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For the third time this harness racing season the track record for pacers at one and one-sixteenth mile at the Hippodrome 3R has been tied and rewritten and once again it is a different horse setting the mark.  There has now been five track records either tied or set this season after just 11 race programs at Hippodrome 3R. Their half mile oval has been razor fast this meet. Not only did San’s Frontiere and driver Marie Claude Auger set the record in the ninth race, but they also ended the five-race winning streak of former track record holder The Platinum Guy in the process. The Platinum Guy had started off the season at Hippodrome 3R, setting the track mark at 2:04.4 back on May 20 for driver Stephen Gendron. The record was then tied last week by Adkins Hanover and has now been rewritten by one-fifth of a second by San’s Frontiere in 2:04.3. It was Pan Larceny and driver Pierre Luc Roy who were first on the lead but pressured right away on the outside by Thebestofme and driver Mario Charron as they sped to the opening quarter mile in a quick :27.4. Once settled on the lead, Thebestofme led the field past the half mile marker in :58.4 before Niceandup (Steeven Genios) started up first-over and gave outside cover to San’s Frontiere. They raced that way through the three-quarters in 1:28. Then Auger sent San’s Frontiere to the lead by the top of the stretch with race favorite The Platinum Guy and driver Denis St Pierre hot on their heels but they could not catch San’s Frontiere as they went on to win by one length. Thebestofme was third. It was just the second start this year and first win for San’s Frontiere. The seven-year-old mare by House of Fun is trained by Emile Auger and was bred and is owned by local resident Denis Auger of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. She paid $7.70 to win. The two-year-old pari-mutuel race of the year took place Sunday in the first race with five trotters going to post. William Star, a colt by Windsong Espoir, led at the start for owner/trainer/driver Jean Francois Magure through the opening quarter in :32.1 and the half in 1:05.2. Then the pocket-sitting Flexible and owner/trainer/driver Sylvain Fontaine pulled the pocket and took the lead on the outside before the three-quarters in 1:37. They led until the top of the stretch when Magure came back with William Star and fought off the late charge of Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart) to win by a neck in 2:08. William Star paid $10.80 to win. Live racing resumes at Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday and featured will be one of the most exciting race cards of the season with the Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championships. In the competition are leading reinsman Pascal Berube, Gord Brown, Mario Charron, Guy Gagnon, Jocelyn Gendron, Stephane Gendron, Sylvain Lacaille and Denis St Pierre. They will compete in eight races on the program and the top two finishers, based on points, will go on to compete in the National Driving Championship on August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. For more information about the Hippodrome 3R visit their website at From the Quebec Jockey Club

The draw for the Quebec / Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, June 17 at Hippodrome 3R is now complete. Post time for Tuesday’s card of racing is 7:00 p.m. The participating drivers are: • Pascal Berube • Gord Brown • Mario Charron • Guy Gagnon • Jocelyn Gendron • Stephane Gendron • Sylvain Lacaille • Denis St. Pierre The RDC races are races 2 through 9. To view Tuesday’s entries, click on one of the following links: Hippodrome 3R – Tuesday Entries – Tuesday program pages. The top two finishers, based on points, will go on to compete in the National Driving Championship on August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. The I Love Canadian Harness Racing will be offering an online Pick 8 Handicapping Challenge on the QEO Regional and it will open on Sunday. We’ll also have three astute handicappers give you their thoughts on how each driver will do. The Regional Driving Championships and the National Driving Championship will adapt the point system utilized in the World Driving Championship. Points will be awarded on the order of finish as follows: SCORING Number of Starters 8: 15 (1), 10 (2), 7 (3), 5 (4), 4 (5), 3 (6), 2 (7), 1 (8). Number of Starters 7: 14 (1), 9 (2), 6 (3), 4 (4), 3 (5), 2 (6), 1 (7). • In the event of a horse being scratched or where no horse is available, five (5) points shall be awarded to the driver concerned. If a horse is disqualified or a horse and driver fail to complete the race, they will receive one (1) point. • In the event of a scratch, the driving rep drawn to a horse shall drive the ‘also eligible’ horse. • In the event of a dead heat for any placing in any race the points for the horses involved will be added together and divided equally among the drivers concerned (eg. If there’s a dead heat for third between two horses, the points for third and fourth place will be added and divided among the drivers) From Quebec Jockey Club and Standardbred Canada

A seven-year-old track record was erased Tuesday at Hippodrome 3R when Whitewater Rapids romped to an easy victory in a $5,200 conditioned event for trotters. Whitewater Rapids got away sixth and watched Easy Virtue and Prairie Big John take turns on the lead through fractions of :27.4, :57.2 and 1:27.3 before rushing to the front and drawing clear to win by 6-3/4 lengths in 1:57.1 for trainer/driver Guy Gagnon. Ghirardelli Lindy was a distant second, with Beer Maggs rounding out the top three. The former mark of 1:58.3 for older trotting horses was set by Jason Will on September 5, 2006. Ecuries Guy Gagnon owns the six-year-old son of Credit Winner-Rapid Rail, who improved this year’s record to 4-5-0 from just 15 trips to the track. The 11-time winner lifted his lifetime earnings to $240,493 with the win. It was no easy task but Jefferson Tare and harness racing driver Pascal Berube made it four straight wins at Hippodrome 3R Tuesday in the colt’s toughest mile ever of his young career. The second race pace was correct in making Jefferson Tare the race favorite, but not the way he did it. Virginonthebeach and driver Guy Gagnon left out of the starting gate and right to the front with D G’s Justlikethat (Stephane Brosseau) in second with Jefferson Tare in fourth place as they raced to the opening quarter in :28.1. Then Berube came out with Jefferson Tare but they were unable to get to the front by the half mile marker in :58.2. Berube tried again with Jefferson Tare going to the three-quarters, but Virginonthebeach and Gagnon would have nothing to do with that. Even with a half length lead by the three-quarters in 1:27.1, Jefferson Tare was only a half length in front and still parked out. By the top of the stretch, Virginonthebeach could not stop Jefferson Tare, who took a one length lead and then had to face a new challenge from the pocket-setting D G’s Justlikethat.  They came after the duo, but it was too little too late as Jefferson Tare dug in and pulled away for a one and three-quarter length triumph in 1:57.2. D G’s Justlikethat was second and Virginonthebeach held for third place. Trained and co-owned by Pierre Leclerc with Gina Bragagnolo of Louiseville, QC, it was the fourth win in five career starts for the Jefferson Tare, a three-year-old gelded son of Jereme’s Jet. His time of 1:57.2 was a two second improvement off his winning time last week. He paid a generous $3.40 to win. Jefferson Tare is now tied with Discret Justiciale as the only horses at Hippodrome 3R with four straight wins. Live racing resumes on Sunday at Hippodrome 3R at 1:00 pm. For more information go to From the Quebec Jockey Club

Undefeated in four starts this year, Decret Justiciale made it a clean sweep of the Quebec-bred Series for older trotters at the Hippodrome 3R, winning all three preliminary rounds and then capturing the $35,000 final on Sunday. Trained and driven to victory by Denis Filion, Decret Justiciale did not have it as easy as his record shows, especially in the final. The fifth race finae for older trotters started off with Decret Justiciale and Filion getting parked out past the opening quarter mile in :28 by Sucre A La Crème and driver Danka Veilleux. Once Filion had Decret Justiciale on the lead, Veilleux came right back to challenge with Sucre A La Crème and they battled through the half mile in :57.4 and through the three-quarters in 1:29.1 before Sure A La Crème began to fade after being parked out. Then in the stretch, Filion and Decret Justiciale were still able to hold off all contenders in winning by one length in 1:58.2 over Domino Cybele (Guy Gagnon) and third place finisher Ken P V (Sylvain Fontaine). A five-year-old gelded son of Justice Hall, Decret Justiciale is owned by Danielle Levac of St. Augustin-Mirabel, QC and paid $2.80 to win. The fastest and most competitive of the four finals took place in the sixth race older horse pace as the action started from the start and never faltered until the finish. Out of the starting gate came The Real One and driver Rheo Filion, who made it to the lead but was pressured immediately by Primeride and driver Guy Gagnon, who was determined to get to the front. Those two thus got into a dogfight past the opening quarter mile in a blazing :26.2. Primeride was in the lead but The Real One would not let him pass them by and they continued to battle through the half mile in :55.2. Meanwhile, McKinney and driver Denis St. Pierre was following second-over behind Primeride and third-over was the race favorite and all-age track record holder, Duc Dorleans, who was being driven by Stephane Brosseau. Once the field entered the backstretch the final time, Brosseau moved three-wide with Duc Dorleans and looped the field only they was unable to get past The Real One at the three-quarters in 1:25.2. As the field started down the stretch, The Real One finally began to fade, Duc Dorleans had the lead but could not hold off the late charge by McKinney, who went on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55. Duc Dorleans was second and The Real One held game for third place. Trained by Corey Johnson and owned by G. Arthur Slack of Rockwood, Ontario, it was the second straight win and third victory this year for McKinney, a four-year-old gelding by Santana Blue Chip. He paid $7.40 to win. Another slugfest took place in the tenth race final for older pacing mares as Racey Miss and driver Stephane Gendron, despite being parked out first-over from the half mile, still was able to grind it out against pacesetter My Tallia Ideal to win in 1:55. Her time was just two fifths of a second off of the track record for older pacing mares. Lady Valentine (Jonathan Drury) was the first on the lead and they parked My Tallia Ideal to the opening quarter mile in a speedy :26.3. Once settled in, My Tallia Ideal and driver Denis St Pierre were pressured on the outside immediately by Racey Miss and Gendron and they pushed the race to the half in :56.2  and then to the three-quarters in 1:25.2. Coming down the stretch, Racey Miss would not be denied despite the overland journey and went on to win by a half length over My Tallia Ideal with Lady Valentine third. Trained by Marcel Barreau for the Hudson Standardbred Stable of Hudson, QC, it was first win in seven starts this year for Racey Miss. The four-year-old mare by Shanghai Phil paid $8.80 to win. Ocean Mist Beauty continued her dominance in the older mares trotting ranks, posting her third straight win in the third race $35,000 series final. Driven by Stephane Brosseau, the four-old daughter of Kadabra went after early leader Canbec Kangourou (Jocelyn Gendron) and took command away after the opening quarter mile in :28.4. Then leading the field to the half mile in :58.2, Ocean Mist Beauty was challenged first-over by Uliane Bayama (Denis St. Pierre) but that effort was in vain they could not collar the leader by the three-quarters in 1:28.4. In the stretch drive Ocean Mist Beauty held the field at bay, winning by two open lengths in 1:59.3. Canbec Kangourou was second with La Neuvilloise (Stephane Gendron) third. Trained by Richard Moreau, bred and owned by Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal, it was the fourth win this year for Ocean Mist Beauty, who paid just $3.10 to win as the betting favorite. From the Quebec Jockey Club

The cream of the crop among the Quebec province four and five-year-old trotters and pacers will be on display at Hippodrome 3R on Sunday in the $35,000 finals of the Quebec-Bred Series. Four divisional finals headline the ten-race program that gets underway at 1:00 pm. The third race first $35,000 divisional final is for trotting mares and headlining the field is Ocean Mist Beauty. Despite having to start from the far outside in post position 8, the four-year-old daughter of Kadabra is on a two-race winning streak in the series and was second in the opening round. Trained by Richard Moreau and driven by Stephane Brosseau, Ocean Mist Beauty has also won her last two starts by impressive margins of six and ten and one-quarter lengths, while leading from start to finish nearly every week. She has three wins this year for owner Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. of Montreal and her fastest winning time this season is 2:00.2. Her main competition will come from Canbec Kangourou, a four-year-old mare by Amigo Hall, who was the Quebec Sire Stakes Champion last year with five wins and earnings of $40,000. She is the only one to have beaten Ocean Mist Beauty in the series and also has two wins and one second place finish. She will start from post six for driver Jocelyn Gendron. Another major contender in the field is La Neuvilloise from post two. She also scored two wins and a second in the series and has yet to finish worse than third in her four starts this year for owner/trainer Noel Ferland, who bred the mare. The trotting horses are in the limelight in the fifth race $35,000 final and featured is undefeated Decret Justiciale, who will be seeking to make a clean sweep of the entire series. The five-year-old gelded son of Justice Hall is the only horse in the series to have won all three preliminary rounds and has nearly led from start to finish in each leg for driver/trainer Denis Filion. The fastest win this year for Decret Justiciale was last week when he won in a romp by six and one-quarter lengths in 1:59.1. Owned by Danielle Levac of St. Augustin-Mirabel, QC, Decret Justiciale has 17 career wins. It will not be a cake-walk for Decret Justiciale in the final as there are numerous contenders in the field. Domino Cybele raced in only the last two legs of the series and did not face decret Justiciale as he is also undefeated in two starts, the fastest a 1:59.2 lifetime mark last week. He starts along side Decret Justiciale in post four for owner/trainer/driver Guy Gagnon. Other contenders include Ken P V (post 2), Caroluzzo (post 6) and Excel PV (post 7). The fastest division in the series will take place in the sixth race pace final for older horses. Here is where four recent winners, Duc Dorleans, McKinney, Primeride, Histoire Eternelle and Lucky Nadotremblay will all face-off for the winner’s share of the $35,000 purse. Duc Orleans is the slight 5/2 morning line favorite and is the all-age track record holder at Hippodrome 3R. Only that title did not hold up last week as Duc Dorleans cut all the fractions only to get nipped at the wire by McKinney in 1:54.2. Duc Dorleans starts from post five for new driver Stephane Brosseau. Last week’s victory by McKinney was his second win this year for driver Denis St. Pierre and he will be seeking that special two-hole trip once again from post six. Two starts back Primeride was able to lead from start to finish in 1:54.4 in the series and has won three of his last six starts. He starts from post seven. The tenth race final $35,000 Quebec-Bred Series on the program features pacing mares and the 5/2 favorite is My Tallia Ideal from post six for driver Denis St. Pierre. My Tallia Ideal is the only mare in the field that has won twice in the series, both times leading from start to finish. She will start from post six and has three wins this year for trainer Michel Allard. The four-year-old mare by Western Ideal was bred and is owned by Gestion Mario Audel, Inc, of Yves Sarrazin, QC. Her main rivals will include return winner D G’s Laurie (post 4), last year’s Quebec Sire Stakes queen, Lady Valentine (post one) and the entry of Shanghai Mimi (post 3) and Racey Miss (post 8) from the Marcel Barreau Stable. For more information please visit the Hippodrome 3R website at From the Quebec Jockey Club

Track record holder Pablo Angus came up a bit short in trying to win his 2014 debut harness racing at the Hippodrome 3R as Whitewater Rapids took the feature trotting event on Sunday. Pablo Angus finished fourth. It was Taurus Du Parc and driver Michel Perron who started off the 4th race c-feature by going right to the lead and cutting the mile to the first quarter in :29.1 and then to the half mile in 1:01. But already on the move and taking over command was the race favorite, Whitewater Rapids and driver/trainer Guy Gagnon, who came first-over after the first quarter and was able to clear by Tauru Du Parc after the half mile marker. From there on it was no longer a contest to see who would be the winner as by the three-quarter pole in 1:20, Whitewater Rapids already had a two length lead and coming down the stretch they turned it on to win by five and three-quarter lengths in 2:00.1. Ghirardelli Lindy (Jocelyn Gendron) was second with Close The Light (Michel Audet) grabbing third place. Shipping in from Rideau Carleton Raceway, it was the third win this year for Whitewater Rapids. The six-year-old stallion by Credit Winner is owned by Ecuries Guy Gagnon, Inc. of Gatineau, QC and paid $4.80 to win. Sunday also featured the final preliminary rounds of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-old trotters and pacers. Now the top eight point earners in the series for each division per sex and gait, will return next Sunday, June 8 for the $35,000 finals in each class. Highlights in the series action saw track record holder Duc Dorleans cut the mile but then get caught at the finish by the pocket-sitting McKinney (Denis St Pierre), who came on to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:54.2, the fastest mile on the ten-race program. The win payoff average at Hippodrome 3R continues to rise and lead many of the tracks in North America. Now after 71 races this meet, the average win price is at $12.83, mainly thanks to Jolt’s Prayer and driver Jocelyn Gendron, who upset the field in the eighth race pace at odds of 46-1, paying $94.70 to win. Live racing resumes at Hippodrome 3R on Tuesday at 7:00 pm. For more information visit From the Quebec Jockey Club

Rideau Carleton Raceway's leading driver Guy Gagnon dominated Sunday evening's harness racing card steering home six winners out of his 10 drives. Among Gagnon's winners was Viper Select ($2.20) in the featured $6,500 Winners Over Handicap. The class-climbing pacer earned his third straight victory in front-end fashion, stopping the clock in 1:53.4. The nine-year-old Dauntless Bunny gelding is trained by Regent Guindon and owned by Denis Guindo of Carleton Place, Ont. The rest of the field spread across the track four lengths behind in a five-way finish for the runner-up honours. If I Remember won the battle for second-place while Thats Ideal completed the triactor. To read the rest of the story click here.

Before Adriano Sorella entered the arena of harness racing, Adriano was a part owner in Thoroughbred racing. What drew Adriano to Standardbreds was the fact that Standardbreds race more often. "I hung out at Mohawk Racetrack (Campbellville, ON) and really liked it. I got involved in the SBOA (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association) program that gets new owners in and pretty much from there its history." Adriano explains. "I love the sport... I actually think it's turning around and if people focus more on the positives than the negatives it can be a lot better." Eight years ago Adriano was working away as a plumber in high-rises. This wasn't what Adriano was about or even who he was. Sometimes doing what is right for oneself can be the hardest choice to make. However, with the right support and determination, anything can happen. "I hated going to work" states Adriano. "Working on the 20th floor and the wind is cutting through like crazy. There are no windows yet and you're on a six or eight foot ladder putting together cast iron pipes and the wind is blowing in your ears. "It was totally wrong for me. "You got to find what you love and do just that.... People always worry about money, I get it," says Adriano. "If you give fifty percent to a job you hate, you're just going to bring that home and you're going to end up fighting with your wife or girlfriend or family. If you give a hundred percent to what you love, you're going to end up giving more than that because you're going to want to prove you can do what you love and be successful at it. It's a passion and not a job." "I believe if you love it, it will happen" states Adriano. "Eight years ago I was living in a basement apartment and didn't have much." Adriano says. "I was pretty much broke and I turned it all around. It wasn't just because of harness racing but the business I got into and it exploded for me." Adriano turned from plumbing to advertising. At the time Adriano had a handicapping website and he was always able to find advertisers to help fund his site so Adriano decided to step it up. "I ended up finding a recruiter who was awesome." Adriano explains. "He ended up landing me a job with this company. So this company (The Infinity Network), I worked for them for 4 years, they moved their offices from LA to Toronto and within six months they seen my abilities, called me into the boardroom and my position changed." "I took over all their ad sales and it blew up from there." Adriano credits The Infinity Network CEO Adam Small for helping him structure his pay and contract so he could buy a house. "The company totally took care of me" says Adriano. It didn't take long for Adriano to buy his home. Once Adriano had his house, he was looking to expand his horizons. "Within a year I had so much revenue coming in from ad sales and commission earnings, I got into horse racing." "I look at it now and the reason I want to help people is because I took a shot and it worked out. I want to help people if I can, hopefully it will make it easier for them. "At Christmas time, I looked for a family that could use some money and I randomly picked a family. I didn't even know the people." Adriano says. "I wired them money for Christmas and the girl sends me messages saying 'you totally changed my life, I can't believe someone would do something like that for somebody they didn't even know'. Sometimes you need that little push. I'm trying to help where I can. "I would rather focus on what things can be instead of how it was because it's done and gone. If you focus on the negatives you will end up in a rut." Adriano says. "If you surround yourself with the good people in the industry, the people who are always thinking positive.... You can be successful." Adriano says. "There's a quote and I always say it, 'if you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.' I want to be with people smarter than me, I know what I can do and I want to be with people with different abilities" When Adriano first started out, the first two horses he bought didn't return a profit. Luckily the third horse he bought was Vegas Vacation. "In his 2-year-old campaign... he showed us the potential of being a great race horse" says Adriano. "That's what happened as a 3-year-old, he turned into a millionaire. You have to be able to see that and if you truly believe in what you're doing, you're doing it right, you're smart enough to do it then keep doing it. Don't give up! You only have yourself to blame if you give up. "I always do what I want to do. I know some people don't like that and it turns some people's crank the wrong way.... I'm having fun and I want people to join in and share." Adriano says. "I want people to have a positive spin on racing. "Do you know how many times people tell me to tone it down?" Adriano asks. "I have a watch collection and I love my cars. That's because eight years ago I had zero. Zero!" Adriano offers some great ideas on how race tracks can attract more customers, especially the younger generation. "People come in for one product and then they end up buying another" explains Adriano. "That's the trick. "I look at Poconos in the US and they have big time restaurants in there." Adriano says. "They have Ruth's Chris Steakhouse right in there, why are we not doing anything like that? If we have a game plan, the government is willing to help us. Why not remodel some of these racetracks and bring in outside vendors like restaurants. If anyone wants to eat, they'll say 'why don't we go over to Mohawk Racetrack? They have the Keg.' All of a sudden you're creating a shopping mall idea but you also have racing there. Incorporate racing into those products." That's a great point! Even if Ontario race tracks offered Tim Horton's coffee that would be a delightful first step. "Have restaurants lease property from the race tracks" says Adriano. "You need to have a proper plan and pitch it to the right people. It's right there for you, maybe even have mobile betting with people walking around the restaurant taking bets. I saw it at the Poconos, they do it there and it's successful to me. "It's the reason they stick Tim Hortons at Esso gas stations, its right there" explains Adriano. "Why did Esso gas stations get away from their own kind of coffee? They know it's a product that is successful and you're killing two birds with one stone. Pitch it to the government where the government is not just handing out money. They are investing in a product that will offer a return on the money." Since Adriano became an owner in harness racing, it's easy to imagine how many awesome memories he must have. Vegas Vacation alone probably offers a book full. "It's been a great experience so far" says Adriano. "You go in buying your first set of babies and end up with a horse like Vegas Vacation and winning the Little Brown Jugs was such a thrill. That was life changing for me. Winning those trophies... and being the best of the best at the time is what makes me want to keep investing in Standardbreds." When it comes to investing, Adriano believes strongly about investing in people and one person that caught Adriano's attention is Sydney Weaver. The 13-year-old is a licensed groom, horse owner, writer and public speaker with Cerebral Palsy who is an inspiration to many including Adriano. "They did a story with her and in the interview Sydney said 'I know it's only a $6,000 race horse but to me it's a million dollar race horse.' You got to remember she's a kid. I have a daughter that's 14 who is basically Sydney's age. "I remember what it was like having a 10 claimer and all of a sudden I have a million dollar race horse. It got to me; I understand that relationship between an owner and a horse." Adriano explains. "When she said it was a million dollar horse, it just got to me." When Sydney's horse Pinky aka Sydney Seelster was claimed earlier this year at Flamboro Downs, Adriano was set to claim the horse back for her. "Guy Gagnon got a lot of backlash and he could have walked away and I'm sure he didn't know (the story)... but instead he gave the horse back and showed there are good people out there." Adriano continues "I was prepared to claim the horse myself for them, we were getting it all set up to do that and then when I saw what was going on I thought what else can I do to help?" That's when Adriano decided to buy Sydney a custom made jogging bike. "I noticed she had a special seat made, like a NASCAR seat so she could get on and jog her horse." Adriano explains. "I was flipping through pictures and saw her jog carts were a green one and a black one.... I thought wouldn't it be cool to get her a pink one!" "So I called up Casie (Coleman) and she's in Florida and asked who do you buy your joggers from?" Adriano continues, "Casie told me who was the best... so I called up the company and told them what I wanted. The sales rep said if you buy it, we'll take care of the custom paint job. So I bought it and they shipped it. The rest is history. "I still think I'm a nobody in this business" says Adriano. When I heard that comment I nearly fell of my chair. To think someone who gives back to the community considers himself a nobody was heart breaking. Regardless of Adriano's last statement, it's clear to see he matters to a lot of people. In harness racing and beyond! Roderick Balgobin's column will appear weekly on Harnesslink. You can contact him at rod.balgobin or Twitter: ScSupernova

The field for the 2014 Quebec-Eastern Ontario Regional Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, June 17 at Hippodrome 3R in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, has been confirmed. The participating drivers are: • Pascal Berube • Gord Brown • Mario Charron • Guy Gagnon • Jocelyn Gendron • Stephane Gendron • Sylvain Lacaille • Denis St. Pierre The top two drivers from the eight-race competition will join six other drivers at the 2014 National Driving Championship scheduled for Tuesday, August 26 at Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. To read the rest of the story click here.

North America's 2014 win leader Rockin Rambaran continued his current streak on Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway for trainer and owner Luc Loyer. Rockin Rambaran ($2.60) front-stepped his way to a 1:57.4 victory -- his seventh in a row -- in the evening's ninth race with Guy Gagnon in the sulky. With his ninth of the year, the four-year-old Rambaran gelding emerged from a five-way tie to take sole ownership of the top spot in the North American win standings. To read the rest of the story click here.

 TORONTO, February 13 – Harness racing’s social media hottest news, Sydney Weaver,  was reunited with Sydney Seelster – A Valentine’s Day giftial media community erupted on Sunday Feb. 9 following the $6,250 claim of Sydney Seelster at Flamboro Downs. Horses are claimed every day in the harness racing world, but this particular claim upset many fans of the sport. To some, the horse might be just a $4,500 claimer (plus allowances), but for owner Sydney Weaver the pacing mare was worth a lot more. In 2012, Weaver, a thirteen-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, received the best Christmas gift any child could receive – a racehorse named Sydney Seelster, hand delivered by longtime owner Cesar Kowalski. Since then, Weaver and her namesake horse have been inseparable. On race day, the Weaver family can always be spotted wearing pink in light of Sydney Seelster’s nickname, ‘Pinky’. Weaver, of Acton, Ont., has a deep passion for the sport and is often found trackside at Mohawk throughout the summer. In addition to being a harness racing super fan, Weaver is also an ambassador for the sport as an award-winning writer, public speaker and inspirational leader. With the help of her father, Don, Weaver also founded Friends Of We Care – a charity designed to send special needs kids to summer camps. Needless to say, Weaver has certainly accomplished a lot at a young age. This past Sunday, Weaver was heartbroken Sydney Seelster was claimed by Guy Gagnon of Gatineau, Quebec. The standardbred racing community was taken aback by the news of Weaver losing her most prized possession.  Fans immediately took to Facebook and Twitter to offer their thoughts and support, demonstrating how the standardbred racing community can quickly band together. “At first, I couldn’t believe it. I actually thought it was a joke,” Weaver said. “Then it hit me and it wasn’t a very pleasant night. It was just an awful feeling to lose something or someone so close. We barely slept.” Though it may have seemed impossible to some supporters that Gagnon wouldn’t know the relationship Weaver had with Sydney Seelster, it turns out that the Quebec resident simply is not a participant on social media sites where Weaver’s story is prominent. “I honestly had absolutely no idea about the story behind Sydney Weaver and her horse,” Gagnon said. “I feel terrible for putting the claim in and certainly never would do that to the little girl and her horse. “My wife is a school teacher and deals with kids every day,” Gagnon continued. “I coach kids hockey and I’m very involved with children. We wouldn’t like it if something like that happened to us. I wish this never happened, but we are doing what is right and giving the horse back. It’s the right thing to do. I would like to meet Sydney and her family in the future and offer my sincere apologies in person.” Gagnon also offered his thought process behind seeking Sydney Seelster. “I had a horse claimed on me last week and wanted to fill the stall. I searched a bunch of cheaper horses at Western Fair and Flamboro and noticed Sydney Seelster.” Weaver is thankful that Sydney Seelster will be returning home. “I’m just happy to be getting ‘Pinky’ back,” Weaver said. “She’s a part of our family and we’re thankful to have so many caring friends.” Weaver’s mother, Lisa, is also appreciative for Gagnon’s efforts. “We thought it would be possible for him not to know the story and that turned out to be the case,” she said. “We’re very thankful for Mr. Gagnon’s understanding and doing what we felt was right. Mr. Gagnon was very apologetic and sincere throughout this entire process and we thank him for that. Something that started out awful has turned out for the better and we are very lucky to have so many caring friends in this sport. “We know horses are claimed everyday,” she continued. “We understand the business and logic of the sport. We just didn’t think in a million years that she would leave Sydney.” Sydney Seelster was entered into a $7,500 claimer (plus allowances) on Wednesday, February 12 at Flamboro Downs, in which the Weaver family claimed their loved one back. Gagnon also arranged to pay the difference in the claiming price ($3,125) as Sydney Seelster was raised in class and Gagnon offered the Weaver’s any prize money that the 22-time winner earns. Sydney Seelster finished third in the $5,000 event, earning $600 for the Weaver family. A simple misunderstanding has been rectified in lieu of one of harness racing’s most beloved owners. So is it a coincidence that Sydney Seelster is being re-united with Weaver two days before Valentine’s Day?  Maybe…maybe not, but it’s certainly a perfect time to mend a broken heart. by Greg Gangle for WEG

On Sunday, harness racing's social media world exploded with outrage when Sydney Weaver's prized Standardbred Sydney Seelster was claimed at Flamboro Downs. The brown lass had been racing well in 2014 having won three of her four starts heading into Sunday’s race and had yet to miss the board in all of her races. It was learned after Sunday’s race that Sydney Seelster had been claimed by trainer Guy Gagnon. The resident of Gatineau, Que. is off to a strong start in 2014, as his stable has sent out 12 starters and has recorded five wins and four seconds, good for $12,865 in purse earnings and an impressive .601 UTR. The pride and joy of former ‘I Love Canadian Harness Racing’ fan club’s ambassador, Weaver was heartbroken with the news of her prized horse being claimed. Sydney Seelster and Weaver made headlines in 2012 when the mare was bought for Weaver so she could pursue her dream to become the trainer of a Standardbred. Gagnon told Trot Insider that he did not know of the story of Weaver and her mare and upon hearing about the young owner, agreed to allow the horse to be claimed back. "I never heard of her story before; I'm not on Facebook, I'm not on Twitter, I'm not a 'computer guy' and I didn't know the story before last night." The father of two kids and a hockey coach for young boys, Gagnon clearly meant no harm in claiming the pacing mare from the young fan and felt bad for the situation. He merely saw a horse in for a claiming tag that he thought would race well at Rideau Carleton Raceway after recently having a horse claimed from his barn. After the races, fans of harness racing were irate with the situation and posted numerous messages on Facebook and Twitter -- much like Gagnon, without knowing the entire situation. With a plan now in place to allow Weaver to get Sydney Seelster back, Gagnon added that he would like to meet Weaver one day and hopes that the same predicament doesn't happen again, fearing that someone else will come along and simply see a horse in for a claiming price. Reprinted with permission by

Driver Guy Gagnon stole the show on Sunday night at Rideau Carleton Raceway, dominating the 12-dash season opener with seven wins between races two and nine. The Gatineau, Que. horseman earned three wins with his own trainees Keeping Optimistic ($11.80), Xexy ($5.10) and Ivanhoe Diamant ($27.30). Gagnon teamed up with trainer Ronald MacDonald for a pair of victories aboard Sauble Liz ($12.10) and Lucky Taryn ($7.80). He also scored with Ronald McPhee trainee Rainbow Lilly ($6.30) and Zambuca Gass ($5.60) for conditioner Stephen Gassien. With 141 wins at the Ottawa oval last season, Gagnon ranked second on the local leaderboard behind Denis St. Pierre (160). Sunday's featured $6,400 Winners Over Handicap Pace was won by favourite Savannah Splendor ($3.30), who front-stepped his way to a three length victory in 1:58.3 over the snowy track with Gord Brown aboard for trainer Randy Van Meer and owners Donna Van Meer and Brian Evans of Bowmanville, Ont. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway. Reprinted with permission by

Sunday's harness racing card at Rideau Carleton Raceway became the Guy Gagnon show as the night came to a close with the Gatineau, Que. horseman winning five of the 12 races. Gagnon drove six-year-old pacer Time To Rocknroll ($4.20) to victory lane off the claim in the sixth race for trainer/owner William Gibson. He later guided four-year-old trotter Michelangelo ($3) to his third straight score in the ninth race for trainer John MacMillan. Gagnon also won the remaining three races with his own trainees. He steered eight-year-old pacer Trade Editor ($5.50) and nine-year-old trotter Ivanhoe Diamant ($5.60) to their ninth wins of the year while seven-year-old pacer Xexy ($5.40) picked up his fourth seasonal score in the finale. Gagnon currently ranks second in Rideau's 2013 driving standings with 136 wins to Dennis St. Pierre's 152. He also ranks among the top five trainers at the Ottawa oval, sitting fourth with 50 victories. To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Rideau Carleton Raceway. Rprinted with permission by 

While his harness racing peers ship across the province in a horse trailer on Monday (July 11) , two-year-old pacing gelding Retail will be enjoying his normal routine, hoping that home field advantage helps him to a top four placing in one of two $40,000 Gold Series Eliminations.

Guy Gagnon enjoyed a big night on Sunday at Rideau Carleton Raceway thanks to his five-win performance over the five eighths mile oval.

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