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Sunday, November 22, 2015

A Little Monte Racing and the Road to the Prix d' Amerique Begins

It's been awhile since I have shown any monte races and this time of year, it means going to Paris at Vincennes where the Grade III Prix de Bretagne was contested this week and Tess De Villeneuve was the winner of the 2,850 (approximately 1 3/4 miles) meter race in 3:32.05 ('off' track) or a kilometer rate of 1:14.40 (2:00 mile rate), defeating 16 other horses..  It turned into a good race once they dealt with the three false starts (something you deal with when you use a standing start.  There was some warm ups shown ahead of time so if you want to get straight to the race, the 8 minute point would be a good way to start.

Also at Vincennes, the road to the Prix d'Amerique began with the first of the 'B' races, the Grade II Prix de Betrange being contested.  When all was said and done, it was Akim du Cap Vert who bested thirteen other horses to cross the wire in the 2,700 meter (approx 1 3/5 mi)  event in 3:17.10  or kilometer rate of 1:13 (mile rate 1:57.48; time to get used to timing in the 1/100ths) over a sloppy track.  As per the rules of the Prix, the winner of this event, along with the other two 'B' races gets their ticket automatically punched for the Prix which is contested on the last Sunday of January.  This also was a standing start race but fortunately, there were no false starts.


Marv said...

A few comments:

1. This is not a standing start. This is a volte start (turn and go start or a walk-up start, but you can't leave before the starter allows, hence the "false starts"). A standing start used to be used with a rope or bungee across the track and is sometimes used down under.

2. Notice how much was bet on the race? Around 200,000 Euros in each of the win and place (our show) pools. That doesn't include what's in the other pools. Those who think that monte races can't be successful should look at the facts in Europe. We don't have that much bet on our top harness stakes here.

3. Those who think distance racing with large fields is boring should watch the Prix de Bretagne. Horses three wide much of the race. The first over horse breaks (meaning a dq). The lead horses die in the stretch and a number of horses come from behind. All in horrible weather.

I saw the Prix de Bretagne on my honeymoon and hit for a 70 Euro winner. How they let the winner of the Copenhagen Cup get off at that price is beyond me. Even I can read a French program. :-)

Pacingguy said...

I stand corrected regarding the standing start.

I also agree with you regarding how successful monte racing can be in the United States. Quite honestly, the problem is horsemen who refuse to change plus the thoroughbred industry which will claim monte racing is not harness racing and should be conducted through them (which we know they won't).