Trois-Rivieres, PQ --- The weather was ideal, the horses were at their best and thus four track records were rewritten at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday (Aug. 24) in the second round of the Quebec-Bred Series for 2-year-old pacers and trotters.
And for driver Denis St. Pierre it was a banner afternoon as he drove the winners in three of the track records set.
The track record setting day began in the second race C$7,500 Quebec-Bred Series for 2-year-old pacing fillies. Kinnder Elegance, the race favorite, did not disappoint betting fans as St. Pierre sent the daughter of Allamerican Native to the front, grabbing the lead by the opening quarter in :28.4. They then led to the half-mile in :58.3 as rival Anna Santanna (Marie Auger) started up first over to challenge. Going to the three-quarters in 1:27.4, Kinnder Elegance held her ground as Anna Santanna kept gaining ground.
Then in a dramatic stretch drive, Kinnder Elegance barely held on at the wire to win by a neck over Anna Santanna with First Girl (Maxim Gaudreault) third. The time of the race was 1:57.4 and that erased the 24-year-old track record of 1:58.2 that was set by Caressa. It was a lifetime mark for Kinnder Elegance and her second win in three lifetime starts. She was bred and is owned and trained by Denitza Petrova.
The very next race was the first of two divisions of the series for trotting fillies and feeling her oats was National Trace for driver St. Pierre. The daughter of Taurus Dream went right out to the lead and gave live cover to C L Magic Road (Marie Auger) through fractions of :29.3, 1:01.1 and 1:32.1 to the three-quarters.
Then in the stretch, Auger sent C L Magic Road after National Trace, but it was not good enough as St. Pierre kept his filly going for a quarter-length triumph in 2:03.2. Champagne Panic (Denis Filion) was third.
That clocking rewrote the 21-year-old track record for 2-year-old trotting fillies that had been originally set by SOS Preference back in 1993 and had been equaled by Uliane Bayama in 2012.
For National Trace it was her maiden victory in her fifth lifetime start for trainer Danny Fontaine. The filly was bred and is owned by Ecurie Gaetan Bono, Inc. She paid $7.80 to win.
Then came the fourth race, which was the second Quebec-Bred Series division for 2-year-old trotting fillies and it went identical to the previous race.
Race favorite Meganou and driver Jocelyn Gendron went out to the early lead with Promesses Imperial (Jerome Lombart), grabbing the two hole trip from post seven and they went to the opening quarter in :30.2. Then by the half-mile marker in a slow 1:03.1, Sunrise Linda and driver/trainer Yves Filion decided to have a go at Meganou and came first-over and by the three-quarters in 1:33.1 it looked like the race would be interesting.
But Gendron and Maganou would have none of that as he asked his filly for more and she pulled away from the rest of the field and won in a romp by 6-1/2 lengths over Sunrise Linda and Promesses Imperial. The time of the race tied the track record that was just set in the prior race, as they also went in 2:03.2. Sired by Kadabra, it was the second win in seven starts this year for Maganou, who is trained by Daniel Martin and is owned by Jean Picard. She paid $3.60 to win.
The fourth track record on the day came in the fifth race Quebec-Bred series division for 2-year-old pacing colts and geldings.
The race started off with an incident as Classic Breeze in post five went off-stride at the start and interfered with the outside horses.
Grand Galop Semalu and trainer/driver Yves Filion went after the early lead with HP Bushido Dragjet (Stephane Brosseau) grabbing the early pocket seat to the opening quarter in a speedy :27.1. Sugarsam and driver St. Pierre were interfered with at the start and were more than ten lengths off the leaders in fifth place when St. Pierre decided to take Sugarsam first-over.
By the half-mile marker in a mild :59.3, St. Pierre had Sugarsam in fourth place and they were inching their way towards the front. Then by the three-quarters in 1:27.1, Sugarsam was in third place and closing the gap as they raced around the final turn.
Then in a dramatic stretch drive, St. Pierre was not only able to keep Sugarsam in contention after his long outside journey, but came on late to win by 1-1/2 lengths in 1:56.4. Grand Galop Semalu was second with Y S Joe (Jocelyn Gendron) third. That clocking proved to be another track record as Sugarsam is a gelded son of Sportswriter and his time surpassed the prior track record of 1:57.1 that was set by Atomic Million Am in 2013.
It was the second win in six starts this year for Sugarsam and a lifetime record for trainer Helene Fillion and breeder/owner Sotirios Anastasopoulou. He went off at odds of 16-1 and paid $35.50 to win.
The C$300,000 Quebec-Bred Series now has just one more weekend of preliminary competition next Sunday (Aug. 30) and then the top eight point earners in the series will return Sunday (Sept. 7) for the C$55,000 finals. On that same day 3R will also host the four C$65,000 finals of the series for 3-year-olds.
Live racing resumes at 3R on Tuesday evening with first race post time at 7 p.m. For more information contact www.quebecjockeyclub.com.