The winter meet at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes nears its' close with tomorrow's nine race harness racing card with purses totaling 940,000 euro. Four graded events highlight the festivities led by the 240,000 euro, Gr. I Prix de Selection for 4-5 year-olds over 2,700 meters.
Top money winner Unique Quick (Prince d’Espace) starts with a 50 meter handicap and is 10/1 for Franck Nivard. Favored is the 4 year-old mare Vanika de Ruel () for trainer/driver Franck Anne at 4/1 with the 5/1 being Village Mystic ( ), a 4-year old stallion owned, trained and driven by Louis Baudron.
The undercard showcases older trotters in the European Gr. II Prix de l’Union Europeene, a 160,000 euro event over 3,000 meters that is part of the UET Masters Series. The 10 horse field includes Commander Crowe (), a career winner of 3,160,000 euro, making his initial 2013 appearance for trainer Fabrice Souloy with Christophe Martens up.
Commander Crowe is 13/1 in the morning line behind top three favored Reve de Beylev (Fortuna Font) for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastian Guarato, Sanity () that recently won at Romme over sprinter distance 1,640 meters and Roxana de Barbray (Speed Clayettois) for driver Dominik Locqueneux. Roxana de Barbray was fourth in the Prix d’Amerique on January 27 with Reve de Beylev ninth in that test.
Two graded monte events on the card include the 120,000 euro, 2,850 meters Gr. III Prix Henri Desmontils. Favored is the 9 year-old mare Quarry Bay (Cygnus d’Odyssee), to be ridden by Ms. Camille Levesque for trainer Mike Lenders. She sports two wins and two second place finishes in her last four monte tests. The Gr. II Prix Louis le Bourg is also of interest. This 120,000 euro, 2,850 meter event for 4 year-olds is headed by Viking du Buisson () for rider Nathalie Henry and the mare Valse Castelets (Memphis du Rib) for successful monte trainer Joel Hallais and owner Ecurie Rib. David Thomain has the mount on Valse Castelets.
It was also reported today that 2013 Prix de Paris and Prix de France winner(Indy de Vive) was off to Haras de Bouttemont this week to begin his fifth year at stud.
His oldest foals, now age 3, have raced successfully at the highest levels, with the filly Avila winning the 200,000 euro Criterium des Jeunes on February 17 for Thierry Duvaldestin.
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Thomas H. Hicks