News ArchivesArchives for August '05
Legends and dreamers star at Clinton on Sunday
CLINTON, ON — On Sunday afternoon Clinton Raceway will salute some of harness racing’s legendary drivers and provide a venue for some of its future stars.
The track’s biennial Legend’s Day features Hall of Fame drivers Keith Waples, Bud Fritz, Ron Waples, Jim Doherty, John Campbell, Ray Remmen, Clint Galbraith and Bill O’Donnell, who will sign autographs throughout the day and then compete against each other in the Legend’s Day Trot. There will also be entertainment for the family throughout the afternoon and a barbecue and concert by Neil Diamond tribute artist Tom Sadge following the races.
Entertaining the crowd on the racetrack will be 60 freshman trotting fillies competing for a total of $120,000 in eight Grassroots divisions. Making her debut in the Grassroots program is local filly Marclif Aisalinda, who will start from Post 7 in the eleventh race.
“We drew the seven-hole for her first start, but we’re right here at home and somebody’s got to have it,” says trainer Franklin MacDonald philosophically. “And there are seven or eight other divisions, so there are six or seven others besides me with the seven-hole, I’m not alone.”
The road to the Grassroots has been a rocky one for Marclif Aisalinda, who missed two months of training in the late spring after having bone chips removed from one hock.
“She was coming along really well, but I noticed her hock swelling up so I asked the vets about it. They said it’s called OCD and to just let it go and if it starts bothering her, do something about it,” recalls MacDonald. “It started swelling up more so I asked another vet about it and he suggested getting it done, so I took her to (University of) Guelph and they agreed it should be done.
“When they x-rayed it they only saw two chips, but when they started with the arthroscopic thing they took three pieces out. So I have three pieces of bone out of her, as a conversation piece I guess.”
The Earl daughter recovered well from the surgery and resumed training in preparation for a late season debut. In her first qualifier, at Clinton Raceway on Aug. 14, she made a late break in stride, but her second attempt was a steady effort over the Clinton oval on Aug. 21.
“She got to the tote board and said I think I’ve trotted far enough, I think I’ll run home,” says the Clinton resident of the filly’s first qualifying attempt. “She trotted nice the other day, they just went a little bit slow to the half.”
MacDonald and longtime partner Clifton Walsh of Wingham bred and own Marclif Aisalinda, who is a half sister to former Grassroots winner Marclif Victoria.
“She has her whole life ahead and lots of learning to do, but I really like her,” says the veteran horseman. “A lot of guys tell me they like her better, the way she trots, than Victoria. I think she will be a nice mare, barring her getting hurt or anything.”
Marclif Aisalinda will get her first test on Sunday, although MacDonald admits he does not expect a great deal from the young trotter and driver Bruce Richardson from the outside Post 7.
“I don’t expect much from the seven-hole. I just hopes she keeps out of trouble and doesn’t make any trouble for anybody else,” he says. “We are right at home so there’s not much expense other than our entry fee.”
Among the fillies Richardson and Marclif Aisalinda will meet in Sunday’s eleventh race are six veterans of the Ontario Sires Stakes program and another filly making her racing debut. Their peers kick off Clinton Raceway’s Legend’s Day program in Race 1 at 1:30 pm, with the other seven divisions slated as Races 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11 and 12.
For a complete list of entries please go to: