Sunday’s Prix d’Amerique is setting up to be an epic race.
by Thomas Hedlund
The $741,000 Prix de Cornulier Monté race (Racing under saddle) was held at Vincennes racetrack in Paris last Sunday and as many fans predicted, the two giants Traders and Bilibili were outstanding when the battle was on.
Philippe Allaire-trained Traders came into the race as first choice and Allaire told jockey Yoann Lebourgeois that his horse was in shape for a performance good enough to win the prestigious race for the second year in a row.
Allaire was right. Traders had an outstanding performance, running in front by several lengths most of the race, but the problem was that Laurent Claude Abrivard-trained Bilibili (Niky) was too strong at the end of the Cornulier. Bilibili gradually picked up the lengths he had to leader Traders and in the last turn, the two trotters were long ahead of the rest of the field.
Eight-year-old Bilibili’s home stretch was nothing more than phenomenal as he sprinted home to victory in an unequalled mile rate of 1:54.3 over 2.700 meters, approximately 1.7 miles.
Bilibili has monté genre as his speciality. Trainer Abrivard is well aware of that fact and keeps focus on preparing the horse for the biggest events under saddle, which so far has been a successful tactic. Bilibili’s lifetime earnings has now reached a level of $1,651,117, all exclusively in races under saddle.
A true champion was celebrated at Vincennes last Sunday.
Field for Prix d’Amérique is set
This Sunday (Jan. 27) is the day of one of the most prestigious harness races in the world. Paris is ready for the big battle at Vincennes and this year’s edition of Prix d’Amérique seems to have all the ingredients to become a classic.
Defending champion Readly Express (Ready Cash) will probably not be the first choice in the race on Sunday since the French team with Bold Eagle, Belina Josselyn and Bird Parker, among many others, have shown great level in their preparation races ahead of the PdA.
Daniel Redén’s Propulsion comes from a disappointing performance at Romme racetrack in the end of December 2018 and he wasn’t sure his American-bred trotter would race the PdA this year. But since Wednesday afternoon, the son of Muscle Hill has been located at the farm in Chamant, north of Paris and according to Redén, Propulsion is ready for his third attempt in the tough race.
Belina Josselyn (Love You) was disqualified in Prix de Belgique, but showed her capacity and looked splendid as she crossed the wire ahead of Bird Parker (Ready Cash). Jean-Michel Bazire’s domination at Vincennes this winter has been outstanding and Belina Josselyn’s fans can all be sure that the charismatic chestnut mare will deliver a performance that most certainly makes her a serious choice in PdA.
Bold Eagle (Ready Cash) and his trainer Sébastien Guarato have found new levels this winter. With a training program that is different from previous years, Bold Eagle seems to have reached new tops and his speed, with the right position in the race, is tough to disarm.
Bird Parker is the first outsider that is named before the race. Bold Eagle, Belina Josselyn, Readly Express and Propulsion will be the top four among the bettors, but there are a couple of horses that could upset on Sunday and Bird Parker is definitely one of them.
Sébastien Guarato’s domination in Prix d’Amérique 2019 is startling. Five of the 18 contenders come from his barn and Jean-Michel Bazire and Philippe Allaire can also be proud of their efforts so far. Three trotters will be attending from their stables.
Prix d’Amérique’s post time is scheduled to 16.05 (CET) (10:05 a.m. New York time) and the purse is $1,023,349.
Prix d’Amérique 2019 – 2,700 meters
Horse – Driver – Trainer
Looking Superb – Alexandre Abrivard – Jean-Michel Bazire
Bahia Quesnot – Junior Guelpa
Eridan – Eric Raffin – Sébastien Guarato
Davidson du Pont – Franck Ouvrie – Jean-Michel Bazire
Delia du Pommereux – Damien Bonne – Sylvain Roger
Charly du Noyer – Pierre Vercruysse – Philippe Allaire
Urlo dei Venti – Antonio Greppi – Gennaro Casillo
Uza Josselyn – Gabriele Gelormini – René Aebischer
Carat Williams – David Thomain – Sébastien Guarato
Valko Jenilat – Francois Lagadeuc – Sébastien Guarato
Traders – Yoann Lebourgeois – Philippe Allaire
Belina Josselyn – Jean-Michel Bazire
Lionel – Göran Antonsen – Daniel Redén
Billie de Montfort – Pierre Yves Verva – Sébastien Guarato
Readly Express – Björn Goop – Timo Nurmos
Bird Parker – Jean Philippe Monclin – Philippe Allaire
Propulsion – Örjan Kihlström – Daniel Redén
Bold Eagle – Franck Nivard – Sébastien Guarato