No Prix de France for Wishing Stone
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Contrary to published reports, co-owner and former trainer Dewayne Minor told harnessracing.com Friday morning that 2010 Kentucky Futurity winner Wishing Stone is not scheduled to start in the Feb. 13 Prix de France at Vincennes in Paris, and he doesn't expect the trotter to make his first European appearance until the March 18 Prix de Vincennes at the Cagnes Sur Mer track.
Campaigned last year by Minor and his partner, Knud Erik Ravn, a 50-percent interest in Wishing Stone was sold last December to a partnership of Mike Gulotta and Andy Willinger’s Deo Volente Farm, Tom and Lou Pontone’s TLP Stable, and Jerry Silva. The son of Conway Hall was then sent to French trainer Fabrice Souloy to prepare for a 2011 European campaign.
“He won’t be in the Prix de France, and won’t start until next month,” said Minor, who a few days ago returned from traveling to France to see the Jan. 31 Prix d’Amerique at the Vincennes racetrack in Paris, as well as reunite with Wishing Stone at Souloy’s farm in Normandy. “Fabrice thought Wishing Stone could be ready for the Prix de France but I told him I thought it was too early and it was still a long season.”
Minor said he had hoped to take Wishing Stone out on the racetrack, but a travel delay prevented that from happening. Still, he said the millionaire trotter looked like a million dollars at the farm.
“He looked good and he looked happy,” said Minor. “They really like him. Fabrice was training him with a couple other of his horses that he thought were pretty nice and he said he pulled him out from behind them and he just blew by them. He said to me, ‘He really likes this game, doesn’t he?’ I told him he sure does.”
A new driver has to also be enlisted to direct Wishing Stone in the Prix de Vincennes and beyond as Jean Michele Bazire, who had been scheduled to drive, suffered two leg fractures in a Feb. 2 race accident at Vincennes and is likely to be out of action for up to six months.
Minor added that Souloy will be arriving in Florida on Feb. 28 to spend three days at Minor’s winter base at Sunshine Meadows. “He’s coming over here to see us training our 2 year olds,” said Minor.