Last year at the Hippodrome 3R, it was a breakout season for harness racing trainer Francis Richard of Cambridge, Ont., and the 27 year old is looking forward to another big season in 2018.
In 2017 Richard sent out 44 winners from his stable with 22 seconds and 16 third place finishes. His Universal Trainer Rating was a very impressive .391. Richard won his first ever training title at H3R last season with 26 wins.
"It was such a great feeling winning the training title last season," Richard said. "I am from 3R, so winning there made it more special to me as growing up I always went to the races."
So far in 2018, Richard is off to an excellent start. Racing at Rideau Carleton Raceway, Richard already has seven wins, eight seconds and three third place finishes and his UTR is a superb .519.
"Yes, I have been having some good luck at Rideau this season," Richard explained. "I have trained down about a dozen horses for this year plus we have some racehorses now at Rideau. I will be racing both at Rideau and at 3R this summer, depending which classes suit better to my horses."
Richard said he has entered DJ Power and Sporting The Look for opening day Sunday at the Hippodrome 3R.
"For sure Wildriverbumblebee is among the top horses in my stable for this year," Richard said. "I didn't have the privilege to train him down this winter though, his owner Dr. John Bradbury is currently training him, but I will get him soon enough."
Owned and bred by Dr. John Bradbury of Cookshire-Easton, Wildriverbumblebee is a son of Sportswriter from the Mach Three mare Alcor Semalu. His record last season was seven wins and one second place finish in just nine starts. His race record is 1:51.2 and he is the two-time Quebec Championship winner.
Wildriverbumblebee is also nominated to the C$200,000 Prix D'Ete at the Hippodrome 3R on Aug. 19. Richard is hoping his horse is good enough to be entered.
"I don't think words could explain that feeling to be in the Prix D'Ete," Richard said. "It's a big event and I have loved watching it every year. It sure would be a big thrill to be in it and once you're in the race anything can happen." (Quebec Jockey Club)