Two-Time Champion Set To Retire Sunday At H3R


Two-time Quebec champion trotter Caroluzzo (Musclesextrodinair) has now reached age 14 and after his race Sunday (Nov. 5) afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R, the 41-time winner will retire from racing after one more try.

All Standardbred horses must retire from pari-mutuel racing once they reach age 15. There are some cases where older horses have competed, but only in amateur or fair races.

Although winless in five starts this year and 18 starts in 2022, Caroluzzo still gives his all every time he competes. The pretty chestnut gelding with four white feet and a blonde mane and tail will make his final start in the third race pace from post four for driver Robert Shepherd.

He was bred and has been owned his entire career by Michael Cote Gagnon of Montreal, Que. Win, lose or draw, Sunday’s race will be the last for Caroluzzo and Gagnon will be at 3R to see his trotter make his final debut.

“Of course, I’ll make it and be there for Caroluzzo's retirement ceremony and the last race in his career,” Gagnon said. “I couldn’t miss it. That horse is such a special one for us, bred, raised and raced by my family as you mentioned.

“Furthermore,” Gagnon added. “He’s was named after my late grandfather, Carolus Gagnon, since he was born two weeks early as scheduled, the same day my grandfather was cremated. He is certainly the best trotter to be around and all the credit goes to my late mother, Elaine Cote, who raised him and contributed to his calm and great manners.”

Trained by Daniel Martin his entire career, Caroluzzo has made 247 starts with his 41 wins and earnings of nearly $200,000 plus a record of 1:57 taken at age six at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

“It’s been a long journey since many people were mocking him because of his beauty,” Gagnon added. “They were saying that he was going to be a nice saddle horse! But he proved them wrong, winning two championships in a row at 3R racetrack. This, without racing in any stakes during his career.

“It’s the end of a fairy tale,” Gagnon explained. “Of a homebred warhorse that no one thought would succeed. Not the fastest, but certainly the biggest heart that you can dream of.”

A special blanket presentation and a bouquet of carrots will await Caroluzzo in the winner’s circle after his final performance on the racetrack in the third race.

Sunday will also feature a Preferred Pace where two of the top mares at 3R will take on five male rivals in the ninth race.

Celia Bayama (Bettors Delight) is one of two mares in the race and she starts from post seven for driver Stephane Brosseau. She is a former Quebec bred champion, who at age two, took a record of 1:54. This year, now age five, Celia Bayama sports five wins with the fastest as a 1:55 mile at 3R. She is the morning line favourite.

Her main competition will come from the lone return winner in the field, Siddhartha (So Surreal), who starts from post two for driver Marie-Claude Auger. Last week, with a drop in class, Siddhartha and Auger teamed up with an impressive first-over mile in scoring a 1:57.4 victory.

Sunday is the second to last live race program at 3R for the 2023 season. First race post time is 12:00 p.m. For a free race program, visit the H3R website.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R.

(With files from Quebec Jockey Club)

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