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Nichols, N.Y. -- After his dominant win over Open 2 trotters last week, James Cantelon's Dragin the Wagon ($7.00) made a successful jump to harness racing Open 1 company at Tioga Downs, capturing the $13,000 feature on Saturday (September 3) evening in pillar-to-post fashion.   Aaron Byron had the 6-year-old Angus Hall gelding in play from the outset, sprinting clear of Brandos Muscle Man (Mike Merton) in the first few strides of a :27 first quarter. Dragin the Wagon immediately backed the pace down before bracing for the first-over bid of odds-on favorite Its Payday Friday (Mike Simons) up the far side. Dragin the Wagon subsequently parried the challenge of Dragin the Wagon after intermediate splits of :57 and 1:25, digging in through the homestretch to prevail by 1-1/4 lengths in 1:54. Its Payday Friday narrowly held second over Brandos Muscle Man, who was hard pressed for racing room from a tight pocket trip.   Jeff Byron trains 30-time winner Dragin the Wagon for owner James Cantelon.   Mike Merton led all drivers for a second consecutive night, taking three of the night's nine races.   LIve racing returns to Tioga Downs on Monday (September 5) afternoon; the 10-race Labor Day card is slated to commence at 1:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec – Unable to finish better than 5th place in three prior tries, Bastiano put it all together Tuesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R, winning the fourth and final preliminary round of the Future Stars Series. It was perfect timing for the victory as it comes with a spot for Bastiano in the $55,000 final on Sunday, September 4 at 3R for the Future Stars Final. His victory came in the colt division for two-year-olds. Leaving from post two for driver Rheo Filion, Bastiano went right to the early lead. But a stubborn Sometimes When and driver Guy Gagnon came right after Bastiano and Filion and those two raced side by side for rest of the one mile. As they continued to race head and head down the stretch, it was not until the final strides that Bastiano sealed the victory by a quarter length in 2:03.1. Kinnder Dangerous (Justin Filion) was third. It was the maiden victory for Bastiano in just his fifth lifetime start. The gelded son of Angus Hall is trained by Eric Gnocchini, and co-owned by Gnocchini with Paul Lavigne and Gestion Marc Lemay, Inc. of Quebec. In the filly division, Joyce Lavec and driver Pascal Berube won in a romp by the length of the stretch for her third win in just four lifetime starts. But it was not that good at the start of the race as Joyce Lavec broke at the start and spotted the field more than 10 lengths by the opening quarter mile. Once Berube had his filly back on stride, she tore after the race leaders, caught them by the second turn and then pulled away from the field to win by 21 and one-half lengths in a slow 2:09.3. Muscle Do (Gaetan Lamy) was second with KFB Filante (Jonathan Lachance) third. Trained by Dany Fontaine, Joyce Lavec is a daughter of Mr Lavec, bred and owned by Jean Berthiaume of Sorel-Tracy, QC. Both of the races Tuesday were non-wagering events. Track Notes: Driver Louis-Philippe Roy increased his lead as the top dash winning driver at the Hippodrome 3R this season scoring four winners on the night. Live racing resumes at 3R on Sunday with the final preliminary round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing colts and fillies. Coming up Sunday, September 4 will be the finals of both the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-olds and the Future Stars Series for two-year-olds. Eight championship finals with total purses of $480,000. It will be the richest day of racing at 3R this season. From the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, July 19, 2016 - Holiday Party posted his fifth straight victory and was able to overcome an accident marred race, in capturing his division of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old trotting colts at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday. Competing in the 6th race colt division of the Breeders Cup Series, Skyflex and driver Rheo Filion was leading the race after the opening quarter mile in :29. Then, on the second turn, Slyflex went off-stride on the lead and went to the outside, causing interfering that hampered nearly all of the horses in the field of nine. Once the may lay was cleared, KFB Amigo Cool and driver Stephane Brosseau took command of the race, but driver Pascal Berube was able to get Holiday Party, the 1-4 wagering favorite, back in gear and he closed with a burst of speed to win by one length in 2:02.3. KFB Amigo Cool was second with Holiday Gift (Sylvain Fontaine) third. It was the sixth win in ten starts this year for Holiday Party. The gelded son of Holiday Road is trained by Dany Fontaine for the Gaetan Bono Stable, Inc. of Montreal and paid $2.70 to win. In the fourth race division for fillies, the 1-2 favorite Y A Jailhouse Judy and driver Stephane Gendron made an uncharacteristic break behind the starting gate and never was able to rebound, finishing last. That enabled Eau Naturelle and trainer/driver Simon Delisle to scoot right out to the lead from the rail with Y S Suzanne (Carl Duguay) following in second place. Eau Naturelle led the field through the three-quarters when Duguay pulled to the outside for a final challenge. Down the stretch they raced, neck and neck to the wire where Y S Suzanne just got up at the wire to win by a nose in 2:01.3. Clair Chocolat (Guy Gorbeil) was third. It was a lifetime mark and the first win in six starts this year for Y S Suanne. The daughter of Angus Hall is trained by Carl Duguay and is owned by Duguay's Elevage Baie De Chaleurs of Port-Daniel, QC, and paid $7.90 to win. The opening round of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old trotters took place Tuesday evening with one division for colt and for fillies. The third race colt division saw Capteur De Reve began his career on a winning note, leading from start to finish with a three-quarter length triumph over a late closing Kinnder Dangerous (Justin Filion) in 2:07.4. Yoan Bayam (Yves Filion) was third. Bred, owned and driven to victory by Guy Corbeil of Ecurie Provoquante of Montreal, Capteur De Reve paid $5.60 to win. He is sired by Muscle Mass and is a nephew of the great Quebec-bred trotter, Maximuscle. In the filly division for two-year-olds, all it took for Taurus P V and driver Stephane Brosseau to win the race was to stay on stride. The daughter of Val Taurus, trained by Serge Nadeau and bred and owned by Marcel Brouillard of St-Marcel-De-Richelieu, QC, was the only horse in the field to stay on gait during the non-wagering race. She was able to wire the field, winning by two and one-quarter lengths in 2:08.1. Affirmee (Guy Corbeil) was second with Muscle Do (Gaetan Lamy) third. TRACK NOTES: Jimbelina, the winningest horse at 3R this season and unbeaten in five starts for driver Roland Trudel, saw her winning ways come to an end in the 5th race pace. Pressured first-over from after the opening quarter mile by Shedonthepyschic (Louis-Philippe Roy), Jimbelina held game on the lead until mid-stretch, when the pocket-sitting Mr Sunshine Boy (Stephane Brosseau) came up the passing lane to nip Jimbelina at the wire by a head in a lifetime best time of 1:58.1. At odds of 17-1, Mr Sunshine Boy paid $36.40 to win. Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, first race post time 1:30 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, July 18, 2016 - The future stars of harness racing from the Quebec region begin their careers Tuesday evening at the Hippodrome 3R with the start of the $200,000 Future Cup Series. This series is for two-year-old trotting colts and fillies and features four weeks of preliminary round competition with the top eight point earners from both the filly and colt divisions returning on Sunday, September 4 for their $65,000 finals. The trotting colts are on display first in the third race. This is the first time any of these youngsters have raced for a purse and thus one needs to look at their breeding to see who could be an up-and-coming star in the future. That honor could well go to the morning line favorite, Capteur De Reve, who starts from post five for trainer Maxime Velaye. This son of Muscle Mass was bred and and is owned by Ecruie Provoquante of Mirable, QC and will be driven by Guy Corbeil. Capteur De Reve's dam (mother) is Noblesse, who is a half-sister to non-other than three time Quebec-bred Series Champion, Maximuscle, who is racing later in the program in the eighth race. Capteur De Reve has also finished a strong second in a qualifier last week at Rideau Carlton in 2:04. With just three fillies entered, the filly division will be non-wagering and the race will be held right after 5th race on the program. Making her debut to pari-mutuel racing will be the younger full sister to Maximuscle, Affirmee. She is also owned and bred by Ecruie Provoquante, trained by Velaye and will start from post three for Corbeil. She has also been race-timed in 2:04. So we have a brother and two sisters and their nephew, all racing on the same program at 3R Tuesday. There are also two divisions of the third round of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old trotting fillies and colts. In the fourth race first division for trotting fillies is another full sister to Maximuscle in Éclair Chocolat from post six. She was third in the opening round of the series. The race favorite is Y A Jailhouse Rock and driver Stephane Gendron from post five. They are attempting to make a clean sweep of the series, having won both opening round legs. The daughter of Andover Hall, trained by Michel Allard and co-owned by Yves Sarrazin and Rene Allard, is on a roll, having won five of her last six starts. Other contenders in the field include Y S Suzanne (post three) and Eau Naturelle (post one). The colts do battle in the sixth race where Holiday Party (post 9) is the heavy favorite and is on a tear, with a four-race win streak on the line for trainer Dany Fontaine and driver Pascal Berube. This son of Holiday Road has won five of nine starts for Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, the fastest a lifetime mark of 1:57. Missing from the lineup is track record holder Wildwild Men, who had also won two legs of the series. Post time is 7:00 pm Tuesday. For a free race program and live video feed of the race card, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE - The 2016 season has seem quite possibly the best trotters in the history of Atlantic Canadian Harness Racing and those trotting stars take to the track again Thursday evening at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at the Charlottetown Driving Park. First race post time is 6:30 PM for the 12-dash program with Frill Seeker attempting to remain atop the roost of the Open Trot class in race 6. Frill Seeker has drawn post 4 in the $1,950 contest with trainer Kenny Arsenault handling the driving duties, against his five horses and geldings competitors, for owner Ebbsfleet Stable of Ontario. The Angus Hall eight-year-old was a dominant winner in his latest race with a 1:58.3 mile, meaning his rivals need to step up their game to defeat him. Wedgewood was the runner-up in that contest with Gary Chappell again picking up the lines from post 2, while Professor Gordon, who was a force earlier in the season, makes his return to pari-mutuel racing with Vincent Poulton from post 1 after the trotter had equipment problems in his last start on June 16. Other entries include Neal (Brian Andrew), Majian Dillon (Jim Ripley), and Diamond Mine (Willie Murphy). Race 8 will feature the Open Mares trot class for a $1,950 pot with Osprey Impact earning morning line respect fresh off a 1:59.4 victory in last week's Mares Open for driver Walter Cheverie and owner-trainer Paul Larrabee of Belle River. The Federal Flex mare has drawn the rail position but has no slouches to her outside as Red Shores Charlottetown and Summerside track record holder Thunderaway leaves from post 2 for Jason Hughes and Pleasue Girls has post 3 with Adam Merner in the bike as she makes her second start back on the East Coast after a productive winter at Rideau Carleton Raceway in Ontario. Tyne Valley (Mark Bradley), Holy Molie Maggie (Corey MacPherson) and Paymenowpaymelater (Gilles Barrieau) round out the field of six. The evening featured pace is in race 11 with Starcastic looking for redemption from post 4 for driver Ron Matheson, trainer Jackie Matheson and owners Bobbi Jo Gaudet of Charlottetown and Billy MacKenzie of Stratford. In his latest, Starcastic made a break at the start but even with loads of work to do he responded with his last three quarters in 1:26 flat to only be beaten a little over a length by Bazillion - who draws post 2 in this week's Thursday night feature. For entries, results and live broadcast go to By Nicholas Oakes for Red Shores

At 71 years young trainer-driver Brian Gath wrote another page in his book of legend, winning the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series final for harness racing two-year-old fillies at Tabcorp Park Melton Friday night. A maiden before tonight, Betty Hall is now a Group 1 winner for owners Norm and Joan Visca having produced a shock win in the night’s last Vicbred trotting final, scoring at a staggering $119 on the tote. “I have trained a few Group 1 winners, but there is nothing like training one for good people,” Gath said, who drover Betty Hall a treat, placing her on the back of favourite Illawong Shimmer. When leader Watts Up Rainbow galloped and sent the field scattering, Gath steered Betty Hall wide and then rejoined on Illawong Shimmer’s shoulder. Betty Hall was then the best horse in the straight, winning by a head from Kyvalley Kyrie with Illawong Shimmer a half-neck further back in third. For Gath,  who turns 72 on Tuesday, the victory by the Angus Hall filly out of Nirvana Castle was reward for persistence. “To train one for a Group  1 race, it takes a lot of lot of work and this filly’s had a lot of work from my son (Mathew), Anthony Crossland spent hours on it for me, and myself  of course,” Gath said. The win in a 2:05.7 mile rate has only further fuelled Gath’s love for the sport. “I don’t really want to stop,” Gath said. “I get more pleasure out of training, I’m really happy on the farm working my horses and that. If I’ve got one good enough I will take off to the races, but I enjoy doing it. “For the last 25 years I have been off racing every day nearly and every week and Matty has been at home training, he’s the backbone of our stable.” Michael Howard (HRV Media/Communications Co-Ordinator)

Endsino became a two-time Group 1 winner tonight at Tabcorp Park Melton courtesy of a stellar Kate Gath drive in the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Trotting Mares Final for harness racing four-year-olds. After leading from the pole, Gath handed up at the mile to Aldebaran Deebee, which snookered Endsino’s main danger Sky Petite three-back on the pegs. “It wasn’t that hard, I think most people would have done the same,” Gath said. “It’s pretty simple … if we hold the front Sky Petite goes straight past us, so at some stage we had to find a horse to hand up to. I had a good look around and Aldebaran Deebee is a pretty good horse to follow. I handed up to her at Maryborough on a different horse and she got to the line well, so I thought she was a good choice … with the draw and the run we were just able to win and that’s fantastic.” Endsino (Angus Hall/Jauriol), trained by Gath’s husband Andy, out-sprinted Aldebaran Deebee (Chris Svanosio) up the straight and rated 2:01.7 (last half-mile covered in 60.7) to win by a half-neck, with Val Gardena (Greg Sugars) third and Sky Petite (John Caldow) an unlucky fourth. “She’s been a great horse, she’s already earnt $130,000 before tonight so the money they can make (trotters in Victoria) is terrific. We are so lucky to have her.” Endsino is the third Group 1 winner tonight that graduated from the Pryde’s Easifeed Australasian Premier Trotting Sale. She is raced by passionate trots owners Michael Taranto and Gennaro Sposato. Endsino won the Empire Stallions Vicbred Super Series Final as a two-year-old in 2014. “She’s funny she come back quite good but her last couple of starts she’s been getting pretty fired up. She wasn’t too bad but she seems to be going through a bit of a growth spurt, so maybe that’s taking its toll on her,” Gath said. Cody Winnell Harness Racing Victoria

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 25, 2016 - On Sunday afternoon the good trotter Maximuscle will be saying "Au Revoir" to the racing fans at the Hippodrome 3R as his makes his final appearance in the $120,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series. No, the five-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall from the Promising Catch mare, Iceberg Angus, is not retiring from racing, but this is Maximuscle's last Quebec-Bred Championship final that he will ever get to compete in. What makes this such a special race is that currently Maximuscle is the only horses ever in the history of the Quebec-Bred Series to never lose a championship final. He won it at age 2, 3 and 4 and is the race favorite in his finale Sunday. Owned and bred by Guy Corbeil's Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC, Maximuscle is the 5/2 morning line favorite in the third race $30,000 final for trotting horses Sunday. He will be driven by Mario Charron, who has driven the horse for most of its career. Lifetime Maximuscle has 44 starts, 24 wins, 4 second and 4 third place finishes plus over $210,000 in earnings. For the past two seasons he has been trained by Maxime Velaye of Mirabel. "He (Maximuscle) was trained at age 2 and 3 by Eric Valiquette," explained Velaye. "The other trainer was quitting the job and Guy Corbeil called me if I was interested to come back to Quebec and train his stable, which included Maximuscle. "It didn't take me long to think about it," Velaye joked. "My answer right away was yes. I had been in Ontario for seven years and it was time to come back home to Quebec." It was Maximuscle and the Provoquante Stable that helped Velaye win his first training title at the Hippodrome 3R last year. Maximuscle finished the 2015 season with nine wins, mostly at 3R. "He is really a sweetheart around the barn," Velaye said. "He does nothing wrong. The real love story is he and his driver Mario Charron. Mario has driven him most of his career, everytime, every race at 3R. Mario always tells me he is his favorite horse to drive and I can understand why after all those wins!" Velaye says he has no plans for the future for Maximuscle after his race on Sunday. "More than likely he will race some at Rideau Carlton and maybe if he is going good we will try him at Mohawk Raceway too or maybe come back again at 3R if the conditions are right. "It will be sad for me after the race on Sunday," Velaye said. "But perhaps more for Mario and Guy. This horse has been so super but trotters do get better with age so we hope he can race for years to come and do well." When Maximuscle gets behind the starting gate on Sunday he will face two formidable foes in Me The Boss and track record holder from last year and Quebec Series champion 3-year-old, Seeyou Men. Me The Boss has raced against Maximuscle since they both were age two in the Quebec Series. He beat Maximuscle in a preliminary division of the series by a neck, but Maximuscle turned the tables last week in the final preliminary rounds. Me The Boss starts from the rail for driver Louis-Philippe Roy and trainer Francis Richard. Seeyou Men, trained by Isabelle Darveau and driven by Robert Shepherd, starts from post three in the final. He made a clean sweep of the Quebec Series last year at age 3, setting a track record with his 1:58.4 triumph in the final. He lost the first round of the series against Maximuscle by a head, then came back to win a division against Me The Boss. Who does Maxime Velaye see as Maximuscle's biggest threat in the race? "I'm gonna say Me The Boss is the horse I fear the most." Velaye said. "Because he beat us once and I know his trainer will have him ready to rock the house Sunday. I am good friends with his trainer Francis Richard." Regardless of the outcome on Sunday, Velaye tells us we have not seen the last of the Maximuscle family at the Hippodrome 3R. "I have Maximuscle's full brother, Intouchable, and younger sisters, Éclair Chocolat (age 3) and Affirmee (age 2)." Velaye said. "Intouchable got all the tools to make a good horse but he needs to mind his manners. Éclair Chocolat is ready to compete in the Breeders Cup Series at 3R that gets underway July 5 and the little full sister, Affirmee, is only a two-year-old but training very well and she reminds me of Maximuscle a lot." So Maximuscle may be saying "Au Revoir" to the Quebec-Bred Series at the Hippodrome 3R, but trainer Maxie Velaye has plenty of brothers and sisters to carry on the winning tradition in the coming months. From the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 24, 2016 - Harness racing trainer/driver Carl Duguay is looking for a big racing day at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday as he has two horses competing in the $120,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series. Each of the four finals for four and five-year-olds pacers and trotters race for a purse of $30,000 and Duguay and his family-owned Chaleurs Breeding Farm have the morning line race favorite in one division and the fourth choice in another division. "I like the posts that we drew for Sunday." Duguay said. "It is a good post for Viva Bayama (post 6). I am glad she drew that one. And post two for Chaleurs Fantasy is very good. That is perfect for her. "We have been in the harness racing business for many years." Duguay explained. "My father, Gaston, is 73 and has been in the business for most of his life. It is a family business as my brother Eric is also involved along with myself. "I have just 5 racehorses with me near Trois-Rivieres to race at the Hippodrome 3R." Duguay said. "I train them at We have another 20 horses at our farm in Port-Daniel, Quebec, mostly broodmares and younger horses that Dad and Eric care for. When they are ready to race they send them to me. "The breeding farm name of Elevage Baie Des Chaleurs comes from the region outside of Quebec called Chaleurs Bay." Duguay explained. "It is the arm of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence between Quebec and New Brunswick. It is where we are from in Port-Daniel. "We bred Chaleurs Fantasy and I raced her at age 2 and 3 until after the Quebec-Bred Series at 3R. Then I send her to the USA to Hedi Rohr at Saratoga Raceway and she did very well with her. After the final this Sunday I will send her back to Hedi. She (Chaleurs Fantasy) is the best horse we have ever bred and raced from Chaleurs Farm. A daughter of Omar Khayam, Chaleurs Fantasy has over $100,000 in earnings. Last year she won ten times with a record of 1:53.1. This year she has three wins in four starts. Her only loss was by a slim head in the Quebec-Bred Series to Miss Bro. Last week in the final preliminary round, Duguay and Charleurs Fantasy led from start to finish in 1:57.1 by two and one-half lengths. Duguay sends Viva Bayama out on Sunday as a mild 4-1 long shot from post six in the sixth race final for trotting mares. This daughter of Muscle Mass is also a $100,000 career winner, but not for Duguay, who bought the mare at the end of the season last year. "I claimed Viva Bayama last year after she was done racing in the series at 3R." Duguay explained. "They were racing her in claimers and I got her for $10,000. I was very happy to have her in my stable." Not only has Viva Bayama won the series finals the last two years, she also set the 3R track record at age 3 in 2014. But she has not been as good now at age 5, having just one win in eleven starts. Fortunately, that victory came in a division of the series to enable her to make it into Sunday's finale. "I think she will do very well on Sunday." Duguay said. "I am not driving her. I put Denis St Pierre on her because he knows the mare. He won the final with her last year." So what is this ability that Carl Duguay seems to have with the fillies and mares over the colts and horses?" "I like the mares," Duguay said. "I talk with them," Duguay joked. "They need lots of attention. I think my key to success with the mares is patients. You must have lot of patients with horses, especially mares. You have to really know and understand them." So what does the future hold for the Duguay Stable after this Sunday's Quebec-Bred Series Finals? "I think I have the best three-year-old trotting filly for the Breeders Cup Series that starts at 3R on July 3." Duguay proudly said. "Her name is Y S Suzanne and I predict that she will break the track record at 3R this season." Duguay added, "And not just the filly trot record of Viva Bayama she did last year in 1:59.2, but the colt record too! (Lukes Pierre 1:58.2 in 2003) as I think she is that good. After making only six starts at age 2, Duguay purchased the daughter of Angus Hall from owner/breeder Yves Sarrazin. Her lone victory was a big one last year, in the $41,000 Quebec-Bred Series final at 3R in 2:03.3. "I see this filly has such ability." Duguay said. "I already schooled her at 3R in 2:00 and she gets better every start." And if just one of Carl Duguay's mares win on Sunday or if both can win. What will Carl Duguay do to celebrate? "Ha Ha Ha," Duguay laughed. "If we do well or not on Sunday we will go out to dinner after the races with family and friends and have a very good time!" TRACK NOTES: Post time Sunday is 1:30 pm for the ten race program. The four $30,000 Quebec-Series Finals are races #3 (Horse Trot), race #6 (Mares Trot), Race #8 (Mares Pace) and Race #9 (Horse Pace). There is a free race program and free live video feed for Sunday's races available at From the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 23, 2016 - The fields have been drawn and set for Sunday's $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series Finals on Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R with four $30,000 finals for four and five-year-old trotters and pacers. The third race is the first final for trotting horses and despite only six entering the race, three of them could be neck and neck at the finish wire. Maximuscle (post 2) is the morning line favorite and rightly so. He is seeking to become the first horse ever to win all four series finals. He was victorious at age 2, 3 and 4 and this is his last race in the series. Trained by Maxime Velaye and driven through the series all four years by Mario Charron, Maximuscle won two of the three preliminary rounds of the series this season for owner/breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. In his last series win he showed a sharp :28.2 last quarter mile, winning in 1:58.2, the fastest winning time this year for the gelded son of Angus Hall. Next in the race is track record holder and series champion from last year, Seeyou Men. This son of Muscle Mass, now age 4, was all the rage last year, sweeping the series and setting the track record with his 1:58.4 triumph for driver Robert Shepherd and trainer Isabelle Darveau. Owned by Catheline Pelletier with breeder Chantal Gravel of Quebec, Seeyou Men won the second round of the series over Maximuscle by a head. Me The Boss starts from post one for driver Louis-Philippe Roy and trainer Francis Richard and he was able to beat Maximuscle in the third leg of the series by a neck and thus is another major contender in the field. The trotting mares do battle in the 6th race with four of the eight finalists having won preliminary rounds, and any of them have the chance to wear the championship crown once the dust settles in their final. SOS Afterthestorm starts from post five for drvier/trainer Francine Morrissette and won the second round in a lifetime mark. Viva Bayama starts from post six for trainer Carl Duguay who is giving up the drive to two-time defending 3R driving champion, Denis St Pierre, who won the final with this mare last year. SOS Striking Monte goes from post seven for driver Pascal Berube. She was so impressive in her last start in the series, breaking stride at the start and then coming back from ninth place to win it all. SOS Revange in post eight for driver Gaetan Lamy had won two of the four preliminary rounds, the fastest a lifetime mark of 1:59.2. The eighth race is for the pacing mares and Chaleurs Fantasy from post two is the big favorite for trainer/driver Carl Duguay. She has won three of the four preliminary rounds and was second in the other. She has the fastest win record in the series, 1:57.1 and will be tough once again. Her main rival will be Miss Bro from the rail for driver Pascal Berube. They beat Chaleurs Fantasy two starts back with a very impressive first-over grind it out triumph. Other contenders include last year's series champion, Voodoo Charm (post 7) and Hawaiian Drummond (post 8). The ninth race final division for pacing horses will be perhaps the fastest and most competitive. Track record holder Atomic Million AM looms as the toughest foe in the race from post one for driver Sylvain Lacaille. After finishing first and second in the opening rounds he went back to Rideau Carlton for trainer Alain Martin was was second by a head in back to back starts in 1:53.1. Last week Sugarsam showed he is has returned to winning form, grinding out a very impressive win in 1:55.3 and will start from post three for driver Denis St Pierre. Sugarsam still holds the track record at 3R at age two and was last year's series champion at age 3. Both Electric Western (post 2) and Mach On The Beach (post 8) won divisions of the series too while Half A Billion (post five), whose best outing in the series was only a third place finish, came back last week at 3R in an overnight event and cut loose for driver Louis-Philippe Roy with a six and one-half length romp in 1:53.2, the fastest mile this year at 3R. Other contenders also include D G's Justlikethat (post 7), C L Art Magic (post 6) and Killer Thriller (post 4), all have the ability to upset the field. With a forecast of sunny skies and temperatures perhaps as high as 90f (32c), some of the series and track records at the Hippodrome 3R could well be in jeopardy. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

The Saturday night harness racing card at Running Aces featured the Summit Pace and the Summit Trot . A very large and enthusiastic crowd attended the kickoff to our Summit Father's Day Weekend. The featured seventh Race Summit Pace went to Make Three Wishes ($13.40), a 5 year old mare by Brandon's Cowboy, Owned by Paul Sanders and Trained by Justin Currie, with Nick Roland steering her to victory in 1:53.4. The Summit Trot in race 6 went to favorite Where's The Clicker ($4.80) with Dean Magee aboard, for Trainer Tim Roach and Owner Kyle Larner, in 1:56.3 it was the 4th win this year for the son of Angus Hall. There were 2 divisions of the $15,000 Minnesota-Sired 3 year old pacers in action on Saturday, divided into two groups, A and B, and it was Freedom Reigns (Tim Maier) who will most certainly graduate to group A next time out, after posting his 3rd consecutive sharp winning mile in the $6,000 B group, another life's mark of 1:54.4 tonight. The gelding by Up Front Brad is owned by Janice Molgaard and Nancy Jenson, and trained by Brady Jenson, he paid $2.80 as the heavy favorite. The $9,000 A group went to the filly Cruzin Coco, (by Voracious Hanover) who posted her 4th win 5 starts this year, and a new lifetime mark of 1:54.3 with Steve Wiseman aboard tonight. The razor-sharp filly is owned by Ron Emerson and Mark Holtan, and trained by Joel McDanel. The 3 fillies in the field took not only 1st, but also 3rd (Dag In My Stockings) and 4th (Fancy Little Girl) against the 4 geldings tonight. The .50 cent Jackpot Pick-6 wager was hit tonight, with one lucky patron correctly selecting the sequence of 7-3-4-1-4-4 in races 4 through 9, to take down the entire jackpot of $13,520.15 The next card of live Harness Racing at Running Aces Casino & Racetrack will go to post on Sunday night, June 19 at 6:00 pm CDT with a nice 11 race card. By Darin Gagne, Running Aces Track Announcer

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, June 14, 2016 - Despite making a break at the start of the race, then having to brush three-wide in the backstretch from seventh place, SOS Striking Monte and driver Pascal Berube would not be denied at the Hippodrome 3R Tuesday evening. Competing in the fourth and final preliminary round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting mares, it was a rough start from the beginning for SOS Striking Monte. Breaking stride right out of the starting gate, along with race favorite SOS Revange (Gaetan Lamy), is a tough start for any horse. Double Chance (Sylvain Lacaille) went right to the lead with Kim Sorel (Martin Gingras) in the pocket seat to the opening quarter mile in :29.2. Then at the half mile in 1:01.1, National Trace (Stephane Brosseau) came first-over with Beauty Road (Guy Gagnon) following second-over and then came SOS Striking Monte and Berube third-over after recovering from the early break. Turning into the backstretch, Berube turned SOS Striking Monte loose and the mare came flying three-wide and her momentum carried her to the lead at the three-quarters in 1:32.1. Then down the stretch SOS Striking Monte could not be caught, winning by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:02.4. Double Chance held for second with Kim Sorel third. A five-year-old daughter of Striking Sahbra, it was SOS Striking Monte's second win in five starts this year for trainer Guy Roy and owner Francis Prouix of Saint-Pie-De-Guire, QC. She paid $9.20 to win. In the non-wagering horse division of the Quebec-Bred Series, Maximuscle and driver Mario Charron was able to hold off rival Meet The Boss (Louis-Phillipe Roy) in posting a 1:58.2 triumph. Last week it was Meet The Boss upsetting Maximuscle with a neck triumph, but this time Charron was able to back down the early pace (:29.4 opening quarter) to a 1:01 half mile. It was then that Roy made his move, just like last week, with Meet The Boss and he kept grinding it his way towards the race leader through the three-quarters in a mild 1:30.2. The difference in the race this week was that Maximuscle kicked in a :57.2 last half mile and :28 second final quarter mile to hold off Meet The Boss by three-quarters of a length. The pocket-sitting Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart) was third. For Maximuscle, a five-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall, it was his second win in three starts this year for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner/breeder Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. On Sunday, June 26, Maximuscle will seek to become the first horse ever to win all four finals of the Quebec-Bred Series in his age and gait division. TRACK NOTES: The field for the 2016 Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship, scheduled for Tuesday evening, July 12 at the Hippodrome 3R has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: Jacques Beaudoin (Rideau Carleton Raceway) Pascal Berube (Hippodrome 3R) Gord Brown (Kawartha Downs) Guy Gagnon (Rideau Carleton Raceway) Sylvain Lacaille (Hippodrome 3R) Gaetan Lamy (Hippodrome 3R) Brett MacDonald (Rideau Carleton Raceway) Louis Philippe Roy (Rideau Carleton Raceway) Invitations were extended to drivers based on several criteria including their 2015 and 2016 statistics on their circuit. "This promises to be an extremely exciting and competitive drivers' challenge," commented Vincent Trudel, General Manager at 3R. "We have just hosted a very successful All-Star Drivers Tournament which drew a huge crowd. Our fans love these types of events and we look forward to having another driving competition, this time featuring many of our local drivers." The Hippodrome 3R is hosting the Quebec Regional event for the third time after serving as host track in 2008 and 2014. Live racing resumes at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday with the fourth and final preliminary round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old pacers. First race post time is 1:30 pm. For a free race program and live racing via the internet, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

WASHINGTON, PA, June 8, 2016 -- Tamarind overcame post 9 to collect his third straight harness racing victory -- and fifth in his last six starts -- in Wednesday's $20,000 Winners Over $10,000 Life/Preferred Handicap Trot at The Meadows. Tamarind got away fifth before Aaron Merriman sent him after the leader, I Know My Chip, down the backside. The 8-year-old son of Angus Hall-Spicegirl Kosmos cleared easily and went on to score in 1:54. Cue Hall used Tamarind's cover to finish second, 1-3/4 lengths back, while Monte Christo Spur rallied for third. Bill Bercury owns and trains Tamarind, who boosted his career bankroll to $838,099. Tony Hall piloted three winners on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday, when the special Belmont Day card features the $46,500 Meadows Maturity Trot for mares 4 and up. It goes as race 1, with a 1 PM post time. The Meadows Racetrack & Casino

Nichols, N.Y. -- Middle-half pressure from P L Houdini would not faze James Cantelon's Dragin the Wagon ($42.60), who withstood a second challenge in the stretch en route to a 20-1 harness racing upset in Friday (June 3) evening's $11,000 Open Trot at Tioga Downs.   Fern Paquet, Jr. sent the 6-year-old Angus Hall gelding right to the front, and the pair refused to yield to a first-over challenge from P L Houdini (Scott Coulter) on the clubhouse turn. After dueling through middle fractions of :56.3 and 1:24.3, Dragin the Wagon shook free of a fading P L Houdini and held off a late challenge from pocket rival Here Comes Numbers (Mike Simons), who chased up the pegs in the final sixteenth. Zooming (Mike Merton), favored at 6-5, rallied off stalled cover to take third.   Jeffrey Byron trains Dragin the Wagon, who earned his 27th career win.   In the $11,000 Mares Open Pace, Cracker Coffee ($3.60) made good at odds-on via a pocket trip, following an ambitious pace set by All Charged Up (Tom Jackson) before sprinting out from the pocket in upper stretch to a two-length, 1:52 victory over K J's Caroline (Jim Taggart, Jr.) while All Charged Up faded to third. Mike Merton drove the 7-year-old Six of Diamonds mare for owner LRL Racing, LLC and trainer Amber Buter.   Mike Simons led all drivers with a treble on the 10-race card, teaming up with Talktomecourage N ($10.00, 1:55), Summer Snow ($4.20, 1:52.1), and No Reason At All ($9.70, 1:55.2).   The evening's two first-round $7,500 M&J Oil & Lube late-closing preliminaries went to 3-year-old trotting fillies Anime Hanover ($13.60, Jim Meittinis, 1:59) and Fruition ($10.40, Jackson, 1:56.4).   Live racing returns to Tioga Downs on Saturday (June 4) evening, with the first of 10 races due off at 6:30 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Tioga Downs

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The first Tuesday night live race program of the 2016 season at the Hippodrome 3R provided race fans with plenty of excitement, especially in the $120,000C opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters. While the older horse division may not have featured pari-mutuel wagering with just a three-horse field, it ended up being the best race of the season at the Hippodrome 3R. Heading the field was three-time series champion, Maximuscle, taking on series champion and track record holder, Seeyou Men with Promesses Imperial rounding out the field. Held between the 5th and 6th races on the program, the race began as a near disaster for driver Mario Charron and Maximuscle, as the five-year-old son of Angus Hall went off-stride after the start. That gave way for Seeyou Men and driver Robert Shepherd to have things their own way on the lead with Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart) sitting in the pocket-trip. They went to the opening quarter in :29.3 and then to the half mile in 1:00.3, but when Shepherd looked over his shoulder, there was Charron and Maximuscle back on stride and coming after the race leader. By the three-quarter mile marker in 1:30.2, Maximuscle had not only collared Seeyou Men, but had the lead by a neck. Then at the top of the stretch, Seeyou Men was back in the lead by a slim head and in a dramatic stretch drive to the finish, Maximuscle came on in the final strides to the wire to win by a neck over Seeyou Men in 1:59.4 with Promesses Imperial the obvious third place finisher. It was the first start of the season for Maximuscle, who is trained by Maxime Velaye and was bred and is owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC. "I thought after driving this horse for most of his career he would be OK behind the starting gate tonight." Said Mario Charron of Maximuscle. "But even at age five I still must treat him like a two-year-old and talk to him and make sure he is clam getting out of the starting gate. He has done this every year of his career but towards the end of last season at age four he was much better, but not tonight. "Once I had him back on-stride I saw that Robert (Shepherd) was going to back down the pace even more after the half mile," Charron explained, "and my horse wanted to go so I let him move to the outside and he was just great. By the three-quarters I knew we had him but what a great finish for just a three-horse race. Robert's horse was game down the stretch but Maximuscle was the better horse tonight. Because Maximuscle broke stride off a qualifying race, he must qualify again before the judges in order to enter next week's second round of the series and with no opportunity to do so, it is likely that Maximuscle will not be able to race until the third round. For Charron, it was his first win after four race cards held at 3R this season. That is uncharacteristic for Charron, who last year was second by one win to Denis St-Pierre for the driving title. "That's Mario Charron," Charron laughed. "With so many new drivers at 3R this year, I really do not get that much opportunity nor some of the better horses to drive early in the season. But now that the stakes season is underway I will do better as many trainers are just getting their young horses to the races. But I am glad to get that first win finally." There were two mare divisions of the opening round of the Quebec-Bred Series Tuesday. The third race first division saw SOS Revange and driver Gaetan Lamy sit patiently in fourth place as Beauty Road (Guy Gagnon) parked out race favorite Viva Bayama (Carl Duguay) for most of the mile race. Then with a strong move on the final turn, Lamy was able to turn SOS Revange loose and the mare kicked in a :29.3 last quarter mile to win going away by two and one-quarter lengths in 2:01.4. Viva Bayama was second with the pocket-sitting National Trace (Stephane Brosseau) third. Now undefeated in two starts this year for trainer Francine Merrissettel and owner/breeder Monalisa Pagliericci of Stanbridge Station, QC, SOS Revange, a four-year-old mare by Kadabra, scored a lifetime mark and paid $6.60C to win. In the 6th race second division, Mario Charron made it a driving double on the night with SOS Striking Monte. Kim Sorel (Martin Gringas) left sharply from post six to take the early lead and gave way to SOS Harddrive (Pascal Berube) after the opening quarter mile in :29.1. SOS Harddrive then led to the half mile in :59.1 and it was then that Charron made his winning move with SOS Striking Monte, brushing to the lead and in command at the three-quarters in 1:29 and then holding on through the finish to win by one and one-half lengths in 1:59.4. Bamie Benjo (Louis-Philippe Roy) closed well from fifth place to be second with Kim Sorel third. A five-year-old mare by Striking Sahbra, it was the first win in two starts on the year for trainer Guy Roy. SOS Strking Sahbra is owned by Francis Prouix of Saint-Pie-De-Guire, QC and paid $6.10 to win. "This is a very nice mare," Charron said. "I think she will do very well in this series." Live racing resumes Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. For more information, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club  

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec - The Hippodrome 3R kicks off night racing at the half mile oval Tuesday and featured on the program will be three opening round divisions of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotting horses and mares. Post time is 7:00 pm. "We have had a good start to the beginning of our season despite some rainy days," said 3R general manager Vincent Trudel. "The forecast is good for Tuesday evening, we have a strong ten-race program and fans can look forward to an improved lighting system for better viewing both live and on simulcasting." Perhaps the best match-up on the program is not even a wagering event. Between the 5th and 6th races on the card will be a non-wagering division of the Quebec-Bred Series with just three horses entered. But considering two of the three trotters entered are series champions and track record holders, the match-up will be of great interest. Featured is the 2016 debut of Maximuscle, who starts from post three for driver Mario Charron. The son of Angus Hall is seeking to become the first four-time Quebec-Bred Series champion, having won that title at age 2, 3 and 4 for the combo of trainer Maxime Velaye and Charron. Bred and owned by Ecurie Provoquante of Mirabel, QC, Maximuscle recently qualified at Rideau Carlton in 2:00.1 and last year took his lifetime mark of 1:54.2. Starting on the rail is track record holder, Seeyou Men for driver Robert Shepherd and trainer Isabelle Darveau. This gelded son of Muscle Mass took 3R by storm last year, sweeping the Quebec-Bred Series for three-year-olds and setting a track record in the final with his 1:58.4 lifetime mark. Seeyou Men looks primed for his 2016 3R debut, was raced time in his last start at Flamboro Downs in 1:57.4 and two starts back won at Flamboro in 1:59.1. Rounding out the three-horse field is Promesses Imperial for driver Jerome Lombart. The mares do battle in two divisions, carded as the 3rd and 6th races and featured are two 3R track record holders and series champions in Meganou and Viva Bayama. Meganou starts from post six for driver Jocelyn Gendron. Now age 4, the daughter of Kadabra won the Quebec-Bred Series Championship at age 2 and 3. After refusing to go behind the starting gate in her pari-mutuel debut at 3R, trainer Daniel Martin seems to have the kinks worked out as Meganou recently won her qualifying race at 3R in 2:01.2, by a half-length over rival Viva Bayama. Until her qualifier last week, Viva Bayama had been off to a terrible beginning in 2016, going 0 for 7 so far this season. She will start from post three for trainer/driver Carl Duguay. A four-year-old mare by Muscle Mass, Viva Bayama also won the Quebec-Bred Series at age 2 and 3 and last year set the track record for sophomore trotting fillies at 3R in 1:59.2. The 6th race second division features SOS Harddrive from post five for driver Pascale Berube. This four-year-old daughter of Taurus Dream is off to a strong start in 2016 for trainer Isabelle Binet with two wins in three starts at 3R, the fastest in 1:59.4. After four weeks of preliminary competition in the series, the top eight point earners return on Sunday, June 26 for their respective $30,000 finals. TRACK NOTES: After the first four weeks of the race meet, the Hippodrome 3R is doing very well both on-track and with simulcasting against prior year. Total handle is up 68.71%, on-track handle is up 33.71% and simulcasting is up an astonishing 220.46% against 2015. For a free race program and free live video feed for Tuesday's race card, visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

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