It’s hard to believe, but in just 3½ weeks it will be time for the greatest race in recent Quebec harness racing history, the $250,000 PRIX D’ETE for the world’s standout four-year-old pacers, at the Hippodrome 3R in Trois Rivieres, Quebec, on Sunday, September 21.
The top eight seasonal money winners that declare in will be the starters for the main event, the $200,000 Prix d’Ete Championship; if enough other eligible horses declare in for the race, there will be a $50,000 consolation event. Preference will be by 2014 earnings as well for the consolation race.
The numbers next to the horses’ names below, listed in order by their current racing “sharpness,” indicates where they stand as of August 25 in seasonal earnings among the 24 eligible (10 of which have earned $500,000+ lifetime and 17 of which have won in their careers in sub-1:50 time).
1. MACH IT SO (2) – The most in-form horse at the present time, with wins in his last three starts. The fastest of those victories was a 1:48.2 victory at Pocono Downs on August 2, the same track where he dead-heated for the win with the classy FFA pacer Golden Receiver this past Saturday. The other win was in 1:51.2, at Yonkers – a half-mile track, just like 3R.
2. SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP (8) – Like all of the other horses trained by Jimmy Takter, this one has been racing strongly, also winning his last three races – 1:50.2 at Yonkers on August 9, 1:50.3 at Saratoga seven days later (they’re both half-mile tracks), and last Sunday a 1:50.2 triumph at Tioga Downs.
3. WORD POWER (4) – Wrote himself a shiny new mark at Pocono Downs two weeks ago when he edged the game veteran Sparky Mark by a head in 1:49.3.
4. CAPTIVE AUDIENCE (3) – Earned himself a spot in the prestigious Canadian Pacing Derby Final this Saturday night at Mohawk; before that he earned checks in five straight Preferred events at the Toronto oval.
5. SUNSHINE BEACH (21) – After setting a world record in defeating Captaintreacherous last year, this locally-trained fellow (Mark Steacy) has but one win this year, but he has had awful luck at the post draws: in starts #2-#5 this year, he had PP6 in a field of 7; 9 in a 9-horse field; 8 in a 10-horse field; and 5 in a 6-horse field.
6. APPRENTICE HANOVER (1) – Hot through May, but tailed off badly since.
7. ROCKIN AMADEUS (9) – Another Takter-trainer horse, took a 1:48.3 mark at Pocono earlier.
8. WINDSONG JACK (6) – A Ron Burke trained horse who defeated good ones at The Meadows and Scioto.
9. MOONLITEONTHEBEACH (13) – Won right away at Yonkers after a recent purchase.
10. DUC DORLEANS (20) – He is the 3R track all-age track record holder (1:52.4); and has 5 wins, 10 of 11 on the board in his 3R career.
There will also be racing at the Hippodrome 3R on Saturday evening, September 20, making for a two-day Festival of Racing that will give local fans many samples of the best of harness racing, and many visitors a chance to see the countryside and the local landmarks.
Any members of the press who would like to contact the track officials, trainers or owners of the Prix d’Ete horses should contact 3R representative Laurent Sauve at (e-mail) firstname.lastname@example.org or (phone) 450-890-3963 or 514-812-4249.
For more information visit www.quebecjockeyclub.com.
From the Quebec Jockey Club