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Berube Sweeps Quebec Stakes

Published: June 12, 2016 6:18 pm ET

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It was an 'unofficial' Pascal Berube Day at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, June 12 as the harness racing driver won both divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers.

And both winners would have to be considered longshots.

Berube’s winning ways began in the $6,500 horse and gelding division of the Quebec-Bred Series, which was a non-wagering race held between the fifth and sixth races on the program.

There were just five horses entered and when the starting gate pulled away, Berube was first on the lead with Mach On The Beach, stinging D Gs Justlikethat and driver Jonathan Lachance through the opening quarter-mile in a speedy :27.3.

Once D Gs Justlikethat settled on the lead, Berube came right back to the front with Mach On The Beach and led the field to the half-mile in :56.3. And that is when the action really began to heat up.

After the half-mile, Half A Billion (Mario Charron) came first-over and following the outside flow was Sugarsam (Denis St-Pierre). With momentum, Sugarsam rolled three-wide at the three-quarters in 1:26.1, but was unable to clear by Half A Billion and was parked out around the final turn.

Then in a dramatic three-horse battle to the finish, Mach On The Beach would not be denied, holding off Sugarsam and Half A Billion to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.4, the fastest mile on the Sunday program.

The victory was the first in four starts this year for Mach On The Beach. The four-year-old gelded son of Mach Three is trained by Dany Fontaine for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, Que.

“Yes, I guess you can say it was my day at 3R today,” Berube said. “Today, Mach On The Beach was much better than last time. I raced him in his last start behind the field and he was no good. After that, trainer Dany Fontaine gave him a week off and he was pretty good today.”

Then in the sixth race division of the series for pacing mares, Berube saw his margin of victory even tighter.

Chaleurs Fantasy, the overwhelming 1-5 betting favourite, left from post six for trainer/driver Carl Duguay, was parked early by Hawaiian Drummond (Richard Veilleux) and settled on the lead at the first quarter in :29.

Louis-Philippe Roy tried coming first-over with HP Rubis Joyce, but was stuffed back into third position after the first quarter. It seemed that Chaleurs Fantasy and Duguay had things their own way to the half-mile in :58.2.

Then the action began to heat up as the field entered the backstretch. Berube was not content to sit and wait with Miss Bro and came first-over from sixth-place at the half-mile to challenge Chaleurs Fantasty. Following their cover second-over was Voodoo Charm (Mario Charron) to the three-quarters in 1:28.2.

By the three-quarters, Berube had Miss Bro in third-place on the outside and was able to collar Chaleurs Fantasy by the top of the stretch. Then in a dramatic stretch drive to the wire, Miss Bro would not give up and nailed Chaleurs Fantasy at the wire to win by a head in 1:59. Hawaiian Drummond was a close third.

“She was very good today,” Berube said of Miss Bro. “She was OK last week and they did some work on her back legs and she came back strong today. At the five-eighths mile today, I could see that Carl’s mare was not responding so good and my mare was sharp. I also can say that I was lucky today, too. It’s always good to be lucky.”

The win was just the second in 16 starts this year and a lifetime mark for Miss Bro. She is a four-year-old mare by Blissfull Hall trained by Antonio Valente and owned by Ferme Brodeur of Terrebonne, Que. Miss Bro paid $22.80 to win.

Live racing resumes on Tuesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R with the fourth and final preliminary round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. Post time is 7 p.m.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R.

(With files from QJC)

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