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Prix D'Ete To All Bets Off

Published: August 23, 2015 5:06 pm ET

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Those in the Standardbred racing industry south of the border know all too well about how the powerful stable of trainer Ron Burke is a mighty foe to reckon with. After having dominated the final of the Gold Cup & Saucer earlier on Sunday (August 23) in the Maritimes, the ‘Burke Brigade’ set its sights on the $200,000 Prix d'Ete at Quebec’s Hippodrome 3R.

Even though Burke’s battalion was in another province, its horses came through with flying colours once again.

All Bets Off, who was racing as part of a Burke entry along with Limelight Beach, won the $200,000 Prix D'Ete in 1:50.3 in front of a solid crowd of onlookers at the half-mile oval in Trois Rivieres.

Matt Kakaley was on board for All Bets Off’s win. The pilot made his only drive on the program a memorable one, as he led the son of Bettors Delight through a record mile. The bay’s 1:50.3 clocking tied Sunfire Blue Chip’s all-age track record. The mile also added All Bets Off’s name to the Canadian record book. Courtesy of the 1:50.3 mile, All Bets Off now joins Sunfire Blue Chip and Crombie A as having paced the fastest miles over half-mile tracks by aged competitors in the history of Canadian harness racing.

It wasn’t just the fact that the Burke Brigade captured the two most prestigious stakes in Canada on Sunday; pacers from the Burke Stable finished ‘one-two’ in both the Prix D'Ete and the final of the Gold Cup & Saucer. Just a quarter-length separated Take It Back Terry and Atta Boy Dan in the Gold Cup & Saucer, and the Burke-trained Limelight Beach finished second to All Bets Off in the Prix d'Ete, which culminated after months of anticipation.

“All four horses are really good horses. We were very fortunate to be able to ship them to where we did,” assistant trainer Mickey Burke Jr. said from the winner’s circle after All Bets Off’s victory. “It’s just an amazing day to be able to put these horses out there and be able to do something like this.”

Kakaley and All Bets Off had lined up in Post 4 four the six-horse clash. They left out hard and got parked to the opening quarter, even though they had poked out in front of all foes by that time. From there, as they say, it was all over. All Bets Off was not headed the rest of the way. He had drawn off to a three and a half-length lead by the time he nailed the wire in the record clocking.

Limelight Beach (driven by Mark MacDonald) had followed his stablemate for the large majority of the mile. He finished second and bottomed out the miniscule $6.70 exactor. Somewhere In LA, who had made a back-half bid for driver Dan Dube, finished third and rounded out the $24.20 triactor. The rest of the field was far back Winds Of Change and Boomboom Ballykeel finished fourth and fifth, respectively, while Big Boy Dreams had broken stride early and was not a factor.

The victorious entry was sent off as the 4-5 post time choice. It returned $3.80 to win and $2.90 to place. Show wagering was not available for the race.

Kakaley was asked in the winner’s circle about how he felt once he reached the early lead. The pilot said that the outcome was not a foregone conclusion at that point, contrary to the way it may have appeared to some.

“I wouldn’t say (that we were) ‘at home,’ but I was pretty confident,” Kakaley explained. “Limelight Beach crossed over and I just kept going. I had to chase him (All Bets Off) a little bit to make the front, but once he got there he swelled up. He was very good.

“I got a good breather in the second quarter, and when Danny (driver Dan Dube) came (with Somewhere In LA) I let him (All Bets Off) pace out a little bit down the backside. I popped the plugs off the last turn and he, obviously, opened up.”

All Bets off pushed his career bankroll past the $1.4-million mark on Sunday courtesy of his big win. The four-year-old horse is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC (of Fredericktown, Pennsylvania), Weaver Bruscemi LLC (Canonsburg, PA), Frank Baldachino (Clarksburg, New Jersey) and The Panhellenic Stb Corp. (Oyster Bay, New York).

The Prix d’Ete undercard featured four second-round divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old pacers.

YS Artistic Fella made an impressive Quebec debut in the first division. He worked to the lead at the eighth pole and went on to control the pace. He capped his mile by closing in :28.3 to break his maiden in 1:59 for driver Simon Allard, trainer Richard Moreau and owner Yves Sarrazin.

Other winners included Mr Mach Jimmy (1:59.2), HP Sissy (1:57.3) and Skyfall Sena (2:00.3)

Two third-round divisions of the Quebec-Bred Series for two-year-old trotters will be raced at Hippodrome 3R on Wednesday. Wildwild Men, Panamas Boy and Sass will be featured in the first division. First-race post time for the card is 7 p.m.

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

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