Though it didn't happen in a Breeders Crown elimination, Rebeka Bayama's impressive, 1:48.4 track-record equaling performance at Woodbine in an Open Mare prep on Friday night established her as a top contender for the $600,000 Breeders Crown Mare Pace Final on Oct. 27. The record was one of Woodbine's longest standing speed badges, set in 2003 by Carolina Sunshine.
Driven by Sylvain Filion for trainer Stephane Larocque, the 5-year-old daughter of Leader Bayama-Joyce Bayama-Run The Table followed the pace-setting Monkey On My Wheel (Brian Sears) past the :26.1 opening quarter, before notching the lead at the :54.2 half-mile marker.
"She felt super tonight,” said Filion. "Tim (Tetrick, driving Anndrovette) came at me and I wanted to let him go, but I wanted to stretch her out a bit tonight. She's been off a couple weeks and I wanted her to get in at top form for next week.”
Though challenged briefly by Anndrovette, Rebeka Bayama was simply on cruise, breezing to the wire 2¼ lengths in front of the hard-trying Camille (Yannick Gingras), with a :27.3 final sprint.
"Tonight, we were looking to get her a start and keep her fresh,” trainer Stephane Larocque offered. "We need the luck next week. When you draw the nine-hole against these horses it's tough. She's a great mare.”
Owned by the Bayama Farms Inc. of Quebec, Rebeka Bayama pushed her career earnings to $644,618 and now has a 23-8-2 record from 45 lifetime trips postward. She was a $37,500 supplement to the race because her sire, Leader Bayama, was never nominated to the Breeders Crown program. A supplement makes her eligible in subsequent years as long as she makes the sustaining payment each year.
"She's just an amazing mare,” Filion stressed. "They did a good job keeping her fresh and she's as good as she's ever been.”
Breeders Crown mare competitors Camille finished second; 2010 Breeders Crown winner Put On A Show (post one, Open Pace) was fourth, defending sophomore Crown champ Monkey On My Wheel fifth, last year's Crown Mare Pace winner Anndrovette sixth; Swinging Beauty seventh, and Rocklamation was eighth.
Contender Tea Party Princess captured her prep race in a come-from behind effort in a seasonal best 1:51.2s for Scott Zeron, nipping rival Maureen Rocks by a neck.
"They made some equipment changes on her that really turned her around tonight,” Zeron admitted. "They took off the choke plate and the Pelling Pacifier and it made all the difference in the world to her. She was much more comfortable tonight and it showed.”
Tea Party Princess is trained by David Menary and now has $597,664 in career earnings for owner
Brad Gray of Dundas, ON. Breeders Crown contender Krispy Apple finished fifth in this same race. (By Kim Rinker/Breeders Crown)
The full field for next week's final is below.
$331,500 Breeders Crown Mare Pace Final-Race 10 on Oct. 27
1. Dreamfair Eternal - Patrick Fletcher - Brian Sears
2. Rocklamation - Ron Burke - Jim Morrill Jr.
3. Camille - Ron Burke - Brett Miller
4. Anndrovette - Paul Fraley - Tim Tetrick
5. Tea Party Princess - David Menary - Scott Zeron
6. Swinging Beauty - Gregg McNair - Doug McNair
7. Krispy Apple - Paul Fraley - Tim Tetrick
8. Ginger And Fred - Ron Burke - Scott Zeron
9. Rebeka Bayama - Stephane Laroque - Sylvain Filion (supplement)
10. Monkey On My Wheel - Travis Umphrey - Jody Jamieson
11. Drop The Ball - Tony O'Sullivan - Yannick Gingras