MILTON, September 5, 2020 – Driver James MacDonald engineered his second consecutive Canadian Pacing Derby stunner, guiding Dorsoduro Hanover to a 40-1 upset on Saturday night at Woodbine Mohawk Park.
The Ron Burke trained Dorsoduro Hanover and MacDonald sat fifth-over turning for home and swept by rivals promptly for a 1:48.4 victory in the $540,000 event.
“I always though the seven claimer was my race,” joked MacDonald, who also drove Courtly Choice to a 34-1 upset in last year’s event. “I’ll take the Derby, it’s a real honour just to be in it and to win it…I can’t even put it in words.”
A hot opening-quarter of :25.1 was put up by American History after rocketing off the gate along with rail starter Bettors Wish and Backstreet Shadow. Bettors Wish quickly rushed from third to first and led by the half in 52.4.
The third-quarter saw Backstreet Shadow come first up at Bettors Wish with the pacers dueling by three-quarters in 1:21.1.
The field fanned out wide with the front horses tiring at the head of the lane, setting up a wild finish that saw Dorsoduro Hanover sweep by after being ninth to win by 3 ½ lengths.
Dancin Lou came from third-over to finish second, while Century Farroh was third after sitting second-over turning for home. Sintra finished fourth.
A five-year-old gelding, Dorsoduro Hanover came into the ‘Pacing Derby’ off a hard-closing third-place finish in the Dan Patch at Hoosier on August 22. The Burke trainee is now three for eight on the season and sports career numbers of 17 wins and over $1.9 million earned for owners Burke Racing Stable, JandT Silva Purnel & Libb, Weaver Bruscemi and Wingfield Brothers.
“Mark Weaver had messaged me earlier in the week and told me the horse had been great, but just had been drawing terrible and then the draw came out and he drew (post-eight),” said MacDonald. “It was one of those races when it looks like there is four or five or six that can win, if you’re in the outer flow and they get battling it’s usually a long shot that comes in.
“Ronnie did such a great job, they were at the half in :52.4 and I was just standing up in the stirrups, like he was ready to go. Thanks a lot for the drive.”
Dorsoduro Hanover’s victory gave trainer Burke a sweep of Saturday’s, tagging alongside Atlanta’s win in the Maple Leaf Trot.
A $2 win ticket on Dorsoduro Hanover returned $88.