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MacDonald Scores 3,000th Win

Published: September 30, 2015 11:18 pm ET

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Having won earlier on the card with Make It Kate ($14.00) and HMS Firecracker ($4.70), driver John MacDonald tallied his 3,000th career win in Wednesday (September 30) evening's sixth race at Vernon Downs, capturing the second-level conditioned pace for mares with the pacesetting I Saw Red ($5.80).

Beginning from the extreme inside in the field of nine, MacDonald sent the four-year-old If I Can Dream mare up the pegs to secure the lead, forcing Shelby Lu (Dan Daley) in the pocket and setting sectionals of :28.2, :57.2, and 1:25.4 while uncontested. At the top of the stretch, Shelby Lu vacated the pocket to give chase, but I Saw Red responded, just holding sway by a neck in 1:55.3.

MacDonald, a 33-year-old native of Charlottetown, P.E.I., has amassed 123 driving wins so far this year en route to the 3,000-win plateau. His career single-season mark came in 2009, where he won 411 of 1,706 races in Ontario and the Maritime provinces. He currently ranks second in the Vernon Downs standings, trailing just Chris Lems with two months remaining in the 2015 meet.

The evening's featured $7,000 top-level distaff pace saw Looney Dune ($4.10) repel a challenge from the first-over Summer Snow (Lems) on the far turn and subsequently draw clear of pocket rival Express Jet (MacDonald) by four and a half lengths for a 1:52.1 victory. Ben McNeil drove the seven-year-old Bettors Delight mare for owner Ellen McNeil and trainer John McNeil, III.

(Vernon Downs)


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