Three-Year-Olds Featured At 3R

Published: July 2, 2017 04:27 pm EDT

Three-year-old pacers were in the limelight Sunday afternoon at Hippodrome 3R in the first preliminary of their Quebec-bred series, known as the “Coupe des Eleveurs,” or literally “Cup of the Breeders.”

Two divisions of colts and geldings contested $7,500 purses; there was one ten-horse field of fillies in action in an $8,250 event.

The Sportswriter colt Wildriverbumblebee, making his first start since setting a 1:54.3 stakes and track record in his two-year-old Quebec Championship victory last September, had plenty of sting in his 2017 bow, buzzing home in in 1:56. Stephane Brosseau refused to take the pocket behind hard-leaving Western Phil and paid a :27.1 price for command, but after rating a 1:00 middle half, he had plenty left for the dash home. Western Phil retained second over favoured Doc Semalu, coming off an Ontario Roots win from post ten. Francis Richard had the victorious colt in prime form immediately for owner/breeder Dr. John Bradbury.

Wildriverbumblebee and Stephane Brosseau made all the pace at Hippodrome 3R

In the other division, the Shanghai Phil gelding Rebel Voyager brought winning habits and early speed to 3R from Ontario and took his field wire-to-wire for driver Stephane Gendron in 1:58, giving trainer Francis Richard a sweep of the colt sections. ICR Racing is the owner and breeder of the promising sophomore. Noplay sat the pocket throughout to be second, while favoured Majo Lou Beka, away fifth in the six-horse field despite the rail, had to go a long uncovered route and could not sustain his move though holding for third.

The Shanghai Phil filly D Gs Elsa overcame her bulky ten-horse field in the best way – make two moves to get the top, get to the half in :59.3, and then sprint home in :58 to complete a 1:57.3 mile that was her third straight victory. Yaris Barama, the favourite who finished a neck shy, lost no honour in the race, starting from post ten, coming three-wide late on the second turn to get to first-over past the half, tucking in the pocket, and then challenging again approaching the wire, only to come up just shy of the talented winner.

Jonathan Lachance drove D Gs Elsa for trainer Guylaine Fortin, the latter a co-owner and co-breeder with Daniel Surprenant. Last year’s Championship winner Queen Elsa had a hard trip from the trailing post nine and ended up fifth.

The two-year-olds start their Quebec stakes in just three weeks, and several hopefuls made their lifetime debuts in a $3,500 freshman-only pace. The winner was the Sportswriter filly Butterfly BG, who made two moves to the lead, then held off Power Fog to the inside and Art of the Master to the outside (both colts) in 2:02.4 for driver Stephane Brosseau, trainer Daniel Martin, and owner/breeder Gaston Bibeau.

Half A Billion, owner of the fastest mile of the season by virtue of a 1:52.2 win on June 11, made what looked like easy work against a talented $8,000 Gold Invitational field, coming uncovered into twin back fractions of :28.1 and still winning handily in 1:53.4 for driver Stephane Brosseau and trainer Francis Richard (both completing triples) and the partnership of Michel and Francois Letarte, Jean Allaire, and Corey Giles, who saw their pride and joy win his sixth straight at 3R.

To view Sunday's harness racing results, click on the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R

(Quebec Jockey Club)