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Prix D’Ete To Sunfire Blue Chip

Published: September 21, 2014 4:39 pm ET

Last Comment: September 21, 2014 5:42 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

It was a magnificent homecoming Sunday afternoon for Quebec native Yannick Gingras, who guided Sunfire Blue Chip to a track and Canadian record-setting performance of 1:50.3 in the $200,000 Prix D’Ete for four-year-old pacers at Hippodrome 3R.

The son of American Ideal-Shot Togo Bluechip powered to the lead from his outside starting spot and powered away from the competition en route to his fifth consecutive victory for trainer Jimmy Takter.

Mach It So rushed to the front and had Sunfire Blue Chip parked to the quarter pole in :26 before Gingras hustled his charge to the top. Sunfire Blue Chip sprinted in front of the grandstand, and he had company in the form of the first-over Sunshine Beach.

Those two locked up in a serious battle to the half in :54, and they continued to tussle to the three-quarter pole in 1:22.1 before Sunshine Beach tired and started to back away. Sunfire Blue Chip found another gear and stormed away from his foes en route to stopping the teletimer in 1:50.4. Duc Dorleans was second best, with Apprentice Hanover rallying for third prize.

The 1:50.3 score erased Cliff Drummond’s former track record of 1:54.2 for older pacing horses. It also goes down as the all-age track record performance. The oval’s quickest mile going into the afternoon program had been Duc Dorleans’ 1:52.4 performance as a sophomore in 2013. The clocking also went into the books as a new Canadian record for older pacing horses. The effort shaved one-fifth of a second off the former mark of 1:50.4 set by Tigerama at Western Fair Raceway in 2008.

"I was saying to Scott [Zeron] after the wire that this was better than the Jug," said driver Yannick Gingras. "And you know in a way it is because at the Jug an hour later I was in the plane and on the way home. It was a lot of fun. And this one's for you Jimmy [Takter], I want you to understand what I'm saying. To be able to win it here at home, I'm really thankful you got this horse ready for me and I'll always appreciate that.

"It means a lot to win this race," Gingras added. "I watched this race when I was a young kid. At that point I was dreaming about being a top driver in Montreal and maybe be lucky enough to have one in the Prix D'Ete. Honestly, I got chills as I crossed the wire."

Christina Takter, Brixton Medical AB, R A W Equine Inc along with John And Jim Fielding own the 16-time winner who improved his 2014 record to 5-1-0 from 13 starts with the win. The $100,000 payday bumped this year’s earnings to $177,000 while his lifetime total climbed to $917,374.

"The community response has been tremendous," said Vincent Trudel, General Manager, Quebec Jockey Club. "This race is very important for Quebec racing. It was very important to have top horses and drivers here. For our fans, it's fantastic to have the stars of the industry competing. The crowd and pari-mutuel on track have been quite ‎strong. We're committed to seeing racing grow in Quebec and this is an important day."

Initially known as the Prix d’Automne and won by older horses such as the three-time Horse of the Year Bret Hanover, the marquee event at Blue Bonnets racetrack in Montreal was converted into the Prix D’Ete race for three-year-old pacers in 1970 and remained one of the major North American stakes in the division until its last running in 1992. Past winners included Cam Fella, Niatross, Albatross, Strike Out, Abercrombie, Matts Scooter and Beach Towel.

To view results for Sunday's card of harness racing, click the following link: Sunday Results – Hippodrome 3R.

September 21, 2014 - 5:42 pmGreat description of the

Louise Sauve SAID...

Great description of the race! And... thanks for your contribution Mr. Takter!

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