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Filion Aims For Another Triple

Published: October 24, 2016 9:26 am ET

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Ontario-based driver Sylvain Filion, a two-time Breeders Crown winner (with older pacer Goliath Bayama and two-year-old trotting colt Wheeling N Dealin), will get three chances to add to his total Saturday at the Meadowlands Racetrack.

Filion got three-year-old trotting filly Emoticon Hanover (second) and two-year-old trotting colt Jake (fourth) through their eliminations this weekend and into next week’s finals, where they’ll be joined by their Determination stablemate, four-year-old trotter Lookslikeachpndale.

The draw wasn’t kind. Jake got post 10, Lookslikeachpndale will start from nine and Emoticon Hanover landed post seven, but Filion can never be counted out.

The three-time O’Brien Award winner as Canada’s leading driver has had another sterling campaign and is a runaway leader in the Canadian earnings column with $6.8 million in purses.

Winning three $250,000 provincial sires-stakes championships on a same card, as he did earlier this month at Mohawk, definitely ranks as a career highlight, Filion said. But it’s not a first.

Fourteen years ago, on Sept. 1, 2002, Filion did the same, for almost the same money, at now-defunct Hippodrome de Montreal.

The occasion was the annual Coupe des Eleveurs/Coupe de L’Avenir card, the end-of-season championship for the Quebec Sires Stakes program. Purses for some finals had been boosted that year to their all-time highs.

The final for three-year-old pacing colts, which Filion won by a nose with Fier A Bras Semalu, went for $300,000. He also won both two-year-old finals for pacing colts and fillies, with Canbec Athlete and Canbec Angel. Their purses were $200,000.

“I remember that day still. It was one of my best,” said Filion.

He’ll also fondly remember October 15, 2016 at Mohawk Racetrack, and daughter Stella-Rose, 3, might as well.

“She was at the races with my wife but they decided to head home after a couple,” Filion said. “Just as they were getting into the car, my daughter decided she wanted to have some milk. She enjoys having milk from the paddock restaurant. So they turned back and my wife went to get it. That’s when Yaris Bayama’s race started (Sylvain was driving the homebred two-year-old pacing filly in the $250,000 Super Final for his father, Yves, 69). Papi (Yves) was holding her for the race (which Yaris Bayama won with a large surge at odds of 9-1). I’m guessing she got squeezed pretty hard.”

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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