Each week, a familiar Woodbine Mohawk Park horseperson will step into the spotlight to answer a handful of fun, offbeat questions, while giving readers a unique perspective into their personality on and off the racetrack. The series will return later in the year.
James MacDonald — a member of the talented MacDonald racing clan from Prince Edward Island that includes driving brothers Mark and Anthony — is in the midst of another excellent campaign, having already won 154 races accompanied by $2.676,004 in purse earnings. He was named the Keith Waples Driver of the Year Award as the top Canadian reinsman in 2021 after leading the nation in wins (304) and purse earnings ($7.1 million). That year, MacDonald was a force in the Ontario Sires Stakes ranks, teaming with Prohibition Legal, Silver Label and Betterhavemymoney, all from the George Millar Stable. He also won major trot events including the $546,000 Maple Leaf Trot with Lindy the Great and the $200,000 Matron Stake with his brother Anthony’s Three Point Bluechip. MacDonald is closing in on 2,800 career wins and has over $46 million in lifetime earnings.
You get a match race against any other Mohawk driver. Who do you choose and why?
“I’m going to go with Louis [Roy] because it would be a lot of fun with all the trash talk going on. It would definitely be a good time. I’m the better one at trash talking. He pretends he can’t speak English when you trash-talk him.”
What sports star (outside of horse racing) would make a good horseperson?
“It would definitely be [NBA superstar} Nikola Jokic. He’s already a horse trainer and he loves the sport. From what you see and hear, he seems like a pretty cool guy too. I did play on the basketball team at Bluefield High School (in Prince Edward Island) and I was the backup point guard, so I might have a decent shot if I played him one-on-one in basketball.”
You get to have a five-course meal anywhere in the world? Which country do you choose and why?
“I’m not too fancy, so I’d have to go somewhere in the U.S. because they always give you so much food.”
What’s your biggest fear?
“Styrofoam. I really dislike it. I just can’t stand it. I can’t unpack boxes with that stuff in it. It drives me mad. It gives me goosebumps and it feels like it’s going underneath my nails. I hate it.”
Which game show would you like to see the MacDonalds on?
“I’d probably think Family Feud would be the best one for us. But we’d be the family who wouldn’t be cheering for each other. We’d be heckling each other the whole time. I feel like none of us are very smart, so I don’t know who would come up with the good answers. I was going to say Curtis, but Anthony would have you convinced his answers are right even though they’re wrong. Mark would just make something up. I’m just going to say myself.”