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Local Stars Shine In Quebec Finals

Published: September 7, 2014 10:38 pm ET

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On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Hippodrome 3R hosted its richest program of the 2014 harness racing season with the $425,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers.

There were seven championship finals on the wagering card.

It did not take long for the first track record to be rewritten on the racing card as Meganou got the job done in the very first race, the $55,000 final for two-year-old trotters.

Driven by Jocelyn Gendron, Meganou left from post three and never looked back. The daughter of Kadabra held the field at bay the entire one mile race, leading by four to five lengths at all times. She cut fractions of :30, 1:00.2, 1:31 and coasted home to win by three and one-half lengths in 2:01.1. Intouchable (Simon Allard) was second with Notrouble Dechafra (Stephane Brosseau) third.

It was the third straight win and third straight track record performance for Meganou. Only this week Meganou became the fastest two-year-old trotter regardless of gender in the history of the Hippodrome 3R with her 2:01.1 clocking.

The mile rewrote her record for fillies that she set last week of 2:02 and surpassed the trotting colt record of 2:01.3 set by Jobie Tempest more than 21 years ago in 1993.

Trained by Daniel Martin and owned by Jean Picard of Orford, Que., Meganou earned her fourth win this year and paid $3 to win.

In the second race, $65,000 final for three-year-old trotting fillies, track record holder Viva Bayama and trainer/driver Yves Filion waited patiently in fourth place as Kim Sorel (Martin Gingras) cut early fractions of :28.4 and :58.3.

Once the field entered the backstretch the second time, Filion made his move first-over with Viva Bayama and the Muscle Mass filly blew past the leaders by the three-quarters in 1:29.1 and won with ease by five open lengths in 2:00.3. Bambie Benjo (Rheo Filion) was second with Lucyll Bro (Stephane Gendron) third.

Owned and bred by Filion’s Bayama Farms, Inc. of Saint-Andre D’Argenteul, Que., Viva Bayama scored her fourth win this year and paid $3.10 to win.

Yves Filion did not waste any time coming back to the winner’s circle as he won the very next race, the $55,000 final for two-year-old pacing colts, with Western Bayama in a lifetime-best clocking of 1:58.

Mr Sunshine Boy (Pascal Berube) was first on the lead with Half A Billion (Stephane Gendron) sitting on their backs to the opening quarter-mile in a speedy :27.4.

Gendron then came right out and took over the lead by the half mile in :58.1 as the action really heated up with Clinton Panic (Gilles Gendron) coming first-over and race favourite, track record holder Sugarsam (Denis St Pierre) second-over.

St Pierre then came three-wide around Clinton Panic, and by the three-quarters in 1:28 had closed the gap on Half A Billion, but that was when Yves Filion and Western Bayama came into the picture and was three-wide around the final turn.

Coming down the stretch, Filion was able to urge Western Bayama on to victory by one and one-half lengths with Half A Billion third and Sugarsam third.

Also owned and bred by Bayama Farms, Western Bayama earned just his second win in five lifetime starts. The son of Lis Mara paid $6.50 to win.

The only two-time Quebec-Bred Series champion was crowned at 3R today as Maximuscle had little trouble for driver Mario Charron in beating six rivals in the fourth race, $65,000 final for three-year-old trotting colts.

Clearing to the lead before the opening quarter-mile in :29, Charron and Maximuscle were in easy command until after the half-mile and then Charron asked for a little more from Maximuscle and the son of Angus Hall responded by kicking in another gear and leaving the rest of the field behind.

By the time they reached the top of the stretch, Maximuscle was up by five lengths and went on to win in a romp by nine and one-half lengths in 1:59.2. Andovers Touch (Stephane Brosseau) was second with Somoli E (Jerome Lombart) third.

Trained by Eric Valiquette, Maximuscle was bred and is owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, Que. and posted his seventh win in 10 starts this year, paying $2.80 to win.

Native son Daniel Dube, one of the top drivers in all of harness racing, came back to 3R to compete in the championship program and he did not go home empty handed in the $55,000 final for two-year-old trotting fillies.

Driving the 1-5 favourite My Fleet Three from post two, Dube sent the daughter of Mach Three right to the lead and never looked back, cutting fractions of :28.1, :58.1 and 1:28 and then cruising home to win by two and one-half lengths in 1:57.1. The pocket-sitting First Girl (Stephane Gendron) was second with Voodoo Charm (Yves Filion) third.

The time of the race was a new track record for filly pacers as My Fleet Three erased her own mark set last week of 1:57.4.

Trained by Richard Moreau for breeder/owner Gestion Mario Audet, Inc. of Yves Sarrazin, Que., My Fleet Three earned her second win in five lifetime starts. She paid $2.60 to win.

The 1-5 wagering favourite, Champagne Shower (Denis St Pierre), was unable to maintain her lead at the top of the stretch as Chaleurs Fantasy and driver Stephane Gendron were able to sneak up along the rail and post a 9-1 upset victory in the $65,000 final for three-year-old pacing fillies.

Thrill Chaser (Marie Auger), who followed pacesetter Champagne Shower but elected to go to the outside in the stretch, was second with Champagne Shower fading to third-place.

For Chaleurs Fantasy, a daughter of Omar Khayam, the time of the race, 1:58, was a lifetime mark and the sixth win this year for the Carl Duguay trainee. She won by one and one-quarter lengths for breeder/owner Elevage Baie Des Chaleurs of Port-Daniel, Que. She paid $21.60 to win.

The Hippodrome 3R scheduled the fastest division as the last one as the three-year-old pacing colts and geldings battled it out for $65,000.

It was not so much as a battle as it looked to be as Atomic Million AM was made the 2-5 favourite and raced just like it for driver Sylvain Lacalle. The gelded son of Million Dollar Cam took the early lead away from rival Hall Bro (Stephane Brosseau) by the opening quarter-mile in :27 and then cut fractions of :56 and 1:25.2 before holding off Hall Bro in the stretch to win by one length in 1:54. Bali (Marie Auger) finished third.

It was the ninth win in 15 starts this year for Atomic Million AM. He is trained, bred and owned by Alain Martin of Gatineau, Que. and paid $2.80 to win.

The Hippodrome 3R has completed its Tuesday night race schedule this season and is now open just on Sundays. There will be one special Saturday night program on September 20, the eve of the Prix D’Ete Sunday, with a 7:30 p.m post time that Saturday night.

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

(With files from QJC)

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