by Thomas Hedlund
The $135,000 Prix de Bourgogne over 1.3 miles was held at Vincennes racetrack on Sunday (Jan. 2) afternoon and as in all B-races, three spots in the Prix d’Amérique were at stake.
The bettors put their trust in two horses when the field of 18 trotters gathered behind the car at Vincennes. Elitloppet winner and runner up, Don Fanucci Zet and Vivid Wise As, respectively, were first and second choice and both horses opened well behind the gate. Vivid Wise As came to the lead for driver Eric Raffin since early leader Cokstile (Quite Easy), paired with Gabriele Gelormoni, opted the pocket position behind Alessandro Gocciadoro’s Vivid Wise As.
Don Fanucci Zet tried three wide in the last turn as he left position in second over, but the Swedish 5-year-old couldn’t fight for a top placing in his first attempt in Paris. Instead it was the three horses trotting in front on the inside that secured their Prix d’Amérique-spots, respectively.
Cokstile left his position behind Vivid Wise As when the field reached the home stretch and pretty easily, the leader was disarmed by the top Norwegian-bred trotter.
Cokstile, now trained by Erik Bondo in Italy, sprinted to a safe win in a mile rate of 1:54 while runner up Vivid Wise As came home in 1:54.2. (Replay here)
Eleven-year-old Billie de Montfort continues to surprise in big races and Sébastien Guarato’s mare claimed the bronze medal after a third inside trip.
One B-race remains. On Jan. 16, the $135,000 Prix de Belgique is scheduled at Vincennes and that will be the last chance for horses to qualify for Prix d’Amérique.
Road to Prix d’Amérique 2022
Horses already qualified
Prix de Bretagne (Nov. 21)
Face Time Bourbon
Ganay de Banville
Prix du Bourbonnais (Dec. 12)
Face Time Bourbon
Criterium Continental (Dec. 26)
Prix Tenor de Baune (Dec. 26)
Prix de Bourgogne (Jan. 2)
Vivid Wise As
Billie de Montfort