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Moreau & McNair Sweep Preferreds

Published: January 21, 2017 9:23 pm ET

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O'Brien Award finalist Richard Moreau teamed up with Woodbine Racetrack's hottest reinsman, Doug McNair, to sweep Saturday night's co-featured Preferred events with Brad Grant's American Virgin and Sandbetweenurtoes.

As the field of Preferred pacers emerged from the heavy fog in the stretch, American Virgin rallied onto the scene late to prevail in a three-across finish in Saturday's $34,000 top class.

Three Of Clubs (Jody Jamieson) took charge from post five into a :26.1 first quarter before being looped by inside starter Alexas Jackpot (Louis Philippe Roy) on the way to the half in :55.3. Alexas Jackpot maintained the lead to three-quarters in 1:23.1 while Nickle Bag (Randy Waples) advanced from mid-pack to challenge. Those two continued to battle into the stretch while American Virgin rallied wide from third-over and closed in time to steal the glory for McNair. The Moreau trainee out-sprinted his rivals with a :26.4 final kick to prevail in 1:51 by a neck. Alexas Jackpot edged out Nickle Bag for the runner-up role.

American Virgin paid $3.50 to win as the 3-5 favourite after being collared at the wire last week by Modern Legend, who was not entered on Saturday. The five-year-old Always A Virgin-Flyfly Judith gelding picked up his first win of the year for owner Brad Grant of Milton, Ont.

McNair later steered 1-2 favourite Sandbetweenurtoes to an impressive 1:50.1 victory in the co-featured $30,000 Fillies & Mares Preferred for Moreau and Grant.

After leaving from post six into an early three-hole during a :26.2 opening quarter, McNair made his move with Sandbetweenurtoes down the backstretch, sending the six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Als Girl mare to the front ahead of stablemate and defending champion Ms Mac N Cheese (Sylvain Filion). The duo took over at the :54.4 half-mile mark and proceeded to three-quarters in 1:21.4 before drawing away to win by three lengths. P L Hurricane (Randy Waples) overtook Ms Mac N Cheese in the stretch to finish second.

The winning time of 1:50.1 was the fastest so far this year in Canada.

Also a close runner-up in her last outing, Sandbetweenurtoes notched her first win of the year and returned $3 to her backers as the popular wagering choice.

For the second night in a row, McNair completed the card with a driving grand slam. With 19 wins through the first three weeks of the new year at Woodbine, he sits atop the track's driver standings.

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

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