Driver Brett MacDonald had the hot hands on a frigid Friday, Jan. 21 at The Raceway at Western Fair District, winning half the card including the evening's featured Preferred 2 with O'Brien Award finalist Power And Grace.
Trained by MacDonald's father Ron, trotting mare Power And Grace beat the boys for the second consecutive week at the London, Ont. half-mile oval, leading all the way in the $13,000 Preferred 2 Handicap. Assigned outside of her five rivals, the seven-year-old daughter of Holiday Road and Mark Of Honour powered to the lead and carved out panels of :28.4, :59.2 and 1:28.1 en route to the 1:57.4 score. The time of the mile was just three-fifths of a second off the divisional track record she set last March.
Power and Grace and driver Brett MacDonald crossing over from post six into the first turn at The Raceway on Friday night (Jan. 21).
Power And Grace paid $3.20 to win as the 3-5 favourite. Scene A Magician (Garrett Rooney) followed 2-1/2 lengths behind in the pocket and Sizzlen Hot Herbie (Natasha Day) advanced first-up to finish third.
After defeating her Preferred foes in an added distance event last week, Power And Grace is now two-for-three to start the year. The win was her 35th lifetime and boosted her bankroll to $295,164 for owners Lormer McClure of Guelph, Ont. and Hartel Maintenance Inc.
Power And Grace is a 2021 O'Brien Award finalist in the Older Trotting Mare of the Year category. The winners will be announced at the virtual presentation of the awards on Sunday, Feb. 6, which will be live streamed on standardbredcanada.ca.
MacDonald set the tone for the night early, sweeping the Daily Double with Darryl Laver's homebred Petro Dealin ($8.20) and Saulsbrook Velveta ($6.10), a recent newcomer to the Ron MacDonald stable.
He then reeled off three straight wins, starting in the fifth race with another Laver trainee, Petro Angel ($2.60). After Power And Grace's victory, MacDonald completed his five-win performance in a photo finish with Whiskey To Win ($7.70), trained by O'Brien Award finalist Richard Moreau. In his four other drives, he had three runner-up finishes.
MacDonald, a former Future Star Award winner who ranked fifth in Canada for wins in 2021, is off to a fantastic start this year with 22 trips to the winner's circle so far. The Freelton, Ont., reinsman earned 247 victories last year and enjoyed a career-best season for earnings with his mounts banking more than $1.78 million.
In other action, Friday's $10,000 Preferred 3 Trot went to 4-5 favourite Jayport Hi Class ($3.90), who followed cover three-wide from the backfield and held off second choice Goaltender (Samuel Fillion) as that one closed widest of all from last after a break at the start. Jayport Hi Class finished a head in front of Goaltender in 2:00.4, with Herbs Journey (Scott Coulter) two lengths behind in third. The five-year-old Muscle Mass-Jayport Forever gelding was driven by Greg Dustin, who also handles the training duties for owners Ted Melchers of Komoka, Ont., and Gys Versteegh of London, Ont.
To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - The Raceway at the Western Fair District.