By Ryan Martin
John Duvieilh, Earl and Keith Hernandez’s Hyper Piper got the best of a four-way battle to the wire in Saturday afternoon’s off-the-turf $60,000 Red Camelia Stakes at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
Trained by Sam David, Jr., the 6-year-old gray or roan daughter of Old Fashioned sat right off the pace led by post time favorite Mr. Al’s Gal who set opening fractions of 24.96, 49.06 and 1:13.35. Five wide into the stretch, Hyper Piper made a winning move at the eighth pole and battled through the final furlong with a trio of horses but got the head bob over Is Too who finished second. Tap Dance Star finished third at odds of 23-1.
Guided by jockey Marcelino Pedroza, Hyper Piper completed the one-mile journey in 1:39.14.
Completing the order of finish were Mr. Al’s Gal, Bermuda Star, Eskenformore, Special Blessing and Dontmesswithjoanne.
“She kind of hung a little bit when she got to the lead but we got the job done,” Pedroza said. “When you get on a horse in the morning and know what they’re like then, then you’ll know what they’re like in the afternoon. It works out a lot better when you know the horse. I got to thank the owners, they always believe in me. They keep riding me and we keep battling on.”
The Red Camelia was a fourth stakes win of the meet for Pedroza, who piloted Wynn Time to a trio of stakes wins at Fair Grounds.
Hyper Piper scored her third stakes victory in the Red Camelia Stakes. A last out winner of the Louisiana Premier Night Distaff Stakes at Delta Downs, she took the Lookout Stakes at the Vinton, La. oval in January 2018.
“She’s really been a dream,” David said. “Every time we bring her over here she give you everything she has. When you get a mare like that, you’re going to win a lot of races. She’s just a super horse to train, she does everything right and she’s just a champion as far as I’m concerned.”
David stated that she would likely race on Louisiana Legends Day at Evangeline Downs on May 25. She was second in last year’s edition of the Louisiana Legends Distaff Stakes behind Mr. Al’s Gal.
Saturday’s victory enhanced Hyper Piper’s lifetime earnings to $362,630 after taking home the winner’s share of $36,000. She has now won eight of her 22 career starts.
She rewarded her backers in the form of payouts of $13.80, $5.80 and $3.40 while runner-up Is Too returned $4.60 and $3.80. Tap Dance Star brought back $9.80.
Bred in Louisiana by her owners, Hyper Piper is out of the stakes placed Saros (GB) broodmare Filaree.