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HP Mercedes Shines In Quebec

Published: August 16, 2015 7:17 pm ET

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She may not have been the fastest winner of the four divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series opening round for two-year-old pacers at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, but HP Mercedes may have been the most impressive winner on the day.

The daughter of Art Colony was given a brisk drive by Louis Philippe Roy and HP Mercedes responded with a six and three-quarter length romp in the first race division for fillies.

Official Week and driver Carl Duguay left from the rail with the 1-5 race favorite Xena Bayama and Yves Filion dropping into the two-hole to the opening quarter-mile in :29.3.

Then Filion moved to the lead with Xena Bayama. At the half-mile in 1:01.3, Roy decided to make a race of it with HP Mercedes and they came first-over, grinding it out until they had collared Xena Bayama before the three-quarters in 1:32.2.

It seemed that once HP Mercedes looked Xena Bayama in the eye, she kicked into another gear and blew by the race leader, taking command and then she strolled to the wire in a romp in 2:02.2. Xena Bayama held for second with Official Week third.

It was the maiden victory in five starts for HP Mercedes. She is trained by Jean Tourigny for owner Claude Hamel of Ayer's Cliff, Que. HP Mercedes paid $10.90 to win.

The fastest mile in the series opening was clocked in the fifth race, second division for fillies as HP Sissy and driver Guy Gagnon, the 1-5 overwhelming favourites, did not disappoint their backers.

Stung to the opening quarter-mile in :29 by Whysantanna (Gilles Gendron), HP Sissy settled on the lead and there was no looking back on the field. She led to the half in 1:00.3 and held the field at bay as Skyfall Sena (Pascal Berube) came out underneath Art De Gagnee (Mario Charron) in the backstretch, but neither could mount a challenge past the three-quarters in 1:30.2.

Then on the turn for home, HP Sissy let out a notch and pulled away for a four and one-half length victory in 1:59.2. Skyfall Sena was second with Art De Gagnee third.

Sired by Up The Credit, homebred HP Sissy earned her first pari-mutuel victory from seven starts. She made it a double for Tourigny and Hamel, who shares ownership with Michel Damphousse of Louiseville, Que. HP Sissy paid $2.60 to win.

The second race, first colt division was pretty much over after the start as Mr Mach Jimmy and driver Pascal Berube left from the rail and never looked back.

The gelded son of Mach Three cut fractions of :28.4, 1:00.2 and 1:30.1 before coming home in :29.3 for a one and one-half length triumph in 1:59.4. The pocket-sitting Shanghai Warrior (Clarke Steacy) was second with EY Cowboy (Stephane Gendron) third.

It was the maiden victory for Mr Mach Jimmy, who is trained by Dany Fontaine for Ecurie Gaetan Bono Inc. of Montreal, Que. He paid $3.70 to win.

The fourth race, second colt division saw Sagawi and driver Francis Picard lead from start to finish in 2:00.3.

After the first quarter in :29, HP Patriote (Guy Gagnon) came first-over at the half-mile in :59.4 and went after Sagawi. They were nearly stride-for-stride before the three-quarters in 1:28.3 when HP Patriote went off-stride.

Sagawi then went on to win by an easy two and three-quarter lengths in 2:00.3 with favoured Cronos (Marie Claude Auger) second and Mister Godro (Stephane Gendron) third.

The win was the second in just four lifetime starts for Sagawi. The son of Goliath Bayama is trained and owned by Andre Crete of Warwick, Que. He paid $5.20 to win.

Live racing resumes on Wednesday with two divisions of the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old trotters. Next Thursday at 10:30 a.m. there will be a press conference at the Hippodrome 3R for the post position draw for the second annual renewal of the Prix D’Ete, which carries a purse of $200,000.

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

(With files from QJC)

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