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St Pierre Sweeps Quebec Series Splits

Published: May 31, 2015 8:46 pm ET

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Denis St Pierre, the 2014 driving champion at Hippodrome 3R, swept all three $6,500 second round preliminary divisions of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers on Sunday at the mid-province track –- and equalled divisional track records in two of the victories.

First to add a line to the record books was My Tallia Ideal, a daughter of Western Ideal who shipped to 3R from Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania and promptly won her division of the two for mares, tripping the timer in 1:54.3 to equal the local standard for older pacing mares first set by Sans Frontiere in June 2013. St Pierre hustled the Michel Allard-trained mare, co-owned by breeders Gestion Mario Audet Inc. and Yves Sarrazin, out of the gate, taking advantage of drawing inside her main rival Victoria Semalu, a winner last week. With “Victoria” settled in behind “Tallia” before the :27.2 first quarter, St Pierre was able to rate an easy middle half before his mare sprinted the last panel in :28.1 to beat their main rival by two lengths and tie the track mark.

Three races later, the Shanghai Phil gelding Champagne Phil crossed the border east from Ontario and captured Sunday’s only series division for horses and geldings, stopping the timer in 1:53.1 to match the aged gelding track record that Duc Dorleans established in May 2014. While driver St Pierre slowed the pace after a :27.2 opener with My Tallia Ideal, with Champagne Phil he reached the first marker in that same number, but went on to post fractions of :55.3 and 1:24.4 before going on to win by two and a quarter lengths over McKinney. Trained by Francis Richard for owner ICR Racing, Champagne Phil might need to better today’s time next Sunday if he and Atomic Million AM, who won last week and skipped this race, go tête-a-tête in the final preliminary.

The other of the mares divisions saw Champagne Shower take her second series prelim in as many weeks, with St Pierre again taking the shortest way around as the daughter of Santanna Blue Chip won by two and a half lengths over Lutetia Semalu, who was second to Victoria Semalu last week, in 1:55.2. Yves Tessier trains the winner, now victorious in three straight starts, for owner/breeder Sotiorios Anastasopoulos.

The next two cards of racing at Hippodrome 3R will feature the third preliminary round in the Quebec-Bred Series, with trotters going Wednesday night at 7 p.m. and the pacers back next Sunday at 1:30 p.m. The top winners in the preliminary legs will square off in the four series Championships, trot/pace and mare/horse combinations, with $35,000 on the line in each event, on Sunday, June 14.

St Pierre went on to take the 10th and last race for four sulky successes Sunday; no other driver had more than one. One of the other six winning drivers was Andre Champagne and he guided Amazingdream Esa to victory while paying $130.40 for a $2 win bet, double the previous high for the year.

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

(With files from QJC)

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