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October 27, 2017 - Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) impressively won today’s Tour European Finale (purse €120,000, 2300 meters autostart, 16 starters, Quinte+) at Mons Ghlin Belgium. Joseph Verbeeck happily teamed the Philippe Allaire trainee for owner Elisabeth Allaire. Race time was 1.12.4kr and Bird Parker now has career earnings of €1,477,054. This 9/10 favorite bested 34.5/1 Totem d’Azur (10m Joao Panca-Heidi l’Indienne) for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. 6.7/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) took third driven by David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato. 3.6/1 Anna Mix (7f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was fourth and 10.2/1/ Swedishman (11g Gogo-Volgana) took fifth. The co-featured Prix Champagne Moet (purse €48,000, 2850 meters autostart, 16 starters) produced a blanket finish with the winner 7/2 Gosip Sidney (7g SJs Photo-Super Sidney) reined by Michel Huygens and trained by Mme. L, Huygens-DeWitte. This 1.14.1kr timed winner defeated 26.4/1 Versachet (8g Kaiser Soze-Houlette) driven by trainer Julien Raffestin. 19.5/1 Allegro Nonarta (7g Otello Pierji-Lubie Nonantaise) was third for Rik Ebbinge and trainer Laurent Simon. Big Headache (7g EL Mikko) finished fourth. The Prix Geciloc Belgique (purse €12,000, 2350 meters autostart, 16 starters) produced a rallying victory by 20.8/1 Dragster (5g Micro Mesh-Timber Marie) clocked in 1.14.5kr for driver Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Roger Malmqvist. 3.2/1 Clemenza AM (5g Muscle Hill-No Better Kronos) held second for Lutfi Kolgjini, also trainer, for owner Courant AB. 2.4/1 Highness Worthy (6m SJs Photo-Oqui Worthy II) rallied for third. The 100.7/1 outside Angel Dark was seventh, this one, a career winner of over €119,000, is owned by trainer Anders Lindqvist and Peter Gerry. The €35,000 purse Prix Van der Paarden (2300 meters autostart, 16 starters, three year olds) was near the top of the Mons Ghlin undercard. The 1.16.1kr timed winner was even-money favorite Kaela Vrijthout (3f Orlando Vici-The Best Fanatic) with Rik Ebbinge aboard. 34.8/1 Kirr Royal (3f Sugar Trader-Belle Pere WG) was this for Nico d’Haenens. 13.6/1 Kamukana (3g Love You-Duenna Tranns R) was third for driver Jos Verbeeck and owner/trainer Rudy Smets. Thomas H. Hicks

August 6, 2017 - Saturday, the very accomplished Bold Eagle (purse €180,000, 2300 meters autostart, 12 starters) scored at Mons Ghlin for harness racing driver Franck Nivard timed in 1.13.4kr over an off track at 1/10 odds, holding off 19/1 stablemate Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) and David Thomain by a diminishing length. Sebastien Guarato owns this pair, the first owned by Pierre Pilarski and bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois, the second owned by Philippe Dauphin. 49/1 Booster Winner (6m Love You-Quille Viretaute) took third for Christophe Thierry and trainer Guarato. Ecurie Winner owns this one. Quick Fix and Zorro Photo finished fourth and fifth in a field outclassed by the top two. Bold Eagle now has posted 37 trotting victories in 43 starts for career earnings of €3,426,020. Bold Eagle The same day at Enghien was the monte Prix de Forges-les-Eax (purse €70,000, 2875 meters, nine starters) and the 1.17.2kr timed winner was 2.4/1 Dreole Verderie (4g Kalusphenio-Reole Verderie) with Eric Raffin in the irons. 47/1 Coranie Lebel (5f Quido du Goutier-Star Lebel) rallied to be second ahead of the 3/5 favorite Jerry Mom (4m Ready Cash-Graziella) that rallied for the three spot. Dreole Verderie Yesterday the Enghien action was focused on the Gr. III Prix Henri Cravoisier (purse €85,000, 1609 meters, ten starters). The punters liked 2/5 favorite Vivid Wise As (4m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip) and he won the race on disqualification of Varieta’Luis (3m Ideal Luis) that rallied past the roughed up pacesetter than Enrico Bellei drove for trainer Marco Smorgon and owner Scuderia Bivans SRL. Race time was 1.12.2kr. 34/1 Espoir des Vaux (3g Ubriaco-Marina des Vaux) was placed second, and 8/1 Euro du Chene (3m Neoh Jiel-Oseille du Chene) was placed third, a length back. The turf action this Sunday was leg 12 of the Trophee Vert raced at Carentan, the Prix Maurice de Folleville (purse €45,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 18 starters). 3.7/1 Bugsy Malone (6g Ready Cash-Night Captain) overcame a 50 meter penalty to win for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. This team extinguished the handicap quickly, open a lengthy lead mid-race, and held game for victory as he tired and swerved to the fan side in the lane. Time was a good 1.16kr on the grass and Bugsy won for the 17th time in 33 career starts now for €522,810 earned. 51/1 Univers de Marzy (8h Look de Star-Lovelie de Marzy) was second for Clement Duvaldestin and 7.4/1 Bon Copan (6m Love You-Haie) landed third. The prior week’s Trophee Vert at La Gacilly went to Bolt and driver Christophe Gallier but he was not entered today. Last week there was also a turf contest at Brehal for €35,000 purse and favored Authorized took that one for Pierre Levesque. Sweden’s Saturday V75 action was at Rattvik. The V75 Gold (150,000SEK to the winner) went to 1.8/1 Seedorf OMF (6g Algiers Hall-Indy’s Lindy-SJs Caviar) timed in 1.11.3kr over 1640 meters autostart for Orjan Kihlstrom, driving for trainer Stig H. Johansson, another great active legend in the sport. The featured event of the day was the Gr. II National for 300,000SEK to the winner of the 2660 meter test. 4.9/1 Trot Kronos (5m Muscle Hill-Melody Not-Coktail Jet) scored timed in 1.13.5kr for Jan Norberg, driving for trainer Veijo Heiskanen. Thomas H. Hicks

This Sunday, January 15, the Belgian Grand Prix will distribute the last three qualifying tickets for the Prix d'Amérique Opodo. They will be seventeen to take up the harness racing challenge. Daniel Redén will present five boarders (Wild Honey, Lionel, Propulsion, Call Me Keeper and Trinity Zet) in this semi-classic, which is extremely rare. To be from Sunday, January 29, some have no choice but to finish in the top three of the Belgian Grand Prix . It is thought primarily to Bolero Love , who came close coronation in "Tenor de Baune," ending near Belina Josselyn and Bird Parker . Call Me Keeper , who did not tremble in Lille Prix Sunday after his misfortunes of "Burgundy" , found the right fuel and should be at the start with the "knife between the shoes." Daniel Reden also present Wild Honey , an American 5 who has already exceeded one million euros of gains. It will be the attraction of this event, especially as Franck Nivard will be associated with him. But Lionel , second in the Grand Prix du Bourbonnais and Propulsion , excellent second in the Grand Prix de Bretagne . Trinity Zet will also be in the running. Thus, Daniel Redén will be quintupled in this semi-classic, which is quite unusual to be emphasized.  Pan Universe does not displeased Philippe Daugeard lastly: "The horse itself short. It struggled to pass the top speed at the entrance to the straight, but it left at the end, which made me say that it should progress on this exit. At four weeks of the Prix d'Amérique, we are not to "pick up". Directed the Prix de Belgique. "   Up And Quick was sparkling in his return to Belgium and will be closely followed for its return to the trot of the Temple. Traders involved in Cross Award yesterday. This day at Nantes was the Prix Joseph David (purse €35,000, 3000 meters distance handicap, 11 European starters) and the 1.17.6kr timed Orione Spin (9g Viking Kronos-Karisma Zet) scored, overcoming a 25 meter penalty, for driver Cedrik Terry and owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Vulcain Tonic (8g Look de Star-Osmose de Couronne) was second for Valantin Roger and trainer Herve Habart, with third to 25 meter penalized Pike River (10g Likable River-Ocala As) for Antoine Wiels, trainer Markku Vartainen and owner By The River Stable. Thomas H. Hicks

October 28, 2016 - Featured harness racing action this evening was at Mons Ghlin including the Quinte+ Grand Prix de la Toussaint for aged international performers, as well as two other upper class events. The Mons Ghlin feature was the Grand Prix de la Toussaint (purse €100,000, 2300 meters autostart, 16 aged international starters, quinte+ wagering). Timed in 1.12.4kr the winner was 1.3/1 odds barefoot Anna Mix (f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) with Franck Nivard at the reins. Anna Mix is owned and trained by Franck Leblanc. In the fast class field 17.3/1 Solea Rivelliere (10f Calife des Noues-Heloa Rivelliere) was second for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard. Third was 13.2/1 Booster Winner (5m Love You-Gaille Viretaute) for teamster Dominik Locqueneux and the beaten field included Swedishman and Ave Avis, Shiraz Brodde (7g Love You-Stephanie Brodda) took the Grand Prix Paris-Turf Belgique at Mons Ghlin (purse €48,000, 2850 meters autostart, 15 international starters). The Roberto Andreghetti piloted 17/1 longshot was clocked in 1.13.6kr for trainer Vincent Martens and owner Olof Brodin AB. 1.7/1 favoritre Bazir Dimanche (8g Orlando Vici-Storer Meslosa) was second for Dominick Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and Stall Dimanche, 5,8/1 Bullseye (8g Love You-BWT Spirit) landed third for Rik Depuydt ahead if Michael Nimczyk’s King of the World, Big Headache (6g EL Mikko-Southwind Roselle) at 11.7/1 took the Prix Champagne Moet (purse €12,000, 2300 meters autostart, 16 international starters) timed in 1.13.5kr for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard. Timo Hulkkanen owns the winner. Second was 35.5/1 Seyffwnstein (7g November-Brenda) with veteran Jos Verbeeck up for Team Neuhat and trainer Conrad Lugauer. 4.9/1 Ordalia (8f Cherokee Chef-Pat River VL) was third for trainer Salvatore Campalo, ahead of 6.3/1 Butler (5m Ready Cash-Odyssee d’Isques) for Clement Duvaldestin and trainer/owner Anders Lindqvist. Also at Mons Ghlin was the Prix Finale GP des Geniteurs (purse €40,000, 2300 meters autostart, 10 male three year-old starters). 2.6/1 favorite Jack Lj (3g Otello Pierji-Tell Me More) scored timed in 1.17.3kr for Rik Depuydt, Ecurie Lj and trainer Mme, C. DeSoete. 4.3/1 Jointness Sidney (3m Look de Star-Super Sidney) took second and third went to 3/1 Janus Boshoeve. Thomas H. Hicks  

Even-money choice Amiral Sacha easily won today’s Gr. I International Grand Prix de Wallonie at Mons Ghlin Belgium clocked in 1.10.4kr (mile rate 1:53.27) over the 2300 meter autostart course. The total purse was €180,000 and 11 started after two scratches (El Mago Pellini and Aladin d’Ecajeul). The winning six year-old son of Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha was reined by Gabriel Gelormini for Ecurie Sidere and trainer Franck Lamare. 19/1 On Track Piraten (8g Kool du Caux-Monrovia) was second for Joseph Verbeeck with third to 161/1 Zorro Photo (10m SJ’s Photo-Zarrasatha) and Roberto Andreghetti for Ecurie GSL Trotting and trainer Stephanie Lepetit. 3.4/1 second choice Robert Bi (6m Toss Out-Up Front JM) ended fourth for Robin Bakker and fifth was 11/1 Romanesque for Christophe Martens. The beaten field included Solea Rivelliere, Trebol and Univers de Pan. Thomas H. Hicks

Sunday’s harness racing entrants are now 12 as the Grand Prix de Paris (Gr. I UET Masters Series, purse €400,000, 4150 meters) awaits to determine if Bold Eagle can capture the FR Trotting Triple Crown. The field is shown below as it now stands: The reduced field size means that the event will not be the Quinte+ race of the day. While it’s unlikely that Bold Eagle will be denied, his primary adversary, Timoko, could be a factor although he was unplaced in a previous Grand Prix de Paris attempt and may be better at middle distances. Bird Parker could be a factor as could Lionel albeit he has made breaks in his last two starts. Nevertheless, the race will draw world-wide attention by racing fans and the media. Tuesday’s European Trotting Action Trotting action Tuesday in France and Belgium caught my attention, first at Cagnes-sur-mer as the Prix Selfon (purse €20,000, 2925 meters, 14 starters) went to fast-closing 23/1 odds Duo Denfer (3m Sam Borubon-Nina Madrik) clocked in 1.18.2kr for driver Kevin Vanderschelden for trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. The photo-determined winner bested 2.4/1 favorite Dalton (3m Rocklyn-Quadra Sport) and trainer/driver Romain Derieux. Third was 7.5/1 Denderah (3f Rieussec-Onile de Brevol). The winner’s dam Nina Madrik was a career winner of US$587,995 and is also dam of A Nous Deux 1:55.4 (US$383,952). At Mons Ghlin the featured Prix Centre Pompidou (purse €7,200, 1750 meters autostart, 8 international starters) went to 2/2 favorite Ru de l’Airou (11g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Cour d’Intheville) for owner/driver Sven Hoste, timed in a sharp 1.12.2kr. 21/1 Circus Brolin (10g Johnnie Walker N-Pandora Brolin) was second for Piet Van Pollaert ahead of the 55 time winner and 12/1 Onyx d’Em (14g Urane Sautonne-Besilia) with Rik Dupuydt up. The veteran race winner recorded his 30th victory in 139 starts, now for earnings in excess of €787,000. Also at Mons Ghlin the Prix Journal Eurotierce (purse €6,000, 2300 meters autostart, 10 international starters) went to Italy’s 3/1 odds Severino (5m Dominatore d’Orio-Ujane di Basse) timed in 1.14.2kr for driver Giuseppe Ruocco and owner/trainer Johanna Lindqvist. 3.9/1 Best Well (8f Love You-Ushi Dragon) was next for Nico d’Haenen with third to 1.4/1 favorite Bullseye (8g Love You-BWT Spirit) with Rik Dupuydt up. Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris card at Paris-Vincennes will be an interesting one, beyond the featured Triple Crown final leg. The Gr. II Prix Paul Bastard (monte, €120,000 purse, 2700 meters) includes €469,000 career earner Bilibili (5m Niky-Quetty du Donjon-Coktail Jet) and the Gr. III Prix de la Mayenne (purse €105,000, 2700 meters) has Bugsy Malone (5m Ready Cash-Night Captain-Goetmals Wood) at the start. The Prix d’Avenches (purse €80,000, 2700 meters for mares) includes well-regarded Alexia (6f Prodigious-Ilexia-Cezio Josselyn) and the day’s opener is the Prix des Pays Nordiques for coldbloods going 2100 meters autostart for €20,000. Thomas H. Hicks

At Kuurne this day the featured Grand Prix d’Hiver (Mardi Gras) Belgique for a purse of €30,000 went to 9.3/1 Une de Bannes (8f Vroum d’Or-Jeune de Bannes) timed in 1.16.32kr for driver Christophe Martens. The 2325 meter event had 17 International starters. Vincent Martens trains the winner for BVBA Campus RPF. 2.8/1 Ru de l’Airou (11g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Cour d’Intheville) was second for driver/owner Sven Hoste and trainer Jean-Marc Chaineux. Well regarded Artiste Joudes at 9/10 odds was disqualified for driver Joseph Verbeeck and trainer Philippe Allaire. At Cagnes-sur-mer the Prix Grace Ducal (quinte+ with jackpot €3.95 million, purse €58,000, 2925 meters, 15 European starters) went to 3.3/1 odds Kalle (8g Smok’n Lantern-Burning Desire) driven by trainer Robert Bergh. He was timed in 1.15kr to defeat 2.3/1 Vitinou (7g Jet Fortuna-Hircea) and driver Junior Guelpa with third to 10.3/1 Udine du Dazert (8f Le Retour-License To Win) for trainer/driver Denis Bekaert. Also at Cagnes-sur-mer the Prix Henri Callier (purse €40,000m 2925 meters, 10 starters) went to the 1.17.5kr timed, 41/1 Calicot du Vivier (4g Repeat Love-Kalika du Vivier) for driver Kevin Vanderschelden. Yves Boireau trains the winner for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. Stablemate 9/2 Clarabelle (4f Ready Cash-Rebelle) was second driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois for trainer Boireau. 6.9/1 Colibri du Vivier (4m Oiseau de Feux-Iguine du Vivier) was third for Yannick-Alain Briand. Thomas H. Hicks  

October 23, 2015 - Today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €3.55 million) was the Grand Prix de la Toussaint – Tour European (purse €120,000, 2300 meters autostart, 16 entrants) at Mons Ghlin and it went to 9/2 odds Uppercut de Manche (7g Neutron du Cebe-Nuit de Manche) for reinsman Sebastien Ernault for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. Timed in 1.12.4kr the winner defeated 17/1 Sierra Leone (9f John Arifant-Unde d’Havetot) driven by J-Cl. Hallais for trainer J-W Hallais and J.Cl.R. Lucas, the owner by two lengths. 7.9/1 barefoot Solea Rivelliere (9f Calife des Noues-Heloa Rivelliere) was third for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard with 4.3/1 odds Ricimmer (10m Hermes du Buisson-Gyka de la Chaise) fourth for trainer/owner/driver Herve Soinneau. 64/1 outsider Paladin Bleu (12m Jag de Bellouet-Una Picolina-Ianthin) was fifth. Well regarded Roxana de Barbray was disqualified for a miscue and 1.4/1 favorite Roi du Lupin was eigth. While finishing third today, Solea Rivelliere won the title European Tour – French Trotteur. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSa9edqGtb0 Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 3 Uppercut de Manche S. Ernault J.-Y. Rozé T. Raffegeau 2ème 16 Sierra Leone J.-C. Hallais Ecurie Jean-Cl.Hallais J.-W. Hallais 3ème 8 Soléa Rivellière P. Daugeard J.-C. Lucas P. Daugeard 4ème 2 Ricimer H. Sionneau Ecurie Sionneau Hervé H. Sionneau 5ème 12 Paladin Bleu M. Huygens Ecurie Alta Bleu L. Thieulent  Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 3.550.000 € - Numéro plus : 2241     Ordre :       46.159,80€     Désordre :       495,60€     Bonus 4 :       22,20€     Bonus 4sur5 :       11,10€     Bonus 3 :       7,40€                     The Prix Champagne Moet at Mons Ghlin drew 15 International starters for a purse of €12,000 over 2300 meters autostart. 1.1/1 odds favorite Bandit Hornline (5m San Pellegrino-Dash Girl-Giant Chill) took this victory for reinsman Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and Stall Askbollen. Timed in 1.13.9kr the narrow winner defeated 2.9/1 Angelina BR (7f Angus Hall-Fiery Chip) for Rik Ebbinge and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 158/1 Camino EV (9g Halimede-Jerkine) was third for owner Stal de Groningers and trainer Henk A.J. Grift. Also at Mons-Ghlin today was the Grand Prix Paris-Turf Belgique (purse €48,000, 2850 meters autostart, 13 International starters) and the six length 1.15.2kr winner was 1.1/1 odds Naglo’ del Nord (8g Naglo-Entita’ del Nord) for teamster Nico d’Haenens, trainer Vincent Martens and owner HB Ecurie Derco. 13/1 Tino la Ravelle (8g Islero de Bellouet-Jirania la Ravelle) was second for Sebastien Ernault and trainer E-G Blot with third to 118/1 longshot Sole Mia (9g Halimede-Jerkine) driven by Geir Vergeerde, trainer Henk A.J. Grift and owner Stal de Groningers. This day in Sweden there were two interesting Solvalla winners. Rum Swizzle (3f Holiday Road-Southwind Caramel-Revenue) won at 22/1 odds for Per Lennartsson defeating Stefan Melander driving Tweet Hanover. The other winner that caught my attention was Britelite AM (4f Cash Hall-Intensite-Yankee Glide) for Orjan Kihlstrom at 5.2/1 with second to Ladyofthelike for Pierre Nystrom. This winner is trained by Roger Walmann for Stall Courant AB, and is a half-sister to Intense America. Thomas H. Hicks  

September 13, 2015 - Harness racing trainer driver Lutfi Kolgjini piloted 3.9/1 odds Mosaique Face (6m Classic Photo-Iona LB) to a decisive front-end score in today’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Final (purse €504,000, 2300 meters autostart) at Mons Ghlin (Belgium) timed in 1.11.7kr over an off-track. The winner is owned by Thomas Nilsson Holdings and trained by Kolgjini. 13/1 Creatine (5m Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles) was a rallying second for trainer/driver Johnny Takter, and US owner Adam Bowden, after being well-placed second in the outer for much of the contest. 16/1 Oasis Bi (7m Toss Out-Up Front JM) was third for Claes Svensson in a three-way battle with Creatine and fourth finishing On Track Piraten. Papagayo E was fifth with BBS Sugarlight sixth. Vincennes, El Mago Pellini, Nahar and Rue du Bac was disqualified for miscues and Timoko was scratched. Thomas H. Hicks    

At Mons Ghlin (Belgium) the top European trotter Univers de Pan (7m Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) made his harness racing comeback with a win in the Prix Ministre de L’Agriculture (€8,400 purse, 2300 meters autostart, 9 International starters). Trainer Philippe Daugeard reined the winner, clocked in 1.14.3kr, off at 3/5 odds. Univers de Plan left the mobile alertly and tucked third after which he was shuffled toward the rear. With a lap to go Daugeard got loose, quickly moved to second and followed the leader until the stretch drive when he rallied for a neck victory without the ear plus being pulled. Onyx d’Em (13g Urene Soutonne - Becilia) raced superbly and held second for driver Rik Depuydt and trainer Carine De Soete. Varina (6f Norginio-Jalencia) was third for reinsman Nico D’Haenens at 25/1 with fourth to Quentin Rose (11g Carpe Diem - Gigi Rose) and Jo Corbanie at the lines at 12/1. Univers de Plan last raced June 28, 2014 when third in the Prix de Washington. Before he won the Oslo Grand Prix, Finlandio AJO and Grand Criterium de Vitesse and was second in the Prix de France.  Jean-Pierre Dubois teamed Cristal Wood (3m Goetmals Wood-Topaze Bourbon) to victory at 9/1 in the Prix de la Bruyere (€28,000 purse, 2925 meters, 10 starters) clocked in 1.17.6kr with a front-end journey. Jean Baudron owns the winner bred by Scuderia Bolgheri SRL and owned by J-P Dubois. Favored even-money Colibri du Vivier (3m Oiseau de Feux-Iguine du Vivier) was second for trainer/driver Yannick A. Briand ahead of Creck du Vautour (3m Rio du Rib-Saeva du Vautour) with trainer Stephane Cingland up at 18/1. Dubois’ entrymate Cupidon Love (3m Coktail Jet-Guilty of Love) was fourth with Nicolas Ensch up for trainer Patrick Chevrier. J-P Dubois was back with another winner in the Prix Henri Callier (€28,000 purse, 2925 meters distance handicap, 12 starters) as he piloted the Ecurie D bred, J-P Dubois owned Buvetier (4m Goetmals Wood-Rapide Aventure) to victory clocked in 1.16.9kr. The 4.3/1 odds winner is trained by Patrick Chevrier and he overcame a 25 meter penalty. Broardo (4g Niky-Proadauna) also overcame a 25 meter handicap to be second at 3/1 for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. 9/1 odds Brutus La Mesange (4m Lilium Madrik-Infante du Buisson) landed third for trainer/driver David Bekaert. Today’s Prix Grace Ducal (€58,000 purse, 2925 meter s distance handicap, 14 European starters, Quinte+ race of the day with jackpot €5.15 million) went to Twenty (8g Love You-Grive de Vire) at 9/2 odds. Christophe Martens drove the winner for trainer Vincent Martens, clocked in 1.14.5kr. Favorite Tagada Castelets (8f Jag de Bellouet-Gitane Castelets) was second for driver Arnaud-Albert Chavette and trainer Alain Chavette. Third was 5.5/1 Sophie du Vif (9f Jenko-Lavalliere du Vif) for trainer/driver Aymeric Thomas that overcame a 25 meter handicap. Thomas H. Hicks

After the first day of the competition in the FEGAT european championship for men Amateur Drivers in the race track of Halmstad in Sweden, the local driver Hakan B. Johansson is the leader of the competition with 25 points, followed by the italian driver Maurizio Biasuzzi with 24 and belgium Piet Van Pollaert and norwegian Bernt Osknevad with 16 points. Tomorrow will be the last 2 races of the championship in the race course of Jagersro in the city of Malmo. In attached documents you can find the oficial results of the day 1, the classification of the championship after the first leg in Halmstad and some pictures courtesy of Lars B. Persson. Sponsored By FEGAT     

Yesterday's Gr. I International Grand Prix de Wallonie at Mons Ghlin (Belgium) resulted in a 30 day suspension of Uhlan du Val's driver Cedric Megissier. Megissier battled then leading favorite Timoko before aggressively taking the lead early on the last lap. Once clearing to the pegs Megissier reportedly slowed the pace causing pocket placed Timoko to go off-stride. Ultimately Uhlan du Val tired nearing the last turn and J-P Marmion's Roi du Lupin won by open lengths over Olmo Holz and Pacsia'Lest. The win by Roi du Lupin was his career first in a Gr. I event, and also the first for trainer/owner Marmion (who has two Gr. I wins in monte races). Two year-olds are beginning to race in France with several races occurring last week. Today was no exception as Campo Rossa scored in 1.19.5kr for Franck Ouvrie in Enghien's Prix de la Porte de Montreuil (E32,000 purse, 2250 meters, females, 12 starters). The winning daughter of Coktail Jet-Marille du Lec is trained by Frederic Plat and she scored at 1.9/1 odds. Second went to Cash Diva (2f Ready Cash-Quabila) reined by trainer Jarmo Niskanen. Lightly raced three year-olds are also making their presence known. Today the €39,000 Prix de Chaudes Aignes over 2875 meters for males went to the Etienne Dubois teamed Black Charm (3m Prodigious-Podana) in 1.18kr as that pair defeated Bill handled by Franck Nivard and Black Jack la Nuit with Stephane Bourlier up. The winner is trained by Philippe Moulin for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Thomas H. Hicks

Veteran Roi du Lupin rallied to easily win today's E180,000 purse UET Masters Series Gr. I International Grand Prix de Wallonie at Mons Ghlin (Belgium). Trained and owned by J-P Marmion, the nine year-old gelded son of Fleuron Perrine-Helia de Saint Pol scored in 1.12.1kr by three lengths for reinsman Anthony Barrier, the winner's 28th career win in 81 starts for earnings of E1,789,845 to culminate a superb 2014 comeback. Olmo Holz (6m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras) was second for Christophe Martens (trainer Vincent Martens) with Pacsia'Lest (5m Varenne-Superiors Sun) third for Roberto Andreghetti (trainer Thierry Duvaldestin) and Deuxieme Picsous (7m In Love With You-Carmela Stronline) fourth for Joseph Verbeeck and trainer/owner Johan Lejon. The winner, off at 3.9/1 odds, sat behind the battling 3/2 favorite Timoko (Bjorn Goop up) and Uhlan du Val (Cedrik Megissier). Timoko, seemingly hot and nervous pre-start, was first off the gate in this 2300 meter autostart test and he led for the first lap with Uhlan du Val alongside. On the second pass before the stands Uhlan du Val upped the pressure on Timoko with reinsman Megissier aggressively urging his mount to the front and he crossed over on the lead. Shortly thereafter Timoko broke stride and was disqualified. Uhlan du Val then tired quickly and Roi de Lupin took the lead and drew off under heavy stretch urging from Barrier. Olmo Holz stayed on the pegs to be second at 13.5/1 with Pascia'Lest closing on the outside at 11.4/1 odds. Thomas H. Hicks  

Trainer Richard Westerink's Timoko, a winner of over €2.68 million, leads Sunday's Gr. I Gran Prix de Wallonie field at Mons Ghlin. Bjorn Goop will team this favorite in the €180,000 purse UET Masters Series event. Uhlan du Val, Roi du Lupin and Pascia'Lest are the likely closest rivals. August 10, 2014 Mons Ghlin (BE), Gran Prix de Wallonie, Gr. I International UET Masters Series, €180,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, 9 starters Horse in post-position order, driver/trainer, career earnings in euros, country Olmo Holz, Christophe Martens, Vincent Martens, 524,696, Italy Pascia'Lest, Roberto Andreghetti, Thierry Duvaldestin, 983,772, Italy Paladin Bleu, Bernard Piton, Lois Thieulent, 769,610, FR Roi du Lupin, Anthony Barrier, J-P Marmion, 1,708,845, FR Timoko, Bjorn Goop, Richard Westerink, 2,689,690, FR Uhlan du Val, Cedrik Megissier driver/trainer, 837,890, FR Deuxieme Picsous, Jos. Verbeeck, F. Lejon, 618,469, SWE Onyx d'Em, Rik Dupuydt, Mme. C. DeSoete, 706,121, FR Oibambam Effe, Salvatore Carre trainer/driver, 337,542, Italy Separately, following a poor effort under saddle this week at Enghien, it was announced that former great international speedster Rapide Lebel will likely be retired. Both trainer Guarato and driver Eric Raffin reportedly stated that his career should end, albeit final decision rests with the owner. The nine year-old gelded son of Ginger Somolli earned €1,816,922 with three Gr. I career victories and a speed record of 1.09.4kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

The Hambletonian Monte Series Final at the new Meadowlands and two Ontario pari-mutuel races at Grand River Raceway showcased North American monte activities this weekend. On Friday evening the $27,500 Hambletonian Monte Final took place (non-wagering) at the new Meadowlands. Sponsors were Jeff Gural, Valley High Stable, Back On Track, Ron Burke Stable, Arden Homestead Stable, Crawford Farm, Aldrich Properties, George Ducharme and Winners Circle Blueberries. The final followed two $10,000 legs the previous two weekends. This week, A Penny Earned (5g Conway Hall-Penny Dream-Dream Vacation) scored for Michelle Crawford and trainer George Ducharme in 1:57.2 (last quarter :28.2), just short of the north American speed race record set by Master Pine two years ago in 1:57.1. The winner was second in a July 18 leg behind Take My Picture that was second in the final for Therese Lindgren and trainer Nikolas Drennan. O U Gus (the July 25 winner) ended third for Stephanie Werder and trainer Whitney Richards. Master Pine finished fourth for Helene Gregory and trainer Julie Miller in the competitive (seven starters timed in 2:00.1 or better) ten horse field. In Ontario, Grand River Raceway hosted two pari-mutuel events on August 1st and 4th. The August 4th International Monte was part of the raceway's Industry Day and attracted riders from Canada, Belgium and Finland. The US rider-entrant Jennifer Connor was a scratch due to travel problems. Previous monte winner Radical Dreamer (Marit Valstad) made the fast pace, tracked and battled by eventual winner Tragically Shipp (Saara Jalasti aboard), that pulled away late for an comfortable win over Angies Lucky Star (Philippe Massachaele) in 2:02.4h over a rain soaked surface. Tragically Shipp (8g Shipps Speed-CH On Tour-Armbro Laser) is trained by Lee Watson for owners Lynne and David Magee. Jalasti and Massachaele regularly ride in monte races in Europe, where monte is very popular and part of most pari-mutuel racing cards at French and Scandinavian tracks. Race replay follows: The August 1 race at Grand River was billed as the Canada vs. Norway Challenge and it went to Callie Magoo (5g Magoo-Callie Alyssa-Wesgate Crown) with Norway's G. Berg up for trainer John Braid. This pair scored in 2:04.3h over King Tut (Sarah Town up for Canada) and Charlie Tuna. Both Grand River races were well received in the pari-mutuel wagering, as had been the case in previous Ontario pari-mutuel monte races. Standardbred Canada and Meadowlands files Thomas H. Hicks  

There will not be a dry eye at the track should the David Thorn trained Gamebreaker win Thursday night's The MonSTaR Foundation Danny Bergan Memorial at Penrith. One of Gamebreaker's owners in Danny Bergan's son, Daniel, and after an approach was made to Harness Racing New South Wales permission has been granted for the son of Mach Three to wear Bergan's old race colours. On the 10th March 2007 Danny Bergan passed away after a two year battle with Motor Neurone Disease and in his memory, Danny's son Daniel and good friend Stuart Jamieson set out to do all they could to ensure that Danny's wife was financially secure and they would do all they could to help raise awareness and research into the debilitating disease. In 2010, Daniel and Stuart took their fundraising efforts and linked up with the MonSTaR Foundation and since then all money raised at the Danny Bergan fundraisers has gone directly to the Foundation, a body that has raised over $1 million, all in the name of supporting sufferers of Motor Neurone Disease. Daniel and Stuart have raised a combined total of $320,000 over the last five years with the majority of the money going to the MonSTaR Foundation and Thursday's meeting at Penrith will be another fundraising event. Gamebreaker is only lightly raced, having had two starts for a victory, however the four year old has not raced since August of last year. "He is beautifully bred, he is out of a half sister to Blacks A Fake and we have had to be a bit patient because he has had a few issues," syndicate manager Mitch Lenaghan said. "If it could win on Thursday night for Daniel and his family, wearing Danny's colours, it would be a very special night." The MonSTaR Foundation Danny Bergan Memorial is race five at Penrith and is scheduled to begin at 8:17. By Greg Hayes  

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