Hippodrome 3R ready for exciting new season

04:29 AM 04 May 2014 NZST
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Hippodrome 3R, harness racing Jean Desautels, harness racing Vincent Trudel, harness racing
Hippodrome 3R opens for 2014 season on Sunday
Photo by Daniel Henault
Jean Desautels will call the races in English
Vincent Trudel, general manager at Hippodrome 3R

Trois-Rivieres, Quebec – Come this Sunday, May 4, track management at the Hippodrome 3R will be more than ready for an exciting new season of harness racing action and the fans and horsemen are in for a great meet.

Boasting the revival of the Prix D’Ete stakes race with $250,000 in purses, a 50% increase in total purses over 2013, simulcasting of the entire race meet throughout North America in both French and English, a newly designed and easy access website plus exciting new promotions and special events throughout the race meet all adds up to a great start in 2014.

“We have been planning and looking forward to this day since our meet closed last year,” said 3R general manager Vincent Trudel. “It is very exciting and our goal is to make the Hippodrome 3R race season something that everyone will take part in and enjoy.

“The renewal of the Prix D’Ete stake on Sunday, September 21 will be the highlight of the new meet.” Trudel explained. “The $200,000 final and $50,000 consolation races make this the richest stakes race in North America for four-year-olds pacers this year. Already we have nine of the top ten money winning horses from last year nominated to the race. We have added a special Saturday afternoon race card so that we will have a Prix D’Ete weekend of special events and top racing action.”

For the first time since the Quebec Jockey Club took over Hippodrome 3R, the entire race meet will be simulcast to racetracks, betting parlors and ADW’s (advance deposit wagering online sites).

In what is being billed as an industry first, the track will have parallel race calls: one in French and one in English. The French call, by track announcer Guy Lafontaine, will be carried at the track and on its simulcasting network in Québec.

The English call will be by veteran announcer Jean Desautels, who pioneered the bilingual race call at Blue Bonnets until it closed in 2008. His call will be carried on the HorsePlayer Interactive website and at simulcast locations outside Québec that will be carrying the Hippodrome 3R races this year.

Québec Jockey Club manager Vincent Trudel said he called on Desautels because reaching an English-speaking audience is important to the track`s overall growth plan.

To date, 93 simulcast sites across Canada have signed on to take the Hippodrome 3R races this season.

“The simulcasting of our race meet is an expensive but needed avenue for Hippodrome 3R,” Trudel said. “In order for us to expand our product, grow revenue and create interest in our superb racing product we must have full card simulcasting of our races. We will be offering players throughout North America a great show with full fields of competitive racing.

“Last year our average win price was $10.83 per race,” Trudel explained. “Our average starters per race were 8.01, which is excellent for a half mile track. And our racing surface is one of the best half miles in the sport with well banked turns that the horses will fly around. I know this season the all-age track record of 1:52.4 will be surpassed!”

The Quebec Jockey Club recently released its redesigned website, www.quebecjockeyclub.com, which now features everything a patron or horsemen needs to know about the track.

“This was quite an undertaking,” Trudel explained, “As we must do everything in both French and English, but our staff outdid themselves with the new website. Everyone should take time to check it out and see the great photograph section too that really tells about what a good time people can have at Hippodrome 3R. We are still working out some of the details with the website as it is a work in progress.”

During the season the Quebec-bred Sire Stakes program will be in full swing with rich events for two and three-year-old trotters and pacers throughout the season, culminating with the $500,000 finals on Sunday, September 7.

“Since the Quebec Jockey Club took over Hippodrome 3R,” Trudel said, “The breeding program in Quebec has grown and improved. Our Quebecbreds are becoming much more competitive in the racing world and we look for great improvements with our young horses this year.”

The Hippodrome 3R meet will take place every Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 pm post. Tuesday evening racing with post time at 7:00 pm gets underway May 27. The only changes in the race schedule is that there will be no racing on Sunday, August 10 or Tuesday, August 12 and there will be a special Saturday afternoon live race program September 20 as part of the Prix D’Ete weekend.

“We hope that everyone will come out this season and enjoy our great racing program and Québécois hospitality,” Trudel said. “There are no finer vacation and tourism areas in the Quebec region than Trois-Rivieres, Montreal and Quebec City during the summer and fall months.”

From the Quebec Jockey Club

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