Trois-Rivières, Québec – With the Hippodrome 3R harness racing meet halfway completed for the 2013 season, Quebec Jockey Club general manager, Vincent Trudel, is more than pleased with the success of the meet.
“We always hope to do better,” Trudel said, “The handle is not as high as we would like and you always want to see more new fans and businesses come out to enjoy our races, but overall we are happy with the way things are going this season.”
The Quebec Jockey Club, established in 2009 as a non-profit organization, is a group of successful businessmen whose objective is to revive the Quebec horse racing industry, a sector that contributes to regional development and job creation, in addition to delivering clearly demonstrated economic value.
2013 is the first year since the Quebec Jockey Club took over that the Hippodrome 3R has raced a full season and recently completed the 20 day racing of their 40 race meet. They have doubled both their live race days and purses for the extended full season.
“We are doing better this season than we were last year at the halfway mark in the race meet. “ Trudel explained. « Attendance at the track is strong. On Tuesdays we are averaging 1,500 fans and on Sunday afternoon as many as 3,500 fans. It is all very encouraging.”
And work is already in progress for three additional OTB (off-track-betting) in the Montreal area.
“Since we first started in 2009 we have seven OTB’s in operation now,” Trudel explained, “And we are looking to add three more in the coming year.”
With a population of just 75,000 people in the immediate area, Trudel would like to see the track create more entertainment opportunities so people will travel to the track.
“We have a lot of families in and around the Trois Rivieres area,” Trudel said, “And we would like for them and others in the Montreal region to come out to the track for some free entertainment and enjoy our racing product.”
This season the Quebec-bred (QP) Series for 4 and 5-year-old’s began opening day with eliminations of $6,000 and a final for $25,000 in each category. The 3-year-old series took place in June and 2-year-olds in July. Each series will have three eliminations except for 3-year-olds who will have four. The 2 & 3-year-olds will have eliminations of $7,000 with finals taking place as a special day, Sunday September 8th with a $50,000 final in each category.
“The race office has tried hard to make sure we have full fields whenever possible,” Trudel said. “Along with trying to improve out racing program we are working harder at providing more fun activities for families at the track. “This is important as we want to be a place where everyone wants to go during our season and have some fun, place some wagers and hopefully win too!”
By Steve Wolf