Day At The Track

Canadian record set in Prix d'Ete by This Is The Plan

10:18 AM 19 Aug 2019 NZST
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This Is The Plan, harness racing Daniel Dube, harness racing Mickey Burke, harness racing
A packed house watches This Is The Plan and driver Daniel Dube win the Prix d'Ete photo
Daniel Dube and family proudly display the Prix d'Ete trophy photo
Mickey Burke brings This Is The Plan into the winner's circle photo

Trois-Rivieres, QC - Driver Daniel Dube and harness racing assistant trainer Mickey Burke had but one plan going into the $200,000 Prix d'Ete Grand Circuit Stake at the Hippodrome 3R Sunday, go to the front no matter what.

And that is exactly what Dube did and This Is The Plan was up to the task as the four-year-old gelding by Somebeachsomewhere wired the field and rewrote the all-age track record with an amazing 1:49.1 triumph.

This Is The Plan's only challenge came from rival Jimmy Freight (Louis Philippe Roy), who after a :26.2 first quarter, came first-over and challenged This Is The Plan to the half in :54.4 with The Downtown Bus (Doug McNair) second over and Done Well (Bob McClure) sitting the pocket trip.

The tempo quickened going down the backstretch and past the three-quarters in 1:21.2, but This Is The Plan was in full control for Dube. McNair came three-wide on the final turn with The Downtown Bus too little too late as This Is The Plan was the strong horse down the stretch, winning by three lengths. The Downtown Bus was second with Jimmy Freight third.

The time of the race, 1:49.1, is the fastest half mile track time ever registered in Canada and was just one-fifth of a second from the World Record (Cam's Valentino, Northfield Park 2018 in 1:49). The previous Canadian record of 1:49.2 was held by This Is The Plan's sire, Somebeachsomewhere in 2008, who set the record 11 years, one day from today.

The previous all-age track record at H3R was co-held by Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) at 1:50.3, both taking place in the Prix d'Ete.

Trois-Rivieres native, Daniel Dube, was very pleased with the race.

"I am so happy to have won today," Dube said. "And to have all my family and friends here makes it extra special. That was a big mile today, 1:49.1 for my horse. He was so good. My plan was to get to the lead right away and he responded so well."

Trained by Ron Burke, it was the third Prix d'Ete that his stable has won (All Bets Off 2015) and (Rockin Ron 2016). This Is The Plan is co-owned by Burke Racing Stable, Weaver-Bruscemi, J and T Silva, Purnel & Libb and Larry Karr. It was his second win this year and he paid $4.60 to win as the betting favorite.

"We have been very fortunate over the years that the miles have gone our way in the Prix d'Ete," said Mickey Burke. It was our plan all along to go to the front and see what happens and it worked out for us. I thought we looked really good at the start, getting one-two on the rail.

"Today's mile really shocked me," Burke said. "I looked at the program last night and saw 1:50.3 and thought that record may stick around for a while. I was pretty wrong. I can't say enough how great this horse is."

Driver Louis Philippe Roy was red-hot in the sulky Sunday as he won five of the first six races on the program. There were also seven lifetime marks taken on the 12-race card.

The Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacers was also on the program and the colts battled in the 9th race for a purse of $10,000 and it sorta was over after the start.

Driver Pascal Berube and race favorite Ashleysbest shot out to the early lead and they never looked back, holding the field at bay as they cut fractions of :27, :55.2 and 1:23.3 as Ashelysbest and Berube scored by four and three-quarter lengths in 1:52.4, tying the track record for three-year-olds. Angers Bayama (Sylvain Filion) was second with GA Speed Gaby (Bob McClure) third.

It was a lifetime mark for the son of Shanghai Phil, tying the record of Duc D'Orleans set in 2013. Ashleysbest is trained by Sylvain Cote and owned and bred by Marc Hebert of Masham. He paid $5.00 to win in scoring his seventh win in eleven lifetime starts.

The first of two $7,500 division of the Breeders Cup Series Friday for three-year-old pacing fillies saw the closest finish of the afternoon as 20-1 long shot Olis Spirit and driver Louis Philippe Roy closed well from the back of the back to nip HP Xandau (Stephane Brosseau) by a long nose in 1:58.3.

Akita Bayama (Justin Filion) was also in the photo, third by only a head. It was the maiden victory thus a lifetime mark for Olis Spirit, a daughter of Power Park, trained and owned by Lois Russell of Crabtree. She paid $42.80 to win.

Then in the second filly division, the seventh race, it was a real dogfight early on between Espirit Dequipe (Tyler Jones) on the inside and Better Now (LPR) parked on the outside and they fought that way to the quarter in :27.3 and the half in :56.

Then in the backstretch, Daniel Dube making a bold three-wide move with Moneymakehersmile and cleared to the lead by the three-quarters in 1:25.1.

Meanwhile, Sylvain Filion with Audi Bayama was closing in on the leader and was four-wide at the three-quarters, cleared to be first-over by the top of the stretch, and collared Moneymakehersmile in the stretch to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.2. D Gs Airystars (Jonathan Lachance) made a break at the start and rebounded to finish third.

It was a lifetime mark for Audi Bayama and the second win in just three starts this season for the filly by Sportswriter. Her time was just one-fifth of a second from the track record of 1:55.1. She is trained by Yves Filion and owned by Bayama Farms, Inc. of Saint-Andre-D'Argenteuil. Audi Bayama paid $6.90 to win.

Track Notes: Live racing will resume at the Hippodrome 3R on Friday with first race post time at 7:00 pm. For more information go to

From the Quebec Jockey Club

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