Day At The Track

Quebec Jockey Club; No spectators this season

05:44 AM 31 Jul 2020 NZST
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Claude Levesque, harness racing X O X O, harness racing
Claude Levesque, President of the Board of the Quebec Jockey Club
X O X O in full stride at H3R for owner, breeder, driver Jerome Lombart photo

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club (QJC), sent a notice to all harness racing people in Quebec on Wednesday, stating that the OJC board members felt the risks are too great right now to allow spectators to attend the races at the Hippodrome 3R this season.

"If admitting spectators were to lead to more cases of Covid-19 and the racecourse was then forced to suspend racing, it would be catastrophic for the industry, its jobs and even its survival," said Claude Levesque.

For the moment, the Club Jockey will continue to apply the same policy that is currently in progress, i.e. presenting races without spectators and continuing to apply to the paddock the same protocol approved a few weeks ago by the Public Health of Quebec.

Two-year-old goes against older horses

Harness racing fans will take notice of the first race Friday at the Hippodrome 3R. It's a trotting event that features a two-year-old, X O X O (that's its name), taking on older horses. Something you don't see every day.

Breeder, owner and driver, Jerome Lombart of Bromont, owns just two broodmares, yet almost every year he has young horses ready to race. Over the years Lombart has a track record, his horses have won series championships at H3R and now he has high hopes for X O X O (the symbol for hugs and kisses).

"She's a filly that does everything you want her to do well from the very beginning when I tamed her," Lombart said. "It doesn't guarantee anything, but at least it's going in the right direction.

"The dam of this filly," Lombart explained. "Is Promising Lavec, and she gives offspring which generally go well at 2 years old. Sometimes things go bad at 3, however. These days I only count on Promising Lavec and Fauvette Gale for my foals. The first gives more calm horse, the second more speed but less calmness."

X O X O is from the mare Promising Lavec, who is also the dam of Lucky Promesses, who also races Friday in the fifth race Preferred Trot.

"X O X O is the half-sister of Lucky Promesses," Lombart said. "She's is sired by Lucky Fool, not by Angus Hall. In fact, the last three offspring of Promising Lavec are by Angus Hall (Silky Lavec, X OXO and a filly born this year that I called La Bromontoise).

"And the good progress of X O X O," Lobart added. "prompted me to pay for its Ontario Sire Stakes eligibility. But there is still a long way to go. Keep in mind that last Saturday X O X O beat only two opponents. We will have a better idea this week."

X O X O starts from the rail. She is trained by Andreane Lapierre and in her first career start last week in the Quebec Regional Fair Circuit, led from start to finish in 2:05.3.

On Friday she goes against That's Hooligan (post 5), a four-year-old return winner, along with three-year-old winners Miss Melodie (post 2) and Indi (post 4).

The fourth race Preferred-Handicap Pace has a full field of eight featuring the dominant Windsun Cheyenne, who has won this class the last two starts in 1:56.2 and 1:55.3. He won from post seven last week so being handicapped with post eight on Friday should not hinder his chances of making it three-straight wins for H3R's leading driver Pascal Berube.

Also, in the field are rivals Hooter Shooter (post 7), the return of Surf Report (post 5) and D J Power (post 4), who has the red-hot young driver Samuel Fillion in the sulky.

Then in the fifth race is the Preferred-Handicap co-feature trot headlined by two return winners in Missionoftheheart (post 6) and Keepall (post 5).

Missionoftheheart was the best of her career last week at H3R, leading from start to finish for driver Stephane Gendron in a lifetime record mile of 1:58.2. The six-year-old mare by Manofmanymissions is trained by co-owner Michel Allard and romped last week by four and one-quarter lengths.

Keepall has won his last starts at H3R, the fastest in 1:59.1 for driver Carol Voyer and trainer Sylvain Tremblay. He already has three wins this season.

Post time on Friday is 4:00 pm. For a free race program, visit

From the Quebec Jockey Club

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