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The Groupe I Prix de L;Etoile (purse 170,000€, 2150 meters distance handicap, eight starters three through five year olds) at Paris-Vincennes today went to the 2/10 favorite Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) timed in 1.09.4kr over 2200 meters (mile rate 1:51.66) as he was handicapped 50 meters as were the other five year olds in the harness racing field. He was driven by Bjorn Goop as usual. This Sebastian Guarato trainee now has 24 victories in 28 starts for 1,926,900€ in career earnings. Scuderia Bivans Srl owns the winner that was bred by SARL Haras Saint Martin. Face Time Bourbon scored easily with the plugs in. The 60/1 Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik-Miska Rondes) was best of the rest for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Richard Westerink. Third was 98/1 Fakir du Lorault (5m Vaillant Cash) handled by Francois Lecanu. 27/1 Hirondelle Sibey and 6.6/1 Feliciano completed the top five. Face Time Bourbon       Trainer Guarato   to watch the race replay, click here.    LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Today’s Groupe I Prix de Normandie (monte, purse 170,000€, 3000 meters, 14 starters five year olds) at Paris-Vincennes saw 6.9/1 Flamme du Goutier (5f Ready Cash-Utopie du Goutier) rally to victory timed in 1.12.7kr. Antoine Wiels handled the now 10 time winner in 27 career starts for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Ecurie Saint Martin owns the now winner of 251,320€. The 1.7/1 second choice Fleche Bourbon (5f Saxo de Vandel-Uzane Josselyn) was a game second after setting the pace for jockey Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. The 1.6/1 odds favorite Feeling Cash (5m Ready Cash-Royale Star) was a distant third for Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Carlos Lerner. 143/1 Forever Speed and 127/1 Flore de Janeiro completed the top five finishers. Flamme du Goutier 200 meters out   LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

MILTON, ON - September 5, 2020 - Ready For Moni overcame some tense moments in the middle-half to win the $215,000 Goodtimes Stakes on Saturday evening at Woodbine Mohawk Park. The son of Ready Cash and driver Yannick Gingras navigated a less than ideal trip and steering troubles to power down the centre of the track and stop the clock in 1:52.1 for a 2 ½ length score over a rallying Hot Wheelz at 40-1. To watch the race replay click here. "I had a really hard time moving him wide and in the backstretch I was worried because I could barely get him to the two-lane path," said Gingras, noting Ready For Moni was locked on the right-line. "At the top of stretch I forced him and that's the difference between (him) this year and last year, last year he would've made a miscue, but tonight he was just all professional." Hayek led the field to the half in :55.3 under a snug hold from driver Sylvain Filion. Play Trix On Me and driver Bob McClure started a bid for the front racing to the half, but were left parked with Hayek's Ben Baillargeon stablemate HP Royal Theo on his back. Ready For Moni and Gingras, sitting fifth, tussled for a moment to the outside and back to the rail before finally sitting on the back of HP Royal Theo and ultimately catapulting by in the stretch for the victory. HP Royal Theo settled for third, while Capricornus hugged the pylons to a fourth-place finish. Trained by Nancy Takter, Ready For Moni is now five for six on the season with over $600,000 earned to bring his career numbers to nine wins and $886,520 in earnings for owners John Fielding, Lindy Farms of Conn., Herb Liverman and Bud Hatfield. His only loss this season was a runner-up finish in the $1 million Hambletonian. Ready For Moni is eligible to the upcoming Canadian Trotting Classic. He paid $2.40 to win. by Mark McKelvie, for Woodbine Entertainment            

Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) easily took the Gr. I Criterium 5 Ans at Paris-Vincennes today (purse 170,000€, 3000 meters voltstart, 17 starters) as the 2/10 harness racing favorite and timed in 1.12.1kr over the extended distance. Bjorn Goop teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee for Scuderia Bivans Srl, to his 23rd career victory in 27 starts. His life earnings increased to 1,850,400€ with this score. FTB was away mid-pack on the outer before a three wide brush and rush to the lead on the backside. He open a wide lead and eased home a five length winner. SARL Haras Saint Martin bred the winner. The 12/1 Feliciano (5m Ready Cash-Ravenella) was a solid second for pilot David Thomain, trainer Philippe Allaire and breeder/owner Ecurie des Charmes. 140/1 Flamme du Goutier (5f Ready Cash - Utopie du Goutier) took third reined by Theo Duvaldestin for Ecurie Saint Martin and trainer Thierry Duvakdestin. The 73/1 Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik) was fourth for reinsman Anthony Barrier and trainer Richard Westerink, with fifth money to 53/1 Feerie Wood (5f Rockfeller Center) handled by Alexandre Abrivard. Feydeau Seven and Fakir du Lorault completed the top seven. This race was the Quinte+ race of the day and the exact order top five paid 44,949.00€ to 25 winning tickets. Below is a photo recap of this race action. Face Time Bourbon Replay Click this link: https://www.letrot.com/en/races/replays/2020-08-29/7500/3 LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Dynamite Marceaux (7f Ready Cash-Nariane Marceaux) took this day’s Gr. II monte Prix de Londres (purse 85,000€, 2875 meters, 13 starters) clocked in 1.12.5kr with jockey Christopher Corbin in the irons. Jonathan Groizeau owns and trains the now 11-time winner in 55 career starts. Off at 17/1 odds the winner increased her life earnings to 285,650€ as she won her second straight and now has a 3-3-0 slate in her last six outings. She raced with shoes on. Coreil d’Aure (8g Cygnus d’Odyssee) was second for Alexandre Abrivard and Al Capone Jet (10m Jag de Bellouet) took third with David Thomain up. Caban Prior (8g Sancho Panca) and Evangeline Blue (6f Speedy Blue) completed the top five. Dynamite Marceaux LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Saint Malo hosted the 8th Leg of the Grand National du Trot Paris Turf (Gr. III, purse 75,000€, 2950 meters distance handicap) and 1.2/1 odds Fairplay d’Urzy (5m Ready Cash-Romane d’Urzy) scored in 1.15.3kr with Eric Raffin at the lines. Ecurie Marechal owns the now 11- time career winner and Jean Michel Bazire is the trainer. His life earnings reached 264,030€ with this victory. The 3/1 Et Voila de Muze (6m Royal Dream-Nolaila) was second for pilot Hugues Monthule, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Union Stable. Echo de Chanlecy (6g Quinoa du Gers) was third for E.G. Blot, ahead of Balzac de L’Iton with Franck Nivard up and Derby du Dollar was fifth for Gilles Delacour      Fairplay d’Urzy Trotting action on August 4 was at Cabourg before a huge live audience. The featured Prix des Hetres (purse 34,000€, 2700 meters, five year olds) saw the well-regarded 8/10 favorite Fleche du Yucca (5f Prodigious-Vencenza) score in 1.13.7kr. Jean Philippe Dubois teamed this one for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. She recorded her 13th career victory and increased life earnings to 339,470€. Foxtrot Sea (5m Olitro) was second for Cedrik Megissier, also his trainer. Third home was Feeling Cash (5m Ready Cash-Royale Star) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Carlos Lerner.        Fleche du Yucca Jean Philippe Dubois won again at Cabourg with 5.6/1 Grande Edition (4f Royal Dream-All Edition) in the Prix des Eglantines (purse 17,000€, 2050 meters autostart). Timed in 1.14.2kr the winner recorded his fourth career win now for 28,130€ earned. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Gina Costardiere (4f Quicky Oa-Petit Costardiere) was second for Adrien Lamy and Great Touch (4f Royal Dream-Touch of Charm) was third with Eric Raffin for trainer Etienne Dubois.       Grande Edition LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) with Bjorn Goop up, took the lead from post seven in the first lap and continued on the lead throughout for an easy 1.11.0kr timed score in today’s Grand Prix de Wallonie  in Belgium (purse 120,000€, 2300 meters autostart, 10 starters). Face TimeBourbon now has recorded 22 career victories in 26 starts for 1,773,900€ earned. He was off at 1/10 odds. Sebastien Guarato trains this one for Scuderia Bivans Srl. The 25/1 Valokaja Hindo (9m Great Challenger-Hindo Enghave) was a solid second with Christophe Martens teaming this Jean Michel Bazire trainee that Eirik Djuve owns. The 87/1 Viking d’Hermes (11g Sancho Panca-Norina Way) took third for Christophe de Groote, narrowly ahead of fourth finishing 6.9/1 Bold Eagle (9m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) that Hugues Montule piloted for trainer Guarato and owner Ecurie Pierre Pilarski. Bold Eagle earned 9,500€ today and increased his life earnings to 5,000,467€, just behind the all-time earnings record for a FR trotteur set by Timoko at 5,006,731€. Timoko won 36 times in his racing career while Bold Eagle secured 46 victories in 76 starts. Below is a photo gallery of this action today at Hippodrome de Wallonie. Face Time Bourbon Bold Eagle and Hugues Monthule     It was quite a career for Bold Eagle and today’s salute to his accomplishments also gave thanks to longtime lad Hugues Monthule who teamed the champion.   Hippodrome de Wallonie and LeTrot files/photos   by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

What was billed as the final race for champion Bold Eagle on August 1 shapes up as just that as nine rivals will challenge the Hugues Monthule driven and Sebastien Guarato trained winner of 46 races for 4,990,967€ earned and a speed record of 1.08.9kr. Driver Monthule is a long time lad that has looked after Bold Eagle during his career and who now is driving regularly and has 58 victories. The race is the Gr. I Grand Prix de Wallonie to be raced over 2300 meters at Mons Ghlin (Belgium) for a purse of 120,000€. Bold Eagle, the nine-year old son of Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet will face a top field that includes his son Face Time Bourbon (5m Bold Eagle-Vita Bourbon) that will have Bjorn Goop at the lines along with Valokaja Hindo and Tony Gio among the contestants. FTB has posted 21 victories so far worth 1,716,300€ in career earnings. Hippodrome de Wallonie Mons Ghlin files/images by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Alcoy (6m Ready Cash-Divann) took the Cagnes sur Mer featured Prix de Cap Esteul (purse 46,000€, 2925 meters, International) timed in 1.12.9kr and reined by Christophe Martens trainer Vincent Martens and Ceke Farm BVBA. Alcoy was off at 1.6/1 odds and he recorded his seventh career victory in 29 starts now for 409,850€ earned. The 2.1/1 Elsa  de Belfonds (6f Tornado Bello) was second for Nicolas Ensch and 6.6/1 Bulle de Laumont (9f Hand du Vivier) was third for Stephane Cingland.  Clif du Pommereux (8m Love You) and Bad Boy du Dollar (9m Magnificent Rodney) finished fourth and fifth. Alcoy Today began the exciting summer meet at Cagnes sur Mer. LeTrot, PMU. Hippodrome Cote d’Azur files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

March 12, 2020 - Bugsy Malone (9g Ready Cash-Night Captain) returned from a four month vacation to score at Caen in the harness racing Prix de Cauvicourt (purse 31,000€, 2200 meters autostart, European) with Yoann Lebourgeois up. Off at 2.5/1 the winner recorded his 29th career victory now for 885,230€ earned. Philippe Allaire owns and trains the veteran campaigner that is especially talented on the turf in summer season. Ce Bello Romain (8g Jam Pridem-Miss Echo Bella) was second and Eriden (6, Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) took third, this one with David Thomain up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Bel Avis was an unplaced starter. Thomas H. Hicks

This final day of the harness racing Winter Meet on Saturday at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes included four groupe level races and the Quinte+ race of the day. Action began with Grace de Fael (4f Sam Bourbon-Acquarella de Fael), off at 3.9/1, taking the Gr. II Prix Louis le Bourg (monte, purse 100,000€, 2850 meters) at Vincennes, racing with shoes, and with jockey Alexandre Abrivard in the irons. Thierry Duvaldestin trains the 1.13.9kr clocked mare for owner Jose Fernandes. Grace now has eight career wins for 230,000€ earned. 27/1 odds Guide Moi Forgan (4m Neutron du Cebe) was second for jockey Christopher Corbineau with third earned by 12/1 Get de Play (4m Gazouillis) handled by Adrien Lamy for owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. Grace de Fael The featured event on this last day of the Vincennes Winter Meet was the Gr. I Prix de Selection (purse 200,000€, 2200 meters, four to six year olds). The 1/10 favorite Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) scored in 1.10.9kr with Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Scuderia Bivans Srl. Face Time won for the 20th time in his career that has so far yielded 1,651,050€. The 11/1 Enino du Pommereux (6m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) took second for* Matthieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. 21/1 Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Richard Westerink. Face Time had a remarkable Winter Meet with four wins including the Grand Prix d’Amerique, three of those being Gr. I wins, plus a second place finish in the Grand Prix France. He also lowered his personal time badge to 1.10.6kr in the Criterium Continental. Face Time Bourbon The Gr. III Prix Henri Desmontils (purse 90,000€, 2850 meters, monte, International) was up next and saw 4.2/1 Evangelina Blue (6f Speedy Blue-Happy Blue) score, timed I 1.14.2kr, with Mathieu Mottier aboard for trainer J.P. Mary, the winners’ ninth career victory now for 662,000€ earned. 4.1/1 Etoile de Bruyere (6f Kenor de Cosse) was a game second for jockey Adrien Lamy. Third was Caban Prior (8g Sancho Panca) handled by Aurilien Desmarres. Evangelina Blue The Prix du Plateau de Gravelle (Gr. III, purse 90,000€, 2100 meters autostart, International) saw JMB on the victory stage as it went to 1.11.1kr timed Dorgos de Guez (7g Romcok de Guez-Landy Frometro) with trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard. Dorgos won for the 21st time in a career that now shows 605,6580€ earned. He was off as the 8/10 odds favorite and he defeated 5.4/1 stablemate Colonel (8g Goetmals Wood-Royale Star) with Nicolas Bazire up for owner Ecurie des Charmes. Detroit Castelets (7m Neoh Jiel) took third for David Thomain. Dorgos de Guez The day’s Quinte+ race was the Prix de Montsoreau (purse 58,000€, 2700 meters, European) with victory to 3.9/1 Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Jeunesse Dorec) with trainer Pierre Vercruysse up for owner Jan Lyng. This was his sixth victory in France and it raised his career earnings to 267,141€. Race time was 1.12.4kr. The 9/1 Datcha (7f The Best Madrik) was second for J.Ph. Monclin and third was 33/1 Divine Mesloise. 35/1 Baron Daidou and 118/1 Altius Fortis completed the top five. The exact order Q+ payoff was 136,224€ to eight winning tickets. The Q+ pool was 4,185,945€ and 8,912,000€ was wagered on the race (all wagering pools). Moni Viking The Paris-Vincennes Winter Meet is now complete. In addition to the performance of Face Time Bourbon the top drivers, jockeys and trainers based on number of wins are shown below:   Drivers: Eric Raffin 69, Jean Michel Bazire 58, David Thomain 37 Jockeys: Eric Raffin 25, Alexandre Abrivard 19, Mathieu Mottier 15 Trainers: Jean Michel Bazire 83, Philippe Allaire 23, Laurent Claude Abrivard 23. There were three others with 22 training wins – Sebastien Guarato, Christian Bigeon and J.M. Baudouin It was quite a race meet, horses and equine. Equine also saw great victories by Davidson du Pont and the exceptional Belina Jocclyn.    Raffin and Bazire LeTrot, PMU files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The grande French Champion harness racing mare, Belina Josselyn, who won last Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris (Gr. I, UET Masters Series, 170,000€ purse) was then retired by owner Pascal Bernard. She will enjoy a brief rest and then will be bred to champion sire Ready Cash. "Respect" as Jean-Michel Bazire will say last Sunday to conclude his interview on Equidia after his second victory in the Paris Grand Prix with Belina who concludes her career with superb performances. 2,618,970€ in life earnings  Four Group I wins  One Prix d’Amerique victory Two Grand Prix Paris wins and one Grand Prix France score Record: 1'10''2kr Recent LeTrot writings cite correctly her elegance, her gait, which has often earned her comparison to a ballerina who had made the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes her favorite racecourse. She created fond fan memories of communion with the public when Jean-Michel Bazire offered his champion to the spectators.  Belina excelled among the talented 2011 B’s that included Bold Eagle, Bird Parker, Bilibili, Billie de Montfort, and Booster Winner. Belina Josselyn emerged at the top of her game in the 2017 Prix Tenor de Baune and followed that with a victory in the 2018 Grand Prix France. The daughter of Love You then won the 2019 Grand Prix d’Amerique following that with the marathon distance 2020 Grand Prix de Paris, to complete the circle of victory of the three biggest races of the French winter meet. Belina Josselyn's pedigree (source LeTrot) embodies the quintessence of the breeding of Yvan Bernard and his son, Pascal. Her dam Lezira Josselyn is a daughter of Workaholic, and is thus  is imbued with American blood. Bélina Josselyn is thus inbred on Speedy Crown (5x3) and Speedy Count (5x4), as well as on Speedster (6x7x5x5). Great credit goes to Belina’s trainer Jean Michel Bazire who seemed always successful in pointing the fine mare for the sport’s leading races, and to her supporting breeder/owners. What a superb job by all!!! LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The 1.4/1 favorite Fairplay d’Urzy (5m Ready Cash-Romane d’Urzy) took the Gr. III Prix de la Mayenne at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday (purse 80,000€, 2700 meters, 15 starters) timed in 1.13.6kr. Trainer Jean Michel Bazire reined the winner for Ecurie Marechal, Fairplay won for the 10th time in 22 starts now for life earnings of 264,030€. To watch the race replay, click here.  The 6.1/1 Celle Crown (6m Great Challenger-Hillary Crown) was a game second for driver Bjorn Goop, trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owner Easy KB. 5.9/1 Vipera Killer Gar (6f Varenne-Uakland) took third with Eric Raffin up for trainer Vitale Ciotola. 10/1 Éclair du Mirel and 15/1 Freyja du Pont completed the top five. Fairplay d’Urzy LeTrot, PMU files/photo by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Vincennes, France – Following the outside cover of Davidson Du Pont, harness racing driver Bjorn Goop and Face Time Bourbon weaved their way around horses and was able to post a two-length triumph to win the 100th Grand Prix d’Amerique race at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday. It was the 19th victory in just 22 career starts for Face Time Bourbon. The five-year-old son of two-time Prix d’Amerique winner, Ready Cash, is now harness racing newest international trotting star. The race began with a Calvary charge for control of the early lead with horses racing three-wide for the first half mile of the 1.67-mile race (2,700 meters). Billie De Montfort (Gabriele Gelormini) held the early lead, then Excellent (Alexandre Abrivard) got to the front and Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) was able to drop into the two-hole along the rail. And all the while there was Davidson Du Pont and driver Franck Ouvire parked out first-over and not giving up an inch. Meanwhile, Goop and Face Time Bourbon were following their cover second over. Excellent then went off-stride and that allowed Looking Superb (David Thomain) a brief time on the lead, but as they finally reached the top of the stretch, Davidson Du Pont, parked the mile, was in the lead, but Goop moved down along the rail and passed them by with Face Time Bourbon for the victory in 1’11’50. Davidson Du Pont held for the second place with the mare, Belina Josselyn (Jean-Michel Bazire), last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, finishing third. Bold Eagle was never in the hunt and finished 10th in the field of 18 starters. Ringostarr Treb, making his final start before going to the stud barn, make a break and finished last. Trained by Sebastien Guarato, Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SLR. It was his sixth straight win. He went off at odds of 4.9-1 odds. Before the Prix d’Amerique race, everyone at the track was treated to an unbelievable show on the racetrack celebrating American soldiers coming to help France in World War I. The crowds were so packed that is was impossible to try and get on the track apron to watch the show. Luckily for most, it was broadcast on all three jumbo screens in the infield. It was a presentation that left many speechless, amazed and proud to be part of this special day’s events. On the track were the following: 100 children dressed in driver colors with helmets 100 Horse costume parade and dance 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles parade, each with an American Flag 100 cheerleaders in USA outfits carrying Prix d’Amerique and American Flags Introduction of the 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique race, each driver came through the throngs of crowds, holding the hand of a child dressed in USA colors. Drivers giving Hi-Fives to fans, posing for selfies and then were escorted off the track on two-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Before the Prix d’Amerique race there was an outstanding performance of horsemanship by the French Royal Lancers. They performed precision riding with both lances and sabers while their special band played. There was also a very strong undercard at Vincennes with seven Graded Stakes. Total purses for the day was over 1.6 million euros. Major sponsors of this year’s Prix d’Amerique included Case IH Agriculture, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Lalique, RMC Sports Talk Radio, Gras Savoye, Lenotre Paris, FRM (Medicale), 20 Minutes and Printemps Nation. 100,000€ Prix Harley-Davidson This Groupe II stake was monte (racing under saddle) going 2700 meters (1.67 miles). It was a standing start and once the word go was given, jockey Mathie Mottier came charging from the far outside with Fame Music to take a commanding six length lead. As the field settled down, Flicka De Blary and jockey Camille Levesque went on the outside and had to settle for a pocket trip behind Fame Music as those two held a five-length lead over the field. Then as they came around the final turn, Fame Music went off-stride and was pulled to the inside of the track. That left Flicka De Blary and Levesque all alone in the lead and they held that lead through the stretch to win by six open lengths in 1”14’10. Flicka De Blary is a five-year-old mare by Sam Bourbon. She is trained by Thomas Levesque for the Levesque Stable. Flicka De Blary was the 2-1 favorite. 100,000€ Prix Case This Groupe II stake was another monte event but longer in distance at 2,850 meters (1.77 miles). The race belonged to Emir De Robomard and jockey Julien Raffestin who took the early lead away from Aribo Mix (Guillaume Martin) and then led the field nearly the entire race. As they charged down the stretch, Canan Prior and jockey Aurelien Desmarres kept gaining ground and collared Emir De Robomard at the wire to win by a half-length in 1’13’80. It was the 21st win for the eight-year-old son of Sancho Panca, who is owned and trained by Sylvain Desmarres. He went off at odds of 4-1. 100,000€ Prix RMC Sports Talk Another Grade II stake, only this race went behind the starting gate with 14 starters. Gotland (Eric Raffin) was first to leave the cut the mile until halfway through the race when Green Grass (Mathieu Mottier) came first-over, giving live cover to Gu D’Heripre (Franck Nivard). Then in a classic stretch drive to the wire, Gu D’Heripre was able to hold off a late charge by the race favorite, Gunilla D’Atout (Bjorn Goop), to win by a neck in 1’11’60. For Gu D’Heripre, a four-year-old son of Coktail Jet, it was a lifetime mark for trainer Philippe Billard and the D’Heripre Stable. He was the second choice in the race at odds of 4-1. TRACK NOTES: John Campbell, President and CEO of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Society has been in Paris this week for the big race and was overheard saying that plans are in the works for Bold Eagle to come back to America and race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Paris, France – Sunday afternoon the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes will transcend into the biggest day of harness racing around the globe. It’s the 100th anniversary of the classic trotting event, the Grand Prix d’Amerique. There will be 18 world class trotters racing from a standing start, 2,700 meters (1.67 miles), down and up a hill, completing for 900,000€ in prize money. But at Vincennes, it’s more than just a rich race. It’s a tribute week honoring America for its help in fighting World War I. The track is already decorated throughout the entire facility with the Red, White and Blue and Stars and Stripes of America. There will be more than 1.6 million euros in prize money for the afternoon. There are 11 races, 7 of them graded stakes. It is estimated that more than 30 million euros will be wagered on the afternoon to evening race program. The races start at noon (6:00 am in the USA east coast) with six races held. Then the following takes place after the sixth race. Parade of 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, 100 young drivers, 100 flag bearers, acrobats, dancers, stilt walkers, surprise birthday party for the 100th Grand Prix d’Amérique The 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique will be presented individually on the Vincennes Hippodrome de Paris track. The French Royal Lancers Show on the racetrack arena. The post parade of the 18 horses and drivers in the Prix d’Amerique. Then the Grand Prix d’Amerique race will start at 4:10 pm followed by a victory lap for the fans by the official winner of the race. That will be followed by a major winner’s circle presentation to the winning connections followed by the last four races on the program. For the Prix d’Amerique race itself. Bold Eagle is the class of the field. A career winner of 4,956,617€, Bold Eagle is a son of Ready Cash who will have the top driver Eric Raffin in the sulky. He has won the Prix d’Amerique twice, just as his sire did. If he can finish in the top four positions, he will surpass the great Timoko and become the richest French trotter in history. Back in November he came to Canada and the won the Breeders Crown for Older Trotters. The horse most people are talking about is Face Time Bourbon. Also sired by Ready Cash, Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion that was a late bloomer, but in the past two years has made just 21 starts, but has won 18 times with two second place finishes. His driver, Bjorn Goop, won the Prix d’Amerique in 2018 with Readly Express. There are six mares in the field and the top one is last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, Belina Josselyn. This nine-year-old daughter of Love You was sidelined with an injury for the better part of the 2019 season but has made a superb comeback. She was so dominant recently in the Grand Prix de Belgique that she may very well be able to defending her title from last year. She also had the great Jean-Michel Bazire driving. Other horses that cannot be overlooked include Propulsion, Billie De Montfort, Davidson Du Pont, Uza Josselyn and Ringostarr Treb, who will be retired to stud duty as the Prix d’Amerique will be his last start as a racehorse. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Grosbois, France – As one of the top harness racing drivers in all of Europe, Bjorn Goop knows his horses and he says that his horse in Sunday’s 900,000€ Grand Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, is in prime shape. The horse heads into the Prix d'Amerique on a five-race winning streak. “The horse is good,” Goop stated. “I think it is I that will need to have a little luck.” Goop was referring to and explaining that the Prix d’Amerique is so different from any other horse race because it is done from a standing start. There is no starting gate used for this world class field of horses. “It is not easy to be ready in a standing start,” Goop explained. “You have to stay in your general area and keep on moving, waiting for the word to start. You need to time it just right and yet you need some luck too. “You do not want to be last at the start,” Goop added, “And you do not want to be in the middle of the pack on the rail and then you are trapped for the race and cannot get out.” There are 18 horses going in the Prix d’Amerique, 18 older trotters, most of whom earned their way into the race by winning other Groupe races. More than half the field have each won over 1 million euros with Bold Eagle leading way. The two-time Prix d’Amerique winner has career earnings of 4,956,617€. A win, second or third place finish will put Bold Eagle over the 5-million-euro mark. Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion by Ready Cash, the same sire as Bold Eagle, who also won the Prix d’Amerique twice. The 2019 race season was superb for Face Time Bourbon as he started just 11 times with 9 wins and two second place finishes. Every one of his starts was in a Groupe I, II or III races. Face Time Bourbon is trained by Sebastien Giuarato, who has three starters in the Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, Valko Jenilat and the mare, Billie de Montfort. Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SRL, who also has Vivid Wise AS in the Prix d’Amerique. Bjorn Goop has his choice of whom to drive in the Prix d’Amerique and he choose Face Time Bourbon. “He is such a great horse,” Goop said. “He can race well from behind or can go on the front. I think for this race maybe we sit in the middle and see what happens. He is coming into this race in very good shape.” Goop is no stranger to the Prix d’Amerique. He won the race in 2018 with Readly Express and then raced back with him again in 2019 and was third. This past year Goop scored his 7,000th career win and has over 2,000 wins as a trainer. Track Notes: Of the 18 starters in the Prix d’Amerique, 8 are mares. All 18 horses will be not be wearing shoes in the race, which is not uncommon in European trotting. It was also reported that the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) have posted a better-than-forecast set of provisional results for 2019, with turnover of €9.56 billion and an operating profit returned to fund racing and trotting of €760 million. That is €13 million ahead of budget and will be welcome news to both the Trotters and Thoroughbreds, both of whom have been forced to tighten their belts in terms of running costs in recent years. Saturday’s race card at Vincennes will feature the Groupe II Prix de Luxembourg with a purse of 100,000€. Thursday first day of the Arqana-Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale saw 152 lots presented with 95 sold (62.5%) for gross proceeds of 1,263,000€. Stallion shares and broodmares highlighted the offering, many of the mares being in foal. Charmeause Mayjc (8f Prince Gede) led the sale at 120,000€ to AM Bloodstock. She was bred to Love You in 2019 and is barren, but her Ganymede first dam Teza Josselyn has produced the million euro plus winner Uza Josselyn that starts in Sunday’s Prix d’Amerique. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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