Despite Mach Code’s attempt to upset the applecart late in the mile, Half A Billion and driver Robert Shepherd prevailed in the $7,500 Preferred 3 Pace at Flamboro Downs on Sunday night (March 20).
Odds-on favourite Topcornerterror (Alfie Carroll) assumed command over Mach Code (James MacDonald) off the gate, with insider Half A Billion lining up in third through a :28.3 first quarter. As Topcornerterror cruised to the half in :58.3, Shepherd sent Half A Billion first over with Lyons Levis Lewis (Anthony Haughan) following his cover. Half A Billion marched up on even terms with the front-striding favourite down the backstretch and worked to clear by the 1:27.2 third quarter station. He opened up two and a half lengths on top while the backfield fanned wide, but it was 6-1 shot Mach Code that posed the biggest threat in the stretch, surging late inside to make it a close finish. Half A Billion ultimately held on by a neck for the 1:56.2 win over Mach Code while Lyons Levi Lewis finished two and three-quarter lengths behind in third.
Half A Billion paid $6.20 to win as the slight 2-1 second choice.
The four-year-old Sportswriter gelding notched his third win this year in 10 starts and pushed his annual income to $27,810. Lifetime, he sports a summary line reading 8-6-6 in 41 starts with earnings of $91,165 and a mark of 1:52.3, taken in the Ontario Boys Pacing Series at Woodbine Racetrack last month.
Half A Billion is trained by Corey Giles for the Quebec ownership group of Michel Letarte, Francois Letarte, Jean Allaire, and Germain Chabot.