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Louis-Philippe Roy and Sylvain Filion to compete in Ben Hur Cup
Roy and Filion to compete in Ben Hur Cup

Two of the top harness racing drivers in all of Canada, Louis-Philippe Roy and Sylvain Filion, will face-off in the inaugural Ben Hur Cup at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday (June 24).

Roy is currently the leading money and dash winner in all of Canada. The young driving sensation hails from H3R where he started off his great career.

Filion, the two-time O’Brien Award winner as the top driver in Canada, is always in the top leaderboard on the WEG circuit.

Both drivers will compete in eight races that afternoon. Each driver will get to choose the horse they will drive in each race and each driver must choose a number from one to eight so that they will have a different post position in each of the eight races.

The Ben Hur Cup plus bragging rights throughout all of Canada will be won by either Roy or Filion.

Roy was very candid how he felt about this tournament.

“Not only do I feel confident, I know I will win,” bragged Roy. “I don’t want to take anything away from Sylvain as he is a great driver, but I’m a way better half-mile driver than he is.”

Being both drivers started out their careers driving at H3R, who might have the home field advantage at H3R?

“I think it will be divided,” Roy said. “Sylvain is a charismatic man and I do not know any people that do not like him, so I would say he might have a few more people rooting for him, but I also know that I have a lot of fans that supported me the last few years.”

How does it feel for Roy, going back home to H3R? He had planned to return but not until July for Breeder’s Cup Series.

“I’m happy to be there (H3R) and would never expect to be there that soon,” Roy explained. “And there will be pressure to perform well, when you do that good in the country, people expect you to do that good forever, but you have to understand that you’ve been doing that good because you drove good horses, and that you need good horses to keep doing so well.”

When asked if there may be a wager made between the two drivers on the outcome of the tournament, Roy was talking a little “trash” to Sylvain.

“If Sylvain is listening to me, and he better,” Roy boasted, “I’m open to any kind of bet, as long as it doesn’t involve my significant other Michelle. Even though I know I will win, there is still a very small amount of doubt about it.”

And what does Sylvain Filion have to say about all of this?

“I am very confident I can beat him,” Sylvain said with authority. “I think my overall experience says it all. I heard somewhere that he said he was a better half-mile driver than I am. I got some news for him. I was born on a half-mile track. When I first started and got my license it was at the Hippodrome 3R so I am very familiar with the track.”

Who does Filion feel the fans will side with at the Hippodrome 3R?

“That is a good question,” Filion replied. “Every time I go there I have so many fans come up to me and talk to me and they are so happy when I come to drive. I think the rooting will be half and half for us as Louie has made a lot of fans the past few years. Maybe the older fans will cheer more for me, the younger crowd for Louie. We will see come race day.

“I have such great memories of driving at Three Rivers. I am really looking forward to coming there June 24.”

This reporter then read Roy’s statement to Filion about a possible wager on the competition and after he burst out laughing, Filion replied.

“That was a good one,” Filion said. “I will have to talk with Louie about this. I am open to anything he has to offer. Maybe it is a good idea to ask the race fans what the wager should be.”

No matter what the wager is between these two great drivers, the action in their eight Ben Hur Cup races will be fast and furious, just like it was between Ben Hur and his Roman adopted brother, Messala.

There will be more to come on this great driver competition on Sunday (June 24) at the Hippodrome 3R. Post time is 12:50 p.m. and there will be a meet and greet with both Louis-Philippe Roy and Sylvain Filion for the racing fans at 11:30 a.m. in the Clubhouse.

Also, on the race program, will be the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for 4- and 5-year-old pacers.

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