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Trois-Rivieres, QC - Last Sunday afternoon the Quebec Jockey Club hosted opening day for the harness racing season in Quebec at the Hippodrome 3R racetrack. Mother Nature cooperated with beautiful sunny skies, dry and warming temperatures. And despite some last minute fenagling, the new whipping rules were adhered to without a hitch. In fact, driver Stephane Gendron seemed to make fun of the new rule as he drove five winners on the afternoon and barely lifted his whip in all five victories. Designed by management at the Quebec Jockey Club (QJC) and agreed with by the horseman, the new whipping rules call for drivers to keep both hands in the handholds at all times. Drivers must limit the use of the whip at all times while on the racetrack. Drivers can never reach back to whip a horse. All whipping movement must be done from the wrist. The forearm must remain must be parallel to the track when the whip is used. These rules were presented to the Quebec Racing Commission, who oversees the judges that work at the track. They came back and said they could not administer them and that the QJC could not, on their own, come up with and administer penalties on horsemen. "We were so excited about having the new rules in place," said Murielle Thomassin, General Manager of Racing, at the Hippodrome 3R. "We wanted everything in place for opening day and now this problem. Luckily, we were able to circumvent the situation and have the new rules in place and also be in compliance with the Quebec Racing Commission. The QJC saw that the Quebec Government rules towards animal abuse fell in line with the new whipping rules they had designed and that they could still have the new rules put in place and not supersede the Quebec Racing Commission's jurisdiction. "It took quite a bit of work," Thomassin explained. "Including getting every single driver competing in the races last Sunday to sign off on a document that they totally understood and would abide by the new whipping conditions. And every driver signed off on them. "The Quebec Government rules for animal abuse are much more severe than that of the Quebec Racing Commission," Thomassin added. "Now, if a race fan or a racetrack manager wishes to file an animal abuse charge against one of the drivers for improper use of the whip, the Government in Quebec will launch an investigation and if found guilty, that horseman will face a criminal charge and the fines that go with it, not just a fine or suspension from the judges." Every driver that now competes at the Hippodrome 3R must sign the agreement in order for them to be able to drive. "The important issue here is being in compliance with both the Quebec Government rules and the Quebec Racing Commission," said Thomassin. "We had thousands of race fans come out last Sunday for opening day, they watched and wagered on our ten races and enjoyed a great return of live racing in Quebec. There were no issues with excessive use of the whip by our drivers. Our horsemen agreed to the new rules and we should be fine moving forward." From the Quebec Jockey Club          

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Harness racing driver Stephane Gendron got off to a superb start opening day at the Hippodrome 3R, scoring a driving quintuple including a victory in the co-feature Preferred Pace with Mister Big Top. It was a picture-perfect afternoon for racing with sunny skies and a large crowd came out to the track for opening day. Gendron started off the day on a winning note, capturing the first race pace with Gusty Greg ($9.10) in 1:57.3. He scored again in the fourth race trot with SG Goliath King ($13.10) in 2:00.2. In the eighth race Preferred Pace it was Too Much Duncan and driver Marc Belanger shooting out to the early lead from post seven over Chaleurs Ad (Jocelyn Gendron) to the opening quarter in :28.2. Chaleurs Ad and Gendron quarter moved to take command and Mister Big Top with Stephane Gendron, sat patiently in third place, content to allow the other to fight for the lead. By the half mile marker in :58.3, Two Much Duncan and Belanger came first-over and were unable to collar Chaleurs Ad as they raced down the backstretch. Stephane Gendron finally made his move from third place at the three-quarters in 1:27.4 and tipped three-wide as they raced around the final turn. With Chaleurs Ad still in command of the race, Gendron was able to urge Mister Big Top on the stretch and they won by one length over Chaleurs Ad in 1:57.3. Bali (Dany Mainguy) was third. It was the second win in eight starts this year for Mister Big Top. The seven-year-old gelded son of Mister Big, trained by Yves Tessier and owned by Francis Morin of Beauceville, paid $8.00 to win. Stephane Gendron capped the late daily double, winning the ninth race pace with Bettor Now ($2.90) in 2:00.1 and then the tenth pace with My Lucky Bluejeans ($14.20) in 2:00.1 to sweep the last three races on the program for his five winners on the day. In the second race Preferred Trot, Jamigo and driver Daniel Laflamme took advantage of costly breaks by the two wagering favorites and came home a big winner at odds of 19-1. It was track record holder Wildwild Men (Jocelyn Gendron) was on top of the field early with Lagerfeld (Raymond Gingras) sitting the two-hole pocket trip with Jamigo sitting in third place. They went past the opening quarter mile in :29.1, then the half mile in :59.3. Then in the backstretch, Lagerfeld went off-stride, leaving Wildwild Men with a three-length lead at the three-quarters in 1:28.4 and then he went off-stride. That left a wide-open gap for driver Daniel Laflamme and he went right to the lead with Jamigo and held on in the stretch to win by one length in 2:00.2 over Holiday Party (Pascal Berube) with R Rkadabra (Stephane Gendron) third. Trained and owned by Manon Lamothe of Terrebonne, it was the first start this year for Jamigo, an 11-year-old gelding by Angus Hall. Going off at odds of 19-1, Jamigo paid $41.50 to win. That was the highest win payoff of the afternoon. TRACK NOTES: Stephane Gendron led all drivers with his five wins while not one other driver or trainer on the ten-race program could tally more than one win. Of the ten races, favorites only scored twice on the day. Live racing resumes next Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - When the Hippodrome 3R harness racing track opens on Sunday, May 5 for the start of its 2019 race season, fans and horseman will be in for some different driving tactics with the new whipping rules. "Many will remember that we featured no whips at all on the last two days of the 2018 race meet," said Director of Racing Murielle Thomassin. "We learned a lot from those two days and have worked with our horsemen to come up with these new harsher rules for use of the whip at the Hippodrome 3R." Starting this season drivers must keep both hands in the handholds at all times. Drivers must limit the use of the whip at all times while on the racetrack. Drivers can never reach back to whip a horse. All whipping movement must be done from the wrist. The forearm must remain perpendicular to the track when the whip is used. For any infractions of the new rules, a driver can receive demerit points. The point system will not go into effect until the third race program at H3R. Once a driver has accumulated more than three points, that driver is suspended from driving on the next race card. After a driver receives their first suspension, they will be put on probation and suspended from the next race card each time they receive an additional demerit point. Any driver who receives any demerit points during the last month of racing at H3R, those points will carry over to the 2020 race season. The demerit points will be awarded by a committee of three people who will be appointed by the Director of the Quebec Jockey Club. There will be no appeal mechanism. Neither the Director General nor the Director of the track and no members of the Board of Directors at the QJC will be able to reverse a decision of the committee. "We realized last season that drivers need to carry a whip with them at all times on the racetrack," Thomassin explained. "It is a tool they need to control the horse, but any abuse of the whip will no longer be tolerated." With the start of the new meet there are also changes in post times and race days. Sunday afternoon will remain the same only with a new post time of 1:00 pm. Starting May 24, the Hippodrome 3R will feature Friday evening racing this season with first race post time at 7:00 pm. "We have tried mid-week racing in the past," Said Thomassin. "But the Tuesday and Wednesday night were not working out and now we are trying Friday evenings. We also one Thursday evening program on August 8." There will be a new on-track TV show called The Winner's Circle, that will begin at noon on live race days Sunday and Friday's at 6:00 pm. It is a new format, new content, new presentation too. The show will be broadcast exclusively in the betting rooms and on the usual sites of HPI and H3R. Track announcer Guy Lafontaine will continue to assume his role as descriptor and main animator, Ghislain Paquet will have the heavy task, essential however, the analysis of races and Daniel Delisle will be bringing everyone up on the latest news from the industry.   The team at H3R has Ms. Murielle Thomassin in the lead for the new TV show. The Summer Prize on the stakes schedule at H3R is none other than the $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers set on Sunday, August 18. The richest racing card of the season will take place on Sunday, September 8 with the finals of the Breeders Cup and Future Stars Series for two and three-year-old pacers and trotters. The leading drivers and trainers at H3R will be back on opening. Stephane Brosseau goes for this third straight driving title and faces rivals Stephane Gendron, Guy Gagnon, Pascal Berube, Pierre Luc Roy and Francis Picard. The two-time leading trainer, Francis Richard, will be back to defend his title against Maxime Velaye, Isabelle Bineti, Kevin Maquire, Yves Tessier and Michel Allard. The classic Ben Hur Challenge, pitting two of the top drivers in the sport in head-to-head competition will again take place at H3R. Sunday's opening day card features ten races and both a Preferred Trot in the second race and a Preferred Pace in the eighth race. The trot is headlined by former track record holder and Quebec champion, Wildwild Men, taking on former champion, Holiday Party. While on the pacing side, Quebec Champions Stock and HP Patriote go against the top pacing mare the last two seasons at H3R, Rainbow Palace. For a free race program and other information, please visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - After a brutal winter and now constant springtime rains, harness racing driver Stephane Brosseau is ready for some sunshine and to defend his driving title at the Hippodrome 3R, which opens for their 2019 race season on Sunday, May 5. The weather has been hard for everyone," Brosseau said. "It's a long winter, too much snow and rain. Fortunately, I have been able to drive at Rideau Carleton and that has really kept me in shape for the start of the Hippodrome 3R meet." Brosseau, who hails from L'Assomption, is shooting for his third straight driving title at H3R. The spry reinsman will turn 50 come July 21. He already has had 104 drives, 18 wins and an impressive Universal Driving Rating of .353. "I have some good trainers who have been giving me good horses to drive," Brosseau said. "I am driving for both Matt McDonald and Yves Tessier with some success." On the eve of starting another season of races in Trois-Rivieres, the local champion decided to take a few days of rest under the warm sun of Florida. "It was a Saturday night and raining," Brosseau recalled. "The forecast was for rain all week long, so I told my wife I was going to get someone to take care of my horses and jog them for a few days and we are taking off for Pompano Beach in Florida. I raced at Rideau on Sunday and Monday morning was on the plane to Florida. "I called my good friend Jacques Dupont (we worked together in Pompano a few winters), Brosseau said. "And not only did we get away for some sun for a few days, but Jacques asked me if I would qualify two of his horses at Pompano Park, one of them being his good trotter, Dream Nation. That was a nice bonus." Dream Nation, a son of Archangel, did very well in the Ontario Sire Stakes for Dupont last year, winning six of his ten starts with earnings of $157,000 and a record of 1:55.3. Brosseau not only won the qualifier at Pompano Park in 1:57.3 with Dream Nation, but also won another qualifier for Dupont with the pacer Better Than Cash in 1:57.2. Dream Nation is the property of Jacques Dupont (Orleans stable), Claude Levesque, CSL Stable (Sylvain Descheneaux) and Marc Camirand. "It will be interesting to see what kind of shape the horses are in this Sunday," Brosseau said. "It has been very tough for many horsemen in Quebec with the heavy rains and flooding. Everyone has had a hard time getting their horses ready. "I am happy that the Hippodrome is opening for the season," Brosseau said. "But there is still the problem of both the Hippodrome 3R and Rideau Carleton each racing on Sunday. I have to judge depending on my drives at both tracks, how long I can stay at 3R to drive and then leave for Rideau to drive there. It is tough for me; I want to drive in every race I can." Brosseau was fortunate to get a drive last year in the $200,000 Prix D'Ete aboard Ron Burke's Eddard Hanover and finished a respectable fourth place. "Driving in the Prix D'Ete is something very special to me," Brosseau explained. "Growing up in Quebec and going to see the world's best horses come to Montreal for the Prix D'Ete was always exciting. I thank Ron Burke for giving me the drive and I can only hope he will call upon me to drive one of his top horses this year again." The $200,000 Prix D'Ete takes place on Sunday, August 18 this season. It is the top stakes event of the season at H3R and annually has drawn the best four-year-old pacers in racing to Trois-Rivieres. "I love racing at the Hippodrome 3R," Brosseau stated. "Five years ago, I was just racing here and doing OK. These last two years, driving at both the Hippodrome and at Rideau Carleton have really worked out well for me. I can only hope it will continue to be good again this season." Track Notes: There are new post times at H3R this season. Sunday post time will be 1:00 pm. This season H3R will be racing on Friday evenings beginning May 24 with post time at 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Due to severe weather throughout the month of April, management at the Quebec Jockey Club has postponed opening day at the Hippodrome 3R from Sunday, April 28 to Sunday, May 5. "This is the second straight year that Mother Nature has forced us to postpone opening day at H3R," Said Murielle Thomasson, Director of Racing at the Hippodrome 3R. "It seems she does not want us to race in April. The weather has been horrendous and we could not start any qualifying races held until last week. Hopefully we will be fine for next Sunday." An additional race program will be added to the schedule later this season. The new post time for opening day May 5 is 1:00 pm. This season H3R will have live racing on Friday evenings starting May 24 with a 7:00 pm post time. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The qualifying races set for Saturday April 20 at the Hippodrome 3R, have been moved to Monday, April 22 at 11:00 am due to poor weather forecast. With 30-60mm of rain is expected in the next 2 days, track management felt it would be better to change it now. The entries for the Monday qualifiers are going to be due on Friday, April 19 between 9:00 am and 11:00 am by contacting the race office at 819-376-4453. In addition, training on Saturday morning is also postponed to Monday, April 22 between 8:00 am and 11:00 am. Here is the link that shows the changes made. http://www.clubjockeyduquebec.com/horaire-dentrainement-qualification/ From the Quebec Jockey Club        

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Management at the Quebec Jockey Club has canceled the harness racing qualifying races at the Hippodrome 3R for the second straight week on Saturday, April 13. According to Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at the track, the reason for the cancellation this weekend is due to the inclement weather this past week at the track. Management is hopeful that the track surface will be ready for qualifying races next weekend. The Hippodrome 3R is scheduled to open for its 2019 live harness racing meet on Sunday, April 28. For more information visit, www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - This weekend the second nomination payment is due for the 2019 $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers at the Hippodrome 3R. The race takes place on Sunday, August 18. The second payment must be post marked by Monday, April 15. There was a record 40 horses nominated to the first payment. All nominations payments must be made in order to remain eligible. There are no supplemental payments allowed for the Prix D'Ete. To make sustaining nomination payments, owners/trainers can click here or go on www.quebecjockeyclub.com to get the necessary payment/nomination forms. From the Quebec Jockey Club Listing of the 40 horses that made the first payment AMERICAN HISTORY BOUNDING DRAGON CASIMIR RICHIE P COURTLY CHOICE DECOY DONE WELL DRAGONOLOGY GHOST DANCE GRAND TETON HAYDEN HANOVER HIDDEN DELIGHT HITMAN HILL JIMMY FREIGHT KWIK TALKIN MINNIE VINNIE NUTCRACKER SWEET ODDS ON LAUDERDALE PEDRO HANOVER PHANTON SEELSTER PRETTY HANDSOME ROCKAPELO ROCKATHON RUSH TO JUDGEMENT SHADOW CAT SHNITZLEDOSOMETHIN SIMPLE KINDA MAN SKYWAY QUINTON SOMEBADDUDE SPRINGSTEEN STOCK TALBOTCREEKWHISKEY THE DOWNTOWN BUS THINGBIG DREAMBIG THIS IS THE PLAN THOR DE VIE TOPVILLE OLYMPIAN TORRIN HANOVER TRUMP NATION TURBO HILL WES DELIGHT      

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Hippodrome 3R Director of Racing, Murielle Thomassin, announced today that Ms. Cynthia Thriault will be the new race secretary at the harness racing track. Ms. Thriault has been with the property since March and she obtained her race secretary's license on April 5th. Ms. Thriault is a graduate of the La Pocatière Agribusiness Institute, specializing in harness racing and has held a Trainer A license since 2007. "As announced at the end of the year 2018, the H3R racecourse will now have a race secretary to better serve the industry players," Said Thomassin. "And our customers by communicating further the directions that the Club Jockey of Quebec wants to take and promoting the integrity of the process. Ms. Thriault will mainly be in charge of the following tasks; Telephone registration, help in setting up the race program and working together with the RACJ judges on race days. "Her new vision, her general knowledge and her passion for the horse racing industry will be assets for her and thereby a positive addition to the industry." Thomassin concluded. The Hippodrome 3R opens for the 2019 race season on Sunday, April 28 with a 40-day harness racing meet. Post time Sunday's is set at 1:00 pm and Friday evening racing will begin at 7:00 pm. For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club      

Trois-Rivieres, QC - When the Hippodrome 3R harness racing track opens for the 2019 race season on Sunday, April 28, defending two-time leading trainer Francis Richard will have plenty of ammunition in his stable. By his own admission, his stable has not counted as many boarders as this past winter and he currently has 23 horses in training at the farm on the south shore of Trois-Rivieres. Nearly half of the horses (11) in Richard's barn are two-year-olds in training for the rich summer Quebec Sire Stakes. "I could not say that winter has not been tough at all, as it would be lying," Richard said. "Snow, in the center of Quebec, there are as many feet and if not more than elsewhere. Nevertheless, I do not think I'm so late with the foals turning around 2:50, it's not very fast, but it's on the snow and for me, it's okay so at the beginning of spring I am not one of those who are so in a hurry, who want to run their colts at all costs as soon as possible. "For me," Richard said. "there is no point in rushing them. "I have half a dozen 2-year-old foals from my main owner, Brian Paquet. Even a trotter by Archangel, something a little unusual for Mr. Paquet. I also have a filly by Prestidigitator that I tamed for Les Fermes SOS and that I finally bought with some owners including Jean-Louis-Laflamme and Gaston Bibeau. It is a beautiful project. As I said earlier, the important thing for me is to be ready when the stakes start. There is no point in pushing too hard. Patience is in order." Of the more than 20 horses that Francis trains, there are of course some three-year-olds. "My three-year-olds are fine too," Richard explained. "They roll around 2.30, still on the snow. It's not excessively fast, but they could all do better, around 2.20 if I wanted it. They may be a bit late compared to last year, but not so much. I'd rather be there again in October or November with them than saying they'll be ready in April!" The Francis stable also has some older horses for the Quebec Series. "I have three or four horses aged four and over," Francis said. "Most ran until December. I gave them January and February on leave and they resumed training without being completely out of shape. By the way, I think giving the six-year-olds and older ones the opportunity to race in the Quebec series this year, is a good incentive for the owners to keep their horses longer, with this new opportunity to race them here, for good money. A step in the right direction, in my opinion." And how does Francis Richard feel about going for his third straight training at H3R? "I feel the same as I did before even winning my first title, Richard explained. "I get up in the morning and think about winning. For sure another training title would be great. "Now I just focus on doing my job. I wish they would have a "Team Title" As I have to give a lot of credit to all my help. We are a nice group having fun working together. "I have a nice group of babies, so far so good they've done all I asked them to do," Richard said. "As for my three-year-olds, you have to think about Guinness Panic, he was 3rd in the 2-year-old old final, a fast horse, had a good winter, now training back pretty good, he is all class. "I've got some others doing their things too," Richard added. "Maybe HP Napoleon, a half brother to HP Patriot. If he puts it all together, he has the ability to be good. "Most important is that I am looking forward for the start of the season for many things, seeing friends we barely see in winter times, watch the new whipping rules and, of course, Live Racing!" From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Management at the Hippodrome 3R have cancelled the qualifying races for Saturday, April 6 and have rescheduled them to be held on Saturday, April 13th beginning at 11:00 am. The track will be open for training during the week at the normal schedule. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - A record number of 40 four-year-old harness racing pacers have been nominated to the $200,000 sixth renewal of the Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R in Quebec on Sunday, August 18. In the sixth year of the revival of the Prix D'Ete, it has been a record number of nominees entered every year. Last year it was 38 horses nominated. Headlining the list of nominees by money won last year is Little Brown Jug winner, Courtly Choice. The son of Art Major won $910,000 with a record mile of 1:47.1. He races for trainer Blake MacIntosh and co-owners Winbak Farm, Mac and Helm Stables, Daniel Plouffe, Inc. and Touch Stone Farms. The Prix D'Ete was the most prestigious race in all of Canada from 1966 through 1992. World champions Bret Hanover, Albatross, Niatross, Hot Hitter, Cam Fella, On The Road Again, Ralph Hanover, Matt's Scooter and a host of other top pacers have won the Prix D'Ete. In the past five editions of the Prix D'Ete at H3R, the all-age track record was set and then tied as both Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) both won in 1:50.3. Then in 2016, Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, came to 3R for the Prix D'Ete and after a dramatic neck and neck battle the final half mile of the race, was second in an upset by Rockin Ron (1:52) over a sloppy track. Rockin Ron made it two straight Prix D'Ete victories for the Ron Burke Stable. Trainer Jimmy Takter notched his second Prix D'Ete triumph in 2017 (Sunfire Blue Chip was the first), with Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wiring the field in 1:53.2. Last year it was the biggest upset in the Prix D'Ete as Beckhams Z Tam and driver Ricky Macomber paid $21.00 to win in 1:52.1. "We are very pleased with the quality of the horses that have entered in this year's Prix D'Ete," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "Of the forty pacers entered, just seven have lifetime earnings of under $100,000. The revival of this Grand Circuit event has developed to become the great race it was before." The second highest money winner in the field from last year who is nominated is O'Brien Award winner, Jimmy Freight. The son of Sportswriter is trained (in Canada) by Richard Moreau. Jimmy Freight won $834,000 for owner Adriano Sorella. Other contenders include last year's Tattersalls winner, American History ($600,000); Hayden Hanover, Thinkbig Dreambig, This Is The Plan, Springsteen, Nutcracker Sweet, Done Well, Grand Teton and Shnitzeldosomethin. Quebec co-owned nominees include Quebec-bred Sire Stakes champion Stock, plus Courtly Choice, Phantom Seelster, Talbotcreekwhiskey, Torrin Hanover and Renee Allard's Springsteen. "I want to invite everyone to come to Trois-Rivieres the weekend of August 18," Levesque added, "as we want everyone to come out and enjoy our great racing and Quebecoise hospitality." The next nomination payment to remain eligible to the Prix D'Ete is April 15, 2019. The Hippodrome 3R is also gearing up for their 2019 opening day on Sunday, April 28. For more information visit http://www.quebecjockeyclub.com/. 2019 Prix D'Ete Nominees (after March 15, 2019 payment) AMERICAN HISTORY BOUNDING DRAGON CASIMIR RICHIE P COURTLY CHOICE DECOY DONE WELL DRAGONOLOGY GHOST DANCE GRAND TETON HAYDEN HANOVER HIDDEN DELIGHT HITMAN HILL JIMMY FREIGHT KWIK TALKIN MINNIE VINNIE NUTCRACKER SWEET ODDS ON LAUDERDALE PEDRO HANOVER PHANTON SEELSTER PRETTY HANDSOME ROCKAPELO ROCKATHON RUSH TO JUDGEMENT SHADOW CAT SHNITZLEDOSOMETHIN SIMPLE KINDA MAN SKYWAY QUINTON SOMEBADDUDE SPRINGSTEEN STOCK TALBOTCREEKWHISKEY THE DOWNTOWN BUS THINGBIG DREAMBIG THIS IS THE PLAN THOR DE VIE TOPVILLE OLYMPIAN TORRIN HANOVER TRUMP NATION TURBO HILL WES DELIGHT From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club has announced that for the 2019 harness racing season the Hippodrome 3R will be racing on Friday nights along with the normal Sunday's afternoon cards. The 40-day live race meeting gets underway on Sunday, April 28. There will also be one special Thursday night race card on August 8. The complete race season calendar can be found at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. The final day of the race season is Sunday, November 3. "We have tried Tuesday and Wednesday live racing," Said Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at H3R. "And it is too tough for people who work to come out to the races so we decided to go with Friday nights and try and take advantage of the start of the weekend." In addition to Friday night racing, post time has changed for this season. Friday night first race post time will be 7:00 pm and on Sunday's post time will be 1:00 pm. The summer prize of the race season, the $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers, is set for Sunday, August 18 along with the third leg of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies also on the program. The richest race program of the season will be on Sunday, September 8 with the $480,000 finals for both the Breeders Cup and Future Stars Series. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Anyone with a promising four-year-old pacer, nominations for the 2019 $200,000 Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R must be made by Friday, March 15. One of only a handful of opportunities restricted to just four-year-old pacers, the Prix D'Ete is the showcase stakes event of the season at the Hippodrome 3R and will take place on Sunday, August 18 in 2019. Continued from 2018 in the conditions for the race is that horses that finish 6th through 8th, will each get $1,000. Only the top eight money winners this season, up until time of entry, will be allowed in the race. To make nomination payments, owner/trainers can go to www.standardbredcanada.ca or to www.quebecjockeyclub.com and get the necessary nomination forms. Please note there are no supplemental payments allowed for the Prix D'Ete. This first nomination payment must be made to be eligible. The Prix D'Ete, once the richest and most prestigious race in Canada, was revived by the Quebec Jockey Club back in 2013. The inaugural revival saw Jimmy Takter's Sunfire Blue Chip set the all-age Canadian and track record at 3R in 1:50.3. That record was tied the following year with All Bet's Off scoring for the Ron Burke Stable. Then Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit, came to 3R for Team Teague in 2018, only to come up second best to the Burke's Stable's Rockin Ron in a classic battle over a sloppy track in 1:52. In 2017 it was the Jimmy Takter Stable winning the Prix D'Ete for the second time as Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wired the field in 1:53.2. Then this past year, Ricky and Jamie Macomber stole the show in an upset with their pacer Beckhams Z Tam in 1:52.1. The 2019 race season gets underway at the Hippodrome 3R on Sunday, April 28 with first race post time at 1:00 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Mother Nature was not cooperative at all Sunday for closing day of the 2018 harness racing meet at the Hippodrome 3R. In fact, it was downright miserable through the entire card as the rains caused the start of the races to be delayed as the track was scraped. The foul weather did not hamper Canada's leading driver, Louis Philippe Roy from having a great day as he won four of the ten races on the card. The seventh race Preferred Pace saw D J Power and driver Pierre Luc Roy, a 9-1 long shot, take on his younger brother, Louis Philippe Roy with Hooter Shooter. D J Power was first on the lead after the starting gate pulled away. Driver Francis Picard left from the outside with Rainbow Palace to grab to two-hole spot with Hooter Shooter getting away in third place. After they went the opening quarter mile in :30.4, LPR came first-over with Hooter Scooter and looked to take the lead, but brother Pierre Luc Roy had other ideas and parked out his brother to the half mile in 1:01.4. Down the backstretch, Hooter Scooter stayed game on the outside past the three-quarters in 1:32.1 and D J Power was not giving up an inch. On the final turn it looked as if Hooter Scooter had had enough, but once in the stretch he came back again but could not catch D J Power who won by one length in 2:02.2. Hooter Scooter was second with Rainbow Palace third. It was the tenth win of the season for D J Power, a seven-year-old gelding by Major In Art. He is owned and trained by Jean Marc Roy of Mont-Joli and paid $21.90 to win. The eighth race Preferred Trot saw EAU Naturelle and driver Simon Delisle grab the early lead, held it until the opening quarter mile as Dance Hall George came first up for driver Francis Picard. They cleared to the front after the half mile marker. Dance Hall George and Picard then led the field until the three-quarters when Delisle came back on the outside with EAU Naturelle and those two battled neck and neck around the final turn and down the stretch with EAU Naturelle winning by a half length in 2:08.1. Dance Hall George was second with Capteur De Reve (Pierre Luc Roy) third. Also trained by Simon Delisle, it was the seventh win this year for EAU Naturelle. The five-year-old mare by Windsong Espoir is owned by Chantal Auger, Raymond Bouffard, Rejean Page and Anne Delisle. She paid $12.30 to win. For the second straight year, Stephane Brosseau captured the leading drivers title with 50 wins. Pascal Berube was second with 45 wins. Also winning the training title for the second straight year is Francis Richard. He also led early on this season and finished out the race season with 27 winners from his stable. His nearest rival was Maxime Velaye with 17 wins. There was a special winner's circle retirement ceremony for the 14-year-old pacer Windham Hanover. The son of Mach Three had a record of 1:54 and career earnings of $254,019. All Standardbred race horses must retire from racing when they turn age 15. Track notes: Closing day was also the second day of "whipless" racing. Both Francis Richard and Nathalie Migneault had training doubles. The Hippodrome 3R and its Off-Track-Betting parlors throughout Quebec, will be open seven days a week featuring simulcasting of the best in harness and thoroughbred racing. Visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com for more information. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The curtain closes on the 2018 harness racing season at the Hippodrome 3R (H3R) on Sunday with the second "whipless" racing card, the return of Canada's leading money winning and dash leader, Louis Philippe Roy, plus the leading driver and trainer awards. The last two days of the H3R race meet is featuring "whipless" racing. The drivers are not carrying whips as the Quebec Jockey Club that runs H3R is conducting the experiment as they seek stricter whipping rules for 2019. Quebec native Louis Philippe Roy (LPR) returns for closing day and is listed to drive in nine of the ten races on program. He wants to be involved in the "whipless" racing and is a major advocate of changes in harness racing to attract new people in becoming race fans and owners. Driver Stephane Brosseau has been the leading driver at H3R since opening day back in April. Going into Sunday's closing day card, he leads Pascal Berube 49 to 45. Berube, who has been red hot as of late, has a tall order in trying to catch Brosseau. Berube has nine drives Sunday, while Brosseau has just six drives. The training title is all wrapped up as Francis Richard will win his second title at H3R. He currently has 25 wins from his stable, while his nearest rival, Maxime Velaye has 17 wins. The closing day program has two co-feature events with a Preferred Pace and Trot. The pacers go first in race seven where Rainbow Palace, the lone mare in the field, goes for her second straight win against the boys from post six for driver Francis Picard. She is taking on rivals Windsun Cheyenne (post five) and Hooter Shooter (post three). The eighth race Preferred Trot is a wide-open affair with a full field of nine starters. The lone return winner in the field if SG Goliath King (post four) for driver Stephane Gendron. They are moving up in class and face Holiday Party (post seven), Jamigo (post eight) and EAU Naturelle (post five). Post time Sunday is 12:50 pm. For a free race program, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

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