Finishing second in the $8,100 Preferred Pace after winning at the class in his two starts prior, Yves Tessier-trainee National Debt returned to the Rideau Carleton winner's circle with a 1:55 win in the top class on Sunday, March 31.
National Debt, sent the 6-5 favourite, sat third as Saulsbrook Peach led Cobalt Man through a :27.1 opening quarter and :56 half. Driver Pascal Berube edged off the rail and began his bid for the lead heading to a 1:25.1 third quarter before overtaking Saulsbrook Peach into the stretch. Cobalt Man also edged past third-place finisher Saulsbrook Peach to take second, one-and-a-quarter lengths off the winner.
An eight-year-old stallion by Allamerican Native, National Debt won his third race from four starts this season and his 42nd from 139 overall, earning $459,380. He paid $4.30 to win.
In the $8,100 Preferred Trot, Pasadena Star wired his rivals and held off first-over favourite Neon Lights to win by three-quarter lengths in 1:57.1. The eight-year-old Kadabra gelding set fractions of :28, :57.4 and 1:27.1 on the lead while Neon Lights, positioned fifth at the quarter, initiated his move after the leader towards the half. Pasadena Star led Neon Lights by two lengths into the stretch but the favourite cut the winning margin through the stretch when settling for second. Flying Isa N, parked from the start, took third.
Owned by 9096 9205 Quebec Inc., Pasadena Star won his third race from seven starts this season and his 34th from 149 overall, earning $381,913. Stephane Pouliot trains and drove the $7.40 winner.
Trainer Matthew McDonald won three races on the Sunday card. He started the hat trick with Woodmere Finesse ($6.30), who won a $5,500 conditioned pace by five lengths in 1:58, and followed with wins by E R Rhonda ($3.30) in a $6,000 fillies and mares conditioned pace and Cheyenne Moishe ($12.90) in a $6,500 conditioned pace.