TROIS-RIVERES, Quebec - Last Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R, Rocky Boy was feeling his oats in scoring a TKO in the Preferred Trot, and now faces some tough invaders this Sunday as he seeks a repeat performance. There are nine starters in the 7th race co-feature. Rocky Boy and driver Marc Belanger starts from post seven. Last week he was pressured to a blazing :27.4 opening quarter on H3R's half mile oval, and then held the field at bay, winning in a romp by six and three-quarter lengths in 1:57. In any other age or gender division at H3R, that would have been a track record mile. The record for older trotting geldings is 1:56, set by both Pablo Angus (2008) and Michelangelo (2014). Invaders to H3R for the top trot that will give Rocky Boy a tussle include Raising Richard in post five for driver Richard Simard. Raising Richard comes into the contest on a three-race winning streak at Rideau Carlton, the fastest a 1:57 triumph. Raising Richard sports four wins this season in just nine starts. Four Starz Speed is the class of the field with career earnings of $805,000. The old man of the field at age 12, Four Starz Speed recently won at Rideau Carlton in 1:58.4 and has three wins already this season. Torches Angel, the lone mare in the field, was second best to Rocky Boy last week, and starts from post six for driver Pierre-Luc Roy while track record holder, Caroluzzo, goes from post four with Stephane Gendron handling the lines. Sunday's Preferred Pace is a wide-open affair with nine starters in the 10th race. Newcomer Ufdragons Rocket ships in from Mohawk Raceway and goes from post five for driver Stephane Gendron. They have been made the 5/2 race favorite. He did not fare well in his two starts in Toronto, but prior at Rideau Carlton, had won four straight races, the fastest in 1:52.1 and sports five wins this season. The race sees the 2016 top three-year-old pacer and Sire Stakes Champion, HP Patriote, return to H3R, starting from post seven for trainer/driver Gerard Demers. Last season the gelded son of Vintage Master, won an impressive 13 starts. He is making just his second start of the season. Another top three-year-old from last season in the Quebec-Bred Series making his debut Sunday in the Preferred Pace is Sports Authority. He starts from post three for trainer Maxime Velaya and driver Pierre-Luc Roy. Velaya feels that this one will be the big star in the stable this year and have kept him eligible for the $200,000 Prix D'Ete on August 20. As well, HP Patriote is also nominated for the Prix D'Ete. Other contenders in the field include Pantheon Seelster (post 8), Bali (post 6) and Onyx (post 1). For more information, visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com. TRACK NOTES: Driver Stephane Gendron is now 11 wins away from his 4,000th career win and has six drives Sunday. Both Reposession (race 2) and Jamigo (race 7) will seek to remain undefeated at H3R this season, both with two wins already. First race post time is 12:50 pm. From the Quebec Jockey Club
TROIS RIVIÉRES, QUEBEC – The Rocky Balboa gelding Rocky Boy threw a devastating knockout punch at his opponents in the $8000 Preferred trot at Hippodrome 3R Sunday afternoon, winning by 6¾ lengths in 1:57. The time would have been a track record in every subdivision at 3R except his older trotting gelding bracket, where Pablo Angus and Michelangelo co-hold the overall track mark at 1:56. Speed was the byword from the start as Rocky Boy and driver Marc Belanger raced outside a stubborn Coco Binet before that one finally yielded after a quarter of 27.4. Rocky Boy went on to middle fractions of 56.4 and 1:26.1, at which point the old proverb “If it were a prizefight, they would have stopped it” was even more appropriate than usual. Last week’s Preferred winner (in 2:02.2) Torches Angel was closer to the Ontario border than to the leader entering the backstretch, but the mare rallied to nose out Ghiradelli Lindy for second behind the powerhouse winner, who is trained by Stephane Beaudoin and co-owned by his trainer and driver. A race after the fastest trot of the young meet came the fastest pace, as the Shadow Play gelding Glass Shadow went coast-to-coast in 1:55 to give trainer/owner Marc Andre Cormier the first two Preferred paces of the meet, having won last week with Solid Performance. But this week the spotlight was on Glass Shadow in a 10-horse contest racing for a purse of $8400, going fractions of 27.2, 57, and 1:25.4, then holding off the late pocket thrust of Pantheon Seelster by a neck. The winner was guided by Richard “The Black Cat” Simard, who has indicated he will drive the entire meet at 3R – and why wouldn’t he, racking up a sulky triple on this card to follow his opening day double? (Simard’s opening double and today’s triple ties him at the top of the sulky colony with Stephane Brosseau, who has gone triple-double so far.) The Foreclosure N sophomore gelding Reposession became the first two-time winner at the meet, and extended his current victory skein racing at the central Quebec half-miler to five, when the pacer won the day’s opener in 2:00.4; two races later, the Amigo Hall gelding Jamigo became 2017’s first trotting two-time visitor to the local Victory Lane after completing a 2:03 triumph. The first two-time 2:00 winner for the season was 2015 2PG Quebec champion Mr Mach Jimmy, who followed up his 1:57.4 victory last week with a 1:56.3 triumph here; second was his filly counterpart champion from two years back, Miss Babe Delight. FINISHING LINES – 49 horses went gateward during Saturday’s qualifying session, including three former Quebec-bred series champions: 2014 3PF champ Chaleurs Fantasy, 2016 4+TM winner SOS Revange, and last year’s 3TC/G victor (and track recordholder) Holiday Party. 36 of Saturday’s contestants qualified, promising that there should soon be ten races on the Sunday’s 3R pari-mutuel card. Quebec Jockey Club
The Watch and Wager LLC meet at Cal Expo offers reduced 16 percent takeout rates on the Pick 5, Pick 4 and High 5, and last Saturday was a great night to take advantage of this attractive harness racing discount.
Indianapolis-based harness racing driver-trainer Dan Shetler scored twice in the second round of the $10,000 Indiana Silver Sire Stakes action on Tuesday (May 22) at Hoosier Park Racing & Casino.
Three harness racing divisions of the Indiana Silver Sire Stakes for sophomore trotting colts and geldings were the featured attraction Tuesday (May 8) at Hoosier Park Racing Casino as they played host to four divisions on the 13-race program.
Harness racing freshman fillies were featured at Indiana Downs on Friday evening (September 23) in the first round of Indiana Sires Stakes competition. A total of eight $40,000 divisions were carded -- four for pacers and four for trotters -- with favorites winning five splits.
Freshman and sophomore trotters were the featured attraction Friday, August 26 at Indiana Downs. The Shelbyville track hosted 10 divisions of Indiana Sires Stakes action on the 14-race harness racing program. It was a rough night for favorites, as only three reached the winner's circle.
The Hoosier Classic Yearling Sale kicked off its two-day event Friday, October 29 with a strong first session. Bolstered by notable out-of-state harness racing horsemen looking to invest in Indiana's lucrative program, yearlings brought record prices Friday, with a Southwind Elian filly bringing a $107,000 final bid.