May your day be full of boules, good wine, French cuisine, and revolutionary spirit. The Francophile in me is honoring the holiday by doing a little historical digging on appropriately-named horses—at least before the Champagne and Provencal rosé are broken out.
The chestnut colt Bastille was born in 1918 and, according to Pedigree Query, won the 1922 Christmas Handicap at Agua Caliente. Far more interesting is his pedigree: Bastille, by Voter, out of Oppression. Well played!
Only one French-bred Bastille turns up on Pedigree Query, a mare born in 1963, by Sing Sing out of Bamboulas.
The Firestones’ Bastille was born in 2002 and had some success at Colonial, winning the Polynesian and finishing second in the Old Nelson and third in the Da Hoss. He’s by Quiet American, out of Bezelle.
Much as Independence Day here is more commonly called the Fourth of July, so too is Bastille Day called the Quatorze Juillet…which brings us to the 1981 Hoist The Flag horse so named. His dam was Cast The Die.
[We interrupt for a brief and incomplete history lesson: Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris, when the French people rose up against the power of the monarchy in its quest for a French constitution. The “common people” of the Third Estate were largely victorious and the storming of the Bastille is seen as the end of the French Revolution and with it feudalism. Those seeking a French constitution had won.]
Three French Revolutions are registered in Pedigree Query: one is French-bred, one is of unknown origin, and one offers a little confusion. She was born in 1989, the year of the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution, by Midyan out of French Beauty, and she’s listed as both a Swedish- and a Brazilian-bred.
The entries at Longchamp today don’t provide much in the way for French hunch bets, but those so inclined might turn their betting dollars towards Colonial Downs and Delaware Park:
Colonial, race 7: No Small Achievement and Grand Intentions
race 9: Valid Citizen
Delaware Park, race 5: Hesabully
race 7: Victory Sign
Vive la France!