Day At The Track

Warhorse Caroluzzo seeks 40th career win

06:22 AM 15 Nov 2020 NZDT
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Caroluzzo, harness racing Caroluzzo, harness racing
Caroluzzo (#4 on the rail) and driver Stephane Gendron hold off a wall of horses last week at H3R. photo
Michael Cote Gagnon with Caroluzzo when the colt was foaled
Elaine Cote photo

Trois-Rivieres, QC - On Sunday the 11-year-old Quebec-bred harness racing stallion, Caroluzzo, takes on younger rivals in the Preferred Trot at the Hippodrome 3R, seeking his 40th career victory.

A true warhorse, Caroluzzo has raced every year of his career for owner-breeder Michael Cote Gagnon and trainer Daniel Martin.

In fact, Gagnon has been with Caroluzzo since the day the special son of Musclesextrodinair was foaled and knew from day one that his colt was something special.

"Caroluzzo is the last foal of a mare that I bought in Ontario, named Sardula," explained Gagnon. "But above all, he is the only Quebec offspring of the Musclextrodinair (Muscle Yankee) stallion that I had discovered and purchased in Delaware. We then named the foal after my grandfather (Carol), who had passed away right before the foal was born. I knew I had to keep and race this foal."

And now, Caroluzzo has given Gagnon nine straight years of racing excitement and 39 wins along the way. He has won multiple times every season. The latest triumph was just last week at H3R when Caroluzzo and driver Stephane Gendron wired the field in 2:00.3.

"We expected a good performance from him in that group last week." Gagnon said. "He will soon be 12 years old; he is not as formidable as when he was six or seven when he won the title of Trotter of the Year in 2015 and 2016 in Quebec."

Gagnon says it is the stable of Daniel Martin that keeps Caroluzzo in racing form and they pretty much let the stallion dictate his work schedule.

"Daniel, Dominique and Carolann take care of him like a Prince," Gagnon laughed. "Monsieur Caroluzzo has the nicest stall and doesn't jog until he's awake. Sometimes they send me videos of him snoring! He has a gargantuan appetite and horsemen used to kid about his "thinness". My mother wants him to have a specific diet.

"Besides his feet," Gagnon said, "Which sometimes gives work to the team, he does not require special care. He's a solid, good old warrior."

On Sunday Caroluzzo is moving up in class to the Preferred Trot and drew post three in the first race co-feature. He will be facing some formidable foes including the entry from trainer Yannick Martel of Severus Hanover (post 2) and Dr Spengler (post 5). Rounding out the field are Sir Chopin (post 1), Keepall (post 4), Precieuse CC (post 6) and Eau Naturelle (post 7).

"This week it will be harder," Gagnon said. "But he was still beating this class two years ago. However, he should always be considered by bettors, he scores well and never breaks. Especially when it's Stephane Gendron who's driving him, it's an incredible duo."

Being a handsome chestnut stallion with four white feet and a white blaze, has Michael Cote Gagnon ever considered putting Caroluzzo out to stud?

"My mother (Elaine Cote) has dreamed of making him a breeder for a long time," Gagnon explained. "He is a superb stallion, a perfect conformation and a good temperament. We might be surprised at the results since he is descended from Muscle Yankee and his dam is from a branch that gave Pure Ivory ($1,442,000 and the mare of Hambletonian winner, Forbidden Trade).

"I am open to proposals," Gagnon added. "If breeders from here in Quebec, like Denitza Petrova, Claude Hamel or Guillaume Cayer-Richard, show interest. I myself am looking to buy a good mare for breeding."

Also, on Sunday, H3R features a Preferred-Handicapped Pace in the fifth race that has two entries in it.

The race favorite is the entry from trainer Alain Martin of Atomic Million Am (post 8) and Wrangler Cash (post 6). Last week Atomic Million Am (who is a four-time Quebec Champion), won this class, leading from start to finish by three open lengths in 1:55.3. He will again be driven by Sylvain Lacaille. Wrangler Cash won the Preferred two starts back for driver Pascal Berube.

Other contenders are Farmers Tan (post 7), Maracasso (post 5) and Dreydl Hanover (post 1).

First race post time is 1:00 pm. For a free race program, visit

From the Quebec Jockey Club

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