The opening round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers saw one favourite victorious, but another a half-length short of victory on Sunday, May 22 at the Hippodrome 3R.
With sunny skies, warm temperatures and a packed house, race fans were treated to an exciting race card highlighted by two divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series. The series features four preliminary rounds with the top eight point-earners coming back for their respective $30,000 finals on Sunday, June 26.
The horses and geldings were first up in the sixth race with track record holder and two-time series champion Atomic Million AM as the 4-5 race favourite from post seven for driver Sylvain Lacaille.
Atomic Million AM and Lacaille did not disappoint the crowd despite getting stung early by Mach On The Beach (Pascal Berube) to the opening quarter-mile in :27.4 before taking command for good.
After the half-mile in :57.1, C L Art Magic and driver/trainer Yves Filion came first over and started to gain ground on the race leader to the three-quarters in 1:26.2.
Then, Atomic Million AM and Lacaille felt the pressure and kicked in a :28.3 final quarter-mile to hold off both C L Art Magic for second and Mach On The Beach a close third. The margin of victory was just a half-length and the time of the race, the fastest mile on the program in 1:55.
The win was the second (consecutive) on the year for Atomic Million AM. The five-year-old gelded son of Million Dollar Cam is owned and trained by Alain Martin of Gatineau, Que. He paid $3.80 to win.
Night live racing gets underway at the Hippodrome 3R this Tuesday with first race post time at 7 p.m. The 10-race program features the opening round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters.
(Standardbred Canada with files from QJC)