3R Set For Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship

Harness racing at Hippodrome 3R
Published: June 1, 2024 01:08 pm EDT

On Sunday, June 2, eight drivers from Quebec and Eastern Ontario will battle it out at Hippodrome 3R in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec to see which two drivers will head to the Canada's National Driving Championship (NDC), where one driver will emerge as the champion representative to the 2025 World Driving Championship in New Zealand.

The competition is presented by Standardbred Canada and conducted in four regions across the country. The top two drivers in each regional competition get to compete in the finals.

Sunday’s Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship will feature eight races, carded as Races 2 through 9 at 3R. Two years ago, Pascal Berube and Samuel Fillion emerged victorious from this competition and represented this region in the finals.

Both Berube and Fillion are back again in the competition on Sunday at 3R, along with Nicholas Boyd, Stephane Brosseau, Guy Gagnon, Jimmy Gagnon, Stephane Poulliot and Robert Shepherd. They are all top drivers in their regions.

Once the morning line was completed, track officials used the point system for the competition and the morning line odds to assess the chances for Sunday's competition. Based on the morning line, here's how the drivers line up:

  • Robert Shepherd -- 64
  • Stephane Brosseau -- 52
  • Pascal Berube -- 51
  • Nicholas Boyd -- 45
  • Samuel Fillion -- 45
  • Jimmy Gagnon -- 42
  • Guy Gagnon -- 39
  • Stephane Pouliot -- 38

Shepherd is driving two morning line favourites, as is Brosseau, but since the odds are determined by the betting fans, it could very well change by race time.

For the two top point earners on Sunday, they get an invitation to return to 3R on Friday, July 5, for the 2024 National Driving Championship where the winner will represent Canada at the 2025 World Driving Championship in New Zealand.  It will be the first time that 3R has played host to the NDC.

Usually, the competition comes down to the very last race and in this case, it’s the Preferred Pace in Race 9. Uncontrollable (post two) is the 5-2 morning line favourite for driver Jimmy Gagnon. Uncontrollable is on a two-race winning streak. In his last start at 3R, he scored in 1:55.4.

Another return winner in the field is Sports Bettor (post three) with driver Pascal Berube. They are the 3-1 second choice in the race and are coming off a 1:56.2 triumph last week.

Other contenders include Thedoginthefight (Stephane Pouliot) in post four, Greystone Watchman (Guy Gagnon) in post five and YS Sensationalcity (Robert Shepherd) in post eight.

Some of the drivers were asked for comments on how they like the horses they selected and who they think are the main competitors:

Stephane Pouliot – “I am feeling confident and I really like the horses I picked. For me, all of the drivers have a chance to win.”

Pascal Berube – “There is a part of choosing your horses which is interesting but not knowing their starting position when making choices makes things more complicated because if your first choices are not in a good position, it makes things even more difficult. In my opinion, the big winner of the tournament will be Stephane Brosseau. He has good horses and the good horses he has have a good starting position so I think that will give him better luck.”

Samuel Fillion – “I wasn’t really happy when I saw my first and second picks get the seven and eight holes. But they are good racehorses and we never know what is gonna happen. I think Pascal is probably the major danger. He gets a few good horses with good posts. He also knows those horses really well because he’s been driving at 3R every week.”

Usually, first race post time at 3R is 12 noon, but this Sunday at high noon, the fans will first be introduced to the eight drivers in the competition, then the racing will begin.

With the exception of a couple of drivers, all of the 64 horses entered in the competition will have a driver that has not driven the horse before, making the contest even more exciting and harder to handicap.

For more information and a free race program for Sunday’s card, visit hippodrome3r.ca. To view Sunday’s complete harness racing entries, click the following links: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R  // Program Pages (courtesy TrackIT)

(with files from Quebec Jockey Club)

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