Day At The Track
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On Sunday May 19 two classic races took place at Modena’s Ippodromo Ghirlandina.   The fillies first battled in the 88,000€ purse Premio Unione Europeo Filly (1600 meters autostart, 13 starters) with the 1.11.9kr timed harness racing victory earned by Zaniah Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro to her seventh career victory in 22 appearances.   She sat the pocket until the final bend when she zoomed to the front and secured a four-length score over Zabriskie OK (4f Conway Hall- Georgia Pines-Pine Chip) with Bjorn Goop aboard.   Third was Zealand As (4f Donato Hanover-Fortune As- Tenor de Baune) with Rene Legati up.   The male adversaries contested the 407,000€ purse Premio Unione Europea (2080 meters, 13 starters) and it was a battle between pacesetter Zacon Gio (4m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide) piloted by Roberto Vecchione and timed in 1.11.2kr. Zacon Gio won for 18 th time in 28 lifetime starts. His sire is a son of Varenne. Second finishing was Face Time Bourbon (4m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon-Love You) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Sebastien Guarato, timed the same as the winner. Face Time was away fourth and moved first up and within a half-length of the leader entering the final turn. Then Zacon Gio pulled away to a three- length advantage. Late in the lane Zacon tired under heavy urging from Vecchione and Face Time pulled back to within a quarter-length at the wire. Third was Zidane Grif (4m Ready Cash-Taffeta’Grif-Varenne) handled by G.P. Minnucci. Zlatan (4m Napoleon Bar) was fourth.    

Veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) scored for harness racing trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro in the Modena Italy featured Pr. Renza Orlandi (purse 40,040€, 1600 meters autostart) clocked in a swift 1.11.7kr. The open lengths winner left from post one, surrendered the lead and quickly went back to the front and the race was essentially over. He opened lengths around the final bend and scored easily over Venanzo Jet (5m Gruccione Jet-Liza-Indro Park) handled by Lorenzo Baldi and Victor Chuc SM (5m CC’s Chuckie T-Conversa SM-Lemon Dra). The fifth dam of the winner is the legendary mare Stenographer.   Thomas H. Hicks

Traders (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) took today’s monte Gr. II Prix Edmond Henry (purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, seven starters) at Vincennes, France with jockey Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. He was a start to finish winner timed in 1.13.9kr off modest fractions. This 1/5 odds favorite is owned and trained by Philippe Allaire and he record career victory 16 in 41 starts for 1,175,410€ earned. Traders won the 2018 Prix du Cornulier and is reportedly headed to that event again in late January. The 8.1/1 Dexter Fromentro (5m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) was second for Camille Levesque and owner Ecurie Pierre Levesque. 10/1 Cassate (6f Neoh Jiel-Quiva du Rib) was a distant third. The Quinte+ was on this Paris-Vincennes card in the Prix de Montignac-Charente (purse 88,000€, 2700 meters, 14 European starters) and 3.2/1 Barrio Josselyn (7m Scipion du Goutier-Pike Josselyn) scored timed in 1.15.1kr. J-M Bazire teamed the winner to his 12th career win in 69 starts now for 489,300€. The Q+ exact order payoff was 1,439.80€ for a 2€ wager. 16/1 Blooma d’Heripre (7f Rolling d’Heripre-Quenta Por Favor) was second for Eric Raffin and third went to 1.7/1 favorite Cantin de l’éclair (6g Jet Fortuna-Noce Joyeuse) for driver Bjorn Goop. The top five was completed by 10/1 Lover Face (10g Look de Star) and 15/1 Alamo du Goutier (8g Quido du Goutier). On Sunday at Montegiorgio, Italy was the Premio Palio Comuni L. Mattii (purse 110,000€, 1600 meters autostart) that drew a fine field of mares led by the winner Peace Of Mind (9f Uronometro-Erica d’Alfa-Sugarcane Hanover). Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the winner that now has 23 career wins in 73 starts for 402,906€ earned. She defeated Stella di Azzurra (7f Supergill-Genny di Azzurra-Pine Chip) with Fed. Esposito up with the third check earned by Vanesia EK (4f Exploit Caf-Nike EK-Varenne). Race time was 1.11.4kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Sunday’s Grand Premio Giuseppe Biasuzzi Memorial (purse 88,000€, 1609 meters autostart) in Italy drew a fine hafield of four year olds and saw Vitruvio (4m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebo) score for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro timed in 1.11.3kr. The winner won for the 13th time in 28 career outings now for over 181,000€ earned. Voltaire Gifont (4m Quaker Jet-Realm of Fancy-Ginger Somolli)  took second with Pietro Gubellini up, ahead of Vanesia EK (4f Exploit Caf-Nike EK-Varenne) handled by Roberto Andreghetti. Valdivia (4f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail) earned the fourth check. On Saturday at Rome’s Capannelle racecourse there were two Premio Anact events, each raced for a purse of 20,900€ and contested over 1640 meters autostart. The winner of the male division was Ares del Ronco (2m Iulius del Ronco-Vendee-Lemon Dra) timed in 116kr and reined by Roberto Vecchione. The sire of the winner is a son of Viking Kronos from a Sugarcane Hanover dam. The filly division was won by 1.15kr timed Apple Wise As (2f Royalty For Life-Desert Flower K-Sierra Kosmos) with Antonio Greppi at the lines. Last week on Wednesday, at Roma Capannelle, was the Gr.1 Grand Premio Gaetano Turilli (purse 110,000€, 2100 meters autostart). This classic event was won by Sonia (7f Donato Hanover-Elen Lode-Uronometro) with Rene’ Legati at the lines for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro, timed in 1.12kr. This veteran campaigner now has 24 career wins in 86 starts for over 232,000€ earned. Her stablemate Timone EK (6m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) took second with trainer Gocciadoro driving this career winner of over one million euro. Deimos Racing landed the third check for driver Roberto Andreghetti. Upcoming on November 1 at Torino are the Gr. I Della Nazioni, a Gr. I UET Masters Series test for a 154,000€ purse and the companion Gr. II Orsi Mangelli Filly for €88,000. The eligibles, shown below, are an impressive group led by Romain Derieux’s Dijon and trainer Philippe Allaire’s Django Riff. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

On Saturday two trotting classic took place at Bologna. The GP Continentale (purse 154,000€, 2060 meters) saw Vitruvio (4m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) score in 1.13kr for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro. This superb trotter now has 611,176€ earned for his career and he was a very impressive winner this day. Very Joy (4m Napoleon Bar-Nieves Joy-Naglo) was second for Antonio Di Nardo and third was Vanesia EK (4f Exploy=t Caf-Nike EK-Varenne) with Pietro Gubellini aboard. In the GP Continentale Filly (purse 88,000€, 1660 meters autostart) Viscarda Jet (4f Pine Chip-Nives Jet-Naglo) took the prize for Fabio Pisacane to boost her career earnings to 132,224€. Timed in 1.12.4kr she rallied along the pegs and bested Vanguardia (4f Goetmals Wood-Garenta-Tarass Boulba) with Antonio Di Nardo up. Virginia Grif (4f Varenne-Francy Capar-Supergill) was third for driver Gocciadoro, Tomorrow at Hamburg the Yonkers International contestant Ringostarr Treb is entered in a qualifying event, presumably prior to travel to the USA. His regular pilot Wim Paal is slated to drive. This follows a lackluster comeback race for Ringo in Sweden recently. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Napoli Agnano in Italy held Derby and Oaks qualification races on Sunday, each for a 22,000€ purse. The colts battled over 2100 meters autostart with victory going to 1.12kr timed Zidane Grif (3m Ready Cash-Tafleta’ Grif-Varenne) driven by Alessandro Gocciadoro. He scored for the third time in only seven career starts and was an impressive winner. Zarenne FAS (3m Varenne-Miss Muscle FAS-Muscles Yankee) took second for Roberto Vecchione ahead of Zelig Jet (3m Ken Warkentin-Fenice Jet-Park Avenue Joe) with Pietro Gubellini at the lines. The Oaks qualifier was raced over the 1600 meter sprinter distance autostart. Timed in 1.11.9kr was the winning Zoe Grif Italia (3f Ready Cash-One Dream Grif-Varenne) reined by Massimo Barbin. This now five time career winner in 17 appearances, defeated Zia Paola Jet (3f Maharajah-Lince Jet-Supergill) with Fed. Esposito up. Third went to Zona OK (3f Varenne-Errueno OK-Supergill) with trainer/driver Gocciadoro up. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

December 10, 2017 - Trendy OK (5f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos-Anders Favorite) won Sunday’s GP Royal Mares (purse €88,000, 1600 meters autostart) driven by Alessandro Gocciadoro timed in 1.11.8kr. Trendy OK now has 21 wins in 37 starts for €182,360 earned for her career (post race photo below). Super Star Reaf (6f Varenne-Fantastica Star-Lemon Dra) was second and third went to Tina Turner (5f Daguet Rapide-Gloria Gainor-Cezio Josselyn). Thomas H. Hicks

October 1, 2017 - A super harness racing program was held Wednesday at Milano, including the Orsi Mangelli Open and Filly, the Gran Premio Delle Nazioni and the Coppa de Milano. Recaps of those events follow. The Orsi Mangelli Filly (Gr. I, purse €77,000, 1650 meters autostart) went to 1.11.9kr Vallecchia DR (3f Adrian Chip-Fiammetta DX-Uronometro)  with an easy front end score for Alessandro Gocciadoro,  Villa Santina Jet (3f Igor Font-Lunigianna Jet-Supergill) was second for Santo Mollo and third was Vanatta (3f Pascia’Lest-Classic Toy-Malabar Man) driven by Roberto Vecchione. The Gr. I Gran Premio Delle Nazioni (purse €308,000, 2250 meters autostart) went to 1.12.2kr timed Uze Josselyn (6m Love You-Teza Josselyn-Ganymede-Ezira Josselyn-Royal Prestige) with Alexandre Abrivard up. He race fourth on the inner throughout and was seventh in the final bend, before escaping blockage and he surged late to victory. Pacesetter Timone EK (5m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) and Enrico Bellei held second and Tony Gio (6m Varenne-Ilaria Jet-Pine Chip) was third for Edourard Loccisano. Toseland Kyu and Trendy OK were fourth and fifth. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVzDuntbA5s The Gr. I Grand Premio Orsi Mangelli (purse €308,000, 1650 meters autostart) went to 1.11.8kr timed Vitruvio (3m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro that scored narrowly on the front. Vanesia EK (3f Explot Caf-Nike EK-Varenne) was a rallying second for Pietro Gubellini and third was Valdivia (3f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail). The two eliminations went first to 1.11.9kr timed Venesia EK with Pietro Gubellini up as they defeated Valdivia and Von Wise As. The second elim went  to 1.12.1kr timed Vitruvio with Alessandro Gocciadoro up, as they bested Voltare Gifant and Voyager Grif. Later the Orsi Mangelli Consolation (purse €22,000, 1650 meters autostart) went to 1.12.4kr timed Vessillo As (3m Mondiale OK-Yankee Dapple-Donerail) for Enrico Baldi. Vicino Mec (3m Chiaccio del Nord-Dance Speed-Lagerfeld OM) was second  and Vienvia Font (3m Conway Hall-Issima OK-Pine Chip) was third for Andrea Guzzinati. Also on the card was the Premio Coppa de Milano raced in two elim and a finale (purse €40,040, 1650 meters autostart). Arazi Boko (10g  Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride-Keystone Sheena), fifth dam Stenographer, took the finale timed in 1.11.5kr for Enrico Bellei. Terra del Rio (5f Varenne-Urbem d’Asolo-Ata Star L) was second for Santo Mollo and Shatar Club (6m Love You-Iana Club-Uronometro) was third for Alessandro Gocciadoro. The eliminations went to 1.12.2kr timed ShatarClub with Gocciadoro up, over Troja d’Asolo and Terra del Rio; and the second elim went to 1.12.2kr timed Arazi Boko  for Bellei, over Sugar Rey and Sonia, the resulting finale winner. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 2, 2017 - On Friday was the Breeders Course Final for three year-olds held at Wolvega for €60,000 to the winner and raced over 2100 meters autostart. The 1.13.7kr timed winner was Italy’s 4.9/1 odds Vitruvio (3m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) piloted by trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. 43/1 outsider Valentina Wind (3f Muscle Hill-Norah Wind-Supergill), also bred in Italy, was length back second for Robin Bakker. Third was 1.8/1 favorite Executive Caviar (3m SJs Caviar-LaBelle Lady), bred in Sweden, landed third for Joakim Lovgren. Thomas H. Hicks

Italy’s Umaticaya (4f SJ’s Photo-Naomi-Pine Chip) at 3.6/1 took Solvalla’s Rune Stolts (250,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, four year old females) clocked in 1.10.2kr for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro and owner Simone Castgnetti. This winner of six in nine starts in 2017 bested 7/1 Gilda Newport (4f Donato Hanover-Color Schemes-Dream Vacation) was a good second in her first start of the year for trainer/driver Dion P. Tesselaar. 12/1 Unison Kronos (4f Donato Hanover-Zegabria Dei-Victory Dream) took third for Christoffer Eriksson, trainer Stephanie Lepetit and Allev. Kronos in her second 2017 appearance. This one is a half-sister to the great Lisa America. Umaticaya The Tommy Hanne (500,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, four year old males) went to the US import Love Matters (4m Explosive Matter-Lotsa Love-Andover Hall) at 3.7/1 for Orjan Kihlstrom, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. Timed in 1.10kr the winner was up just in time to nip 7.7/1 Diamanten (4m Adrian Chip-Iata Kill-Ata Star L) for Robert Bergh and Forspro AB. Third went to 15/1 Dreammoko (4m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout-Kaisy Dream) for Bjorn Goop and Richard Westerink. Gareth Boko (4m Make It Happen-Vanilla Boko-Pine Chip) took fourth for Conrad Lugauer. Thomas H. Hicks

Rania Lest (6f Love You-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way) took the prestigious Gran Premio Royal Mares (purse €45,100, 1600 meters autostart) at Napoli’s harness racing 1000 meter track. Timed in 1.13.1kr this Alessandro Gocciadoro trainee won by a length with her trainer at the lines for her 21st career victory in 58 starts for earnings in excess of €191,000. Her second dam is a Speedy Crown daughter. Terra Dell’Est (4f SJ’s Photo-For Fathalsty-Uronometro) was second for Pietro Gubellini and third was Paris Dany (7f Varenne-Elinor King-Lindy Lane). On Saturday at Palermo’s 1000 meter track, the Gran Premio Mediterraneo (purse €45,100, 1600 meters autostart) went to 1.14.2kr timed Uragano Trebi’ (3g Nad Al Sheba-Istria Bi-Toss Out) with Gaspare LoVerde. The second dam of the winner is Traffic Jam by Speedy Crown. Uma Dany Grif (3f Varenne-Alba Jet-Supergill) was second for G.P. Minnucci and third was Ucci Ucci Play (3m Conway Hall-Yankee Calypso-Lindy Lane). Thomas H. Hicks  

November 27, 2016 - Ubertino Grif (3m Libeccio Grif-Nebraska Grif-Varenne) took today’s Premio del Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia (purse €45,100, 1660 meters autostart) at Trieste in Italy over the half-mile harness racing track. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the winner, now with eight wins in 23 outings for career earnings in excess of €110,000. He was timed in 1.15.1kr in the defeat of Universo d’Amore (3m Mago d’Amore-Ninfa Degli Dei-Armbro Goal) and pilot V.P. Dell’Annunziata. Third went to Ulala Degliulivi (3f Gruccione Jet-Giolamar-Supergill) with Santo Mollo aboard. Thomas H. Hicks

2.6/1 Seattle Bi (5f Equinox Bi-Las Vegas Bi) took Tuesday’s Quinte+ Prix de Laqoubran (purse €25,000, 2650 meters autostart, 13 European starters) at Hyeres, France, scoring in 1.14.9kr for harness racing driver Roberto Andreghetti. Scuderia Dielle SRL of Italy owns the winning mare that Alessandro Gocciadoro conditions. 19/1 Orleans Font (8m Ganymede-Saint Ghil SM) took second in a close finish for driver Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and Ecurie du Domaine du Parc. 10/1 Venus Castelets (7f Jasmin de Flore-Natural  Pearl) earned third for J-Ch Feron and Ecurie de Rougemont. 1.8.1 favorite Conway Fortuna (7m Conway Hall-Saratoga Yankee) captured fourth for Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Henk Grift and Gerrits Recycling BV of Holland. In other European action the Championnat des Indigena (purse €13,850, 2000 meters autostart, five turf starters) at Avenches (Suisse) went to 1/5 favorite Attenarco (6g Ready Cash-Mattmara) timed in 1.16.4kr, quick clocking on the grass. Henri Turrettini drove the winner that he owns and Nunes du Oliveira V trains. Tango du Martza (9g Jag de Bellouet) rallied for second with Fra Quatreuil up. The Prix de Vitre Suisse (purse €9,233, 2000 meters autostart, six turf starters) went to the 1.19.3lr timed, open lengths winner Semola GK (5f Allison Hollow-Gary MP). This 1.1/1 choice was reined by Jean Matthey. 2.3/1 Fast And Furious (4m Main Wise As-You’ve Got Mail) was second for owner/trainer/driver Andre Humbert Back on dirt the Cabourg feature was the Prix des Lupins B (purse €26,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters). 53/1 Caballis (4g In Love With You-Republica) scored timed in 1.17.3kr for Ch-A Mary, also trainer to owner/breeder Bernard Giraudon. Racing barefoot, second was 2.6/1 Capitano de Lou (4g Ready Cash-Riviera de Lou) for Alexandre Abrivard, ahead of 3/1 shoeless Cedre de Bellouet (4g Quel Amour Dudel-Saga de Bellouet) handled by David Thomain. Thomas H. Hicks  

September 27, 2015 - Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed his hot-trotting trainee mare Nephenta Lux (8f Pine Chip-Camelia OM-Mr. Vic) to a start-to-finish victory in today’s classic Gr. II €45,000 purse Gran Premio Ivone Grassetto over the half-mile track at Padova Italy. The 1640 meter autostart test was timed in 1.12.6kr by the winner. Reine du Zack (5f Zinzan Brooke Tur-Giulia Griff-Viking Kronos) was second after a pocket trip with third to fast closing Newyork Newyork (8m Supergill-Viola d’Amore-Indro Park) and Lorenzo Baldi. Rossella Ross (5f Self Possessed-Northern Jewel-Garland Lobell) was fourth for Andrea Guzzinati. Thomas H. Hicks

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