Day At The Track
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April 27, 2019 - The heavy 1/5 favorite Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) held on for half-length harness racing victory in today’s Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie, the initial leg of the Challenge Cup Grand Vitesse, held at Argentan. With owner/trainer Jean Michel Bazire at the lines, the Elitloppet 2019 invitee, won his 44th race in a 68-race career. He now has career earnings of 2,263,447€. The 4.8/1 Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) rallied for second with Eric Raffin aboard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner/breeder Philippe Dauphin. 43/1 Tamure Roc (7f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc) took the third check with Santo Mollo at the lines. Aubrion du Gers Earlier in the card was the Prix Texas Charm (monte, purse 25,000€, 2875 meters, 14 starters) and the easy winner was 1.4/1 favorite Napa Valley (7m In Dix Huit-Nadja) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Cees F. Kamminga and owner Tim Oosterhof. The classy performer won for the ninth time in 18 starts in France now for 180,926€ earned. 9/2 Zauni (6m Quite Easy) took second for Mme. Ronja Walter, ahead of 42/1 Cash Drive (7g Reflet Jet) with Mlle. Alexiane Lepage in the irons. Napa Valley Thomas H. Hicks  

April 28, 2018 - Veteran Up And Quick (10m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre), a former Prix d’Amerique winner, driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Antoine Lherte and Ecurie Quick Star, won today’s Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie (purse €100,000, 1609 meters  autostart, 13 starters) clocked in 1.10.7kr at Argentan. He earned this score through miscue dq of Romanesque that got up first on the outside, only to be placed out. 2/1 Up And Quick bested 11/1 Un Mec d’Heripre (10m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) with Yann Lorin up and third placed was 4.6/1 Ave Avis (8m Kesaco Phedo=Magna Avis) with trainer J-M Bazire up. 1.9/1 favorite Bille de Montfort was fourth for David Thomain. The winner is now 16 for 65 yielding €2,089,040 earned for the career. Thomas H. Hicks

Mickael Gilles Lemarchand, driving Be Cash Money a son of Ready Cash, took the first of two legs of the French-American Friendship Trot over the 1200 meter inner track at Hippodromo Argentan in Normany today. Alan Schwartz led team America to a second place finish driving the Ready Cash filly Bety Du Goutier. Schwartz generously survived a judge's inquiry as the first try at a start resulted in a wild and crazy array of horses that caused a recall. Bob Davis' horse was scratched for not having his paperwork in order which negated all of two days of studying the program and viewing videos. Jean Phillipe Bazire, cousin of the French very accomplished driver of the same name, did not disappoint the family name garnering a third place finissh. Peter Kleinhans recovered from an early break to finish Fourth and Tony Ciuffetelli took the nickel. I, also badly affected by the recall, was placed seventh with four horses of the twelve being disqualified. All in all not a bad showing and on Tuesday evening at Vincennes will either make us champs or goats. In reality The North American Amateur Drivers have the distinct honor of being the very first amateurs ever invited to France to compete against their counterparts. "The French Le Trot placed us in the hands of three great hosts, Damien, Marie-Anh and Emmanuelle, who chauffeured us around. We were shown every hospitality from a brasserie in Trouville to restaurants in Arromanches and Caen. Tomorrow is a free day in the City of Lights with a scheduled dinner cruise on the Siene under the watchful eye of the Tower Eiffel. Tuesday's menu includes a visit to the famed training center at Grosbois followed by an evening race, the Prix Iphigenia. The French had much more to celebrate than their amateur victory as the 10 year old French bred Timoko, who was barely bested in the return of the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway two years ago, won the Ellietlop today in Sweden. This is the last year that Timoko can race in France and hopefully the $1,000,000 International at Yonkers on October14th will temp his connections to return for revenge. by Joe Faraldo, NAADA team leader

April 29, 2017 - Veteran and former Prix d’Amerique winner Up And Quick (9m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) gained an impressive gate to wire harness racing victory in today’s Gr. II first speed leg of the FR summer, this one named the Criterium de Vitesse de Base Normandie and raced at Argentan. Franck Nivard teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee that is owned and was bred by Ecurie Quick Star. The winner recorded his 14th win in 58 starts for €1,988,540 earned. Today’s event carried a purse of €100,000 and was raced over 1609 meters autostart, clockwise direction. The 5.5/1 barefoot winner bested 2.8/1 and pocket placed Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) reined by David Thomain for Sebastien Guarato, trainer for owner/breeder Philippe Dauphin. Third was the 1.6/1 favorite Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) driven by J.Ph. Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Target Kronos and Arazi Boko were the next two to the line.  Race time was 1.09.4kr, the mile rate a sizzling 1:51.64. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 13, 2016 - The harness racing favorite 1/5 odds Bugsy Malone scored a narrow victory in today’s €40,000 purse Prix Paul Buquet at Argentan. The winner covered the 2875 meter course timed in 1.15,2kr for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Bugsy is a five year-old gelded son of Ready Cash-Night Captain. 85/1 Tessy du Moulin (9f Dahir de Prelong-Lune des Genets) held second for Yann Lorin and owner/trainer J.M. Lorin. 10/1 Swedishman (10g Gogoi-Volgana) rallied for third with trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin and owner/breeder Gaylor Chaudemanche. 13/1 Paparazzi (7g Infinitif-Emily di Jesolo) was fourth for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Cette Trav HB. Sierra Leone was fifth. Yesterday action in Sweden was at Bergsaker with the V75 Gold Hilda Zonnetts (150,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) going to 1.12kr timed Knows Nothing (7m Kadabra-Savvy Yankee-Balanced Image). Ulf Ohlsson teamed the Reijo Liljendahl trainee that Ravitalliu Laakkonen owns. The winner now has career earnings of 6,258,156SEK and 19 wins in 59 starts. Vasterbo Loveboat (6g Love You-Vasterbo Highclass-Pine Chip) was second for Erik Adielsson and trainer Svante Bath. Increased Workload (7m Scarlet Knight-My Darlingf-Mr. Vic) landed third for Jan Norberg and trainer Robert Bergh. Magic Tonight and Montdore were fourth and fifth. The Silver Division (125,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 2.6/1 Raz Mackenzie (8g Love You-Good Looking-Lindy’s Crown) for owner/trainer/driver Roger Nilsson. Timed in 1.13.6kr, this 22 time winner in 62 starts now has earnings of 1,293,602SEK. Beppe Am (5g Enjoy Lavec-Via di Jesolo-Super Bowl) took second for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Walmann with Order By Keeper (6g Credit Winner-Fabulous Kemp-Yankee Glide) third for Ulf Eriksson, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. Thomas H. Hicks

A harness racing solid sprinter field faced the starter for the €100,000 purse, 1609 meter autostart, Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse at Argentan. Third in the recent Prix d’Atlantique, the winner Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling)  with Jean-Michel Bazire up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Ecurie d’Heripre at 9/10 odds, scored in a sharp 1.10kr (mile 1:52.7). A length and a half back was Billie de Montfort (5f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) handled by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dauphin at 10.2/1 odds. The next three to the line, all clocked in 1.10.5kr, were 311/1 Tabrix du Gite (9m Ganymede-Kadrizia du Gite) for Alexandre Abrivard, 11/1 Aladin d’Ecajeul (6m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf and fifth finishing 27/1 Univers de Pan with trainer Philippe Daugeard driving. 3.4/1 odds Amiral Sacha was disqualified for a miscue as were Kadett CD and Luckycharm Hanover. Thomas H. Hicks

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