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Kakaley Set For His First Prix D’Ete

Published: August 21, 2015 8:36 pm ET

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Harness racing driver Matt Kakaley will make his debut in Quebec this Sunday and it could be a grand appearance as he drives race favourite All Bets Off in the $200,000 Prix D’Ete at the Hippodrome 3R.

The Grand Circuit showcase for four-year-old pacers headlines a superb 12-race program that also has the second round of the $200,000 Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old pacers with four divisions.

Kakaley's drive in the Prix D’Ete will be his first at the Hippodrome 3R.

“This will be first time I have been to Quebec,” said Kakaley, “but I really look forward to the experience. I also do not speak French at all, but I am sure everything will work out OK.”

Kakaley has been the steady driver of All Bets Off for the past two seasons. The $1.4 million winning son of Bettors Delight -- trained by Ron Burke and owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Frank Baldachino and The Panhellenic Stable Corp. -- has been competing against the best older horses in harness racing this season and doing quite well.

All Bets Off starts from post four and is coupled with stablemate Limelight Beach as the 5-2 morning line favourites.

“All Bets Off has been the best horse I have driven all year,” said Kakaley. “He’s my favourite horse and Ronnie put me on him all last year. He’s pretty much my drive because he is special to me.”

Kakaley has kept All Bets Off off the front end this year and it has been working out OK with two wins, five seconds and two third-place finishes in just 12 starts. His biggest score of the year came in Flamboro Downs' Confederation Cup. All Bets Off set a track record for aged pacers in 1:50.4 in his elimination race then went on to win the final the following week.

“We’ve been racing him from off the pace on the big tracks,” said Kakaley. “He can still leave if we want to.”

Who does Kakaley think are the major contenders in the race?

“I think my horse is definitely the one to beat,” he said. "Big Boy Dreams qualified really well at Pocono Downs for this. Limelight Beach really raced well last week at Hoosier Park; he had a lot of road traffic and still got a cheque. He has such great gate speed that post six won’t stop him from getting the lead easily.”

All Bets Off is Kakaley’s only drive of the day of the 12 races at the Hippodrome 3R.

“That does not bother me one bit,” said Kakaley. “I can enjoy myself, watch some of the races, get All Bets Off ready, and if we can win the Prix D’Ete, it will make for a great day.”

Prix D’Ete Day Notes: The 13-year-old trotter Pablo Angus, who trotted in 1:56 on July 8, 2008 to set the all-age track trot record, which was equalled exactly six years later by Michelangelo last season, is in the fourth race on Sunday. Recently, this amazing old timer set three all-age track trot records for driver Mario Charron within the last two months: June 27 at Saint Hughes in 2:01, July 11 at Saint Esprit in 2:00 and July 25 at Ormstown in 2:04.1. Post time Sunday is 1:30 p.m. Tonight, race fans can get the free program for Prix D’Ete card at quebecjockeyclub.com.

To view Sunday's harness racing entries, click on the following link: Sunday Entries - Hippodrome 3R.

(With files from QJC)


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