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Busy Saturday For Big Mac

paul-pacers.jpg

Published: May 14, 2009 2:58 pm ET

Last Comment: May 14, 2009 10:20 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The tank will be full in Paul MacDonell's truck as he prepares to drive hot horses at two different tracks on Saturday night.

MacDonell, last year's O'Brien Award recipient as Driver of the Year, will start his night at Georgian Downs and compete in the first of the three $25,000 Upper Canada Cup eliminations with Fast Pay.

Last year's OSS Grass Roots Champion, Fast Pay (Western Terror - Speedy Shopper) made a solid statement in his sophomore debut on May 4 at Mohawk Racetrack with a sizzling 1:51.3 score.

"He's got a bit of work to do and step up from the likes he was competing with last year, but he looks ready to step up so far," MacDonell told Trot Insider.

Fast Pay leaves from Post 6 in the first elimination (Race 2) and has received 3-1 second favourite status behind Trail Boss (PP4, 5-2) and driver Doug McNair.

After this race, MacDonell will hit the southbound Hwy. 400 and head west for Mohawk Racetrack to drive the red-hot Bigtime Ball (PP4, 1-1) in the $50,000 Open. The Gord Irwin trainee is two-for-two so far on the campaign and boasts the fastest time of the Mohawk meet by virtue of his 1:50.1 mile on May 2.

"Bigtime Ball has really matured," stated MacDonell. "He was never a big horse, but he filled out over the winter and he's a lot stronger than at three or four. He is a very, very fast horse and will be a player this year in the Open ranks."

MacDonell feels the aged pacing division is extremely strong and there won't be a dominant divisional kingpin like there was last year with Mister Big overpowering the ranks in the U.S. and Secrets Nephew in Canada. Add into the mix two of the top three-year-olds from last year that MacDonell butted heads with aboard Somebeachsomewhere - Art Official and a horse Paul drove last week, Shadow Play.

"He's grown up and thickened out," said MacDonell regarding Shadow Play after Sunday's win in the four-year-old Open. "His stature is impressive, and he's got a great look about him. Ian [trainer and co-owner Dr. Ian Moore] said he would be ready."

May 14, 2009 - 10:20 pmPaul , can you charge

Paul , can you charge Bigtime Ball's owner for the trip from Georgian to Mohawk to drive his horse. Good Luck with the horses and the owners.


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