A Shepherd And Pilon Party In The Winner's Circle

Partyintheshadows winning at Hippodrome 3R
Published: October 29, 2023 05:01 pm EDT

Robert Shepherd put on a driving clinic at Hippodrome 3R on Sunday afternoon (Oct. 29), scoring a driving quintuplet that was highlighted by a parade of David Pilon winners including Partyintheshadows in the featured $7,000 Preferred Handicap Pace.

It was the first time this season that Shepherd had won five races on a card at 3R. Only Jocelyn Gendron had accomplished the feat this season.

In the ninth race Preferred, Celia Bayama (Stephane Brosseau), one of two mares against seven male rivals, went right out to the early lead with Delicate Sound (Pascal Berube) getting the two-hole trip.

By the opening quarter-mile in :27.2, 4-5 race favourite Partyintheshadows and Shepherd were on the move first-over. Shepherd didn’t try to rush up to take the lead, so Brosseau slowed down the pace as Celia Bayama led to the half-mile in :58.2.

Going in the backstretch, Partyintheshadows continued go at it first-over against a determined Celia Bayama, passing the three-quarters in 1:28.3. After battling around the final turn, Partyintheshadows had the lead by the top of the stretch and went on to win by one length in 1:57.4. Celia Bayama held for second with D Gs De Vito (William Roy) fourth-placed-third over Kiss Me Bad (Steven Gagnon).

The win was the third straight and sixth of the year from 36 starts for Partyintheshadows. The five-year-old Shadow Play gelding is trained by David Pilon for owner Francois Morin of Beauceville, Que. He paid $3.80 to win.

Shepherd and Pilon teamed up to win four races in a row. They capped off their streak in the 10th race, scoring the fastest mile of the afternoon with race favourite G A Speed Joey ($2.90), who won in a romp in 1:55.4. The duo also partnered for earlier wins with MVP L ($9.50) and On Cruise Control ($3).

Pilon stole the lead away from Marc-Andre Simoneau with his impressive training quadruple. The two trainers were tied at atop the seasonal standings heading into Sunday's card with 29 wins each.

Shepherd's other winner was Velocity Impetuous ($2.30) for trainer Dany Mainguy. 

In the afternoon's fourth race pace, Iron Phil made the final start of his long racing career as the 14-year-old King Tutpankhamen gelding was honoured with a special blanket presentation after his race.

Iron Phil looked good for driver Jocelyn Gendron as he sat second behind pacesetter and race favourite Souffle De Vie (Marie-Claude Auger). But approaching the three-quarters, Iron Phil looked like he had enough, and started to tire, finishing sixth. Buckingham ($8.70) won the race in 2:00.2 with Pascal Berube in the bike.

In the winner’s circle, Iron Phil was honoured with his special blanket, a bouquet of huge carrots and other retirement gifts. He was owned for most of his career by trainer Nathalie Migneault and Eric Dechamplain of Saint-Donat, Que., who have arranged for him to have a great retirement.

Iron Phil honoured in a retirement ceremony at Hippodrome 3R

Over his career, Iron Phil raced and won every year except for 2023. He retires with 27 career wins in 246 starts. The pacer was bred by Stephane Brosseau and Jean Beaulieu.

There are just two Sunday afternoons left for the 2023 season at 3R. Live racing continues next Sunday, Nov. 5 at 12 noon.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R.

(With files from Quebec Jockey Club)

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