Hippodrome Le Croise Laroche hosted today’s fifth leg of the Gr. III prestigious traveling series the Grand National de Trot Paris-Turf.
The race was contested for €90,000 by 17 performers over the 2800 meter course with distance handicaps applied. Franck Nivard, as trainer/driver, steered favorite Vulcain de Vandel to victory in 1.13.3kr, recording his ninth career win for €286,050. Vagabondu Mag was second for J-M Bazire. The exact order Quinte+ payoff was €1,230 for a €2 wager.
May 21, 2014 Le Croise Laroche, 5th Leg Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf, €90,000, 2800 meters distance handicap, 17 starters, 1.13.3kr, Quinte+jackpot €2.2 million
1st Vulcain de Vandel (5m Jag de Bellouet-Ophelia de Vandel-Defi d’Aunou), Franck Nivard trainer/driver, 1.1/1 odds, traveled 2800 meters, ninth career win for €286,050 for Richard Cohen owner
2nd Vagabondu Mag (5g Ozio Royal-Perle du Ravary), J-M Bazire up for trainer B. Bourgoin, 3/1, traveled 2825 meters
3rd Vive Majyc (5f Baccarat du Pont-Mammy Blue), Eric Raffin up for trainer Louis Baudron, 8.3/1, 2800 meters
The undercard this day was very interesting as well despite occasional rain at the Lille track, that has the same great racing surface as Paris-Vincennes.
The secondary featured Prix du Croise-Laroche for €26,000 went to veteran Freeman T. Porter with Joseph Verbeeck at the lines for trainer Conrad Lugauer. He traveled plus 25 meters to the stated 2825 meter course, a distance handicapped event, to score his 15th career win timed in 1.14.9kr. The good-looking winner is by Korean from a Somollison dam.
5/21/14, Le Croise Laroche, Prix du Croise-Laroche, European €26,000, 2825 meters, 16 starters, 2825 meters distance handicap, 1.14.9kr
1st Freeman T. Porter (7m Korean-Lion Chica-Somollison), Jos. Verbeeck for Conrad Lugauer trainer, 3.4/1, 2850 meters, his 15th win for €181,579
2nd Saladin (8g Hand du Vivier-Herodiarde), Antoine Wiels for J-P Marmion trainer, 53/1, 2850 meters
3rd Stormy Nightriver (7m Likeable Rover-Lamberonika), Nico d’Haenens up for trainer Henri-Joseph Pools, 2825 meters, 104/1 odds, Germany
Verbeeck also won later in the card with Anantara Jet in division B of the Prix de Saint-Omer for €21,000. The four year-old daughter of Ganymede is trained by Luc Roelens and scored in 1.17.1kr over 2850 meters as she overcame a 25 meter penalty.
May 21, 2014 Le Croise Laroche, Prix de Saint Omer Gr. B, €21,000, 2825 meters distance handicap, 12 starters, 1.17.1kr
1st Anantara Jet (4f Ganymede-Reethi Rah Jet), Jos. Verbeeck up for trainer Luc Roelens, 8.3/1, 2850 meters
2nd Argovie (4f Gogo-Nymphe Jet), Eric Raffin up for Michele Stihl, 32/1, 2825 meters
3rd Aizanau d’Ocque (4m Jason de Vandel-Kairosine), Julien Degardin trainer/driver, 76/1, 2825 meters
Division A of the Prix de Saint-Omer, also for €21,000, was of special interest to me. Johanna Lindqvist patiently steered Angel Dark to another come from behind victory, his fourth in nine lifetime starts and second straight.
The Anders Lindqvist trained, and co-owned with Peter Gerry of Arden Homestead Stable, four year-old gelded son of Look de Star looked boxed approaching the stretch but Mlle. Lindqvist found an opening and her charge rallied once free to sweep past rivals for a six length victory in 1.16.8kr.
Gerry commented post-race “I am in France and attended the race at Le Croise-Laroche. It is a beautiful track near Lille. Angel Dark raced the best he has ever raced. Johanna gave him a textbook drive. It was a glorious feeling winning in France. It was fun, fun, fun. It is also surreal. I now go to Sweden to attend the races at Solvalla. It promises to be a great weekend of racing.”
May 21, 2014 Le Croise Laroche, Prix de Saint-Omer Gr. A, €21,000, 2825 meters distance handicap, 14 starters, 1.16.8kr
1st Angel Dark (4g Look de Star-Quadrata des Jipes), Mlle. Johanna Lindqvist up for trainer/co-owner Anders Lindqvist and Peter Gerry, 1.8/1, 2825 meters, increased earnings to €30,730 with career slate 4-2-1-1 in nine starts
2nd Aphrodite d’Arbaz (4f Coktail Jet-Mascotte d’Arbaz), Jean-Francois Senet driver, 15/1, 2850 meters
3rd Avartin Belri (4m Fortuna Fant-Kolankie), Bruno Chanonat up, 13/1, 2850 meters
The great GNT day of racing concluded for me with the three year-olds competing in the Prix Grand Lille TV for €22,000 over 2700 meters autostart. The well-bred daughter of Goetmals Wood scored easily in 1.16.1kr for trainer/driver Jarmo Niskanen, she the favorite. Bruno Bakalao was second for Spain’s Gabriel-Angelo Pou Pou at the lines.May 21, 2014 Le Croise Laroche, Prix Grand Lille TV, €22,000, 2700 meters autostart, 15 starters, 1.16.1kr
1st Belle de Reux (3f Goetmals Wood-La Rouge-Buvetier d’Aunou), Jarmo Niskanen trainer/driver, 1.9/1
2nd Bruno Bakalao (3m Orsy Dream-Jimmberlay), Gabriel-Angelo Pou Pou up for trainer Antonio Ripoli Rigo, 24/1
3rd Bossanova Marza (3f Rocklyn-Pierji), Matthieu Verva for Mlle. Celine Leclercq, 9/1
by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com