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Mike MacDonald Passes; Arrangements Set

Published: June 20, 2018 9:47 am ET

Last Comment: July 8, 2018 7:55 pm ET | 13 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Mike MacDonald, one the most revered horsemen in Atlantic Canada and considered by many to be the greatest Gold Cup & Saucer driver in the race's history, passed away on Tuesday (June 19) at the age of 70.

Retiring from active competition in 2009, MacDonald was inducted into the PEI Sports of Hall of Fame later that year, fittingly at Charlottetown Driving Park -- the scene of many of his greatest triumphs. The Charlottetown-born driver and trainer won the won the region’s biggest race five times, and competed in an amazing 29 of the 49 Gold Cup & Saucer finals contested up to his retirement. Aside from winning, MacDonald sent top horses into Old Home Week for almost 40 years, and had arguably done more for putting Old Home Week, and the Gold Cup & Saucer race, on the map than any other individual.

MacDonald in the winner's circle after winning the 1995 Gold Cup & Saucer with Sandy Hanover

MacDonald campaigned at all of the major harness racing centres across North America, winning nearly 2,300 races and earning more than $13 million in purses. Horses driven by MacDonald set numerous track records, one of the most notable coming in 1991 when he twice broke the CDP record in a 48-hour span.

He was a mentor for many of the region’s top drivers, including two-time Canadian Driver of the Year Mark MacDonald. A list of notable horses driven and connected to MacDonald include Ventall Rainbow, Gimble, Vizzi Hanover, Hubris, Rumpus Hanover, Bomb Rickles, Kin O Classic, Yankee Predator, Winners Accolade, Jojo Maruri, Pearls Falcon, Southview Matt, Chewy Gross, Ambivalent, Moldau, Sandy Hanover, Whosurboy, Ebbalutionary, Harmony P and Bellas Bliss.

Winners Accolade - 1985 Gold Cup & Saucer

Beloved husband of Judy and dear father of Angie MacDonald (Jamie Smith) and Laura MacDonald (Marielle Levine). Referred to as "PA" by his loving grandchildren, Isla James and Zachary Michael. Michael will also be sadly missed by his siblings Cecil (Elaine), Regina (Leigh) Smith, Maureen (Mike) Thompson, Johnny, and Claudia (Ron) MacFarlane. He is also lovingly remembered by Jeannie and Phil Pitts and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Wilfred and Stella (Horgan) MacDonald and brothers Wilfred and Paul.

A celebration of life will be held for MacDonald at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park on Sunday, June 24 at 7:00 p.m., with mass to be held the following day (Monday, June 25) at St. Dunstan's Basilica in Charlottetown at 10:00 a.m.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the family and friends of Mike MacDonald.

July 8, 2018 - 7:55 pmSuch sad news to hear about

Such sad news to hear about Mike Macdonald's passing. I still remember watching him race All The Glory, Southen Guvna, Crooked Tree, Winners Accolade, and so many more. He always had the horses and himself looking like a million bucks. I would always anticipate his arriving for the Gold Cup and Saucer with some amazing horses from Montreal or the States. I also was fortunate enough to watch him race a number of years ago at Kawartha Downs. Such a wonderful ambassador for not only the Gold Cup and Saucer, but harness racing in general. I know his family will miss him dearly, he was one of a kind. But just be thankful for all the great memories he gave you and thousands of others.

June 27, 2018 - 5:54 am"The (large) Barrieau

"The (large) Barrieau (Leonard) Family is deeply saddened by your great loss. Our brother Marcel and wife Susan always had so many good things to say about Mike and Judy. Deepest condolences to all the MacDonald Family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

June 21, 2018 - 4:57 pmGreat all around guy. I had

Great all around guy. I had supper at his house one evening in Charlottetown and I was just in awe sitting at the table with him. Rest In Peace my friend. My sincerest condolences to Judy and family.

June 21, 2018 - 8:27 amYes he was quite a person, a

Yes he was quite a person, a friend, a mentor and quite a story teller along with being one of the best horse dealers, trainers. and driver even tough out all his accidents, R.I.P. Mike, my condolences to his family.

June 21, 2018 - 8:25 amSorry to hear of Mike's

ron francis SAID...

Sorry to hear of Mike's passing. Many fine BB memories. Condolences to his family.

June 20, 2018 - 7:37 pmSo sorry to hear of the

So sorry to hear of the passing of Mike. He was a great friend and mentor to many. He will be missed! Condolences to his family. - Wally, Barb, and Kristy Hennessey

June 20, 2018 - 5:09 pmI am sorry to hear the

I am sorry to hear the passing of a great friend. We have so many stories between us and the group at Blue Bonnets that we would need years to go through all of them. What a funny guy. My sympathies go out to you, Judy, and the girls. May he rest in peace.

Jean-Guy Lareau and family.

June 20, 2018 - 3:31 pmVery Sorry To Hear This

Todd Hardy SAID...

Very Sorry To Hear This News...Condolences To The Mac Donald Family... A True Gentlemen And One Who Would Never Walk By Without A Hello. Mike Was Willing To Help Anyone ... Our Memories Of Old Home Week Talks Will Always Be Remembered...You Will Be Missed Mr. Gold Cup And Saucer R.I.P. Todd & Trish Hardy, Windsor, N.S.

June 20, 2018 - 2:22 pmSuper horseman and even

Gord Brown SAID...

Super horseman and even better person. Funny story one night in Ottawa, Mike put my blue jeans on by mistake after the races one night and stopped for gas and he had about 80 cents, as I kept my bills in my suit. So here I had about $1,000 Canadian and $600 U.S. We exchanged the following Thursday. Rest in peace my friend.

June 20, 2018 - 2:14 pmR.I.P. Mike. "May God Bless"

R.I.P. Mike. "May God Bless" Judy and the girls. Can you imagine how lucky I was to get to hang around with Mike and Frank Conlin. I never had a boring day with either one. Thats for sure !!!
Was I ever blessed to get to do that and now they are together planning, Lord knows what?? P.S.I Love You Both !!

June 20, 2018 - 2:00 pmOne thing for sure, he was

One thing for sure, he was top dog when it came to gold cup night. The best of all time thus far.

June 20, 2018 - 11:38 amSo sorry for your loss, our

So sorry for your loss, our deepest condolences. He was a great man who always had an interesting story to tell. He will be missed. RIP Mike.
Karen Kroeger and Gilles Plourde.

June 20, 2018 - 10:04 amTo the MacDonald family my

To the MacDonald family my deepest condolences. Mike was one of a kind. A true character. He was friendly to everyone he met and would go out of his way to be helpful. A true ICON of the racing industry. He will be surely missed. R.I.P.

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