HP Sissy and driver Mario Baillargeon set a Breeders Cup (Coupe des Eleveurs) Series stakes record for three-year-old pacing fillies with a 1:56.1 triumph at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday.
There were four $7,500 opening round divisions of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old colt and filly pacers.
In the eleventh race, the second division for pacing fillies, the overwhelming 1/9 entry of HP Sissy and HP Pandora did not disappoint the racing fans.
Mario Baillargeon sent HP Sissy to the lead before the opening quarter mile in a speedy :27.4. Then they backed it down to the half mile in :59.1 as stablemate HP Pandora (Louis-Philippe Roy) came first-over to challenge and then settle in second place.
By the three-quarters in 1:27.2, HP Sissy was in complete control and then pulled away from everyone in the field, strolling down the stretch for a nine and one-half length romp. Stablemate HP Pandora was a distant second with Star Speed (Stephane Gendron) third.
It was the second win this season for HP Sissy, a daughter of Up The Credit, trained by Jean Tourigny and co-owned by the breeder, Claude Hamel with Michael Damphousse of Louisville, QC. She paid just $2.30 to win.
Her time of 1:56.1 surpassed the prior stakes record for her age and gait of 1:56.4 that was set by Racey Miss in 2013.
There are four weeks of preliminary round action in the Breeders Cup with the top eight point earners returning on Sunday, September 4 for the $65,000 finals in each division.
Establishing himself early on as the “horse to beat” in the pacing colt division was HP Patriote, winner of the first division for pacing colts.
Starting from post six, Guy Gagnon and HP Patriote had road trouble at the start and was forced to take back to last after the start of race.
Sagawi (Jocelyn Gendron) had the early lead but had to give way to last year’s series champion, Mr Mach Jimmy (Pascal Berube) by the opening quarter mile in :28.
Then by the half mile marker in :57.4, Mr Mach Jimmy was still in control with D Gs Ninja (Jonathan Lachance) coming first-over and HP Patriote second-over after catching up with the field.
Then in the backstretch, Gagnon moved HP Patriote three-wide and with an amazing brush of speed, shot right by Mr Mach Jimmy before the three-quarters in 1:27.2. From there HP Patriote cruised home, pulling away from the field for a five and one-half length triumph in 1:56.
Mr Mach Jimmy held for second place with D G’s Ninja third.
It was the fifth win in six starts this year for HP Patriote. The son of Vintage Master is trained by Gerald Demers and co-owned by Les Ecuries GLD, Inc. of St-Andre-Avelin with breeder Claude Hamel of Ayer’s Cliff, QC. He paid $3.20 to win. It was the second win on the day for Hamel, who also co-owns HP Sissy.
The sixth race second colt division saw lots of early action as Power Fun (Stephane Brosseau) took the early lead, then gave way to Shanghai Warrior (Sylvain Lacaille) in a slow :30.1 first quarter. All the while the race favourite, Sports Authority (Mario Charron) was in last place.
Dance With Joe (Mario Baillargeon) was quick on the move to try and take the lead, but Lacaille played a little hardball to the half mile marker in :59 before giving way.
Charron then came charging up with Sports Authority and was able to get a tuck in second place at the three-quarters in 1:27.4. On the final turn, Baillargeon asked Dance With Joe for more and the colt scooted away from the field in the stretch to win with ease by four and one-half lengths in a mild clocking of 1:58.2.
Power Fun nosed out Sports Authority for second place.
Sired by Roll With Joe, it was the first win in seven starts this year for Dance With Joe. He is trained by Jacques Dupont for owners Gestion Levesque and Les Ecuries Dorleans of QC. He paid $6.60 to win.
The fillies got underway in the eighth race with last year’s return champion, Miss Babe Delight and Pascal Berube, toying with the field.
Sent off as the 2-5 wagering favourite, Berube sent Miss Babe Delight to the front from post six, overtaking Clodam Bayama (Yves Filion) before the opening quarter mile in :29.3.
Berube then backed off to the half mile in 1:00.2 before flushing Imagine Speed (Stephane Gendron) to come first-over. Then past the three-quarters in 1:29.1, the race was all but over as Miss Babe Delight held the field at bay, winning by one and one-half lengths over Wild River Swan (Louis-Philippe Roy) with Clodam Bayama third in 1:58.2.
It was the first win in six starts this year for Miss Babe Delight. The daughter of Bettors Delight is trained by Dany Fontaine for Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, QC and paid $2.80 to win.
Track Notes: The three-year-old pacing filly, Jimbelina ($2.10), remained unbeaten with her fourth straight victory at 3R this season, winning the fourth race in 1:58.2. She is the winningest horse at 3R this meet.
Live harness racing resumes Tuesday night at 3R with the opening round of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies. First race post time is 7:00 p.m.
(Standardbred Canada with files from QJC)