MILTON, December 26, 2021 – On a Boxing Day matinee card where driver James MacDonald could do very little wrong, it was Awesome Hill and her pilot Doug McNair who also grabbed the spotlight, capturing the lion’s share of the Niagara Pacing Series Final for three-year-old fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
Heading into the $33,600 Final, the Chantel Mitchell trainee went off as the 3-5 favourite, earning the bettors’ respect after winning the opening two legs. So, there was little surprise after Foxy Fiji and Travis Cullen carved out a reasonable opening fraction of :27.3, that McNair wasted little time tugging on the right line of Awesome Hill to beginning their first-up move. The duo cleared to the front just before the half, reached in :56.2, and the pair never looked back, marching through three-quarters in 1:24.3 before crossing the finish line in a lifetime best 1:53.1.
Owned by Tom Hill of Hamilton, Ontario, the sophomore filly has now earned a bankroll of $75,614 in 13 career starts.
Bottomoftheninth (A. Sorrie/M. Lamoureux) and State Of Mind (T. Henry/D. Lindsey) finished second and third, respectively.
The special race card opened with Sylvain Filion guiding Cutting Class to victory, but from there on, it was the James MacDonald show, who captured the next five consecutive races.
He would pose for the winner’s photo with Priceless Beach (S. Steacy), Kendall Seelster (R. Boyd), A Boy Named Suuzz (B. Lester), Woodmere Stealdeal (C. Auciello), and Century Hannibal (J. Ritchie).
MacDonald would go on to earn his sixth win on the day, steering Real Willey (R. Moreau) to a commanding victory in the finale.
McNair also had a notable day earning his first trip of the day to the winner’s circle with Wheels On Fire (R. Moreau) in the $34,000 preferred pace.
Utilizing a similar strategy to his Niagara Final race, the pair sat off the pace third in the opening fraction of 27:3, before moving first up and driving away through fractions of :56.2, 1:24.3, before posting a final fraction of :27.3 to stop the timer in 1:52.
The six-year-old gelding has now won three of his last four starts in the top class for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ontario.
Racing will return on Monday, December 27, with post time slated for 7:00 p.m.
Woodbine Communications / @WoodbineComms