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Heartthrob Goes The Distance In Le 5 Milles


Published: August 30, 2009 8:30 pm ET

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Trainer Rene Allard left a lasting legacy Sunday, August 30 at Sulky Quebec.

Horses from his Ontario-based stable broke two track records and won three races, including both $9,000 Invitations and the featured centennial edition of Quebec City’s signature race, the 10-lap marathon Le 5 Milles.

Heartthrob, a horse Allard purchased just five days ago after a losing race at Georgian Downs, surged up the rail in the final strides of the five-mile race to put away tiring leader MG Éclair, the 2008 champion, for a two-length victory in the $15,100 event. The time was 11 minutes, 22 seconds.

Jocelyn Gendron drove in place of Allard’s brother Simon, who had to leave Quebec City before the feature to get to Rideau Carleton Raceway in time for a stakes commitment.

Simon Allard had four wins before his departure, including the track record performances by six-year-old gelding Royal Becquet (1:54.2) in the $9,000 Invitation Pace and six-year-old gelding Titan Park (1:57) in the $9,000 Invitation Trot. Both are trained by Rene Allard.

Simon also won a $5,000 Invitation race at 9/16ths-of-a-mile with Professor A D and an $8,000 pace for Quebec-bred two-year-olds with Shaneryne.

In Le 5 Milles, Gendron settled Heartthrob near the back of the pack for most of the race.

He advanced progressively to third as favourites Canaco Pistol and Cams Predator took themselves out of contention with breaks on laps eight and nine, respectively, then stayed inside as MG Éclair and National Angus battled on the lead and drifted out in the final straightway.

It was the first win in 26 starts this year for the nine-year-old gelding.

In the winner’s circle, Allard dedicated the win to his friend Jean-Marc Bouchard, who died of cancer last December.

“He dreamed he’d be here with me one day.. I’m sure he is.”

The race was delayed almost an hour because a medical emergency in the grandstand required evacuation of the racing surface while an ambulance rushed to the scene.

To view Saturday's harness racing results, click here.

(Trot Insider exclusive by Paul Delean)

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