French trotter Ursis Des Caillons a nice surprise
« Return to News
"On day one, we just put a harness on him, put some cotton in his ears and he was fine, he jogged really well. Joe actually sat behind him day one and really liked him and every day he improves and adapts well," Bongiorno said.
"We put on a shoe that we really believe in here with our trotters. He does have a headpole on. We approached it like he was a baby though because they don't wear a lot of equipment over there. We actually jogged him with the headpole first to make sure he was going to be ok with it and then trained him with the headpole and he's fine. I thought that was funny, we have a 10-year-old that we're babying because we have to make sure he's not going to be uncomfortable with it."
Ursis Des Caillons proved impressive in the mornings. He went a training trip ahead of his first qualifier and beat one of Bongiorno's pacers.
"When we biked him up, he passed one of my pacers and came the last quarter in 26-and-a-piece," the trainer said. "Joe and I looked at each other and said, ‘we have a real horse here.' Really the question was just if he was going to handle the half."
Ursis Des Caillons completed his first qualifier at Yonkers Raceway July 13. After racing in second early, driver Joe Bongiorno moved Ursis Des Caillons to the lead before the half. He won the 1 1/4-mile trial by three lengths, stopping the timer in 2:30.4 with a :27.3 final panel. Scott DiDomenico's Deo finished second while Aigle De La Vallee was third for Rob Harmon.
Very Very Fast captured the other French-exclusive qualifier that afternoon for Bob Bresnahan, beating Rich Banca's Adagio De La Tour and Bob Bongiorno's Uhlan Noir in 2:29.4.
"When we came here the other day and Joe went a trip with him to warm him up, he was super. Joe thought he was going to handle the track perfectly and then he went out and that qualifier was really, really good. He was wrapped up, not asking him at all." Bongiorno said.
"When he was coming over here, I thought we were going to have a nice horse, I thought we would improve him for sure, but after that training mile and qualifier, I really think we have one of the best ones."
Other French American Trotting Club participants Alpha d'Urzy and Bioness made their first pari-mutuel starts in the United States this week. The former won a $4,500 overnight in 1:57.1 at Saratoga July 15 for trainer Rene Allard while the latter finished third, individually timed in 1:54.4, in an $11,000 race at Pocono July 17 for Chris Oakes. Ed Gannon's French trotter Ubanji finished second, individually timed in 1:55.3, in a qualifier at Harrah's Philadelphia July 17.
Yonkers will host qualifiers exclusively for the French Trotters at the 1 1/4-mile distance July 21 ahead of the start of the French American Trotting Club Series Aug. 5. The second and third legs of the series will be held Aug. 19 and 26, respectively, and the $100,000 final is set for Sept. 2. For more information, click here. (SOANY)