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FIDDLER'S FACTS: James MacDonald wins Canadian Pacing Derby

James MacDonald drove Courtly Choice to victory in the Canadian Pacing Derby Aug. 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, Ont. New Image Media
James MacDonald drove Courtly Choice to victory in the Canadian Pacing Derby Aug. 31 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, Ont. New Image Media - Contributed

James MacDonald gave Courtly Choice a perfect, heady drive as the duo roared past Lather Up in 1:48 and change to win the $500,000 Canadian Pacing Derby a week ago at Mohawk.
Tonight, James handles Courtly Choice at Scioto Downs, Ohio, in the $440,000 Jim Ewart invitational.
Also, at Northfield tonight, Anthony MacDonald has two from the Stable.Ca in the $75,000 consolation Ohio finals. Last Sunday evening at Northfield, Anthony’s two-year-old trot filly Globetrotting finished second beaten by a head in the $300,000 Ohio gold final and another The Stable.Ca entry, Yes, was third in the $300,000 colt final. It was a good night for The Stable as they added $115,000 for their owners.
Tuesday at Mohawk, Lovedbythemasses, a two-year-old trotter bred here by Wade Peconi and co-owned by Wade and two relatives, toyed with a $24,000 grassroots field in 1:57:4 with Mike Saftic aboard. Wade has a yearling out of the same dam for sale this fall.
Thursday in Charlottetown, Incredible Hally set a new track record for two-year-olds with a sizzling 2:02:1 score in the $18,750 Blair Andrew memorial trot for co-owners Calvin Larkin, Erika Bradley, Brian Fogarty and Herbie MacDonald of Cardigan. The filly was bred by Eldred Nicholson.
Today’s Charlottetown card, which has been moved to 11:30 a.m. due to the weather forecast, is another good one with a $2850 top class and an open mares with the likes of Traces of Purple, West River Ambyr, Drivingthedragon, Innocent Kiss, Jordies Hope and Collective Wisdom.

Much to the delight of the New York Yankees’ fans, their arch-rival Boston Red Sox have not yet launched a late-season rally. They trail both the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians by six games in the race for the American League wild card playoff spots with 20 or so left to play.
The Red Sox play the Yankees in a four-game series this weekend in Beantown and the boys from Gotham would enjoy nothing better than to clobber the Sox right at Fenway Park.
For Charlottetown’s Dr. Bob Lund, the unofficial president of the Boston Red Sox fan club, these are difficult days.
On the local baseball front, the Charlottetown Gaudet’s Auto Body Islanders lost a heartbreaker 2-1 Wednesday at Memorial Field to bring their season to an end. The game was a pitching duel between crafty Fredericton Royals’ righty Brooks Saunders and Islanders’ Jordan Stevenson, who was brilliant in defeat.
The Royals pushed across a couple of unearned runs and got a break on a crucial base-running blunder by the Islanders to post the victory. Stevenson tossed a three-hitter and fanned nine in going the distance while Saunders scattered five hits in one of the best pitched games of the season.
Catcher Logan Gallant, who has blossomed into one of the best catchers I’ve seen in the province for a long while, had two hits for the locals while Grant Grady, Kody Matthews and Nick MacPhail had the others.
Slugger Dillon Doucette blasted a long drive with two runners on base, but the wind kept it in the park, much to the disappointment of the home crowd. The Islanders, under head coach Doug Hines, deserved full marks for fielding a very competitive club bolstered by a couple of late-season pickups and co-GMs Peter McDonald and Myles Grady have already made plans for the 2020 season. Well done boys.
Equipment exchange
The eighth annual hockey gear exchange will be held today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bell Aliant Centre on the UPEI campus during Charlottetown Minor Hockey Association (CMHA) registration.
The free equipment program, the brainchild of former CMHA president George Halliwell – who has done more as a volunteer for hockey than anybody on P.E.I. – is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. until noon. The equipment is available for all hockey and ringette players on the Island or for those that just want to learn to skate. You do not have to bring gear, just arrive with your child.

The 2019 NFL season got underway Thursday with the Green Bay Packers edging the Chicago Bears 10-3.
There’s a big slate of games Sunday and a pair on Monday night. The Sports Prophet never bets games in the first two weeks and you shouldn’t either. But, if you must, here are four that I do like:
The Baltimore Ravens, who went 4-0 in the pre-season, are in Miami to meet the 3-1 Fish. Take the Ravens. The Bungles, oops Bengals (1-3) visit always tough Seattle (3-1). The home-team should have no problems. The New York Giants (4-0) travel to Dallas (2-2) and holdout running back Ezequiel Elliott with be in the Cowboys’ lineup. Many think the Cowboys are serious Super Bowl contenders. but I’m not one of them. The late Sunday game has 3-1 Pittsburgh Steelers travelling to 3-1 New England Patriots. If there’s a time to play the Patriots, it’s early in the season and, according to the Steelers’ insiders, their club is better without Antonio Brown. I never bet against Bill Belichick-Tom Brady, so I’ll watch this one with my money in my pocket.
There are hundreds and hundreds of football fans playing NFL fantasy football and last season CBC’s Tracy Lightfoot won a major pool. I’ve always said she knows more about football than either Bruce Rainnie or Kevin (Boomer) Gallant, who wouldn’t know James Brown from Jimmy Brown.
Check this column every Saturday beginning next week to get The Prophet’s NFL Picks.

Fred MacDonald's column appears every Saturday in The Guardian. He can be reached at

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