Day At The Track

Harnesslink team heading to Paris

07:31 AM 17 Dec 2019 NZDT
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Harness racing
Team Harnesslink that will be covering the Prix d'Amerique Week in Paris, France

Auckland, NZ - John Curtin, founder and CEO of Harnesslink has announced that a team of harness racing journalists from North America and Europe will be in Paris, France the last week of January, 2020, to provide coverage of the prestigious Prix d’Amerique trotting classic. 

With a purse of 900,000€ ($1 million US), the Prix d’Amerique is one of the richest Standardbred races in the world and is held annually at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes.

The race was first held in 1920 and it was developed as a tribute to America for its aid to France in World War I.

Heading the Harnesslink team going to Paris is harness racing Hall of Fame Communicator, Steve Wolf. Wolf, who resides in Florida, has been Harnesslink’s Director of Operations for the past seven years and prior was the head of racing operations and publicity at Pompano Park and head of publicity at Freehold Raceway.

“I have been fortunate in my career to have covered all the major harness races held in North America and also the Elitloppet in Sweden,” Wolf said. “But I have never covered the Prix d’Amerique in person and I think this will be one of the greatest weeks of my life. We have a top team assembled and promise to provide race fans around the world with full coverage of the events leading to and on Prix d’Amerique race day, January 26.”

Providing the Social Media coverage will be the world-renowned Heather Vitale from Delaware.  Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, tweeting or any other social media platform, when you look up harness racing, there is Heather Vitale.

Vitale will be covering the Prix d’Amerique for the first time and is over the top excited to be going to Paris.

“When Steve Wolf called and asked if I would come to France and cover the Prix d’Amerique,” Vitale exclaimed. “I was in total shock. Then I asked him what the dates were and when he told me (and there were no conflicts), I said Yeah Baby, I’m going to Paris!

“I have covered harness racing around the world,” Vitale said. “But this is Paris, the superb food, flowing champagne, the night life, the museums, the shopping….oh yes, and the great harness racing too. This won’t be work for me.”

Plans call for trips to the world-renowned training center, Grosbois, just outside of Paris, where most of the horses racing in the Prix d’Amerique will be headquartered. Grosbois is also the home of the Trotting Museum in France.

Coverage will also include Thursday and Friday evening at the Grand Prix Horse Auction and also, on Friday, the Standardbred Expo featuring trotting professionals, stud farms, equipment suppliers, associations and foreign trotting federations.

Taking photographs for Team Harnesslink will be Scotland’s Sarah Thomas. Thomas, a consummate horsewoman, who first started out as a reporter for Harnesslink, will be covering all the events of the big weekend with her camera and video. This past year she won the World Trotting Conference Media Award for best Film/Video.

“I have been to Vincennes twice,” Thomas said. “But never in a working capacity nor for the Prix d’Amerique. This will be very exciting and knowing both Steve Wolf and Heather Vitale, it will be a pleasure to be able to work with them again.”

The final member of the Harnesslink Team lives right in Paris and is none other than renowned trainer Anders Lindqvist. The Swedish-born, French trainer has his stable at Grosbois Training Center. Linquest speaks fluent English, French and Swedish and will assist the Harnesslink Team with any translations needed as Wolf, Vitale and Thomas do not speak a word of French.

“I first met Steve Wolf via Facebook and then at the Elitloppet in Sweden years ago and we became instant friends,” said Lindqvist. “I look forward to helping these young professionals to bring the Prix d’Amerique race coverage world-wide from France.”

“The Prix d’Amerique is so prestigious,” Said Harnesslink’s John Curtin. “it really has no equal in the harness racing world and deserves the best coverage possible. Not only does the race draw over 40,000 race fans, but they wager on average, 31 million euros ($34.5 million US) on the afternoon program. Plus, there is all the pageantry and parades before the start of the race card. It really is a premier event with week-long activities.”

Updates for the Team Harnesslink Prix d’Amerique 2020 coverage will be forthcoming.

From Harnesslink Media

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