Top trotters impressed at Vincennes

by Thomas Hedlund

Enghien recently closed its summer meeting and neighbor track Vincennes opened up for some great races on Saturday (Aug. 20) and it was the 3-, 4- and 5-years-old that were in focus.

In the $120,000 Prix Phaeton, Thierry Duvaldestin’s 4-year-old Idao de Tillard (Severino) was outstanding after being served a perfect second over trip by Clement Duvaldestin. Idao de Tillard won in a mile rate of 1:53.1 over 1.3 miles, which was a new stakes record.

In the $120,000 Prix Paul Leguerney for 4-year-old mares, Eric Raffin drove Inoubliable (Prodigious) and from a spot in sixth over, the mare finished strongly to safe win in mile rate 1:55.2 over 1.3 miles.

The 3-year-old colts battled in the $120,000 Prix Abel Bassigny over 1.3 miles and charismatic trotter Just A Gigolo (Boccador de Simm) hit the lead with a kilometer remaining. Franck Nivard drove Philippe Allaire’s trotter and from the lead he could control the field all the way home. The mile rate was 1:56.2.

Fabrice Souloy-trained Jamaica Turbo (Charly du Noyer) impressed after a tough trip in the $120,000 Prix Reine du Corta for 3-year-old fillies. Franck Nivard drove the filly and after a three wide attack towards position first over, Jamaica Turbo battled against leader Janka Somolli over the stretch. Just some meters ahead of the wire, she put her nose first and Jamaica Turbo noted a mile rate of 1:57.1 over 1.3 miles.

Allaire could see his 5-year-old Hohneck (Royal Dream) hit the lead at an early stage in the $120,000 Prix Louis Jariel and in front the 5-year-old top trotter was outstanding. Without pressure, Hohneck sprinted to a safe win in a mile rate of 1:54 over 1.3 miles and the road against another participation in Prix d’Amérique (fifth in this year’s race) is ahead of him.


Thorsten Tietz, operating in Berlin, Germany, experienced a great day at work on Sunday (Aug. 21) afternoon, when he drove 4-year-old Days Of Thunder (S.J.’s Caviar) to victory in the prestigious $325,000 German Derby, defeating big favorite Usain Lobell after a trip in the lead.

Tietz sent Days Of Thunder to the lead just as the field was about to turn into the last lap and when first choice Usain Lobell connected on the outside, after a first quarter three wide, Tietz had no plans in letting the lead away to the favorite.

Days Of Thunder seemed eager to trot in the last turn on Berlin’s track (right way track) and Usain Lobell never got seriously close to the leader at the stretch.

The 4-year-old S.J.’s Caviar son won safely in a mile rate of 1:55.4 over 1.2 miles. Usain Lobell was runner up ahead of Grand Ready Cash.

S.J.’s Caviar had a successful weekend in Berlin. His daughter Riet Hazelaar, driven by Robin Bakker, was favorite in the $128,000 German Derby for mares on Saturday (Aug. 20) afternoon and the duo came to the lead quite easily whereon the victory became safe after a battle with outside trotter Sunset Boulevard at the stretch.

Riet Hazelar came home in 1:58.4 over 1.2 miles.


Stefan Melander and Jerry Riordan became the happy winners when the $196,000 E3 finals were held in Örebro, Sweden on Saturday (Aug. 20) afternoon and their training stables reached the seventh and sixth wins in the series for 3-year-olds, respectively.

Stefan Melander has, together with his partner Catarina Lundström, six wins to look back at in E3 finals, the first came in 2001 when Gigant Neo claimed the title over 1.3 miles and on Saturday afternoon, his home bred trotter Following (Nuncio) sprinted to tight win for driver Björn Goop.

Title defender from the earlier E3 final this season, Roger Walmann-trained Bedazzled Sox, had to do the heavy job outside of leader and favorite Corazon Combo and Walmann’s horse was not far from hitting the wire as winner. But from behind, Björn Goop got Following running and the Stefan Melander trained, owned and bred trotter tightened the gap increasingly as the wire approached and after a photo, the victory was Following’s.

The Nuncio son equaled the stakes record as he won in 1:54, ahead of Bedazzled Sox and Corazon Combo.

Riordan has been successful when it comes to E3 finals and in 2019 he claimed both divisions for colts and geldings as his star trotter Aetos Kronos proved to be the best. In Saturday’s final, his strongest weapon was Italian bred Dea Grif (Varenne), who had won an elimination in great style two weeks ahead of the final.

Driver Santtu Raitala served the Varenne filly a perfect second over trip and when the duo attacked 350 meters from the wire, the rest of the field was without chance challenging for the victory. Dea Grif flew to a safe win in 1:55.2 and Riordan put another group 1 win to his resume.