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Maritime Heavyweights Seek Crowns

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Published: October 8, 2011 12:02 pm ET

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"He's tremedously fast, very big and has gone a lot of trips in the Maritimes. Trotters before couldn't attain that kind of speed."

Two of Atlantic Canada's top horses, Honey Do Jigtime and Waiting On A Woman, will head to the gate on Sunday at Charlottetown Driving Park with hopes of capturing the Atlantic Breeders Crown championship.

Pacing filly Honey Do Jigtime has been the talk of the Maritime harness racing community with her superb resume of 15 starts and 15 top-three finishes: 11-3-1 and mark of 1:55.1. She's faster than any of her counterparts in the ABC Final on Sunday and she's also faster than any of the pacing colts. Comparisons between MacDonald's mare and Meridian Magic, the 2010 divisional standout, are natural.

"[Honey Do Jigtime] certainly didn't put up the numbers that Meridian Magic did as far as going undefeated, however, the crop that Meridian Magic raced against was maybe not as tough as this crop. And individually they're total opposites. Meridian Magic was a neat, compact little filly and this mare is huge. The fact that she shows even better credentials than the colts is probably because she's even bigger than them. I guess I can't compare her to Martha Maxine because she's actually a real mare."

MacDonald notes that her size got in her way at two, which is why her numbers were less impressive.

"She just couldn't quite get that big body bent around those turns, and she'd interfere with herself some," stated MacDonald. "This year, she's real handy-gaited."

MacDonald assesses her stable's chances on Sunday as both Honey Do Jigtime and Forthena head postward in the three-year-old pacing filly final, and MacDonald also picks up the drive on sophomore pacing colt Maritimer.

"He certainly won't embarass himself, that's for sure. He's all grit and determination," says MacDonald. "He's a short, compact little horse that absolutely loves his job. He's a breath of fresh air for the people that own him. They're newcomers to the racing game and they never expected, when they got this gift horse that he'd be anything more than a backyard pet."

While Honey Do Jigtime will race against her own sex on Sunday, in a few weeks MacDonald plans to send her out against the colts in the Donnie Turner Memorial as Truro Raceway.

"We're pretty sure she'll give a good account of herself."

Another trainer hoping for a good showing is Mitch Tierney, who sends out Waiting On A Woman in the three-year-old colt final. Tierney got in a Wednesday training session before a wild snowstorm hit the Island.

"He was just a little temperamental [in his last start]. We made some equipment adjustments and everything was good on Wednesday so knock on wood and hope it stays that way."

Tierney and co. will once again butt heads with divisional rival, another filly taking on the colts, Maple Leaf Spirit.

"She's one heck of a filly. We've been hooked up with her, we've beat her, she's beat us."

MacDonald will also look for a piece in this event with West River Exotic from the advantageous rail position.

"He'll capitalize if the others make mistakes. He's been ultra-consistent, never made a break, always in the hunt. The biggest thing is he can't go toe to toe with Maple Leaf Spirit and Waiting On A Woman. They're in a class of their own."

Tierney continues on to state his plans and thoughts on a four-year-old campaign for his stable star. To listen to the full interview with Borg, MacDonald and Tierney, click the play button below.

Episode 228 – Clare MacDonald and Mitch Tierney
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg


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