Day At The Track
Vivien Peo

€45,000 Trophee Vert at Le Touquet

June 25, 2017 - Sunday’s Grand Prix de la Ville du Touquet (turf course, purse €45,000, 2600 meters, 18 starters) was the weekend’s Trophee Vert event and it produced an upset harness racing victory by Vivien Peo (8g Neutron du Cebe-Maria Carnaval) capably reined by Francois Lecanu for Ecurie Danover. The winner record career victory number 12 and raised his bankroll to €187,310. Uppecut Orange battled gamely and held second ahead of Bingo d’Attaque and Antoine Trihollet. Well-respected Tresor Wic finished seventh and All Feeling was ninth, these prior Trophee Verte winners. The same day, turf action was at Seque in the Prix du Restaurant la Colonade (purse €35,000, 2700 meters, turf) with victory earned by 7/1 Voici du Roc (8g L 'As de Boussieres-Quite des Etangs) timed in 1.19kr and driven by owner/trainer Patrice Toutain. 5/1 Very First (8g Orlando Vici-Japonaide di Soir) was second for trainer/driver J.F. Senet, ahead of 204/1 Ufania des Brfettes (9f Vroume d’Or-Lise Chouan). Thomas H. Hicks  

On Track Piraten and happy connections

On Track Piraten wins at Rattvik, Sweden

June 24, 2017 - On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) took today’s MidSummer worth 100,000SEK to the winner of this 2140 meter autostart contest for upper class harness racing veterans. Johnny Takter was the pilot for trainer Hans R. Stromberg of this 2.8/1 second choice that was timed in 1.12.5kr over an off track. Piraten won for the 37th time in 109 starts now for 14,600,710SEK earned. He scored by two lengths over 8/1 Order To Fly (7m Order By Fax-Too Fat To Fly-Flying Irishman) reined by his trainer Per Lennartsson. Another length back in third was Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) that raced with shoes for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer/owner Stefan Melander. This champion now has a career slate of 40-13-4 in 59 outings for 28,373,230SEK earned. His last six starts have been 1-1-2 and generally off previous form. The Rattvik card also featured Breeders Crown events. The four year-old males event for 70,000SEK to the winner (distance 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.12.3kr timed and 2/1 favorite Policy Of Truth (4g Explosive Matter-Champagne-Supergill) driven by Ulf Ohlsson. Easy KB owns this Reijo Liljendahl trainee. 14/1 Dominion Beach (4m Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) was second for Per Lennartsson and trainer Stefan Melander. Stall Courant AB owns this one that Ernst Gerbaulet bred. Third was 6/1 Dartagnan Sisu (4m Ready Cash-Armbro Carroll-Malabar Man) with Ulf Eriksson up for Mattias Djuse, the trainer. The Breeders Crown for four year-old females (70,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart) went to 5/1 Darling Mearas(4f Cantab Hall-Khao Maree-Muscles Yankee) for driver/trainer Stefan Persson and Snogarps Gard YB. Timed in 1.13.3kr this one bested Dream Lane and Inja In Heaven, The three year-old filly Breeders Crown (same purse and distance) went to 3/1 Helloise Boko (3f The Best Madrik-Elida Boko-Chocolatier-Goddess of Chaos) with Ulf Eriksson handling the lines for owner/trainer Mattias Djuse. Electrical and Maharani de Baroda were next to the wire. The three year-old colt Breeders Crown went to 13/1 Wreckless M.M. (3m Raja Mirchi-Phoebe MM-Super Arnie) timed in 1.14.2kr. Bjorn Goop was the winning driver for trainer Morten Waage and owner Magdalena Johansson. Hazard Boko and Iola de Puras were second and third. Thomas H. Hicks

Bold Eagle

€200,000 Prix Rene Balliere at Vincennes

June 25, 2015 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), off as 3/10 harness racing favorite, surged from behind three wide cover at top of stretch and scored for Frank Nivard by two lengths timed in 1.10.5kr. Sebastien Guarato trains the Pierre Pilarski owned stallion that was bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois. The Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere carries a €200,000 purse and was raced over 2100 meters autostart with ten starters. Fractions were quick and steady (1.10.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.09.7 with 1000 remaining and 1.10.9kr with 500 meter left in the contest). Bold Eagle recorded his 36th career win in 42 starts, now for €3,344,620 earned. 16/1 Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) was a solid second for Eric Raffin and trainer Guarato. Third was 8/1 Amiral Sacha (7m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) driven by Gabriele Gelormini, 37/1 DD’s Hitman (6g Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny) and 108/1 Pioneer Gar (8m Varenne-Follia) were fourth and fifth. Thomas H. Hicks

Eric Raffin

Top-Flight Monte action at Paris-Vincennes

June 25, 2017 - Groupe action today at Paris Vincennes included three monte events, two being Gr. I tests. The monte day began with the Prix Xavier de Saint Paris (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 12 starters) and it went to 6.5/1 Cassate (5f Neoh Jiel-Quivadu Rib) with Adrien Lamy in the irons for Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. 22/1 Cavalleria (5f Prodigious-Janga) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato, with third to 18/1 Clara du Pontseuil (5f Mich Phili-Osaka d’Occagnes) for jockey Anthony Barrier. The heavy 9/10 favorite Canadien d’Am was a miscue dq. The Gr. I Monte Prix Dessai (purse €200,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters, three year olds) went to 1.13kr clocked and 5/10 odds favorite Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. The Philippe Allaire owned and trained product was bred by Hugues Rousseau. 20/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) almost nailed her stablemate on the line with Anthony Barrier up for trainer Allaire and breeder/owner Pierre Tebirent. 5/1 Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout) took third for jockey David Thomain, trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ottavia Roffi-Urano. The race winner bounced back nicely from a pair of recent miscue dq’s. Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 10/1 took the prestigious Gr. I Monte Grand Prix du President de la Republique (purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) with Eric Raffin in the irons. Raffin powered Draft Life to the front after 1000 meters and opened a huge margin that the pair held to the line. Louis Baudron bred, owns and trains the winner. Draft Life recorded her eighth career win in 21 starts, now for €482,170 earned. 13/1 Dawana (4f Ready Cash-Sanawa) was second for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Third was 6/1 Dragon de Fresne (4m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) with Matthieu Abrivard, the jockey. Heavily backed Django Riff and Darling de Reux was miscue dq’s. Race time was 1.12.8kr. This event was presented, as was the entire program, very professionally and garnered great support from the large crowd in the fan and entertainment areas and in the winner’s circle. Great racing, great horses and fan entertainment makes for an unbeatable afternoon. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwfHsvcL7vw This win by Eric Raffin placed him in the points lead for the E-challenge and culminated superb monte action. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 25, 2017 - Besides Bold Eagle, monte groupe contests, food and entertainment, what else could there be. How about three more groupe events and the day’s important harness racing Quinte+. The Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (purse €200,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went as it was supposed to be…..except….the 8/10 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was a dq for being rough gaited in the lane while on a comfortable lead. Therefore, this Sebastien Guarato trainee faced a rare defeat and the…winner was….8/1 Eros du Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova de Lou) with Matthieu Abrivard driving for trainer Julien Le Mer and breeder/owner Claude Geudj timed in 1.14.4kr. 50/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) was placed third with J.Ph. Monclin aboard and 59/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) was awarded third, this one trained and driven by Franck Anne and bred/owned by Annick Bazin. The Gr. III Prix de Grasse (purse €80,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) produced a rallying 1.13.8kr timed score for 9/1 Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Maris). Jean-Michel Bazire teamed his trainee to victory for Wildenstein Stables Ltd. 21/1 Flex Lane (6m Federal Flex-Margo Hall) tool second for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer L.I. Nilsson in a blanket covering photo over 92/1 Tano Fohle SM (5g Ganymede-Fohle BSM) reined by Antonio Di Nardo. The finale this day was another groupe contest, the Prix Raymond Fouard (Gr. III, purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters. The 4.3/1 Orlando Jet (4m Orlando Vici-Chicolina) rallied from back to sweep past the field in the late stages for the 1.15kr timed score. Trainer Rudolf Haller was at the lines for Team Neuhof (AUT), the owner. The second place horse, also 4.3/1, was Dragon des Racques (4m Love You-Quinte des Racques) driven by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Third went to 57/1 United Love (4m Conway Hall-Dolly Kronos) in rein to Eric Raffin. Unika Steed was unplaced at 52/1 for J-M Bazire. Rudy Haller was one happy teamster. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix Bertrand Deloison at Vincennes (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) and the 1.4/1 favorite Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) scored timed in 1.13.7kr for Ch. J. Bigeon, driving for trainer Christian Bigeon and breeder/owner Andre Francis Bigeon. 1.9/1 Uza Josselyn (6f Love You-Teza Josselyn) took second for J-M Bazire, ahead of 22/1 Opitergium (9m Pine Chip-Jovelinotte) reined by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Courant AB. Violine Mourotaise and Best Buissonay completed the top five. The Bigeon stable continue their excellent streak from the Vincennes Winter Meet. Thomas H. Hicks

June 23, 2017 - Uno Italia (4m Conway Hall-Italia Uno-Varenne) scored an easy harness racing victory in the Prix Ubatuba Oaks (purse €13,200, 1650 meters autostart) at Milano on Friday. Lorenzo Baldi teamed the winner of this four year old event that was timed in a sharp 1.10.9kr (mile rate 1:54.08) as Uno Italia was victorious by open lengths. Uisconsis Vol (4m Napoleon-Georgia EK-Bon Vivant) was second ahead of Ulberto (4m Broadway Hall-Depuis Blue-Esotico Prad). Thomas H. Hicks

June 24, 2017 - Franck Nivard teamed Express Bourbon (3m Ready Cash-Kamera Bourbon-Cezio Josselyn-Etta Extra) to a 1.17kr victory this day in the Prix du Green Horse Festival (purse €21,000, 2850 meters, three year-old open). Sebastien Guarato trains this winner for owner Yvette Engelke. Haras Saint Martin bred Express Bourbon that is from a US$221,000 winning mare. Second was another well-bred three year-old, this the filly Erabella Madrik (3f Ready Cash-Talina Madrik-Korean-Ketty d’Occagnes-Workaholic) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. Her dam won US$439,000. Third was Early Morning (3m Coktail Jet-Passion d’Amour-Joyau d’Amour) reined by Thibault Borderie. Fourth went to Expeditious (3m Prodigious-Rapide Aventure-Love You-Bahama), his dam a winner of US$244,000, and today driven by Julien Dubois for trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The quality of this race set the pace for a superb Paris-Vincennes program tomorrow, with seven groupe races and a myriad of top performers led by Bold Eagle and Belina Josselyn in the Gr. I UET Masters Prix Rene Balliere for a €200,000 purse. The other Gr. I events are the Prix d’Essai, Grand Prix du President de la Republique and Prix Albert Viel. Eiffel Tower, Django Riff and Ecu Pierji are favorites in these. Program here: The great horses and races highlight a day of family entertainment at the Temple du Trot first featuring the equine stars.  Thomas H. Hicks

June 23, 2017 - Friday evening harness racing action at Paris-Vincennes included the Quinte+ Prix le Parisien (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) with victory to Sweden’s Bison Spiro (6m Sinou Madrik-Juliana Z) driven by Pierre Vercruysse at 9.3/1 odds. Stall Spiritos owns the Mme. Anna-Karin Rundqvist trainee. 4.2/1 Schubert (6m Abano As-Glide Be Nimble) was second with Franck Nivard up for Ecurie Gerrits Recycling and Philippe Billard, trainer. 36/1 Suricato Jet (6m Ideal Luis-Zoy Ami) took the third spot for reinsman Franck Ouvrie. Race time was 1.14.1kr. The undercard this evening was led off by the Prix Lydia (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) and 5.9/1 Crepe de Satin (5f Le Retour-Ina d’Avril) was victorious timed in 1.14.9kr and was driven by Bjorn Goop. Bruno Marie trains this property of Ecurie BKM. 10/1 Chocolat du Bourg (5m Nahar de Beval-Malouvia) was second for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute. Third was 9/1 Chtiot de Bellande (5m Defi d’Aunou-Joyeuse Coulonces). On the same program the €52,000 purse Prix Sappho was raced over 2700 meters by 13 contestants and the 1.14.6kr timed winner was 10/1 Daisy Jenilou (4f Singalo-Rosee Jenilou), handled by Francois Lecanu and trained by P.A. Rynwalt-Boulard. 6/1 Daljemosa (4f Kaiser Soze-Jaldemosa) was next for David Thomain. Later was the Prix Hygica (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) and the 1.13.8kr timed winner was 1.7/1 favorite Sir Ratzeputz (7m Love You-Celebrate) driven by Bjorn Goop. Timo Nurmos trains this one for Guldsvarten AB. 16/1 Rodin (7m Love You-Eva Kant Gianfi) was second for driver G.P. Minnucci, ahead of 65/1 Ungaro d’Eva (9g Ipson de Mormal-Lomolly) and Tony Le Beller. Thomas H. Hicks

June 24, 2017 - Today’s Kincsem Park top harness racing event was the Imike DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) with that victory going to Szacharin (6f Vanito-Inzulin-Valley Guardian) in rein to trainer Istvan Papp and timed in 1.17.5kr. Orinoco (9f PS Dimo-Uxor-Witsends Speedy) took second with Arpad Lakatos up, and third was Ordog Hegeduse (9g Medic Hanover-Dallam-Magnas) driven by his trainer, Ferenc Magy II. The secondary feature race was the Kador DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). That upper class trot went to the 1.16.3kr timed Asterix Evo (5m Broadway Hall-Rompaway Quincy-Tabor Lobell) with Csaba Lakatos driving for trainer Laszlo Toth. That team held gamely to the line for the victory, over an equally determined Traffic Lux (5g Self Possessed-Buena di Jesolo-Supergill) and driver Milan Jokacevic and trainer Goran Zolnaji. Third went to Ivan Pavlov AT (4m Tony Oaks-Impromptu Hall-Like A Prayer) handled by Andoir Angyal for trainer Tibor Hajnal. Thomas H. Hicks

June 22, 2017 - The 7/10 favorite Apple Road (7f Laetenter Diem-Nikita) overcame a 25 meter handicap to win the Prix PMU le Central A Nogent-Le-Roi (purse €28,000, 2800 meters distance handicap, 16 starters) at Chartres on Thursday. Cyril Raimbaud, the owner/trainer, was the pilot in this 1.16.2kr victory. The 25 penalized and 3.4/1 second choice Lets Dance DE (7m Oscar Schindler SL-Sirmone) was a fast finishing second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. 15/1 Aston du Pommereux (7g Nuage de Lait-Kubrune) landed third for driver Sylvain Dieudonne, trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. At Caen was the Prix d’Houlgate (purse €26,000, 2450 meters, 18 starters, a Pick5 event) and the 3.3/1 Coalinga City (5f Coktail Jet-Mauraora) scored, timed in 1.14.4kr. Franck Nivard was the winning driver. Frederic Senet was the winning trainer for the winning breeder/owner Michelle Stihl. 4.1/1 Celeste Dry (5f Goetmals Wood-l’Etoile Dry) was second for trainer Tony Le Beller and reinsman Yoann Lebourgeois. The 25 meter handicapped and 2.7/1 favorite Baila Sport (6f Jag de Bellouet-Koea Josselyn) was third for David Thomain. Thomas H. Hicks

June 21, 2017 - Reims hosted the latest GNT Paris-Turf leg (Gr. III purse €90,000, 2550 meters, 16 starters), the seventh, on Wednesday, with victory to 13/1 Bon Copain (6m Love You-Harie) timed in 1.12.7kr, Francois Lecanu was the pilot for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. 7/1 Africain (7m Oardo-Kamine) was second for Romain Derieux and breeder/owner/trainer Vincent Collard. 6/1 Atout du Lerre (7g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) took the third spot for trainer/driver Franck Anne. 5/2 Belline d’Urzy was fourth for Matthieu Abrivard and Vanae des Voirons was fifth. The Prix du Bon Accueil at Reims (purse €26,000, 2600 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.9kr timed eastern European invader Romi Mms (7f Turbo Sund-Goldy LB) at 2.8/1 odds. Franck Nivard teamed the winner, owner by Marko Slavic, and trained by Philippe Billard. 12/1 Orleans Font (9m Ganymede-Saint Ghil SM) took second for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. 2.9/1 Banco des Amazones (6m Orlando du Choquel-Orie de la Besure) was a rallying third for Eric Raffin. Thomas H. Hicks

It was only one start but for Francesco Laosa a chance to drive a pacer proved fruitful when the Sicilian professional harness racing finished second in the one race that he drove at Monticello Raceway on Thursday, June 22. According to his friend Marco Barone who doubled as his interpreter, the Italian speaking professional driver and his wife Carola are celebrating their honeymoon with a two week holiday in North America. And through some help from friends LaRosa made a connection with Monticello trainer Dan Gill who offered him a drive behind one of his pupils, Park it Park It, a 4-year-old altered son of Big Bad John. Sent off at odds of 8-1 from the three hole in race five LaRosa allowed John DeSimone and Eye Candy to take the lead and then was comfortable with a two-hole trip all the way. However, in the lane Park It Park It flattened out and couldn't gain on the pace-setter and finished second a length behind Eye Candy in the 1:57paced mile. Asked how it felt to drive a pacer LaRosa replied through his translator, Barone:" It was smooth and steady," and then added "the pacer was easier to handle than a trotter." A winner of a few hundred races in his homeland the opportunity to drive a pacer was special to the 30 year LaRosa since only trotters are raced in Italy, and for that matter all though continental Europe. LaRosa and his dad handle a considerable stable based in Palermo, Sicily. Their horses compete at racetracks in Palermo, Siracusa, Garigliano and Naples as well as various racetracks in southern Italy. After the Monticello race Francesco and Carola, along with Mario Barone and his son Rylee, were headed to the Big Apple . After a short stay in New York City the LaRosa's will be on to California and then to Cancun, Mexico before returning home to Sicily The Barones will leave NYC and head back to their home in the upper peninsula of Michigan. By John Manzi

Today the Norwegian Trotting Association published the verdict in the doping case against French harness racing trainer Fabrice Souloy, who had four trotters test positive for Cobalt in June 2016 at Bjerke, Oslo. Souloy was banned from training and driving for 15 years and fined $60,000. The association had wanted Souloy banned for life and fined $25,000. Souloy is still awaiting a verdict from the Swedish Trotting Association regarding a positive test from the Elitlopp 2016 -- also for Cobalt -- and it was thought that the two Scandinavian associations would have published their verdicts together. However, due to vacation the Swedish verdict is first expected to be known around July 5. At present Souloy is serving a one year ban in France after a positive test for Cobalt. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

June 19, 2017 - The Q+ this day was the Prix de Cognat-Lyonne at Vichy, raced for a purse of €38,000, and contested over 2850 meters by 18 starters. The 4/5 favorite Avrik de Guex (7g Joker de Rozoy-Quoumbaya de Guez) prevailed easily for harness racing driver J-M Bazire and owner/trainer J.Ph Ducher. 17/1 Anduro des Landes (7g Kesaco Phedo-Odemeraude) rallied for second reined by breeder/owner/trainer Sebastien Hardy. Third in the 1.14.3kr timed event was 16/1 Tessy du Moulin (1of Dahir de Prelong-Lune des Genets) with fourth and fifth to Victoria du Viaduc and Verso de Crennes. At Caen was the Prix de Corneville (purse €28,000, 2200 meters, 16 starters) with the 1.12.9kr victory going to 11.2/1 Reine du Zack (7f Zinzan Brooke Tur-Giulia Grif) with trainer Marco Smorgon at the lines. Scuderia Trotto Italia SAS owns the winner. 181/1 outsider Verse de Made (8g Lord du Pin-Miranda) was second for Lorenzo Donati, ahead of 9/1 Twitter (8g Offshore Dream-Face For Ever) driven by Sebastian Ernault for owner/trainer Bjorn Goop. Thomas H. Hicks

June 17, 2017 - The great Vivid Wise As (3m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) took Saturday’s Gran Premio Nazionale (purse €187,000, 2250 meters autostart) at Milano over their 1050 meter oval. Enrico Bellei was the pilot for trainer Marco Smorgon. Allev. Della Serenissima SS bred the front-stepping winner of 10 of 11 career starts, and three for three this year, now for €260,821 earned. Timed in 1.12.7kr, the winner bested Vitruvio (3m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) driven by Pietro Gubellini and third went to Vessillo As (3m Mondiale OK-Yankee Dapple-Donerail) with Edouardo Baldi at the lines. This one was bred by the same farm as the winner. The undercard showcased the Gran Premio Nazionale Filly (purse €66,000, 1650 meters autostart) and the 1.13.7kr timed winner was Valdivia (3f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail) driven by Roberto Vecchione. The winner recorded her fifth career victory in 13 starts, as she defeated Villa Santina Jet (3f Igor Font-Lunigiana Jet-Supergill) and Vale Capar (3f Conway Hall-Madame Capar-Supergill).  Scuderia Sant’Andrea SM bred the winning filly. Thomas H. Hicks

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June 25, 2017 - Sunday’s Grand Prix de la Ville du Touquet (turf course, purse €45,000, 2600 meters, 18 starters) was the weekend’s Trophee Vert event and it produced an upset harness racing victory by Vivien Peo (8g Neutron du Cebe-Maria Carnaval) capably reined by Francois Lecanu for Ecurie Danover. The winner record career victory number 12 and raised his bankroll to €187,310. Uppecut Orange battled gamely and held second ahead of Bingo d’Attaque and Antoine Trihollet. Well-respected Tresor Wic finished seventh and All Feeling was ninth, these prior Trophee Verte winners. The same day, turf action was at Seque in the Prix du Restaurant la Colonade (purse €35,000, 2700 meters, turf) with victory earned by 7/1 Voici du Roc (8g L 'As de Boussieres-Quite des Etangs) timed in 1.19kr and driven by owner/trainer Patrice Toutain. 5/1 Very First (8g Orlando Vici-Japonaide di Soir) was second for trainer/driver J.F. Senet, ahead of 204/1 Ufania des Brfettes (9f Vroume d’Or-Lise Chouan). Thomas H. Hicks  
June 24, 2017 - On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) took today’s MidSummer worth 100,000SEK to the winner of this 2140 meter autostart contest for upper class harness racing veterans. Johnny Takter was the pilot for trainer Hans R. Stromberg of this 2.8/1 second choice that was timed in 1.12.5kr over an off track. Piraten won for the 37th time in 109 starts now for 14,600,710SEK earned. He scored by two lengths over 8/1 Order To Fly (7m Order By Fax-Too Fat To Fly-Flying Irishman) reined by his trainer Per Lennartsson. Another length back in third was Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) that raced with shoes for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer/owner Stefan Melander. This champion now has a career slate of 40-13-4 in 59 outings for 28,373,230SEK earned. His last six starts have been 1-1-2 and generally off previous form. The Rattvik card also featured Breeders Crown events. The four year-old males event for 70,000SEK to the winner (distance 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.12.3kr timed and 2/1 favorite Policy Of Truth (4g Explosive Matter-Champagne-Supergill) driven by Ulf Ohlsson. Easy KB owns this Reijo Liljendahl trainee. 14/1 Dominion Beach (4m Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) was second for Per Lennartsson and trainer Stefan Melander. Stall Courant AB owns this one that Ernst Gerbaulet bred. Third was 6/1 Dartagnan Sisu (4m Ready Cash-Armbro Carroll-Malabar Man) with Ulf Eriksson up for Mattias Djuse, the trainer. The Breeders Crown for four year-old females (70,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart) went to 5/1 Darling Mearas(4f Cantab Hall-Khao Maree-Muscles Yankee) for driver/trainer Stefan Persson and Snogarps Gard YB. Timed in 1.13.3kr this one bested Dream Lane and Inja In Heaven, The three year-old filly Breeders Crown (same purse and distance) went to 3/1 Helloise Boko (3f The Best Madrik-Elida Boko-Chocolatier-Goddess of Chaos) with Ulf Eriksson handling the lines for owner/trainer Mattias Djuse. Electrical and Maharani de Baroda were next to the wire. The three year-old colt Breeders Crown went to 13/1 Wreckless M.M. (3m Raja Mirchi-Phoebe MM-Super Arnie) timed in 1.14.2kr. Bjorn Goop was the winning driver for trainer Morten Waage and owner Magdalena Johansson. Hazard Boko and Iola de Puras were second and third. Thomas H. Hicks
June 25, 2015 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), off as 3/10 harness racing favorite, surged from behind three wide cover at top of stretch and scored for Frank Nivard by two lengths timed in 1.10.5kr. Sebastien Guarato trains the Pierre Pilarski owned stallion that was bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois. The Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere carries a €200,000 purse and was raced over 2100 meters autostart with ten starters. Fractions were quick and steady (1.10.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.09.7 with 1000 remaining and 1.10.9kr with 500 meter left in the contest). Bold Eagle recorded his 36th career win in 42 starts, now for €3,344,620 earned. 16/1 Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) was a solid second for Eric Raffin and trainer Guarato. Third was 8/1 Amiral Sacha (7m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) driven by Gabriele Gelormini, 37/1 DD’s Hitman (6g Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny) and 108/1 Pioneer Gar (8m Varenne-Follia) were fourth and fifth. Thomas H. Hicks
June 25, 2017 - Groupe action today at Paris Vincennes included three monte events, two being Gr. I tests. The monte day began with the Prix Xavier de Saint Paris (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 12 starters) and it went to 6.5/1 Cassate (5f Neoh Jiel-Quivadu Rib) with Adrien Lamy in the irons for Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. 22/1 Cavalleria (5f Prodigious-Janga) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato, with third to 18/1 Clara du Pontseuil (5f Mich Phili-Osaka d’Occagnes) for jockey Anthony Barrier. The heavy 9/10 favorite Canadien d’Am was a miscue dq. The Gr. I Monte Prix Dessai (purse €200,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters, three year olds) went to 1.13kr clocked and 5/10 odds favorite Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. The Philippe Allaire owned and trained product was bred by Hugues Rousseau. 20/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) almost nailed her stablemate on the line with Anthony Barrier up for trainer Allaire and breeder/owner Pierre Tebirent. 5/1 Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout) took third for jockey David Thomain, trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ottavia Roffi-Urano. The race winner bounced back nicely from a pair of recent miscue dq’s. Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 10/1 took the prestigious Gr. I Monte Grand Prix du President de la Republique (purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) with Eric Raffin in the irons. Raffin powered Draft Life to the front after 1000 meters and opened a huge margin that the pair held to the line. Louis Baudron bred, owns and trains the winner. Draft Life recorded her eighth career win in 21 starts, now for €482,170 earned. 13/1 Dawana (4f Ready Cash-Sanawa) was second for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Third was 6/1 Dragon de Fresne (4m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) with Matthieu Abrivard, the jockey. Heavily backed Django Riff and Darling de Reux was miscue dq’s. Race time was 1.12.8kr. This event was presented, as was the entire program, very professionally and garnered great support from the large crowd in the fan and entertainment areas and in the winner’s circle. Great racing, great horses and fan entertainment makes for an unbeatable afternoon. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwfHsvcL7vw This win by Eric Raffin placed him in the points lead for the E-challenge and culminated superb monte action. Thomas H. Hicks  

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