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McNair Mastery On Display

Published: August 5, 2018 5:40 pm ET

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Doug McNair was the star of Sunday afternoon's (Aug. 5) meeting at Clinton Raceway, winning six of the day's 11 races. Among his wins were a pair of Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots splits for three-year-old pacing colts and geldings, teaming up with both Pokerface Bluechip ($9.80) and Montys Play ($2.10), and he finished second in the other two.

Fresh off a sparkling 1:53.3 win at Georgian Downs, Montys Play lived up to odds-on billing in the $18,450 fourth OSS division (race 10) as the day's most prohibitive favourite. McNair protected the pole with the Shadow Play gelding, and the pair were uncontested through early splits of :29.1 and :58.4 before a first-over challenge came in the form of Treasure Writer (James MacDonald). Montys Play accelerated up the far side to keep Treasure Writer just over a length at bay past three-quarters in 1:27.4, and then held off an inside challenge from pocket rival Howmac Dancer (Louis-Philippe Roy) by a length to score in 1:57.

Gregg McNair trains Montys Play, now a six-time winner, for Wayne MacRae, Bloomingwood Farms Ltd. and Gilles Barrieau.

McNair's other OSS victory came in the $18,100 second division (race six), where he swept three-wide up the backstretch with Pokerface Bluechip ($9.80) to just nose out longtime pacesetter Phantom Seelster (Sylvain Filion) in 1:56 for his fifth career score. Jacques Dupont trains the Shadow Play gelding for Les Ecuries Dorleans Inc., Gestion Jam Audet Inc., Paul Andre Lehoux and Gestion C. Levesque 2005 Inc.

While McNair dominated among drivers, Luka Shenko ($5.50) and Louis-Philippe Roy etched their names in the Clinton Raceway record books with the fastest OSS mile of the day in the $18,450 third division (race eight). The pillar-to-post, 1:55 effort from Luka Shenko equalled the track record for three-year-old pacing colts shared by R Gauwitz Hanover, Addwater and Lucky Jet, who all achieved the mark in 2012.

After controlling a :58.4 first half, the son of Sportswriter was nudged along by Gold Rush (McNair) past three-quarters in 1:27.2 before sprinting home in :27.3 to maintain a half-length advantage to the end. Richard Moreau trains 7-time winner Luka Shenko for the Litwin Racing Team.

Not to be overshadowed by the three who won after him, Hudson Phil ($5.20) used a pocket trip to upend odds-on favourite Bo Mach (McNair) in the $18,450 first division. James MacDonald angled the Shanghai Phil colt out of the pocket with three-eighths to go, duelled with Bo Mach through the final turn, and edged away in the final 50 yards to prevail in 1:55.4. Mark Steacy trains the seven-time winner for the Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results – Clinton Raceway.


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