Trois-Rivieres, QC — Hippodrome 3R will have a packed house on Sunday (June 23) as the track hosts the Ben Hur Cup II and three divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers.
The Ben Hur Cup II will feature world-class drivers Doug McNair from Ontario taking on Louis-Philippe Roy of Quebec in an eight-race competition.
Last year Sylvain Filion beat Roy in the final race on the program and the tournament may be that close again Sunday.
The morning line gives a slight edge to McNair, but anything can happen on race day. The eight-race competition will be race 3 through 10, which is the last race of the day. Scoring will be 1st – 8 points, 2nd – 7 points, 3rd – 6 points, etc. and an average of the drivers score on the day will be used for a scratched horse.
There is a winner-take-all cash prize of C$3,000 for the Ben Hur Cup II, a meet and greet session with both drivers starting at Noon and both drivers will be introduced to the crowd after the second race.
“I think it’s gonna be really tight,” Louis-Philippe Roy said. “If it was hockey, I would say LPR in 7 games. I got beat by Sylvain (Filion) last year in the very last game too, so I have now the experience of a game 7 in the Ben Hur cup, that will make the difference.”
The Ben Hur Cup II is the main attraction Sunday, and there are three divisions of the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers, races 1, 2 and 6. The sixth race will be part of the Ben Hur Cup II.
The sixth race is the lone division of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacing horses and featured are both return winners from last week and each will be driven by the Ben Hur Cup drivers.
Three-time Quebec-Bred Champion, Atomic Million AM, has the rail and is the 5/2 morning line favorite. He has won his last two starts and will be driven by Doug McNair.
Bred, owned and trained by Daniel Martin of Gatineau, the son of Million Dollar Cam does his best racing on the front end and rarely loses when starting from post one.
The other return winner is former Quebec-Bred Series Champion, McKinney, who starts from post seven for driver Louis-Philippe Roy.
Last week McKinney sat a two-hole trip behind Kinnder Jackson, then shot to the lead and drew off to win by five and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.4. It was his fourth win of the year for trainer Francis Richard and co-owners Robert Kyle Follows, Daniel Knechtel and Arpad Szabo of Ontario.
Other top opponents in the race are Kinnder Jackson (post 4) and HP Patriote (post five).
The mares two divisions get underway in the first race where both of last weeks winners, YS Tallia and Lit De Rose go head and head.
YS Tallia, a series champion in 2017, is the class of the field. The five-year-old Western Ideal mare was given a perfect drive by Stephane Gendron last week, scoring by three and three-quarter lengths in 1:54.3, the fastest mile at H3R this season. She is trained by Michel Allard for breeder/owner Yves Sarrazin of Presentation. This week she will be driven on Sunday by Louis-Philippe Roy from post two.
Lit De Rose goes from post six and she is another Series champion (2017). Trained by Maxime Velaye, the four-year-old daughter of Leader Bayama came off the pace last week to win with ease in 1:56.1 for breeder/owner Guy Corbeil of Mirabel. She will be driven again by Stephane Gendron.
The second race is the second mares division and headlined by Lune Bleu from post one. She is also trained by Velaye and bred and is owned by Corbiel. She was the one that cut the mile last week that YS Tallia scored from in 1:54.3.
Also, in the race is Miss Rockadali (post 4). She cut the mile last week that Lit De Rose was able to score from in 1:56.1.
Post time for the first race is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com.