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American Virgin Lowers Season's Record

Published: March 25, 2017 8:19 pm ET

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American Virgin and Bernadette were repeat winners in Saturday night's co-featured Preferred events at Woodbine Racetrack, both prevailing in close finishes for driver Doug McNair.

American Virgin lowered the Canadian season's record to 1:50 as he beat Brilliant Strike N to the wire in Saturday night's $34,000 Preferred Pace.

Brilliant Strike N (Sylvain Filion) got the first call leaving from post six, but inside starter Alexas Jackpot (Louis-Philippe Roy) looped to the lead after a 26-second opener.

As Alexas Jackpot led the way through middle splits of :54.4 and 1:23, McNair sent 6-5 favourite American Virgin first-over from fourth.

Down the stretch, American Virgin closed outside while Brilliant Strike N closed inside, both (in :26.3) passing Alexas Jackpot and then battling it out in the final strides. American Virgin ultimately prevailed in the photo finish by a head over Brilliant Strike N in 1:50 flat. Alexas Jackpot finished one and three-quarter lengths behind in third.

Extending his win streak in the Preferred to four in a row, American Virgin paid $4.30 to win.

Richard Moreau trains the five-year-old gelded son of Always A Virgin and Flyfly Judith for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont.

American Virgin now boasts six wins in 10 starts this year and a Canadian season-leading bankroll of $123,080.

Earlier in the night, Bernadette was a repeat winner in the $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace, holding off longshot Exhilarated by a neck.

McNair drove the popular four-year-old Big Jim-Matilda mare for trainer Ron Adams and co-owner David Kryway of Amherstburg, Ont.

Second choice Rock N Roll Xample (Louis-Philippe Roy) fired off the gate first from post six and had the rest of the field lined-up behind her through a :26.1 first quarter before Bernadette accelerated out of fourth to take over command during the second panel.

Exhilarated (Jonathan Drury) then rushed up from the backfield to challenge for the lead as they raced past the half-mile mark in :56. While the front-end battle ensued to three-quarters in 1:24, Rock N Roll Xample broke stride in the pocket spot and dropped out of contention.

Turning for home, Bernadette pulled clear of her challenger, but Drury steered Exhilarated inside and came back on down the lane. However, Bernadette held on to score the victory by a neck in 1:51.3. A forwardly-place P L Hurricane (Rick Zeron) finished third despite being interfered with by the breaker.

Sent postward as the 6-5 favourite after her 1:52 triumph last week, Bernadette returned $4.70 at the betting windows.

She boasts wins in half of her 10 seasonal starts for earnings of $78,350.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.


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