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More From Prix D'Ete Connections

Published: August 20, 2016 5:34 pm ET

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Without the other “Big Three” to contend with this weekend, Wiggle It Jiggleit could very well have an easy time in the $200,000 Prix D’Ete on Sunday afternoon (August 21) at the Hippodrome 3R.

Racing fans throughout Quebec will have the rare chance to see this world champion performer in their backyard. The Prix D’Ete is just for four-year-old pacers and Team Teague is taking full advantage of the opportunity for what many consider to be an easy payday.

Just don’t try and tell that to the other four contenders in the race.

Wiggle It Jiggleit comes into the Prix D’Ete off a dramatic comeback victory in the $325,000 Dan Patch at Hoosier Park where he defeated rivals Always B Miki, All Bets Off, Shamballa and Freaky Feet Pete. None of those rivals are in the race on Sunday.

The 2015 U.S. Harness Horse of the Year is the current North American money-earning leader in 2016 with more than $1 million bankrolled this season. He sports 11 wins in 17 starts, four seconds and two third-place finishes, thus he has never finished off the board this season.

Owned by George Teague Jr. and the Teague Racing Partnership of Delaware, Wiggle It Jiggleit starts from the rail on Sunday in the 10th race feature with Teague’s son, Montrell, handling the lines as he has done all season long.

Most figure that Wiggle It Jiggleit, a son of Mr Wiggles, will go off at odds of 1-9 and rightly so off his past performances and uncanny ability to dig in when most horses would back off.

“What I am most pleased about him right now is that he has settled down into a groove and is relaxed more when he races," said George Teague Jr. "It took a few starts, but I think he is at his best now and last week really showed it.”

“He [Wiggle It Jiggleit] arrived in good shape,” said trainer Clyde Francis. “It took us around 12 hours to get to Quebec -- I got a little lost finding the training center outside of Montreal -- but once we arrived, Wiggle It Jiggleit was feeling pretty good. He ate up all his feed and this morning I jogged him and he was ready to go a mile. He will be in top shape for tomorrow.”

Is Wiggle It Jiggleit a sure bet? Perhaps, but then again, the other four rivals in the short field cannot read a program.

Rival Rockin Ron beat Wiggle It Jiggleit back on May 15 in the Confederation Cup final at Flamboro Downs. At that time, the son of Real Desire was undefeated in 10 starts this season.

Trained by Ron Burke and part of an entry in the race with Rock N Roll World, Rockin Ron starts from post five. The gelding has yet to win a race since beating Wiggle It Jiggleit, but still has earned $324,850 this season and was fourth to Wiggle It Jiggleit in a leg and the final of the Graduate Series.

“There are not many horses that can beat Rockin Ron out of the starting gate,” said his driver, Yannick Gingras. “Starting from post five, I plan on leaving hard and seeing how it develops. I really want to be on the lead early. With a five-horse field, strategy is the key and I think the race will be won or lost by position by the opening quarter-mile."

Stablemate Rock N Roll World goes from post four for driver Daniel Dube. Dube is a native of Trois-Rivieres and Gingras also grew up in Sorel, Que. Both are world class drivers and will have the home town crowd rooting them on.

Rock N Roll World is sired by Rocknroll Hanover and just pasted the $100,000 mark in earnings this season with just two wins. He was third to Wiggle It Jiggleit three starts back in the Graduate Final, pacing his mile in 1:48, so he is also a contender in this race.

In peak form coming into the Prix D’Ete is Rockin In Heaven from post three for driver Jody Jamieson. The son of Rock N Roll Heaven is trained by Dr. Ian Moore, and in his last two starts at Mohawk Racetrack, he was victorious in 1:50.4 and 1:51.2. He has $105,562 in earnings this year.

“He [Rockin In Heaven] has picked the perfect time to come into form,” said Jamieson. “He won his last two starts both on the front end and from behind and we did not enter this race to go for second-place money. If he feels good enough behind the gate, we might leave and see how the race goes early on, but Wiggle It Jiggleit or not, we came here to win it.”

The longshot of sorts in the field is ASAP Hanover. This son of Somebeachsomewhere drew post two in the Prix D’Ete for local driving sensation Louis-Philippe Roy, made only one start at age three and has but two wins this year, one of them coming three starts back at Mohawk in a lifetime-best clocking of 1:50.2.

He is trained by Sean Mehlenbacher of Ontario, who decided to take a chance with young driver Louis-Philippe Roy.

“I had read some stories of how Roy was driving very well at 3R and Rideau Carlton,” Mehlenbacher explained, “but last week he impressed me a lot with his win in the Gold Cup & Saucer [trial] and I like having the leading driver at a track drive my horses.

“We did not come all the way from Ontario to race for fifth-place money,” Mehlenbacher said. “I was real pleased my horse drew post two, and despite finishing 10th last week as he was never able to get into the race, he is feeling good and I think he will be heard from on Sunday.”

The Hippodrome 3R track announcer, Guy LaFontaine, sees the short field capable of breaking the all-age track record of 1:50.3 that is co-held by Prix D’Ete winners Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015).

“I think the forecast for rain will hold off until after the races Sunday afternoon,” Lafontaine said. “And with a fast track and a rich purse, they will be flying around the 3R oval and will break the track record. I predict it will be Wiggle It Jiggleit by a nose over Rockin In [Heaven] in 1:49.2.”

TRACK NOTES: There are four divisions, two for colts and two for fillies, of the third leg of the Future Stars Series for pacers on the Sunday program.

Standouts include Makasi (race three) for driver Yannick Gingras, who despite being winless in two starts, was race timed at Mohawk in 1:52.3 and 1:53.4. He takes on Wildriverbumblebee, who in his last start won a leg of the series at 3R in 1:57.4.

The fourth race for fillies features Yaris Bayama for trainer Yves Filion. She will be driven by Filion's son, Sylvain, and last week won a $105,000 Gold division of the Ontario Sires Stakes at Mohawk in a lifetime-best 1:52.4.

Most simulcasting outlets and ADW’s will be carrying the 3R race program Sunday with first race post time at 1:30 p.m.

To access a free program for the card, click here.

To view the harness racing entries for Sunday at 3R, click the following link: Sunday Entries – Hippodrome 3R.

(With files from Quebec Jockey Club)

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