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Pacing For Charity Card Set

Published: May 25, 2018 10:23 am ET

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Back by popular demand is Pacing For Charity. Now in its third year, the popular fundraising event, created by the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, will take place on Sunday, May 27 at Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

Current World Driving Champion James MacDonald, two-time World Driving Champion Jody Jamieson and 2017 O'Brien Award winner Doug McNair will be the three celebrity contestants. Jamieson will drive for Autism Canada, McNair for Perky In Pink, and MacDonald will compete on behalf of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Last year, the trio helped raise more than $7,900.

McNair was the big winner last year with five wins over the Century Downs track. He scored with Silent Rescue (trainer Kyle Howard), Blue Eyed Cowboy (Keith Clark), Brighten Your Life (Kelly Hoerdt), They Call Me Rosie (Robert Parish) and Shaleslittlespirit (Jim Marino). The trainers warrant mention as a bunch of them stepped up with horses to compete in the hands of the visitors throughout the card. That’ll be the story again on Sunday.

McNair, 28, is closing in on 3,000 wins. That’s a remarkable achievement, indicative of his skill and the fact he gets to drive some exceptionally good horses. The latest example came last Sunday evening at Flamboro when he scored with Backstreet Shadow and with Western Passage in divisions of the first Ontario Sires Stakes Gold division for three-year-old pacing colts. Western Passage is eligible for the $1 million North America Cup to be contested next month. His five wins on Pacing For Charity day at Century Downs last year were part of a season that produced 325 wins and more than $6.5 million in earnings.

Jamieson, who will drive for Autism Canada, won the world drivers challenge in 2001 and repeated in 2011. He’s closing in on 7,700 career wins and his horses have piled up more than $123 million in earnings. He has a personal connection to autism as does Century Downs regular, Kelly Hoerdt, who plans to supply at least some of Jamieson’s horsepower and who will match whatever Jamieson wins with a contribution of his own to the cause. As a matter of fact, most of the Century Downs drivers will contribute to the various charities in their own way.

The accolades haven’t stopped for current World Driving Champion, James MacDonald. He won the title last August after accumulating the most points across a series of 22 races over five tracks. The streak began August 12 at Century Downs when he drove Lucky Lucka and Barossa Blue Genes into the winner's circle. It ended with the final race six days later at Charlottetown Driving Park.

The win earned him an invitation to the Perth International Drivers Series at Gloucester Park in Australia last December. He drove one winner on that card while finishing sixth overall. He’ll defend his world title next year in Sweden. Already this year he’s won 67 races, pushing his career total over the 1,800 mark.

The drivers will fly in on Sunday to compete on the Century Downs card, starting at 1:15 p.m. To view the entries for Sunday's card, click one of the following links:

► Century Downs: Sunday Entries -- Sunday Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT)

(with files from HRA/thehorses.com)


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