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Open Winners Seek Repeats At 3R

Published: April 28, 2017 11:18 am ET

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Both the Open Pace and Open Trot winners last week on opening day at the Hippodrome 3R are returning to headline the harness racing action this Sunday with big hopes of repeat trips to the winner’s circle.

Solid Performance most certainly lived up to his name last week, coming first-over, grinding his way past pacesetter Bazinga Brad in the backstretch and then opening up on the field in the stretch.

His winning time of 1:56.2 was the fastest mile of the meet-opening program at 3R and this he will be put to the test once again, drawing the far outside in post eight for the eighth race co-feature.

When owner/trainer Marc-Andre Cormier of Princeville was asked last week after Solid Performance’s impressive victory about his preference to come to Trois-Rivieres with his horses, he replied in his own style:

"I prefer a journey of 40 minutes than a four-hour trip!” Cormier said.

As for the performance of Solid Performance, Cormier was not overly surprised by his victory or his time of 1.56.2.

“I had two horses in the class," Cormier said, “but in my mind Solid Performance is a better horse than Glass Shadow. Our main opponent, Bazinga Brad, was beatable. Driver Gaetan (Lamy) did very well in addition. And it should not be forgotten that three of our opponents were making their first debut in 2017."

Stablemate Glass Shadow, who was third last week, is back again as well and starts from post three for driver Richard Simard.

Bazinga Brad also returns for driver Stephane Gendron from post six but all eyes will be focusing on a newcomer in the 10-horse field: Onyx V A, who starts from the rail for driver Sylvain Lacaille.

Onyx V A is an 11-year-old gelding by Electric Stena, owned and trained by Andre Laracque of Lourdes-De-Joliette. In his last start at Rideau Carleton, he ripped off an impressive 1:54.2 triumph in his first win of the year in eight starts.

On the trotting side, it's the mare against the horses once again as Torches Angel looks to notch her second straight win in the Open Trot, slated as Race 7 this Sunday

The seven-year-old mare by Angus Hall was given a confident drive by Pierre-Luc Roy, coming first-over at the half against pacesetter Rocky Boy, taking command of the race in the backstretch and then holding a late charge by Caroluzzo to win in 2:02.4.

“I was never worried even though the mare (Torches Angel) was fifth at half last week,” said trainer Yves Tessier. “Unlike some of her rivals, she already has races in her 2017 luggage and she was ready to fire. In addition, I have a great confidence in her driver Pierre-Luc. This is a talented young man and I have no doubt that he will be able to make his mark this year at H3R if he is given the chance.

"I hope that we will have the opportunity to return often to H3R in 2017, with a few others of our proteges,” Tessier added.

Torches Angel starts from post six with Roy back handling the driving for trainer Tessier.

"Yves' horses are always competitive and I appreciate the chance he gave me,” Roy said. “And I have the firm intention of coming to Trois-Rivieres for the 40 programs this season. I made arrangements with my employer and it will be possible.”

Caroluzzo is back in the race also for driver Stephane Gendron and starts alongside Torches Angel in post five. Gendron is now just 10 wins away from scoring his 4,000th career victory.

First race post time is 12:50 p.m. at H3R for the nine-race program of live harness racing.

(with files from the Quebec Jockey Club)


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