McNair Sweeps Blizzard Divisions

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Published: January 16, 2020 11:40 pm EST

There was no stopping driver Doug McNair on Thursday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park, and that included his domination in the opening leg of the Blizzard Series for female pacers.

Sugar Dance was McNair’s ticket to victory lane in her $18,000 split. The four-year-old daughter of Ghees House-Sugar Biscuit kicked off cover in the lane to win in 1:57.1 for trainer Ed Hennessey.

McNair got away fourth with the mare while Chasethecloudsaway and race favourite Betsea battled to the quarter pole in :28.2. Betsea eventually worked her way to the front, and once she cleared she cruised through middle panels of :58.4 and 1:28.3. Big Narancia put big pressure on the leader around the final turn, with Sugar Dance tracking from second over. Betsea and Big Narancia battled right to the finish, but they couldn’t fend of Sugar Dance who used a :27.4 closing quarter to prevail by a half-length margin over Big Narancia. Betsea was a lapped-on third.

Michigan partners Sandra Hennessey and Paula Sugars own Sugar Dance, who won for the fifth time in her career. The $9,000 payday bumped her lifetime earnings to $24,010.

McNair then clicked with Back In The Game thanks to her 1:56.4 triumph in the second division.

The Tony O’Sullivan trainee, who was sent off as the 2-1 second choice in the wagering, used her gate speed to make the lead from Post 7. She had the field lined up behind her at the quarter pole in :28.1, but she later gave way to a pocket-popping Sirius Star in the second quarter. Sirius Star cleared and hustled the field through middle splits of :58.1 and 1:27.2, but she couldn’t hold off the re-rallying Back In The Game in the lane. Back In The Game kicked home in :29.2 to win by a half-length margin over Sirius Star. Acefortyfour Pat was third.

Kevin Harvey of Hammonds Plains, NS and Charles Bowlin of Grand Barachois, NB share ownership on the four-year-old daughter of Articulator-Troxel Hanover who won for the seventh time in her career. She posted a 6-for-20 record last season and has now banked $24,919 in her career.

Vintage Whey recovered from a backstretch break and rallied to an impressive victory in the final division for Team McNair.

Doug did the driving with the Gregg McNair trainee, who got away fourth and watched race favourite Siochan fire to the front and hang up an opening quarter clocked in :28.3. Siochan marched the field to the half in :57.4, but things looked grim for Vintage Whey who made a break and plummeted to last.

McNair managed to get his charge back on the pace, and he then dropped her into gear and went on the attack. Vintage Whey made a bold move on the rim and quickly accelerated alongside – and then by – Siochan at the three-quarter pole in 1:27.4. Vintage Whey used a :28.2 closing panel to secure the win by three lengths over Siochan in 1:56.1. Shesonehotwriter was third.

The four-year-old daughter of Vintage Master-Essential Luck survived a Judges’ inquiry which dealt with her backstretch break and came away victorious for the eighth time in her career. The winner of close to $28,000 is a homebred owned by Pat Currie, Kevin Sweeney and Matthew Currie.

Overnight scores with the Patrick Shepherd-trained tandem of Esquire and P L Molly helped McNair manufacture a five-win performance on the 10-race card.

To view results for Thursday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Thursday Results – Woodbine Mohawk Park.

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