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Record Number Nominated To Prix d'Ete

Published: May 29, 2019 3:43 pm ET

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For the sixth straight year, a record number of four-year-old pacers have been nominated to the 2019 renewal of the Prix D'Ete, slated for Sunday, August 18 at Hippodrome 3R in Quebec.

A total of 29 nominees for the final surpassed the 2018 record of 27 nominees. The top eight money winners in 2019 at entry time will compete in the $200,000 final.

Headlining the list of nominees is millionaire Courtly Choice, who won $910,000 last year with a record of 1:47.1 for trainer Blake McIntosh. His top victories last year were in the Little Brown Jug and the Meadowlands Pace.

Courtly Choice is already off to a great start in 2019, having won two of his three starts. Last week he won the $100,000 Commodore Barry Pace in 1:49.1 at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

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, Matts Scooter and a host of other top pacers have won the Prix D'Ete.

In the past five editions of the Prix D'Ete at 3R, the all-age track record was set and then tied as both Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015) both 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.

In 2017, the Jimmy Takter Stable posted their second Prix D’Ete victory (Sunfire Blue Chip was the first), with Western Fame and driver Trevor Henry wiring the field in 1:53.2.

Last year it was an upset in the Prix D’Ete as driver Ricky Macomber scored with Beckhams Z Tam at odds of 9-1 ($21.10) in 1:52.1.

"We are very pleased with the quality of the horses that have entered in 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. This year especially because we have a record number of horses eligible and they are the best in North America."

The Ron Burke Stable's Done Well is another major early contender. The gelded son of Well Said has two wins in three starts this year. Last week he scorched the half mile oval at Flamboro Downs, winning the $139,000 Confederation Cup in 1:50.2. The week prior he won his elimination division in 1:51.4 over a sloppy track.

O’Brien Award winner Jimmy Freight is nominated and he is a career winner of $941,000. The gusty son of Sportswriter was a game second last week to Done Well in the Confederation Cup.

Prix D’Ete eligibles who won last week include Thinkbig Dreambig, who scored at the Meadowlands in 1:50.2, Hitman Hill at Pocono in 1:50.1 and Trump Nation at the Meadowlands in 1:49.3.

Quebec-owned nominees include Courtly Choice and Stock.

"I want to invite everyone to come to Trois-Rivieres the weekend of August 18," Levesque added, "as we want everyone to come out and enjoy our great racing and Quebecoise hospitality."

2019 Prix D'Ete Nominees (after May 15, 2019 payment)

American History

Bounding Dragon

Casimir Richie P
Courtly Choice

Done Well

Ghost Dance

Hayden Hanover
Hitman Hill

Jimmy Freight

Kwik Talkin

Minnie Vinnie

Nutcracker Sweet

Pedro Hanover
Pretty Handsome

Rush To Judgement

Simple Kinda Man
Skyway Quinton

The Downtown Bus
Thinkbig Dreambig
This Is The Plan
Thor De Vie
Topville Olympian
Trump Nation
Turbo Hill

(with files from the Quebec Jockey Club)

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