Trois-Rivieres, PQ --- What would it take to defeat Decret Justiciale at the Hippodrome 3R? The top trotter this season already had won five of his six starts going into Tuesday's (July 8) feature race, so what would be needed to defeat this formidable foe? How about tying the all-age track record for trotters? That’s what it took and that is what Michelangelo and driver Denis St. Pierre did Tuesday at the Hippodrome 3R.
|Sylvain Gagnon photo|
|Michelangelo tied the all-age trotting record at Hippodrome 3R.|
The third race $6,000 featured trot saw Michelangelo and St. Pierre shoot right to the early lead, forcing Out Of The Hat (Stephane Pouliot) to take a back seat in the two-hole as they went by the opening quarter-mile in :27.
Michelangelo was on top and no challengers were in sight as they sped by the half-mile marker in :57. It was then that Whitewater Rapids (Guy Gagnon) started a slow march up to challenge first-over and by the three-quarters in 1:26.3 they had still not gained any real ground on race leader Michelangelo.
Even though the race favorite Decret Justiciale and driver/trainer Denis Filion, after a quick three-wide move in the backstretch, was in good striking distance second-over, no one was going to catch Michelangelo. He went on to win by an easy four lengths. Out Of The Hat was able to hold on for second with Whitewater Rapids third and Decret Justiciale fourth.
Owned and trained by Chelsea Knapp, it was the ninth win this year for Michelangelo, a 5-year-old gelded son of Angus Hall. His time of 1:56 now ties him with Pablo Angus, who first set the record back in 2008. Michelangelo paid $6.80 to win.
Jefferson Tare continued his winning ways with the longest consecutive win streak at Hippodrome 3R this season, winning the fifth race pace for his sixth straight win.
The 3-year-old gelded son of Jereme's Jet has been nearly unbeatable and on Tuesday he faced his toughest challenge yet from the pocket-sitting Gastineau and driver Marie Claude Auger.
Driver Pascal Berube left from post two with Jefferson Tare as Gastineau was content to take the two hole trip behind them. Through fractions of :27.1, :57 and 1:27.2 they raced the same way as no one else in the field could keep up or offer a challenge.
Coming down the stretch, Auger came out with Gastineau and sent his horse after Jefferson Tare but Berube got after his colt and despite a valiant effort by Gastineau, Jefferson Tare dug in late and held them off to win by a half-length in 1:57. Shanghai Ben (Peirre Luc Roy) was third by 9-1/4 lengths.
Now six for seven this season, it was a lifetime mark for Jefferson Tare, trained by Pierre Leclerc, who co-owns the colt with his wife Gina. Jefferson Tare paid $2.30 to win.
Live racing resumes at Hippodrome 3R on Sunday with first race post time at 1 p.m. For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com.