Trainer and owner James Belanger won both opening leg divisions of Sudbury Downs' Young Guns Pacing Series on Sunday afternoon.
Driven by Mike MacNeill, No Shirt No Shoes held off Jet Set Style (David Dowling) by a quarter-length to win the first division in 1:57.2 for Belanger. Coming from last, Bilbo Hanover (Mike Noble) finished two and three-quarter lengths behind in third.
The three-year-old son of Blissfull Hall was sent postward as the 5-2 second choice and paid $7.20 to win. He now has three wins in 15 outings with earnings totalling $20,160 in his first season of racing.
Ok Eros and driver Gerry Belanger fought off eventual third-place finisher Dbs Rosco (Mike MacNeill) to win the second division in 1:57.3. Matts Delivery (David Dowling) finished one and a half length behind in second.
The favourite paid $4.60 to win. The four-year-old Mach Three gelding has banked $13,450 with three wins in nine starts after going winless in two during his debut season last year.
The Young Guns winners were both making their first start for their trainer's Champlain Stables after beginning their careers in the Ben Wallace stable.
The series is for non-winners of three races or $25,000 lifetime (fillies and mares four races and $31,250).
Belanger nearly won the $4,500 Fillies & Mares Preferred Pace as well, but Carly Hollywood came up just a head short to Mike Lamoureux's Windsong Experanza and David Dowling in a 1:58 mile.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Sudbury Downs.
(reprinted with permission from www.standardbredcanada.ca)