Both track record holders from last week, Makasi and Yaris Bayama, were able to repeat with victories in their respective divisions of the Future Stars Series at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday (August 28).
It was the fourth and final week of competition in the series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Now the top eight point-earners from the four legs will return on Sunday, September 4 for their respective $55,000 finals. Also that day will be the $65,000 finals for the three-year-old trotters and pacers. Next Sunday will be the richest day of the year at 3R with more than $500,000 in total purses for its Super Sunday Finale Day with eight stakes races on the program.
Makasi stole the show last week at 3R with his 1:55.2 triumph in the colt division of the Future Stars Series. That mile is the fastest ever in the history of the Hippodrome 3R for a two-year-old.
He did not have to go as fast this Sunday, but still was very impressive.
Leaving from post five in the eighth race, colt division, driver Stephane Brosseau, handling the homebred son of Shanghai Phil for the first time, had little trouble getting the early lead and going to the opening quarter-mile in :28.
They led to the half-mile in :57.4 with C L Sportaction (Jonathan Lachance) sitting in second-place and Mach Déjà Vu (Pascal Berube) stuck first-over from the start of the race followed by Yogi Bayama (Yves Filion) second-over.
Then in the backstretch, the action heated up as driver Gaetan Lamy took Histoire Enchantee three-wide in the bold move and was able to clear into first-over against Makasi at the three-quarters in 1:27.1 before breaking stride. That move woke up Brosseau, who just lifted the lines on Makasi. The colt started to scoot away from the field and held them at bay down the stretch, easing up at the wire to win by a half-length in 1:56.3.
The 45-1 longshot, Majo Lou Beka (Mario Lachance), was able to close well for second-place with Wildriverbumblebee (Louis-Philippe Roy) third.
The win was the second straight in just four lifetime starts for Makasi. He is trained by Helene Fillion and was bred and is owned by Tony Infilise’s Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson, Que. Makasi paid $2.80 to win.
Yaris Bayama, who last week set the track record for two-year-old pacing fillies, nearly rewrote her own record in the sixth race, the second division of the Future Stars Series for fillies.
Facing only three rivals after two late scratches in the race, trainer/driver Yves Filion sent the daughter of Sportswriter right to the front. She then cut fractions of :29.1 and :59 to the half before she received a first-over challenge from Queen Elsa (Steeve Genois) with D Gs Elsa (Jonathan Lachance) sitting comfortably behind in second-place.
Past the three-quarters in 1:28.4, Yaris Bayama looked very comfortable as Queen Elsa was unable to gain any ground on the race leader. But as they came down the stretch, it became a horse race as Lachance urged D Gs Elsa to the passing lane and was gaining ground on Yaris Bayama.
However, the effort was not good enough, as Yaris Bayama kicked in a :28.1 last quarter-mile to win by a half-length over D Gs Elsa in 1:57. That time was just one-fifth of a second off Yaris Bayama’s track record mile last week. Queen Elsa was third.
The win was the third straight and fourth victory in six starts for Yaris Bayama. The Bayama Farms homebred filly paid just $2.20 to win as the overwhelming 1-9 race favourite.
In the fourth race, first division of the Future Stars Series for fillies, HP Celina Shadow and driver Louis-Philippe Roy were able to sit a pocket-seat behind pacesetter Vee Breeze (Gaetan Lamy) as race favourite Chaleurs Melodie (Carl Duguay) made a costly and uncharacteristic break going for the lead on the first turn.
Sitting patiently in second-place after the :29.1 opening quarter and then to the 1:00.2 half-mile, Roy then made his move with HP Celina Shadow at the 1:31.3 three-quarter mile marker. They raced in tandem against Vee Breeze and Lamy around the the final turn.
As they stared down the stretch, HP Celina Shadow started to pull away, winning by three and three-quarter lengths in 2:01.3. Vee Breeze was second with Loulou P V (Yves St Jacques) third.
It was the pari-mutuel maiden victory for HP Celina Shadow. The daughter of Shadow Play is trained by Jean Tourigny for Ayer's Cliff, Que. breeder Claude Hamel, who co-owns the filly with Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, Que. She paid $5.90 to win.
TRACK NOTES: Louis-Philippe Roy, the leading driver at 3R this season, increased his lead towards the dash-winning title with a driving quadruple on Sunday. He now leads all drivers with 51 wins, 25 more than his nearest rival, Pascal Berube at 26 wins.
Roy’s most impressive win on the day was in the 10th and final race on the card, a 1:54 lifetime mark for Terror Suspect.
Tuesday will be the final night racing card of the season at 3R. First race post time is 7:00 p.m. for the 10-race program.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R.
(With files from QJC)