Mr Mach Jimmy did not disappoint any of his harness racing fans on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R as the two-year-old gelding scored his third straight victory in the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series.
Hippodrome 3R hosted the third and final preliminary round of the series and now Mr Mach Jimmy will return next Sunday for his $65,000 divisional final and he will be the betting favourite despite what post position he draws.
Competing in one of three divisions Sunday, Mr Mach Jimmy started from the rail for driver Pascal Berube and trainer Dany Fontaine and led from start to finish, winning by three and one-half lengths in 1:59. Co-favourite YS Artistic Fella (Stephane Brosseau) made a break right at the start of the race.
That was the fastest of the three divisions Sunday. Sagawi (Francis Picard) was second after leaving hard to the lead early and then by the opening quarter-mile, had the two-hole trip behind Mr Mach Jimmy. Shanghai Warrior (Clarke Steacy) was third.
Owned by Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, Mr Mach Jimmy took a new lifetime mark. The son of Mach Three paid $4.00 to win.
In the second colt division, 1-5 wagering favourite Pudong Phil and driver Clarke Steacy got a scare at the three-quarters before scoring an eight and three-quarter length victory in 1:59.2.
Going right to the lead from post two, Pudong Phil had only Power Fun (Stephane Brosseau) sitting on his back and no pressure on the outside until after the half-mile marker in a mild 1:01. It was then that Chummy Park and Denis St Pierre made it a race by coming first-over.
Chummy Park kept grinding it out and by the three-quarters in 1:30.1, had collared pacesetter Pudong Phil and looked him right in the eye. But all Steacy had to do was lift the lines and Pudong Phil shot away from the field to win in a romp. EY Cowboy (Stephane Gendron) was second with HP Patriote (Louis Phillipe Roy) finished third.
Pudong Phil scored his maiden victory in his third lifetime start. The son of Sportswriter is trained by Mark Steacy for owner/breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que. He paid $2.40 to win.
The lone filly division produced a mild upset as the 1-4 favourite, Miss Babe Delight (Mario Baillargeon), was nipped at the wire by Art De Gagnee (Mario Charron) by a nose in 2:00.2.
Miss Babe Delight led for most of the race with Art De Gagnee sitting on her back until the stretch drive when Charron sent Art De Gagnee into the passing lane and the daughter of Shadow Play used the live cover the entire mile to her advantage. HP Mercedes (Louis Phillipe Roy) was third.
The win was the second in six starts for Art De Gagnee. She paid $11.60 to win for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner/breeder Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, Que.
Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday, post time 7:00 p.m. Next Sunday, September 6 will be the richest day of racing at 3R this year with the $500,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. Each of the eight divisional races will compete for a purse of $65,000.
(Standardbred Canada with files from QJC)