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Trois-Rivieres, QC - Over the years, the Quebec Jockey Club at the Hippodrome 3R has made a point of celebrating the retirement of certain harness racing horses who have reached the ripe old age of 14. This has always been done on closing day for the track, which is this Sunday, November 22. All Standardbred race horses must retire on January 1 at age 15. They are still allowed to race but only in amateur and fair events. But this year, the ceremony will take on a special significance for several reasons: Onyx VA, since it is about him that we are talking about, will have had during his life only one owner, André Larocque of Lourdes-De-Joliette. This horse raced at H3R for nine of the twelve years of his long and prolific career. It was at H3R that this career began an it is at H3R that it will end this Sunday, November 22. When we ask this charming gentleman, who is Andre Larocque, to share some of his memories with us, he becomes perplexed, not really knowing which elements, which races to choose: "In my lasting memories, Larocque said. "There is this race at Rideau Carleton in 2014 with Kyle Forgie in the sulky and a victory in the best class in 1:54.3 from 7th position; better still, his mile at H3R, the same year, this time with Stephane Brosseau, a victory in 1.53.4, from one end to the other after having torn the fronts away from DGs Woodstock in :27 seconds. "At 2 years old," Larocque explained. "He had a very fruitful year, successively winning three stakes (two Quebec Elite series, one Quebec Plus series) with Daniel Potvin on the guides. Daniel was my blacksmith at the time, and what a job he did with the colt. These were his three highest paying races in his career, twice for purses of $35,000, once for $25,000. The rest of his life he spent raising a thousand dollars here and there. Small grants in overnites. If you look at his record now, he took 293 starts and made just over $300,000, which works out to $1,000 per start. An iron horse, a clapper. " It was at the turn of the 2000s that André decided to try his luck in breeding, by acquiring a mare, Better Than Good, by The Big Dog. A mare who had never raced but whose family was full of big names: Die Laughing, Dexter Nukes, Silent Majority. This mare, bred to Artist Sena, first gave her Mamzele Leopold ($40,000 and a record 1.56), but the filly was plagued with conformation issues. The second breeding, this time with Electric Sena (Cam Fella), provided him with the colt that became Onyx VA. For the younger ones, know that Electric Sena in his day was quite a horse ($1.1M and a record of 1.48.3). "Then the mare didn't give much," Larocque added. "A few raced, some didn't. But Onyx VA was going to make people forget all that, he was so handsome, efficient and very intelligent. My role, week after week, was to find him a class that would do him justice. After the Quebec race tracks closed, I had no choice but to have him race in Ontario and he excelled on all kinds of tracks, in all kinds of conditions: Rideau, Flamboro, Grand River, London, Woodbine . He had some health problems, but never to prevent him from coming back to the track. He made me very happy, to say the least. "Sunday will be his last start, Larocque said. "I have no plans to go anywhere else next. This is where it all began and this is where it all ends. He will be entitled to a peaceful, deserved retirement. He has his stall, his paddock, his routine and he will now be at rest. For my part, I don't know what the future holds. "I am 69 years old, Larocque said. "And have had my fair share of health issues over the past few months. My hips make it difficult for me to move around, and it is no whim that I asked Claude Beausoleil to take on the role of trainer for the last few weeks. If ever my health allows me, I will not say no to a possible return with another horse. For the moment, my concerns are elsewhere. "I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who has helped me over the past twelve years with my horse," Larocque added. "There are stable neighbors, trainers, drivers, lots of people who made this 'trip' with Onyx VA possible. Thank you everyone from the heart." Onyx VA will start on Sunday, in the 7th race. This will be his 294th start. He has recorded 47 career victories. At the end of his race, Claude Beausoleil will lead him to the winner's circle for a small ceremony during which he will be placed a cooler blanket which will officially mark the end of his racing career. And with the 2nd starting position shared, it doesn't say that Onyx VA will be beaten. Track Notes: Racing fans can get a free race program for Sunday by visiting First race post time Sunday is 1:00 pm. Simulcasting will continue seven days a week at H3R and all of its OTB outlets in Quebec. Also, on Sunday there are three Preferred events for the trotters and pacers. Francis Richard for the fourth straight year will take top honors as the leading trainer. The leading driver battle continues into Sunday with Pascal Berube (who is not driving Sunday) holds a four-win lead, 52 to 48, over Stephane Brosseau, who has eight drives on the program. By Daniel Delisle, for the Quebec Jockey Club

TROIS-RIVIERES, Quebec, May 29, 2016 - It was a day of upsets in both divisions of the second round of the $120,000C Quebec-Bred Series at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday for four and five-year-old pacers. Astute wagering fans should have seen the writing on the wall after the first two races produced winners who paid $38.60C and $30.40C. In the 6th race first division of the Quebec-Bred Series for older mares it was a repeat of racing style for both Chaleurs Fantasy and Wanda Bayama only the results came out the same. Yves Filion, after getting parked first-over for the mile last week, took no chances and left from post seven, taking the lead away from Kinnder Elegane (Justin Filion) before the opening quarter mile in :28.4. Once in control of the pace, Yves Filion was able to back off Wanda Bayama, who was the overwhelming 1/5 betting favorite, to a :30 quarter as they breezed by the half mile in :58.4 and that was when trainer/driver Carl Duguay started to give chance on the outside with Chaleurs Fantasy. Down the backstretch they came after the race leader, collaring them by the three-quarters in 1:28.4 and then by the top of the stretch Chaleurs Fantasy cleared to the lead and then blew the field away down the stretch, winning with ease by three open lengths in 1:58. Wanda Bayama held for second with Miss Bro (Pascal Berube) third. Unbeaten in two starts this year, Chaleurs Fantasy is a five-year-old mare by Omar Khayam and is owned and was bred by Elevage Baie Des Chaleurs of Port-Daniel, QC and paid $9.90 to win. Two races later it was "The Black Cat", driver Richard Simard, and Ontario invader, Electric Western, who stole the show with an upset victory in the ninth race horse division of the Quebec-Bred Series. It was race favorite Atomic Million AM and driver Sylvain Lacaille who left sharply from post five and led the field with Electric Western sitting right on their back through fractions of :27.3 and :57.2. Then it was Sugarsam, last year 3YO series champion, who was first to show for driver Denis St-Pierre, grinding his way and forcing Atomic Million AM to the three-quarters in 1:26 and nearly grabbing the lead before the final turn. Those two went neck and neck until the stretch drive when Simard took Electric Western to the passing lane and just got up in the final strides to win by a quarter of a length in 1:55. Atomic Million AM held for second with Sugarsam third. It was the first win in eight starts for Electric Western. The five-year-old gelded son of Electric Stena is trained and co-owned by Rene Dion with Susanne Kerwood of Rockwood, Ontario. Electric Western paid $18.30C for the win. TRACK NOTES: On Tuesday night at 3R the older trotters will be in action in the second round of the $120,000 Quebec-Bred Series for four and five-year-olds. Post time 7:00 pm. Next Sunday, June 5, 3R will host its first All-Star Drivers Challenge featuring many of the top drivers in the world coming to Trois-Rivieres. Hall of Famer John Campbell, Tim Tetrick, Yannick Gringras, Daniel Dube, Jody Jamieson, Sylvain Filion and 3R leading drivers from 2015, Denis St-Pierre and Mario Charron. They will all compete in eight tournament races with $10,000 in prize money. All of the drivers will be at a meeting and greet with race fans starting at 12:30 pm in the clubhouse area. From the Quebec Jockey Club

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Electrofire upsets in Tioga feature by James Witherite, Tioga Downs racing media   Stalking a late battle on the far turn, Electrofire sustained a three-wide push off the corner en route to a 16-1 upset win in Sunday (May 18) afternoon's $14,000 Open Handicap pace at Tioga Downs.   The seven-year-old Electric Stena entire was no part of the early pace, letting Firethorn (John Macdonald) handle the initial pacesetting duties. While Fireyourguns (Aaron Byron) pressed the pace on the backstretch Electrofire followed from second-over before making the winning move. On the far turn, Rick Plano angled three-wide, sustaining a late push to narrowly prevail in 1:51.3. Fireyourguns, who saw a five-race win streak come to an end, was a game second, while Prairie Jaguar (Jim Marohn, Jr.) held third off a pocket trip.   Trainer Jennifer Lappe co-owns Electrofire with the Hero Stables.   Live racing returns to Tioga on Friday evening, May 23, with first post at 6:15 p.m. EDT.   -end-   (Attached: Electrofire (#1) just beats Fireyourguns (#9) and Prairie Jaguar (#6) in the $14,000 Tioga Downs Open Handicap pace. Fred Brown photo.)

Electrofire (Electric Stena) became the fourth different horse to win the Open Pace in four weeks at Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Shawn Gray piloted the Jennifer Lappe-trained pacer who was taking his first crack at the $17,000 feature at the Spa. The seven year old pacer flashed quite a bit of gate speed and captured control in the early stages of the Open. Electrofire never let up and had plenty left in the tank for a 1:54.3 victory. Mystical Valentine (Jason Ryan) held on for second while Trigger Finger (Jim Devaux) earned the show spot. Nobody hit the pick five for the third consecutive night at Saratoga so there will be a carryover on Sunday afternoon of $3,060. First post time for the matinee card is 12:45pm. by Mike Sardella, for Saratoga Raceway

Pompano Beach, FL...October 6, 2013...Pompano Park kicked off its 50th anniversary season on Saturday in a festive atmosphere featuring a live bugler, the popular Miami Food Trucks, a new wagering format and fireworks...on the toteboard! In the winner’s over feature, Avantage, the longest proposition on the board at 21-1, upset the applecart in scoring his very first win of the year. The seven year-old altered son of Electric Stena, driven by Tom Sells, took full advantage of a suicidal early pace involving the 1 to 10 stable entry of Deep Finesse and B N Bad--:26.1 to the quarter--to sweep into the lead on the final turn to score by 1 3/4 lengths over Fine Fine Fine (Bruce Clarke). Hillybilly (Bryce Fenn) completed the trifecta with Hyperion Hanover and Neptune Blue Chip earning the final two awards. In a post race interview, Sells said, “...this horse kept knocking on the door for so long and that hot pace really helped him. When I tilted him out around that second turn, he really came alive. He rarely misses a check and, finally tonight, he got the lion’s share. He’s just a good, solid, hard trying racehorse!” Trained by Michele Plouffe for owner Elizabeth Zimmerman, Avantage paid $45.20, $13.00 and $27.20 across the board, keying a trifecta payoff of $4,263.00. Fine Fine Fine paid $15.20 and $42.80 while Hillybilly returned $15.60 top show--the lopsided show payoffs resulting from the entry, garnering the vast majority of the show money, being off the board. In Florida Sunshine Stake action, the three year-old Tashia, again handled by Stephane Lareau, extended her winning streak to seven with a splendid 1:55.1 win for owner Jay Sears, who was celebrating his 72nd birthday. Trained by Kim Sears, the versatile free-legged filly motored up from fifth around turn two, engaged the leading Seven Arias (Sells) around the final turn and put her away turning for home, winning by 1 1/2 lengths. Dandee Diamond (Wally Ross, Jr.) finished third. I Spy A Gator and Full Of Moxie earned the final checks in the field of nine. In the Sunshine State Stake for sophomore trotters, Tim T, driven by Tom Sells, easily handled his foes with a gate to wire score and knocked more than two seconds off of his previous lifetime best. His margin was almost five lengths at the end of the 1:56.4 mile. Favored Railee Kwik (Ranger) was second while Proud Expression (Mel Turcotte) finished third. Stablemates Sky Crest and Without Hesitation earned the minors. Tim T is a gelded son of Basil trained by Mike Deters for the consortium of Morosini, Fritz and Prendergast. Earlier in the day, a non-wagering matinee featuring Florida breds in Sunshine State Stakes action was held with noteworthy performances by Sandalonia, J D Eleven Bell’s, Tough Issue, Tyree’s Treasure and Quincy, among others. Sandalonia, driven by Mickey McNichol, took top honors in a division of the juvenile pace for fillies, using a gutsy :29 final panel to hold off La Regina and Gold Star Jessica in 2:00.2. The Six Of Diamonds lass is trained by Sandy Hollon for owner Heddy Nelson. J D Eleven Bell’s, a daughter of Eleven A M, made a bold quarter move to the top and led the rest of the way for Bruce Ranger, stopping the clock in 1:59. In the division for two year-old colts and geldings, Tough Issue Tom Sells), a gelded son of Tough Sir, led every step of his mile, using a :28.1 final panel to establish a new lifetime mark of 1:59.1. Trained by Mike Deters, Tough Issue is owned by Brenda Komers along with the Verderame Stable. The spirited Tyree’s Treasure annihilated her competition with a victory measuring 13 1/2 lengths in a new lifetime best of 2:00.3. Bruce Ranger handled the filly’s lines for trainer Mark Friedman and owners Holliy Proesel and the Polo Stable. Finally, Quincy, who usually likes to race off the pace, used the opposite tactics to win in 1:55.2 for Bryce Fenn. The three year-old son of Six Of Diamonds clocked all the fractions--:28.1, :57 and 1:26.4 before using a :28.3 finale to seal the deal for the Marc Aubin Stable. by John Berry for Isle Pompano Park  

Round two of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series went postward Saturday night, comprised of five, harness racing $50,000, get-togethers.

Favored Electrofire (Brian Sears) repeated as harness racing's champion of the chalk players Saturday night (January 19), winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace.

Favored Electrofire and harness racing driver Brian Sears was the champion of the chalk players Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $35,000 Open Handicap Pace. Starting inside his six rivals, Electrofire retook from the six wins-in-a-row Proven Lover (Jason Bartlett), after a foggy, 28-second opening quarter-mile.

Saturday evening's feature harness racing event at Pompano was the $8,500 Isle Mile Open Pace which saw Avantage used hard to make the lead after a 26.3 quarter and survive third quarter and stretch duels to stop the clock in 1:53.1.

After a pair of traffic troubled trips and last week's bold first over try, everything finally fell into place for Sfumato to capture the top weekly harness racing event in South Florida. The pacer earned a life's mark in his fourth appearance at The Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park.

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