Santa Rosa France just misses Varenne's mark
March 12, 2012
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Santa Rosa France won the 200,000 euro Grand Criterium de la Vitesse at a distance of one mile on Sunday at the Cagnes-sur-Mer-track outside Nice on the French Riviera. Santa Rosa France, a 6-year-old daughter of Kaisy Dream, was timed in 1:52.3, two-fifths of a second off of Varenne's record.
The approximately three-quarter mile track hosts the sprinter event, which this year had a 13-horse field. Most of the pre-race interest was about the Prix de France winner Royal Dream (Love You), but he destroyed his chance to see how fast he was when he broke stride before the car started the field.
The 2010 Elitlopp winner, Iceland (Scarlet Knight) was the early leader joined in the front group by Scala Bourbon (Love You), Renommee d'Obret (Buvetier d'Aunou) and the 2011 winner Quaker Jet (Coktail Jet). Among the trotters who improved their positions were the 2010 Prix d'Amerique winner Oyonnax (In Love With You) and Napoleon Bar (Varenne), who had started his journey from the most outside position. Napoleon Bar took a bit of the starch out of Iceland, but the final decision was taken by the trotters coming from far behind.
Quaker Jet had lost position and started his challenge from third-over, but from the position behind him the longshot Santa Rosa France finished furiously to win.
Santa Rosa France is owned by Joel Seche, who has been among the successful owners for many years with horses such as Insert Gede. The winner earned about $130,000. Santa Rosa France was driven by the young William Bigeon, son of J.L.Bigeon.--By Lars G. Palm