The fourth annual Drivers' Holiday Challenge at The Raceway at Western Fair District turned into the James MacDonald show on Sunday, Dec. 10 as the two-time O’Brien Award winner captured five of the 10 races in the competition and took home the trophy for the second time in the event’s young history.
MacDonald made a statement early with a sweep of the daily double behind Matts Tuition ($2.30) for trainer Michelle Sherman and Mach Jacobs ($3.20) for Kim Smith. He then clicked in race five with Scarlet Dragon ($6.90) from the Stephen Bossence barn and in race seven with Lindsey Kerr trainee Favaro Seelster ($12.30) before capping off his big afternoon in race eight behind Southwind Bayou ($6.50) for conditioner Raphael Bourassa.
MacDonald finished the competition with 104 points, finishing 10 ahead of Tyler Borth, who had a pair of winners on the day. MacDonald and Borth also captained teams of four in the competition and it was Team MacDonald (pictured above) – consisting of Jason Ryan, Paul MacKenzie and defending champion Nat Day – narrowly edging out Team Borth – consisting of Dan Clements Garrett Rooney and Daryl Thiessen – by just two points (248-246).
“It was an awesome day,” reflected MacDonald during an interview afterwards by COSA TV’s Robert Reid Jr. “We had a great team and were cheering each other on all day. We all had fun with it for sure and it’s all for a great cause.”
The five-win day extended MacDonald’s lead in the national driver standings as well, bumping his Canadian total to 410 – putting him 18 ahead of Tyler Borth, who sits at 392 for the season.
Sunday’s event raised an estimated $15,000 in toys and cash donations for Toys for Tots. More than $50,000 has been raised for the local charity since the initiative began in 2020.
The Raceway continues its busy holiday schedule with live racing this Monday, Tuesday and Friday at 5:50 p.m. Fans are reminded that the always popular Boxing Day program is back on Dec. 26 at 12:55 p.m. and the New Year’s Eve card is scheduled for Dec. 31 at 7:30 p.m. For full details or to making dining reservations, visit theracewaywfd.com.
A replay of COSA TV's coverage of the driving challenge is available below.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results - Western Fair Raceway.
(With files from Western Fair District)