Last year at the Hippodrome 3R, it was a breakout season for harness racing trainer Francis Richard, and the 27-year-old is looking forward to another big season in 2018.
In 2017, Richard sent out 44 winners from his stable with 22 second-place and 16 third-place finishes. His Universal Trainer Rating was an impressive .391. Richard won his first-ever training title at H3R last season with 26 wins.
“It was such a great feeling winning the training title last season,” Richard said. “I am from 3R, so winning there made it more special to me as growing up I always went to the races.”
So far in 2018, Richard is off to an excellent start. Racing at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Richard already has 24 wins, 7 second- and 8 third-place finishes, and his UTR is a superb .519.
“Yes, I have been having some good luck at Rideau this season.” Richard explained. “I have trained down about a dozen horses for this year, plus we have some racehorses now at Rideau. I will be racing both at Rideau and at 3R this summer, depending which classes suit better to my horses.”
Richard said he has entered DJ Power and Sporting The Look for opening day (Sunday, April 29) at the Hippodrome 3R.
“For sure Wildriverbumblebee is among the top horses in my stable for this year,” Richard said. “I didn’t have the privilege to train him down this winter, though. His owner Dr. John Bradbury is currently training him, but I will get him soon enough.”
Owned and bred by Bradbury, of Cookshire-Easton, Wildriverbumblebee is a son of Sportswriter from the Mach Three mare Alcor Semalu. His record last season was seven wins and one second-place finish in just nine starts. His race record is 1:51.2, and he is a two-time Québec Championship winner.
Wildriverbumblebee is also nominated to the $200,000 Prix d’Été at the Hippodrome 3R on August 19. Richard is hoping his horse is good enough to be entered.
“I don’t think words could explain that feeling to be in the Prix d’Été,” Richard said. “It’s a big event and I have loved watching it every year. It sure would be a big thrill to be in it, and once you’re in the race, anything can happen.”
Track Notes: There are nine races carded for Sunday’s opening day program, including both an Invitational Handicap Trot and Pace. The new post time this Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R is 12:50 p.m. When Tuesday night racing begins, that new post time will be 6:30 p.m.