Day At The Track

Face Time Bourbon ready for Prix d’Amerique

12:41 PM 25 Jan 2020 NZDT
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Face Time Bourbon, harness racing Bjorn Goop, harness racing Face Time Bourbon, harness racing
Face Time Bourbon and driver Bjorn Goop flying down the stretch
LeTROT photo
Bjorn Goop being interviewed by Harnesslink's Heather Vitale
Steve Wolf photo
Face Time Bourbon
LeTROT photo

Grosbois, France – As one of the top harness racing drivers in all of Europe, Bjorn Goop knows his horses and he says that his horse in Sunday’s 900,000€ Grand Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, is in prime shape.

The horse heads into the Prix d'Amerique on a five-race winning streak.

“The horse is good,” Goop stated. “I think it is I that will need to have a little luck.”

Goop was referring to and explaining that the Prix d’Amerique is so different from any other horse race because it is done from a standing start. There is no starting gate used for this world class field of horses.

“It is not easy to be ready in a standing start,” Goop explained. “You have to stay in your general area and keep on moving, waiting for the word to start. You need to time it just right and yet you need some luck too.

“You do not want to be last at the start,” Goop added, “And you do not want to be in the middle of the pack on the rail and then you are trapped for the race and cannot get out.”

There are 18 horses going in the Prix d’Amerique, 18 older trotters, most of whom earned their way into the race by winning other Groupe races. More than half the field have each won over 1 million euros with Bold Eagle leading way. The two-time Prix d’Amerique winner has career earnings of 4,956,617€. A win, second or third place finish will put Bold Eagle over the 5-million-euro mark.

Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion by Ready Cash, the same sire as Bold Eagle, who also won the Prix d’Amerique twice.

The 2019 race season was superb for Face Time Bourbon as he started just 11 times with 9 wins and two second place finishes. Every one of his starts was in a Groupe I, II or III races. Face Time Bourbon is trained by Sebastien Giuarato, who has three starters in the Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, Valko Jenilat and the mare, Billie de Montfort. Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SRL, who also has Vivid Wise AS in the Prix d’Amerique.

Bjorn Goop has his choice of whom to drive in the Prix d’Amerique and he choose Face Time Bourbon.

“He is such a great horse,” Goop said. “He can race well from behind or can go on the front. I think for this race maybe we sit in the middle and see what happens. He is coming into this race in very good shape.”

Goop is no stranger to the Prix d’Amerique. He won the race in 2018 with Readly Express and then raced back with him again in 2019 and was third. This past year Goop scored his 7,000th career win and has over 2,000 wins as a trainer.

Track Notes: Of the 18 starters in the Prix d’Amerique, 8 are mares. All 18 horses will be not be wearing shoes in the race, which is not uncommon in European trotting. It was also reported that the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) have posted a better-than-forecast set of provisional results for 2019, with turnover of €9.56 billion and an operating profit returned to fund racing and trotting of €760 million. That is €13 million ahead of budget and will be welcome news to both the Trotters and Thoroughbreds, both of whom have been forced to tighten their belts in terms of running costs in recent years. Saturday’s race card at Vincennes will feature the Groupe II Prix de Luxembourg with a purse of 100,000€.

Thursday first day of the Arqana-Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale saw 152 lots presented with 95 sold (62.5%) for gross proceeds of 1,263,000€. Stallion shares and broodmares highlighted the offering, many of the mares being in foal. Charmeause Mayjc (8f Prince Gede) led the sale at 120,000€ to AM Bloodstock. She was bred to Love You in 2019 and is barren, but her Ganymede first dam Teza Josselyn has produced the million euro plus winner Uza Josselyn that starts in Sunday’s Prix d’Amerique.

By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

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