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MacDonald Discusses Saturday Accident

Published: August 7, 2020 2:14 pm ET

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"When I first started looking through the entries to see who I was driving, who was going to drive then you kind of get down and it's a letdown but at the same time, like I said, when I watched the replay and saw how bad of an accident it was I just try to remember how lucky I am to only have this minor injury."

On Thursday, driver James MacDonald made a special appearance at Woodbine Mohawk Park to discuss his recent on-track accident. The incident occurred at the top of the stretch in Saturday's fifth race when 3-5 favourite Best In Show, first over while edging to the lead, jumped and veered into Highlandbeachlover. Highlandbeachlover jolted inside, causing Sports Column (driven by Macdonald) to trip over a wheel and go down. Yacht Seelster (driven by Chris Christoforou) and Tyga Hanover (driven by Sylvain Filion) raced gapped from the rest of the field into the stretch and also went down over Sports Column.

MacDonald suffered a concussion and a broken collarbone as a result of the accident. He told Trot Insider on Sunday that he's set to have the clavicle examined again in a week's time. His return date is still unknown.

"I was at the clinic today and got re-x-rayed," MacDonald told Woodbine's Mark McKelvie. "They really don't know a whole lot yet. I went and saw the sports therapist I work with and he was optimistic about not too long of a break but we'll see. I'll know more once I start doing some stretches, start doing some physio and get in the hyperbaric chamber and just try and get better day by day."

Day by day, MacDonald is feeling better and was floored by the outpouring of support and concern shown by harness racing's fans and participants since Saturday night's accident.

"Honestly, I've been really great since and I just want to take the time to thank everyone that sent me their well-wishes and texts and messages. It was just crazy overwhelming."

Unfortunately for the 2017 World Driving Champion, being sidelined for an extended period of time isn't new territory. One thing he plans to differently this time around is stay more engaged with the product.

"The first time I got hurt and had a lengthy layoff it was in the winter time so I just watched hockey and I hardly watched a race at all...I just forgot about it for a couple of months and then leading up to the weeks coming back I kind of tried to slowly get myself back into racing shape and knowing what's going on with the horses. This time I'm trying to focus more on watching the races every night and just trying to stay sharp on what horses are doing what and who's doing what...those little things you do every night that can hold you back if you're not paying attention. I'm trying to make sure as soon as I come back I'm as sharp as I can be for racing."

The full interview is available below.


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