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Top driver/trainer team takes fourth Group 1 race
Monday, February 17, 2014 - by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Newsroom Senior Correspondent

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The successful team of driver Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastian Guarato struck again on Sunday afternoon at Vincennes in the Criterium des Jeunes over the 1-11/16th mile distance.

The Criterium des Jeunes -- the first classic of the year for 3-year-old French trotters with a total purse of $325,000 -- was won by the filly Billie du Montfort in a new race record of 1:59.4 (mile rate).

Billie du Montfort won by open lengths as Brillantissime, driven by Jos Verbeck, went off stride 100 yards before the finish and was disqualified and placed last.

This was the fourth win in a Group 1 race for the team during the prestigious Winter meeting; the first three wins had been in under saddle races.

Billie du Montfort has now stamped herself as the leading horse in her crop. She has raced eight times, winning six, to go along with two seconds. With Sunday’s purse of $125,000 she now has lifetime earnings of $335,000.

The French sire Jasmin de Flore sired Billie du Montfort.

Jasmin de Flore is also the sire of one of the best trotting mares in France at present, Save the Quick, who has taken a mark of 1:53.2 and has earned $2.2 million.

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