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Gladiator to be honored

May 15, 2007

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He is the horse who captivated harness racing fans around the world. His speed, desire and unique colouring made Admirals Express one of the most revered horses in the history of the sport. This Saturday night at Mohawk Racetrack, fans will have a chance to wish a final farewell to the horse dubbed the \"Gray Gladiator\" during a special night in his honor.

Regular driver Paul MacDonell will be reunited with his old partner on Saturday and admits it will be a bittersweet night for him.

“It will be good and bad,” he says. “It will certainly be great to see him and sit up behind him again. But, knowing that we will be parting ways for the final time will also be very tough.”

MacDonell guided Admirals Express to 36 of his 76 career wins, including his 1:48.2 track record at Woodbine in June of 2005. To this day, he is the fastest gray pacer in history.

The pair seemed to form a bond over the years and MacDonell, like so many others in the sport, became a huge fan of the iron horse.

“I will definitely keep in touch with Mike (Hales) and go to see the Admiral from time to time to see how he’s doing,” he says. “Everybody in my family who knows anything about racing will be there to see him on Saturday. My sister, brother and mom and dad are all planning to attend. My mother was really a huge fan of his.”

Fans can meet Canada\'s 2005 Horse of the Year from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., along with trainer Mike Hales and driver MacDonell at a free poster signing and autograph session. The first 500 customers will receive a $5 betting voucher. Admirals Express will also lead a post parade and be officially retired in a winner\'s circle ceremony. (WEG)
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