by Thomas Hedlund
When super trotter Face Time Bourbon hit the lead with three quarters of a mile remaining in $125,000 Prix du Bourbonnais on Sunday afternoon (Dec. 12), most of the fans watching the race assumed that the game was over and the 6-year-old Ready Cash son would cruise to an easy win, as usual. But this time something was missing in the defending Prix d’Amérique champion. Driver Eric Raffin made his move in the last turn, tried to shake his followers off his back and Face Time Bourbon answered by getting a two-three lengths advantage when the field turned for home. Early leader and pocket runner Etonnant (Timoko) — trained by Richard Westerink, well known as trainer of Timoko — is strong over longer distances and won $450,000 Prix de Paris over four kilometers in February. This time, his ability to keep high speed over a long distance disarmed leader Face Time Bourbon just ahead of the wire and Etonnant came home in a mile rate of 1:54.4 over 1.7 miles.
Etonnant and Face Time Bourbon claimed the two top spots in the first B-race, the Prix de Bretagne, which means that four horses in total have qualified for the 2022 Prix d’Amérique. Jean-Michel Bazire’s Ganay de Banville finished third in the Prix de Bretagne and his Rebella Matters claimed a Prix d’Amérique spot as third in Sunday’s Prix du Bourbonnais.
Are there any worries regarding Face Time Bourbon’s loss in the second B-race ahead of Prix d’Amérique? No, not really and Sébastien Guarato’s trotter is still the big gaming companies’ heavy favorite in Prix d’Amérique 2022.
“It’s better to lose this race than Prix d’Amérique,” said Guarato after the loss on Sunday afternoon.
Horses qualified for the 2022 Prix d’Amérique
Prix de Bretagne
Face Time Bourbon
Ganay de Banville
Prix du Bourbonnais
Face Time Bourbon
Hail Mary leaves Robert Bergh
Five-year-old Googoo Gaagaa son Hail Mary has changed trainers. Sweden’s 2020 Horse Of The Year has left Robert Bergh’s stable and will now be trained by Daniel Redén.
Hail Mary dominated two of the biggest races in Sweden as a 4-year-old since he won The Derby and Breeders Crown.
His 26 starts have resulted in 19 wins and $837,760 in earnings. Hail Mary has a record of 1:54.3 over 1.3 miles.