After a brief respite, harness racing action returned today at Paris-Vincennes and what a card it was! Four Gr. II events highlighted the excellent Monday program under sunny skies, a forerunner to the next Vincennes winter meet.
The E120,000 purse Gr. II Prix Pierre Plazen for European three year-olds over 2175 meters, went to well-regarded Booster Winner (3m-Quille Viretaute) with teaming for trainer and owner Philippe Aloisio. He scored in 1.13.4kr in the eight horse field at 3.6/1 odds over Bird Parker (3m -Belisha) and for and owner Mme. Elisabeth Allaire. Black d'Avril and was third ahead of favorite Brutus du Bailly with J-M Bazire aboard. Time was 1.13.4kr for the winner.
Viking de Val (5m Baccarat du Pont-La Forge de Val) took the E120,000 Gr. II Prix Jockey for five year-olds. 13 horses faced the starter going 2700 meters. The 10/1 winner was teamed by trainer/owner Eric Lambertz timed in 1.14.3kr off slow fractions (1.15.7kr at 1500; 1.15.5kr at 1000; 1.15.2kr at 500 meters to go mark). Second favorite at 1.9/1 was second place finisher Very Nice Marceaux (5m-Julie Fortuna) with Pierre Vercruysse up. Very Nice Marceaux was first to lead and then followed early speed before traffic trouble was encountered. When free in the lane, Very Nice Marceaux could not gain on the winner. Victoire ended third for with Voltigeur de Myrt home fourth for . The 1.8/1 favorite Vinci de l'Abbaye was a dq for reinsman J-M Bazire.
The three year-old European females battled in the E120,000 Gr. II Prix Guy Deloison over 2175 meters with 12 starters. Biche des Clos (3f Rolling d'Heripre-Moon d'Eronville) prevailed by a neck at 4.1/1 for teamsterin 1.12kr after fast early fractions (1.08.4kr at 1500; 1.09.9kr at 1000; 1.12.8kr at 500 to go mark) set by 57/1 Swan Wise As (3f -Golden Variety) that faded to eighth when challenged. Favorite Billie de Montfort (3f -Quisny de Montfort) was a solid second for with Beauty Turgot and third ahead of Bardane du Houlbut, fourth for R-C Larue. Well-regarded Sister Dany Bar and Be My Girl (both off at under 10.1) were disqualified for miscues.
The monte Gr. II Prix Herve Ceran-Maillard for E120,000 over 2175 meters was contested by 13 five year-olds. Valse de Reve (5m Mister President-Nouba Houba) was the winner at 12.3/1 for Camille Levesque as this pair defeated second choice Vittel de Brevol (5m-Lady de Brevol) and David Thomain. 3/2 favorite Vision Intense (5f -Intense Action) was a fast closing third for with Valdice de Mars fourth for . Race time was 1.12kr after speedy fractions (1.09.3kr at 1500; 1.10.3kr at 1000; 1.11.6kr with 500 to go). Vision Intense was away toward the back and was slow to move toward the lead until late in the contest when Ms. Henry pulled the plugs and her great mare accelerated without bearing out. Off this effort she will likely be a factor in the winter.
Thomas H. Hicks