Islander holds reins of high-powered horse at Meadowlands qualifier

Nicholas Oakes
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Racing television show falls victim to WEG cuts

Island native Mark MacDonald was in the thick of the action Thursday morning at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.Y.

MacDonald sat behind highly heralded pacer Warrawee Needy, now being trained by Mark Ford for owners Carl Jamieson and partners. The E Dees Cam four-year-old laid down fractions of 28.2, 57.4 and 1:26.2 en route to a 1:53.1 victory. The pacer is being pointed towards the upcoming Aquarius series at The Meadowlands.

In other U.S. action, MacDonald won with 2012 Gold Cup and Saucer winner Eighteen in 1:54 Saturday at Yonkers Raceway in a $21,000 class. Ford also trains Eighteen. MacDonald is seventh in wins and earnings at Yonkers Raceway so far in 2013.

At Pompano Park in Pompano Beach, Fla., Wednesday, Waiting On A Woman overcame the handicapped Post 9 while winning the Open Trot again in 1:55.1 with Wally Hennessey at the lines.

Delaware Speed Sale

The recently held Delaware Speed Sale in Delaware, Ohio, had some Island flavour to it.

Lost Bliss, broke and trained down by Leith Waite of Summerside, was sold for $5,000 to Pennsylvania.

Grayland Rain, who formerly campaigned out of the Marc Campbell stable in Charlottetown, was sold for $1,300 Ohio connections.

Totally Priceless found a new home for $1,400. The six-year-old Totally Western mare was owned by Islanders Reg MacPherson and Ian Smith.

Atlantic stakes graduate Pictonians Souwest went for $2,100 to a Massachusetts address. The Western Paradise five-year-old was owned by Danny Ross of Belfast.

Island native Bill Andrew was busy on the buying end of the sale as he took home three horses. Andrew purchased Jeremys Gambit mare Heathers Gambit (25 wins, $437,123 in purses, race mark of 1:51.4 at Pocono Downs) for $3,200, four-year-old lightly raced Western Ideal mare Sunset City for $5,250 and seven-year-old Keystone Nordic mare Buckling Banbury (14 wins, $88,294, 1:56.4 at the Meadows) for $4,000.

Ontario scene

Woodbine Entertainment Group announced this week that the popular Bet Night Live show on The Score television network is being discontinued.

The show aired Mondays nights for standardbred racing and Wednesdays for thoroughbred racing, showing a number of races from the Woodbine card. Woodbine Entertainment is going though a number of changes while dealing with the Ontario’ government decision to scrap the revenue sharing agreement with horse racing. Included in the cuts is massive slashes to TV programming (such as Bet Night Live), as well as the already carried out elimination of 100 jobs from the organization, including some top executives.

Bet Night Live was made into its present format in 2010 when it was changed from Race Night On The Score. Islander Greg Blanchard, who now works for the Western Fair District in London, Ont., was instrumental in shaping the show over the years.

Island native Patrick Shepherd continues to put up impressive training numbers. The Stratford native had a pair of wins this week for owner Jonah Moase of Cornwall.

Tobins Got It made it three wins in a row at Flamboro Downs on Wednesday, winning in 1:59.1 with J.R Plante in the bike going for $5,500.

The Steelman was also winner in 1:58.1 in a $6,000 claimer with Plante driving. The Steelman was claimed at the race and is entered to race for new connections.

At Woodbine Saturday night, Island sire Chasin Racing makes his first start back for owners Jody and Larissa Sanderson and Jamie MacKinley. Keith Oliver will drive from Post 8 for trainer Anthony Montini in race four on the Woodbine program.

Nicholas Oakes’ column appears in

The Guardian each Friday. He can be

reached at

Organizations: Meadowlands Racetrack, Entertainment Group, Western Fair District

Geographic location: Delaware, Ohio, Iceland, East Rutherford U.S. Pompano Park Pompano Beach Ontario Charlottetown Massachusetts Sunset City London, Ont. Stratford

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