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McNair Hits 3,000; Upset In Preferred

Published: May 25, 2018 10:29 pm ET

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Driver Doug McNair celebrated his 3,000th career driving win with a dramatic finish in Friday night's finale at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

McNair moved within one win of the milestone mark after guiding even-money favourite E R Rhonda to victory in the ninth race then joined the 3,000-win club courtesy of his winning drive aboard four-year-old pacer Jdcyril in the 11th race. McNair swept three-wide on the backstretch aboard the Randy Van Meer-trained pacer and got up in the final strides for a 26-1 upset over closers Now What Hanover (Jason Ryan) and I C True Grit (James MacDonald).

The 28-year-old resident of Guelph, Ont. is coming off a career-year in which he was named Canada's Driver of the Year. He was the 2017 leading money-winning driver in the nation with more than $5.9 million in earnings on Canadian soil. In total, his mounts won 325 races and earned more than $6.5 million in North America last year. McNair was the regular driver for O’Brien winners Stay Hungry, Bettors Up, and Sandbetweenurtoes, who he drove to a fourth-place finish earlier on Friday night in the weekly Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace, which was won by his father's trainee The Joy Luck Club.

The Joy Luck Club pulled off a 22-1 upset while notching the first win of her four-year-old campaign in the $30,000 feature.

Favourite Clear Idea (Trevor Henry) was first to the front from post six landing ahead of last week's surprise winner P L Hurricane (Sylvain Filion), with Sandbetweenurtoes (Doug McNair) marching up from the seven-hole as they raced into the turn. Sandbetweenurtoes took over at the :26.3 quarter mark, but Clear Idea quickly moved back to the top.

Meanwhile, Ontario Sires Stakes graduate The Joy Luck Club followed from fifth and tipped first-up nearing the :55.3 middle mark in rein to Chris Christoforou. She kicked into action with a big third quarter move, rushing to command and reaching the next pole in 1:23 before opening up almost three lengths down the lane. The Joy Luck Club equalled her career mark of 1:50.3 that she set in an OSS Gold division last August. Clear Idea edged out P L Hurricane in a photo for place, with Sandbetweenurtoes settling for fourth-place.

The Joy Luck Club, who was an O'Brien Award finalist last year after winning 14 of her 22 sophomore starts while banking $333,807, is owned by trainer Gregg McNair, Mark Horner and R A W Equine Inc.

After finishing out of the money in the Sam 'Chip' Noble Memorial at Miami Valley Raceway and last Friday's Preferred at Mohawk Park, The Joy Luck Club returned $46.50 to win.

The field was scratched down to nine starters with Ms Mac N Cheese sick. Wagers on Forever Liza were refunded after she broke stride behind the starting gate. Judges' ruled she did not receive a fair start resulting in the pari-mutuel refund.

To view complete results from Friday's harness racing card, click on the following link: Friday Results - Mohawk Park.


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