REXDALE, ON — Super Final night belonged to Paul MacDonell as the Guelph resident piloted three horses to victory in their season ending championship at Woodbine Racetrack on Saturday evening.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said MacDonell, being congratulated by family and friends. “It all happened fast, in about an hour.”
MacDonell’s stellar evening got started in the fourth $300,000 Super Final when he and two-year-old pacing colt Deuce Seelster cruised around the Rexdale oval to a commanding two and three-quarter length victory. The 1:52 clocking established a new personal best for Deuce Seelster, who heads into a well earned winter vacation with a record of nine wins, two seconds and one fourth in 11 starts and earnings of $636,579.
“He was an expensive private purchase, but he has certainly paid for himself,” said trainer Darren McCall, who conditions the Western Maverick son for Katherine Bardis of Sacramento, CA. “He is leaving for New Jersey Tuesday, he’ll spend a few days there, and then go on to Florida.”
The Mohegan Pan closed sharply to claim second-place honours, nudging Keystone Horatio into third.
MacDonell’s second appearance in the Woodbine winner’s circle came after the sixth Super Final with three-year-old pacing filly Mach You And Me, who delivered an outstanding front end effort that saw her reach the wire three and three-quarter lengths ahead of her peers in 1:51.3. The win was the second straight for the fractious daughter of Mach Three, who was on her best behaviour Saturday night.
“She behaved herself tonight,” said MacDonell. “She has been better since she went to Georgian Downs.”
“It’s not enjoyable for him to sit behind a horse when she’s acting up, it’s not fun,” added Dennis Caruana of Orono, who bred Mach You And Me, and shares ownership on the winner of $350,117 with his former neighbour MacDonell. “But she’s behaving now.”
Milliondollarsmile stalked Mach You And Me from the pocket and picked up the runner-up’s share of the $300,000 purse, while favourite Michelles Power faded to third after challenging Mach You And Me at the three-quarter pole.
MacDonell completed the driving hat trick in the last Super Final battle, guiding Bigtime Ball to a 1:51.1, two length triumph over favourite Golden Seven and third-choice In The Irons. The Presidential Ball son had struggled with breaks in his last four races, but he was right on his game on Saturday, taking command of the pace heading to the :55.2 half and accelerating away to a five length margin before the 1:22.2 three-quarters.
“Speed has never been an issue with this colt, and neither has endurance,” said MacDonell, adding that trainer Gord Irwin of Cobourg had done a tremendous job getting Bigtime Ball ready for his last sophomore start.
Irwin also owns Bigtime Ball, and shares breeding rights on the colt with Murray Ross of Norwood. Through 21 starts this season the gelding amassed 10 wins, three seconds, two thirds and earnings of $461,421 and set track records at Georgian Downs and Kawartha Downs in Ontario Sires Stakes action.
Woodbine fans were also treated to another impressive performance from two-year-old trotting colt Windsong Espoir, who captured his ninth straight with a seemingly effortless three and one-quarter length win in 1:57. Steve Condren piloted the Brad Maxwell trainee to the victory for owners Peter Heffering of Port Perry, Jerry Vanboekel of Bright, Hope Stable of Port Perry and William Loyens of London, whose wife Paulette Loyens bred the son of Kadabra and Diamond Dawn.
Three-year-old trotting colts Laddie and Arch Madness waged battle for the second straight week, but MacDonell was prevented from achieving a fourth Super Final photo op when Arch Madness collared Laddie in the stretch and sprinted away to four length win in an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:53.2. San Pail finished another four lengths back in third.
Trond Smedshammer trains the Balanced Image son for owner-breeders Marc Goldberg of Woodmere, NY and Willow Pond LLC of Hewlett, NY. The win marked the colt’s eighth trip to the winner’s circle in a season that has also seen him post six seconds and one third for earnings of $528,732.
Chancey Lady and Mark MacDonald also delivered a history making performance in the two-year-old pacing filly Super Final, stopping the clock in an Ontario Sires Stakes record 1:52. Casie Coleman trains the Camluck miss, a six time winner, for Niele Jiwan of Burnaby, BC.
Delphic claimed the two-year-old trotting filly championship with a 1:58 come from behind effort for brothers John Fielding and Jim Fielding of Toronto and Melvin Hartman of Ottawa. Guelph resident Rene Laarman trains the Striking Sahbra daughter, who more than tripled her earnings with the win.
Brigham Dream picked up her eighth win in 11 outings with a 1:55.1 score in the three-year-old trotting filly season finale. Jean Pierre Dubois guided the Kaisy Dream daughter to the one and three-quarter length win for trainer Nicolas Vandenplas and his partners in the Reve Avec Moi/Dream With Me Stable of Brigham, QC.
For complete results please go to: