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MacDonald Aboard A Twitter Revolution?


Published: April 23, 2010 4:46 pm ET

Last Comment: April 24, 2010 12:37 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

If you were about to bet on a race from one of the major harness tracks and a driver in the race sent an electronic message to the world that he liked his horse and was going to give it an aggressive drive, would it change your wagering mind?

This actually happened prior to Woodbine Racetrack's first race on Thursday, April 22. Two-time O'Brien Award-winning driver Mark MacDonald, up behind the Shawn Robinson pupil Bathing Beauty, went to the front early and paced to a wire-to-wire victory in 1:53 after openly telling the world via a 'tweet' on Twitter that he liked the horse's prospects in the dash.

"I did it tonight at Woodbine for the first (race). I thought that I had a good shot and would give an aggressive drive and I did and she won, so anyone following would've caught that," MacDonald told the Woodbine Entertainment Group Communications Department afterward about utilizing Twitter.

"I just think it's a good idea, to be a little more interactive and try to get a little bit more information out to the public. You know, try to get a little bit more information about the upcoming races, just what we are thinking, just what I'm thinking, you know, whatever. That's the good thing about those websites, you can just sort of put on whatever is on the top of your mind."

A view of Mark MacDonald's Twitter page

When asked whether he plans to use Twitter to give insight before races or after, MacDonald essentially said that he may do both.

"A little bit of both," he said. "Right now I'm just feeling it out. I really didn't know what to put at first. I talked to my brother Curtis, he had set it up for me -- Curtis MacDonald, he does it at Grand River -- he said for me to try to give a little bit more insight, so I did that yesterday (Thursday night at Woodbine) and people really seemed to like it."

MacDonald was asked how hard it was for him to update his Twitter page throughout the card, and he stated that it was not a very big deal at all.

"It's nothing too serious. I have my iPhone in my pocket so it's just quick to punch in a few sentences and I usually have a lot of time," MacDonald explained. "I'm going to try to do it every night and as much as I can because, like I say, I think that once people get on to it it will be pretty cool to follow."

April 24, 2010 - 12:37 pmHeaven forbid drivers

Jeff Porchak SAID...

Heaven forbid drivers actually communicate with the public...I see your points, Jim and Allan, but everything Mark posted is free for anyone to see. And his comments were completely integrated with Grand River's simulcast. That kind of transparency should be applauded and encouraged.

April 23, 2010 - 7:19 pmas long as driver next to

jim cauchon SAID...

as long as driver next to him in the moments before start isnt working the twitter too, i think the betting public will be alright.


April 23, 2010 - 7:05 pmI won't be surprised if the

Allan Schott SAID...

I won't be surprised if the ORC has a chat with Mark. Also don't be surprised if tweeting becomes banned, at least around race time. How long till Twitter is used to pass information along? I am not suggesting Mark did; but others may.

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