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Pieraz Completes McDonald Grand Slam

Published: May 31, 2015 11:36 pm ET

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The class-climbing Pieraz ($16.10) gave Ted McDonald his fourth driving win on Sunday's card at Rideau Carleton Raceway, prevailing in a three-across finish over favourite Sovereign Wealth and Miramontman in the $6,500 Winners Over Handicap Pace.

Leaving just outside of post one assignee Pieraz, Sovereign Wealth and Miramontman left together to claim the top two spots. Miramontman cleared Sovereign Wealth, but Pieraz made a move early and worked his way to the lead as they passed the opening quarter mark in :28-seconds. As Pieraz led the field to the half in :56.3, Sovereign Wealth launched his attack and moved up to confront the front-runner. They battled on top past three-quarters in 1:24.4 and turned for home with Miramontman closing up the inside lane. Pieraz fought to the wire to hold off those rivals by half a length in 1:53.2.

The win was the first this year in five outings for Pieraz. Pierre Leclerc trains and owns the 26-time career winner with Gina Bragagnolo of Louiseville, Que. The nine-year-old Bolero Master gelding now has over $310,000 in earnings.

In the matching Winners Over Handicap Trot, Michelangelo ($12.30) and driver Rheo Filion gave way to last week's winner, Rocky Boy, at the :27.2 first quarter and shadowed the 8-5 favourite through middle splits of :57.4 and 1:26.4 while Keystone Wyatt challenged first over. As Keystone Wyatt faded, Rocky Boy pulled two lengths clear on top, but Michelangelo surged by down the stretch to win in 1:57.1. Devries Hanover passed Rocky Boy along the pylons to finish second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner.

Owned and trained by Chelsea Knapp, Michelangelo has won six of his 17 starts so far in his six-year-old campaign. The Angus Hall gelding now has 33 wins over the course of his career with earnings just shy of $160,000.

One of McDonald's other winning drives on the Sunday card was aboard pacer The Love Bug ($6.90) in 1:55.1. The eight-year-old gelding is trained by Stephen Leblanc, who celebrated his first training win. Macy Cassell, 22, also earned her first career win as a trainer on the program when six-year-old trotting gelding Heres The Magic ($23.60) scored in 1:57.4 with Clarke Steacy in the sulky.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway.

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