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MacDonell get 4,000th win

December 30, 2006

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After receiving a perfect pocket trip with the Darren McCall-trained Warrawee Flare, pilot Paul MacDonell took off on his rivals and went on to notch the 4,000th driving victory of his career Friday evening at Woodbine.

The 43-year-old resident of Guelph, Ont. had been hovering close to the milestone mark for much of the Christmas season, and with a full slate of drives on the 11-dash programm, it was clear that Friday was as good a time as any to turn the trick.

MacDonell, who has averaged 250 wins a year for the past four campaigns, recorded victory number 3,999 during the third race of the card, when he piloted even-money shot Thirsty Traveller home in 1:52.2 in what was an open-length score for trainer Des Tackoor.

Although Thirsty Traveller and Warrawee Flare both won by large margins (the latter by 2¾ lengths), “Big Mac” showed that he can do it with the chalk or the underdogs, as Warrawee Flare was sent off at odds of 12-1.

A finalist for an O’Brien Award in 2005 (as Canada’s Driver of The Year), MacDonell has been red hot over the past couple of seasons on the WEG scene. The native of Oshawa, Ont. tallied 244 victories last year at the Woodbine/Mohawk circuit, and his mounts earned more than $7.1-million in purses.

MacDonell currently sits amongst the top five pilots in WEG’s drivers’ colony this season, having notched 237 driving victories, and his mounts on the local circuit have earned in excess of $5.8-million.

Woodbine release)
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