The Light Speed Prevails Over Quebec-Bred Pacers

The Light Speed winning at Hippodrome 3R
Published: June 23, 2024 04:59 pm EDT

The Light Speed avenged his narrow loss from his last start against rival Aladdin to win the $8,500 opening leg of the Quebec-Bred Series for older pacers on Sunday, June 23 at Hippodrome 3R.

Constant heavy rains made the track sloppy on Sunday afternoon with a three second allowance from the judges.

After a half hour delay for track maintenance before the feature in eighth race, favourite The Light Speed left for driver Jocelyn Gendron from post seven and raced against early leaver Cyclone Joe (Sylvain Lacaille) before clearing to the lead after the opening quarter-mile in :28.

Going to the half-mile in :58, The Light Speed was in control of the pace but had rival Aladdin (Stephane Brosseau) coming first-over to challenge. Those two raced down the backstretch with The Light Speed holding a half a length advantage to the three-quarters in 1:28.4.

The duo raced neck and neck around the final turn, but not once did The Light Speed allow Aladdin the lead and, in the stretch, went on to win by 1-3/4 lengths in 1:59. Aladdin settled for second with YS Sensationalcity (Robert Shepherd) well back in third.

Returning to Quebec after competing most recently in the Preferred ranks at Rideau Carleton Raceway, The Light Speed has now won seven of his last nine starts for trainer Guy Gagnon. A career winner of 53 races and nearly $380,000, the six-year-old Moon Beam-Jayma gelding was bred and is owned by Michel Nolette of Princeville, Que. He paid $3.60 to win.

Frozen Hanover won the earlier $6,500 Preferred Handicap Pace in a three-across finish over pacesetter Flash Cube and 1-9 favourite Light The Torch.

The sixth race got underway with Flash Cube (Jocelyn Gendron) working his way to the lead over Bettor Half (Denis St. Pierre) by the opening quarter in :29.

Before the half-mile mark in 1:00.3, Frozen Hanover and driver Stephane Brosseau moved first-over from third and gave race favourite Light The Torch (Pascal Berube) live second-over cover through the three-quarters in 1:31.1.

The battle continued with Flash Cube holding off Frozen Hanover around the final turn as Berube tipped Light The Torch three-wide to mount a challenge. The three horses nearly raced as a team down the stretch, despite the heavy rains, with the photo finish camera needed to declare Frozen Hanover the winner by a nose in 2:01.2 over Flash Cube with Light The Torch third by a head.

It was the first win in two starts this year for Frozen Hanover. The five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere-Fashion Ecstasy stallion is trained by Maxime Velaye for owner Guy Corbeil of Mirabel, Que. He paid $12 to win as the 5-1 second choice.

The Quebec Regional Fair Circuit opened its 2024 season on Saturday at St-Joseph-de-Lepage (SJDL). X O X O, a longtime top Quebec trotting mare, won a mixed-gait race in 1:59.3. The previous SJDL trot mark, set in 2021, was 2:00.1 by Mr Logan Mirox. This time also beat the 1:59.4 mile in 2019 trotted at Saint-Aimé-des-Lacs by Missionoftheheart, driven by Kiwon Waldron, as the fastest trotting mile ever at all of the Quebec fair circuit tracks slated for action in 2024.

X O X O's trainer Michel Allard was the big winner of the day with three successes; her driver, Roger Guilbeault, has driven in five races since 2016 and won all five.

The fastest pacing mile of the day was in an amateur male driver’s event in 1:57.4 turned in by Mickeymaksomespeed, who holds the all-time speed record at SJDL with two 1:55.2 miles recorded in 2022, and whose two-year-old full sister Mikamaksomespeed won earlier in the card in 2:11.3. The driver of Mickeymaksomespeed on Saturday was Jonathan Gagnon-Lachance, who had never driven in a race before.

Live harness racing returns to 3R next Friday, June 28 at 4 p.m., with the opening round of the Breeders Trophy Series for three-year-old trotting colts and fillies scheduled to begin.

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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