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September 30, 2017 - The Jerry Riordan trained three year old filly Vamp Kronos (3f Ready Cash-Only Kronos-Viking Kronos), off at 3.9/1, won today’s harness racing Gr. I International European Championship (three year olds, purse €101,888, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) at Solvalla. The Renato Bruni property, reined by Bjorn Goop, now has a 7-2-1 slate in 13 career starts, all this year. Vamp was clocked in 1.12.2kr (2:34.51) and was a seven length winner to increase her career earnings to 1,521.677SEK. She raced third on the outer in the middle part of the race before vaulting to the top early in the final bend and she sprinted clear of the rivals. Second was 7.9/1 Hazard Boko (3m SJs Caviar-Quail Ridge-Smasher) for trainer/driver Per Lennartsson. 39/1 Flying Fortuna (3m Muscles Yankee-Nikita Fortuna-Kameraad) took third for Erik Adielsson and trainer Tomas Malmqvist. Thomas H. Hicks  

August 26, 2017 - The gallant veteran Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) was parked every step from post seven (by Dante Boko) but inched to the front in mid-stretch for Bjorn Goop to win the Gr. II Grand Prix Departement Alphes-Martimes (purse €180,000, 1609 meters autostart – one mile, 11 starters). This was the Cagnes-sur-Mer featured race and Timoko attracted a huge crowd as he recorded victory 36 in 101 starts now for €5,006,731 in career earnings. Richard Westerink trains and owns Timoko that Paul Van Klavern bred. Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) rallied for second driven by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dauphin. Bocage d’Ortige (6m Mirage de Goutier-Providence D’Ortige) was third for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. Dante Boko and Diadora BR were fourth and fifth respectively.  Earlier in the week Timoko was on-hand to meet the racing fans at Cagnes-sur-Mer and promote today’s superb program. Thomas H. Hicks

July 1, 2017 - The grand Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) recorded a gate to wire harness racing victory in the Gr. II Prix de Washington (purse €120,000, 1609 meters, eight European starters) today at Enghien. Driver Bjorn Goop hustled the front stepping winning trainee of owner Richard Westerink to the lead off the gate and he was never challenged, permitting soft fractions, and setting up a blistering finishing kick (fractions 1.12.3kr at 1000 to go; 1.13.5kr at the 500 remaining mark; and 1.12.1 finish). The time was well off the 1.09.4kr race record held by Rapide Lebel. Timoko won the Washington for the second time and now has a 35-15-13 slate in 100 career starts, now for €4,925,731 earned in the stellar career. Paul Van Klaveren bred the winner that this day was off at 3/10 odds and bested 66/1 Venkatesh (8g Varenne-Honey Face) that Dominik Locqueneux drove for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 6/1 Cash Gamble (6m Ready Cash-No Way Back) was third for Franck Nivard and 9/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) rallied late for David Thomain to be fourth. On the undercard was the Prix de la Porte Saint-Martin (purse €52,000, 2875 meters, nine three year-old filly starters) and 4,4/1 Eureka du Chene (3f Rieussec-Mityzvu du Chene) held gamely for the 1.18.3kr timed win driven by Franck Nivard for the Julien Le Mer/Claude Guedj trainer/owner team. 3/1 Evolution (3f Love You-Upper Class) was second in rein to Eric Raffin for Philippe Allaire/Kevin Tebirent (also breeder). Third was 5/1 Valentina Wind (3f Muscle Hill-Norah Wind) driven by Bjorn Goop for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stall Why Not. The day’s Quinte+ was the Prix du Roussillon (purse €48,000, 2150 meters, 16 starters). 7/10 favorite Sir Ratzeputz (7m Love You-Celebrate) scored easily for Bjorn Goop, trainer Timo Nurmos and Guldsvarten AB. The winning time was 1.14.1kr. 88/1 Auch (7g Niky-Migraine) was second for Ch.J. Bigeon, ahead of 20/1 Mind Your Face (8g Offshore Dream-Mind Your Manners) driven by Franck Nivard. Later in the program the Prix de l’Observatoire (purse €55,000, 2150 meters autostart) went to 3.1/1 Global Respons (6g Credit Winner-Com Mission) handled by the red hot Bjorn Goop for owner/trainer Stefan Persson. 6/1 Tesauro (5g Filipp Roc-Imziale) was next for Alexandre Abrivard and third went to 16/1 Titty Jepson (5f Varenne-Laura di Costa) piloted by Jean-Philippe Monclin. Thomas H. Hicks

Veteran Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) blasted to the front from post five and scored easily by three lengths for Bjorn Goop and trainer/owner Richard Westerink in today’s Benders Elitloppet Final (3SEK million to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, eight starters). He was clocked in 1.09kr (1:51.02) at 31/1 to pin a stunning defeat on Propulsion and Resolve at 16/1 and 11/1 respectively. Heavily backed Bold Eagle was fourth and Nuncio was fifth. Neither had anything left and had no excuses. Timoko was simply the best this day as he recorded career victory 34 in 98 starts for 47,248,058SEK (that is US$5,432,318 at today’s conversion rate). Quite a feat for quite a horse!!! Timoko Elimination 1 Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet-Love You) easily took the first Benders Elitloppet 2017 elimination by six lengths timed in 1.08.4kr (mile rate 1:50.05) for driver Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. The winner sat alongside pacesetter Delicious, in the death seat, with Resolve second over until top of stretch when the Eagle motored away under little urging. Bred by Jean Etienne Dubois the Eagle was off at 3/2 odds and bested 9/1 Resolve (6m Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee-Credit Winner) handled by Ake Svanstedt with third to 13/1 DD’s Hitman (6m Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny-Muscles Yankee). Veteran Spring Erom (12m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) landed fourth for Christopher Eriksson. Bold Eagle Elimination 2 Elimination #$2 went to home town favorite Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Propulsion was a game second for Johan Untersteiner, beaten half-length in the 1.10.1 clocked event (1:52.79). Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) held third after traveling wide all the way for Bjorn Goop. The fourth spot to the final went to In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine-Supergill) for Erik Adielsson. Nuncio Bold Eagle will get first choice in the final post position by virtue of the fastest elim time. The big crowd of over 30,000 is enjoying the action on this warm day. Thomas H. Hicks

May 27, 2017 - Bjorn Goop teamed his trainee, the 1.3/1 favorite Sauveur (7m Echo-Operah Bob) to victory in today’s co-featured Gr. II Harpers Hanover (purse €97,792, 3140 meters distance handicapped, 15 starters, 500,000SEK to winner). Timed in a sharp 1.11.99kr over the extended distance the pride of Hammab AB raised his career earnings to over €502,000. 6.7/1 Sorbet (6m Super Photo Kosmos-Alter Bound) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and the Daniel Reden/Stall  Zet team. 42/1 Linus Boy (5g Zola Boko-Recos Lady) took third for Johnny Takter and trainer Timo Nurmos, who has an Elite starter tomorrow. Bottnas Commander, El Mago Pellini and Butler were the next three to the line, the latter a Ready Cash son owned and trained by Anders Lindqvist. Sauveur Tomorrow is the big day featuring the €640,000 total purse 2017 Benders Elitloppet with two eliminations and a final. 16 entrants will compete with each race contested over 1609 meters (one mile) autostart. The Solvalla track is quick as evidenced by Saturday’s action. Be there!!! Thomas H. Hicks

May 7, 2017 - At La Capelle on Sunday was the Prix Carrefour (purse €30,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) and the 1.15.8kr clocked winner was 12/1 Pantarei Ans (8m Classic Photo-Demetra Ans) with P-Y Verva aboard for harness racing trainer Bjorn Goop and Ecurie Chikh. 2.1/1 Diamond (7g Classic Photo-Gala dei Bessi) was second driven by Robin Bakker and trainer by Paul Hagoort for Ecurie Mille Fleurs. Third was another Goop trainee, 1.3/1 I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Maris Dulcinea) that Morton Gunnar owns and Pierre Vercruysse was the pilot. Trophee Vert action also continued Sunday at Bernais with the Prix du Centre le Clerc Menneval (purse €45,000, 2800 meters, 18 starters on the turf). The 3/2 favorite Tresor Wic finished eighth for Anthony Barrier, opening the way for 7.5/1 Bingo d’Attaque (6m Pomerol de Laumac-Lady de la Roche) to score for Gabriel Gelormini timed in 1.20.1kr before a good crowd. 13/1 All Feeling (7m Otello Pierji-Quelle Cerencaise) was second and 14/1 Viola Ecus (8g Korean-Iffrida) took the third spot. This day racing in Germany was at Berlin, Gelsenkirchen and Karlsruhe. At Berlin legendary Heinz Wewering teamed his trainee Impulsiv (5g Muscles Yankee-L’Amka) to victory. At Gelsenkirchen Ivy Corner (5f Love You-Indira Corner) was victorious for trainer Wolfgang Nimczyk and amateur pilot Thomas Maasen. The sister to this winner is racing competitively in the US for Jesmeral Stable. Thomas H. Hicks

Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) and harness racing driver Bjorn Goop left alertly and raced forwardly place as he, Oasis Bi (Johnny Takter) and Brillantissime (Pierre Vercruysse) tussled for the front throughout, until Timoko took the lead in the final bend. Timoko led during the long Cagnes-sur-Mer stretch to prevail by a length in this Gr. I UET Masters Series Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d’Azur (purse €200,000, 1609 meters autostart, 13 starters). Timoko has now won this prestigious event four times and today set the race record 1.09.5kr (1:51.76) at the mile distance, unusual in France. Off as 9/10 favorite the Richard Westerink owned/trained pupil was bred by Paul Van Klaveren and now has career earnings of €4,491,098 from 32 victories in 84 starts. 2.6/1 Un Mec d’Heripre (9m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) rallied to be second for J-M Bazire ahead of 90/1 Red Rose America (7f Varenne-Armbro Voice) reined by Pietro Gubellini.. The Lou Guida bred mare held off North American owned and Jerry Riordan trained Treasure Kronos (5f Raja Mirchi-Glide About) driven by Christoffer Eriksson from post 13, and fifth finishing Up And Quick (9m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) with Mathieu Mottier up. Next to the line were Timone EK, Oasis Bi, Rod Stewart, Anna Mix and Brillantissime. A full-house was on-hand for the classic event and a fine trotting card. Thomas H. Hicks

February 26, 2017 - Jerry Riordan’s trainee Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi) at 3.5/1 odds took today’s Prix de l’Association National des Turfistes (Gr. III, purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) at Vincennes. Harness racing driver Bjorn Goop teamed Twister Bi to an impressive win coming from dead last and circling the field with a sustained bold move. Riordan’s other trainee in this field, 19.8/1 Tango Negro (5f Infinitif-Lisetta Real) was a narrowly beaten second for driver Alexandre Abrivard, escaping late on the inside after being shuffled on the pegs. Graziano Ceccaroni owns this one and Pasquale Ciccarelli owns Twister Bi. 23/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star-Ire du Ciel) was third for Gabriel Gelormini. Race time was 1.14.4kr. The Pris Gras Savote (purse €76,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.13.7kr timed and 7/10 odds Alphea Barbes (7f Look de Star-Lova Barbes) reined by Charles J.Bigeon. Christian Bigeon is the trainer and A.F. Bigeon is breeder/owner of Alphea Barbes. 45/1 Ulysse Maria (9g Nuage de Lait-Kemetcha Maria) was second for Romain Derieux and third was 9/1 Agora du Goutier (7f Jardy-Olyarpe Pierji) for reinsman Franck Nivard. The monte Prix Paris-Turf/Vivier de Montfort (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to loose on the lead 7/10 favorite Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Lalla Clairchamp) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. Phillippe Allaire trains and Frederic Sauque owns the winner. 7.2/1 Uno Dancer (9g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) was second for Honorin Guerot and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 20/1 Vrai Voyou (8g Gazouillis-Organginette) ended third for Adrien Lamy and owner/trainer P. Emmanuel Mary. Race time was 1.12.8kr. Thomas H. Hicks

February 13, 2017 - Bjorn Goop reined his trainee 2.1/1 favorite I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Marie Dulcinea) to victory in today’s Quinte+ Prix de Senlis (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) at Paris-Vincennes. The classy mare is owned by Morton Gunnar Sem of Norway and was timed in 1.12.1kr off quick fractions (1.08kr at the 1500; 1.09.5kr with 1000 remaining; 1.10.8kr at the 500). She raced without shoes. 24.5/1 Primula Brazza’ (8f Oiseau Feux-Erbarosa Brazza’) was second for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Salvatore Carro and owner Scuderia Della’Acquario. Third was 8.7/1 Riviera As (7f Cantab Hall-Fortune As) reined by Franck Ouvrie for Belgium’s Ecurie Z and trainer Stephane Soenen. 4.3/1 Soho (8f Dream Vacation-Hillery Toll) handled by Eric Raffin was fourth for trainer Vincent Lacroix and Norwegian owner Kurt Kile. The international race flavor continued with fifth finishing Paula del Ronco (8f Prodigious-Ina Effe) owned in Italy by Scuderia Munacore and reined by Roberto Andreghetti for trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The top five finishers were from non-FR countries illustrating the competitive nature of winter meet racing at Vincennes and often the money-earned advantage of these invaders. Thomas H. Hicks

February 6, 2016 - Let’s Dance D.E. (7m Oscar Schindler SL-Sirmione) prevailed for harness racing trainer/driver Bjorn Goop at 47/1 in today’s Quinte+ Prix de a Chartre Sur Le Loir (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 18 European entrants) at Vincennes. Timed in 1.14.1kr, the barefoot trotting Goop trainee is owned by Gerhard Sporrer and scored in a blanket finish over 12/1 Arn Hammering (7m Love You-Avita Hammering) reined by Pierre Vercruysse for trainer/owner Thomas Jonsson. Third was 21/1 Speed Delicious (7m Fast Photo-Ala Delicious) reined by Franck Nivard. The top finishing long-odds performers set forth an exact order payoff of €309,310 for a €2 wager. The Prix des Charentes (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) this day went to 3.3/1 Chimere du Goutier (5f Kaisy Dream-Queen Bourbon) for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Ecurie Saint Martin. 1.6/1 Costa Haufor (5f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) was a nose back second for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 10.6/1 Clea Madrik (5f Prince d’Espace-Paisy Tivoli) was six lengths back third for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Benoit Robin The Prix de la Genevraye (monte, purse €50,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) was a driving, inches-apart photo, between 1.14.4kr timed winner Corames (5f Speedy Blue-Reine Magic) with Matthieu Mottier in the irons. Dominique Mottier is the trainer/owner/breeder of this winner, Just beaten was 18/1 Celina du Pont (5f Halimede-Pelinia Vetmi) with Alexandre Abrivard aboard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and Ecurie Augustin Normand. Well-bred 5.9/1 Elegantissime (3f Ready Cash-Ivre de Victorie) was on her best behavior today for Yoann Lebourgeois and won the Prix de Coulommiers (purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters)  timed in 1.16.4kr. Philippe Allaire trains the filly that Frederic Sauque owns. 5/1 Electra Jet (3f Ready Cash-Olivia Jet) was second for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse, and owner Ecurie des As. J-Et. Dubois bred this one. Third was 26.3/1 Ebene du Logis (3f Titan d’Occagnes-Jazza Bourbon) with Bjorn Goop up. Jean-Pierre Barjon’s Dedicate Of Citrus (4f Meaulnes du Corta-Quetty du Donjon) scored at 5.4/1 in the monte Prix de Vitre (purse €52,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters), racing barefoot for Leo Abrivard and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Barjon bred this winner that was timed in 1.17.3kr. 1.2/1 favorite Dena Maza (4f Jad de Bellouet Razyana) with Damien Bonne up took second, this one conditioned by Sebastian Ernault. The Prix de Lare (purse €37,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) was the home of a quick 1.12.7kr score for 8.8/1 Doum Jenilou (4g Rancho Gede-Prairie Jenilou) reined by Bjorn Goop. 2.9/1 Driver Cadence (4m Saxo de Vandel-Rose Pourpre) was second for trainer/driver Emmanuel Allard. Third was 15.3/1 Defi Pierji (4g Roc Meslois0Orelinotte D’ylea) handled by Leo Abrivard and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. A major upset occurred in the Prix des Rouges-Terres (purse €44,000, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) this day when 60.2/1 odds Dolga du Pommereux (4f Coktail Jet-Salsa du Pommereux) scored for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger. Noel Lolic is owner/breeder of this one that rallied to a close victory over 9.1/1 Unique du Kras (4f Varenne-Orjka du Kras) with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard. 6/1 Dona Nina (4f Tucson-Quolombre Winner) was third for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Jarmo Niskanen. Yesterday’s Prix Firenze (ITY) brought a nice group to battle over 1600 meters autostart for a purse of €25,300. The 1.14.2kr timed winner was Uragano Trebi’ (4m Nad Al Sheba-Istria Bi-Toss Out) with Gaspare Le Verde at the controls. Urali OP (4m SJ’s Photo-Maya del Romco-Toss Out) was second for Tomaso DeLorenzo and third was Universo d’Amore (4m Mago d’Amore-Ninfa Degli Dei-Armbro Goal) with V.P. Dell’Annunziata the pilot. Next weekend’s Gr. I €400,000 purse Prix de France has currently 29 engaged. Analysts believe the final 18 will be as follows, albeit the non-listed engaged trotters include Booster Winner, Django Riff, Bilibili, Bolero Love, Trebol and others. We will know on Thursday, but be assured it will be a superb race, to be followed by trotting devotees globally. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 23, 2016 - Monas Invercote took today’s Quinte+ Prix d’Amboise (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Harness racing trainer Bjorn Goop teamed the 1.14.9kr timed winner for Stall Timotej AB and Berglin Ove. Monas Invercote (7f Viking Kronos-Monas Speranza) was off at 52.3/1 odds. 39.5/1 Alexane d’Urzy (f Coktail Jet-Oree Bourbon) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. 9.2/1 Voice Dream (7f Love You-Lovely de Paris) took third for David Thomain and trainer Fabrice Souloy. 5.5/1 Radysin America (6f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei) raced well to be fourth for Franck Nivard and trainer/owner Jerry Riordan. 64/1 Une de Villetot (8f Canada-Oste) was fifth for owner/trainer/driver Sebastian Baude.           Equinoxe (2m Equiano Porza-Septieme Ciel) was victorious in the Groupe II Prix Emmanuel Margouty (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters) at 10.1/1 and timed in a sharp 1.14.1kr (fractions 1.13.2kr at 1500 to go; 1.13.4kr at the 1000; 1.14.8kr with 500 meters remaining). Matthieu Abrivard teamed the Jacques Bruneau trainee that Scurie JR owns. SNC Jean Levesque bred this one. 9.7/1 Euro du Chene (2m Neok Jiel-Oseille du Chene) was second with Franck Niavrd up for trainer J.LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. The same connections were third for the Bjorn Goop reined Eros du Chene (2m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova de Lou). Highly favored 1.4 Eridan was fifth and 1.8/1 Everest Vedaquais was a miscue dq. The Prix d’Evrecy (purse €55,000, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) went to 1.14.8kr timed and 2.6/1 Be Bop Haufor (5g Notre Haufor-ICA Haufor). Christian Bigeon teamed the winner that be bred/owns/trains. 17.3/1 Spirit Real (5g Supergill-Civetta Real) rallied for second for Bjorn Goop. Jerry Riordan owns and trains Spirit Real. Third was 21/1 Stay Alert (5g Ken Warkentin-I Wish) that Dominik Locqueneux reined for Peter Untersteiner, trainer for DeSekj AB. The Prix Sans Dire Oui (Gr. III, purse €105,000, 2850 meters, nine starters) went to 3.4/1 Bolide Jenilou (5g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) timed in 1.13.8kr for Anthony Barrier, trainer Gregory Thorel and owner Jean-Paul Masselin. 1.8/1 favorite Boss du Meleuc (5g Lucky Blue-Ratale du Meleve) finished second for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Yannick Alain Briand and third was 20/1 Boardo (5g Niky-Prozdauna) for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Vincent Martens. Be Mine de Houelle and Best Buissonay were next to the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 15, 2016 - Tuesday’s Grand Prix Dynavera Maisagri (purse €40,000, 2550 meters, 12 European starters) at Beaumont de Lomagne went to 2/5 favorite Buzz Mearas (5g Dream Vacation-Dance Of Joy) timed in 1.14.7kr. Harness racing driver Bjorn Goop teamed Buzz Mearas for owner Pierre Pilarski and trainer Vincent Lacroix. 7.8/1 Victoria du Viaduc (7f Canada-Luna du Viaduc) was second for J.A. Eliphe, ahead of 74/1 Uricano (8g Esotico Star-Kaline de Nuit) for trainer/driver J.P. Lecourt. At Reims was the Grand Prix de Reims (purse €32,000, 2550 meters, 16 starters)  and 1.4/1 Tiger Feat (9g Niky-Milady d’Heripre) was victorious clocked in 1.16.56kr for Franck Nivard. 3.1/1 Violet (7m Love You-La Rouge) with Pierre Vercruysse aboard for owner J.G.H. De Jong. Ecurie D bred this one. 4/1 Vemax (7g Nice Love-LaFolly d’Ar) was third for trainer/driver Romain Derieux. On the evening program at Paris-Vincennes was the Prix Laetitia (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) and 2.8/1 Cathy A Quira (4f Password-Quira des Jacquets) scored in 1.14.6kr. Gabriel Gelormini was the pilot of the Jorma Niskanen trainee that Etienne Desmet owns. 19/1 Calencia (4f Quaker Jet-Olencia) was next for Eric Raffin, ahead of 6/1 Class de Loriol (4f Ready Cash-Oraqeuse de Maryon) with Anthony Barrier at the lines. Citizen Kane (4g Orlando Vici-Queen Of Viking) with Thomas Levesque driving, won the Prix Mebsuta (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) clocked in 1.14.9kr for owner/breeder Pierre Levesque. Thomas Levesque is the trainer. 5.8/1 Clarck Sotho (4g Oiseau de Feux-Mocanda) was second for Anthony Barrier with third to 35/1 Curly Light (4m Redlight Jet-Orphea de Mouci) and pilot J.Ph. Monclin. Two year-olds contested the Prix Gyptis (purse €42,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) at Vincennes, with victory to 27/1 Elite du Ruel (2f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) for trainer/driver Franck Anne. The 1.16.7kr clocked winner bested 2.9/1 Ere Nouvelle (2f Love You-Kidea) that Gabriel Gelormini teamed to best third finishing 32/1 Ecume des Louanges (2f Gazouillis-Jolie Lily) with Franck Ouvrie up. On November 14 action at LeCroise Laroche featured the Grand Prix du Nord des 4 Ans (purse €40,000, 2800 meters, 11 starters). 58/1 Caline de Chahains (4f Rolling d’Heripre-Nuit de Plainville) was victorious timed in 1.15.7kr, defeating 2..1/1 Cobra Bleu (4m Fortuna Fant-Nuit Irisee), the favorite, with trainer Pierre Vercruysse driving for breeder/owner Nathalie Chapdelaine. 5.1/1 Choicolat du Bourg (4m Nahar de Beval-Malouvia) was third for J.G. Van Eeckhaute aboard. And in Spain At Son Pardo (Spain) was the Criterium 2 Year-Olds Spain (purse €15,000, 1650 meters autostart, 14 starters). 2.6/1 Es Gonyador de Fon (2m SJ’s Photo-Dalia de Kit) scored in 1.18.1kr for J.A. Riera.Cuadras Morro bred and trains the winner. 4.9/1 Espiga des Liorer (2f JackThe Ripper-Ohlala Tirety) took second and 15/1 Enigma de Ladil (2f Petit Poucet-Tota de Ladil) landed third. Thomas H. Hicks  

Friday night at Orebro Sweden was the 201 Najos Minne (100,000SEK to winner, 2100 meters autostart) and the winner was 4.41/1 Cruzado dela Noche (4m Muscle Massive-Alidade-Credit Winner) reined by Bjorn Goop and timed in 1.11.1kr, a record for the distance on a 1000 meter harness racing track. Stefan Melander trains the Stall Courant AB Stockholm owned and Hanover Shoe Farms bred winner, that has a 2016 slate of 5-1-2 in 14 starts for 2,137,690SEK. He has 10 wins in 36 career starts for 4,081,566SEK earned. Twister Bi (4m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) was second for Christoffer Eriksson, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Pasuale Ciccarelli. This Biasuzzi bred trotter bested third finishing Divisionist (4m Andover Hall-Only Lonely-Yankee Paco-Too Good For You-Yankee Glide-Little Miss Queenie) with Jorma Kontio driving. Uncle Lasse (4m Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide) was fourth for Orjan Kihlstrom and fifth went to Billy Flynn (4m Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones) with Erik Adielsson aboard. Nahar Takes Mohawk Preferred Saturday evening’s Mohawk (Ontario) featured trot was the weekly Preferred (purse C$34,000, one mile autostart) and veteran former Elitloppet winner (at age eight)  Nahar (11g, Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie) was an easy five-length winner clocked in 1:53 for driver Doug McNair, trainer Robert Bergh and Stall Sedin. Racing with hopples has helped the class-master that easily dispatched Whiskey Tax ((9g Revenue-Bourbon Belle-Muscles Yankee) with Randy Waples up and third finishing Etruscan Hanover (6g Donato Hanover-Exotic Destination-Dream Vacation). Nahar, now a winner in excess of 12.SEK million and with 41 career victories, photos below: Thomas H. Hicks  

Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) returned from stallion duty to win today’s harness racing Gr. II Grand Prix du Sud Quest (purse €200,000, 2575 meters autostart, 11 starters) at Agen La Garenne. Bjorn Goop reined the winner for trainer/owner Richard Westerink. The Paul Van Klaveren bred veteran recorded his 31st victory in 88 career starts now for €4,236,538 earned. Timed in 1.11.6kr, Timoko was quick to the lead with Dante Boko in the pocket. Brissac, from post 11, came alongside and raced much of the way in the death seat before giving way as Bird Parker (5m Ready Cash-Belisha) rushed forward in the final turn for J-Ph Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. This Christophe Toulorge bred speedster took the lead and held it to the line under heavy urging albeit Timoko re-rallied to a just-beaten second. But, as Timoko closed on the pegs, Bird Parker moved right despite his teamster leaning to the outside, with his right wheel placed under Timoko’s left, impeding his progress and forcing driver Goop inside the pylons. Thus, Bird Parker was a dq placed second. 20.3/1 Ave Avis (6m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) was third for driver/trainer J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O. Roffi-Urano. Comte de Bellaige bred this one. Dante Boko (6g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa) was an all out fourth for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Be The Best. Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was a fast closing fifth for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. The third through fifth finishers were together timed in 1.11.9kr. Replays follow. The fine Agen program also included the Grand Prix Baron d’Ardeuil (purse €21,000, 2575 meters autostart, 14 European starters) with the 1.15.2kr timed victory to 35.7/1 Royal Roc (5f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc) with Mathieu Abrivard the trainer/driver for Scuderia Sant Eusebio. 32/1 New Approach was second for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Bel Avis (5g Ganymede-Alorca Maris) took the €19,000 Prix de l’Agglomeration over the 2625 meters distance, besting nine rivals timed in 1.13.9kr. Bel Avis was off as 2/5 favorite for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and Wildenstein Stables Ltd. Comte de Bellaigue bred the winner that defeated 9.6/1 Bolero d’Houlbec. The Prix President Dominique de Bellaigue (purse €23,000, 2625 meters, 11 European starters) went to 1.14.9kr timed and 4/1 odds Pioneer Gar (7m Varenne-Follia). Dominik Locqueneux reined this winner for trainer Johanna Lindqvist and Scuderia Super Chico SAS. 9.4/1 Unetelle d’Artease (8g Capriccio-Escapade) was second for Franck Nivard and third was 57/1 Univers d’Enfer. On Friday evening at Enghien two year-olds (11) contested the Prix du Pont de la Tournelle (purse €32,000, 2150 meters autostart). The 1.20.5kr timed winner was 1.1/1 Envieux (2m Kaisy Dream-Vista Wood) with owner Jean-Pierre Dubois driving for trainer Yves Boireau. Ecurie D bred this one. 7/1 Evariste du Bourg (2m Jasmin de Flore-Saratoga du Bourg) was second for owner/trainer Sebastian Guarato and driver Ch. Thierry. 42/1 Etendard Majuro was third. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s V75 harness racing action was highlighted by several fast class events each for winners’ money of 200,000SEK or more. The Frances Bulwark (250,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) produced an impressive victory for Finland’s Shadow Woodland (7g The Bosses Lindy-Unlimited Visa-Credit Winner) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Reijo Liljendahl. Timed in 1.11.2kr he swept to the front early and kept on going for an easy score over pocket placed Magic Tonight (7m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) with Kenneth Haugstad driving for Roger Walmann. Third was Dreams Take Time (7m Andover Andover-B My Honey-Viking Kronos) with trainer Pete Untersteiner the pilot. The race winner recorded his fifth 2016 win in 11 starts and 22nd in the career from 55 outings, now good for 2,440,601SEK earned. The Silver Division Final (220,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.12.3kr timed Seedorf O.M.F from Italy, teamed by Goop for trainer Stig H, Johansson. The five year-old gelded son of Algiers Hall-Indy’s Lindy-SJ’s Caviar) earned his sixth 2016 win from 12 starts and 18th lifetime in 34 outings. Jetset (7f Juliano Star-Superlet-Super Arnie) was next for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner and third went to Finland’s Top Of The World (5g Conway Hall-Pilgrims Redhead-Self Possessed). Ulf Ohlsson teamed this one for trainer Liljendahl. The impressive winner scored off soft fractions and raced barefoot, a late change made to the 1.8/1 favorite. The Klass I Custom Sulky (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.12.3kr timed and 2.8/1 Ottens Casher (4g Ready Cash-Ottens Julia-Juliano Star) with Orjan Kihlstrom up. Roger Walmann trains the SRF Stable owned gelding. Digital Engine (5g Super Photo Kosmos-Maralou-Sherwood) was second for Ove A. Lindqvist and third was Donato E (5g Donato Hanover-Ultra Sund-Viking Kronos) with Ulf Ohlsson driving. The Bronze Division Final (200,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to Denmark’s Le Miracle (4g Taurus Dream-Le Reve-Fill V) with Erik Adielsson driving for trainer Svante Bath and Caramera AB. The winner, bred by Jean Pierre Dubois, took his sixth 2016 victory in eight starts and he now posts an 11-2-1 slate in just 14 career outings. Global Respons (5g Credit Wiinner-Com Mimmi-Running Sea) took second for Kevin Oscarsson and trainer Stefan Persson. Third was Catch The Cash (6f Gigant Neo-You Never Can Tell-Mr. Lucken) for Oskar J. Andersson and Serious Try (5g Crazed-Miss Volo-Yankee Glide) was fourth for Per Lennartsson. The winners’ time was 1.12.4kr. The Klass II Agria Final (200,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.13.3kr timed Ma Running (4f Running Sea-Hipo Beat The Odds-SJ’s Caviar) with Ulf Ohlsson driving for trainer Reijo Liljendahl. This one now has a 2016 slate of 4-2-3 in ten starts. Anedu (6g Opus Viervil-Ironiessa-Texas) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom with third to Oceanic Clearence (4f Scarlet Knight-Hermit Lady-Express Ride). Thomas H. Hicks

Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling-Buvetier d’Aunou) easily won the Aby Stora Prix Final (1.2SEK million to the winner, 1640 meters autostart) in gate to wire fashion for harness racing driver Bjorn Goop, trainer Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie d’Heripre. He now sports a 6-1-3 slate in 14 starts this year and has career earnings of 15,160,790SEK. His career slate is 25-4-6 in 49 starts. Time of the final was 1.11kr and the winner again raced without shoes in the final. Even though Un Mec d’Heripre went inside three pylons off the final bend no changes were made by the judges and the result was never in doubt as he scored by four lengths under wraps. The track was sloppy and heavy as rains continued that caused a race start delay of this the twelfth contest. On the solid undercard was the Lyon Grand Summer Prix Gr. II Stayer (purse 500,000SEK to the winner, 3140 meters autostart, 12 starters) and 6.1/1 Dante Boko (6g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa-Abo Volo) scored for trainer/driver Lutfi Kolgjini. 8.1/1 Alfas da Vinci (8g Orlando Vici-Hillary Clinton-And Arifant) took second for Peter Ingves ahead of 6.4/1 Reckless (6m Ready Cash-Haver-Supergill) with trainer Bjorn Goop at the lines. Time for the winner was 1.16.4kr. The Silver Final (purse 200,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.13kr timed Nadal Broline (6g Yankee Glide-Aimee’s Promise-American Winner) handled by Ulf Ohlsson for trainer Reljo Liljendahl and owner Onket Invest of Finland. This lightly raced winner is 3-1-0 in four starts this year and for the career shows a slate of 14-5-0 in 20 outings for 1,626,500SEK earned. Coldtown (7g Cantab Hall-Brylin Starlet-Balanced Image) was second for Jorma Kontio and trainer Timo Nurmos. Third was Takethem (6m From Above-D’Cherie-New Quick) with Thomas Uhrberg at the lines for trainer Steen Juul. Thomas H. Hicks

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