Sent postward as the longest shot on the board, Company Man pulled off a double-digit upset in defeating odds-on favourite Nickle Bag at the wire in this week's $34,000 Preferred Pace on Saturday night (March 11) at Woodbine Racetrack.
Driver Sylvain Filion worked out a perfect pocket trip aboard the 24-1 longshot, who returned $51.40 for a $2 Win ticket.
Firing off the gate from post five, Company Man got the first call before Nickle Bag (Trevor Henry) cleared to command into the first turn. The 6-5 favourite reached the quarter pole in :26.3 and then carved out middle splits of :55.1 and 1:23.4 with Audreys Dream (Ed Hensley) advancing first-over but unable to sustain his momentum in the stretch. That's when Filion made his move with Company Man and the six-year-old American Ideal gelding pulled off the upset, winning by half a length in 1:51.1 over Nickle Bag with Fine Diamond (Doug McNair) closing off cover for third.
Company Man, a former Valedictory Series winner at Woodbine, now races from the Richard Moreau stable and is owned by Gerrie Tucker of Montreal, Que. and Majs NY Inc. of Woodbury, New York.
The victory was Company Man's first in Woodbine's Preferred class and his second win from eight starts this year. Lifetime, he has won 19 races and $250,000 in purses.
Saturday's 10-race card concluded with a mandatory payout of the Jackpot Hi-5. The $1,406,112 total pool included a carryover of $578,231.58, which had been growing since the last mandatory payout on December 23.
The finale featured a 12-horse field of pacers meeting the conditions of non-winners of $10,500 in their last five starts or $18,000 in their last 10 and battling for an increased purse of $25,000.
on March 11 at Woodbine Racetrack. (New Image Media)
Machal Jordan and Roger Mayotte tracked the cover of 8-5 favourite Erle Dale N (Doug McNair) before taking over command down the stretch and holding off the late-closers to score the 1:52.3 victory at odds of 20-1. The Kenny Switzer trainee led the winning Jackpot Hi-5 combination of 1-6-7-2-4, with 4-1 Dialamara (James MacDonald), 22-1 Half A Billion (Jody Jamieson) and 18-1 shots Casimir Overdrive (Jonathan Drury) and Single White Sock (Sylvain Filion) rounding out the top five finish order less than a length behind.
A $1 winning ticket returned $190,896.40 and a 20-cent ticket paid $38,179.28.
To view Saturday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Saturday Results - Woodbine Racetrack.