The dash was the third race on the program – the first of four divisions of the second round of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies.
It was C L Sportaction and driver Jonathan Lachance who controlled the pace from the start in trying for their third straight win and sixth triumph in just eight starts this year.
He cut the opening quarter in :27.1 with Western Phil (driven by Pascal Berube) sitting on his back while Wildriverbumblebee and driver Stephane Brosseau sat patiently in third.
Then, to the half mile, Lachance was able to back it down to a :30 quarter in :57.1, which forced Brosseau to come first-over with Wildriverbumblebee.
By the backstretch two horses were neck and neck to the three-quarters in 1:26.2. Around the final turn, Wildriverbumblebee was not to be denied, and coming down the stretch they caught C L Sportaction and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:56.1. Noplay (Stephane Poulout) was able to close well to be third.
Now undefeated in two starts this year, Wildriverbumblebee is trained by Francis Richard for breeder and owner, Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Eaton. The son of Sportswriter paid $4.30 to win as the second choice in the race. He was the Futures Stars Series champion last year.
Then another classic race took place in the fifth, the first division of the series for three-year-old pacing fillies. YS Tallia and driver Simon Allard were the overwhelming 1-5 wagering favourite, coming into the race off a lifetime best 1:51.4 victory in the $50,000 consolation race of the James M. Lynch Memorial at Pocono Downs.
They were facing the 8-5 second choice, Yaris Bayama and trainer/driver Yves Filion. She won $231,000 last year, but was winless in four starts this year, although she showed good lines in finishing second twice in stakes events.
It was Canadian Hall of Famer Yves Filion who went right to the early lead with Yaris Bayama, as Simon Allard settled into the two-hole with YS Tallia to the opening quarter in :28; then to the half mile in :58 with no one attempting to come first-over.
In the backstretch it looked as if Allard would challenge Yaris Bayama with YS Tallia, but they elected to stay in the pocket past the three-quarters in 1:27.3.
Then on the final turn, Allard came after Filion, but YS Tallia started to bear to the outside and could not catch Yaris Bayama and Filion, who won by one-quarter of a length in 1:57. First Kiss (Stephane Gendron) was third.
Bred and owned by Filion’s Bayama Farms of Saint-Andre-D’Argenteuil, it was the first win on the year for the daughter of Sportswriter, who paid $5.40 to win.
The second colt division was the seventh race and it saw Rebel Voyager and driver Stephane Gendron cut the mile with Doc Semalu (Yves Filion) sitting the two-hole trip and Majo Lou Beka (Jonathan Lachance) sitting in third.
They went to the quarter in :27.2 and the half in :58.1, and then, as they reached the backstretch, Lachance made a bold rush with Majo Lou Beka, who cleared to the lead at the three-quarters in 1:28.4 and never looked back, as they won with ease by two and one-half lengths in 1:57.2. Rebel Voyager was second and Doc Semalu third.
For Majo Lou Beka, a gelded son of Badlands Hanover, it was his third win on the year for trainer Mario Lachance, who bred the horse, and owner Lynda Fortin of Mirabel. He paid $7.40 to win.
The last division saw race favourite D Gs Elsa a late scratch and the race favourite then became Herspeedfromheaven and driver Simon Allard in the eighth race division for fillies.
Sired by Rock N Roll Heaven, Herspeedfromheaven shot to the lead with Queen Elsa (Steven Genois), last year’s champion, taking the two-hole spot. They raced Indian-style to the quarter in :28, backdown the half in :59 and then before the three-quarters, as Chaleurs Melodie and Carl Duguay came first-over, so did Genois with Queen Elsa.
Queen Elsa was able to get a half-length lead over Herspeedfromheaven, and the pair ended up battling head and head down the stretch with Herspeedfromheaven holding on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:59.1. Chaleurs Melodie was third.
Trained by Michel Allard, it was a lifetime mark and the third win this year for Herspeedfromheaven. She is bred and co-owned by Rene Allard with Gilles Fleury, and paid $3.30 to win.