It was just one year ago that the two-year-old pacing colt Wildriverbumblebee, set the track record for his age and gait at Hippodrome 3R in winning his division of the Quebec Championship finals. He scored a 1:54 victory that day.
Now, age three, Wildriverbumblebee is back again and taking on a stellar field of seven rivals at 3R as part of the eight championship finals with total purses again at $480,000.
There are four $65,000 finals of the Breeders Cup (Coupe des Eleveurs) Series for the three-year-old trotters and pacers and four $55,000 finals of the Future Stars (Coupe de l'Avenir) Series for the two-year-olds. At nearly $500,000 in total purses for the ten-race program, it is the richest race card of the year at Hippodrome 3R.
Wildriverbumblebee drew post seven in the eighth race final for three-year-old pacing colts and will be driven by Stephane Brosseau, who has done very well with the colt this season.
Sired by Sportswriter, Wildriverbumblebee was bred and is owned by Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Eaton. He is trained by Francis Richard.
Currently on a two-race win streak, Wildriverbumblebee comes home to 3R off an impressive 1:53 lifetime mark in winning a $18,000 division of the Ontario Sires Stakes Grassroots at Georgian Downs by four and one-quarter lengths. His prior start was a 1:54.1 triumph in an overnight race at Rideau Carleton.
Will the outside post be a problem for Wildriverbumblebee on Sunday?
“He (Wildriverbumblebee) is quite a versatile horse,” said owner Dr. John Bradbury. “And with Stephane Brosseau driving, he teams up pretty good with him. So, I think that they will be able to cope with starting from post seven.
“Wildriverbumblebee dealt good with the shipping to the Toronto area,” Dr. Bradbury said. “He was on his 'A' game at Georgian Downs.”
Shipping back and forth between Ontario and Quebec has to be hard on a racehorse but Dr. Bradbury is positive about his colt. For most of the season Wildriverbumblebee has been lightly raced with two-week breaks between some starts.
“Wildriverbumblebee is in a good shape right now,” Dr. Bradbury explained. “All the shipping done in August has made us decide to race him lighter this season.” And it is paying off so far as Wildbumblebee has only 11 lifetime starts with six wins, three second and one third place finish, good for $56,215 in earnings.
The three-year-old colt pace program shows it is the most competitive race of the eight championship finals.
The race favourite is C L Sportsaction (post two) at 3-1. He was second by a neck in his last two starts at Rideau Carleton, timed in 1:54. Wildriverbumblebee is second choice at 7-2.
Rebel Voyager (post six) has beaten Wildriverbumblebee once in the series on July 16 and has an impressive 11 wins in 23 starts for trainer Francis Richard. They were eighth after broken equipment in his last start when Wildriverbumblebee won in 1:53, but prior to that the son of Shanghai Phil has been first or second in his last five starts.
Historie Enchantee (post eight) comes in on a two-race winning streak including a lifetime mark of 1:54. Other strong competitors include Western Phil (post three), who was second to Wildriverbumblebee last start and prior had won in 1:54.3 and No Play (post four), who has been second in his last three starts and this year has four wins, four seconds and eight third place finishes in just 15 starts.
The track record for three-year-olds may not be surpassed in this race, mainly due to the fact that the record is an amazing 1:52.4 set by Duc Dorleans in 2013.
“Anyone could win this race on Sunday,” concluded Dr. Bradbury. “It all depends how the race will unfold.”
First race post time Sunday is 12:30 p.m. To view entries, click the following link: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R.
(with files from the Quebec Jockey Club)