the chaos, the steady Apprentice M and driver Paul MacDonell simply carried on down the stretch to a 2:01 victory. Miller Time also delivered a flawless effort to finish three-quarters of a length back in second and Illusioneesta recovered quickly enough to claim third. "That's why they race horses," said the philosophical MacDonell. "She's pretty solid gaited, which helps on the half-mile track, and then as you saw, things worked out." MacDonell steers Apprentice M for trainer John Bax of Campbellville, Ontario and owner Menhammar Stuteri AB of Paris, Kentucky. In her four previous Gold Series starts the Kadabra daughter had recorded one second, one third and two fifths. Tuesday's victory pushed her point total to 97 and puts her in fourth spot in the standings heading into the Oct. 13 Super Final. "She just hasn't really kicked in like she probably should have, but again I think she's got $100,000 made, so it's hard to knock her," said Guelph, Ontario resident MacDonell. "It's late in the season and a few of the fillies are getting tired and stuff, so you can take advantage of that sometimes." Tuesday's victory pushed Apprentice M's 2018 earnings to $109,253 and put her less than $10,000 shy of $200,000 lifetime. MacDonell finished second with Bax trainee Magical Lady in the other division, following Collateral Beauty and driver Louis Philippe Roy as they went gate-to-wire in 1:59.2. Pocket-sitter Town Hall Justice settled for third, well ahead of favourite Smoke And Mirrors, who took herself out of contention with an early break. The win was Collateral Beauty's second in the Gold program. The Kadabra daughter was also victorious at Georgian Downs on July 21 for trainer Herb Holland and owner Carolyn MacIsaac of Milton, Ontario. "She's a little bit of a lazy filly, but looking at her lines, it seems like she takes her job a little more seriously when there's big money on the line," said Roy, who was making his first appearance in the filly's race bike. "Herb told me she's better when you put her into play right off the gate, so that was the plan today and it worked good." With two wins, one second and one seventh in four Gold Series starts, Collateral Beauty heads into the $225,000 Super Final tied for second with 127 points. Tuesday's win bumped the filly's sophomore earnings to $123,800. The top 10 point earners from the five regular season events will now head to Woodbine Mohawk Park for the Oct. 13 Super Final. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

AUGUST 19, 2018 - Write Me A Song took control of the three-year-old pacing filly Gold division with a track, Ontario Sires Stakes and Canadian record performance at Georgian Downs on Sunday evening. In rein to Paul MacDonell, Write Me A Song sprinted away from Post 2 to a :26.3 opening quarter and never relinquished control. Through a :55.1 half and 1:22.2 and three-quarters the Sportswriter daughter was completely in command and she had enough in reserve to hold off a late sprint from Quints Dream and secure the neck victory in 1:51. Stablemate Neon Moon shadowed Write Me A Song from start to finish and took the third-place share of the $125,000 purse. "Everything went pretty well," said Jack Darling, who owns and trains both Write Me A Song and Neon Moon. "It was just one of those races that was, you know the big field, and you had to take advantage of the post position and just give her a chance. She was very sharp going in, both her and Neon Moon, they were just as sharp as they can be going in. "And she's got to be, because there are just some tremendous fillies in there, very tough," the Cambridge resident added. The 1:51 clocking took one-fifth of a second off the track and Ontario Sires Stakes record set by Village Janus in a July 2011 Gold Elimination. The Canadian record had been shared by Village Janus and Michelles Power, who logged her 1:51.1 effort over Rideau Carleton Raceway's five-eighths mile oval in an August 2007 Gold Final. "I didn't know what the track record was, but it doesn't surprise me that she went in 1:51," said Darling. "Like I said, it's a tremendous group of fillies, I knew they'd go fast and I knew she was sharp, I was just hoping she could get the job done." The only three-year-old pacing filly with two Gold Series wins to her credit, Write Me A Song finished second in the May 26 season opener at The Raceway at Western Fair District, third at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 23 and was victorious at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 20, giving her a total of 137 points. Shower Play, who finished fourth in Sunday's test, is 54 points back in second. Sunday's victory was Write Me A Song's fourth straight. Between the June 23 and July 20 Gold Legs she swept her elimination and the final of the Kin Pace, lowering the track record to 1:54.3 in the July 8 final. Darling opted not to race Write Me A Song between her July 20 win and Sunday's Gold Leg, instead sending her out in an August 10 qualifier at Woodbine Mohawk Park which she won in 1:51.3. The horseman may follow a similar strategy heading into the fifth and final Gold Leg, scheduled for September 25 at Woodbine Mohawk Park. "I'm going to be really easy on her. I didn't race her between her last start and this one, I just wanted to kind of keep her fresh and happy and hoping for a big effort. She's got to race so tough. Whatever class she races in at WEG it's so tough, you've just got to be a little bit careful and just kind of pick your spots and manage her a little bit," noted the horseman. "I'll have to give her at least one more start before the next one (Gold). She's not eligible to the Simcoe, so I've got no other stakes for her." Sunday was Neon Moon's first Gold Series start of the season. Competing at the Grassroots level the filly, also a daughter of Sportswriter, had finished third in the first two events of the season and then delivered a track record 1:52.4 effort at Grand River Raceway in the August 6 event. With 74 points she currently sits seventh in the Grassroots standings, while the 12 points she earned in Sunday's Gold Leg put her in a tie for eleventh in the Gold standings. The top 20 point earners advance to the Grassroots Semi-Final, while the top 10 move on to the Gold Series Super Final. "I'll take a look at the situation later on. I guess I've got options, just the fact that I've got Write Me A Song in there makes me think I should probably go Grassroots with Neon Moon, but I don't know," said Darling. "I'll play it by ear, week-by-week." The three-year-old pacing fillies wrap up their Grassroots campaign at Flamboro Downs on September 4, with the Semi-Final on September 21 and the Championship on September 29, both at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The fillies served as the warm-up act to Georgian Downs signature race, the $75,000 Earl Rowe Invitation Trot, and Dancer Hall got a confident front-end steer from Sylvain Filion to capture the 2018 title. The Deweycheatumnhowe four-year-old trotted under the wire in 1:52.2, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of B Yoyo and Catch The Dream. Paul Reid trains Dancer Hall for 1187422 Ontario Inc. of Ottawa, Ontario. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - August 13, 2018 - Captain Ahab remained undefeated with a dominating performance in Monday's $39,000 Dream Maker Series final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. A full field of 10 rookie pacing colts and geldings squared off in the finale of the three-week event. Captain Ahab went off as the 3/5 favourite, as he entered the final undefeated in three starts, including a convincing first leg score. The Tony Alagna trained son of Captaintreacherous was to team up with driver Andrew McCarthy, but travel issues for McCarthy led to veteran reinsman Paul MacDonell picking up the assignment. Best In Show got the affair rolling by storming out to the lead and posting a :27 opener. A charged-up Shipshape sat in the pocket, while stablemate Captain Ahab got away third. The heavy-favourite got his cue from MacDonell entering the backstretch and made an effortless move to the lead, pacing by the half in :55.1. Despite Captain Ahab rolling right along on the lead, several of the rookies got jammed up entering the far turn. Blank Canvas, who was also undefeated entering Monday's final, moved to the outside from sixth before the half and came with a hard first-up attack at the leader on the far turn. The undefeated rookies were side by side at three-quarters in 1:23.3. Captain Ahab didn't shy away from the pressure and instead stepped his game up a level. The Alagna student put away Blank Canvas at the top of the lane and proceeded to pull away from his rivals with ease to win by 3¾ lengths in a career-best equaling 1:51.1. Best In Show finished second, while Captain Nash was third. Blank Canvas dropped back to finish eighth. "I just barely scratched the surface here tonight," said MacDonell post-race. "There was so much left in the tank and he does it so easy. He's got a great future." A $100,000 Lexington Selected Yearling Sale purchase, Captain Ahab is currently the top colt from sire Captaintreacherous' first crop of two-year-olds. The undefeated rookie is the second foal, first colt, out of Western Ideal mare Acquavella, who is a full-sister to 2014 Metro Pace champion Artspeak. With his fingerprints all over the family, Alagna had an easy-decision to make when deciding to pursue Captain Ahab as a yearling. "I trained the mare Acquavella and she was meant to be a great mare, got hurt early and she was responsible for Artspeak because I went back and bought Artspeak because I liked the mare so much," said Alagna. "Training the mare and knowing what kind of ability she had, she got hurt and never got to live up to her potential, so when we saw this colt, being by Captain, it was a no-brainer." Captain Ahab has now earned $36,500 for owners Brittany Farms LLC, Brad Grant, Vincent Barbera and Captain Ahab Racing. Alagna noted Captain Ahab will remain in Ontario and compete in upcoming Grand Circuit events at Woodbine Mohawk Park, with eyes on the September 22nd Metro Pace. Captaintreacherous, who won the Metro Pace as a rookie in 2012, is enjoying a tremendous start to his career as a stallion. Alagna trained the two-time U.S. Pacer of the Year and is proud of what he is seeing unfold this season. "We started with 18 Captaintreaherous, 17 are racing and I think 12 of them have already won and taken marks," said Alagna. "We're very proud of what he has done so far." Captain Ahab's next start is scheduled for the Nassagaweya Stakes on Saturday, August 25. Live racing continues Tuesday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park with the $37,000 Whenuwishuponastar Series final headlining an 11-race card. Post time is 7:10 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications

JULY 27, 2018 - After capturing a division of the Grassroots season opener, two-year-old trotting filly Teddys Littleangel made a successful transition to the Gold Series with a victory at Woodbine Mohawk Park on Friday evening. Starting from Post 4 in the first of three $67,200 splits, Teddys Littleangel landed in fourth as Giving It All took the field of eight to a :28.1 opening quarter. Teddys Littleangel was still sitting in the middle of the pack at the :58.1 half, but driver Paul MacDonell soon had the filly rolling along up the outside behind the fans' second choice Kenogami Darling and she reached the 1:28.1 three-quarters less than four lengths behind Giving It All. Rolling off the final turn MacDonell pointed Teddys Littleangel at the wire and the Archangel daughter powered home to a 1:57.4 victory, holding off a late charge from Silver, who finished one-half length back in second. Royal Rhythm was a length behind the duelling leaders in third. "Well, with a two-year-old you never know what to expect really, but it didn't shock me, she'd been training well heading into it, and hopefully we have her over a few of her little quirks," said trainer Ted MacDonnell of the filly's 1:57.4 effort. "I wasn't even, time wise I really didn't even look at it that much to see, I was just more interested in the win." The mile took almost three full seconds off the 2:00.3 mile Teddys Littleangel recorded in her Grassroots victory at Georgian Downs on July 14 and was the quickest of Friday's Gold divisions. With victories in both of her starts the daughter of Archangel and Pine Knolls has earned $42,825 for owner-breeder Leonard Gamble of Etobicoke, Ontario. Friday's victory was not only the first Gold win for Teddys Littleangel, it was the first for veteran horseman MacDonnell. "I've knocked on the door a lot of times, but that's the first Gold win I've had so it was pretty exciting," said the Allenford, Ontario resident, who admitted even driver MacDonell was surprised to hear that a Gold win was missing from his resume. "Even Paul Mac said that, he said, 'No you're kidding', I said, 'No it's true'. I've won big races before, just not a Gold. So that was nice." Teddys Littleangel and MacDonnell will aim to add to their Gold Series win total when the freshman trotting fillies return to Woodbine Mohawk Park on August 10 for their third Gold leg. A five-time winner of the Lampman Cup as the leading driver in the Ontario Sires Stakes program, Sylvain Filion is no stranger to the Gold Series winner's circle and he made two more visits on Friday evening. In the second division the Milton, Ontario resident sent Petro Hall straight to the front from Post 5 and never looked back. The fan favourites rolled through fractions of :29.3, 1:00.1 and 1:30.1 on their way to a one and one-half length victory in 1:59.2. HP Bruxelles finished second and Angel For Life was well back in third. "I had seen her race and I baby-raced her early on (June 14) and I always liked her. And I felt that, in the field that she was in tonight, that if I could get her to the front and control the pace that she would be tough to beat," said Filion of the gate-to-wire effort. "She can leave fast and she can settle in good, so that's a big plus for a two-year-old trotting filly." Filion engineered the victory for trainer Victor Puddy of Mountain and owners Lloyd Stone of Portland, James Ruhl of Tara, Dr. Charles Hall of Erin and Michael Kwietniowski of Guelph, Ontario who acquired the daughter of Angus Hall from the 2017 London Selected Yearling Sale for $15,000. Sixth in a conditioned event at Woodbine Mohawk Park on July 6 and a narrowly beaten second in the Gold Series season opener at Georgian Downs on July 15, Petro Hall has already accumulated $50,200 in her brief career. After donning his mud gear Filion eased Presto Change O away from Post 6 in the last division and sat briefly in third as favourite Strip It Down AS trotted to a :30.1 opening quarter. Heading for the 1:00.3 half the reinsman sent Presto Change O after the lead and the filly had put more than two lengths between herself and the field by the 1:30 three-quarters, a margin she carried through to a 2:00.3 victory. Angies Luckeylady closed well to be second and Strip It Down AS was a distant third over a rain-soaked oval which had been downgraded from fast to sloppy between Races six and seven. "She's not as handy as the other one and she can be a little grabby," said Filion of the Paul Reid trainee. "Last time in Georgian (July 15) we got interfered with leaving the gate, but I felt she didn't trot as good, she didn't get a hold of the track too good, so I think Paul made a few adjustments and tonight she was pretty good. "We got in the three-hole and then the horse in front was trying to pull up a bit and mine was getting a little aggressive so I moved her to the front, and once I cleared it was home free," he continued. "She's a big strong filly, she's still learning. She's not as handy as the other one, but I think she'll learn and she'll be a very good filly later on." Paul Reid trains the Kadabra daughter for owner-breeder Robert Key of Leechburg, Pennsylvania and through three starts Presto Change O has earned $37,100. Next up on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Ontario Sires Stakes calendar are the two-year-old trotting colts, who will compete in their second Grassroots event on Tuesday, July 31. The colts will compete in Races 2, 6 and 9 on the program, which gets under way at 7:30 pm. From the Ontario Sire Stakes

MILTON, ON - May 24, 2018 - Veteran driver Paul MacDonell will be today's guest on Woodbine Mohawk Park's Facebook Live show 'Capturing The Cup'. The five-episode series, which began last week, airs each Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and features a one-on-one interview with a past Pepsi North America Cup champion. Fans can send in questions for each week's guest by commenting on the live video. A winner of more than 5,000 races and $119 million, MacDonell is best known for driving the late-great Somebeachsomewhere. The duo captured the 2008 Pepsi North America Cup in front of an electric crowd at Mohawk Racetrack. To watch 'Capturing The Cup', click here. The stream will go live at 5:25 p.m. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Communications        

CAMPBELLVILLE, June 8 - Nine years after coming together to win the Pepsi North America Cup with the great Somebeachsomewhere, the Schooner Stables and harness racing driver Paul MacDonell team up again with Lawrencetown Beach, a lightly raced son Somebeachsomewhere, in Saturday's (June 10) Cup eliminations. Unraced at two, Lawrencetown Beach qualified for the first-time back in February and made his pari-mutuel debut in March with eyes set on a solid three-year-old season and potential North America Cup appearance. Over the course of four-months, the bay gelding has competed mainly in overnight events at Woodbine and Mohawk, picking up two victories and $39,040 earned over eight starts. "He had some chips that were bothering him as a two-year-old," trainer-driver Paul MacDonell said. "Originally, the vets thought that he would be fine with them still in, but they just plagued him through the season. It got to a point where he couldn't go with them so we laid him off and they were removed. Missing his entire two-year-old season came with pros and cons for Lawrencetown Beach. "He might be a bit fresher than most of the others, but he's not as experienced," MacDonell said. "The two-year-olds that raced definitely have a touch of experience over him, but there are advantages both ways I suppose. It kind of evens itself out--would you want a horse entering fresh or a horse with experience? It's six of one, half a dozen of the other; really depends on the horse." Lawrencetown Beach scored the first win of his career in his fifth outing, beating maiden company at Mohawk in 1:53.1. He followed that effort with a nine-length romp against non-winners of two in a lifetime-best mile of 1:52.2. "When the owners made a payment on the North America Cup, I thought that was an extreme long shot," MacDonell said. "But here we are--he has just improved week after week; every time he raced he seemed to be better. Confidence seems to be coming to him, too. He's right on schedule. He grew to be a muscular colt and he has all the tools he needs." Competing in a division of the Somebeachsomewhere Stakes a week ago, Lawrencetown Beach rallied to finish second after being caught first over for most of the mile. "I knew he was coming up to a big race, and I still think he's coming up to some big races," MacDonell noted. "The colt has shown me progression or else we wouldn't be where we are. He's been drawing really well--there're a lot of things going his way right now. He has some kind of touch that's been helping him along as he goes." LawrencetownBeach will start from post one in the first of three $50,000 eliminations for the Pepsi North America Cup, drawing in against world-champion Downbytheseaside. "He definitely has the potential to make the final," MacDonell said. "There are probably three or four horses that are probably above everybody else [in the division]. And then there's the next group of colts, which he probably fits into. "I think you're going to see Huntsville and [Downbythe]seaside and Fear The Dragon and maybe another one that are just a touch better than the rest. But he's definitely in the mix. While reaching his full potential in time for the Pepsi North America Cup might be a stretch, MacDonell thinks the future is very bright for Lawrencetown Beach. "I think you'll see a nicer horse later on," MacDonell said. "By this time next year, he should be an even stronger colt. He may not be right at his peak yet, but when he is, he'll be a top horse I believe." Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON - With the 1-9 favorite Caprice Hill being locked at the pylons for the entire mile, Royal Charm capitalized off a third-over trip to win the harness racing $436,000 Elegantimage stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in 1:54.4 at 33-1. Dream Child secured the lead off a :27 quarter, sweeping by Emoticon Hanover towards the pylons. Side Bet Hanover raced in third alongside Celebrity Eventsy, who inched towards leader Dream Child off a :55.4 half. Into the final turn, Celebrity Evensty pressured Dream Child, while Flowers N Songs and Royal Charm followed from second and third over, keeping Caprice Hill stuck at the inside racing seventh. Celebrity Eventsy slid by Dream Child passed the three-quarters in 1:24.4. Caprice Hill had some room to sling up the inside, but, after having to evade Dream Child fading to the back, she was caught behind a wall of horses that enveloped stretch-leader Celebrity Eventsy. Flowers N Songs had tipped off her cover as well as Royal Charm and Dewdle All Day. Royal Charm edged by Flowers N Songs as Dewdle All Day rushed down the centre of the track. Royal Charm held on at the wire, with Dewdle All Day finishing second, Flower N Songs third, and Emoticon Hanover sneaking up the inside to finish fourth. Royal Charm, a three-year-old filly trotter by Majestic Son from the Yankee Glide mare Queen Of Grace, is owned by David McDonald, Shelly Macmillan and Bridle Path Stables, trained by Mark Steacy, and was driven by Paul MacDonell. Winning her sixth race in her 18th career start, Royal Charm has amassed $315,212 in earnings. "It never feels bad when you win a race like this," MacDonell said. "It's a prestigious race, and I'm just happy to win it for Mark [Steacy] and his connections. They've been supporting this filly right through. She was coming up to a good race and did it tonight." "She doesn't leave very well," MacDonell also said. "It's been a thing for her all year where she struggles to get away from the gate. As it turned out tonight, she was within five lengths at the quarter pole and then the flow started to develop on the outside, so she got up third over, and she always has a good kick coming home." "Caprice [Hill] is really good, and fortunately for us she got locked in," Steacy said. "You got to be lucky to be good, too." Royal Charm returned $67.50 to win and $122.50 to place; there was no show wagering. Dewdle All Day, finishing second at 91-1, paid $314.00, producing a $2 exactor that returned $1,299.40. Ray Cotolo for WEG Communications

AUGUST 15, 2016 - A moment of pique almost cost Stuck In My Spanks a Grassroots trophy at Mohawk Racetrack on Monday evening, but the harness racing  two-year-old trotting filly mounted a remarkable recovery to earn her first Ontario Sires Stakes win. Starting from Post 7 in the second $18,000 Grassroots division, Stuck In My Spanks went off stride soon after the gate had pulled away from the field of nine. As Jilona took the fillies by the quarter in a sharp :27.4, Stuck In My Spanks and driver Paul MacDonell were 30 lengths behind the leader. By the :58.1 half they had gained back seven lengths and by the 1:29 three-quarters they were just seven lengths behind leader Inner Drive. Turning for home Stuck In My Spanks was three and three-quarter lengths off the pace, but when Guelph resident MacDonell asked her for another gear she dropped into overdrive and powered to a one-half length win in 1:59.1. Early leader Jilona was second and Hilarious Honey was three more lengths back in third. "She's scary fast; she's just got a little bit of an attitude. She gets a little mad, and that's what she did tonight," said trainer Scott McEneny. "It's very frustrating, because I know I didn't give much money for her, but I know she's one of the top fillies, I think, because she's got tons of speed. She just gets kind of a little silly with her mouth, and she got a little mad and shook her head and just made a break." McEneny acquired Stuck In My Spanks from last year's Harrisburg Yearling Sale for a bargain $3,500. Through four starts the daughter of Manofmanymissions and Puta Ring On It has recorded two wins and banked $19,500, but the trainer thinks she has the potential to accomplish much more. "Hopefully we can get her figured out here, because I think she's got some big money to go for, and I think she can go with the good ones," said the Waterdown resident. "We're going to try and do a couple little things here, but in a couple weeks we'll hopefully race her in the Champlain and then the Peaceful Way, if she behaves herself and gets on the right foot." McEneny trains Stuck In My Spanks for his wife Michelle McEneny of Waterdown and Teresa Davidson of Milton, ON. The filly started her Ontario Sires Stakes career at the Gold Series level, posting one fifth and one seventh. Stuck In My Spanks The other three division winners also arrived at Monday's test from the Aug. 2 Gold Series event at Mohawk, where they enjoyed varying levels of success. Powerful Mission won her Grassroots debut at Mohawk on July 21, and then moved up to the Gold Series for the Aug. 2 event, where she made a late break and finished eighth. Back in the Grassroots on Monday, the filly floated away from Post 9 and cruised up the outside until she took control heading by the halfway marker. From there the outcome was never in doubt as Powerful Mission reached the finish four and one-half lengths on top in a personal best 1:58. McEneny trainee and fan favourite You Cant Afford Me finished second and Late Shift was third. "She's a nice filly with a great attitude. I scored her out and had her on the bit more, because last start I didn't have her on the bit, and the track was also a little deeper, and I asked her too quickly," said driver Phil Hudon of Guelph, ON. "I believe she has a lot of potential." Hudon steers Powerful Mission for trainer Kevin St. Charles and owners E C S Racing LLC of Rockford, MI. In four starts the daughter of Manofmanymissions and The Power Of Magic now has two wins and earnings of $18,700. Powerful Mission Like Powerful Mission, Anikadabra won her Grassroots division on July 21 and moved up to the Gold level for the Aug. 2 event. Anikadabra finished third against the Gold fillies, but trainer Rob Fellows opted not to repeat the experience and returned the daughter of Kadabra and Anikawiesahalee to the Grassroots on Monday. Starting from Post 6, Anikadabra took control before the half and cruised to a five and three-quarter length win in a personal best 1:59. The heavy favourite bested Crystal Gumdrop and Stritch. "She's a very versatile filly. I could have sat her in a hole and moved her, but I saw that Sylvain (Filion and Crystal Gumdrop) got up to the front, so I just kind of floated up and cleared around him and man, she did the rest by herself," said driver Rick Zeron. "She's getting to be, she's not green anymore, she's smart, she's like driving an aged three-year-old filly now, you know, she just does everything that you ask her." Rockwood resident Fellows conditions Anikadabra for owner-breeders Edward Wilson of Seagrave, ON and Michael Pozefsky of Saratoga Springs, NY. In four starts the filly now has two wins and one third for earnings of $27,840. Anikadabra The final division went to Magic Presto, who also has one win and one second in Gold Series action to her credit. The daughter of Kadabra and In The Mean Time sprinted by the leaders to a 1:58.2 victory, four and three-quarter lengths ahead of Royal Witch and Northern Oath. "She looked very comfortable and professional," noted trainer Richard "Nifty" Norman. "She's heading in the right direction." New Jersey resident Norman trains Magic Presto for Melvin Hartman of Ottawa, ON, breeder Herb Liverman of Miami Beach, FL, David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL and Little E LLC of New York, NY. Arthur resident Trevor Henry has piloted the filly to her two and one record. Magic Presto The final two-year-old trotting filly Grassroots event will go postward at Mohawk on Sept. 5, but several of Monday's competitors could appear in the Sept. 1 Champlain Stakes at the Campbellville oval. Ontario Sires Stakes action returns to Mohawk Racetrack on Thursday, Aug. 18 with two $105,000 Gold divisions for the three-year-old trotting fillies. Post time is 7:30 pm.   Ontario Racing

In this week’s edition of Ontario Racing’s ongoing feature The Horse That Changed My Life, learn what Ontario Sired horse was a game-changer for harness racing driver Paul MacDonell long before the great Somebeachsomewhere came into his life............. Paul MacDonell knows you’re expecting him to say Somebeachsomewhere is the horse that changed his life. MacDonell was, after all, the only man to ever drive the world champion pacer and Hall of Famer in a pari-mutuel start. There’s no question that Somebeachsomewhere was the best horse MacDonell has ever driven. But if it wasn’t for Cavans Jovial, MacDonell isn’t sure whether he would have had the kind of career that led to Beach in the first place. MacDonell was just 21 and racing at Kawartha Downs near Peterborough, ON in the spring of 1984 when Cavans Jovial came into his life. “I just happened to drive her at Kawartha Downs in an overnight race,” MacDonell said. “I liked the way she went. The owner was there and I just happened to ask him, ‘Would you be willing to sell her?’ Sure enough, he came with a price.” MacDonell remembers the price was $12,000 and he, his father, Blaise, and Bob Hayes jumped at the chance to buy Cavans Jovial, who was in the early stages of her sophomore season. “She went on and made $100,000 in the Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) that year,” MacDonell said. “She was a horse that launched me into driving in the OSS. She sprung me to a different level. I can remember she raced against Annie Ivy. She raced against her and Ted Jacobs had a really nice mare. There were three or four really nice ones and she raced right with them. We were riding on Cloud 9 to be able to compete against those horses.” Lifetime, the daughter of Kawartha Skipper out of Jovial Georgia earned $142,611 with a record of 17-10-6 in 50 starts and a mark of 1:57.3 taken at the Meadowlands in her five-year-old season. MacDonell went on to win more than 5,300 races and post earnings exceeding $116 million. In all likelihood, he will always be associated with Somebeachsomewhere “What amazes me today is how people still come along and want me to sign stuff that has Beach on it, or a program, or something as simple as a card — anything that has Beach’s picture. I just find that amazing eight years later,” MacDonell said. “People ask about him. They ask, ‘Have you seen him lately?’ They’re truly interested in the horse. I think that’s kind of neat.” by Dave Briggs For Ontario Racing

Lindys Tru Grit and harness racing driver Paul MacDonell took advantage of a tiring front-end to win the $34,000 Preferred Trot Monday night at Woodbine Racetrack. A field of seven trotters competed in the weekly feature event. Fearless Man and trainer/driver Rick Zeron were looking to rebound following a disappointing sixth-place finish in last week's event. Zeron pushed the gas pedal early and Fearless Man out sprinted Etruscan Hanover, the 3/2 favourite, to lead the field into the first turn. In order to grab the front, Fearless Man trotted a massive :25.4 opening-quarter. The Zeron trainee, who was 5/2, went unchallenged in the second-quarter and reached the midway point in :55.3. The final three in the field began to move up on the outside entering the final turn. Lindys Tru Grit and MacDonell got away seventh and last, but entered the outer-flow to sit third-over and sixth around the final turn. After a three-quarter time of 1:24.4, Fearless Man looked to finish the job with several challengers ready to strike. Lindys Tru Grit, who was 8/1, had plenty of trot and powered by his rivals to score a three-quarter length victory in 1:53.4. Hldontghttourdrms split horses to finish second, while Fearless Man had to settle for third. A six-year-old son of Cantab Hall, Lindys Tru Grit entered Monday's contest off a fourth-place finish in the February 29th Preferred. The Ben Wallace trainee has now won two of four starts since being purchased by Brad Grant in January. Lindys Tru Grit surpassed $500,000 in earnings with Monday's 12th career victory. He paid $18.90 to win. Live racing resumes Thursday at Woodbine Racetrack. Post time is 7:30 p.m. Mark McKelvie

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