TORONTO, ON — Mark MacDonald made three trips to the Woodbine Racetrack winner’s circle on Saturday night with three of the Ontario Sires Stakes program’s most gifted pacers.
The Cambridge, ON resident scored his first triumph in the second of eight $300,000 Super Finals, guiding two-year-old pacing filly Modern Connection to her fifth straight Ontario Sires Stakes victory. After getting away fifth, MacDonald and Modern Connection rolled out behind division point leader Lauren and then sprinted down the stretch to a 1:52.1 victory, holding off a flying Monkey On My Wheel by a neck. Shipps Xanadu rounded out the top three.
“I was pretty confident going into tonight that she was the best one, and she was,” said MacDonald. “She’s just a nice filly. Hats off to Joe Seekman to have her that good in mid-November.”
Joe Seekman of Centreville, MI conditions Modern Connection for owner-breeders Yousif S. Yousif of Chesterfield, MI and Ameer Najor of Meadow Lands, PA. Through 13 starts this season the daughter of Modern Art and Cambest Connection boasts a record of seven wins, two seconds and one third for earnings of $456,797. Among her victories were two Gold Eliminations, two Gold Finals and a division of the Champlain Stakes at Mohawk Racetrack in September.
MacDonald picked up the drive aboard three-year-old pacing colt division leader Mach Dreamer when Rick Zeron injured his shoulder following the second race, and the reinsman turned the opportunity into a second visit to the winner’s circle.
“Just sitting around doing nothing, and just got lucky,” said MacDonald. “The owner, Mr. Scarff, came and talked to me, he said obviously he’s a closer, he likes to race from the middle, and he thought maybe if we could get away fifth or sixth with him and draft off some cover that he’d be tough. And you know what, we got away fifth and were second over and the rest is history, he got up and won.”
Starting from Post 1, MacDonald settled Mach Dreamer into fifth and waited until Dalhousie Dave stepped to the outside before making his move. Pacesetter Twin B Warrior and driver Randy Waples put up a fierce battle in the stretch, but Mach Dreamer was able to get a neck in front to secure the 1:50.2 victory. After carving the early fractions and then providing a wind break for Mach Dreamer, Dalhousie Dave stayed game for third.
“Randy’s colt was tenacious, he dug in. I didn’t think I was going to get him, I really didn’t,” added the reinsman. “It could have went either way, so I’m happy it went my way.”
Murray Brethour of Sunderland, ON trains Mach Dreamer for owner-breeder Stephen Scarff of Halifax, NS. Through 21 sophomore starts the Mach Three son boasts a record of nine wins, four seconds, two thirds and earnings of $474,927.
MacDonald’s final appearance in the winner’s circle came with three-year-old pacing filly Western Silk, who battled to a head victory over Preppy Party Girl in a thrilling stretch drive that saw the dueling leaders outdistance third-place finisher Tiz To Dream by six lengths. The 1:50.4 victory was the eleventh in 15 starts this season for Western Silk, who went undefeated through her Gold Series appearances, and captured the Fan Hanover Final in June and the prestigious Jugette in September.
“She won the very first Gold of the season in May over in London and now she’s still here at the Super Finals in the middle November, so I think that’s quite impressive,” said trainer Casie Coleman. “Not only did she do the OSS horses, but she beat the open horses in the Fan Hanover and the Jugette and she finished third in the Breeders Crown over in Pocono (Downs), so she showed what she was all about, that’s for sure.”
Cambridge resident Coleman shares ownership on the Western Terror daughter with Tom Hill of Lancashire, GB and spent the last week in Harrisburg, PA attempting to purchase next year’s superstars.
Driver Randy Waples scored two Super Final victories, the first aboard two-year-old pacing colt Prodigal Seelster, who delivered a commanding 1:51.3 performance in the third $300,000 contest. Dave Menary of Cheltenham, ON trains the talented Camluck son for his father Larry Menary of Cheltenham, Denis Breton of Welland, ON, Kenneth Ewen of Georgetown, ON and Double Or Nothing Stables of Hamilton, ON.
Milton, ON resident Waples was back in the winner’s circle following the ninth race with three-year-old trotting colt Text Me, the only horse to repeat as Super Final champion. The Kadabra son laid down a dominant performance from Post 8 to halt the clock at 1:54.4 for trainer Bob McIntosh of Windsor, ON, Dave Boyle of Bowmanville, ON and C S X Stables of Liberty Center, OH.
The other Super Final trophies were awarded to three-year-old trotting filly Random Destiny, who reeled in rival Emmylou Who for a 1:55 score; Oh Sweet Baby, who scored an upset 1:56.2 triumph in the two-year-old trotting filly contest; and Daylon Magician, who reeled off an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:55.3 in the two-year-old trotting colt battle.
To view all eight Super Finals click: Super Final Results
For complete results please go to: Woodbine Racetrack Results — Nov. 13, 2010