Day At The Track

HP Sissy takes on male rivals Sunday in top pace

04:06 AM 18 Jun 2017 NZST
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Jean Tourigny, harness racing
Jean Tourigny trains HP Sissy

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - HP Sissy is the fastest female harness racing horse this season at the Hippodrome 3R and she will be facing the toughest task of her career on Sunday when she takes on six male rivals in the Invitational Pace feature.

HP Sissy has just completed a clean sweep of the Quebec-Bred Series for older mares at H3R, winning all three preliminary rounds and then the $30,000 final. She pretty much overpowered the competition with her fastest mile a 1:54.4 clocking for driver Louis-Philippe Roy.

The four-year-old daughter of Up The Credit is on a four-race winning streak and has had a week's rest. She starts from post two Sunday for driver Stephane Brosseau. HP Sissy was bred and is co-owned by Claude Hamel with Michel Damphousse.

There are no images of top pacing mares like Shady Daisy or Silk Stocking in trainer Jean Tourigny's mind as a comparison to his decision in entering HP Sissy against the boys on Sunday.

"You are talking about two world champions," Jean Tourigny smiled, "That might be too big a comparison to HP Sissy. We just wanted to try her for a week or two in this class before we ship her to Yonkers Raceway to race."

HP Sissy is listed as the third choice in the 8th race feature where she will be taking on some formidable foes.

The toughest will be the top pacer, Half A Billion, who starts from post five for driver Pierre-Luc Roy, the older brother of Louis-Philippe, who had been driving Half A Billion.

Half A Billion will be the overwhelming favorite in the race and rightly so. He also made a clean sweep of the older horse division of the Quebec-Bred Series and two weeks ago set the track on fire in the $30,000 final, stopping the teletimer in 1:52.2.

That clocking was the all-age record in the Quebec-Series and the fourth fastest mile ever at H3R. The other three miles coming in H3R's signature race, the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete.

Half A Billion is a five-year-old gelding by Sportswriter, trained by Francis Richard and is on a four-race winning streak and sports six wins this year for owners Michel & Francois Letarte, Jean Allire and Corey Giles.

Half A Billion was purchased two seasons ago and earned $74,000 last year for the new owners. He now has lifetime earnings of $198,597. It was also the first time that co-owner Francois Letarte ever owned a racehorse.

How does Jean Touringy see HP Sissy going against Half A Billion?

"We will see how she does on Sunday," Touringy said. "She has always shown me good racing ability since I started training her as a youngster. She has a good way about her. She is a good mare and always goes full out whenever she races."

Louis-Philippe Roy, who drove both HP Sissy and Half A Billion to victory in their respective $30,000 finals two weeks ago, summed up the classic match-up this Sunday.

"HP sissy can leave so fast and then control the race," Roy explained, "That's part of why she is so good on a half mile. As for Half A Billion, he was so strong last week, plugs in, and I think he can go faster if needed.

"I would bet the exactor Half A Billion - HP Sissy... straight!" Roy joked.

It's not a two-race horse by any means on Sunday. Of the other five contenders, there are two return winners in the field in Whitemountain Nemo and Highpoint Chip.

Whitemountain Nemo starts from post four and is on a two-race win streak, the fastest a 1:55.2 score and Highpoint Chip (post seven) comes off a super closing effort two weeks ago in 1:56.3, his fifth win on the year and is the second choice in the morning line. Also entered are Iron Phil (post one), Art Again (post three) and Bali (post six).

Track Notes: Many of the horses that lost to Half A Billion in the recent series are at H3R Sunday. Sports Authority takes a big drop in class and heads the first race Sunday. Mach On The Beach also drops in rank and is featured in the 9th race Preferred Pace (post eight), seeking his first win this year in 19 starts. His younger, full brother, Mr Match On Beach and Sugarsam, are both in the fourth race.

First race post time is 12:30 pm. For more information, visit

From the Quebec Jockey Club

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