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Rebeka Bayama On Comeback Trail

Published: May 9, 2014 8:40 am ET

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Quebec horseman Yves Filion was hoping an 18-month layoff would allow Rebeka Bayama to get over her ailments and regain her status as one of the sport’s premier pacing mares.

So far, it hasn’t played out that way.

The now seven-year-old mare made her long-awaited return to the races last month at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ottawa. So far, she hasn’t hit the board there in three starts against males who are winning with mile times around 1:56. She’ll try them again from post 8 in the seventh race on Mother’s Day.

“Time will tell, but right now, I’m a bit disappointed,” said Filion. “She hasn’t looked that strong finishing.”

A career winner of $690,722 for Filion’s Bayama Farm, Rebeka Bayama bowed a tendon in her right front leg finishing third to Anndrovette as a supplemented entry in the $326,660 Breeders’ Crown final for pacing mares at Woodbine in October of 2012. It was the last start in what had been her most productive campaign with almost $400,000 earned, a new mark of 1:48.3 at The Meadowlands and seven victories including the Golden Girls stake at the Meadowlands.

In 2013, she didn’t race at all.

Filion said he started her back at Rideau rather than on the Woodbine Entertainment Group circuit so she wouldn’t have to go tough miles right away.

“I gave her the time and she looks perfectly sound,” Filion said, “but I guess we’ll know better in a few more starts if she’s the horse she was. I’m going week to week with her at this point.”

(A Trot Insider Exclusive by Paul Delean)

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