Day At The Track

Half A Billion, HP Sissy shine again at H3R

08:54 AM 22 May 2017 NZST
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Half A Billion, harness racing HP Sissy, harness racing
Half A Billion and driver Francis Picard scoring in 1:57 photo
HP Sissy and driver Guy Gagnon winning at H3R Sunday photo

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - Both Half A Billion and HP Sissy established themselves as the "horses to beat" with repeat victories in the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers.

Half A Billion was the fastest of the two series winners as trainer/driver Francis Picard worked out strong cover for his horse against the entry of the two full brothers, Mach On The Beach (Pascal Berube) and Mr Match On Beach (Stephane Brosseau).

Mach On The Beach and Berube had cut the mile with Mr Match On The Beach sitting the pocket trip as HP Patriote and driver Guy Gagnon tried in vain to get to the front, giving Half A Billion live cover until the backstretch.

It was then that Picard sent Half A Billion around HP Patriote and went after the race leaders, collaring Mach On The Beach around the final turn and then going on to win by two and one-half lengths in 1:57, the fastest mile on the afternoon card. Mr Match On Beach was second with Mach On The Beach third.

It was the second straight win and fourth triumph on the year for Half A Billion. Owned by Michel & Francois Letarte, Jean Allaire and Corey Giles, it was the five-year-old gelded son of Sportswriters fourth win on the year. He paid $4.00 as the even money favorite.

HP Sissy soundly defeated nine rivals in the second round of the series.

With Guy Gagnon in the sulky, HP Sissy left from post three in the sixth race co-feature and was able to outkick Skyfall Sena (Jocelyn Gendron) to the opening quarter mile and never looked back.

Holding the field at bay the rest of the one mile race, Gagnon and HP Sissy pulled away from the field around the final turn, winning with ease by five and one-quarter lengths in 1:57.2.

The pocket-sitting Skyfall Sena held for second place with HP Mercedes (Richard Simard) third.

It was the second straight win and third triumph of the season for HP Sissy. The four-year-old mare by Up The Credit is trained by Jean Tourigny for breeder Claude Hamel, who co-owns the mare with Michel Damphousse. She paid $3.80 to win.

There is one more week of preliminary competition before the top eight money winners in each division compete in their respective $30,000 finals on June 11.

Code Word won for the second straight week as driver Maxime Gaudreault gave the 10th race Invitational Pace, scoring an upset at 13-1 and paying $28.00 to win.

TRACK NOTES: Driver Jocelyn Gendron brought in the highest payoff of the season as he won the seventh race pace with Northern Trophy at odds of 33-1. Taking the lead after the opening quarter mile, Gendron would not give way to 1/5 race favorite Hard Rock, putting them away in the backstretch. Northern Trophy paid $69.10 to win.

Gendron, along with Guy Gagnon and Francis Picard, all scored driving doubles on the program. Trainers Francis Richard and Charles Gaudreault also had training doubles.

From the Quebec Jockey Club

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