“It Really Was Quebec’s Night”

Published: October 17, 2016 09:10 am EDT

It had been a good year already for Quebec horseman Yves Filion, inducted this summer to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, but it got a whole lot better this past weekend at Mohawk Racetrack.

On Saturday, Filion’s two-year-old Sportswriter pacers Yaris Bayama and Yogi Bayama finished first and second in their respective $250,000 Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals. That followed a Friday night win at Mohawk, in the $30,000 fillies and mares’ preferred pace, by four-year-old Wrangler Magic, in which he’s also a partner.

While son Sylvain handled Yaris Bayama, 69-year-old Yves drove Wrangler Magic to victory (at 13-1 odds) and Yogi Bayama to his runner-up finish (at 27-1) in the Super Final for two-year-old pacing colts.

“It was a good weekend to finish the year. That made my winter,” Filion said Sunday on his way back to his farm in Lachute, Quebec.

He described Saturday as “a lucky night...but you need luck once in a while.”

Yaris Bayama got the benefit of a “perfect drive” by Sylvain, Yves said. “We also got lucky because she’d been very sick. If the race had been a week earlier, this would not have happened. She was still sick. But we had an extra week to work on her. We got her right for the final, and if she was right, I knew she’d be there.”

Yogi Bayama “raced super. He had the toughest race of the bunch, outside most of the mile, no cover, and ended up second. I’m very satisfied.”

Both two-year-olds are through for the year, he said. “I don’t like to stake them too heavy at two. I’ll be adding more stakes to their schedule for next year.”

Filion wasn’t the only Quebecer to cash in on OSS Super Final night this year. Trainer Luc Blais and Determination Stable won two finals, with three-year-old trotting colt Warrawee Roo and two-year-old trotting filly Emoticon Hanover, and also had a second (at 72-1) with two-year-old trotting filly Gravitator. Brian Paquet of Quebec City, a co-owner of Wrangler Magic, also is part of the ownership group of Arsenal Seelster, 46-1 upsetter in the $250,000 final for two-year-old pacing colts. Colin Johnson of Repentigny and Ecurie JGV of Laval are also co-owners. Gerrie Tucker of Montreal owns Gerries Sport, second (at 13-1) to Betting Line in the final for three-year-old pacing colts. Sylvain Filion captured three $250,000 finals, none of them with favourites, finished second (with Gerries Sport) in another, and also won the night’s $34,000 preferred pace with Evenin Of Pleasure, owned by Gestion JY Blais of Montreal, and trained by Quebec native Richard Moreau.

“It really was Quebec’s night,” Yves Filion said.

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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