Judges decide winner of Criterium des Jeunes

Judges decide winner of Criterium des Jeunes

February 24, 2023

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by Thomas Hedlund

Sunday’s (Feb. 19) race card at Vincennes, Paris, contained the first big group-race for 3-year-old trotters and the $215,000 Criterium des Jeunes became a sparkling show where the judges at Vincennes had to work hard before the result was announced.

Björn Goop replaced injured Eric Raffin behind the Tomas Malmqvist-trained Kamehameha, who has been one of the French K-crop’s best horses so far and Goop wasn’t shy when he immediately sent Kamehameha to the front in the 2,700-meter event.

The race favorite, the Philippe Allaire-trained Koctel du Dain (Boccador de Simm) connected on the leader’s outside, a quarter of a mile into the race and the story of the Criterium des Jeunes would be about these two horses.

Kamehameha and Koctel du Dain fought side by side in the stretch and for a while, the outside favorite got the advantage in the race. But Goop succeeded in his attempt to find power and moral in Kamehameha and the duo came back strongly on the inside, but the comeback was not for free. On two occasions the leader touched Koctel du Dain’s left wheel and when the horses hit the wire, it was tight. Kamehameha was the winner of the race at first glance, but the judges had to look at the stretch run several times and for almost 15 minutes, before the result was announced.

The interference made in the stretch, in addition to the tight ending of the race affected the judges’ decision and they changed the order of finish for the two horses. Koctel du Dain claimed the trophy, while Kamehameha had to settle for the runner up spot after the official result was announced at Vincennes.

Two top trotters battled and the drama surrounding the race was certainly liked by the audience, but it must have been a hard punch for the people surrounding Kamehameha, obviously.

Koctel du Dain claimed the title in the Criterium des Jeunes in a new stakes record 1:57.2 (mile rate) over 1.6 miles and Philippe Allaire continues to produce young French trotters with high capacity.

David Thomain was the winning driver.

Criterium des Jeunes replay.


Bergsåker racetrack played host to the $110,000 Bergsåker Winter Trot on Saturday (Feb. 18) afternoon. The open event for older trotters was contested over 2,640 meters. When the race was over, a Finnish trotter entered the winner’s circle.

Mika Forss drove Hannu Korpi’s Hierro Boko (From Above). Forss aimed for the front position immediately as the car left the field of 12 horses.

Hierro Boko was pretty much left alone on the lead, while more merited trotters kind of waited for each other in the back of the field. Hierro Boko sprinted to a safe win in a mile rate of 1:58.4 over 1.6 miles and even if the race was held over 2,640 meters, the feeling is that Hierro Boko more than likely is a mile trotter.

Korpi will aim for the Seinäjoki Race in Finland during the spring and if everything goes well, Finland might have a horse for the really big races in Europe during the season.


Vincennes’ winter meeting is getting close to an end, but before the spring begins in Paris, the third and last Grand Prix race will be held. The $420,000 Prix de Paris, over 4,150 meters, is traditionally the last Grand Prix race during the meeting and it seems like this year’s edition can be something really special.Both Prix d’Amérique winner Hooker Berry and Prix de France winner Ampia Mede SM are in the list of horses entering the race.

The definitive entries list is set Thursday (Feb. 23), after this text was written, so there might be some changes regarding horses willing to race four kilometers on Sunday (Feb. 26).

For now, these trotters are on the list of contenders:

Flamme du Goutier

Hooker Berry


Ampia Mede SM

Moni Viking

Etoile de Bruyere

Fado du Chene

Zarenne Fas

Honey Mearas

Freeman de Houelle

Fakir du Lorault

Jerry Mom

Hussard du Landret

Fric du Chene

Hokkaido Jiel

For You Madrik

Hip Hop Haufor

Hatchet Man


Digne Et Droit

Gamay de l’Iton

Fakir de Mahey

Grace du Digeon

Divine Monceau

Clea Miquellerie

Eric The Eel

Cocco Bfc

De la Cheneviere

Short In Cash

Deesse de Corday

Carla du Houlme

Histoire d’Una

Harlem de Bucy

Devs Definitiv

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