Elitloppet weekend showcases Sweden Cup

May 25, 2-15 - Some refer to Saturday’s Sweden Cup as the little Elite race and often it includes past and future harness racing Elitloppet players. Italian trotters are well represented and they have performed well in past Sweden Cups. Irving Rivarco and Owen's Club (which also holds the record of the Finale with 1.09.7kr) are the two Italian winners both led by Pietro Gubellini. In the first elimination Saturday Ringostarr Treb, trained byHolger Ehlert and driven by Wim Paal take their shot along with Olympic Kronos and Lufti Kolgjini. Second elimination includes Orione Spin and Kolgjini, Royal Blessed with Paal and Rod Stewart rained by Jerry Riordan. The elims also include well-regarded Reven d’Amour, that competed in a US Breeders Crown several years ago, and the J-P Dubois bred Nato Dream now owned by Stefan Melander. This year’s event has 20 starters aligned in two mile sprint eliminations, as shown below: Solvalla – 5-30-15 Saturday Sweden Cup 3a race 1  RINGOSTARR TREB* (IT) h 5 Paal Wilhelm (Ehl Ho) 1609 2  REVEN D'AMOUR h 10 Ohlsson Ulf (Lar FB) " 3  MAGICCARPETRIDE US* (US) h 9 Adielsson Erik (Ped An) " 4  OLYMPIC KRONOS (IT) h 7 Kolgjini Lutfi " 5  HIGHSPEED CALL v 7 Jansson Torbjörn (Pet Ni)a " 6  GOING FOR GOLD ZAZ h 7 Bergh Robert " 7  NOUVELLE PELLE v 12 Eriksson Kim (Joh Bo)a " 8  PRINCE TAGG h 9 Karlstedt Ralf " 9  DAVID SISU h 7 Takter Johnny (Sal Pe) " 10  DISCO A.E. h 7 Kihlström Örjan (Mel St) "   4a race 1  KASH'S CANTAB (US) h 7 Adielsson Erik (Joh SH) 1609  2  ORIONE SPIN (IT) v 7 Kolgjini Adrian (Kol Lu) " 3  VÄSTERBOONTHENEWS v 7 Ingves Peter (Pur Pe) " 4  NATO DREAM (US) h 6 Melander Stefan " 5  TABRIZ DU GITE* (FR) h 8 Thomain David (Lel Je) " 6  GOLDEN SID v 8 Jansson Torbjörn (Lin Bj) " 7  I SAW YOU v 10 Lindblom Åke " 8  MONSTER DRIVE h 9 Lövgren Joakim " 9  ROYAL BLESSED* (IT) h 5 Paal Wilhelm " 10  ROD STEWART* (IT) h 5 Eriksson Christoffer (Rio Je) "     Mosaique Face took the 2014 Sweden Cup and he may be a factor in the 2015 Elitloppet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCpTGmSedBY Thomas H. Hicks

Nahar and Robert Bergh

Elitloppet 2015 eliminations drawn

May 24, 2015 - Today’s featured harness racing action in France took place at various rural venues with one on the turf. The Prix Bernigaud (€34,000 purse, 2625 meters distance handicapped, 15 European starters) went to 15/1 Triton de Meunier (8g Camelia du Donjon-Ora de Meaunier) that overcame a 25 meter penalty to score in 1.17.1kr over 2650 meter distance. J-I Verrier teamed and trains and owns the winner. Uncle Oaks (7g Le Big Boss-Ile d’Or) was second for Th. Issautier at 5/1 with third to 4/1 Scarlet de l-Iton (9f Ideal d’Iton-Hermine de l’Iton) with trainer Thierry Collaud up. 6/1 Going As (7g Pink Diamond-Go Lucky) was fourth for Germany’s owner Stall Germanian and Stall Rubin. At Avignon the turf masters were at the start in the Prix du Chateau de Segries (€45,000 purse, 2650 meters distance handicapped, 16 starters). Barefoot Tresor Wic (8m Jag de Bellouet-Epona Vinn) and reinsman Daniel Bekaert overcame a 25 meter penalty to score in 1.18.1kr at 2/1 over his 2675 meter distance. 11/1 Verdict d’Honneur (6g Prodigious-Ploace d’Honneur) was second ahead of 50 meter penalized 87/1 Ramses des Charmes (10g Kiss Francis-Hydra de l’Epinay). Laurent Simon trains the first and third place finishers. At Solvalla today the two Elitloppet 2015 eliminations were drawn as shown below. 1a Elimination Univers de Pan (Philippe Daugeard) Support Justice (Geir Vegard Gundersen) Vincennes (Örjan Kihlström) Mosaique Face (Lutfi Kolgjini) Ustinof du Vivier (Mattieu Abrivard) Royal Fighter (Jennifer Tillman) Nuncio (Stefan Melander) Wind Of The North (Dave Palone) 2a Elimination B.B.S.Sugarlight (Peter Untersteiner) Nahar (Robert Bergh) Bret Boko (Ari Moilanen) Maven (Johnny Takter) Magic Tonight (Örjan Kihlström) On Track Piraten (Erik Adielsson) Timoko (Björn Goop) Voltigeur de Myrt (Gabrielle Gelormini)   Univers de Pan drew post one in the opener and he was full of trot and blocked in the Finlandia AJO. Fast front-runner Mosaique Face (1:09) Saturday in Sweden drew the advantageous post four for Lutfi Kolgjini. Four year-old Nuncio and trainer/driver Stefan Melander drew post seven with US invader Wind Of The North at post eight for sulky-sitter Dave Palone, the American driver who has just passed the 17,000 victories. Per Eriksson’s Royal Fighter drew post six for driver Jennifer Tillman. Elimination two has Timoko and Bjorn Goop scoring from post seven with Nahar and Robert Bergh from post two.Finlandia AJO pacesetting winner Bret Boko goes from post three and Maven starts from post four for Johnny Taker and trainer Jimmy Takter, today an easy winner in the US with Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial, defeating pocket-sitting Bee A Magician. Thomas H. Hicks

Calliope de Reux

Top Enghien action today

May 23, 2015 - Today’s top harness racing action in France was at Enghien. The opener was the Prix de Sare (€36,000 purse, 2150 meters autostart, 13 three year-old female starters) went to 1.16.4kr clocked Calliope de Reux (3f Password-Queen Jet) at 12/1 for owner/trainer/driver Jarmo Niskanen. 7/1 Cinarca (3f Jet Fortuna-Roesie du Loisir) was next for Franck Ouvrie driving for trainer/owner Frederic Prat. 14/1 Circa Be (3f Showtime Bourbon-Pearl Bourgeois) was third for Anthony Barrier. The Prix du Rhone (€75,000 purse, 2875 meters, 16 starters, Q+ jackpot €4.25 million) went to 13/1 Alpha Saltor (5m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane), clocked in 1.14.5kr, and pilot Mathieu Abrivard. Daniel Bethouart trains the winner. 16/1 Vanna Colette (6f Lejacque d’Houlbec-paloma du Donjon) was second for Joseph Verbeeck with third to the P-Y Verva teamed 22/1 Amiral du Bisson (5g Jeanbat du Vivier-Melodie du Bisson). The Prix de l’Obelisque (€68,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to a dominating 14/1 Tabriz du Gite (8m Ganymede-Kabrizia du Gite) for David Thomain racing barefoot. Clocked in 1.12.3kr the winner defeated 11/1 Tellement Haufor (8f Ganymede-Mamba d’Haufor) with Charles J. Bigeon up for trainer/owner Christian Bigeon/Ecurie Christian Bigeon. 17/1 Tischendorf Padd (8g Baccarat du Pont-Milady de Padd) was third for trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard. In Sweden at Gavle there were two interesting winners, the first being Makin It Easy (4g Donato Hanover-Azalea Gal-Self Possessed-Working Gal) with Emilia Karlsson up. The 2140 meter autostart event yielded 30,000SEK to the winner that was bred by Libfeld and Katz in Canada. In the Silver Division the winner was Oliver Kronos (7g Varenne-Glide About-Yankee Glide-M.Steward) clocked in 1.12.7kr over 2140 meters autostart for 125,000SEK to the winner. The dam Glide About is a half-sister to Maven. This winner now has four 2015 wins in five outings and is 14 for 28 lifetime. Bjorn Goop was the driver for trainer Ulf Stenstromer. Allev. Kronos Srl Italy bred this one. Thomas H. Hicks

Royal Fighter

Elitloppet 2015 field now set

May 23, 2015 - Harness racing Elitloppet officials today rounded out next Sunday’s 16-horse lineup (two eliminations of eight each) with the addition of Royal Fighter, Vincennes and Bret Boko. The full field is shown below. Timoko (FR) Maven (USA) On Track Piraten (SWE) Wind Of The North (USA) B.B.S.Sugarlight (NO) Support Justice (NO) Nahar (SWE) – a past winner of this classic Voltigeur de Myrt (FR) Magic Tonight (SWE) Univers de Pan (FR) Nuncio (SWE) Ustinof du Vivier (FR) Mosaique Face (SWE) Royal Fighter (SWE) Vincennes (FR) Bret Boko (FI) Trainer Per Eriksson’s Royal Fighter earned his ticket a week ago with a win in what was then the fastest clocking in Europe in 2015. The seven year-old son of Varenne has earned only 1.6SEK million in a relatively lackluster career that has shown flashes of brilliance. The SWE bred mare Vincennes has been a solidly consistent performer at high levels this Spring. The seven year-old daughter of Spotlite Lobell has earned 6.1SEK million and is a closer. Bret Boko was the final invitee off his impressive gate to wire victory in the Finlandia AJO. The son of Yankee Glide has earned over 3.1SEK million and has gate speed to be a factor. The 2015 Elitloppet field is a competitive one and should provide intense action. It’s a combination of proven veterans and outsiders that recently have provided fast victories. Be there for a great classic at Solvalla and Elitloppet weekend. Thomas H. Hicks

May 23, 2015 - Lutfi Kolgjini put his trainee Mosaique Face (6m Classic Photo-Iona LB-Supergill) on the front and he scored by open lengths, in 1.09kr track record at Gavle and fastest of the year in Europe (1:51.02 mile). The winner secured an Elitloppet ticket with the victory, that was presented in the winner’s circle. He is owned by Tommy Nilsson Holding AB of Malmo and was bred by Kolgjini and Anna Svensson. Mosaique Face had come off disappointment from a heart ailment. His maternal family justifies confidence as dam Iona LB has produced four winners from five foals and is from Zenia LB by Valley Victory-Armbro Megan-Speedy Crown-Delmegan-Super Bowl-Delmonica Hanover (Prix d’Amerique winner trained by Delvin Miller and that winter in FR by Aime Choquette). Mosaique Face earned 400,000SEK with the win and was off at 7/1 odds. He now has 13 career wins in 46 outings for 8,109,713SEK earned. Maven (6f Glidemaster-M. Stewart-American Winner) raced bravely to be second after a three-wide move down the backside for Johnny Takter to engage the winner. Maven was already an Elitloppet starter. Papagayo E. (5m Coktail Jet-Ann Speedy T.-Speedy Tomali) from Norway was a good third for Bjorn Goop. Creatine, Beer Summit and Panne de Moteur were the next three to the line. Also on the Gavle card was a 1.11.9kr victory in the Bronze Division V75 by Shadow Woodland (6g The Bosses Lindy-Unlimited Visa-Credit Winner) from Finland for Ulf Ohlsson. The Reijo Liljendahl trainee secured his second 2015 win in five outings and second straight. Thomas H. Hicks

May 22, 2015 - Friday harness racing action in Sweden of interest (US pedigrees) was the victory at Romme by Romeus (3m Muscles Yankee-Giulie Bi-Supergill with Daniel Reden up. The 1.13.9kr winner earned 50,000SEK for the score over 2140 meters autostart. This one is owned by Stall Zet, bred by Willow Pond Asset Corp. and now has a 4-1-0 slate in five career starts all this year. At Solvalla in a 1640 meter autostart contest Avatar Accelerator (4m Muscle Hill-Southwind Agnes-Malabar Man) scored for Stefan Melander and Stall TZ in 1.13.4kr. The winner has two 2015 wins in five starts. At Kincsem Park was conducted their second Friday night festival and a good crowd was on-hand despite heavy rains. Racing consisted of trots, gallop and greyhounds at this modern European equestrian facility that includes an 1800 meter trotting track circled by a gallop dirt course (used for greyhounds too on extreme nights) and a gallop turf course. Trots rules were changed (extreme racing) in terms of direction (clockwise), start (“repulostart” = catch the start) and the super sprint (200 meters, five heats of two horses each with win awarded to fastest heat winner). Also one race was heat one of a two heat event with heat two the next day. Winners were as follows: Jotallo Handicap (heat one, 1800 meters, repulostart) – Jonathan (12g Valley Guardian-Szerena) for Viktoria Nemeth Tripszin DIF (1800 meters repulostart) – Henrik Ibsen AT (3m Worship-Her Own Child) for Sandor Varadi Super Sprint (200 meters repulostart) – Kisasszony (11f Yankee Yankee-Calorina) for Lazslo Kolozsi Thomas H. Hicks

May 23, 2015 - The Jean-Yves Lucuyer bred Ustinof du Vivier (7g Look de Star-Melba du Vivier-Cedre du Vivier) earned an Elitloppet ticket today following yesterday’s game dead-heat victory at Vincennes in the Gr. III Prix du Crepuscule (€90,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 13 European starters) with Scarlet Turgot. Mathieu Abrivard piloted Ustinof for trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Stephane Szwarc. Yesterday’s score was career win 27 for €606,740 earned by this late bloomer. He’s the best of eight foals of the dam that also includes Tonio du Vivier, a US$133,000 winner by General du Pommeau. The Elitloppet field now has three slots remaining to be named with to-date entrants as follows: Timoko (FR) Maven (USA) On Track Piraten (SWE) Wind Of The North (USA) B.B.S.Sugarlight (NO) Support Justice (NO) Nahar (SWE) – a past winner of this classic Voltigeur de Myrt (FR) Magic Tonight (SWE) Univers de Pan (FR) Nuncio (SWE) Ustinof du Vivier (FR) Mosaique Face (SWE). Thomas H. Hicks

May 22, 2015 - The opener this evening at Vincennes went to 15/1 outsider Regio (5m Varenne-Leopardia) in the Pris Constellation (€50,000 purse, 2700 meters, 18 European starters). Clocked in 1.14.1kr the winner was teamed by Pierre Vercruysse for harness racing trainer Paul Hagoort and Holland’s owner Ecurie Victoria Park. 19/1 Andalovsie (5f Ganymede-Napoula) was second for Jacques Bruneau ahead of 72/1 Atino de l’Ormerie (5g Qualmio de Vandel-Padine du Lac and reinsman Bertrand Le Beller. The Quinte+ Prix Ville de Nogent-Sur-Marne (€90,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 14 European starters) produced a thrilling dead-heat timed in 1.11.7kr between peg-side rallying Scarlet Turgot (9f Dahir de Prelong-Noella de Massy) for Eric Raffin and red-hot Ustinof du Vivier. This 9/1 co-winner is trained by Y-A Briand. 2/5 pacesetting favorite Ustinof du Vivier (7g Look de Star-Melba du Vivier) and Mathieu Abrivard led a quick pace, drifted out in stretch and then re-rallied to equal Scarlet Turgot on the line. Sebastian Guarato trains this one. Spain’s consistent 15/1 Trebol (8m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait) closed for third for trainer/driver Gabriel-Angel Pou Pou. 17/1 Tornardo Bello with Thomas Levesque and 15/1 Viking de Val and pilot Eric Lambertz were next in this upper level field. The top two appear to be “elite” level players at this time. Tonight’s Vincennes feature was the Gr. II Prix Ozo (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, 11 starters). The 1.13.5kr winner was Cosmic Girl (3f Sam Bourbon-Oriane Jolie) at 59/1 for Pierre Vercruysse, a longshot double for the veteran teamster. Gerard Laurent trains. Favorite at .5/1 was Ciperla Mag (3f Quaker Jet-Perle du Ravary) that was second for JM Bazire ahead of 56/1 Clea Madrik (3f Prince d’Espace-Paisy Tivoli) for owner/trainer/driver Benoit Robin. On the excellent Vincennes nocturnal card the Prix Sirrah (€55,000 purse, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to the 1.13.2kr winner Universal Rider (7m Nahar de Beval-Hanska) at even-money for Mathieu Mottier. 20/1 Undici (7g Kaiser Soze-Jobeth) was second for reinsman Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Alain Roussel ahead of 13/1 Solo de Val (9g Sobrazac-Girl Villa) in rein to owner/trainer Eric Lambertz. At La Cepiere this day the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran (€35,000 purse, 2325 meters, 13 European starters) was conducted with the 1.14.3kr winner the 2.2/1 odds Uno de Montauran (7m Sancho Panca-Nijinskaya) with Denis Brossard up. 5.2/1 Royal Blessed (5m Varenne-Ivory Kronos) was next to the line for trainer/driver Wilhelm Paal with third to 5/1 Let Win and owner/trainer/driver J-H Treich. Thomas H. Hicks

May 22, 2015 - Stefan Melander’s Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) accepted the nod to start in the 2015 harness racing Elitloppet. Melander won this event in 2010 with Iceland, clocked in 1.10.5kr. Nuncio has won both his 2015 starts in Sweden after an excellent two and three year-old campaign in the US for trainers Jim Oscarsson and at three for Jimmy Takter. John Campbell did the driving in the US against stellar competition, including Trixton and Father Patrick from Takter’s powerful stable. Russell C. Williams bred Nuncio, the winner of the Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity. This career winner of 14.6SEK million has a time mark of 1.08.7kr. In the US Nuncio was a model of consistency producing a slate of 16-10-1 in 27 starts for US$1,919,145 and a three year-old record of 1:50.4 at Lexington’s Red Mile. The Elitloppet 2015 lineup is now shown below with five slots remaining to be filled. Timoko - FR Maven - USA On Track Piraten - SWE Digital Ink - SWE Wind Of the North - USA B.B.S. Sugarlight - NO Support Justice - N Nahar - SWE Voltigeur de Myrt - FR Magic Tonight - SWE Univers de Pan - FR Nuncio - SWE Thomas H. Hicks

May 21, 2015 - Today’s Vichy featured Prix Henri Berry (€50.000 purse, 2850 meters distance handicap, 12 European starters) went to 46/1 outsider Ungaro Jet (7m Meaulnes du Corta-Pocahontas) for harness racing trainer/driver Ladovic Peltier and owner Ecurie Paradis. The winner traveled 2850 meters in 1.14.5kr to earn career victory nine in 39 starts for earnings of €175,640. 4/1 Alexis (5m Ganymede-Myrtille des Bois) was second for driver/trainer J-M Bazire also traveling 2850 meters. 4/1 Anette du Mirel (5f Laetenter Diem-Lisa du Mirel) was third for Eric Raffin and trainer Anders Lindqvist and she covered 2875 meters in 1.14.3kr. The first three to the line raced barefoot. Tomorrow night’s Vincennes card features the Prix Ville de Nugent for €90,000 purse over 2100 meters autostart. Ustinof du Vivier, Nene Degli Ulivi, Scarlet Turgot and Spain’s Trebol will be at the start.  The card also shows the Gr. II Prix Ozo for €120,000 over 2175 meters for three year-old females. Clea Madrik, Ciper la Mag, Cavalleria and Charmante are likely top players. Thomas H. Hicks  

Right on the heels of having hosted a group of amateur drivers from France the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) is readying for a contingent ofharness racing  amateur drivers from Spain on Sunday, May 31. According to NAADA president Joe Faraldo the team of Spaniards which they will be hosting are from Mallorca and many are world class amateur drivers. And even before the Spaniards have arrived they have plans to return the favor and entertain a group from NAADA in late September. "We have planned the races in Mallorca in September the weekend of 26 & 27" noted Augustin Mascaro-Pou, one of the amateurs who'll be driving in the Friendship Competition. "Sept 26 we will have races in the small track of Manacor and Sept. 27 in Son Pardo where also will be the biggest international race that we have in Spain where will come eight top trotters from France, which is part of the European Tour of French trotters." Although NAADA will field different teams at each venue the Spanish team slated to be making the trip to America for this International Friendship Competition include the following drivers: Jaume Bassa-Riera -- - Partner in Sport Trot company of horse products - Winner of the Spanish Breeders Crown; Represented Spain in 2001 in European Apprentices Championship Augustin Mascaro-Pou.---. Police Officer. General Secretary of European Amateur Drivers Federation (FEGAT). Winner of Spanish Amateur Championship in 2006 and Spanish reprresentative in 2007 European amateur championship. Miquel Vich-Capo-- Breeder and Livestock dealer. Winner of Spanish Amateur championship in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Spanish Amateur Champion in 2012 .. Spanish rep in World Amateur Cup in 2014. Bernardo Jaume-Cirer--A partner in kitchen manufacturer's company and winner of many races on the European continent. At least one of the Spanish competitors is fairly well known by NAADA's Joe Faraldo. "I have raced with Jaume (Bassa-Riera) in Taranto, Italy several times and finished behind him every time. Maybe this time an American team can turn the tables on my good friend," Faraldo said. "Jaume has gone to the World Cup events more than anyone else appearing as far away from home as New Zealand. He was also the translator for the exceptional Spanish reinsman who competed in the World Cup for Professional Drivers which concluded at Yonkers Raceway where the Spanish guy finished third to Jodie Jameson and Corey Callahan." The Spanish contingent is expected to arrive at JFK International Airport on May 31. After a day of touring New York City and enjoying outstanding sights and excellent cuisine the driving competition will begin Tuesday, June 2 at Yonkers Raceway. On Wednesday (June 3) the competition moves to Monticello Raceway and after the races the group will head to Goshen for a tour of the Hall of Fame and Historic Track. An entertaining trip on the World Yacht with dinner and dancing will take place on Thursday. Then Friday (June5) after a tour of the Mark Ford Farm in Goshen the contingent will be off to Tioga Downs for a race there. On Saturday (June 6) a 6am departure from Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY will get the Spaniards to south Florida where they will drive in the two races at Pompano Park that evening. The following day the Spanish contingent will head back home to Mallorca. John Manzi for NAADA

May 20, 2015 -  Royal Fighter took tonight’s featured Meadow Roads (80,000SEK to winner, 1609 meters autostart, 10 starters) at Solvalla for driver Jennifer Tillman in a sharp 1.09.8kr (1:52.31 mile time) over Daley Lovin (4m Conway Hall-Dreamsrmadeofthis-Dream Vacation) with Daniel Reden up with third to Global Money (8g Love You-Norwegian Beauty-Yankee Glide) and Robert Bergh. The winner is a seven year-old stallion by Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill that is trained by Per Eriksson for owners/breeders Per Robert and Christina Nilsson. The winner now shows 12 wins in 56 career starts for 1.6SEK million earned. The winner’s 2015 slate is 1-0-3 in four starts. His previous speed mark was 1.11.2kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 20, 2015 - Philippe Daugeard’s slick gaited Univers de Pan has accepted an Elitloppet 2015 invitation. The 2014 Finlandia AJO winner was third in the 2015 edition after being trapped on the pegs throughout. He finished with much in reserve. Owned by Olivier Horvath, the seven year-old son of Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore has earned 13.4SEK million and has a speed mark of 1.10kr. The field now shows as follows with five starting slots remaining to be filled. Elitloppet 2015 Accepted Invitees Timoko - FR Maven - USA On Track Piraten - SWE Digital Ink - SWE Wind Of the North - USA BBS Sugarlight - NO Support Justice - N Nahar - SWE Voltigeur de Myrt - FR Magic Tonight - SWE Univers de Pan - FE Thomas H. Hicks

May 20, 2015 - Jos. Verbeeck reined the J-M Bazire trained Vinci de l’Abbaye (6m Otello Pierji-Kyboumette) to victory in today’s fifth leg of the harness racing Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (€90,000 purse, 2825 meters distance handicap, 15 national starters). Timed in 1.14.4kr (off slow fractions) over the 2850 handicap distance, the winner scored at 9.8/1 as he rushed to the line with authority. Bazire was second with the winner’s stablemate Ave Axis (5m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) at 2.7/1 over 2825 meters. Uvevering du Gile (7m Iton du Gite-Bauxite Docain) was third at 53/1 for P-Y Verva covering 2825 meters. Favorite Un Vert d’Ouest was fourth. This race was today’s Q+ with a €4.1 million jackpot. Total win-place handle on the event was over €917,000. The Prix d’Arras (€30,000 purse, monte, 2825 meters, 17 European starters) went to the fast closing, barefoot Paola Fks (5f Naglo-Etoile Bi) at 7.5/1 for Eric Raffin. Philippe Bengala trains this winner clocked in a quick 1.12.6kr, owned in Italy. 41/1 Holland invader Compleet Weil (6g Dream Vacation-Joan Jackson) for Alexis Garaadeau was second. Johan C. Bot trains this competitor for owner Wilderbeek. Urban de Bruyere (7g Himo Josselyn-Marylane de Fellou) was third at 6/1 for Francois Lagadeuc. Dellvann (8g Dell Ridge Image-Elusive Muse) took the Prix Henri Sion (€26,000 purse, 2825 meters, 16 European starters) for Francois Lecanu at 3.8/1 odds. Jorgen Westholm trains the winner for SWE owner Stall Stabil HB. 18/1 Soupir de Blary (9m Look de Star-Kassandre de Blary) was next for trainer/driver Antoine-Alain Barassin and owner Ecurie Franck Anne. Third was earned by Tsar de Grammont (8m Likeable River-Folies de Grammont) at 7/1 for Eric Raffin and trainer Vincent Lacroix. At Marseille-Borely the Prix de la Motte d’Aigues (€20,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, nine entrants) went to 9.4/1 Classe d’Urzy (3f Saxo de Vandel-Tessa d’Urzy) with trainer Mikael Cormy up. The winner scored in 1.16.7kr to defeat 2.2/1 Caliita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and trained by Yves Boireau. The dam, by Love You-Etta Extra-Florestan, was a winner of over US$1.8 million and at age five third in Prix d’Amerique. Previously at age three and four she won the Criterium des Jeunes, Prix de l’Etoile, Prix Roquepine, Prix de Selection, Criterium Continental and Grand Prix de UET. Favorite 1.2/1 Cocomoko (3m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) for owner/trainer Richard Westerink. This one is a full brother to Timoko, the 2014 Elitloppet victor. Thomas H. Hicks

Belina Josselyn (4f Love You-Lezira Josselyn-Workaholic) scored a 1.14.6kr victory in tonight’s harness racing Gr. III Prix Heraclite (€80,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 European four year-old female starters). The 1.9/1 favorite was teamed by trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Yvon Bernard. Bazire and Belina Josselyn closed quickly to score the third straight win, now for career earnings of €121,230. Beautes de Bailly (4f Vivaldi de Chenu-Oceane de Bailly) was second at 14/1 for Franck Nivard for trainer Bruno Bourgoin, with third to Bergame Madrik (4f Prince d’Espace-Houlba de Pouline) at 61/1 for reinsman Francois Lagadeuc.   Beau Gamin (4m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) staged a rousing stretch drive to win the Prix Camilla (€80,000 purse, Gr. III European for four year-old males, 12 starters) clocked in 1.14.3kr for Eric Raffin. The trainer is Fabrice Souloy for owner Ecurie J. Michel Rancoule. Beguin Meslois (4m Roc Meslois-Ingenlosite) was a 3/1 second for trainer/driver Pierre Belloche ahead of Biwa Nectar (4m Nectar-Nike) at 15/1 for Franck Nivard. The winner increased his lifetime earnings to €225,190. The Vincennes feature this day was the Gr. II Prix Kalmia (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, nine three year-old starters) and 4/5 favorite Captain Crazy (3m Quaro-Quick Scarlet) was an impressive open lengths winner clocked in 1.12.7kr . He scored victory number five in six career starts for trainer Fabrice Souloy, owner Ecurie le Tremont and reinsman Tony LeBeller. Today’s win increased his earnings to €138,600. Second was Canari Match (3m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostral) at 5/1 for Franck Ouvrie ahead of Cocktail Meslois (3m Roc Meslois-Ocarina Mesloise) and trainer/driver Pierre Belloche at 23/1. This day at Hyeres their featured Prix Marisol (€32,000 purse, 2750 meters, 12 starters) went to 4.6/1 odds Tempo de Carless (8m Grisdi de Carless-Joie de Carless) clocked in 1.15.4kr for David Bekaert for trainer/owner Philippe Mortagne. The victory raised the winner’s earnings to €305,580. 9.8/1 Saphir des Loups (9g Millenium Wood-Grais du Debuche) was next for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch ahead of 5/1 Reve d’Ete (10g Hulk des Champs-Grande Justice) and trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. Thomas Hicks  

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May 25, 2-15 - Some refer to Saturday’s Sweden Cup as the little Elite race and often it includes past and future harness racing Elitloppet players. Italian trotters are well represented and they have performed well in past Sweden Cups. Irving Rivarco and Owen's Club (which also holds the record of the Finale with 1.09.7kr) are the two Italian winners both led by Pietro Gubellini. In the first elimination Saturday Ringostarr Treb, trained byHolger Ehlert and driven by Wim Paal take their shot along with Olympic Kronos and Lufti Kolgjini. Second elimination includes Orione Spin and Kolgjini, Royal Blessed with Paal and Rod Stewart rained by Jerry Riordan. The elims also include well-regarded Reven d’Amour, that competed in a US Breeders Crown several years ago, and the J-P Dubois bred Nato Dream now owned by Stefan Melander. This year’s event has 20 starters aligned in two mile sprint eliminations, as shown below: Solvalla – 5-30-15 Saturday Sweden Cup 3a race 1  RINGOSTARR TREB* (IT) h 5 Paal Wilhelm (Ehl Ho) 1609 2  REVEN D'AMOUR h 10 Ohlsson Ulf (Lar FB) " 3  MAGICCARPETRIDE US* (US) h 9 Adielsson Erik (Ped An) " 4  OLYMPIC KRONOS (IT) h 7 Kolgjini Lutfi " 5  HIGHSPEED CALL v 7 Jansson Torbjörn (Pet Ni)a " 6  GOING FOR GOLD ZAZ h 7 Bergh Robert " 7  NOUVELLE PELLE v 12 Eriksson Kim (Joh Bo)a " 8  PRINCE TAGG h 9 Karlstedt Ralf " 9  DAVID SISU h 7 Takter Johnny (Sal Pe) " 10  DISCO A.E. h 7 Kihlström Örjan (Mel St) "   4a race 1  KASH'S CANTAB (US) h 7 Adielsson Erik (Joh SH) 1609  2  ORIONE SPIN (IT) v 7 Kolgjini Adrian (Kol Lu) " 3  VÄSTERBOONTHENEWS v 7 Ingves Peter (Pur Pe) " 4  NATO DREAM (US) h 6 Melander Stefan " 5  TABRIZ DU GITE* (FR) h 8 Thomain David (Lel Je) " 6  GOLDEN SID v 8 Jansson Torbjörn (Lin Bj) " 7  I SAW YOU v 10 Lindblom Åke " 8  MONSTER DRIVE h 9 Lövgren Joakim " 9  ROYAL BLESSED* (IT) h 5 Paal Wilhelm " 10  ROD STEWART* (IT) h 5 Eriksson Christoffer (Rio Je) "     Mosaique Face took the 2014 Sweden Cup and he may be a factor in the 2015 Elitloppet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCpTGmSedBY Thomas H. Hicks
May 24, 2015 - Today’s featured harness racing action in France took place at various rural venues with one on the turf. The Prix Bernigaud (€34,000 purse, 2625 meters distance handicapped, 15 European starters) went to 15/1 Triton de Meunier (8g Camelia du Donjon-Ora de Meaunier) that overcame a 25 meter penalty to score in 1.17.1kr over 2650 meter distance. J-I Verrier teamed and trains and owns the winner. Uncle Oaks (7g Le Big Boss-Ile d’Or) was second for Th. Issautier at 5/1 with third to 4/1 Scarlet de l-Iton (9f Ideal d’Iton-Hermine de l’Iton) with trainer Thierry Collaud up. 6/1 Going As (7g Pink Diamond-Go Lucky) was fourth for Germany’s owner Stall Germanian and Stall Rubin. At Avignon the turf masters were at the start in the Prix du Chateau de Segries (€45,000 purse, 2650 meters distance handicapped, 16 starters). Barefoot Tresor Wic (8m Jag de Bellouet-Epona Vinn) and reinsman Daniel Bekaert overcame a 25 meter penalty to score in 1.18.1kr at 2/1 over his 2675 meter distance. 11/1 Verdict d’Honneur (6g Prodigious-Ploace d’Honneur) was second ahead of 50 meter penalized 87/1 Ramses des Charmes (10g Kiss Francis-Hydra de l’Epinay). Laurent Simon trains the first and third place finishers. At Solvalla today the two Elitloppet 2015 eliminations were drawn as shown below. 1a Elimination Univers de Pan (Philippe Daugeard) Support Justice (Geir Vegard Gundersen) Vincennes (Örjan Kihlström) Mosaique Face (Lutfi Kolgjini) Ustinof du Vivier (Mattieu Abrivard) Royal Fighter (Jennifer Tillman) Nuncio (Stefan Melander) Wind Of The North (Dave Palone) 2a Elimination B.B.S.Sugarlight (Peter Untersteiner) Nahar (Robert Bergh) Bret Boko (Ari Moilanen) Maven (Johnny Takter) Magic Tonight (Örjan Kihlström) On Track Piraten (Erik Adielsson) Timoko (Björn Goop) Voltigeur de Myrt (Gabrielle Gelormini)   Univers de Pan drew post one in the opener and he was full of trot and blocked in the Finlandia AJO. Fast front-runner Mosaique Face (1:09) Saturday in Sweden drew the advantageous post four for Lutfi Kolgjini. Four year-old Nuncio and trainer/driver Stefan Melander drew post seven with US invader Wind Of The North at post eight for sulky-sitter Dave Palone, the American driver who has just passed the 17,000 victories. Per Eriksson’s Royal Fighter drew post six for driver Jennifer Tillman. Elimination two has Timoko and Bjorn Goop scoring from post seven with Nahar and Robert Bergh from post two.Finlandia AJO pacesetting winner Bret Boko goes from post three and Maven starts from post four for Johnny Taker and trainer Jimmy Takter, today an easy winner in the US with Father Patrick in the Maxie Lee Memorial, defeating pocket-sitting Bee A Magician. Thomas H. Hicks
May 23, 2015 - Today’s top harness racing action in France was at Enghien. The opener was the Prix de Sare (€36,000 purse, 2150 meters autostart, 13 three year-old female starters) went to 1.16.4kr clocked Calliope de Reux (3f Password-Queen Jet) at 12/1 for owner/trainer/driver Jarmo Niskanen. 7/1 Cinarca (3f Jet Fortuna-Roesie du Loisir) was next for Franck Ouvrie driving for trainer/owner Frederic Prat. 14/1 Circa Be (3f Showtime Bourbon-Pearl Bourgeois) was third for Anthony Barrier. The Prix du Rhone (€75,000 purse, 2875 meters, 16 starters, Q+ jackpot €4.25 million) went to 13/1 Alpha Saltor (5m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane), clocked in 1.14.5kr, and pilot Mathieu Abrivard. Daniel Bethouart trains the winner. 16/1 Vanna Colette (6f Lejacque d’Houlbec-paloma du Donjon) was second for Joseph Verbeeck with third to the P-Y Verva teamed 22/1 Amiral du Bisson (5g Jeanbat du Vivier-Melodie du Bisson). The Prix de l’Obelisque (€68,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to a dominating 14/1 Tabriz du Gite (8m Ganymede-Kabrizia du Gite) for David Thomain racing barefoot. Clocked in 1.12.3kr the winner defeated 11/1 Tellement Haufor (8f Ganymede-Mamba d’Haufor) with Charles J. Bigeon up for trainer/owner Christian Bigeon/Ecurie Christian Bigeon. 17/1 Tischendorf Padd (8g Baccarat du Pont-Milady de Padd) was third for trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard. In Sweden at Gavle there were two interesting winners, the first being Makin It Easy (4g Donato Hanover-Azalea Gal-Self Possessed-Working Gal) with Emilia Karlsson up. The 2140 meter autostart event yielded 30,000SEK to the winner that was bred by Libfeld and Katz in Canada. In the Silver Division the winner was Oliver Kronos (7g Varenne-Glide About-Yankee Glide-M.Steward) clocked in 1.12.7kr over 2140 meters autostart for 125,000SEK to the winner. The dam Glide About is a half-sister to Maven. This winner now has four 2015 wins in five outings and is 14 for 28 lifetime. Bjorn Goop was the driver for trainer Ulf Stenstromer. Allev. Kronos Srl Italy bred this one. Thomas H. Hicks
May 23, 2015 - Harness racing Elitloppet officials today rounded out next Sunday’s 16-horse lineup (two eliminations of eight each) with the addition of Royal Fighter, Vincennes and Bret Boko. The full field is shown below. Timoko (FR) Maven (USA) On Track Piraten (SWE) Wind Of The North (USA) B.B.S.Sugarlight (NO) Support Justice (NO) Nahar (SWE) – a past winner of this classic Voltigeur de Myrt (FR) Magic Tonight (SWE) Univers de Pan (FR) Nuncio (SWE) Ustinof du Vivier (FR) Mosaique Face (SWE) Royal Fighter (SWE) Vincennes (FR) Bret Boko (FI) Trainer Per Eriksson’s Royal Fighter earned his ticket a week ago with a win in what was then the fastest clocking in Europe in 2015. The seven year-old son of Varenne has earned only 1.6SEK million in a relatively lackluster career that has shown flashes of brilliance. The SWE bred mare Vincennes has been a solidly consistent performer at high levels this Spring. The seven year-old daughter of Spotlite Lobell has earned 6.1SEK million and is a closer. Bret Boko was the final invitee off his impressive gate to wire victory in the Finlandia AJO. The son of Yankee Glide has earned over 3.1SEK million and has gate speed to be a factor. The 2015 Elitloppet field is a competitive one and should provide intense action. It’s a combination of proven veterans and outsiders that recently have provided fast victories. Be there for a great classic at Solvalla and Elitloppet weekend. Thomas H. Hicks

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