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Racing Returns To Hippodrome 3R

Published: September 9, 2012 8:56 pm ET

Last Comment: September 11, 2012 12:05 am ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The harness racing meet at Hippodrome 3R kicked off with a bang on Sunday as Montreal Phil destroyed the all-age track record with a 1:53.4 triumph during the afternoon card.

Fresh off a victory in a Preferred event at Hiawatha Horse Park on Sept. 1, Montreal Phil shipped to Quebec for his next assignment in Hippodrome 3R's co-featured $12,000 Preferred Handicap Pace.

Leaving from post five, trainer-driver Marcel Barrieau settled the eight-year-old gelding into the pocket behind M K G and Pascal Berube through early fractions of :26.1 and :55.4 before making his move. Barrieau sent his charge first up after the half and gained the upper hand by the 1:25 third quarter station. Montreal Phil cleared to command as the field entered the stretch and cruised home in :28.4 for the one and a half length victory. Stonebridge Wish and Denis St. Pierre finished second and Mach It Big, driven by Michel Baril, was third while the pacesetter faded in the stretch.

Prior to Montreal Phil's sizzling victory, Cee Cee Bush's 1:54.3 mile on Sept. 5, 2005 stood as the all-age track record.

Montreal Phil paid $5.60 to win as the slight second choice in the six-horse field.

The son of Blissfull Hall, owned by Hudson Standardbard Stable Inc. of Hudson, Que., scored his second victory in seven seasonal starts and notched his 35th career win while pushing his bankroll to $296,383.

The track record for aged trotting mares was also demolished in the matching Preferred Handicap Trot held earlier on the card as Oh Sweet Baby turned in a sweet 1:59.1 winning effort. The former divisional track record of 2:00.3 was held by Future Talent.

Trainer-driver Normand Bardier Jr. sent favourite Oh Sweet Baby to the lead from post three and she carved out fractions of :28.1, :58.2 and 1:28.2 before holding off a late rally from Max Money and St. Pierre to win by a nose. Lakefield and Baril finished three and three-quarter lengths behind in third.

Oh Sweet Baby paid $5.90 to win for the second time in 12 starts this year.

The four-year-old daughter of Angus Hall, winner of eight races lifetime and $641,028 in purses, is owned by Richard Berthiaume of Pointe-Aux-Trembles, Que.

Sunday's program also featured nine $5,000 eliminations for Quebec Stakes.

Hudson Standardbreds also won an elimination as Barrieau guided three-year-old pacing filly Olivias Way ($2.90) to a 1:59.3 score. The homebred daughter of Shanghai Phil held on to win by a neck over pocket-sitter D Gs Perfectbeach and St. Pierre.

Driven by Jocelyn Gendron, another Shanghai Phil filly Vallarta Magic ($3.40) front-stepped her way to victory lane in the eliminations. She cruised to a three length score in 2:00 to notch her fifth straight win and improve her record to 6-1-0 in seven sophomore starts for trainer Herman Gagne and owner-breeder Aurel Harvey Et Fils Inc. of Riviere-Malbaie, Que.

D Gs Sunnyday ($3.70) and St. Pierre also went coast-to-coast in the other three-year-old filly pace elimination in 2:00 for trainer Guylaine Fortin, who bred and co-owns the Perfect Union miss with Daniel Surprenant of Saint-Valentin, Que.

The three-year-old trotting fillies posted the largest winning margins of the day. Mathers Promising ($7.40) romped to seven and a quarter length triumph in 2:04.2 in her elimination. Richard Simard was in the sulky for trainer Marc Lacoursiere, who also co-owns the daughter of Promising Catch with Michel Villiard of St-Georges-De-Champlain, Que. and Rene Bourbeau of Grand-Mere, Que.

Promise To Belucky, driven by owner and breeder Jerome Lombart, sat fourth for most of the mile in a non-wagering elimination before kicking home to win by five lengths in 2:04.4. Andreane Lapierre trains the daughter of Lucky Fool.

Three-year-old trotting colt C J R Bozo ($19.30) went wire-to-wire in 2:03.3 in his elimination to break his maiden and upset favourite Sucre A La Creme for owner, trainer and breeder Robert Dube of Saint-Laurent, Que. Barrieau drove the son of Malabar Aqua.

In a non-wagering elimination for the trotting colts, Decret Justiciale recovered from an early miscue to grab the lead and cruised to victory in 2:01.3. The winning margin was two and a quarter lengths. Denis Filion trains and drives the son of Justice Hall for Jules Sigler of Ottawa, Ont. and Danielle Levac of St-Augustin-Mirabel, Que.

In the first three-year-old pacing colt elimination, the popular Perfect Union son Cee Cee Panic ($3.70) pulled the pocket after the opening quarter and cruised home to win in 1:58.2 by nearly four lengths with Yves Filion in the bike for trainer Justin Filion and owner-breeder Brian Paquet of Quebec City, Que.

Baron Yankee ($5.30), trained and driven Serge Ouellet, also delivered on his pari-mutuel promise as he rallied home from the backfield to win the other pacing colt elimination in 1:58.3 by half a length over Jordan Boy and St. Pierre. Ouellet also co-owns and bred the son of Yankee Cam with Les Ecuries Prestige Inc. of Mascouche, Que.

Sunday's card was the first at Hippodrome 3R (formerly Hipprodrome Trois-Rivieres) following a four-year hiatus and handle for opening day was an encouraging $86,811. The half-mile oval was purchased and renovated by the Quebec Jockey Club earlier this year.

The inaugural 10-day meet will feature two live cards a week on Sunday afternoons and Tuesday nights through Oct. 9.

To view Sunday's harness racing results at Hippodrome 3R, click on the following links:
Sunday Results / Sunday Results (Special)

September 11, 2012 - 12:05 amThe track will be waiting for

The track will be waiting for all fans to enjoy themselves this week.
When I read the results on Monday night (for the Sunday card ) I sensed a strong presence mixed in with the card.
I had a very strong feeling that the Quebec track was coming on like gangbusters.

On Tuesday, I'm going to call to the Hippodrome and go over their plans with them, to make sure they can look after a large crowd.

Feel free to call them a few days from now. You could even email your posting to them. I just love steak and if I lived near you, we could grab a couple prior to Post Time.

Best of luck to you on your next visit.

September 10, 2012 - 9:34 pmThis is absolutely wonderful

This is absolutely wonderful news. It is a terrible shame what had gone on in Quebec harness racing over the past 5-10 years. I truly hope this is the beginning of a new era of successful and cutting edge harness racing in Quebec. I am still hopeful that through a miracle that the Ontario Liberal government will be unsuccessful in destroying the industry here. I know Quebec is famous for having very enthusiastic fans, and I truly hope that this is the beginning of bigger and better things to come.

September 10, 2012 - 12:39 amOne Friday evening in the

Rick Karper SAID...

One Friday evening in the early 1990s, Blue Bonnets Raceway held a “fan appreciation” night whereby parking was free, entrance was free, programs were free and there were inexpensive hot dogs and beer, etc. Even though I had one or two horses racing there that night, I couldn’t get close to the track. The parking lots were full and they were turning people away. I had to go home and forget about going to the races that evening. I never expected to see something like that again, particularly these days when harness racing is reportedly losing favour. Until today, that is.

The cars were lined up from the expressway right to the Hippodrome Trois Rivieres. When I finally got parked about ¼ miles away, I then found that there was a half hour lineup to purchase programs. Then they ran out of programs and said that they were printing more and that they would be delivered within an hour. Fortunately, I had reservations in the dining room, because there were no seats to be had, not even any place to stand. The lines at the betting windows were 20 to 30 people long all afternoon. Even under these circumstances, the racing went off without a hitch. Wagering hit over $85,000, even though many people must have been locked out. These numbers are unheard of in my memory.

It’s great to see that the love of harness racing in Quebec still exists. The Quebec Jockey Club is to be congratulated for this success, even though they were obviously unprepared for the onslaught. Let’s hope that this is a sign of things to come.

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