Champagne Phil and Cant Stop shared the spotlight at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night (January 8), winning their respective $7,500 Preferred 3 pacing events.
ICR Racing’s Champagne Phil ($12.30) got away fourth from his trailing tier post and then burst onto the scene at the :28.1 quarter mark for driver Scott Coulter. The Dean Nixon trainee took the lead and then kept first-over challenger Lets Wait And See (Jason Ryan) at bay through middle splits of :57 and 1:25.4 to win in 1:55.3. The seven-year-old gelded son of Shanghai Phil won by half a length as P L Jackson (Travis Cullen), the 2-5 favourite, closed late outside of Lets Wait And See to nab the runner-up role.
In the distaff division, Bill Hamm’s homebred mare Cant Stop ($4.20) rode the pocket while the quick-leaving Mach Magic (J.R. Plante) posted panels of :28 and :57.2. As Nips Beach Girl (Jason Ryan) took over the lead at the 1:27 third quarter mark, driver Robert Shepherd sent Cant Stop on the attack and the six-year-old daughter of Rambaran went by in the stretch to score in 1:57.2. Regal Luck (Paul MacKenzie) finished third. Tom Hamm trains Cant Stop, who has won her last two starts at the Preferred 3 level, with a third-place finish a step up in class in between.