Record 36 nominations to Prix d'Ete
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Headlining the list of 36 nominees is Filibuster Hanover, who won $724,029 last year with a record of 1:48.4 for the Ron Burke Stable. Burke and company will be seeking their third Prix D'Ete victory in 2018.
Of the top 10 money winning 3-year-old colts and geldings from 2017 that are returning to race in 2018, eight of the 10 are nominated to the Prix D'Ete including the first six money winners.
The Prix D'Ete was the most prestigious race in all of Canada from 1966 through 1992. World champions Bret Hanover, Albatross, Niatross, Hot Hitter, Cam Fella, On The Road Again, Ralph Hanover, Matt's Scooter and a host of other top pacers have won the Prix D'Ete.
In the past four editions of the Prix D'Ete at H3R, the all-age track record was set and then tied as both Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015)won in 1:50.3. Then in 2016, Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit came to 3R for the Prix D'Ete and after a dramatic neck and neck battle the final half-mile of the race, was second in an upset by Rockin Ron (1:52) over a sloppy track. Rockin Ron made it two straight Prix D'Ete victories for the Ron Burke Stable.
Last year's Prix D'Ete saw the Jimmy Takter Stable win for the second time (Sunfire Blue Chip was the first), with Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wiring the field in 1:53.2.
"We are very pleased with the quality of the horses that have nominated to this year's Prix D'Ete," said Claude Levesque, president of the Quebec Jockey Club. "The revival of this Grand Circuit event has developed to the great race it was before."
Last year, Filibuster Hanover, a gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere, won the Little Brown Jug, a Bluegrass Stakes division and the Pegasus Pace while racing against the best 3 year olds in the country all season long.
Crawford Farms' Funknwaffles is the second highest money winner in 2017 to nominate to the Prix D'Ete. Last year the gelded son of American Ideal bankrolled $595,729 for trainer John Butenschoen on the strength of winning the New York Sire Stakes final and four NYSS divisions. He was second in the final of the Little Brown Jug.
Other contenders include last year's Breeders Crown winner Beckham's Z Tam, a $512,545 winner in 2017 by Always A Virgin for trainer Jamie Rucker. In addition to winning the Breeders Crown, he also won both of the Indiana Sire Stakes finals and took a lifetime mark of 1:50.1.
Miso Fast ($393,484), a 1:49.2 winner; Rock N Tony ($299,412) who also hails from the Ron Burke Stable; Art Scene ($290,781) who hails from the Rene Allard Stable; Ohio Sire Stakes champion last year, Drunk On Your Love ($258,286) for trainer Mark Ford; and Classic Pro ($250,626) for trainer Dr. Ian Moore, are all major contenders for the race.
Quebec-owned nominees include Quebec-bred Sire Stakes champion Wildriverbumblebee, plus Art Scene, Histoire Enchantee, American Wiggle and Tymal Peacemaker.
"I want to invite everyone to come to Trois-Rivieres the weekend of Aug. 19," Levesque added, "as we want everyone to come out and enjoy our great racing and Quebecoise hospitality."
Last year the previous record of 33 4-year-old pacers were nominated to the Prix D'Ete.
The next nomination payment to remain eligible to the Prix D'Ete is April 15.
The Hippodrome 3R is also gearing up for its 2018 opening day on Sunday, April 22. For more information visit http://www.quebecjockeyclub.com/.
Bags To Riches
Beckhams Z Tam
Bet On Brett
Dreamfair B J
Drunk On Your Love
Odds On Delray
R J P
Rock N Tony