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Roy Morning Line Tournament Fave

Published: June 3, 2017 10:20 am ET

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If the morning line odds are true to form, then Louis-Philippe Roy will win Sunday afternoon’s All-Star Drivers Tournament at the Hippodrome 3R.

Then again, in past tournaments the driver who is the morning line favourite has never won.

Louis-Philippe Roy (LPR) is the reigning H3R driving champion and currently leads all drivers at the track early on this season. He is also the leading money winning driver in all of Canada so far this year and is second in Canada in dash victories.

But come this Sunday, LPR faces many of the world’s top harness drivers in the second annual All-Star Drivers Tournament at H3R.

Included in the line-up are Hall of Famer David Miller, returning tournament champion Jody Jamieson; four-time O’Brien Award Winning Driver of the Year, Sylvain Filion; Trotting Triple Crown winner last year, Scott Zeron; Grand Circuit driving champion Yannick Gingras; recent $529,000 Levy Series Final winning driver and Trois-Rivieres native Daniel Dube; and 8,576 career dash winner Stephane Bouchard, returning to Quebec after 17 years.

All eight drivers will compete in eight tournament races starting at 12:30 pm. The eight races are the second through ninth events and the tournament prize is $10,000.

Calculating from the morning line odds, LPR wins the tournament with 149 points, followed by Stephane Bouchard (140) points, Jody Jamieson (112 points) and Scott Zeron (97 points).

But as these tournaments have shown in the past, the morning line favourites usually do not prevail. Jamieson just got up last year in the last of the tournament races with a second place finish.

The “tale of the tape” as they say, belongs to none other than David Miller. Inducted into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame last year, Miller has been the Dan Patch Award Winning Driver of the Year the past two seasons. He leads all drivers in the competition with over 10,200 wins, $212 million in purses won and he is the oldest competitor at age 53.

Roy is the youngest of the eight drivers at age 27. Just three years ago he was driving mainly on the Quebec Fair Circuit and the last year has surged to become a national leader. LPR has only 540 career wins and $3.5 million in earnings, more than half of those earnings since January 2017 when he joined the WEG circuit. Two weeks ago, he set a track record at H3R, winning eight of his eleven drives on one card.

Yannick Gingras, Daniel Dube and Sylvain Filion are hometown favourites at H3R as well as LPR.

The morning line stats are interesting in that every driver in the tournament has only one morning line favourite to drive. If that statistic comes true, then the winner of the tournament is the driver who can finish second through sixth the most, earning as many placing points as possible.

Points for the tournament are as follows: 1st – 50 points, 2nd – 25 points, 3rd – 12 points, 4th – 8 points, 5th – 5 points and 6th – 2 points. No points for 7th and 8th place. A driver with a horse that is scratched gets the average points they have earned in the tournament.

Last year it was Jody Jamieson that won the inaugural tournament because he was the only driver to score points in every race. That was his key to victory.

Reading the morning line “points earned” for the tournament is sort of like calling a long race with some interesting turn of events.

It starts out with Scott Zeron going to the early lead followed by LPR with Miller stuck first-over and Bouchard second over. Dube then sweeps three-wide and gets in front of Miller, who is tiring.

Yannick Gingras, who followed Dube three-wide, gets into second-over position while Zeron still leads the field and LPR sitting good in the pocket-seat.

Jamieson then goes three-wide, loops Gingras, but can’t get by Zeron as Miller fades to the back and Bouchard ends up following Jamieson with Sylvain Filion getting into the outside flow as they enter the backstretch.

Miller, who was shuffled back to last, gets a second wind and follows Filion as LPR finds clearance at the three-quarters and goes after Zeron on the final turn.

Coming for home, Filion is three-wide and coming on, Zeron and LPR are neck and neck starting down the stretch. Bouchard looped Miller and followed Filion and then tips four-wide as Dube looks for an opening as Miller and Gingras fade out of the picture. Jamieson gets live cover following LPR.

Down to the finish it’s LPR winning by a half-length over the late closing Bouchard with Jamieson third over Zeron, Dube and Filion finish in a dead-heat for fifth place with Gingras and Miller at the back of the pack.

Then again, Jamieson and Filion were not expected to do that well last year and Jamieson won it and Filion was third with John Campbell second. That’s why this competition can be so exciting: you never know who can win it!

There will be an autograph, meet and greet, with all the drivers in the H3R grandstand starting at 11:15 a.m. Sunday morning.

Who do you think will win Sunday's All Star Drivers Tournament at Hippodrome 3R? Have your say in the SC web poll.

For entries, click one of the following links:

Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R

Program Pages - Hippodrome 3R - Sunday, June 4

(with files from Hippodrome 3R)


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