by Quebec Jockey Club
cover photo by Francois Gervais
They race horses for a reason and that was very evident Sunday (Aug. 21) afternoon at the Hippodrome 3R as 14-1 Rockin Ron was able to defeat the 1-9 overwhelming favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit in the C$200,000 Prix D’Ete for 4-year-old pacers.
It took a herculean effort by Rockin Ron and driver Yannick Gingras over a sloppy, rain-soaked track to defeat Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague, in 1:52.
|the photodeskc.ca photo|
|Rockin Ron upends reigning Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Prix D’Ete at Hippodrome 3R.|
The 10th race feature saw Gringras, the sports leading driver by earnings, fly to the early lead from post five to take control with Wiggle It Jiggleit content to sit in the two-hole going to the opening quarter mile in :27.
They raced Indian-style to the half-mile marker in a mild time of :56.3 and that was when the action heated up for the nearly 5,000 race fans that came to 3R to see the World Champion Wiggle It Jiggleit perform despite the rain.
As they started down the backstretch, Teague came after Rockin Ron with Wiggle It Jiggleit and those two pulled away from the field, racing neck and neck, stride for stride to the three-quarters in 1:26 and then around the final turn. As they straightened out for the stretch drive, it seemed that everyone held their breath to see if Wiggle It Jiggleit could come back and win again as he has done so often in his career. But it was not to happen today.
Coming to the wire, Gringras knew he and Rockin Ron would be victorious and did a fist-pump in triumph as they came to the finish, winning by 1-1/2lengths. Rockin In Heaven (Jody Jamieson) was third with Rock N Roll World (Daniel Dube) fourth and ASAP Hanover (Louis-Philippe Roy) fifth.
“Obviously Wiggle It Jiggleit was the best horse in the race,” Gringas said. “Everyone knew that but we got a little advantage when I was able to get right to the lead and control the race.
“I knew it was the only way I could win the race if they came first-over. If they had sat behind me maybe they could have beaten us, but I was backing it down and forced his hand. I knew the only way I could beat him.”
Sired by Real Desire, Rockin Ron is trained by Ron Burke and owned by the Burke Racing Stable, LLC, Weaver Bruscemi, LLC and the RTC Stables, Inc. of Canonsburg, Pa. Rockin Ron paid $30.40 to win.
Rockin Ron, who earlier this season was undefeated with 10 straight wins, picked the perfect time for win number 11 in the Prix D’Ete. His last win was also in defeating Wiggle It Jiggleit in the Confederation Cup at Flamboro Downs. He now sports 11 wins and C$424,000 in earnings this season.
It is the second straight year that the Burke Stable has won the Prix D’Ete, scoring last year with All Bets Off.
“Yannick drove Rockin Ron has perfect as he could,” said trainer Mickey Burke. “Wiggle It Jiggleit pulled and tried to come after him and those two put on a hellva show. I’m glad it worked out the way it did and the great crowd here got to see a heck of a race.”
Burke did not know what racing plans were in store for Rockin Ron.
Rockin Ron’s time of 1:52 over the sloppy track was the third fastest mile in the history of 3R behind the last two Prix D’Ete’s that were won in 1:50.3 by Sunfire Blue Chip (2014) and All Bets Off (2015).
TRACK NOTES: The Hippodrome 3R trackman, Sylvain Blais did a superb job with the racing surface Sunday as despite the rain, two track records were set early on the program before the downpours and seven of the winners on the day recorded lifetime marks. Both track records came in the third round of the Future Stars Series for 2-year-old pacers.
Yannick Gingras scored his first of three winners on the day in the third race Future Stars division for colts. He sent Makasi to the lead by the opening quarter-mile and never looked back, scoring in 1:55.2 in his maiden victory.
Trained by Helene Fillion for owner/breeder Hudson Standardbred Stable Makasi is sired by Shanghai Phil and paid $2.40 to win. The previous track mark was set 23 years ago by Canaco Score (1993) and was tied by Hall Bro in 2013. It was the longest standing record at 3R.
Then in the next division for pacing fillies, Canada’s newest hall of famer, Yves Filion, also led from the quarter-mile to the finish with Yaris Bayama in 1:56.4.
The daughter of Sportswriter, trained by Yves and owned and bred by Filion’s Bayama Farms, has been razor sharp all season. It was Yaris Bayama’s third win in five starts and last week she had won the C$105,000 Ontario Sire Stakes Grassroots at Mohawk Raceway in a lifetime best 1:52.4.
Her clocking erased the prior record of 1:57.3 held by HP Sissy in 2015. Yaris Bayama paid just $2.10 to win.
The other colt division was won also won by Filion with Yogi Bayama ($2.10) in 1:59.1 and the filly division went to Carl Duguay’s Chaleurs Melodie ($6.70), driven to victory by Daniel Dube in 2:00.
Live racing resumes at 3R on Tuesday (Aug. 23) evening, first race post time at 7:00 p.m. EDT