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John McDermott Joins St. Paddy Pace

Kevin & John Mcdermott5X7.jpg

Published: March 4, 2010 4:34 pm ET

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The day after Kevin McDermott consented to compete in Monticello Raceway’s St. Paddy Pace the phone rang in the track’s publicity office and when answered a voice on the other end didn’t say hello but chirped “If he’s gonna race in the St. Paddy Pace then put me down too. I want to beat him so bad!”

To many the caller’s response might have sounded like an enemy, or at least some not to fond of Kevin McDermott, but that was hardly the case. The caller was none other than Kevin’s older brother John himself a top conditioner with a powerful stable that races mainly at the Meadowlands.

But unlike Kevin, whose only attempt to compete in the race for drivers of Irish heritage resulted in his mount being a late scratch, brother John has not only competed in three or four St. Paddy Paces but he won the 2005 edition with Trotting Rabbit.

“I’m especially looking forward to March 17 to drive against my brother. We trained together many times but we’ve never driven in a race against one another. It should be a good time. But if I don’t beat anyone else I want to make sure I beat him,” John said with a chuckle.

Last year John McDermott harnessed 38 winners of nearly $700,000 and this year too his stock has already has won five races at the Big M. Over the years McDermott’s horses have won 394 races and earned purses of nearly $5-million.He names Shutter Boy and Hurrikanebiggeorge as his current best but added that he was waiting a small, but powerful contingent, to come up from the southland.

The McDermott brothers will be joined in the event by the father- son duo of Jimmy Marohn and Jimmy Marohn, Jr. and this year’s St. Paddy Pace is shaping up to be a sort of a family affair.

Also among those who will be competing is former event winner, John Gilmour, who copped the 2002 edition with a pacer with the unlikely name of Irish Lad. And Mike Doherty, son of Hall of Famer Jimmy Doherty will be back also. He won the inaugural St. Paddy Pace back in 2001.

The St. Paddy Pace will be the third leg of Monticello Raceways 2010 Heritage Drivers Series and though director of racing, Eric Warner has a good start in filling the field with drivers of Irish descent he still needs eight for the race which will be presented on the betting card on March 17.

Anyone interested in competing in the contest most call Warner in the race office at 845-794-4100x557; or they can call the track’s publicity office at ext. 455.

(Monticello Raceway)

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