The spectacular race in Paris featured a battle to the wire with Bold Eagle and Propulsion.
by Thomas Hedlund
Three horses made the €400,000 Prix de France ($500,000) spectacular Sunday at Vincennes racetrack in Paris, as Belina Josselyn was the narrow victor.
French star Bold Eagle was chasing his first victory during the Paris meet, which ended with second-place finishes in all his races there this season.
From number eight behind the gate, the son of Ready Cash opened quickly, but had to wait until the half-mile before he reached the front.
It was Timone Ek and Wild Honey that fought for the lead in the first 500 meters and the American-bred Cantab Hall mare Wild Honey eventually got the desirable position in front for driver Björn Goop. By that time, Bold Eagle attacked three wide for Franck Nivard and when he asked, Goop had no thoughts of keeping Wild Honey in the lead.
With Bold Eagle in front, Propulsion was served a trip second over for Örjan Kihlström and behind him, Jean-Michel Bazire struggled to find a suitable trip for his Belina Josselyn.
In Prix d’Amérique, Belina Josselyn was three wide the whole race (1.7 miles) and this time Bazire helped the mare a little more by giving her a trip in the back of Ringostarr Treb during the last half mile of the race.
In the home stretch, Bold Eagle seemed to have everything under control, but Propulsion, who had made contact on the outside of the leader with 600 meters to go, never gave up and three wide Belina Josselyn attacked with a strong finish. Those three horses fought strongly and it was the mare Balina Josselyn who had shown most of the power when the Prix de France was over.
The 1:53 (mile rate) is an incredible time over the distance of 2,100 meters (1.3 miles) with prevailing conditions at Vincennes.
Bold Eagle finished second and Propulsion third. Propulsion will now go back to Sweden and prepare for the Elitloppet in May, while Belina Josselyn, most certainly will aim for Prix de Paris (4,000 meters at Vincennes) on Feb. 25. Bold Eagle will compete in more mile races and it is possible that the 7-year-old will try again in the Elitloppet at Solvalla.
For Bazire, the triumph with Belina Josselyn (Love You) was longed for.
“Belina Josselyn had a great meeting in Paris last year, this season has been different for her. She had a super race in Prix d’Amérique and it feels very good that she could win one of the biggest races this winter. Of course, it’s a lot of work behind a victory like this and we have to be very accurate in our preparations,” Bazire said.
Wild Honey to Propulsion
Wild Honey’s start in last Sunday’s Prix de France in Paris was the last race of her career.
Wild Honey had two successful seasons for Jimmy Takter as a 2-, and 3-year-old, where she fought against antagonist Mission Brief in the big races. After the 3-year-old season, Wild Honey was sold to Brixton Medical AB in Sweden, where she continued to race with success among older horses. In 2017 and 2018 she participated in the biggest race for the elite in Europe, the Prix d’Amérique. Trainer Daniel Redén decided to let her be a breeding mare after the Prix de France.
Wild Honey’s first companion will be stablemate Propulsion (Muscle Hill—Danae).
Wild Honey (Cantab Hall—U.Wanna Lindy) 51 26-10-3 | $1,708,190 | 1:50.4