The top French trotter Rapide Lebel has had his ups and downs this year, but on Saturday afternoon (June 30) he finally returned to the winner's circle at the Enghien harness racing track in Paris, France.
Rapide Lebel, driven by Eric Raffin, won the Prix de Washington over the mile in a new race record of 1:51.3, followed by Quaker Jet, four lengths behind.
But something was not right with Rapide Lebel despite his win. He drifted very badly down the stretch and at the finish line he was so far outside that he nearly ran over a cameraman who was next to the racetrack!
This was the second win in 2012 for Rapide Lebel.
In Italy the prestigious Gran Premio Tino Triossi for 4-year-old trotters, raced over 1-5/16th miles at Tordivalle outside Rome, was a huge success for North American based stallions.
The mare Orsia, driven by Alessandro Gocciadoro, won after a pocket trip in 1:57.3f (mile rate), followed by Owen CR and Owen's Club. This trio are sired by, and .
Gran Premio Tino Triossi Italie 2012_Orsia_A.Gocciadoro
The purse for the winner was $100,000.
The mare division was also won by a trotter sired by a North American stallion as Orleans OM won in 1:58f. She is by SJ's Caviar and she earned a purse of $23,000.
by Karsten Bonsdorf, USTA web newsroom correspondent