MacDonald guides Astronomical to win

Doug
Doug Harkness
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MONTREAL - Astronomical remained undeated in his 2006 campaign, following his wire-to-wire 1:51.4 victory at Hippodrome de Montreal Sunday afternoon.

Mike MacDonald got the call once again to drive the five-year-old Astreos-Say Hey stallion and had him on top throughout the mile.

The free-legged pacer took the field to an opening quarter in 25.4 before laying down fractions of 55.1, and 1:24.2, closing out the mile with a 27.2 closer to win by two lengths.

MONTREAL - Astronomical remained undeated in his 2006 campaign, following his wire-to-wire 1:51.4 victory at Hippodrome de Montreal Sunday afternoon.

Mike MacDonald got the call once again to drive the five-year-old Astreos-Say Hey stallion and had him on top throughout the mile.

The free-legged pacer took the field to an opening quarter in 25.4 before laying down fractions of 55.1, and 1:24.2, closing out the mile with a 27.2 closer to win by two lengths.

Trainer Dr. Ian Moore, who co-owns the pacer with R. G. McGroup Ltd., of Bathurst and Sandy Shearer of Dartmouth, N. S., said he was impressed with Astronomicals performance.

He is really strong and is busting the gate. said Moore, who says racing the horse without hopples seems to suit him.

Moore said a decision would be made later this week on whether Astronomical will be entered in the $300,000 Molson Pace at London later this month.

Were also looking at a big race at Rockingham Park in New Hampshire. said Moore, who said the bigger racetrack at Rockingham might suit Astronomical better.

It was the second straight win for Astronomical at Montreal. He won the previous Sunday in a personal best of 1:50.2.

Meanwhile, a couple of other world-class Maritime-owned pacers were preparing to break camp this week to continue their careers in harness racings fast lane.

Watta Hotshot, who qualified in 1:57.3 at Truro Raceway on Sunday, and four-year-old Feelin Friskie, who qualified in 1:56.4 the previous week, were heading for The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N. J. to make their first starts of the season. Watta Hotshot was expected to start in a New Jersey Sires Stakes event for three-year-old pacing colts while owner Wayne Whebby of Dartmouth, N. S. says Feelin Friskie will likely start in a conditioned event.

Dunachton Gale, last years Atlantic Canada Horse of The Year, won his seasons debut at Truro Raceway on Sunday with a 1:58.1 victory for veteran trainer-driver Phil Pinkney. It was the 36th career victory for the six-year-old stallion.

Pinkney also won with Force Ore Finesse, last years two-year-old Atlantic Sires Stakes pacing colt champion, who won his first start of the season in 2:01.2.

Charlottetown Driving Park will host the Atlantic Regionals Drivers championship on Sunday, May 20.

Nine drivers will compete in a nine-race competition to decided Atlantic Canadas two representatives in the national final at Charlottetown on Aug. 9th.

Nova Scotia will be represented by Danny Romo and Darren Crowe of Truro. Prince Edward Island will be represented by Gilles Barrieau, Mike Stevenson and Todd Trites with Ken Arsenault, Earl Smith and Walter Cheverie carrying the P.E.I. colours.

Robert Forward is the Newfoundland representative.















Organizations: R. G. McGroup

Geographic location: MONTREAL, Dartmouth, London Rockingham Park New Hampshire Charlottetown Maritime East Rutherford, N. J. Driving Park Nova Scotia Prince Edward Island Newfoundland

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