Little Diamond may be on the smaller side when compared to other harness racing horses, but the two-year-old colt has a huge heart and showed it Sunday (Aug. 28) at the Hippodrome 3R, scoring his fourth straight win in taking his division of the Future Stars Series.
“His first few starts against older horses was schooling for him,” said winning driver William Roy. “This colt has plenty of fighting spirit and he is better when he has to fight with another horse.”
There was no fighting needed for Little Diamond as he flew to the lead in the $7,500 first division of the Future Stars Series. This was the final leg of the series leading towards the $55,000 finals at H3R on Sunday, Sept. 11.
Little Diamond held the field at bay earlier on with Albert Alpha sitting the pocket seat. Little Diamond cut fractions of :29.1 and :59.2 before Francis Picard tried coming first over in the backstretch with Kansas Panic. They were unable to gain any ground as Little Diamond led at three quarters in 1:28.3.
As they came down the stretch, Little Diamond and Roy were easy winners, stopping the teletimer in 1:58.4 with a 3-1/4-length win. Albert Alpha was second with Kansas Panic third.
Little Diamond shaved nearly three seconds off his lifetime best with the win. The son of Sportswriter is trained by Guy Roy and was bred and is owned by Richard Desrosiers of Massueville. He paid $4.90 to win as the favourite.
“I had planned to put on a show with him today,” Roy said.
The sixth race was the second division of the series for the colts and again the favourite, this time Telllaurailoveher (All Bets Off) and driver Jonathan Lachance were able to lead from start to finish with a one-length win in 1:59.2.
The pocket-sitting Kingston Panic was second with Maximus GB third. YS Cheddar Wheel broke at the start, then caught the field coming first over and pressed Telllaurailoveher to the half before fading. Kingston Panic and Picard then came after Tellaurailoveher to the finish, but could not catch them.
Telllaurailoveher broke her maiden in her fifth start. She is trained by Francis Richard for owner-breeder Litwin Racing Team of Westmount. He paid $3.40 to win. Richard is also the trainer of second place finisher Kingston Panic.
The first of the two $7,500 divisions of the Future Stars Series for two-year-old pacing fillies got underway in the eighth race.
Favourite Double Gum and driver Jocelyn Gendron flew to the opening quarter in :27.4. Make Bet SBG sat the pocket as Double Gum led the way to the half in :59. Then in the backstretch, Ladycorona charged first over and broke stride as Godiva Shadow Girl and driver Robert Shepherd took over the chase uncovered by three-quarters in 1:28.4.
Godiva Shadow Girl then kicked into another gear and shot right by Double Gum on the final turn to take command and go on to win with ease by 2-1/4 lengths in 1:58.2, a lifetime best. Double Gum was second with Make Bet SBG third.
Godiva Shadow Girl won her second straight and grabbed her fourth win in five starts for trainer Lyne Asselin. She was bred and is owned by Raymond Larose of St-Henri-De-Levis. She paid $5.70 to win.
In the second filly division, former H3R leading driver Stephane Gendron returned to the winner’s circle with YS Sensationalcity. They led from start to finish in a lifetime-best 2:01.1 by 2-1/4 lengths over the pocket-sitting All She Can with first over Got Beach Body third. Trained by Yannick Martel, YS Sensationalcity scored her second win in five starts. She paid $3.10 to win
The fastest mile of the day came in the Preferred Pace, which saw Spectrum Seelster cut the mile with fractions of :27.1, :56.3 and 1:25.2 with a determined Goldinthebadlands and driver Pascal Berube first-over. On the final turn, Pierre-Luc Roy took Siddhartha three wide. And as they all started down the stretch, Goldinthebadlands held off Siddhartha to win by a head in 1:54.4. Snap Test (Stephane Brosseau) was third.
Goldinthebadlands collected his ninth win on the year. He is trained by Marc-Andre Simoneau, who co-owns the horse with Dehardins Noreau Stable and Jean Fontaine. He paid $13.50 to win.
Track Notes: Both Robert Shepherd and Pascal Berube had driving triples on the card while Francis Richard had a training double. The H3R is now racing just on Sunday afternoons. The next live race card will be Sunday, Sept. 4 at 12 p.m. (EDT).
To view Sunday's harness racing results, click the following link: Sunday Results - Hippodrome 3R.
(Quebec Jockey Club)