Hippodrome 3R Ready For Opener

Published: April 30, 2016 03:12 pm EDT

The finishing touches are all in place as the Hippodrome 3R opens for live racing in 2016 on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.

It is the fourth season of operation under the Quebec Jockey Club, who took 3R out of bankruptcy and has renewed life for the harness racing oval in Trois-Rivieres.

Sunday’s opening day card has eleven full races headed by both a feature trot and pace.

François Carignan, Director of Operations, is pleased to announce that three significant improvements were made for this season. The dining room in the clubhouse has been revamped, is more functional, and will be very inviting for racing fans and horsemen and women.

Work in repairing the front the entrance to the paddock has been completed and the lighting on the racetrack for Tuesday night racing has been significantly improved with powerful reflectors added to each of the poles surrounding the track. Tuesday night live racing begins on May 24.

The Hippodrome 3R is renowned for its top notch half-mile racing surface and banked turns. According to leading reinsman, Mario Charron, the track is ready to go.

“I’m excited for the first go-around tomorrow,” said Charron, who last season missed tying rival driver Denis St. Pierre by one win on closing day for the driving title. “It is always fun when we start back with live racing in Trois-Rivieres.

“I do not have that many live drives opening day,” Charron said, “But I am not worried as my trainers are just getting their horses ready to go. I am just happy to be back racing here again.”

Charron has been qualifying horses over the 3R oval and says, “The race surface is perfect! The winter was not so harsh this year and the track crew has the surface in very good shape. It always takes a few weeks of racing to get the surface in form but right now it is excellent.

“I am impressed that Secretary Johanne Létourneau was able to put together eleven races this Sunday,” Charron said. “There were not that many qualifying races and now I see horses from Rideau Carleton being entered. It is great to see some new trainers bringing their horses here too. It’s a good sign for the start of the race meet.”

Some of the standout horses returning for the opening day eighth race feature trot are $304,000 career winning trotter, Uncle Freddie, stakes winner from last season, Somoli E, and veteran 3R performers Kim Sorel and Force Naturelle.

Along with leading drivers Mario Charron and Denis St. Pierre, Louis-Philippe Roy, the great Gaetan Lamy, Stephane Brosseau and Pascal Berube are all driving opening day.

Track announcer Guy LaFontaine will be back in the booth on Sunday with his vibrant and elaborate race calls as the season will officially get underway when Guy calls out “Hippity Hippity Howe BOOM!” for the first race.

Those who cannot make it to the Hippodrome 3R Sunday can watch the racing action live for free by visiting quebecjockeyclub.com.

To view the entries for Sunday's card, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R

(with files from QJC)