Fresh off a victory in a Preferred event at Hiawatha Horse Park on Sept. 1, Montreal Phil shipped to Quebec for his next assignment in Hippodrome 3R's co-featured $12,000 Preferred Handicap Pace.
Leaving from post five, trainer-driver Marcel Barrieau settled the eight-year-old gelding into the pocket behind M K G and Pascal Berube through early fractions of :26.1 and :55.4 before making his move. Barrieau sent his charge first up after the half and gained the upper hand by the 1:25 third quarter station. Montreal Phil cleared to command as the field entered the stretch and cruised home in :28.4 for the one and a half length victory. Stonebridge Wish and Denis St. Pierre finished second and Mach It Big, driven by Michel Baril, was third while the pacesetter faded in the stretch.
Prior to Montreal Phil's sizzling victory, Cee Cee Bush's 1:54.3 mile on Sept. 5, 2005 stood as the all-age track record.
Montreal Phil paid $5.60 to win as the slight second choice in the six-horse field.
The son of Blissfull Hall, owned by Hudson Standardbard Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que., scored his second victory in seven seasonal starts and notched his 35th career win while pushing his bankroll to $296,383.
The track record for aged trotting mares was also demolished in the matching Preferred Handicap Trot held earlier on the card as Oh Sweet Baby turned in a sweet 1:59.1 winning effort. The former divisional track record of 2:00.3 was held by Future Talent.
Trainer-driver Normand Bardier Jr. sent favourite Oh Sweet Baby to the lead from post three and she carved out fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:28.2 before holding off a late rally from Max Money and St. Pierre to win by a nose. Lakefield and Baril finished three and three-quarter lengths behind in third.
Oh Sweet Baby paid $5.90 to win for the second time in 12 starts this year.
The four-year-old daughter of Angus Hall, winner of eight races lifetime and $641,028 in purses, is owned by Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que.
Sunday's program also featured nine $5,000 eliminations for Quebec Stakes.
Hudson Standardbreds also won an elimination as Barrieau guided three-year-old pacing filly Olivias Way($2.90) to a 1:59.3 score. The homebred daughter of Shanghai Phil held on to win by a neck over pocket-sitter D Gs Perfectbeach and St. Pierre.
Driven by Jocelyn Gendron, another Shanghai Phil filly Vallarta Magic ($3.40) front-stepped her way to victory lane in the eliminations. She cruised to a three length score in 2:00 to notch her fifth straight win and improve her record to 6-1-0 in seven sophomore starts for trainer Herman Gagne and owner-breeder Aurel Harvey Et Fils Inc. of Riviere-Malbaie, Que.
D Gs Sunnyday ($3.70) and St. Pierre also went coast-to-coast in the other three-year-old filly pace elimination in 2:00 for trainer Guylaine Fortin, who bred and co-owns the Perfect Union miss with Daniel Surprenant of Saint-Valentin, Que.
The three-year-old trotting fillies posted the largest winning margins of the day. Mathers Promising ($7.40) romped to seven and a quarter length triumph in 2:04.2 in her elimination. Richard Simard was in the sulky for trainer Marc Lacoursiere, who also co-owns the daughter of Promising Catch with Michel Villiard of St-Georges-De-Champlain, Que. and Rene Bourbeau of Grand-Mere, Que.
Promise To Belucky, driven by owner and breeder Jerome Lombart, sat fourth for most of the mile in a non-wagering elimination before kicking home to win by five lengths in 2:04.4. Andreane Lapierre trains the daughter of Lucky Fool.
Three-year-old trotting colt C J R Bozo ($19.30) went wire-to-wire in 2:03.3 in his elimination to break his maiden and upset favourite Sucre A La Creme for owner, trainer and breeder Robert Dube of Saint-Laurent, Que. Barrieau drove the son of Malabar Aqua.
In a non-wagering elimination for the trotting colts, Decret Justiciale recovered from an early miscue to grab the lead and cruis