Casual Breeze To Amazone Duharas, HP Mama B

Published: September 3, 2021 09:57 pm EDT

First-time stakes winner Amazone Duharas and Ontario Sires Stakes standout HP Mama B were the Grand Circuit stars on Friday night (September 3) at Woodbine Mohawk Park, topping a pair of $75,400 Casual Breeze Stakes divisions for three-year-old trotting fillies.

Amazone Duharas defeated 6-5 favourite Hawaii in the first division, winning in 1:53.4 with Louis-Philippe Roy aboard for trainer Denis Gueriel.

Roy left with Amazone Duharas from the outside post seven and crossed to command in front of Hawaii (Rick Zeron) as they raced into the first turn. She clocked a :27.4 opening quarter before Hawaii looped to the lead and put up middle splits of :57.2 and 1:25.4.

Hawaii opened up a three-length lead heading down the stretch, but Amazone Duharas kicked into action and surged by that rival late to win by one length in a career-best mile, with a last quarter clocked in :27.3. Dicentra (Bob McClure) closed off cover to finish third five lengths behind.

"She's a nice trotting filly to drive," praised Roy. "I feel like I've been using her to leave every time I drove her, but she can do whatever you want with her, it just happened that way. When she came off the helmet there, she knew it was 'game on' and she did race pretty good."

Sent postward as the 5-1 fourth choice in the field, Amazone Duharas returned $13.60 to win.

Owned and bred by Haras De L Estrie Inc. of Dunham, Que., the Muscle Hill-Cleopatre Duharas filly has been improving with every start. Winless in four added-money events as a freshman, she has now won three of her seven races this year.

"I'm stabled in the same barn as Denis Gueriel and they've done a pretty good job with her because earlier in the season she had a little bit of issues and instead of just pushing her, they gave her a little bit of time -- they took a little bit more time with her," said Roy. "And since she came back, she's just improving every start, so I'm happy for them."

The lion's share of the purse nearly doubled the filly's bankroll, which now stands at $78,080.

HP Mama B was also a 1:53.4 winner, with Sylvain Filion sending the 6-5 favourite down the road in the second division.

HP Mama B and 9-5 second choice Imextraspecial (Trevor Henry) left together down the center of the racetrack from posts five and six, respectively, with the favoured filly first to the quarter in a quick :26.3. Imextraspecial filled the pocket position when O'Brien Award champion Donna Soprano (Bob McClure), the 2-1 third choice, broke stride in the first turn.

A second quarter breather was key for HP Mama B, who reached the half in :57.1 and trotted on to three-quarters in 1:26 before sealing the deal with a :27.4 final frame.

"Yeah, he got a good breather. I think Sylvain was waiting for Bobby, but Bobby['s filly Donna Soprano] run in the first turn so that will be his excuse," said trainer Ben Baillargeon. "She's a nice mare. She's big and strong and she trained real good this week.

"He got the job done. She had to leave in :26.3 and Sylvain did the rest. When he asked her to go, she went :27.4 at the end and I think they only drove for the last sixteenth. They were not driving too hard the first part of the straightaways. Sylvain was keeping Trevor [Henry and Imextraspecial] boxed in, the horse to beat, so Sylvain won it."

Down the stretch, Imextraspecial edged out in tight quarters with the first-up Dashing Muscle (James MacDonald), which ultimately resulted in a judge's inquiry that found no violations had occurred. Imextraspecial nosed out Up And Ready (Doug McNair) for the runner-up role, 1-1/4 lengths behind the winner.

HP Mama B, who entered the Casual Breeze following her third OSS Gold Series victory of the season, paid $4.40 to win.

Trained and bred by Baillargeon, the Royalty For Life-Winters Jewel filly won half of her eight starts as a freshman including the OSS Grassroots Championship. Facing Gold and now Grand Circuit competition with success as a sophomore, she has earned a 6-2-1 record from nine starts this year while pushing her career bankroll to $333,987 for owners Guylaine Picard of Guelph, Ont., and Celine Paquin of Ayers Cliff, Que.

To view Friday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Friday Results - Woodbine Mohawk Park.