Who says you can’t strike it rich on a $2 harness racing wager? Those who backed Niceandup in the seventh race pace at Hippodrome 3R were believers as the five-year-old mare was the longest shot on the toteboard and won at odds of 61-1, paying $125.80 to win on Sunday.
Niceandup was competing in one of eight $6,500 divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-olds. Driven by Steven Genois, she was racing in fourth-place the entire mile event and was able to out-kick the competition in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:57.2. Shanghai Mimi (Marcel Barrieau), the betting favourite, was second with Ulla Bayama (Denis St. Peirre) third.
The win was the first of 2014 in six starts and established a new lifetime mark for the daughter of Ontheupandup, who was bred, owned and is trained by Guy Boulianne of La Malbaie, Que.
The Quebec-Bred Series continues for the next two weeks with preliminary rounds and then on Sunday, June 8, the top eight point earners in each division will return for a $35,000 final in each class.
There were two divisions each on Sunday for trotters and pacers, mares and horses.
The second race, first division for pacing mares saw Lady Valentine and driver Sylvain Lacaille lead from start to finish in 1:58.1. Paying a generous $7 to win for trainer Chantal Mitchell and owners Yves Rondeau and Robert Vinet, it was the third win this season for the four-year-old mare by Jeremes Jet. Racey Miss was second with Impressive Daly third.
Track record holder Duc Dorleans provided the fastest mile of the Quebec-Bred Series on Sunday as he demolished a field of six rivals, leading from start to finish in 1:54 by one and three-quarter lengths. The win was his second in three outings at Hippodrome 3R. Driven by Frances Picard, Duc Dorleans paid $4.10 to win as he was not the wagering favourite. That honour went to McKinney, who sat a pocket trip but could only muster a second-place finish. Histoire Eternelle was third. A four-year-old gelding by Shanghai Phil, Duc Dorleans is trained by Jacques Dupont and is owned by Gestion Levesque.
The first division for older pacing horses also saw the winner lead from the start, but they did not fly as fast as Duc Dorleans. The Real One was the wagering favourite among the fans, and with driver Rheo Filion, made full use of the rail and won by a half-length over Si Semalu and SOS Grappa in 2:00.1. Trained and owned by Helene Filion, the win was the first in five starts this year for the four-year-old gelding by Mach Three.
Decret Justiciale had little trouble leading from start to finish in the Quebec-Bred Series for older trotting horses as he won with ease by two and three-quarter lengths in 2:00.4. Driven by his trainer, Denis Filion, it was the first start this year for the five-year-old gelding by Justice Hall. He is owned by Danielle Levac and paid $3.70 to win.
In the second division, Caroluzzo and driver Jocelyn Gendron came first-over against pacesetter SOS Robocop, and despite barely getting a head up in front at the three-quarter pole, was still able to out-trot everyone to the wire to win by a half-length in 2:02.1. Ken P V was second with SOS Robocop third. The five-year-old stallion by Musclesextrodinar is trained by Dan Martin for owner Michael Cote and won for the first time in four starts this year. He paid $2.80 as the wagering favourite.
The first division for older trotting mares saw Canbec Kangourou wire the field by one and one-quarter lengths in 2:01.2 over Ocean Mist Beauty and Sexy P V. Driven by Jocelyn St. Jaques, the winning time was a lifetime mark for the four-year-old mare by Amigo Hall. She is co-owned by Daniel Martin and Michel Damphousse.
Also leading from start to finish in the other older trotting mare division was La Neuvilloise and driver Stephen Gendron. They won by two and three-quarter lengths in 2:04 as the betting favourite, paying $3.50 to win. Mathers Promising was second with Uliane Bayama third. The win was the first in two starts for the five-year-old mare by Capote Hall. She was bred and is owned and trained by Noel Ferland.
In regular racing action, the Stephane Brosseau-driven Onyx V A earned his first win of the year in this week's $6,000 Winners Over Pace, turning back Pieraz and holding off D Gs Woodstock by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Favourite Bestofbest Hanover finished third. The Electric Stena gelding, owned by trainer Andre Larocque and Violine Plante, paid $14.90 for the mild 6-1 upset.
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R.
(With files from QJC)