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Canadian Record In Prix D’Été

Published: August 18, 2019 5:13 pm ET

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The sixth revival of the $200,000 Prix d’Été for four-year-old pacers took place on Sunday afternoon (Aug. 18) at Hippodrome 3R, and when all was said and done it was the Ron Burke-trained and Dan Dube-driven This Is The Plan that put forth a record performance.

This Is The Plan, who was part of a two-horse entry from Burke’s stable, threw down the gauntlet from Post 4, as the gelded son of Somebeachsomewhere fired from the gate and played ‘catch me if you can’ with the rest of the field.

This Is The Plan was first down to the quarter in :26.2 and faced pressure in the second panel, as Louis-Philippe Roy came calling from fourth with Jimmy Freight. The duo raced past the half-mile pole in :54.4 and the battle continued into the third quarter of the tilt.

This Is The Plan wasn’t willing to give an inch in the third quarter, as he kept Jimmy Freight to his right past the three quarters stanza, which was reached in a hot 1:21.2.

Although he fought valiantly, Jimmy Freight began to feel the effects of his trip through the lane. On the other hand, This Is The Plan was rolling for home, and he probably didn’t know that he was about to rewrite the record books.

This Is The Plan ended up nailing the wire first in 1:49.1. The clocking is the fastest mile ever recorded over a half-mile track in Canada, as it was one-fifth of a second quicker than Somebeachsomewhere’s 1:49.2 mile that was recorded over Flamboro Downs in 2008.

The Downtown Bus, who was driven by Doug McNair, raced second-over in the tilt and was able to get up for second, two and a half lengths in arrears. After having raced a gutsy trip, Jimmy Freight held on for third. Done Well (Bob McClure) and Casimir Richie P (Sylvain Filion) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

“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.”

This Is The Plan is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC (of Fredericktown, PA), Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA), Jandt Silva Purnel & Libb (Delray Beach, FL), and Lawrence Karr (Randolph, NJ).

“We have been very fortunate over the years that the miles have gone our way in the Prix d’Été,” 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 pacing three-year-olds was also on the program and the colts battled in the ninth race for a purse of $10,000.

Driver Pascal Berube and race-favourite 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 was second with GA Speed Gaby third.

It was a lifetime mark for the son of Shanghai Phil, tying the record of Duc Dorleans 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 11 starts.

The first of two $7,500 division of the Breeders Cup Series 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 by a long nose in 1:58.3.

Akita Bayama was also in the photo, third by only a head. It was the maiden victory 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, Race 7, it was a real dogfight early on between Espirit Dequipe (Tyler Jones) on the inside and Better Now (LPR) parked on the outside as they fought that way to the quarter in :27.3 and the half in :56.

Then in the backstretch, Daniel Dube made 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 to win by three-quarter lengths in 1:55.2. D Gs Airystars 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. Audi Bayama paid $6.90 to win.

(with files from the Quebec Jockey Club)

To view the harness racing results for Sunday at H3R, click the following link: Sunday Results – Hippodrome 3R.

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