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MacDonald Returns To The Bike

Published: August 18, 2020 9:23 am ET

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Just over two weeks ago, reinsman James MacDonald sustained a concussion and broke his right collarbone when he was involved in a racing accident at Woodbine Mohawk Park. On Tuesday (August 18), the 2017 World Driving Champion was already back in the sulky, as he was in action during the weekly qualifying session at the Campbellville, Ont. oval.

In the August 1 accident, which occurred at the top of the stretch, 3-5 favourite Best In Show, who was first-over while edging to the lead, jumped and veered into Highlandbeachlover. Highlandbeachlover jolted inside, which caused Sports Column (who was driven by MacDonald) to trip over a wheel and go down. Yacht Seelster (Chris Christoforou) and Tyga Hanover (Sylvain Filion), who had been gapped from the rest of the field, raced into the stretch and also went down over Sports Column.

A handful of days later, MacDonald provided an update on his condition. In his update, MacDonald indicated that there was optimism that he wouldn't miss too much racing. Fast forward to Mohawk's August 18 qualifying session, just 17 days after the accident, and there was MacDonald, lining up in Post 6 for the session's fourth race.

In his first charted mile back, MacDonald was in the bike behind two-year-old Trixton gelding Perfect Record for his brohter, trainer Anthony MacDonald. James and his charge floated out from the gate and found themselves in second at the quarter pole, which was clicked off in 30 seconds.

James and Perfect Record inherited the lead in the second panel, and the duo proceeded to open up almost six lengths before passing the half-mile indicator in 1:01.2.

Perfect Record's qualifier starts at approximately the 45:30 mark.

Perfect Record cruised through the back half of his mile. With a comfortable lead, the bay tripped the third timer in 1:32.1 and capped things off with a 31-second final quarter. The win time was 2:03.1. The margin of victory was three and a quarter lengths. And the report from MacDonald was good.

MacDonald conveyed to Trot Insider that "everything was great" and that Perfect Record raced well and there were no issues.

The eyes of the harness racing world will be on Woodbine Mohawk Park this Saturday (August 22), as the eliminations for the North America Cup will be contested. In addition to some of the continent's top three-year-old male pacers, MacDonald is hoping that he will also be competing at Mohawk on Saturday.

After the qualifying session, MacDonald told Trot Insider that he was heading to St. Catharines to see his doctor, but that he "should be back in the bike Saturday."

MacDonald only drove in one of Tuesday's qualifying session, which also featured wins by a pair of six-figure yearling purchases: Rosies War Bonds (2:01.3) and Rau Ru (1:58.2).

To view the harness racing results from Mohawk's Tuesday session, click the following link: Tuesday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park (Qualifiers).


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