The 9-year-old was driven to victory by his new trainer Nicolas Bazire, son of famed French horseman Jean-Michel Bazire.
by Thomas Hedlund
Some 5,000 spectators were allowed to visit Vincennes for the $1,115,000 (U.S.) Prix d’Amérique 2022 on Sunday (Jan. 30) morning and the sun drowned the Paris track in light during the entire race card.
Some high-staked monté races came before the highlight of the day and it was clear the audience was waiting for the big battle at 4:20 p.m. Paris time.
Champion trotter Bold Eagle, who won the Prix d’Amérique in 2016 and 2017, showed up in front of the Vincennes’ audience as part of the parade ahead of the race. It was clearly a move that fired up the spectators.
The Prix d’Amérique itself was a sparkling event where several drivers drove like they sat behind the best horse in the race after favorite Face Time Bourbon was scratched earlier in the week.
Galius, driven by Yoann Lebourgeois, earned his spot in Prix d’Amérique by winning the Prix Tenor de Baune at Christmas and the 6-year-old was the least merited trotter in the race in terms of earnings. But that didn’t stop Lebourgeois from choosing an optimistic tactic. Galius was pushed to the lead after the half-mile, taking over the lead from optimistic-driven longshot Power and soon thereafter a small sized war unfolded behind the leader as Nicolas Bazire (Davidson du Pont) and Anthony Barrier (Etonnant) both wanted to try an attack against the new leader.
That move ended with Etonnant as first over while Davidson du Pont found a pocket trip for a while.
Leader Galius had to defend himself against attacking first choice Etonnant just before the uphill part of Vincennes and Lebourgeois realized that the best thing to do was to let Etonnant take control over the field, at least for a moment.
As the field approached the end of the uphill portion up the back stretch, Galius was once again pushed towards the lead and behind him Davidson du Pont followed while Etonnant clearly ran out of gas and fell back in the field.
Galius got his full order to go by Lebourgeois in the last turn and when the field of Prix d’Amérique hit the home stretch, the outcome seemed to land in Galius’ favor. His two-three length advantage seemed to be enough to claim the trophy, but Nicolas Bazire didn’t give up his chances to win with his Davidson du Pont and just ahead of the wire, Davidson du Pont put his nose first in a mile rate of 1:54.4 over 1.6 miles.
Prix d’Amérique replay:
Nine-year-old Davidson du Pont (Pacha du Pont) was making his fourth attempt in the Prix d’Amérique. For trainer Jean-Michel Bazire the two prior starts ended with runner up performances behind Face Time Bourbon. Nicolas Bazire now trains and drives the 9-year-old Pacha du Pont son, but that is more on the paper. Davidson du Pont lives in Jean-Michel Bazire’s stable and Jean-Michel is most certainly involved with the Prix d’Amérique winner.
It was an emotional win for the Bazire family and Davidson du Pont has earned his spot in the winner’s circle.
But one must feel a bit sorry for the entourage around runner up Galius. Lebourgeois gave it a serious try and Galius showed that he belongs in the top among older horses in Europe. His effort in the Prix d’Amérique was exceptionally good.
Prix de Cornulier winner Flamme du Goutier finished a strong third, while Italian-bred Vivid Wise As finished quickly in fourth.
Reviewing the race, one notes the two best horses fought for the title and to be fair, Davidson du Pont might not get so many more chances to win the Prix d’Amérique while the future looks bright for runner up Galius. He looks to be a serious factor in events like this for many years to come.
Allaire’s 4-year-old unstoppable
Philippe Allaire-trained Izoard Vedaquais (Bird Parker) entered the $335,000 Sulky World Cup 4 ans as first choice on Vincennes on Sunday afternoon and driver Eric Raffin aimed for the lead early.
Izoard Vedaquais was runner up in the $225,000 Criterium des 3 ans on Dec. 19, his first defeat in his 13th start and when Raffin came to the lead in Sunday’s race, much pointed against a new victory. Allaire’s trotter was challenged by Jean-Michel Bazire’s Dusktodawn Boogie throughout the last turn, but in the stretch Raffin had everything under safe control.
Idao de Tillard finished strongly from third-fourth over as runner up and pocket runner Callmethebreeze held well as third. The mile rate over 1.6 miles was 1:56.2.
Sulky World Cup 4 ans replay: https://www.letrot.com/fr/replay-courses/2022-01-30/7500/8
The 5-year-olds had their chances to grab nice checks in the $335,000 Sulky World Cup 5 ans and Franck Nivard sat behind Francois Pierre Bossuet-trained Havanaise (Ricimer) and the mare was outstanding after a tough trip outside of leader Hastronaute.
Havanaise got advantage of the race at the top of the stretch and when first choice Hooker Berry sat as third on the inside, the victory became safe in a mile rate of 1:56.2 over 1.6 miles. Jean-Michel Bazire used some of his magic attributes and found space for his Hooker Berry during the race’s last 150 meters, but the finish was not enough in order to challenge Havanaise seriously.
Helgafell finished third.
Sulky World Cup 5 ans replay: https://www.letrot.com/stats/fiche-course/2022-01-30/7500/9/partants/tableau