Undefeated in four starts this year, Decret Justiciale made it a clean sweep of the Quebec-bred Series for older trotters at the Hippodrome 3R, winning all three preliminary rounds and then capturing the $35,000 final on Sunday.
Trained and driven to victory by Denis Filion, Decret Justiciale did not have it as easy as his record shows, especially in the final. The fifth race finae for older trotters started off with Decret Justiciale and Filion getting parked out past the opening quarter mile in :28 by Sucre A La Crème and driver Danka Veilleux.
Once Filion had Decret Justiciale on the lead, Veilleux came right back to challenge with Sucre A La Crème and they battled through the half mile in :57.4 and through the three-quarters in 1:29.1 before Sure A La Crème began to fade after being parked out.
Then in the stretch, Filion and Decret Justiciale were still able to hold off all contenders in winning by one length in 1:58.2 over Domino Cybele (Guy Gagnon) and third place finisher Ken P V (Sylvain Fontaine).
A five-year-old gelded son of Justice Hall, Decret Justiciale is owned by Danielle Levac of St. Augustin-Mirabel, QC and paid $2.80 to win.
The fastest and most competitive of the four finals took place in the sixth race older horse pace as the action started from the start and never faltered until the finish.
Out of the starting gate came The Real One and driver Rheo Filion, who made it to the lead but was pressured immediately by Primeride and driver Guy Gagnon, who was determined to get to the front. Those two thus got into a dogfight past the opening quarter mile in a blazing :26.2.
Primeride was in the lead but The Real One would not let him pass them by and they continued to battle through the half mile in :55.2. Meanwhile, McKinney and driver Denis St. Pierre was following second-over behind Primeride and third-over was the race favorite and all-age track record holder, Duc Dorleans, who was being driven by Stephane Brosseau.
Once the field entered the backstretch the final time, Brosseau moved three-wide with Duc Dorleans and looped the field only they was unable to get past The Real One at the three-quarters in 1:25.2. As the field started down the stretch, The Real One finally began to fade, Duc Dorleans had the lead but could not hold off the late charge by McKinney, who went on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.
Duc Dorleans was second and The Real One held game for third place.
Trained by Corey Johnson and owned by G. Arthur Slack of Rockwood, Ontario, it was the second straight win and third victory this year for McKinney, a four-year-old gelding by Santana Blue Chip. He paid $7.40 to win.
Another slugfest took place in the tenth race final for older pacing mares as Racey Miss and driver Stephane Gendron, despite being parked out first-over from the half mile, still was able to grind it out against pacesetter My Tallia Ideal to win in 1:55.
Her time was just two fifths of a second off of the track record for older pacing mares.
Lady Valentine (Jonathan Drury) was the first on the lead and they parked My Tallia Ideal to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :26.3. Once settled in, My Tallia Ideal and driver Denis St Pierre were pressured on the outside immediately by Racey Miss and Gendron and they pushed the race to the half in :56.2 and then to the three-quarters in 1:25.2.
Coming down the stretch, Racey Miss would not be denied despite the overland journey and went on to win by a half length over My Tallia Ideal with Lady Valentine third.
Trained by Marcel Barreau for the Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson, QC, it was first win in seven starts this year for Racey Miss. The four-year-old mare by Shanghai Phil paid $8.80 to win.
Ocean Mist Beauty continued her dominance in the older mares trotting ranks, posting her third straight win in the third race $35,000 series final. Driven by Stephane Brosseau, the four-old daughter of Kadabra went after early leader Canbec Kangourou (Jocelyn Gendron) and took command away after the opening quarter mile in :28.4.
Then leading the field to the half mile in :58.2, Ocean Mist Beauty was challenged first-over by Uliane Bayama (Denis St. Pierre) but that effort was in vain they could not collar the leader by the three-quarters in 1:28.4.
In the stretch drive Ocean Mist Beauty held the field at bay, winning by two open lengths in 1:59.3. Canbec Kangourou was second with La Neuvilloise (Stephane Gendron) third.
Trained by Richard Moreau, bred and owned by Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, it was the fourth win this year for Ocean Mist Beauty, who paid just $3.10 to win as the betting favorite.
From the Quebec Jockey Club