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Closing Day Festivities Set At 3R

Published: November 12, 2016 5:18 pm ET

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This Sunday (November 13) is closing day for the 2016 live harness racing season at the Hippodrome 3R and the first 1,000 fans to come to the racetrack will receive a free race program.

There will be a special autograph session beginning at 12:00 noon in the grandstand with the season’s leading driver, Louis-Philippe Roy.

Roy, who leads all drivers with 58 wins, 20 more than nearest rival Stephane Gendron, will be wrapping up his first driving title at the Hippodrome 3R. He is also the current leading driver at Rideau Carleton Raceway, 124 to 116 over Guy Gagnon. Within the next month, Roy will be leaving Quebec to take on the top drivers in harness racing at The Meadowlands and Yonkers Raceway.

Also, Yves Tessier will be honoured as the meet's top trainer. He has sent out 24 winners already this season at 3R and has three morning line favourites racing on Sunday. Tessier holds a four-win lead over defending champion Maxime Velaye, who does not have any horses entered.

The race season’s winningest horse, Beach Runner AM, did not get in to race on Sunday. The nine-year-old gelded son of Beach Of Faith led all horses at 3R this year with seven wins for breeder, owner and trainer Alain Martin of Gatineau, Que.

There are two 14-year-old horses, trotter Pablo Angus and pacer Charlottes Tazman, who will be honoured after they both race on Sunday as they both must retire from racing at the end of the season.

Pablo Angus starts from post one in the fourth race trot. This longtime veteran of the racing wars is sired by Fortuna Winner from the Garland Lobell mare, Heliante Angus. He was bred by Fermes Angus Farms of Bedford, Que., and is owned by Mario Bourgea of Stanbridge East, Que.
He is one of the best trotters ever bred in Quebec. A career winner of 54 races and $818,595, Pablo Angus gives true meaning to the phrase “war horse” as he has raced every year of his career. The only season he did not win a race was in 2011 when he made just one start.

At age two, three and four, Pablo Angus was a major stakes winner, mainly at his home track, the Hippodrome de Montreal where, at age four, he took his lifetime mark of 1:53.2. Then during his aged career, he travelled to New York where he won in the Open Trots numerous times at both Yonkers and Saratoga Raceways.

Currently trained by Gerald Woodberry, Pablo Angus is a mild 4-1 odds in his race on Sunday and will be driven by Pascal Berube. The old veteran can still show his heels to his much younger rivals and might surprise on Sunday. The veteran was a track record holder at 3R and still holds many track records on the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit.

Charlottes Tazman has not had as big a career at the races as Pablo Angus. The gelded son of Largo from the Big Towner mare, Tasmania Hanover, does boast career earnings of $112,835 and has a lifetime mark of 1:53.4. He was bred by Alfred Moeller of Mount Hebron, N.B., and is owned by Daniel Cochrane of Trois-Rivieres, Que.

Charlottes Tazman raced every year but 2011 during his career. He has grind it out every season and took his record at age three, winning eight times that year in his lone season in the U.S.A. at Rockingham Park. He raced most of his career in Canada.

Currently trained by Michel Grenier, Charlottes Tazman will start from the rail in the fifth race pace with Pierre-Luc Roy in the sulky on Sunday. He is the second choice in the race at odds of 3-1.

The eighth race is honouring Quebec horseman Wellie Bélanger, whose passion for racing transcended seven decades. He passed away on October 25 at age 96.

It was at the age of 20 that Mr. Bélanger acquired his first horses, the first of a long list to date with DGs Mach Beach and EF Gaspesien. He was quick to want to involve himself in the races by driving his horses.

By age 25, he was already a Ford Dealer, unheard of for someone so young. He later owned his own breeding farm in St-Eustache in the north of Montreal. This farm was later acquired by the Mathers family.

Great horses marked this illustrious career including Wizard Almahurst, Buzzeo, and the great trotter, Napoletano, whom he had found with Albert Bertrand, resold and was later ceded to the Swedes for $4 million. Napoletano was an exceptional trotter, who had a great history, racing alongside the great Ourasi and Mack Lobell in the March of Dimes in 1988.

Mr. Bélanger spent his winters in Florida, where he would race some Quebec horses and returned in the spring annually with new acquisitions. Another of his memorable habits was his annual pilgrimage to the Harrisburg Sale with his brother Robert.

His wife, Mrs. Jeannette, described him as a man of great class (he would abandon his tie under any circumstances), an honest man, charming, often funny. A gentleman who was a pleasure to be around. He is also survived by his children, Rodrigue, Denyse, Réjeanne, Steeve and Mauritius.

Post time on Sunday is 1:30 p.m. For a free race program online, visit quebecjockeyclub.com.

To view Sunday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R.

(With files from QJC)


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