Commander Crowe, the third-place finisher in last year's Breeders Crown Open Trot, prepped for a possible return appearance in the Crown when he finished third in the Grand Prix d Sud-Ouest on Sunday in France. In other news about European horses, Tamla Celeber, the Swedish mare, is reportedly on track to make the trip to Woodbine for the Breeders Crown Mare Trot.
The race, a 2,575 meter contest (about 1 1/2 miles) was held at the Agen La Passage track. Commander Crowe, with regular driver Christophe Martens in the sulky, got stuck first-over against Roi You Lupin. Save The Quick, with Eric Raffin, the regular driver of Rapide Lebel aboard, kept the pocket closed to Commander Crowe. Roi You Lupin, a 7-year-old gelding, won in a mile rate time of 1:57.1, with Save The Quick second and Commander Crowe third.
The race was the first start for Commander Crowe in more than a month, when he competed in the Aby Greater Prize. The 9-year-old gelding is trained by Fabrice Soulouy. The owners of the horse indicated before the French race that their plan was to send the horse to Woodbine for the Breeders Crown if he raced well.
Roger Walmaan, who trains the 5-year-old Cantab Hall mare Tamla Celeber, said over the weekend, " think she's been through a major slump for all travel. Sunday (the Allerage Mare Trot at The Red Mile, when she finished sixth) was a failure, but now we look forward to qualifying for the Breeders Crown."