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Will The TVG Be 'Legend'-ary?

Published: May 15, 2015 10:34 am ET

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"With the class of horse he's is competing with, we've got to get into a good position. There are no easy races with the caliber of horses that he's racing against."

The first leg of the TVG Free-For-All Pacing Series kicks off with a compact but elite field of six older pacers. Included in that group is 2014 O'Brien Award winner Modern Legend for trainer/owner Dave Drew and driver James MacDonald -- who will making his Meadowlands debut on Saturday night.

"It will be fun to drive there; now's as good a time as ever," MacDonald told Trot Insider. "I've always wanted to drive there, I thought it would pretty cool to get a drive at The Meadowlands so when I had the opportunity I was pretty pumped."

After driving him a handful of times in 2014, MacDonald has been aboard Modern Legend for all three of his 2015 starts thus far.

"James has had a good run with Modern Legend; we started out the year very well," said Drew. "He's had a good go his first three starts. I asked James to come down to the Meadowlands to drive him in the first TVG leg and we hope the horse is competitive and hope we get a good trip."

In his three starts this year, Modern Legend has won two Preferreds at Mohawk Racetrack and finished a hard-closing third in the Van Rose at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

"He was really good, he was pacing his hardest at the wire and that's always a good sign," noted MacDonald. "It's a different track and it's tough to come three-wide off that last turn. It cost us quite a bit of momentum."

Drew notes that trip is key to success in this division, even in a six-horse field. He's hopeful that MacDonald can work out a winning strategy on Saturday night.

Prior to Saturday, Drew told Trot Insider that the plan was to give Modern Legend his regular routine, including jogging and a daily swim. That regimen is part of the training schedule even away from home, as Drew shipped to Mark Ford's training centre -- complete with pool -- while prior to the TVG leg.

Modern Legend is listed as the 5-2 second choice behind 2014 North America Cup winner JK Endofanera (pp6, Yannick Gingras, 8-5). Rounding out the field are world record holder Warrawee Needy, Doo Wop Hanover, Wake Up Peter and Dovuto Hanover.

"He's a great horse; I really think he's as good as any of the horses in his division that I've seen so far," said MacDonald. "We've had a good start to the year and hopefully it will keep going that way.

"Ultimately you want to be that guy that everyone wants to use in a stakes race...just to get a chance to go down and drive that horse against five other great horses, it's pretty cool."

While originally only listed on Modern Legend, MacDonald has since picked up five additional drives at The Meadowlands including two stakes engagements for trainer Ron Burke: he'll steer Appomattox in the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Final and North America Cup-eligible Edward Teach in a New Jersey Sire Stakes leg.

To view entries for Saturday's card at the Meadowlands, click the following link: Saturday Entries - Meadowlands Racetrack.

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