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MacDonald sweeps New Holland Series Finals

April 1, 2023

MILTON, April 1, 2023 – An extra week was worth the wait for Locatelli, Nautical Hanover and driver James MacDonald as they captured Saturday’s New Holland Series finals at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

The New Holland Series finals were pushed back a week after last Saturday’s card was cancelled due to extreme wind.

Track record holder Locatelli inherited the lead on the final turn and would hold on to win the $72,000 New Holland Trotting Series Final.

Driver James MacDonald fired Locatelli out from post-eight to head towards the early lead. Top contender HP Mama B pushed forward coming out of the first turn to grab the lead through a :56 opening-half. Looking strong on the lead, HP Mama B suddenly went off stride racing towards three-quarters, leaving Locatelli to reach the third station in 1:25.1.

With Franks Angel a few lengths back and the others several more, Locatelli would seal the deal trotting into a stiff wind to win in 1:56.2. Franks Angel was second by a length and a quarter, while Sermon rallied for third.

“I know HP Mama B, when she goes for it, she goes for it all and (Locatelli) was struggling to keep with her,” said MacDonald. “When she rolled off, Locatelli is the kind of horse that’s tough to get by down the lane…he’s not the quickest horse, but he doesn’t like to give it up either. We didn’t have a whole lot left in the tank, but we got the job done.”

Trained by Harry Poulton, Locatelli is now two for five this season after turning in a strong 2022 campaign that saw him score seven wins and earn $145,300 in 27 starts. The five-year-old gelding matched the Older Trotting Horse and Gelding track record of 1:50.4 on December 5.

“He’s a classy horse and I just can’t say enough good about him,” said MacDonald. “He tries and he gives you all he’s got and he did it again tonight.”

Locatelli now has $57,800 earned this season for owners and Hutchison Harness LLC. The gelding’s career numbers are now up to 13 wins and over $400,000 earned.

A $2 win ticket on Locatelli returned $15.20 to win.

Driver MacDonald completed the series finale double by guiding Nautical Hanover to a 4 ¼ lengths score in the $70,500 New Holland Pacing Series final. The victory gave the Ben Baillargeon trainee a sweep of the series.

Camara Moment blasted out at the start to grab the early lead and would show the way for a large portion of the race. After leading by the half in :56.2, Camara Moment was overtaken on the final turn when Nautical Hanover attacked first up from fourth to lead by three-quarters in 1:24.4.

In the stretch, Nautical Hanover and MacDonald blew things wide open to secure the 1:53.2 victory. Baillargeon’s other starter Commanding Officer came away in a scramble for second, while Momas Son Byrne was third.

Nautical Hanover is now three for four on the season with $68,010 earned for owner Richard Berthiaume. The four-year-old was acquired by owner Berthiaume and trainer Baillargeon in November.

Baillargeon is optimistic for the future with Nautical Hanover.

“We’ll see when he gets the likes of Wheels On Fire and Warrawee Vital and those type of horses, but he’s a four-year-old and he will mature to be a very nice horse.”

A $2 win ticket on Nautical Hanover returned $5.10.

The New Holland Pacing and Trotting Series was open to non-winners of $150,000 (fillies and mares $175,000) in 2022.

Live racing continues Monday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7 p.m.

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