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Today’s Enghien-Soisy harness racing feature was the Prix de Buenos-Aires (purse 67,000€, 2875 meters distance handicap, 14 starters, International). The 1.13.2kr timed victory went to 1.9/1 favorite Classic Connection (6m Love You-Crys Dream-Taurus Dream-Crystas’s Image) reined by David Thomain. This team was away third, then shuffled and appeared hopelessly blocked until pushing out in mid-stretch. Once free, the Jean Pierre Dubois bred and owned campaigner trained by Kevin Vanderschelden surged to a decisive victory. It was his eighth career win now for 379,840€ earned. 27/1 Bachar (9m Prodigious-Princesse Victoire) was second for trainer/driver Emmanuel Allard. 34/1 Diablo du Noyer (7m Jasmin de Flore) took third for Eric Raffin with 13/1 Divine Mesloise and 4.4/1 Frayja du Pont fourth and fifth. The race was the Quinte+ race of the day and the exact order payoff was 1,937€. Classic Connection   Heart of Gold (3m Bird Parker-Corsica) took the Gr. III Prix de Rome (purse 60,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 13 starters) at Enghien, timed in 1.13.7kr with David Thomain up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The winner, off at 12/1 odds, recorded his fifth career victory and has 151,850€ earned.   The 11/1 Hirondelle Sibey (3f Gazouillis-Celina du Chatelet) was second with Eric Raffin up for trainer J.M. Baudouin. 8.8/1 odds Kuyt F. Boko (3m Conway Hall-Gala dei Bessi) was third with Robin Bakker at the lines for Stable Why Not and trainer Paul Hagoort. 17/1 Heartbreaker One, 50/1 Brillant Ferm and 8/10 favorite Hooker Berry rounded out the top six. Heart of Gold The Prix de la Porte Montmartre (purse 49,000€, 2150 meters autostart, European eligibles) produced a closely-contested victory for 3/1 Victor Ferm (6m Nad Al Sheba-Gavina di Casei) reined by Andrea Guzzinati for trainer Mauro Baroncini and owner M.A. Passoni. The 2.8/1 Goofy Greenwood (7g Russsel November) was a narrow miss second handled by Franck Nivard for Stall Amsterdam and trainer Hugo Langeweg Jr. The 9/1 Elite de Jiel (6f Niky) was third for Alexandre Abrivard aboard. Race time was 1.13kr. Victor Ferm Last evening at Cabourg was the GP de la Ville de Cabourg (purse 38,000€, 2750 meters, European eligibles) and the 1.12.8kr clocked victory was earned by 8/10 odds favorite Lover Boy (5m Conway Hall-Merlot DK) with David Thomain up. Philippe Allaire trains this one for Ecurie DSM Trotting and he took this third victory in France, raising life earnings to 150,611€. This was the Q+ race of the day and the exact order winning tickets paid 19,376.20€. 25/1 odds and 25-meter handicapped Balzac de L’Iton (9g Panache de L’Iton) was next for trainer/driver Franck Nivard. 24/1 Cesar Sisu (8g Cantab Hall-Chynatown) was third and 4.6/1 and 25-meter penalized Dreambreaker was fourth. Lover Boy LeTrot, PMU files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The top race this day at Paris-Vincennes was the monte Gr. II Prix Paul Buquet (purse 100,000€, 2850 meters, International). The 1.12.6kr timed victory went to 2.5/1 odds Clegs des Champs (7g Legs du Clos-Prosperpine) with David Thomain in the irons for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze.  Clegs des Champs won for the 17th time in his 34 starts career, now for 784,580€ in lifetime earnings. In his last 11 outings (all monte) he has an impressive 6-4-1 slate.  Today the 4.6/1 odds Carly (7g Rolling d’Heripre) was second with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Thierry Duvasdestin and 5.4/1 odds Caban Prior (7g Sancho Panca) was home third for jockey Aurelien Desmarres. Today’s Prix Urgent (Gr. III, monte, 2700 meters 11 starters all three year olds) saw the 5/10 favorite Grace de Fael (3f Sam Bourbon-Aquarelle) score for Matthieu Abrivard timed in 1.14.1kr. The very impressive Thierry Duvaldestin trainee is owned by Jose Fernandes and she recorded victory number seven in 10 career starts now for life earnings of 135,000€. The 21/1 Gladys des Plaines (3f Opus Viervil) was second for jockey Eric Raffin and third was 17/1 Gangster de Wallon (3m Lets Go Along) for Benjamin Richard. 18/1 Gaillard de Larre and 78/1 Gala du Pont completed the top five. Four year olds females competed in the Prix de Mirabeau (purse 44,000€, 2700 meters, 12 starters) with victory to the 1.14.4kr timed and 3.8/1 odds Fleche du Yucca (4f Prodigious-Vincenza) reined by Jean Philippe Dubois. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Dubois’ Ecurie Victoria Dreams as she recorded career victory 10 in 20 appearances now for 119,510€ in lifetime earnings. The 5.2/1 Flora du Pommereux (3f Up And Quick) was second with Alexandre Abrivard at the lines for trainer Benoit Robin and owner Noel Lolic. The 3.7/1 odds Flaya Kalouma (4f Royal Dream) was third for reinsman Gabriel Angel Pou Pou. The upcoming weekend at Vincennes (Friday-Monday) showcases eight groupe events including the Gr. II Prix Doynel de Saint-Quentin (Saturday) and the Gr. II Finale Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf on Sunday. Monday’s feature is the Gr. II montge Prix Philippe du Rozier. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The Gr. III Prix de L’lle d’Oleron (monte, purse 110,000€, 2850 meters, nine starters) was the day’s featured event and 1.4/1 Clegs des Champs (6g Legs du Clos-Proserpine) scored for jockey David Thomain, trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. The winner scored for the tenth time in 21 career starts, now for 343,830€ earned. 17/1 Amour Fou (8g Meaulnes du Corta) took second with Franck Nivard in the irons for trainer Raffegeau and owner Roze. The 3/2 favorite Bugsy Malone (7g Ready Cash-Night Captain) took third after a valiant effort, with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The Prix de Belfort (purse 64,000€, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.5kr timed and 1.3/1 odds Dexter Chatho (5g Un Amour d’Haufor-Naoyama) with owner/trainer Christian Bigeon up. The winner scored for the seventh time in 19 career starts. 5/1 Dollar Soyer (5g Phlegyas) was second for Anthony Barrier, ahead of 77/1 Doum Jenilou (5g Rancho Gede). The Prix d’Aix les Bairs (purse 37,000€, 2700 meters. 15 starters, three year old males) saw 9/10 favorite Freeport (3m Texas Charm-Nouvelle d’Atout) score timed in 1.16.3kr for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. This colt recorded his fourth career win in six starts. 32/1 Filou des Tyll (3g Rancho Gede) was second for Matthieu Mottier and 38/1 Fynio du Pollereux (3g Timoko) was third for Franck Ouvrie. The Prix des Castres (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters, four year old females) went to 1.13.9kr timed and 5.5/1 odds Evita de Reux (4f Goetmals Wood-Tensita Love) with owner/trainer Matthieu Abrivard driving. She scored for the seventh time in 18 career outings. The 5/10 favorite Ella de Mai (4f Neutron du Cebe) was second for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire and 18/1 Electra du Vivier (4f Password) took third with Sebastian Ernault up for breeder/owner/trainer J-Y Lecuyer. The 1.9/1 odds favorite Emiliano (4m Love You-Quarda du Rib) took the Prix d’Annecy (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) timed in 1.12.6kr. Trainer J-M Bazire piloted the now eight time winner in 19 career starts for breeder/owner Ecurie des Charmes. The 2.1/1 Eadshot Josselyn (4g The Best Madrik) was second with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not. 24/1 Ekoango de Nile (4g Olimede) took third for David Thomain. Saturday's Quinte+ event was the Prix Mizar (purse 52,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) that went to the 29/1 outsider Costa Haufor (6f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) with Charles J. Bigeon driving. Christian Bigeon bred, owns and trains this winner that now shows six career victories in 30 starts. The 2.1/1 favorite Bryssel (6m Ready Cash-Spacelane) held second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and third was 26/1 Chtiot de Bellande (6m Defi d’Aunou) with Anthony Barrier up. 4.2/1 Sahara One (6g Raja Mirchi) and 68/1 Caresse (6f Ready Cash) completed the exact order top five that paid 86,429.40€ to the 2€ winning ticketholders. The same Saturday harness racing card produced victory for the undefeated (now three starts) and 2/5 favorite Foxtrot Nobless (3g Quinoa du Gers-Matthiole) reined by J-M Bazire for owner J-M Rancoule in the Prix Vulpecule (purse 35,000€, 2100 meters autostart, ten starters). The 32/1 Flash de Lune (3g Redlight Jet) was second for David Thomain and 25/1 Full Aux Rois (3g Tucson) was third for Thierry Duvaldestin. Race time was 1.15.3kr. Two year olds battled in the Prix Siwa A (purse 28,000€, 2200 meters, 12 starters) with a 1.17kr timed victory earned by the 5/10 favorite Golden Bridge (2m Ready Cash-Usenza) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for trainer Philippe Allaire and breeder/owner Michel Tessier. Golden Bridge earned his second victory in three career starts by defeating 25/1 Gassman d’Essa (2m Quido du Goutier) with Francois Lagadeuc up. 46/1 Grand Cru Lorrain (2m Coktail Jet) was third. The B division of the Prix Siwa (purse 28,000€, 2200 meters, 12 starters, two year olds) went to 1.17.6kr timed and 60/1 Gelati Cut (2m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Romain Charles Larue and breeder/owner Ecurie de Windcut. The 2.1/1 Granaggiolo (2m Timoko) was second and 41/1 Gold de la Cote (2m Ready Cash-Uranie des Elfes) was third, this one owned and trained by Sebastien Guarato and reined by Eric Raffin. Sunday at Vincennes is the first “B” leading to the 2019 Prix d’Amerique. The lineup follows headed by Bold Eagle. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

January2, 2018 - Today’s harness racing Q+ was the Paris-Vincennes’ Prix de Poitiers (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) and 6.9/1 Astral Viretaute (8g Kalahari-Aube et Vire) scored in 1.14kr for David Thomain, owner J.P. K’dual and trainer Pascal Goday. 1.6/1 favorite Attaque Parisienne (8f Hulk des Champs-Peccadille de Mai) was a close second in the blanker finish for Sebastien Ernault and owner/trainer Franck Harel. 34/1 Alto du Lys (8g Magnificent Rodney) was third for J-M Bazire, ahead of 6.9/1 Ariane de Capon and b 47/1 Volare de Lou, setting up a €20,885 exact order payoff. Newly aged three year olds fillies contested the Prix de Mezieres (purse €35,000, 2700 meters, 12 three year old female starters) and the 1.17.9kr timed winner was 5.1/1 Fantasiawicz (3f Ubriaco-Tarentelle Jenilou) holding on for a close victory driven by trainer Loris Garcia for owner Ecurie de Vieux Chene. Just missing was 3.1/1 Firefy (3f Ready Cash-Topaze Bourbon) that rallied in the four wide path, reined by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Yves Boireau, owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and the filly was bred by Scuderia Bolgheri Srl.  1.8/1 Fa de Bellouet (3f Quinoa du Gers-Kamie de Bellouet) was third for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and breeder/owner Jean Claude and Agnes Monthean. 26/1 Fierte d’Aunou (3f Quaker Jet-Tempete d’Aunou) was fourth for owner/trainer/driver Etienne Dubois. The next top action is Thursday at Vincennes that hosts the Gr. III Prix Hersilie (purse €90,000, 2100 meters, 12 starters all five year old mares) and the Prix de Coucy-le-Chateau (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, nine four year old mares). Thomas H. Hicks

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Marcel Laurent (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 10 four and five year old European starters) kicked off for some a path to the harness racing Prix d’Amerique. This field may be the best in the age class in Europe and what a victory it was for 1.11.3kr timed front striding Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) teamed with David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Francoise Deboudaud. This win was the sixth in succession for Carat Williams and increased his career earnings to €794,240. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America) rallied for second driven by trainer Johan Untersteiner. Third was Urlo Dei Venti (4m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy) with Enrico Bellei up for trainer Gennaro Casillo. Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) and Diabo du Noyer (4m Jasmin de Flore-Une et Indivisible) were fourth and fifth, ahead of Treasure Kronos that traveled comfortably in the death seat but could not sustain her stretch bid. Fractions were steady (1.09.2kr with 1500 remaining; 1.11.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.9kr with 500 meters to go). The winning Carat Williams was the 2/5 favorite while the next pair were off at 11/1 and 45/1 respectively. Thomas H. Hicks

August 21, 2017 - Top flight trotting action today at Paris-Vincennes shined the harness racing spotlight on four Groupe II events. In the Prix Pierre Plazen (Gr.II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters-three year old colts) 7.4/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) was an impressive 1.14.3kr timed winner for David Thomain. Sebastien Guarato trains the property of Philippe Dewulf that now sports career earnings of €195,950. 7/10 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) took second money for Mathieu Mottier driving for Guarato/Dewulf. 3.7/1 Eros du Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Ouknova de Lou) was third for reinsman Matthieu Abrivard. Classic Connection (3m Love You-Crys Dream) was sixth for J-P Dubois after winning his previous start. The monte Prix Herve Ceran-Maillard (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters) went to 1.12.6kr timed and 16/1 odds Cyprien des Bordes (5m Ouragon de Celland-Perle des Bordes) scored for jockey J.L.Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib.  Several highly respected entrants were miscue dq’s. 4.1/1 Cassate (5m Neoh Jiel-Quiva du Rib) was second ridden by Adrien Lamy for J.L. Dersoir and Ecurie Luck. 3/2 Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) landed third for Mathieu Mottier Next was the Prix Guy Deloisin (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 11 starters) and it yielded a victory by 1.3/1 Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-These d’Oliverie) handled by Franck Nivard for trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie de d’Oliverie). Race time was 1.12.2kr. 39/1 Exotic Destination (3f Love You-Quitomantica) was second for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. 5/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) was third for trainer/driver Franck Anne. The final Gr. II event was the Prix Jockey (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) and 2/5 favorite Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) scored for David Thomain, trainer Guarato and owner Mme. Florence Deboudaud. 8.7/1 Charly du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) was second with Yoann Lebourgeois up for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Marie Anne Thomas. 6.3/1 Cash And Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), the brother to Bold Eagle, was third handled by Franck Nivard for the trainer/owner team of Guarato and Pierre Pilarski. This group is maturing and at least some will move to the elite level in 2018. Thomas H. Hicks

June 10, 2017 - The Saturday sunny harness racing card at Paris-Vincennes included top flight trots led by the Gr. II Prix Louis Jarel (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, nine five year-old starters). The 5/10 favorite Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) scored on dq timed in 1.11.1kr for driver David Thomain. Sebastien Guarato trains the winner for Mme. Francoise Deboudaud. 9.7/1 odds  Clif du Pommereux (5m Love You-Noune du Pommereux) was placed second for driver J-M Bazire, trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. Placed third was 18/1 Caid Griff (5m Password-Savane Griff) reined by Mathieu Mottier for trainer Guarato and Ecurie Griff. The cause of the placings was dq’d Cash and Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), a full brother to Bold Eagle. On the program was the E-Q+ Prix de Villeneuve Sur Lot (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters). 54/1 Picone (8m Credit Winner-Fabiaz) scored, timed in 1.13.2kr for trainer/driver Santo Mollo and Ecurie Don Miguel. 38/1 All Feeling (7m Otello Pierji-Quelle Cerencaise) was second for Christophe Martens, ahead of 97/1 outsider Vie de la Ferme (8g Quatre Juillet-Erika de Vilzy) reined by J.Ph. Monclin for Axel Wend, the breeder/owner. Another  interesting winner this day was in the Prix de Gien (purse €68,000, 2700 meters, 11 European starters), as 15/1 Hambo Transs R (3m Love You-Bewitched) scored for the excellent team of driver Robin Bakker and trainer Paul Hagoort. Mille Fleurs from Holland is the winning owner. Romain Derieux teamed the 2/5 favorite Anzida Liards (7m Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) to victory in the Prix du Quercy (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 European entrants), timed in 1.13.5kr. David Bekaert trains the winner for breeder/owner Richard Padovani. 9/1 Orient Horse (9m Abano As-Irma del Rio) was second for Pierre Levesque and Glen Ord Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Onions Hilda) took third for Christophe Martens. Later in the program the Prix de Fecamp (purse €50,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) went to 1.13.5kr timed and 11/1 odds Cicero Noa (5g Mandarino Blu-Ma Belle Reine). Pierre Vercruysse teamed the winner for breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. Then, three year-old fillies took to the track for the Prix d’Istres (purse €8,000, 2700 meters, 11 European starters) with the 31/1 odds Estola (3f Nectar-Nika) prevailing for pilot David Thomain, trainer Emmanuel Ruault and Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson. 14/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) was second for trainer/driver Franck Anne. Third home was Electra Jet (3f Ready Cash-Olivia Jet) that was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois and now owned by Ecurie de As and trained/driven by Pierre Vercruysse. Primula Brazza’ Wins Q+ at Vincennes June 9, 2017 - 19/1 Primula Brazza’ (8f Oiseau de Feux-Erlarosa Brazza’) took the Friday evening Quinte+  Prix Titania (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Franck Nivard was the pilot for Scuderia Dell’Acquario and trainer Salvatore Carro. 11/1 Auro Normande (7f Ready Cash-Normandia) took second for owner/trainer/driver Eric Lambertz. Third home was 39/1 Baraka de Bellou (6f Prodigious-Olifina) and pilot Mathieu Mottier and Denis Elhalk, the trainer/owner/breeder. Race time was 1.14.5kr. On the same card was the Prix Adalberta (purse €56,000, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) and that 1.14.7kr clocked victory was earned by 9/10 favorite Cerenzo Turbo (5m Ganymede-Poesie de Vigne) from among a close pack at the finish. Franck Nivard teamed the Philippe Billard trainee that Ecurie Turbo owns and bred. 4.3/1 Tesauro (5g Flipp Roc-Iniziale) was second for pilot Alexandre Abrivard, ahead of 7.5/1 Titty Jepson (5f Varenne-Lama di Costa) reined by David Thomain for Vincent Lacroix, the trainer for Scuderia Nininni. Thomas H. Hicks

May 6, 2017 - David Thomain piloted 15.3/1 Darling de Reux (4f Prodigious-Queen Jet) through the heavy rain to a 1.12.2kr timed harness racing victory in the Gr. I Prix Criterium 4Ans at Vincennes (purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters, Quinte+ event). The winning mare, now with eight career victories in 14 starts for €316,210 earned, was three lengths up on 19/1 Draft Life (4f Ubriacio-Maflymede) reined by Eric Raffin for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 131/1 Dragon des Racques (4m Love You-Quinete des Racques) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. 12/1 Dawana was fourth ahead of 74/1 Drole d’Espoir. 3.4/1 Django Riff was sixth and Dijon was seventh.  This classic test for FR four year olds illustrated the pageantry, competitiveness and audience enthusiasm, despite weather conditions, of the Groupe I action at Vincennes. Thomas H. Hicks

March 3, 2017 - A Nice Boy (7g Niky-Pretty Perle) won today’s Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf at Amiens, the first GNT leg. The €90,000 purse, Gr. III, 2900 meters harness racing event was contested by 18 horses. The winner, off at 2.9/1, was teamed by David Thomain, trained by J.P. Thomain and owned by Haras d’Erable. Race time was 1.14.8kr. 9.6/1 Arthuro Boy (7m Le Retour-Guyane) was second for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Yves Dreux. 5.7/1  Ambassadeur d’Am (7g Orlando Vici-Halatte des Acres) was third for Christophe Martens. 14/1 Verzee Carisaie was fourth for Eric Raffin and fifth was 23/1 Vichenko Chep for Ch. Dreux. The 2.3/1 favorite Avenir de Blay was tenth. The Grand Prix de la Ville d’Amiens (purse €27,000, 2900 meters, 16 European starters) today went to 17.6/1 Upper de Naganda (9g Jan Pridem-Fregate de Nyanda) reined by Erik Raffin. Times was unreported. Yesterday at Cagnes-sur-Mer the Prix du Jamin (purse €25,000, 2925 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.15.3kr clocked and 2/1 favorite Deal On Line (4m Oiseau de Feurs-Tears For Fears) driven by Romain Derieux, also trainer. Mme. Mauicette DeSousa owns the winner that was bred by Mme. Etiennette Dubois. 30/1 Dorthez Prestance (4m Real de Lou-Quelle Prestance) was second for Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and breeder/owner Joseph Vanduffel. Thomas H. Hicks

January 28, 2017 - The Prix d’Amerique harness racing weekend is underway today with an excellent program at Vincennes. The opening Prix Offshore Dream (monte, purse €68,000, 2850 meters, 13 European starters), named after the former Prix d’Amerique winner, went to 2.4/1 Corona de Joudes (5f  Saxo de Vandel-Java de Joudes) with David Thomain aboard. Thierry Duvaldestin trains for Ecurie La Tour de Vandel. Pierre Levesque, trainer of Offshore Dream, awarded the trophy. Race time was 1.15.1kr. Second was 2.9/1 Candie d’Atout (5f Magnificent Rodney-Licorne d’Atout) for Matthieu Abrivard, also trainer, and third was earned by 16.2/1 Cenora (5f Blue Dream-Nalara) with Mathieu Mottier up for breeder/owner/trainer Dominique Mottier. The Prix de Paray-Le-Monial (monte, purse €55,000, 2175 meters, 13 European starters) went to the impressive 1.12.9kr clocked and 4.7/1 odds Bahamas (6m Goetmals Wood-Pin Up de la Loge). Alexandre Abrivard teamed the L.Cl. Abrivard trainee that is owned by Marquise de Moratella. 16.2/1 Silverado Lux (6g Amigo Hall-Mabelle As) was second for Anthony Barrier, trainer Holger K. Ehlert and Scuderia Fast Horse SRL. 4.6/1 Butch Cassidy (6g Forst de Retz-Pale de Retz) took third for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 15, 2017 - Briac Dark (6m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) rallied three wide and then tracked outside of pacesetting Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) and Bjorn Goop, and with harness racing driver David Thomain’s urging the 23.1/1 outsider, trained by Thierry Duvaldestin for owner Guy Barou, rallied past the 3.4/1 leader to score by a length in the Grand Prix de Belgique (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 17 starters). Call Me Keeper held bravely for second as stablemate Wild Honey (5f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy) closed well for third, driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. This trainer/owner pair also campaign Call Me Keeper. 7.9/1 Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sun), trained by Reden for Goran Antonsen of Norway, was fourth with Matthieu Abrivard driving and 110.3/1 Trebol (10m Hot Blue-Sally Can Wait) was fifth for trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou of Spain. Trinity Zet, Akim du Cap Vert and Oasis Bi were next in a contest in which six horses were dq’d and Propulsion, another Reden trainee, was scratched. Race time was 1.13.8kr off slow fractions in heavy rain (1.14.3kr at 1500 to go; 1.14.3kr at the 1000; 1.14.6kr with 500 meters remaining). The top three finishers received Prix d’Amerique invitations. Discours Joyeux and Val Royal Wins Gr.III Paris-Vincennes Contests Discours Joyeux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelle Copine) rallied at 6/1 odds for driver Eric Raffin to win the Gr. III Prix Riberac (purse €78,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) at Vincennes on Prix de Belgique Day. Thierry Raffegeau trains this winner for owner J-Y Roze. 3/2 Dream Life (4f Royal Dream-Union Of My Life) held second for breeder/driver Jean Philippe Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 12/1 Dokha Vedaquaise (4f Prodigious-Sestriere) was third for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and driver Yoann Lebourgeois. Race time was 1.14.6kr with modest fractions. The Prix Toulouse (purse €78,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.14.2kr timed, 2/1 odds Alphea Barbes (7f Look de Star-Lova Barbes) by open lengths for driver Ch.J. Bigeon, trainer Christian Bigeon and breeder/owner Andre Francis Bigeon. 13/1 Alamo du Goutier (7g Quido du Goutier) and 12.1/1 Arthuro Boy (7m Le Retour) were next to the line on this undercard event. 4.4/1 odds and barefoot Val Royal (8m Capriccio-Quanda du Rib) secured a 1.13.1kr timed victory in the Gr. III Prix Djerio (monte, purse €110,000, 2200 meters, 12 starters). Alexandre Abrivard was the pilot for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ecurie des Charmes. 12/1 Adelia de Melodie (7f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) was second for David Thomain (trainer St. Meunier) and 19.4/1 Tripolia (10f Sancho Panca-Garivane) was third for jockey Mathieu Mottier (trainer J.Ph. Mary). Thomas H. Hicks

January 14, 2017 - The Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) was expected to be an easy conquest for 1.1/1 Equinoxe (3m Texas Charm-Pelagie) and 2.2/1 Everest Vedaquais (3m Ready Cash-Spandelle) but both were disqualified, the latter for an early miscue and the former after an impressive victory, presumably for being rough gaited in the lane. Victory was thus awarded to fast-closing 6.9/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with David Thomain in the irons for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe DeWulf, timed in 1.16kr. Placed second was 30/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) reined by J.Ph Monclin and placed third was 5/1 Euro du Chene with Franck Nivard up. The Quinte+ Gr. II Prix de Croix was the day’s co-feature (purse €120,000, 2850 meters). Well respected Treasure Kronos, racing with shoes, and Cobra Bleu was miscue dq’s. 9.3/1 odds barefoot In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine) was an impressive rallying winner for Franck Nivard. This pair followed good outer tier flow and surged three wide in the late final bend to just get up for the 1.12.5kr clocked victory, with a quick final fraction (the timed was 1.13.1kr with 500 meters remaining). Daniel Reden trains the winner for Stall Zet. 3.6/1 Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) took second, beaten a nose, for Gabriel Gelormini and trainer Guarato. Third was the 9/10 favorite pacesetting Traders (5m Ready Cash-Graziella) for David Thomain and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 84/1 Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) rallied from far back to be fourth for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Graziano Ceccaroni, with fifth to Tony Gio (5m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) reined by Christophe Martens for Scuderia Bivans SRL and trainer Vincent Martens. The Gr. III Prix du Forez/Prix les Seniors (purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.12.8kr timed and 5.1/1 odds Anzi des Liards (7g Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines for breeder/owner Richard Padovani and trainer David Bekaert. 7/1 Athos des Elfes (7m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg) was second for trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was rail hugging 4.2/1 Altesse de Mirel (7f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Florence Allera. The winner closed stoutly as the time with 500 meters remaining was 1.13.8kr. A superb Saturday afternoon Paris-Vincennes program began with newly aged three year-olds contesting the Prix de Montreuil (monte, purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters), with an open-lengths victory earned by 1.3/1 favorite Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout). The Alexandre Abrivard teamed filly was clocked in 1.18.2kr and is trained by J-M Bazire for breeder/owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. 22.4/1 Etincelle de Rocha (3f Repeat d’Ombree-Rondinara) was the distant second for Matthieu Abrivard and 13.5/1 Extase de la Basle (3f Redea Josselyn-Ibiza de la Masle) was third with Eric Raffin in the irons. Monte performers continued with the Prix de Mauquenchy (purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 10 European starters) and 9/10 favorite Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) prevailed for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Denise Mottier and Ecurie Cheffreville). 7.2/1 Codie de Beaulieu (5f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) closed well for second, handled by J-Y Ricart. Third went to the 6.9/1 and Matthieu Abrivard teamed Chiuricahua (5f Pomerol de Laumac-Phoenix Arizona). Thomas H. Hicks

December 29, 2016 - 5.3/1 Akayama (6f Prodigious-Hirosaka) was a three length winner of today’s harness racing Quinte+ Prix de Salvanhac (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters) clocked in 1.14.4kr. David Thomain reined Akayama for trainer Alain Roussel and breeder/owner Mme. Nicole Roussel. 3.1/1 Aupiquarta (6f Goetmals Wood-Illys Way) and trainer/driver J-M Bazire was second ahead of 9.9/1 Xea Venus (8f Charmy Skeeter-Xea Lobell) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Bjorn Goop. The Pick5 Prix de Compiegne (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) was won by 2.1/1 Baxter du Klau (5g Oiseau de Feux-Iklia Josselyn) reined by trainer J-M Bazire for owner J.M. Baudouin. And timed in 1.14.7kr. 8.2/1 Bourbon Somolli (5m Sam Bourbon-Jamaica Somolli) was second for David Thomain and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 10.9/1 odds Black Atout (5m Prodigious-La Lagune) landed the third spot for Franck Nivard and trainer Franck Leblanc. Today’s featured Gr. III Prix de Chaleau Chinon (purse €95,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went to 1.6/1 Dream de Nilrem (3g Jet Foruna-Naoari de Chamant). Frederic Prat trains this favorite and Eric Raffin did the driving. Norway’s 6/1 Phantasm SOA (3m Cromwell-Ulver H) was second by half-length for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Olivier Raffin and owner Gudbrand ALM Skiaken. Third was fast finishing 9.4/1 Dragon des Racques (3m Love You-Quinte des Racques) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Jerry Mom (3m Ready Cash-Graziella) was fourth for Nicolas Roussel, owner Alain Roussel and trainer Philippe Allaire. Fifth was the Allaire owned and trained Dokha Vedaquaise (3f Prodigious-Sestriere) with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard. Race time was 1.16.6kr. Post positions are now set for Sunday’s next “B” (Prix de Bourgogne) leading to the Prix d’Amerique. See below, as the favorites appear well-positioned. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Gr. II Prix Octave Douesnel (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.3/1 Carat Williams (4m Prodigious-Miss Williams) with David Thomain up for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Mme. Francoise Deboudaud, clocked in 1.13.1kr with a rallying finish (fractions 1.17.3kr with 1500 to go; 1.14.9kr at the 1000, 1.13.9kr with 500 remaining). The winner raced in the death seat and wore down 1.4/1 Charly du Noyer (4m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) in the drive. The latter was reined by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Olivier Henri Thomas. Third was 42/1 Clif du Pommereux (4m Love You-Noune du Pommereux) took third for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger. Cad Griff and Cupidon du Vivier were fourth and fifth. The Gr. I Criterium des 3 Ans (purse €240,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to 26.3/1 Diego du Guelier (3m Kepler-Ophelie la Garenne) with Mathieu Mottier up for owner/trainer Denise Mottier. He was timed in 1.14.1kr (fractions 1.13.6kr at 1500 to go; 1.15.1kr at 1000; 1.15.1kr with 500 remaining) in a gritty performance defeating 7/10 favorite Django Riff (3m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) that Philippe Allaire trains for breeder/owner Elisabeth Allaire. Third was 31/1 Allaire trainee Dawana (3f Ready Cash-Sanawa) that he owns and that Gabriel Gelormini teamed. Draft Life and Dijon were fourth and fifth for Eric Raffin and Romain Derieux, their drivers Thomas H. Hicks  

Two year-olds harness racing colts contested the Gr. II Prix Ourasi (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) Friday evening with 6.2/1 Eridan (2m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout-Coktail Jet) posting an impressive 1.15.7kr timed victory. David Thomain teamed the Sebastian Guarato trainee that is owned by Ph. Dewulf. The winner’s dam was a career winner of €179.541 with a 1.12.7kr record. The 4/5 favorite Everest Vedaquais was a dq. Finishing second was 17/1 Everest de Ginai (2m Love You-Nymphe de Ginai) handled by Gabriel Gelormini for trainer Philippe Allaire and Finland owner Reima Kuisla OY. Third was Eros du Chene (2m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova) for Franck Nivard. The evening’s Quinte+ Prix Hilda (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to 1.15.7kr timed and 4.8/1 odds Aurore de Chloee (6f Islero de Bellouet-Loisiane de Nacre). Anthony Barrier piloted this winner for trainer Emmanuel Varin inn defeat of 85/1 Ariane du Nil (6f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Melby du Lin) with Maxime Bezier the trainer/driver. 4.9/1 Azela des Plaignes (6f Lilium Madrik-Ibiza des Plaignes) was third in a photo for trainer/driver Denis Brossard, also trainer. Secret Boy (8g Allison Hollow-Sugarcanes Riviera) took tonight’s Winter Cup at Wolvega (purse €6,960, 2100 meters autostart, 8 starters) timed in 1.15kr at 5/1 for Dion P. Tesselaar.  The 9/10 favorite Olympic Kronos (8g Viking Kronos-Ebony Kronos) was second for Joseph Verbeeck and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Third was 29/1 Radamante (6g Ganymede-Tenderembrace) Thomas H. Hicks  

November 26, 2016 - Today’s Gr. III Prix de Chenonceaux (purse €100,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to hot-trotting Traders (4m Ready Cash-Graziella) at 2/5 odds for David Thomain. Philippe Allaire trains the seven-time harness racing winner, now with earnings of €339,910 for owner Scuderia Colibri SAS. The front-end winner stormed home clocked in 1.13.3kr off even fractions (1.14.4kr at 1500 to go; 1.13.9kr at 1000; 1.14kr with 500 remaining). 9.7/1 Glen Ord Superb (5m Orlando Vici-Orions Hilda) was second for Christophe Martens and 12/1 Boeing du Bocage (5m Scipion du Goutier-Lova du Cap) was third for Loic Guinoiseau and trainer Franck Leblanc. Traders rallied past Bold Eagle is his last outing prior to today. The Saturday afternoon program also included the €90,000 purse Prix de Quimper contested over 2850 meters by 12 European entrants. 3.6/1 Avenir de Blay (6g Hooper-Mirabelle de Blay) scored in 1.13.5kr for driver/trainer/owner Tony LeBeller. 43/1 Amiral du Bisson (6g Jeanbat du Vivier-Melodie du Bisson) was a distant second for David Thomain and third was 10/1 Arthuro Boy (m LeRetour-Guyane) for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Yves Dreux. The Prix de Bagnoles de l’Orne (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed and 12/1 Une Serenade (8f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade). Eric Raffin teamed the Serge Peltier trainee. 18/1 Ustie Haufor (8f Niky-Lara du Houlbet) was second for Christian Bigeon and third went to Thierry Duvaldestin teamed 7/1 Univers de Daidou (8g Jag de Bellouet-l’Absinthe). The day’s monte featured event was the Prix de Thoissey (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 16 European starters) and the impressive Talikser Horse with Camille Levesque up was sidetracked by a dq. This the winw as awarded to 32/1 Caid de Bangale (4g Loulou Jet-Tierce de Bangale) with Eric Raffin up. 9/1 Concerto du Ruel (4g Prince Gede-Jacarendine) was second for David Thomain and trainer Franck Anne. 26/1 Codie de Beaulieu (4f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) was third after the placings. Thomas H. Hicks  

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