Harness racing

WCRF at Solvalla & Mohawk for "Road To Rio"

The World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) pre-Olympic tour on its "Road To Rio" made stops in both Sweden and Canada over the weekend. The WCRF is dedicated to resurrecting Chariot Racing in the Olympics while revitalization and reshaping the sport of harness racing. WCRF founder, Sam Stathis, was in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday and Sunday for the world renowned Standardbred harness horse race called the Elitloppet, where more than 28,000 fans came out Sunday to see the classic event. "What a tremendous weekend of racing at the Solvalla track," Stathis said. "The crowds were overwhelming, everyone rooting for his or her favorites. It took me more than a half hour to get from the dining room to the winner's circle just in time to see Jimmy Takter's Pinkman win his race." Stathis met with Swedish racing officials over the weekend, setting up WCRF future events for later this summer and for 2017. "I want to thank the AGT for hosting the WCRF at their tremendous VIP party," Stathis said, "My good friends Ann and Johan Lindberg (secretary general of Travsport) introduced us to racing dignitaries from as far south as Australia, Russia to the north and everyone in between. This will help pave the way for the WCRF to do some great things around the globe as I met people who now know about the goals of the WCRF and will join our team." "Pink highlighted the day," Stathis explained, "There were pink hats, shirts, pants and dresses topped off by a "pink horse" Pinkman, who won his race while defeating other US Stars. And what a great ambassador for the USA and WCRF pre-Olympic Tour as world renowned driver, Yannick Gingras joined us and his friends at the VIP party for a pre-race photo shoot and then topping it off by carrying the Olympic and Greece flags in the winner circle after Pinkman won. Stathis said they were also joined at the VIP party by Mr. and Mrs. Karl-Eric Bender, owners of the Palema Trotting Center in Vero Beach, FL along with Jimmy Takter and his wife Christina and renowned Australian breeder Duncan McPherson. "This was an amazing party," Stathis said, "and a superb weekend of racing that I will cherish in my memories the rest of my life. Everyone wanted to take a photo with the Greek and Olympic flags in support of the what the WCRF is doing for the special Olympics." The Pre-Olympic "Road to Rio" tour is being highlighted by the exotic chariots designed by Sam Stathis as the sport that the ancient Olympics were founded on in 776 BC. The tour is winding its way around the world and winding up at the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016. At Mohawk Raceway in Ontario, Canada on Saturday, one of the WCRF exotic chariots was on the track during their stakes race evening, taking children around the main track, showing off the unique two-seater design. World champion harness driver, Jody Jamieson and the trotter, Calamar, took the children for their rides. "This is what the WCRF is all about," Stathis said. "Educating children and adults with hands-on "grass-roots" experience getting to sit behind a racehorse on the track." Stathis's Celebrity Farms top racehorse, Celebrity Eventsy, was also at Mohawk Raceway Saturday, finishing third in the $174,000 final of the SBOA Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. With international support from every equine discipline, the WCRF is leading the effort to return Chariot Racing to the Olympics. Stathis is now on his way to his native country of Greece, where on Sunday, June 5 he will be at the new Olympic Stadium with special Olympic children, attending the National Show Jumping competition. For additional information, visit www.worldchariot.org. From the World Chariot Racing Federation  

Nuncio

Nuncio wins Elitloppet with game effort

Watch final heat at https://youtu.be/nsVzLdYrA1o Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) prevailed gamely after a parked out journey for Orjan Kihlstrom and owner/trainer Stefan Melander to capture the Gr. I International 2016 Benders Elitloppet (3SEK million to the final winner (€323,100), 1609 meters autostart) narrowly holding off Resolve (5m Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee-Credit Winner) by half-length, that one driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt for owner Hans Enggren. Pacesetter Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling-Buvetier d’Aunou) was a gutsy third, a length back, for Jos Verbeeck and trainer Fabrice Souloy. Elim winner Timoko rallied from between horses to be fourth for Bjorn Goop but he never threatened the top three. Propulson ended fifth and Oasis Bi sixth. Royal Fighter left quickly from post six, reached the pocket, and could not close, ending seventh with Billie de Montfort at the end. Nuncio was the wagering favorite, off at 0.5/1 on the ATG system and 2.1/1 on Fintoto. Resolve was 1.96/1 on ATG and 4.56/1 on Fintoto. Fractions again were quick early and late (1.07.6kr at 500 meters, 1.09.6kr at the 1000) with the finish timed in 1.09.2kr (mile rate 1:51.34). All starters were timed in 1.09.9kr or better. Nuncio completes the fabulous day with a career slate of 31-13-2 in 46 starts, good for 21,597,726SEK earned. Pinkman wins for Takter/Gingras Pinkman (4g Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster-Angus Hall) with Yannick Gingras up for trainer Jimmy Takter reached the front before the first quarter, rated the pace albeit parking out Twister Bi (4m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra), and put that one away at top stretch to win the Gr. II Tommy Hannes for four year-olds (500,000SELK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, 10 starters).   Uncle Lasse (4m Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide) rallied for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer/owner Stefan Melander to fall short by a head. The race was timed in 1.09.9kr (1:52.47 mile rate). Divisionist (4m Andover Hall-Only Lonely-Yankee Paco) rallied to be third for Jorma Kontio and trainer Melander. Fractions were quick early and late with Pinkman getting some soft time mid-race (1.07.8kr at 500 meters, 1.10kr at the 1000 mark).   Pinkman was off as even-money favorite with Uncle Lasse at 2.3/1 and Divisionist at 14/1. Pinkman now has a career slate of 18-5-2 in 28 starts for earnings of 21,382,178SEK.   A race earlier the Gudrans Lopp (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.13.4kr timed New Muscle As (4g Muscle Mass-New Circle As-Malabar Man) for Bjorn Goop and trainer Ulf Stenstromer. The roan colt Antonio Tabac (4m Crazed-Grace Tabac-Tap In) pulled pegs pocket late to be second beaten half-length with Erik Adielsson up for trainer Stig H. Johansson.   Timoko takes first elimination division   Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant)  took the first elim of the 2016 Benders Elitloppet gate to wire for Bjorn Goop and trainer Richard Westerink, his third straight victory and 30th lifetime in 85 starts for earnings of 37,756,090SEK.   Away from post four Timoko quickly took the front and held off parked out Volstead until top of stretch when Resolve (5m Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee-Credit Winner) rallied three wide from fifth for Ake Svanstedt with Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) following that one. Both closed stoutly with Resolve a half-length from the leader at the wire and Propulsion another half-length behind. Oasis Bi enjoyed a pocket position and did not threaten,   Fractions were sharp (1.07.8kr at the first 500 meters, 1.09.2kr at the 1000) and finished at 1.09.1kr for the 1609 meter one-mile test with 250,000SEK to the winner, Oasis Bi and Volstead rounded out the top five and Your Highness was scratched. The winner was off at 1.9/1 on Fintoto and 4/5 on the PMU network.   Early Solvalla action on this 2016 Benders Elitloppet day saw Wild Honey (4f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-SJ’s Photo) take the Rune Stolts for mares (250,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart) timed in 1.10.9kr for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Daniel Reden. The mare was parked without cover and eased to the line ahead of Tunika (4f Zola Boko-Verona de Ling-Super Arnie) and driver Bjorn Goop.   A race later the 2016 undefeated (five of five now) Makethemark (3m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) took the Hakan Wallner Memorial (300,000SEK to the winner) for driver Ulf Ohlsson clocked in 1.11.8kr. Parked without cover the dimunitive colt closed steadily to capture the win from Mindyourvalue WF (3m Hovding Lavec-Mind Your Manners-Dahir de Prelong) with Ake Svanstedt driving for trainer Robert Bergh. The winner now has 11 wins in 13 starts lifetime. Un Mec d'Heripre wins second elimination division  Respected FR speedster Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling-Buvetier d’Aunou) sat outside leading Royal Fighter (8m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) with Jennifer Tillman up for Per Eriksson, avoided traffic when Call Me Keeper went offstride on the backstretch, and moved alongside and then eased past Royal Fighter to the lead at top stretch.   Favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane), with Orjan Kihlstrom up for Stefan Melander, surged into contention from fifth but could not overtake the Jos Verbeeck reined, Fabrice Souloy trained Un Mec d’Heripre that held by a length timed in 1.09.3 kr (fractions 1.08.8kr at the 500 meter mark and 1.09.6kr atg the 1000). Billie de Montfort (5f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort-And Arifant) was fourth for David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato.   The winner was off at 8/1 on the PMU network while Nuncio was the favorite at 0.5/1 on PMU and 9/10 on Fintoto. Driver Verbeeck has enjoyed a successful weekend so far after winner yesterday with Bird Parker.   Post positions for the final with 3SEK million to the winner follow: 1. Un Mec d’Heripre 2. Timoko 3. Resolve 4. Nuncio 5. Propulsion 6. Royal Fighter 7. Billie de Montfort 8. Oasis Bi by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Utinka Selloise, harness racing

Solid trotting action around Europe Sunday

Solid trotting action this day took place in Italy, France and Hungary. At Italy’s Aversa half-mile track the G.P. G. Stabile (purse €45,100, 1660 meters autostart) went to 1.13.4kr timed Uragano Trebi (3m Nad Al Sheba-Istria Bi-Toss Out) for driver Gaspare Lo Verde. Second dam of the winner is Traffic Jam (Speedy Crown-Trapped). The winner now has 10 wins in 18 career outings. Uno Italia (3m Conway Hall-Italia Uno-Varenne) landed second for G.P. Minnucci. Third was Usque DL (3m Equinox Bi-Gritta Bi-Buvetier d’Aunou). In France the action was at Enghien with the Quinte+ Prix de l’Obelisque (purse €68,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European strarters) gaining the most attention. Timed in 1.14.2kr the winner was 4.2/1 Utinka Selloise (8f Ojipey Vinoir-Mercedes des Tebe) with J-M Bazire teaming for trainer J-M Baudouin. 3.8/1 Perkins Grif (7f Classic Photo-Radiant Victory) was second for Franck Nivard and trainer Fabrice Soulpoy with third to 7.8/1 Plutonio (7m Self Possessed-Indra Bi) with Christophe Martens up. Sahara Fairytale, Roberto Andreghetti up, and Ulexa des Plans, with David Thomain driving, completed the top five finishers. The Enghien co-feature was the Prix du Rhone (purse €75,000, 2875 meters, 14 starters). Joel Van Eeckhaute’s trainee Best Buissoncy (5m L’ecu du Vernay-Nyota Buissonay) scored at 12.3/1 with Franck Nivard on the lines. Timed in 1.14.7kr the winner defeated 7/2 Apollon de Kacy (6m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kids) that is owned/trained by Jorgen Westholm and driven this day by Gabriel Gelormini. Third was 89/1 Berry Felin (5m Nahar de Beval-Krisman des Bois). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Dawana

€120,000 Gr. II Prix The Footballers (Prix Ozo)

Philippe Allaire enjoyed quite a Friday evening as his owned and trained Dawana (3f Ready Cash-Sanawa) at 5.6/1 took the Gr. II Prix Ozo (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 11 starters) with harness racing driver Gabriel Gelormini up. Timed in 1.13.5kr the winner is now four for seven generating earnings of €136,550. 1/1 Don’t Explain (3f Prodigious-Quarmen du Gite) took second for Matthieu Abrivard, this one bred/owned/trainer by Allaire. 58/1 Deesse de Guerin (3f Melchior Jet-Olivia) took third for trainer/driver Franck Anne and fourth to the line was 79/1 Dalabama (3f Lets Get Along-Obama) for driver Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. The programs’ Quinte+ Grand Prix Equipede France (purse €90,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) was a dandy race and went to shoeless 12/1 odds Ave Avis (6m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O. Roffi-Urano. This winner scored for the 11th time in 45 starts for €605,180 earned. Timed in a quick 1.10.5kr the winner bested 2/1 Viking Va Bene (6m Rite On Line-Iriana de Mont) for Franck Nivard, and trainer Fabrice Souloy. 3/1 Indigious (7m Prodigious-Indication) took third for Eric Raffin and also trainer Souloy. The next seven to the line were all timed in 1.11kr or better and that good group was, in finiosh order, Truman Dairpet, Very Nice Marceaux, Zorro Photo, Chapeau, Africaine, Trebol and Black d’Avril. Thomas H. Hicks    

Four ASVT Trottex events showcased Solvalla’s Wednesday harness racing program with the quality starting of the weekend’s Elitloppet festivities. Two harness racing three year-old filly contests each were worth 120,000SEK to the winners and each was raced over 2140 meters autostart.  The first went to even-money favorite Rhyme Broline (3f Celebrity Secret-Candelia-Armbro Goal) for driver Erik Adielsson and trainer Svante Bath. Timed in 1.15.3kr this one recorded her first 201y6 win in this her second appearance. SDghe now has a 5-1-0 slate in eight starts. 1.6/1 Ultra Bright (3f Zola Boko-Patina-Viking Kronos) took second for Fredrik Persson with 12/1 Gloria Boko (3f Zola Boko-Song Glider-Windsong’s Legacy) third for Per Lennartsson. The second filly batch went to 1.14.3kr timed and 9/10 odds Flo Jo Keeper (3f Broad Bahn-Elizalleeper-Credit Winner) with trainer Bjorn Goop driving, her second win in three 2016 and career starts with one second place finish. 40/1 Looks Likeaqueen (3f Varenne-Make Approach-Viking Kronos) finished second for trainer/driver Ake Lindblom with 105/1 Bear Abiba (3f Muscles Wiking BR-Martini Bar-Malabar Man) home third for trainer/driver Stefan Olsson. The colts battled also over 2140 meters autostart for first money of 120,000SEK. Even-money choice Han Herred (3m Infinitif -Donna GT-Dungeness) opened colt action with a 1.14.5kr victory with Erik Adielsson up for trainer Stig H. Jonhansson and Stall Inox. This one now shows a 3-1-0 slate in four 2016 and career appearances. 1.9/1 Gareth Boko (3m Make It Happen-Vanilla Boko-Pine Chip) took second for Per Lennartsson, also trainer. 4.9/1 Man At Work (3g Ken Warkentin-Illustre November-Viking Kronos) was third for Bjorn Goop. The second colt set went to 7/10 choice Diamanten (3m Adrian Chip-Jata Kall-Ata Star L) with Ulf Eriksson up for trainer Robert Bergh. This winner is a perfect two for two in 2016 and undefeated in five career outings. 4.1/ MT Le Bron (3g Quite Easy-Rydenc Denise-Dahir de Prelong) was next for Ake Lindbloom and 25/1 Havbergs Knight (3m Scarlet Knight-Havbergs Fifi-Jobie Tempest) was third for trainer and reinsman Fredrik B. Larsson. At Aby DD’s Hitman (5m Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny-Muscles Yankee) scored timed in 1.13.3kr to earn 70,000SEK first money in a 2140 meter autostart Femarlingslopp. British Steel was second for Johnny Takter (this one a 5g Kadabra-Come Home ET-Yankee Glide) and 22/1 Wishing Boy (5g ENS Snapshot-Valg Cowboyland-Cooperfield) was third for Steen Juul and trainer Gordon Dahl. Thomas H. Hicks

May 25 at La Capelle showcased harness racing's prestigious Quinte+ Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (Gr. III, purse €90,000, 2750 meters, 16 starters with distance handicaps). The impressive rallying winner, timed in 1.12.5kr, was 2.3/1 Aubrion du Gers (6g Memphis du Rib-J’auvive de Gers) with owner/trainer J-M Bazire teaming. The winner recorded victory 14 in 37 starts good for career earnings of €470,460. 2/1 odds Baltic Charm (5m Password-Ilikova) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato with third going to 6/1 Amiral du Bisson (6g Jeanbat du Vivier-Melodie du Bisson) handled by Anthony Barrier for Jean Morice. 13/1 Ulula Bella and 55/1 Vignia la Ravelle took spots four and five. The secondary feature event at La Capelle was the Prix Fernand Floribert Dubois (purse €26,000, 2750 meters, 16 European starters) and 5.5/1 Yankee’s Photo (8m SJ’s Photo-Yankee Tracer) scored timed in 1.15kr for driver Franck Ouvrie and trainer Bjorn Gulbransen. Sissel Vatnoy of Norway is the owner. 18/1 Unisalane (8f Jet Fortuna-Lea Picoulerie) took second ahead of 8/1 Usher de Piencourt with Matthieu Abrivard up. At Vichy the Prix Henri Berry (purse €50,000, 2850 meters, 15 European starters) the 1.16kr timed winner was 2.3/1 odds Visconti (7g Magnificent Rodney-Hematite) with trainer Benjamin Goetz up for owner Daniele Gozlan. 68/1 outsider Theo d’Urzy (9 Land du Coglaic-Jacinthe d’Urzy) landed second with 5/1 Coeur Baroque (4g Offshore Dream-Joie Baroqie) third for Damien Bonne. Thomas H. Hicks  

Excellent trotting at Paris-Vincennes this Tuesday evening was highlighted by a Groupe II and two Groupe III harness racing contests. The Gr. II Prix Ville de Cherbourg (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, seven starters) saw 2.3/1 second choice and 7.4/1 Ducato Bourbon disqualified for breaks, enabling 7/10 favorite Django Riff to hold on for a narrow victory. This three year-old colt by Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine was handled by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire, clocked in 1.13.5kr. 25/1 Dahlia du Rib (3m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) rallied for second reined by J.L.Cl Dersoir. The Joel Hallais trainee is Ecurie Rib owned. 20/1 Del Piero de Lou (3m Sam Bourbon-Lola de Lou) was third for Alexandre Abrovard and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. The winner is named after long-past jazz guitar legend Jean “Django” Reinhardt, the Belgian born leader of the French Gypsy culture and, with violinist Stephane Grappelli, coleader of the legendary Quintette du Hot Club de France. Tessy d’Ete (4f Ganymede-Love Me Tender) took the Gr. III Prix Ville de Graignes (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) at 1.8/1 odds for Eric Raffin, trainer Fabrice Souloy and Scuderia Eurocolor SRL of Italy. The 1.14.1kr timed winner bested fast closing Clarabelle (4f Ready Cash-Rebelle) with Gabriel Gelormini up for trainer Yves Boireau and Jean-Pierre Dubois. Third went to 9/10 favorite Cedea Josselyn (4f Love You-Dea Josselyn) with J-M Bazire driving. Italy also scored when 4.1/1 Tony Gio (4m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) took the Gr. III Prix Ville d’Argentan timed in 1.14.3kr for driver Christophe Martens and owner Ecurie Bivans SRL. 8.3/1 Cash Okay (4m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was a just short rallying second for Oscar Raffin, driver/trainer, and Norwegian owner K.O. Molander. 59/1 outsider Theodor Grif (4m Varenne-Eva di Jesolo) held third on the pegs for trainer/driver Marco Smorgon and Italy’s Scuderia Trotto Italia SAS. Bohemian Rhapsody took the monte Prix Ville Mont Saint-Michel (purse €50,000, 2200 meters, nine starters, apprentice jockeys) this evening timed in 1.15.4kr for Th. Dromigny. The five year-old Angus Hall mare from Bahama is trained by Thomas Levesque for Pierre Levesque, owner. 4.7/1 Belmis des Tours was second for Nils Pacha. Monte action also was highlighted in the Prix Ville de Lisieux (purse €60,000, 2200 meters, 10 monte starters) and 7/1 Celina Polka (4f Kool du Caux-La Carella) scored in 1.13.9kr for Alexandre Abrivard. Trainer Joel van Eeckhaute owned this winner that bested 1.7/1 Cigate Castelets with Eric Raffin in the irons and 10/1 Candie d’Atout with Matthieu Abrivard up. The Anders Lindqvist co-owned (with Peter Gerry of the US’ Arden Homestead Stable) and trained Angel Dark (6g Look de Star-Quadrata des Jipes) took this evening’s Prix Ville de Vire for amateur drivers (purse €14,000. 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) clocked in 1.15.3kr at 3.3/1 odds for Mlle. Evelina Mansson. Angel Darlk recorded his eighth career win in 41 starts for earnings of €97,670. 3/2 favorite Univers du Croq was second for Sebastien Leboutique and 14/1 Vivoli ended third with Pascal-Maurice Allais driving, It was also fitting that at Yonkers Raceway NY an Arden Homestead (Gerry family) trotter Doubleday (son of Crazed) took the Prix Boulevard Saint Michel (purse €29,117, 2011 meters autostart, 10 entrants) clocked in 1.13.64kr for teamster Jason Bartlett. This Marcus Melander trainee is also co-owned by Jan Johnson and Holly Lane Stud East., and scored at 10.8/1 odds on the PMU network as this race began wagering pools comingling of the Yonkers signal. The day’s FR action also included the Prix Marisol (purse €34,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters) at Hyeres that 4.4/1 Un Roi d’Atout (8g Ganymede-Gunillla) won in 1.16.4kr for trainer/driver Benjamin Goetz. At Nantes the Prix du Tertre (purse €26,000, 3000 meters, 16 starters) went to 4.7/1 winner Vivien Peo (7g Neutron du Cebe-Maria Carnaval) timed in 1.15.4. Both were Pick5 wagering events. Thomas H Hicks

Three final 2016 Elitloppet additions to the harness racing field occurred on the weekend (Billie de Montfort, Mosaique Face and Royal Fighter) and Sunday the elimination draws took place as shown below: Elitlopp (Sunday May 29) Elim  1 - 1.609 meters 1. Oasis Bi - Johnny Takter - S.P.Pettersson 2. Resolve - Åke Svanstedt - Å.Svanstedt 3. Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström - D.Redén 4. Timoko - Björn Goop - R.Westerink 5. Mosaique Face - Lutfi Kolgjini - L.Kolgjini 6. Volstead - Stefan Melander - S.Melander 7. Your Highness - Franck Nivard - F.Souloy 8. Voltigeur de Myrt - Gab. Gelormini - R.Donati Elim 2 2 - 1.609 meters 1. Royal Fighter - Jennifer Tillman - P.K.Eriksson 2. Nuncio - Örjan Kihlström - S.Melander 3. On Track Piraten - Johnny Takter - H.R.Strömberg 4. Un Mec d'Heripre - Jos Verbeeck - F.Souloy 5. Call Me Keeper - Franck Nivard - D.Redén 6. B.B.S.Sugarlight - Peter Untersteiner - F.Solberg 7. Magic Tonight - Erik Adielsson - R.Walmann 8. Billie de Montfort - David Thomain - S.Guarato The draws also took place for Saturday’s featured Sweden Cup. Sweden Cup (Saturday May 28) Elim 1 - 1.609 meters 1. Probo O.P. - Edoardo Moni - Edoardo Moni 2. Brilliantissime - Gabriele Gelormini - Phillippe Allaire 3. Dante Boko - Lutfi Kolgjini - Lutfi Kolgjini 4. Gigant Slugger - Jeppe Juel - Peter Jensen 5. Tano Bork - Christian Lindhardt - Christian Lindhardt 6. Boys Going In - Johan Untersteiner - Johan Untersteiner 7. Nothing But Class - Peter Untersteiner - Peter Untersteiner Elim 2 - 1.609 meters 1. Luckycharm Hanover - Örjan Kihlström - Daniel Redén 2. Opulent Yankee - Åke Svanstedt - Julie Miller 3. Rosemary Gar - Mario Jr Minopoli - Salvatore Minopoli 4. Reven D'Amour - Yannick Gingras - Fredrik B Larsson 5. Magiccarpetride US - Erik Adielsson - Anders Pedersen 6. Pascià Lest - Björn Goop - Fabrice Souloy 7. Global Money - Robert Bergh - Robert Bergh Elim 3 - 1.609 meters 1. As Dore - Robert Bergh - Robert Bergh 2. Quid Pro Quo - Erik Adielsson - Svante Båth 3. Quick Fix - Adrian Kolgjini - Lutfi Kolgjini 4. Anna Mix - Pierre Vercruysse - Franck Leblanc 5. Royal Ice - Torbjörn Jansson - Frode Hamre 6. Ringostarr Treb - Wilhelm Paal - Holger Ehlert 7. Tycoon Conway Hall - Steen Juul - Steen Juul The Elite race is expected to match Nuncio and Timoko in a final, assuming they survive competitive eliminations. Timoko with Bjorn Goop up starts from post four in elim 1 against Oasis Bi (Johnny Takter) from post one, Resolve (Ake Svanstedt for owner Hans Enggren) from post two, Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) from post three and Your Highness (Franck Nivard) from post seven. The next elim has favored Nuncio (Orjan Kihlstrom) from two post against prime adversaries Un Mec d’Heripre (Jos Verbeeck) from post four and Royal Fighter (Jennifer Tillman) from the rail. Saturday’s Sweden Cup is always a fan and wagering friendly event that has three elims led by last year’s winner Ringostarr Treb (Wim Paal) against others worth watching such as Andy Miller’s USA trainee Opulent Yankee (Ake Svanstedt), part owned by Meadowlands owner Jeff Gural, Pasia’Lest, Anna Mix and Tycoon Conway Hall. Thomas H. Hicks

The long 1,950-metre harness racing track at Caen, Normandy, was the theatre for the very first qualifying session for the 2-yo. crop, on Friday 20th May. 57 colts and fillies qualified out of 78 presented (73%) on the 2,000-metre course which they had to trot in 1'21''5 k/r minimum. The fastest of the session was an incredible Esko de Rebomard (Extreme Aunou) who trotted 1'16''5 k/r-- an all-time record at this age and at this time of the year! Sebastien Guarato qualified two impressive colts: Eturn Money (1'16''9), a nephew of Return Money and of the good Cristal Money; and Eridan (1'17''1) by Ready Cash and a mare by Coktail Jet. Next session will be on Friday, May 27, at Caen. Mark Kentell

Stefan Melander’s Volstead (5m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) took today’s 1640 meter autostart HKH Prins Daniel V75 Gold (400,000SEK to the winner) clocked in 1.09.8kr (1:52.31 mile rate). Melander drove the 4.8/1 odds third choice and earned an Elitloppet invitation as a result of the win, his 13th in a career that also shows six seconds in 30 starts for earnings of 2,937,250SEK. Volstead was bred in the US by Arden Homestead Stable. 1.1/1 Nimbus CD (6g Mythical Lindy-Kiss of Life-Tenor de Baine) was second today for Erik Adielsson, ahead of 13/1 Ed You (9g Love You-Lancia Brick-Super Arnie) driven by trainer Robert Bergh. 8/1 Mosaique Face with Lutfi Kolgjini up and 12/1 Food Money reined by Jennifer Tillman ended fourth and fifth with Magic Tonight sixth for Orjan Kihlstom and Cool Keeper seventh. Today’s HKH Prins Daniels resulted in the winner Volstead and Magic Tonight to be added to the Elitloppet lineup. The group named so far follows: Magic Tonight Volstead Call Me Keeper On Track Piraten BBS Sugarlight Nuncio Voltigeur de Myrt Resolve Propulsion Un Mec d’Heripre Oasis Bi Your Highness Timoko The Elite race is shaping up to be competitive and interesting to see Nuncio and Timoko do battle. Thomas H. Hicks  

Akido (6g Love You-Isba) took tonight’s Quinte+ Prix St. Sauveur at Vincennes with harness racing trainer Franck Nivard up. Ecurie Comte P de Montesson is the owner. The purse was €72,000 and 14 Europeans contested the event over 2700 meters with the winner timed in 1.13.7kr. 12/1 Alpha Saltor (6m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) was second for Matthieu Abrivard with 6/1 Duke of Greenwood (6m Otello Pierji-Nikki Groenhof) third for driver Hugo Langeweg Jr, and trainer Peter J. Strooper. On the same evening card the 3/2 favorite Begum Fromento (5f Meaulnes du Corta-Orminda) took the €55,000 purse Prix Dejanira (2700 meters, 12 starters) clocked in 1.13.7kr for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque. Pierre Levesque is the owner. 9/1 Belline d’Urzy (5f Otgello Pierji-Querida d;Urzy was next with Franck Ouvrie up and 11/1 Action du Chatelet (6f Opium-Olvera du Chatelet was third. Thursday’s  (May 19) Lyon-Parilly feature was the Prix de Dax (purse €28,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) and 5.7/1 odds Bonheur d’Occagnes scored timed in 1.15.2kr for Gabriel Gelormini, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner J.P. Micholet. This five year-old son of Diamant Gede-Onaka defeated 6/1 Bolde Major (5m Hulk des Champs-Nuit de France). At Chartres the Prix Opal Chartres for a €35,000 purse (2800 meters, 16 starters, Pick5) went to the 1.6/1 favorite Victoire de Levres (7f LOntzac-Eve Linu) with Franck Nivard piloting. Timed in 1.13.7kr this winner bested 11/1 Tikuor de Beylev (9f Sancho Panca-Jasmine du But) with Vh. Dreux aboard. Third was 28/1 Soleil de France (10g Giant Cat-Histoire de France). Also at Chartres was the monte Prix Chartrexpo (purse €23,000, 2800 meters, 15 European participants). Eric Raffin rode 25/1 Toscan de Carel (9g Ipsun de Mormal-Kiwadatta) to the 1.14.9kr victory for owner/trainer Mlle. M-A Goetz. 11/1 Alezane d’Urzy (6f Oiseau de Feux-Jepes) was second ahead of 10/1 Voiseau Smiling (7g Oiseau de Feux-Milady d’Ombree). On Wednesday May 18 there was interesting trotting action at Solvalla and Jagersro. 1.9/1 My Gliding Angel (6f Yankee Glide-My Shooting Star-Malabar Man) won a mares event worth 80,000SEK to the winner as Kenneth Haugstad teamed the winner to a 1.13.2kr score over 2140 meters autostart. Bjorn Goop trains this one that defeated 4/1 Unique Julia (6f Juliano Star-Staro Unique-Supergill) that Ulf Ohlsson teamed for trainer Reljo Liljendahl. Flight Plan (3f Scarlet Knight-Dana di Ala-Supergill) took at three year-old filly event that earned her 40,000SEK first money. Owner/trainer/driver was Stefan Melander in this 2140 meter autostart contest that was off at 3.9/1. 10/1 Rio Rita Face (3f Joke Face-Musclesonbroadway-Muscles Yankee) was second for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Liljendahl. The race was clocked in 1.15.7kr. Also at Solvalla an 80,000SEK first money event for four year-old mares went to 3/10 favorite Wild Honey (4f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-SJ’s Photo) with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Daniel Reden, The winner was timed in 1.12.7kr and recorded her first 2016 win in her second start. Wild Honey’s career slate is 18-8-0 in 30 outings. Salmo Silvio (4f Ken Warkentin-Almo Silvio-Copiad) was second for  driver Magnus Jakobsson.  Shortly thereafter a 60,000SEK first money race went to Nato Dream (7m Donato Hanover-Nugget Dream-Pine Chip) for Per Lennartsson and trainer Melander, off at 13.5/1 amd timed in 1.12.3kr over 2140 meters autostart. Nato Dream increased his career earnings to 1,822,085SEK. 4/1 Blue Martini As (6f Allstar Hall-True Blue Victory-Valley Victory) was second for driver Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Walmann. At Jagersro a 70,000SEK first prize test over 1640 meters autostart went to even-money favorite Royal Fighter (8m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) with Jennifer Tillman up for trainer Per K. Eriksson. The Per Rodent and Christina Nilsson owned veteran scored in 1.10.1kr to defeat 2.3/1 Spartan Kronos (5m Muscle Hill-Dame Kronos-King Conch) and trainer/driver Conrad Lugauer. Stand and Deliver was third for Birger Jorgensen ahead of Harry Haythrow, Kash’s Cantab and Rod Stewart. The winner scored career victory 15 in 70 starts for earnings of 2,564,500SEK. He’s been 1-2-3 in the last six starts and raced barefoot in this one and certainly seeks an Elitloppet invitation. Elitloppet 2016 Prep Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdYL6Ypx3CY Thomas H. Hicks

The Philippe Allaire trained, Elisabeth Allaire owner Bird Parker rallied late and drew away for an easy harness racing score in today’s Quinte+ Ducs du Normandie (Gr. II, purse €150,000, 2450 meters, 15 starters) at Caen. The J-Ph Monclin teamed winner was timed in a sharp 1.11.2kr to prevail by five lengths at 9.6/1 odds. 3.8/1 Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) made much of the pace and held for second driven by J-M Bazire for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie d’Heripre. 6.4/1 Tiego d’Etang (9m Chaillot-Harolene) was third for Ch.J. Bigeon, trainer Christian Bigeon and owner F.L. Adam. 25/1 Swedishman was fourth for Thierry Duvaldestin with fifth to Moving On reined by Bjorn Goop. Sierra Leone and Very Nice Marceaux, also an Allaire trainee, rounded out the top seven check earners. Univers de Pan was a non-starter, Uhlan de Val was a miscue dq and heavily backed Lionel, the even-money favorite, and Billie de Montfort were unplaced. Reportedly the “Jazzman” Bird Parker (Charlie Parker, a legendary jazz stalwart) will travel to Solvalla to contest the Harpers Hanover on Elitlopped weekend. Un Mec d’Heripre was an earlier Elite Race accepted invitee. Eleven horses have been accepted in Sweden’s top race at month end: Elitloppet Entrants at May 18 (11 of 16 positions filled) are listed below: Call Me Keeper On Track Piraten BBS Sugarlight Nuncio Voltigeur de Myrt Resolve Propulson Un Mec d’Heripre Oasis Bi Your Highness Timoko Call Me Keeper, trained by Daniel Reden, is the most recent to enter the field. Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s excellent Caen program included the Prix Georges Dreux (purse €43,000, 2450 meters, 18 European starters)  and it resulted in a harness racing battle to the line with 20/1 Raul Breed (6m Yankee Slide-Flamma d’Asolo) prevailing for driver Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Johanna Lindqvist and Az. Agr. Purlari SRL of Italy. 1.6/1 favorite Astre d’Eglefin (6g Orlando Sport-Quoline Turgot) held second for A.G. Maillard, also the trainer. 11/1 Arlequine d’EWm (6f Nahar de Beval-Quarina Rose) rallied for third with Tony Le Beller aboard for trainer J.P. Allix. The race winner stopped the timer at 1.15kr.                                                                                       3a corsa - 14:50 - PRIX GEORGES DREUX - € 43.000 Course B - Attelé - 2 450m - Pour 6 et 7 ans, n'ayant pas gagné 260.000. - Recul de 25 m. à 127.000. Sont seuls admis à participer à cette épreuve les chevaux n'ayant pas, dans les 12 mois précédant la course, été classés, au trot attelé, 1er, 2ème ou 3ème d'une épreuve de Groupe I.   n° Cheval     S A distance Driver Entraîneur Réd. km Alloc. € 1° 11 RAUL BREED M 6 2450 M. Abrivard J. Lindqvist 15.0 19.350 2° 6 ASTRE D'EGLEFIN H 6 " A.g. Maillard A.g. Maillard 15.1 10.750 3° 8 ARLEQUINE D'EM F 6 " T. Le Beller J.p. Allix 15.2 6.020 4° 12 ANOTHER M 6 " C.a. Mary C.a. Mary 15.2 3.440 5° 4 VERSO DE MADE H 7 " P. Vercruysse J.m. Souici 15.2 2.150 6° 7 AMEDEO DE JELMA H 6 " A. Garandeau A. Garandeau 15.3 860 7° 5 ALGUE D'OCCAGNES F 6 " F. Nivard A. Ripoll Rigo 15.4 430 8° 3 VALETTA STRIX F 6 " D. Pieters L. Kolgjini 15.5   9° 17 ALPINE DU RIB F 6 2475 C. Hallais-dersoir J. Hallais 14.8   0 2 VENISE QUESNOT F 7 2450 F. Anne F. Blandin     0 9 VIVA WELL F 7 " S. Tribourdeau A. Wilderbeek     0 10 ARIANE GYR F 6 " G. Delacour A. Le Brun     0 13 AUZIO DU CAUX H 6 " J.l.c. Dersoir J.l.c. Dersoir     0 15 VEGAS D'AMOS H 7 2475 G. Blandin F. Blandin     0 16 VALTO DES LANDIERS H 7 " D. Cheradame D. Cheradame     0 18 ACTION PARTAGE F 6 " P. Levesque T. Levesque     DA 14 VIKING AMERICA H 7 2450 D. Locqueneux L. Kolgjini     CV NP ALIENOR DE ROCHE F 6 " A. Lenoir A. Lenoir         Replay: http://www.letrot.com/fr/courses/replay-courses/2016-05-18/1400/3 4.8/1 odds  Amour Fou (6g Meaulnes du Corta-Nice Star) won the monte Prix de la Ville de Caen (purse 60,000, 2450 meters, 14 European monte starters) timed in 1.13.8kr for Franck Nivard, trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. 9/10 favorite Ulka des Champs (8f Offshore Dream-Melissa des Champs) was second for Eric Raffin and third went to 9/1 Ultra Or (8g Orlando Vici-Petra du Chese) with Anthony Barrier up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie AB Trot. Well-regarded fourth place finisher was Tischendorf Pad. The Prix Hubert Hardy (purse €35,000, 2200 meters autostart, 16 national starters) went to a sharp 1.12.8kr winning, 11/1 odds Bise du Coglais (5f Prince gede-Kiss Me du Coglais) with owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire teaming. 9/1 Belle de Cerpi (5f Prodigious-Pink Lady) held second for Francois Lagadeuc and 38/1 Belly Dance (5f Prodigous-Doina) rallied to be third for Julian Dubois, Ecurie Etoile and trainer Jean-Philippe Dubois. Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s Caen harness racing monte feature was the Saint Leger des Trotteurs (Gr. I monte, purse €150,000, 2450 meters, 13 starters) and another impressive victory it was for 3/2 odds favorite Dhikti Vedaquais (3m Thorens Vedaquais-Marie Blanque) for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and jockey Joann Lebourgeois, timed in 1.14.2kr. 8.6/1 Diva Charentaise (3f Prince Gede-Jessie Charentaise) took second for Francois Lagadeuc ahead of 12/1 Dragon du Fresne (3m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UkuO4Eg54Y Allaire posted another owner/trainer victory late in the Caen card as an impressive winner was Direct Way (3m Quaker Jet-Queen Flore), off at 1.9/1 odds for driver David Thomain. This Allaire trainee (he developed Ready Cash) scored in 1.15.9kr in the Prix de la Touques (purse €38,000, 2200 meters autostart, 10 entrants) Another monte contest was the Prix Henri Balliere, a Gr. II event. The Prix Henri Balliere (purse €120,000, 2450 meters, 15 starters) went to an easy winner, as owner-Pierre Barjon’s Chanceliere Citrus (4f Goetmals Wood-Noblesse du Corta) scored for Alexandre Abrivard timed in 1.12.7kr at 5.1/1 odds. This L.Cl. Abrivard trainee bested 1.6/1 Clegs des Champs (4m Legs du Clas-Proserpine) with Damien Bonne up for Thierry Raffegeau. Third went to 5.9/1 Cocktail Meslois (4m Roc Meslois-Ocarina Meslpoise) with Franck Nivard up for Pierre Belloche. Thomas H. Hicks

2/1 odds Your Highness (7f Chocolatier-LaBelle Lady-Conway Hall)  rallied from the back to sweep past for a half-length victory in the Gr. I UET Masters Series 2016 Broline Copenhagen Cup at Charlottenlund, the 2011 meter autostart contest was timed in 1,11,5kr by the Bjorn Goop reined, Fabrice Souloy trained winner. This special V75 day harness racing feature rewarded the winner with 375,000DKK. Total purse in euros was €100,500. 12/1 Spring Erom (11m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) raced gallantly on the front for Erik Adielsson and trainer Dan Widegren and was second ahead of Spains 8/1 Trebol (9m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait-Prince Mystic), reined by Gabriel-Angel Pou Pou, that raced on the outer throughout, first without cover and later covered by El Mago Pellini that gained the death seat and held for fifth. Gigant Slugger was fourth after a ground saving journey on the pegs from post one. US import Solvato finished tenth. Your Highness was a previously accepted Elitloppet 2016 invite and there are now eight others on the roster including On Track Piraten, Nuncio, Voltigeur de Myrt, Resolve, Propulsion, Un Mer d’Heripre, Oasis Bi, and Timoko. Also on the card was the Aringseliten for 150,000DKK and contested over 2000 meters autostart. The 1.12.6kr timed winner was 3/5 favorite Buzz Mearas (5g Dream Vacation-Dance of Joy-Malabar Man) with Roberto Andreghetti up for trainer Vincent Lacroix. 28/1 DD’s Hitman (5m Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny-Muscles Yankee) was second for Peter Ingves and trainer Petri Puro.  2.7/1 second choice Je d’Aime Express (5g Symphonic Hanover-Je t’Aime Mauror-Sugarcane Hanover) was third with Johan Untersteiner driving. Thomas H. Hicks

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The World Chariot Racing Federation (WCRF) pre-Olympic tour on its "Road To Rio" made stops in both Sweden and Canada over the weekend. The WCRF is dedicated to resurrecting Chariot Racing in the Olympics while revitalization and reshaping the sport of harness racing. WCRF founder, Sam Stathis, was in Stockholm, Sweden Saturday and Sunday for the world renowned Standardbred harness horse race called the Elitloppet, where more than 28,000 fans came out Sunday to see the classic event. "What a tremendous weekend of racing at the Solvalla track," Stathis said. "The crowds were overwhelming, everyone rooting for his or her favorites. It took me more than a half hour to get from the dining room to the winner's circle just in time to see Jimmy Takter's Pinkman win his race." Stathis met with Swedish racing officials over the weekend, setting up WCRF future events for later this summer and for 2017. "I want to thank the AGT for hosting the WCRF at their tremendous VIP party," Stathis said, "My good friends Ann and Johan Lindberg (secretary general of Travsport) introduced us to racing dignitaries from as far south as Australia, Russia to the north and everyone in between. This will help pave the way for the WCRF to do some great things around the globe as I met people who now know about the goals of the WCRF and will join our team." "Pink highlighted the day," Stathis explained, "There were pink hats, shirts, pants and dresses topped off by a "pink horse" Pinkman, who won his race while defeating other US Stars. And what a great ambassador for the USA and WCRF pre-Olympic Tour as world renowned driver, Yannick Gingras joined us and his friends at the VIP party for a pre-race photo shoot and then topping it off by carrying the Olympic and Greece flags in the winner circle after Pinkman won. Stathis said they were also joined at the VIP party by Mr. and Mrs. Karl-Eric Bender, owners of the Palema Trotting Center in Vero Beach, FL along with Jimmy Takter and his wife Christina and renowned Australian breeder Duncan McPherson. "This was an amazing party," Stathis said, "and a superb weekend of racing that I will cherish in my memories the rest of my life. Everyone wanted to take a photo with the Greek and Olympic flags in support of the what the WCRF is doing for the special Olympics." The Pre-Olympic "Road to Rio" tour is being highlighted by the exotic chariots designed by Sam Stathis as the sport that the ancient Olympics were founded on in 776 BC. The tour is winding its way around the world and winding up at the Olympic city of Rio de Janeiro in August, 2016. At Mohawk Raceway in Ontario, Canada on Saturday, one of the WCRF exotic chariots was on the track during their stakes race evening, taking children around the main track, showing off the unique two-seater design. World champion harness driver, Jody Jamieson and the trotter, Calamar, took the children for their rides. "This is what the WCRF is all about," Stathis said. "Educating children and adults with hands-on "grass-roots" experience getting to sit behind a racehorse on the track." Stathis's Celebrity Farms top racehorse, Celebrity Eventsy, was also at Mohawk Raceway Saturday, finishing third in the $174,000 final of the SBOA Stakes for three-year-old trotting fillies. With international support from every equine discipline, the WCRF is leading the effort to return Chariot Racing to the Olympics. Stathis is now on his way to his native country of Greece, where on Sunday, June 5 he will be at the new Olympic Stadium with special Olympic children, attending the National Show Jumping competition. For additional information, visit www.worldchariot.org. From the World Chariot Racing Federation  
Watch final heat at https://youtu.be/nsVzLdYrA1o Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) prevailed gamely after a parked out journey for Orjan Kihlstrom and owner/trainer Stefan Melander to capture the Gr. I International 2016 Benders Elitloppet (3SEK million to the final winner (€323,100), 1609 meters autostart) narrowly holding off Resolve (5m Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee-Credit Winner) by half-length, that one driven and trained by Ake Svanstedt for owner Hans Enggren. Pacesetter Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling-Buvetier d’Aunou) was a gutsy third, a length back, for Jos Verbeeck and trainer Fabrice Souloy. Elim winner Timoko rallied from between horses to be fourth for Bjorn Goop but he never threatened the top three. Propulson ended fifth and Oasis Bi sixth. Royal Fighter left quickly from post six, reached the pocket, and could not close, ending seventh with Billie de Montfort at the end. Nuncio was the wagering favorite, off at 0.5/1 on the ATG system and 2.1/1 on Fintoto. Resolve was 1.96/1 on ATG and 4.56/1 on Fintoto. Fractions again were quick early and late (1.07.6kr at 500 meters, 1.09.6kr at the 1000) with the finish timed in 1.09.2kr (mile rate 1:51.34). All starters were timed in 1.09.9kr or better. Nuncio completes the fabulous day with a career slate of 31-13-2 in 46 starts, good for 21,597,726SEK earned. Pinkman wins for Takter/Gingras Pinkman (4g Explosive Matter-Margie Seelster-Angus Hall) with Yannick Gingras up for trainer Jimmy Takter reached the front before the first quarter, rated the pace albeit parking out Twister Bi (4m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra), and put that one away at top stretch to win the Gr. II Tommy Hannes for four year-olds (500,000SELK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, 10 starters).   Uncle Lasse (4m Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide) rallied for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer/owner Stefan Melander to fall short by a head. The race was timed in 1.09.9kr (1:52.47 mile rate). Divisionist (4m Andover Hall-Only Lonely-Yankee Paco) rallied to be third for Jorma Kontio and trainer Melander. Fractions were quick early and late with Pinkman getting some soft time mid-race (1.07.8kr at 500 meters, 1.10kr at the 1000 mark).   Pinkman was off as even-money favorite with Uncle Lasse at 2.3/1 and Divisionist at 14/1. Pinkman now has a career slate of 18-5-2 in 28 starts for earnings of 21,382,178SEK.   A race earlier the Gudrans Lopp (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.13.4kr timed New Muscle As (4g Muscle Mass-New Circle As-Malabar Man) for Bjorn Goop and trainer Ulf Stenstromer. The roan colt Antonio Tabac (4m Crazed-Grace Tabac-Tap In) pulled pegs pocket late to be second beaten half-length with Erik Adielsson up for trainer Stig H. Johansson.   Timoko takes first elimination division   Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant)  took the first elim of the 2016 Benders Elitloppet gate to wire for Bjorn Goop and trainer Richard Westerink, his third straight victory and 30th lifetime in 85 starts for earnings of 37,756,090SEK.   Away from post four Timoko quickly took the front and held off parked out Volstead until top of stretch when Resolve (5m Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee-Credit Winner) rallied three wide from fifth for Ake Svanstedt with Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) following that one. Both closed stoutly with Resolve a half-length from the leader at the wire and Propulsion another half-length behind. Oasis Bi enjoyed a pocket position and did not threaten,   Fractions were sharp (1.07.8kr at the first 500 meters, 1.09.2kr at the 1000) and finished at 1.09.1kr for the 1609 meter one-mile test with 250,000SEK to the winner, Oasis Bi and Volstead rounded out the top five and Your Highness was scratched. The winner was off at 1.9/1 on Fintoto and 4/5 on the PMU network.   Early Solvalla action on this 2016 Benders Elitloppet day saw Wild Honey (4f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-SJ’s Photo) take the Rune Stolts for mares (250,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart) timed in 1.10.9kr for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Daniel Reden. The mare was parked without cover and eased to the line ahead of Tunika (4f Zola Boko-Verona de Ling-Super Arnie) and driver Bjorn Goop.   A race later the 2016 undefeated (five of five now) Makethemark (3m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) took the Hakan Wallner Memorial (300,000SEK to the winner) for driver Ulf Ohlsson clocked in 1.11.8kr. Parked without cover the dimunitive colt closed steadily to capture the win from Mindyourvalue WF (3m Hovding Lavec-Mind Your Manners-Dahir de Prelong) with Ake Svanstedt driving for trainer Robert Bergh. The winner now has 11 wins in 13 starts lifetime. Un Mec d'Heripre wins second elimination division  Respected FR speedster Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling-Buvetier d’Aunou) sat outside leading Royal Fighter (8m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) with Jennifer Tillman up for Per Eriksson, avoided traffic when Call Me Keeper went offstride on the backstretch, and moved alongside and then eased past Royal Fighter to the lead at top stretch.   Favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane), with Orjan Kihlstrom up for Stefan Melander, surged into contention from fifth but could not overtake the Jos Verbeeck reined, Fabrice Souloy trained Un Mec d’Heripre that held by a length timed in 1.09.3 kr (fractions 1.08.8kr at the 500 meter mark and 1.09.6kr atg the 1000). Billie de Montfort (5f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort-And Arifant) was fourth for David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato.   The winner was off at 8/1 on the PMU network while Nuncio was the favorite at 0.5/1 on PMU and 9/10 on Fintoto. Driver Verbeeck has enjoyed a successful weekend so far after winner yesterday with Bird Parker.   Post positions for the final with 3SEK million to the winner follow: 1. Un Mec d’Heripre 2. Timoko 3. Resolve 4. Nuncio 5. Propulsion 6. Royal Fighter 7. Billie de Montfort 8. Oasis Bi by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    
Solid trotting action this day took place in Italy, France and Hungary. At Italy’s Aversa half-mile track the G.P. G. Stabile (purse €45,100, 1660 meters autostart) went to 1.13.4kr timed Uragano Trebi (3m Nad Al Sheba-Istria Bi-Toss Out) for driver Gaspare Lo Verde. Second dam of the winner is Traffic Jam (Speedy Crown-Trapped). The winner now has 10 wins in 18 career outings. Uno Italia (3m Conway Hall-Italia Uno-Varenne) landed second for G.P. Minnucci. Third was Usque DL (3m Equinox Bi-Gritta Bi-Buvetier d’Aunou). In France the action was at Enghien with the Quinte+ Prix de l’Obelisque (purse €68,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European strarters) gaining the most attention. Timed in 1.14.2kr the winner was 4.2/1 Utinka Selloise (8f Ojipey Vinoir-Mercedes des Tebe) with J-M Bazire teaming for trainer J-M Baudouin. 3.8/1 Perkins Grif (7f Classic Photo-Radiant Victory) was second for Franck Nivard and trainer Fabrice Soulpoy with third to 7.8/1 Plutonio (7m Self Possessed-Indra Bi) with Christophe Martens up. Sahara Fairytale, Roberto Andreghetti up, and Ulexa des Plans, with David Thomain driving, completed the top five finishers. The Enghien co-feature was the Prix du Rhone (purse €75,000, 2875 meters, 14 starters). Joel Van Eeckhaute’s trainee Best Buissoncy (5m L’ecu du Vernay-Nyota Buissonay) scored at 12.3/1 with Franck Nivard on the lines. Timed in 1.14.7kr the winner defeated 7/2 Apollon de Kacy (6m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kids) that is owned/trained by Jorgen Westholm and driven this day by Gabriel Gelormini. Third was 89/1 Berry Felin (5m Nahar de Beval-Krisman des Bois). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink
Philippe Allaire enjoyed quite a Friday evening as his owned and trained Dawana (3f Ready Cash-Sanawa) at 5.6/1 took the Gr. II Prix Ozo (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 11 starters) with harness racing driver Gabriel Gelormini up. Timed in 1.13.5kr the winner is now four for seven generating earnings of €136,550. 1/1 Don’t Explain (3f Prodigious-Quarmen du Gite) took second for Matthieu Abrivard, this one bred/owned/trainer by Allaire. 58/1 Deesse de Guerin (3f Melchior Jet-Olivia) took third for trainer/driver Franck Anne and fourth to the line was 79/1 Dalabama (3f Lets Get Along-Obama) for driver Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. The programs’ Quinte+ Grand Prix Equipede France (purse €90,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) was a dandy race and went to shoeless 12/1 odds Ave Avis (6m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O. Roffi-Urano. This winner scored for the 11th time in 45 starts for €605,180 earned. Timed in a quick 1.10.5kr the winner bested 2/1 Viking Va Bene (6m Rite On Line-Iriana de Mont) for Franck Nivard, and trainer Fabrice Souloy. 3/1 Indigious (7m Prodigious-Indication) took third for Eric Raffin and also trainer Souloy. The next seven to the line were all timed in 1.11kr or better and that good group was, in finiosh order, Truman Dairpet, Very Nice Marceaux, Zorro Photo, Chapeau, Africaine, Trebol and Black d’Avril. Thomas H. Hicks    

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