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MacDONALD's (PRE)-HOLIDAY HIJINX


MacDONALD's (PRE)-HOLIDAY HIJINX
BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, November 25, 2014-We're not suggesting Canadian Mark MacDonald isn't a fan of American Thanksgiving, but no one could blame the guy if he'd rather be working.

Photo by Mike Lizzi

MacDonald has caught fire late in Yonkers Raceway's season, as evidenced by three wins each this past Friday, Saturday and Monday nights.

"I think a lot of it has to with the fact I'm here every night," MacDonald said. "I'd been going to Pocono, which is closed for the season, and occasionally to the Meadowlands. The trainers know I'm going to be around, and I'm getting a lot more live horses.

"Also, if I have one that draws poorly or may be in tough one week, I have a better chance of keeping the drive the next time."

Those who have invested in MacDonald have been handsomely rewarded. Among his winners since the middle of the month have been Mister Anson ($43), Theseyesrcrying ($32.40), Frame Worthy ($31), Don't Stare ($28), Brenway Dixie ($22.80), Giddy Up Delight ($21.60), Mr. Coolie ($18), Upfront Countryboy ($17.80), and Duel in the Sun ($12).

MacDonald, who turns 36 next month, was twice lauded with an O'Brien Award as Canada's leading driver. The Charlottetown, PEI, native was among the leaders on the WEG circuit for a decade. He relocated stateside early in 2012, looking for a change of venue after a series of career-threatening injuries.

MacDonald has career totals of more than 5,400 wins and $71 million in purses. He's currently deadlocked for 10th in the local standings with 67 wins, but only one name on the leader board (Pat Lachance, also with 67 wins) has fewer drives.

The Raceway's five-program-per-week live schedule is in play through Dec. 14, with first post every Monday, Thursday (save for Thanksgiving Night), Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM, and the fourth of six Sunday matinees (replacing Tuesday evenings) this weekend at 11 AM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all nighttime programs, with afternoon simulcasting (including an early Turkey Day opening) available daily.



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