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Trois-Rivieres, QC - Management at the Quebec Jockey Club has announced that the harness racing qualifiers scheduled for Saturday, April 10 have been cancelled at the Hippodrome 3R. "We have not yet received permission from the Quebec government to start racing due to Covid-19," said Director of Racing Murielle Thomassin. "Fortunately, we scheduled three weeks of qualifying racing in April, just in case we could not get underway this weekend." The Hippodrome 3R is scheduled to start its 2021 racing season on Sunday, May 2. "We are hopeful that we will get permission to race soon," Thomassin added. "We raced last year from June to November without any Covid cases. We have all the protocols in place again for this year. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The return of harness racing to the province of Quebec is just around the corner as the Hippodrome 3R will begin with qualifying races in April leading towards opening day on Sunday, May 2. "I think we are in good shape to start on May 2," Said H3R Racing Director Murielle Thomassin. "Everything looks to be on schedule. "We have already applied to the Quebec government to allow us to start the races," Thomassin said. "Right now, all our OTB's (Off-Track Betting) are still closed since October because of Covid-19. We were able to race last season without spectators and I am sure that is the way we will have to start this season too." Also, a big problem the track faces is snow. "All the snow has been removed from the track since last week," Thomassin explained. "All we need is for the track to dry now. Then again, the forecast for this weekend is more snow and rain, but we are ready to handle it. Our track crew is very good." Provided Mother Nature cooperates to some degree, H3R will try and offer horse people the opportunity to qualify three times before the start of the pari-mutuel race season. Those tentative dates (weather permitting) are April 10, 17 and 24, all Saturdays. For a complete calendar of race dates and qualifiers, click here. Throughout the season that goes until Sunday, November 7, H3R will race every Sunday, post time 12.30 pm and on Fridays from June 11 through August 27, post time at 4:00 pm. In June the stakes races in Quebec will begin to take place for the two and three-year-old trotters and pacers. Both the Breeders Trophy Series (3YO's) and Future Stars Series (2YO's) will have three preliminary legs followed by a final for the top eight-point earners. All eight of the finals will be held on Sunday, September 12. This is the richest day of racing in all of Quebec with more than $500,000 in purses. The Quebec-Bred Series for the older trotters and pacers was not held last year but is hopeful to return in 2021. "It could happen this year," Thomassin explained. "The Quebec Jockey Club (QJC) board will decide on that after our season gets underway. If we can again have spectators for the races, if the ban is lifted and we can reopen our OTB's, if our handle is better, and it was great last year thanks to HPI, I am positive they will bring back the series. "I think with most everyone scheduled to have had at least one vaccination shot by June 24 in Quebec," Thomassin stated. "We now can see a little light at the end of the tunnel. We might even be able to have racing fans in the stands again, which would be the best." In 2020, die-hard H3R fans would drive to the backstretch of the track and park their cars near the fence so they could watch the races live. "We made sure we had the outside speakers on last season," Thomassin laughed. "So that those fans in the backstretch area could hear Guy Lafontaine's race calls. I recently got a phone call from one fan who asked if they could come back for the races this year. When I told him not yet, he said that was OK as he would just drive to the backstretch and watch." For more information about the upcoming harness racing season at H3R, click here. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The 2021 Prix d'Ete Grand Circuit race normally held in August at the Hippodrome 3R racetrack in Quebec, has been canceled for 2021. The Quebec Jockey Club made the announcement today, citing that due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty of being able to have spectators at the racetrack starting this fall, it was in the best interest to cancel the race for 2021. The race was also cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. "Preparing for such a big event in these difficult times is unrealistic," said Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at H3R. "But I am confident next year will be brighter and a much different story." One of the richest races in North America restricted to just four-year-old's, the Prix d'Ete dates back to 1966 at Blue Bonnets Raceway in Montreal. Over the years many world champions won the prestigious race. The stakes race ended when Blue Bonnets closed in 1992 and was revived by the Quebec Jockey Club in 2014. The Hippodrome 3R is scheduled to start the 2021 harness racing meet on Sunday, May 2. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

And the winners are ...at Saturday nights Quebec Gala des Champions held virtually at the Hippodrome 3R.   What a party! What a Gala! What class! What pictures! And a host Guy Lafontaine who carried the animation on his shoulders in a very professional way. 2020 has taken H3R to another level in terms of broadcasting. Well done to the technical team and to Ms. Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing Operations at H3R, for orchestrating this unforgettable season.   Trainer of the Year   Francis Richard   Some might argue that it is easy to rack up the wins when a trainer has several top horses in his stable. But others will argue that twelve horses often equal twelve problems. Francis's winning recipe in 2020 was the same: a lot of teamwork, he will be the first to say it. A job that is so demanding that his stable is made up mostly of young horses, often just starting out. The lessons learned in Ontario from David Menary will have once again served Francis in the difficult art of bringing horses to the photographer. This is the fourth straight year that Francis has been the leading trainer at H3R.   Driver of the Year   Pascal Berube   Pascal's background serves him well and makes him one of the most popular drivers of a wide variety of trainers and owners. This is what sets him apart from many of his colleagues: he drives horses from almost all stables with equal success. In addition, he is second to none when it comes to throwing his horses in front of the peloton and especially advancing them under the wire. Widely favorite horses, he doesn’t drive dozens and that’s his strength:in getting the best out of each of his mounts. A great and beautiful year for him in 2020.   Rookie of the Year   Samuel Fillion   At the end of the 2019 season, when Samuel finally obtained his license to drive in professional races, was difficult. The victories did not come, his nervousness was palpable. Until the start of this season and a notable win with DJ Power, he is off to a good start, with a season that has elevated him to the best at H3R. And it’s not over yet, you can say. With more and more drives for top teams, Samuel has acquired great experience which serves him better and better. He is also learned from the best as he is a brother-in-law of driving greats Louis-Philippe Roy and Pierre Luc Roy.   Groom of the Year   Wendy St-Pierre   Behind every great man, they say, hides a woman who makes him great! The Marc-André Simoneau team can be counted lucky to have this rare pearl in its ranks, in Wendy St-Pierre. The tireless, competent, passionate Wendy is, with talent and skill recognized by her peers. When we think of the success of the Simoneau team, we inevitably think of the skill and dedication of Marc-André's wife, Wendy. A groom, who makes all these little things that go unnoticed but make a difference.   Breeder of the Year   Denitza Petrova   Great year for the Kinnder Stable! Not one, but two Quebec finals champions, and a track record in the books for the 3-year-old filly Kinnder High Class and an undefeated 2YO season for Kinnder Dangerzone! Kinnder has become, thanks to the flair and hard work of its leader, a winning and high quality trademark. And the future looks even brighter, if possible, with Denitza's acquisition of sire Northern Escort, who has been the source of many of the team's successes in the past. Better still, thanks to this acquisition, breeders in the Quebec  province will also be able to benefit from this champion line.   Trotter of the Year   Kinnder High Class 10 (7-1-1) $ 52,933, record 1.58.1 Denitza Petrova stable   Denitza Petrova's top filly, skillfully driven by Pierre-Luc Roy and later by Samuel Fillion, was a serious contender for this title by virtue of her eight victories, all won before our eyes, including the one won in the Quebec Championship final which earned her a track record, 1.58. 1. A remarkable progression for this Chestnut blonde girl from Royalty For Life, whose mane flapping in the wind, has gone viral. In 2019, in seven small starts, no victory, but as it often happens with trotters, second hand, explosion, blossoming of a talent that the most discerning observers had had a hunch about. She was also the winningest horse at H3R this sason.   Pacer of the Year   Forward 7 (7-0-0) $ 11,950 1.54.3 Determination Stable - Guy Corbeil Trainer: Maxime Velaye Driver: Stéphane Gendron   The incredible story of this pacemaker will have struck everyone's mind, not only at H3R but also across Canada, as he continued in Toronto, his winning streak to 11 wins and a record 1.49.4. A worthy son of Somebeachsomewhere, paid $260,000 as a yearling, his career was going nowhere until he ended up with Guy Corbeil. There, they cured his colic problems and waited patiently for the blossoming of his talent that no one thought was very big. And that is precisely what happened. With remarkable patience and skill, he was instilled with confidence and the results were evident.   Owner of the Year   Brian Paquet   Brian Paquet's history with horses goes back several decades. Breeder and owner, he has made his trademark, the Panics, a proud standard. Each year, a good half-dozen of the product of his breeding arrives in the races, often in the stable of his trusted man, Francis Richard. Who says breeding, says inexact science and Mr. Paquet faces the good as well as the less good with the phlegm that characterizes him. A golden owner, said Francis Richard. An owner who gives each horse the chance to show off.   Personality of the Year   Dominique Michel   The tragedy experienced this year by Dominique and her husband Daniel Martin is difficult to measure as the impact of this cardiovascular accident was significant and the consequences of which are still difficult to measure. This brave Dominic faced the storm with courage, resilience, sometimes stoicism. The appointment to this prestigious title, the leaders of the Quebec Jockey Club hope that it will serve as an encouragement for the future, because, one can imagine, the road of Dominique will be still difficult for the months to come. This appointment wishes to salute her immense courage which arouses the admiration of all horse people.   To watch the live video (in French), click here.    by Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - On Saturday evening (Nov. 28) at 7:00 pm the annual Gala des Champions awards presentations for the 2020 harness racing season in Quebec will take place with a virtual show on Facebook Live Hippodrome 3R page. It is this evening that racing fans will be able to attend the special edition of the Gala des Champions, pandemic obliged. Obviously, not a big gathering, not even a simple gathering, but a celebration that aims to unite everyone, amateurs or professionals of the industry, in front of their computer screens with track announcer Guy Lafontaine being the host of the show. Setting up such an organization in a time of a pandemic has not been easy. Ms. Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at H3R, has already been working on this project for several weeks, assisted by the technical team at the racecourse. "With the season being so special in so many ways," Thomassin explained. "I wanted to be sure to recognize the most deserving achievements among our horse people in the industry. It was important for me, for the Quebec Jockey Club as well, to show our admiration and gratitude to all these people." Inspired by what is happening at the O'Brien Awards by Standardbred Canada, H3R took up the formula. A committee of people close to the racing show presented this year, selected names for each of the nine categories. Here are the nominees in each category. Trainer of the Year Francis Richard Maxime Velaye Driver of the Year Pascal Berube Stephane Brosseau Rookie of the year Samuel Fillion Steven Gagnon Caretaker of the Year Dominique Michel Wendy St-Pierre Breeder of the year Claude Hamel Denitza Petrova Trotter of the Year Kinnder High Class 10 (7-1-1) $ 52,933, record 1.58.1 Denitza Petrova stable Precious CC 10 (1-2-1) $ 8,313, 1.57.3 (as of November 1) Claude Beausoleil stable Pacer of the year Forward 7 (7-0-0) $ 11,950 1.54.3 Determination Stable - Guy Corbeil Coach: Maxime Velaye Driver: Stephane Gendron Mickeymaksomespeed 11 (7-0-0) $ 18,999 1.54.3 (as of November 1) Michel Allard stable Coach: Michel Allard Driver: Steeven Genois Owner of the year Brian Paquet Denitza Petrova The Gala de Champions starts promptly at 7 pm Saturday evening and can be viewed live on the Hippodrome 3R Facebook Page. By Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Following a meeting of the board of directors of the Quebec Jockey Club, the Hippodrome 3R Director of Racing, Murielle Thomassin, was happy to make the following announcement: the current harness racing season will be extended by two additional race days on Sunday, November 15 and Sunday, November 22. These programs will be held provided there are a sufficient number of horses entered and if the weather permits it. "I think that the members of the Board are really aware of the difficulties encountered by our horsemen in this very different year," said Thomassin. "Consequently, these two additional programs are seen by the authorities first and foremost as help for our horse people. The two race days will help our people get through the coming winter. " The official schedule will therefore be modified over the next few days. There will therefore be a race program at 1 p.m. on Sundays, November 1, 8, 15 and 22. Authorization has been received from the Quebec Racing Commission and the Quebec Jockey Club directors hopes wholeheartedly that people will continue to strictly observe Public Health guidelines during these programs. From the Quebec Jockey Club        

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club has announced that the 2020 Quebec Harness Racing Stakes Schedule for the Hippodrome 3R season has been approved by the Quebec Racing Commission. There will be three elimination legs and a final for two and three-year-old Quebec-Bred trotters and pacers plus the annual Lucien Bombardier Pace for two-year-old fillies. "We are happy that we were able to come up with a good stakes schedule for our horse people in Quebec," said Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at the Hippodrome 3R. "We will see how the season goes this year and maybe we will be able to have a series for the four-year-old and older trotters and pacers in the Fall." The series for three-year-olds has been renamed for this year and will be called the Breeders Trophy Series. For more information, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. 2020 Stakes Schedule for Hippodrome 3R Sunday, August 9 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Pace 1st leg - $7,500 Friday, August 14 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Trot 1st leg - $7,500 Sunday, August 16 - Future Stars Series 3YO Colt & Filly Pace 1st leg - $7,500 Friday, August 21 - Future Stars Series 2YO Colt & Filly Pace 1st leg - $7,500 Sunday, August 23 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Pace Pace 2nd leg - $7,500 Friday, August 28 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Trot 2nd leg - $7,500 Sunday, August 30 - Future Stars Series 2YO Colt & Filly Pace 2nd leg - $7,500 Friday, September 4 - Future Stars Series 2YO Colt & Filly Trot 2nd leg - $7,500 Sunday, September 6 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Pace 3rd leg - $7,500 Sunday, September 13 - Future Stars Series 3YO Colt & Filly Pace 3rd leg - $7,500 Friday, September 11 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Trot 3rd leg - $7,500 Friday, September 18 - Future Stars Series 2YO Colt & Filly Trot 3rd leg - $7,500 Sunday, September 27 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Pace FINALS - $65,000 Sunday, September 27 - Breeders Trophy Series 3YO Colt & Filly Trot FINALS - $65,000 Sunday, September 27 - Future Stars Series 2YO Colt & Filly Pace FINALS - $55,000 Sunday, September 27 - Future Stars Series 2YO Colt & Filly Trot FINALS - $55,000 Sunday, October 4 - Lucien Bombardier 2YO Filly Pace - $15,000 added From the Quebec Jockey Club  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Management at the Quebec Jockey Club (QJC) will host four special Saturday race programs beginning this weekend as Quebec Regional Fair events. The four special Saturday's devoted to the Regional Fair races will be July 11 and 25, August 8 and 22. "The fair tracks cannot operate this year at all due to COVID-19," explained Murielle Thomisson, the Director of Racing Operations at H3R. "The Quebec Jockey Club decided to have these four Saturdays at H3R to continue the tradition. These races will also allow non-qualified horses to qualify and race for a purse." The QJC is still working with the Quebec Racing Commission to finalize the changes for the stakes schedule for 2020. The two and three-year-old Quebec-Bred races will have eliminations in August and September and their finals at the end of September. The four-year-old and older Quebec-Bred Series is being re-evaluated and may be held in the fall. For the full racing schedule, visit www.hippodrome3r.ca. From the Quebec Jockey Club    

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