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Gingras to drive Maven in Prix d'Amerique

January 11, 2015
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Yannick Gingras told harnessracing.com Sunday afternoon that he will be heading to France in two weeks to drive the 6-year-old trotting mare Maven in the Prix d'Amerique at the Vincennes Racetrack in Paris on Sunday, Jan. 25. Gingras drove Maven to an 11th-place finish in the Prix du Bourgogne at Vincennes on Dec. 28, but he remained stateside this weekend while Jean Michel Bazire directed the mare to a seventh-place finish in Sunday/s Prix Tenor du Baune.
 
"Yes, I am going to drive Maven," said Gingras in a text message. "I am very excited about the once-in-a-lifetime opportuntiy to drive in the Prix d'Amerique."
 
Trainer Jimmy Takter had originally enlisted Franck Nivard to drive Maven in the Prix d'Amerique and had hoped to use him in the Prix Tenor du Baune, but when Nivard entered his own Vulcain de Vandiel in the race, Takter enlisted Bazire. Vulcain de Vandiel won Sunday's Prix Tenor du Baune, which earned him an automatic entry in the Prix d'Amerique, and with Bazire committed to likely favorite Up And Quick, Takter turned back to Gingras, Maven's regular driver in North America.
 
While the Prix de Bourgogne was started with a mobile starting gate, the Prix Tenor du Baune and the Prix d'Amerique both get underway with standing starts, with the horses moving into position. Gingras has never driven in a race with that kind of start. The Prix d'Amerique is contested at a distance of 1 11/16 miles (2,700 meters).
 
"I will do my homework to be as ready as I can and hopefully make the USA proud," Gingras said.
 
Takter also did not travel to Paris for Sunday's race. He also sent a text message to harnessracing.com Sunday afternoon confirming that Maven is still targeted for the Prix d'Amerique.
 
"She raced OK," said Takter. "She needed that race."
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