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MacDonell joins 5,000 win club
Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - by Greg Gangle, WEG Communications

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Toronto, ON --- Paul MacDonell, a regular driver on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit, enjoyed a driving double to kick off the Woodbine fall/winter meet on Monday (Oct. 1) and that was enough to put the reinsman into the 5,000 win club.

New Image Media photo
Paul MacDonell won his 5,000th career race on Monday behind Count Speed.

The classy horseman guided Count Speed to victory in a $19,000 conditioned trot in race eight. The 3-year-old son of Majestic Son went gate-to-wire in 1:56.2.

The 49-year-old, who won the 2008 O’Brien Award as Canada’s top driver, was elated to reach the milestone.

“It feels great to get it,” said MacDonell. “Coming into tonight, I thought I had a pretty good chance to get it with the live drives I had. It’s just been a thrill and I’m honored to reach the milestone.”

This year, the Guelph resident has visited the winner’s circle 89 times thus far, while accumulating more than $2.5 million in purse earnings.

In 2007 and 2008, MacDonell enjoyed the ride of a lifetime as he partnered with the great Somebeachsomewhere, who achieved international acclaim.

He was also the regular pilot of the late Admiral's Express. The 2010 Cam Fella Award winner was affectionately known as ‘The Grey Gladiator.’

MacDonell notched his first win in 1981 with Dandy J Mite at Kawartha Downs.

Christoforou kicks off Woodbine Fall/Winter meet

Driver Chris Christoforou guided post time favorite Valley Glider to victory in the first race, kicking off the Fall/Winter meet at Woodbine on Monday evening.

The freshman son of Yankee Glide broke his maiden in fine form as he got under the wire in 1:59.4 in his C$18,000 conditioned event.

The trotting youngster went gate-to-wire through fractions of :29.2, 1:00 and 1:30.2, before scoring a three-quarter length victory. Tanige AS (Roger Mayotte) finished second with Tag Up And Go (Mike Saftic) third.

“It feels great to be back at Woodbine,” Christoforou said following the win. “I enjoy racing at both Mohawk and Woodbine. Both facilities are just fantastic and it’s always nice to start off the meet with a win.”

Woodbine Entertainment Group’s featured wager of the night, the C$50,000 guaranteed pool early Pick-4, had a total pool of C$106,473.

Live racing continues on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at the Rexdale oval. First race post time is 7:10 p.m. The Fall/Winter meet will feature some major stakes events including the Breeders Crown championships featuring more than $6 million in purses, which is held on Oct. 27 and the $2.4 million Super Finals for the top performers in the Ontario Sires Stakes program on Nov. 10.

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