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Popular Play Right hunting for first win Thursday
September 22, 2008
By Sandra Snyder

CAMPBELLVILLE, ON — As the two-year-old trotting colts head back to Mohawk Racetrack for their second last Gold Elimination on Thursday evening, driver Mark MacDonald says Play Right has built up a loyal fan base in spite of his limited success through the first two months of the provincial program.

“He is a nice little guy. I like him,” says the Cambridge resident, who shares ownership on Play Right with his father-in-law Hal Bevan of Charlottetown, PEI and trainer James ‘Friday’ Dean of Campbellville. “He’s just a really, really nice horse. Everybody that has anything to do with him loves him.”

Through six starts Play Right has posted a runner-up finish in his Aug. 18 Gold Elimination at Mohawk, and a third-place finish in a division of the Champlain Stakes at the Campbellville oval on Aug. 31. Fourth in his William Wellwood Memorial Elimination, the son of Kadabra and Poetry faded to eighth in the Sept. 14 consolation.

“It was raining, and the track was really hard,” notes MacDonald, who handed off driving duties on the colt to Anthony MacDonald for the Sept. 14 start. “I guess his feet were stinging him a little, and late in the mile he got pacey.”

MacDonald says trainer Dean has been working on the colt’s feet over the last eight days and expects Play Right to be back on form for Thursday’s start, which will see him pilot the colt from Post 1 in the third $40,000 Gold Elimination.

“He’s really handy, and really good gaited, knock on wood,” says the horseman. “For a two-year-old trotter he’s really good gaited. Even last week when his feet were stinging he didn’t make a break.”

In his six race career Play Right has only made one bobble, in the July 15 Gold Elimination at Kawartha Downs where he made his racing debut, and MacDonald says it was due to a shoeing imbalance that Dean was quick to correct for the youngster’s next start.

A $59,000 acquisition at last fall’s Harrisburg Yearling Sale, Play Right has earned back almost half of his purchase price and MacDonald would love to see the colt make another deposit of both purse funds and Gold Series points into his account on Thursday. With 25 points earned through his first two Gold Series appearances, Play Right is 25 points short of the current cut off for a berth in the $300,000 Super Final.

“Hopefully he can get some points for the Super Final,” notes MacDonald. “He’s a nice horse, he has a great attitude, he’s a nice size. He’s just a fun horse to have around.”

Among the colts that MacDonald and Play Right will face Thursday in their quest for a top three finish are three-time Gold Final runner-up Mopey Corey from Post 3, and Aug. 25 Gold Consolation winner Mr Escadar from Post 7.

Reigning Gold Final winner Hibbler will attempt to extend his unbeaten streak to five from Post 6 in the first race, with Aug. 4 Gold Final champion Sin To Win hoping to return to form from Post 2. Senator Hall, the winner of the season opening Gold Final, will be aiming for a top three finish from Post 4 in the second elimination.

The top three finishers from each elimination, plus one fourth-place finisher selected by random draw, will earn a return invitation to Mohawk Racetrack for the Oct. 2 Gold Final. The eliminations are slated as Races 1, 2, and 4 on the Thursday evening program at the Campbellville oval, with a first race post time of 7:30 pm.

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