by Thomas Hedlund
In the $140,000 Prix du Bourbonnais, the second “B-race” in France, Bold Eagle (Ready Cash) made his comeback after having problems with a hoof.
The race was held last Sunday at Vincennes racetrack in Paris and many of the best horses in Europe showed up. Bold Eagle was a heavy favorite and driver Franck Nivard really had to empty the horse this time. From a position fourth over, Bold Eagle attacked three wide with 5/8ths of a mile to go in the 1.8 mile race. In the last turn, the Sébastien Gurato trained 6-year-old son of Ready Cash had control of the leader, stablemate Carat Williams, but behind Bold Eagle another strong Ready Cash son followed easily. In the home stretch, Bird Parker (Ready Cash), trained by Philippe Allaire and driven by Jean Philippe Monclin, disarmed the big favourite and came home in 1:56.2 (mile rate).
Bold Eagle finished second and Italian bred Ringostarr Treb (Classic Photo) third. Bold Eagle and Bird Parker would both have been allowed to race in the Grand Prix d’Amérique even without this qualification race. They have enough money in their bank accounts to gain entry to the big race to be held at the end of January, 2018.
Propulsion (Muscle Hill) and this year’s runner up in Prix d’Amérique, Belina Josselyn (Love You), both finished strongly on the far outside and will show up in Prix de Bourgogne on New Year’s Eve in Paris next time.
On Dec. 24, the $140,000 Prix Tenor de Baune for the 5-year-olds and Criterium Continental ($280.000) for the 4-year-olds will feature another two Prix d’Amérique contenders. The winners in those two races are allowed to race in the big race in January.
In the $280,000 Criterium de 3 ans, the Franck Leblanc-trained mare Erminig d’Oliviere took the victory when Eridan (Ready Cash) was disqualified for breaking stride in the home stretch.
Erminig d’Oliviere was beaten at the top of the home stretch but fought back and collected the victory in one of the most prestigious races for the 3-year-olds in Europe.