TROIS RIVIERES, QUEBEC – The Mickey Hanover pacing colt Mickeymaksomespeed had won the faster harness racing division (1:55.4) of the first prelim of his Trophee des Eleveurs competition for Quebec-breds, and he had an inside post advantage for his $7500 division of Sunday afternoon’s second preliminary at Hippodrome 3R over his main rivals Eclat De Rire (last year’s divisional champion) and Whitecookie (who won the other first prelim in 1:56.4).
Yet the bettors let Mickeymaksomespeed go off at 7-2, well behind Whitecookie (4-5*) and Eclat De Rire (6-5), and “Mickey” rewarded his faithful with a 1:55 victory. Driver Steeven Genois hustled him right to the front, getting a soft :57.4 half after a :28 opener, meeting the long first bid of Whitecookie past the 1:26.3 three-quarters, then drawing clear by 2¼ lengths at the end over second-over Eclat De Rire, who photoed My Bettors Del, a length ahead of the chalk.
Unraced at two, Mickeymakesomespeed is making up for lost time at three, with seven wins in only eight starts for trainer/owner Michel Allard.
The so-called “other division” of the Trophee des Eleveurs leg produced a 1:55.4 lifetime fastest victory for the Hes Watching gelding Retour Au Jeu despite starting from the outside post seven. Retour Au Jeu was used very hard getting the lead while wide a long way in the :26.4 opener, but he still had the strength to keep the lead in midfractions of :56.4 and 1:25.3 while being hounded by first-over HP I Got Toplay and then resist that opponent by ¾ of a length. The winner, driven by Stephane Gendron, has won four of his last five for trainer Maxime Velaye and owner Guy Corbeil.
There were also two $7500 divisions of second round “Eleveur” competition for the sophomore pacing fillies. 2019 divisional champion Acaena De Chakrika confirmed herself as the horse to beat in this section, with the daughter of Sunshine Beach sitting in the pocket for driver Stephane Brosseau, then moving out and overhauling the resilient Zar E Ip by a half-length while lowering her mark to 1:56.4. Acaena De Chakrika went over $50,000 in lifetime earnings with the triumph for trainer Dany Fontaine and owner Diane Lepine.
Acaena De Chakrika –thephotodesk.ca photo
The other filly winner in the Q-bred competition was the 1-9* Lotus Sena, third to Acaena De Chakrika and Zar E Ip in her first leg race, here winning in 1:58. The Windfall Blue Chip miss was in control of the proceedings throughout for driver Stephane Gendron and trainer/owner Serge Nadeau.
The veteran Badlands Hanover gelding Hooter Shooter got away sixth among seven in the $4500 Preferred handicap pace, but Stephane Brosseau maneuvered him out into the cover flow, and the game pacer kept on coming and coming to catch pacesetter Marcasso at the end of a 1:56 mile. A 14-time visitor to Victory Lane over the last two campaigns, Hooter Shooter is trained by his owner Marc Andre Simoneau.
From the Quebec Jockey Club