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August 26, 2015 - Today’s featured Gr. II Orix Guy le Gonidec (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to the Eric Raffin driven Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) easily by four lengths timed in 1.13.1kr. Sebastien Guarato trains this Philippe Dauphin owned mare that was off as the 4/5 favorite. 21/1 Bahia Quesnot (4f Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) was second for reinsman Mathieu Abrivard with third to 16/1 Balva Montaval (4f Magnificent Rodney-Primavera de Lou) driven by Gabriel Gelormini. Also on the afternoon card was the Prix des Cyclamens (€33,000 purse, 2175 meters, 10 two year-old starters) and it was won by 5.1/1 odds Dista Love (2f Royal Dream-Usita Love) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. The 9/10 favorite Deep Purple (2f Prodigious-Ornella Rainbow) was second driven by Jos. Verbeeck for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. G. Poulsen-Allaire. 33,000 purse, 2175 meters, 10 two year-old starters) and it was won by 5.1/1 odds Dista Love (2f Royal Dream-Usita Love) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. The 9/10 favorite Deep Purple (2f Prodigious-Ornella Rainbow) was second driven by Jos. Verbeeck for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. G. Poulsen-Allaire. 36/1 Dame du Campdos (2f Uaukir-La Conseillante) was third in the contest clocked in 1.18.1kr. The winner’s dam is a daughter of Goetmals Wood-Carmensite-Florestan. Carmensita, from 12 foals, has produced three winners of $100,000 or more including Marlene 1:58.5 ($296,318) by Goetmals Wood, Tensita Love 1:58.1 ($114,664) by Love You and Amensito 2:00.3 ($104,702) also by Love You. Thomas H. Hicks  

August 19, 2015 - The featured Gr. II Prix Pierre Gamare for monte performers (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 7 starters) went to favorite 7/10 odds Che Jenilou (3m Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) with Eric Raffin aboard for owner Antonio De Sousa and trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 1.17.6kr winner, by five open lengths, rallied late for the win and then held off 12/1 Caennaise (3f Memphis du Rib-Opaline Blanche) ridden by Camille Levesque for trainer Benoit Barassin, with third to 11.7/1 Cadeau de Noel (3m Corot-Nuit de Noel) with Philippe Masschaele up for owner/trainer Pascal Daulier. The Prix de Beaune (purse €65,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) was today’s secondary feature, the Quinte+ with a €2.4 million jackpot, contested under sunny skies at Paris-Vincennes with the win going to 7.6/1 odds Un Charme Fou (7m Love You-Ma Crown) with Franck Nivard up. Franck Leblanc trains this one for owner Claude Guedy clocked in 1.14.4kr. Ecurie D bred the winner that earned victory 14, now for career earnings in excess of €350,000. 43/1 Umberto de Nacre (7g Korean-Ivana d’Arc) was second for trainer/driver Didier Dauverne with 18/1 odds Totem d’Azur home third for owner/trainer/driver Herve Soinneau. The monte Prix d’Epernay (€55,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went to 5/2 odds Tess de Villeneuve (8f Goetmals Wood-Joie de Villeneuve) handled by Yoann Lebourgeois clocked in 1.13.7kr. The trainer of the winner is Mme. Severine Raimond. 12/1 Vermeer Jarzeen (6g Oh James-Perle Jarzeene) landed a distant second for Eric Raffin ahead of 38/1 Temia Cayennaise (8f Kepler-Fauvette de Bodean) with Mme. Emilie Le Beller in the irons. Pioneer Gar (6m Varenne-Follia) scored in the Prix des Noailles (purse €46,000, 2700 meters, 16 European contestants) by three-lengths timed in 1.13.8kr. The 3.1/1 winner was teamed by Eric Raffin for trainer Johanna Lindqvist and is owned by Italy’s Scuderia Super Chico SAS. 2.4/1 favorite from Sweden, Tell Me No Lies (6g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious) was second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and trainer Fabrice Souloy. Third went to Italy’s 4/1 Paparazzi  (6g Infinitif-Emily di Jesolo) trained by Lutfi Kolgjini and reined by Dominik Locqueneux. The Prix du Perigord for five year-olds (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) was won by 20/1 Alexia (5f Prodigious-Ilexia) with Eric Raffin at the lines for trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Alexia scored in 1.14.3kr by three lengths defeating 9/1 pacesetter Bearhawaii (5g Offshore Dream-Honalulu Lulu) for trainer/driver Christophe Martens. 9/1 odds Amie d’Andy (5f Coktail Jet-Nanyotiere) was third for trainer/driver P-Y Verva. Today’s Prix d’Antibes for three year-olds (purse €52,000, 2700 meters, 9 starters) went to favorite 9/10 odds Chicago Blues (3m Prodigious-New Orleans) trained by Thierry Duvaldestin and driver Franck Nivard. This colt scored in 1.15.4kr to defeat 9.5/1 Coup Droit (3m Prodigious-Saint Leonard) driven by Robin Bakker for trainer Paul Hagoort. Third went to 11/1 Capone Face (3m Ready Cash-Kingly Pride) with Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Antonio De Sousa. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 25, 2015 - Today’s Enghien-Soisy harness racing card included the Gr. III Prix Dominique Savary (purse €82,000, 2150 meters autostart, 13 European entrants) and 2.1/1 odds Villeroi (6m Oiseau de Feux-Pocahontas) recorded a comfortable front stepping victory for driver Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Pierre Pilarski. The winner closed quickly off soft fractions to be clocked in 1.13.6kr (1.14.3kr at 1000; 1.14kr at 500). Italian registered Rue du Bac (5m Infinitif-Ici) was second at 8.5/1 for Roberto Andreghetti, trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Ecurie Caramera AB. 7.7/1 odds Tabriz du Gite (8m Ganymede-Kabrizia du Gite) was third for teamster David Thomain. The top three to the line all raced without shoes. The undercard at Enghien was also solid, including the Prix de Picpus (€41,000 purse, 2875 meters, 14 starters) and the 1.16.5kr winner in a blanket finish was 6.9/1 Battambang (4m Roc Meslois-Murcia) clocked in 1.16.5kr for Bernard Piton and trainer/owner J-P Piton. 7.7/1 Boccaccio (4m Carpe Diem-Haria des Champs) was next for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Ronny Kuiper with 11.3/1 Baldwin Jet (4m Sam Bourbon-Jessica Jet) third for trainer/driver Jarmo Niskanen and owner Stall Rita. Cabourg’s July 24 (Friday) Quinte+ (€5 million jackpot) Prix Henri Balliere (€36,000 purse, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to the 1.16kr winner Uhlan Darche (7g Olitro-Kalinka du Louvet) at 10.3/1 for F. Lecanu driving for Ecurie Danover. Favorite 1.7/1 Velino d’Auvrecy (6g Memphis du Rib-Everilda) was second for J.Cl. Dersoir and trainer Joel Hallais (owner Ecurie Rib) with 17/1 Under Your Eyes home third for Sebastien Ernault. €753,000 was bet on this race in win and place pools alone. Cabourg’s Prix du Conseil Regional B (€30,000 purse, 2850 meters, 13 starters) went to Buy More Time d’Am (4f Love You-No More Time) at 2.8/1 odds for driver Tony LeBeller, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Behall AB. The winner was timed in 1.16.7kr. 6/1 Blanche de Valace was second for Anthony Dollion with 28/1 Bahia de Bougy at the line third. At Son Pardo (Spain) the Final Torneig 2015 Espagne (€20,000 purse, 2650 meters autostart, 16 starters) went to 7/10 favorite Quarass Rose (11g Tarass Boulba-Ugada) clocked in 1.17kr. 43/1 Ribat de Beval was second with 20/1 Tamara du Pont third to the line. Elsewhere this day, at Amiens their Prix Prince Royal (€30,000 purse, 2400 meters autostart, 13 entrants) went to Violet (6m Love You-La Rouge) clocked in 1.14.7kr for Pierre Vercruysse. The 3/10 favorite is owned by J.G.H. DeJong. Seneuse des Ulmes was second at 20/1 for Franck Ouvrie with Truscott de Guepre third at 12/1. At Biarritz the Prix du President de Folleville (€35,000 purse, 3750 meters, 16 European entrants) went to 2/5 favorite Voctania de Viette (6f Prodigious-Isis des Mariniers timed in 1.19.5kr ahead of Tur Winner (8g Kaisy Dream-Isaline Fortiniere) and both trained by E. Varin who also owns the winner. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 25, 2015 - Today’s Enghien harness racing card included the Quinte+ Prix de Plaisance (€56,000 purse, 2150 meters autostart, 14 European starters) with the Q+ jackpot of €3.55 million. The 1.13.3kre winner was 9/1 Tropic du Hetre (8g Jasmin de Flore-Ixia de Perthurs) with Eric Raffin piloting for trainer Bruno Bourgoin, the winners’ 15th career score in 61 starts. 7/1 Olimpus Caf (7m Varenne-Evoila Caf) was second for Julien Dubois, trainer Jean-Etienne Le Bec and Ecurie Montaro of Italy. 12/1 Nantucket (9m Viking Kronos-Malabar Lady) was third witjh Franck Ouvrie up for trainer Sofia Aronsson and Stall Express of Sweden. The top three finishers raced without shoes. At Vichy this day the Prix Pierre Coulon (€70,000 purse, 2150 meters, 13 International starters) went to 2.1/1 Tabriz du Gite (8m Ganymede-Kabrizia du Gite) for David Thomain and trainer Jean Lelievre, racing barefoot as did the next two finishers. 43/1 Ugo du Loisir (7m Niky-Isla Bonita) was second for owner/trainer/driver Jean-Philippe Ducher ahead of 12/1 Sophie du Vif (9f Jenko-Lavalliere du Vif) handled by owner/trainer Aymeric Thomas. The time of the winner was 1.12.3kr and the beaten field included notables Global Midnight, Probo OP, Nefertite del Rio, Anette du Mirel and Armando Kievitshof. At Aby (SWE) trainer Jerry Riordan enjoyed a successful day with three wins, a second and a third. In a three year-old event Riordan finished first and second, with the winner Tornatore Grif (3m Varenne-Meadowbranch Nan-Pine Chip) handled by Peter Ingves for owner Mauro Prospero of Italy. This 1.15kr victor defeated stablemate Tres Bien IT (3g Daguet Rapide-Imatra Bi-Supergill) for reinsman Frank Nilsson and owners Lisa Riordan and Al. Folli Srl in this  event over 2140 meters autostart with 35,000SEK first money. Riordan stables’ Super Bull (4m Yankee Slide-What A Joy-Alf Palema) won the Molndals Postens (30,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) in 1.11.8kr for reinsman Christoffer Eriksson by six lengths. Mauro Prospero also owns Super Bull. Quantum Gliding and Bennet finished second and third. Prospero owns another Riordan trainee, Superfly Effe (4m Varenne-Chipping Image-Pine Chip), that scored in 1.14.7kr in the Grillnatta (2140 meters autostart, 12,000SEK to winner). Scuderia Gardesana Srl bred this winner. Carbon Launcher and Renoir Bi finished behind the Riordan trainee. Riordan was later third in the Moindals (2640 meters distance handicap, 40,000SEK to winner) with owner Prospero’s Spitfire Effe (4m Varenne-Victorian Bride-Valley Victory, a length behind winner Light Brode (5m Classic Photo-Luck Of the Day-Mr. Lavec) for Lutfi Kolgjini and second place Vasterbo Eclair (4m Echo-Vasterbo Flash-Spotlite Lobell) with Joakim Lovgren driving. On the same Aby card the Coop Forum Kallereds (40,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) went to US-bred (by Polly and William Hilliard) My Gliding Angel (5f Yankee Glide-My Shooting Star-Malabar Man-Bedell-Speedy Crown) trained and driven by Bjorn Goop, timed in 1.11.2kr. The winner has a 8-4-3 slate in 24 career starts. Pin Kronos (6f Cantab Hall-Luck Of The Day-Mr. Lavec) was second for teamster Johan Untersteiner and owner Stall Courant AB. Paducah Dream (5f Infinitif-Padme Hanover-Credit Winner) was third for Peter Ingves and trainer/owner Jenny Nordensson. Ecurie Reve Avec Moi bred this one. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 22, 2015 - Sunday’s harness racing undercard at Vincennes also included two Gr.III events and the day’s Quinte+ with a €3.35 million jackpot. Starting that action  was the Gr. III Prix Raymond Fouard (€85,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 European starters) was clocked in 1.13.7kr by the victorious 1.6/1 favorite Beau Gamin(4m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Jean Michel Rancoule. The winner recorded his eighth win now for earnings of €227,440. 7/1 Balva Montaval (4f Magnificent Rodney-Primavera de Lou) finished second for Franck Nivard with 44/1 Bolide de Gueron (4m Cygnus d’Odyssee-Olivia) third for Franck Anne, the driver/trainer/owner. The Prix de Gresse (Gr. III, €80,000 purse, 2700 meters, 12 European starters) went to the 1.12.5kr winning Norwegian Lionel (5m Look de Star-Aurora Dign-Smokn Lantern) for J-M Bazire. The 3/1 winner is trained by Fabrice Souloy for Goran Antonsen. Lionel scored his ninth career win for earnings of €203,216. 25/1 Red Rose America (5f Varenne-Armbro Voice) was second for Tony LeBeller driving for trainer Souloy and the Denmark owner Stall Panamera Racing. This one was bred in Italy by the late Lou Guida. 39/1 Atout du Lorre (5g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) was third for Franck Anne also trainer/owner. Rooibus and Rember Mail finished fourth and fifth while As Dore and Arlington Dream were disqualified. The Quinte+ Prix Bertrand Deloison (€90,000 purse, 2850 meters, 17 European starters) went to the 1.13.8kr timed, 2.3/1 odds Val Royal (6m Capriccio-Quarda du Rib) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner/breeder Ecurie des Charmes. The winner posted his 11th career victory now for €353,720 earned. Germany’s 3/1 Chapeau (6m Love You-Crown Tess) was second for trainer/driver Christophe Martens and Italian owner Renato Bruni. 29/1 Urgos (7m Kesaco Phedo-Orcieris) was third for Joseph Verbeeck driving for trainer Bazire. Italy’s Perkins Grif was fourth. Win-place handle alone on the W+ race exceeded €1,147,000.      Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 3.350.000 € - Numéro plus : 0397     Ordre :       1.281,80€     Désordre :       23,40€     Bonus 4 :       7,20€     Bonus 4sur5 :       3,60€     Bonus 3 :       2,40€           Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 7 Val Royal J.-M. Bazire Ecurie des Charmes J.-M. Bazire 2ème 11 Chapeau GER C. Martens R. Bruni C. Martens 3ème 10 Urgos J. Verbeeck M. Moureaux J.-M. Bazire 4ème 4 Perkins Grif ITY F. Nivard Scuderia Futura 2004 Srl F. Souloy 5ème 16 Scarlet Turgot E. Raffin Mme T. Hoste Y.-A. Briand               Thomas H. Hicks  

June 14, 2015 - An excellent performance on today’s Bjerke OGP harness racing card was set by Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort-And Arifant) and teamster Eric Raffin. The Sebastien Guarato trainee, owned by Philippe Dauphin, scored with ease in 1.10.8kr to increase her earnings to 8,031,876Nokr. The long bodied, long-striding filly now has a slate of 14-6-3-1 in 25 career starts. The FR bred female defeated the boys as Mr. Lindy (Cantab Hall) and Orjan Kihlstrom was second in his initial appearance in Europe after import from the US. Third was Expo Express (Expo Bi) and reinsman Jorma Kontio with Jerry Riordan trainee Sylvester America (Varenne) fourth for Bjorn Goop. Kapow Hanover (Explosive Matter) set a quick and steady pace with Mr. Lindy and Well Built following until Billie crushed their hopes. Sylvester America came from the back and a three-wide final turn surge got him into contention but he did not threaten the top three. Chart and photos follow.   Totalisatorløp 5 14.06.2015 Bjerke Travbane Gjensidige 4 års elite Premiesum:  400 000,- - Distanse:  1 609 Startmetode:  Auto     V75-1 Plass Vinner Duo Tvilling Trippel Hestens navn Dist. Km.tid Kusk Premie Kr Evt.odds 1 3 Billie de Montfort (FR) 1 609 10,8a Eric Raffin 200 000,- 13 2 4 Mr Lindy (US) 1 609 11,1a Ørjan Kihlstrøm 100 000,- 318 3 6 Expo Express (DE) 1 609 11,4a Jorma Kontio 50 000,- 895 4 8 Sylvester America (IT) 1 609 11,5a Bjørn Goop 25 000,- 53 5 5 Kapow Hanover (US) 1 609 11,7a Erik Adielsson 15 000,- 131 6 1 Well Built (US) 1 609 11,7a Frode Hamre 10 000,- 162 - 10 Jontte Boy (FI) 1 609 11,8a g Tuomas Korvenoja   129 - 7 Elton Attack (DE) 1 609 12,5a Steen Juul   1283 - 2 Lightning Force (US) 1 609 12,7a Kenneth Haugstad   367 - 9 Pippa Barosso (DE) 1 609 dist Roberto Andreghetti   1015                     Tempo: første 500 1 09 5 (5 Kapow Hanover), 1000 1 11 3 (5 Kapow Hanover), siste 500 1 10 3 Also on the card was a fine KJass I Strelfors win by Sweden’s front-stepping Emmett Brown (4m Muscle Hill-Traci Spur-SJ’s Photo) for teamster Erik Adielsson and legendary trainer Stig H. Johansson. Stall Kennys Andelhasten own the winner, now with a career slate of 5-1-1-1- in 12 starts for 482,878Nokr earned. Emmett Brown was clocked in 1.13.2kr as the lightly raced colt defeated J-P Dubois bred, Bjorn Goop teamed Sudbury (Infinitif) by a length and Rio Grande D.K. (Love You) with Steen Juul up closed for third. Totalisatorløp 6 14.06.2015 Bjerke Travbane Strålfors løpet (kval. til Klass1) Premiesum:  195 000,- - Distanse:  2 100 Startmetode:  Auto     V75-2 Plass Vinner Duo Tvilling Trippel Hestens navn Dist. Km.tid Kusk Premie Kr Evt.odds 1 2 Emmett Brown (SE) 2 100 13,2a Erik Adielsson 100 000,- 22 2 1 Sudbury (IT) 2 100 13,3a Bjørn Goop 50 000,- 70 3 7 Rio Grande D.K. (DK) 2 100 13,5a Steen Juul 25 000,- 99 4 10 Novel Broline (SE) 2 100 13,5a Magnus Teien Gundersen 12 000,- 206 5 3 Paolendry Like (IT) 2 100 13,6a Hugo Langeweg Jr. 8 000,- 27 - 6 Muchmoremuscles (SE) 2 100 13,8a Kenneth Haugstad   147 - 5 Inchgower Level (SE) 2 100 13,9a Pål Buer   474 - 11 Toto (DK) 2 100 14,0a Christian Lindhardt   376 - 9 Vicky Corner (DE) 2 100 brg Ørjan Kihlstrøm   242 - 4 Twist Shadow (DK) 2 100 STR Eirik Høitomt   0 - 8 Snabba Cash (FR) 2 100 STR Peter Untersteiner   0 1.13.2kr- 12 Trine Hellebjerg (DK) 2 100 STR Anders Pedersen   0                     Tempo: første 500 1 10 9 (2 Emmett Brown*), 1000 1 14 6 (2 Emmett Brown*), siste 500 1 12 9 Thomas H. Hicks    

June 6. 2015 - Today’s excellent Paris-Vincennes card showcased two Group events, the Quinte+ and other fast-class races. The harness racing card started off with the Gr. III Prix Istres (€68,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 European three year-old fillies) and 7/2 Cavalleria (3f Prodigiois-Janga) took the win for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastian Guarato. She was clocked in 1.16.1kr for an effective start to finish trip. 17/1 Tresor (3f Andover Hall-Rafale) was second for trainer/driver Santo Mollo and Italian owner Scuderia Dream Sas. 9/1 Cala Rossa (3f Lets Go Along-Lee Nova) was third for Julien Dubois aboard. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The Gr. II Prix Louis Jariel (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, 11 starters) went to 3.4/1 Ave Avis (5m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. Mme. O. Roffi-Urano is the owner. He was clocked in 1.11.3kr off even fractions (1.10.4kr at 1500; 1.10.9kr at 1000; 1.11.6kr at 500). Altesse du Mirel (5f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) was a game second at 17/1 for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Mme. F. Allera. The 7/10 favored Aladin d’Ecajeul (5m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul) was third for reinsman Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Ph. Dewulf. The Jean-Etienne Dubois owned and trained Africaine (5f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne) was fourth at 5.5/1 for Gabriel Gelormini. Today’s Gr. III Prix de Gien (€68,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 European three year-olds) went to 2.1/1 favorite Cobra Bleu (3m Fortuna Fant-Nuit Irisee-Duc de Jiel) and trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse, clocked in 1.14.6kr. G-E Morin is the breeder/owner of this five time winner of €114,340. Tesora Degli Dei (3m Igor Font-Isabella Dei-Pine Chip) was second for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini at 28/1 for owner Scuderia Mary Forever and breeder Az. Agr. Degli Dei. 4/1 Cocktail Meslois (3m Roc Meslois-Ocarina Mesloise) ended third for trainer/driver Pierre Belloche and breeder/owner Ecurie Bois Doufray. Italy’s Perkins Grif (6m Classic Photo-Radiant Victory) took the Quinte+ (€2.2 million jackpot) Prix du Quercy (€85,000 purse, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) with Roberto Andreghetti aboard. Fabrice Souloy trains for owner Scuderia Future 2004 Srl. The 7/2 odds winner was clocked in 1.13.4kr. Second was 10/1 Sahara Fairytale (6f Viking Kronos-Sahara Shadow) from Sweden, trained and driven by Christophe Martens for owner Canberra HB. 10/1 Victoria du Jouan (6f Insert Gede-Jirondelle) was third for teamster William Bigeon and trainer J-L Bigeon. The Prix de Velleneuve-sur-lot (€48,000 purse, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) resulted in a 1.12.2kr victory for 1.3/1 favored Venosc de Minel (6g Laetenter Diem-Melia Monochrome) for J-M Bazire and owner/trainer Mme. S. Raimond. 34/1 Palomar LB (6m Varenne-Gilly LB) from Italy was second for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini and owner Scuderia AeC  Borsami ahead of Perfect Power (6g Ken Warkentin-Enjoy My Face) from Sweden, handled by trainer Christophe Martens at 14/1. Sweden’s Tell Mr No Lies and Staro Foot Loose were fourth and fifth. Thomas H. Hicks

May 28, 2015 - Harness racing action aplenty this day in France. and Sweden as the Pick 5 Prix SES Racing Team (€28,000 purse, 2800 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.2/1 favorite A Nous Trois (5m Orlando Vici-Quallas) with Eric Raffin up. Sebastian Guarato trains this 1.14.8kr winner. 8/1 Always Perfect (5m Prodigious-Oh Butterfly) was second for owner/trainer/driver Julien Dubois ahead of 2.3/1 Atout du Lerre (5g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) with driver/trainer Franck Anne piloting. At Nancy-Brabois FR the trotting contests were also interesting. Their Prix Ecole de Nancy (€30,000 purse, 3175 meters distance handicap, eight European contestants) went to 1.18.5kr clocked Kazire du Bob (7g Kazire de Guez-Blow Out Kemp) at 2.2/1 for teamster Franck Ouvrie. Bjorn Goop is his trainer for Stall Torpedo HB of Sweden. 2.3/1 Oronte di Cesato (7m Allison Hollow-Enzaran) reported home second for Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and owner Onsorio Perfetti of Italy. 13/1 Ungador (7g Gobernador-Oceanic Melody) was third. Also at Nancy-Brabois the Prix des Freres Muller (€25,000 purse, 2600 meters, nine European starters) went to 1.16.7kr winner Vasco d’Orsinval (6g Malicieux Gede-Nuit de Pontignies) at 6/1 for trainer/driver A. Garandeau. 5/1 Shark Attack (7g April Perfect-Step by Step) was next for Philippe Masschaele, trainer J-F Van Dooyeweerd of Holland with 1.3/1 favorite Unogaren (7g Land du Coglais-Neige de la Garen) third for Julien Raffestin, trainer Robert Bergh and owner Ecurie Etoile. At Bergsaker SWE a 2014 Elitloppet starter Shaq Is Back (8m Credit Winner-Vivica Hall-Victory Dream) and trainer/driver Daniel Reden won the Travakademiens Sponsorers Trot (30,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters) clocked in 1.11.3kr for a comfortable win over Rocky Race (10m Super Arnie-Etoile Race-Lindy’s Crown) and Leif Witasp. Stall Zet owns the winner that was US bred by Steve Jones and Fair Winds Farm. This was win number 21 for Shaq in 71 starts good for 4,554,037SEK won. Another last year Elitloppet contestant Sanity (9g Love You-Flash Light-Mack Lobell) was third today for Ulf Eriksson. Sanity has 30 wins in 78 starts for earnings of 10,246,942SEK. It was reported that now retired superstar Maharajah will be presented to the audience on Sunday. He started in four Prix d’Amerique’s winning his last try. He never started in an Elitloppet. The Stefan Hultman trainee won the Olympic Trot, the Prix de Paris, the Swedish Derby, and European Derby and E3. Orjan Kihlstrom drove Maharajah in all but two of his 59 career starts that produced 31 victories for over 23SEK million earned. The “King” will be shown at Solvalla shortly after noon local time. Thomas H. Hicks

Caen’s harness racing feature today was the Prix de Saint-Martin (monte, €38,000 purse, 2450 meters, 13 starters) and jockey Eric Raffin rode Tamerlan(8g Capriccio-Hematite) to a 1.14kr victory, his seventh in 66 career starts. The 6/1 winner is owned by Ecurie Danover and trained by St. Provoost. Salieri (9g Hermes des Pericard-Lysanxia) was second for David Thomain at 4/1 with third to 12/1 Ulpia des Jipes (7f Mon Bellouet-Obiga des Jipes) for trainer/jockey Franck Nivard. At Solvalla, their Elitloppet weekend began with a series of ASVT Trottex Auktionsloop events each with a winner’s reward of 110,000SEK. The three year-old females battled over 2140 meters autostart and Bjorn Goop teamed Tunika (3f Zola Boko-Verona du Ling-Super Arnie) to an easy 1.14.3kr victory. Tomas Malmqvist trains for owner Stall Tumble Boys-Easy and Tunika was bred by Menhammer Stuteri AB. The winner is 5-2-1 in nine career starts. Magnesia (3f Magnetic Power-Mertensia-Super Arnie) with Oskar J. Andersson up was second for trainer Jorgen Westholm. Second dam is by Speedy Spin. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed Teeter Totter (3f Jaded-Marelle-VikingKronos) home third. This one was also a Menhammer Stuteri AB bred. The three-year old males also fought over 2140 meters autostart for 110,000SEK first money with Poet Broline (3m Quite Easy-Candelia-Armbro Goal) victorious for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner clocked in 1.14.1kr by open lengths. Broline International AB bred the winner that is owned by Sven-Goran Sjostrom. Another colt division (same distance and purse) went to Bjorn Goop reined Pacific Broline clocked in 1.14.3kr. Goop is also trainer of the Franck Leblanc owned, Broline International AB bred winner, now 4-1-0 in six starts lifetime, all in 2015. Another filly division (same distance, purse) went to Facile Boko (3f Virgill Boko-Zacile Boko-Muscles Yankee) with Erik Adielsson up timed in 1.14.1kr. She was an easy winner for owner Easy KB and trainer Svante Bath. Boko Stables Holland BV bred this one, now 5-5-1 in 13 career appearances. Also on the Solvalla card was the Gotlandssnus for mares (2140 meters autostart, 50,000SEK first money) and Ulf Ohlsson teamed Faith Hill (4f Muscle Hill-A Girl Named Sugar-Pine Chip) to a close there horse finish timed in 1.14.8kr. Stefan Melander trains the winner for his Stall TZ. Lebanon, Kentucky’s Jim Avritt bred Faith Hill. The mares also contested the E-trafik (1640 meters autostart, 60,000SEK first money) and Orjan Kihlstrom piloted Denmark’s Speed Hill (6f Goetmals Wood-Funny Hall-Mr. Vic) to a 1.11.6kr win. Roger Walmann trains the winner for Stuteri Sun Hill, also breeder. Speed Hill is 10-3-4 in 28 career starts. Thomas H. Hicks

May 20, 2015 - Jos. Verbeeck reined the J-M Bazire trained Vinci de l’Abbaye (6m Otello Pierji-Kyboumette) to victory in today’s fifth leg of the harness racing Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (€90,000 purse, 2825 meters distance handicap, 15 national starters). Timed in 1.14.4kr (off slow fractions) over the 2850 handicap distance, the winner scored at 9.8/1 as he rushed to the line with authority. Bazire was second with the winner’s stablemate Ave Axis (5m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) at 2.7/1 over 2825 meters. Uvevering du Gile (7m Iton du Gite-Bauxite Docain) was third at 53/1 for P-Y Verva covering 2825 meters. Favorite Un Vert d’Ouest was fourth. This race was today’s Q+ with a €4.1 million jackpot. Total win-place handle on the event was over €917,000. The Prix d’Arras (€30,000 purse, monte, 2825 meters, 17 European starters) went to the fast closing, barefoot Paola Fks (5f Naglo-Etoile Bi) at 7.5/1 for Eric Raffin. Philippe Bengala trains this winner clocked in a quick 1.12.6kr, owned in Italy. 41/1 Holland invader Compleet Weil (6g Dream Vacation-Joan Jackson) for Alexis Garaadeau was second. Johan C. Bot trains this competitor for owner Wilderbeek. Urban de Bruyere (7g Himo Josselyn-Marylane de Fellou) was third at 6/1 for Francois Lagadeuc. Dellvann (8g Dell Ridge Image-Elusive Muse) took the Prix Henri Sion (€26,000 purse, 2825 meters, 16 European starters) for Francois Lecanu at 3.8/1 odds. Jorgen Westholm trains the winner for SWE owner Stall Stabil HB. 18/1 Soupir de Blary (9m Look de Star-Kassandre de Blary) was next for trainer/driver Antoine-Alain Barassin and owner Ecurie Franck Anne. Third was earned by Tsar de Grammont (8m Likeable River-Folies de Grammont) at 7/1 for Eric Raffin and trainer Vincent Lacroix. At Marseille-Borely the Prix de la Motte d’Aigues (€20,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, nine entrants) went to 9.4/1 Classe d’Urzy (3f Saxo de Vandel-Tessa d’Urzy) with trainer Mikael Cormy up. The winner scored in 1.16.7kr to defeat 2.2/1 Caliita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and trained by Yves Boireau. The dam, by Love You-Etta Extra-Florestan, was a winner of over US$1.8 million and at age five third in Prix d’Amerique. Previously at age three and four she won the Criterium des Jeunes, Prix de l’Etoile, Prix Roquepine, Prix de Selection, Criterium Continental and Grand Prix de UET. Favorite 1.2/1 Cocomoko (3m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) for owner/trainer Richard Westerink. This one is a full brother to Timoko, the 2014 Elitloppet victor. Thomas H. Hicks

May 13, 2015 - The Caen harness card today included the Prix Henri Balliere (Gr. II monte, €120,000 purse, 2450 meters, 11 starta cingers after one scratch) that showcased recent double winner Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato, trainer. But, this day Booster Winner had little kick after a good in-behind trip that saw him settled third and fourth throughout. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) rallied strongly off the final bend to score comfortably at 7.6/1 odds clocked in a good 1.12.4kr by two lengths over the 3/5 favorite Booster Winner. Francois Lagadeuc rode the winner for Jean-Michel Baudouin, trainer, with Best of Jets winning for the fourth career time in 25 starts. Third went to Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle-Neva du Rosier) piloted by Clement Frecelle for trainer J-L Bigeon, off at 18/1. Starters: Blooma d’Heripre, Franck Nivard Buckingham Park, Mathieu Abrivard Bingo Star, Adrien Lamy Bergame Madrik, Alexandre Abrivard Bourbon Somolli, David Thomain Brise de l’Alba, P-Y Verva Biscuit Delavera, Clement Frecelle Best of Jets, Francois Lagadeuc Bocage d’Ortige, Yoann Lebourgeois Beauty Turgot, Anthony Barrier Booster Winner, Eric Raffin The Gr. I monte Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (€150,000 purse, 2450 meters, 13 starters after one scratch) also was featured at Caen. Six were disqualified for miscues but the 4/5 favorite took victory. Che Jenilou (3m Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) scored by eight lengths for pilot Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Antonio De Sousa, clocked in 1.15.3kr. The winner recorded career win number four in nine appearances. 17.6/1 Conga (3f Goetmals Wood-See You Soon) was second for Damien Bonne, also trainer, ahead of 22/1 Cargese de Blary (3f Prince d’Espace-Ines de Blary) with Mathieu Abrivard up. Starters Camerone, Wilfried Jehanne Copernic, Antoine Wiels Caline de Faco, Julien Raffestin Cosette, P-Y Verva Concorde, Franck Nivard Caennaise, Camille Levesque Conga, Damien Bonne Cash Phil, Yoann Lebourgeois Cobra, David Thomain Captain Lyl, Elisabeth Allaire Cargese de Blary, Mathieu Abrivard Colibri Madrik, Adrien Lamy Corsica, Anne Barthelemy Che Jenilou, Eric Raffin This day at Marseille-Borely the Prix de Marignane (€32,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to Truman Dairpet (8g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) at 5/2 odds for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. The 2.7/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) was second for trainer/driver Mikael Cormy ahead of 7/2 Tonight Cam (8m Orlando Vici-Nouba Vinoir) with trainer Yannick A. Briand aboard. The winner was clocked in 1.13.3kr. The Prix de Septemes Les Vallons (€19,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, eight starters) was clocked in 1.15.9kr by the winner Cloane du Vivier (3f Repeat Love-Royale du Vivier) at 2.8/1 for Nicolas Ensch. This one is trainer by Y-A Briand for well-respected breeder/owner Jean Yves Lecuyer. Second at 1.8/1 was very well-bred Calita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) that is owned/bred by Jean Pierre Dubois and reined by trainer Yves Boireau. Trainer Briand drove the third place horse, Cirrus de Banville (3m Rieussec-Perle de Vonnas), off at 5/2 odds. Thomas H. Hicks

May 9, 2015 - Villeroi (6m Oiseau de Faux-Pocahontas) took today’s co-featured Prix du Gatinais (€85,000 purse, 14 European starters, 2700 meters) timed in 1.12.6kr for harness racing driver Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastian Guarato. Ecurie Pierre Pilarski owns the winner that scored at odds of 4.7/1. Tornado Bello (8m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade), the half-brother to Offshore Dream, was a game pacesetting second for Thomas Levesque and trainer Mike Lenders as 2.3/1 favorite and third went to Triskell Pacha (8g Elio Josselyn-Derose de la Butte) and teamster Franck Nivard. Sometime pressed the lead during much of the contest but tired and went offstride late. Fractions were solid with a quick final 500 meters (1.13.1kr at 1500; 1.13.5kr at 1000; 1.13.2kr at 500 and 1.12.6kr finish). This race was today’s Quinte+ with a jackpot of €3.55 million. The Gr. III Prix Guillaume de Bellaigue (monte, €120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 7 International starters) went to rallying Nene’Degli Ulivi (8g Uconn Roc-Maureen Lobell) and Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Vincent Lacroix. Off at 7.7/1 the winner recorded career victory 17 in 40 outings, scoring in 1.14.4kr off slow fractions (1.13.5kr at 1500; 1.15kr at 1000; 1.15.7kr at 500, 1.14.4kr finish) set by second place 25/1 odds Vision Intense (6f Prodigious-Intense Action) ridden by Nathalie Henry for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Rarely a pacesetter Vision Intense raced very well. Great mare Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise) rallied valiantly late to be a close third for Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato and Ecurie Griff. She was off at 4.7/1 and raced fifth on the pegs until late in the lane. The Prix du Perreux (European, €80,000 purse, 13 starters) for upper class campaigners went to Rember Mail (5m Toss Out-E Mail Spin) and reinsman Christophe Martens for trainer Victor Martens at 3.1/1 odds. He rushed to the front with 1000 meters to go and led to the line scoring in 1.14.8kr for owner Ecurie GIGA Srl of Italy. Perkins Grif (6m Classic Photo-Radiant Victory) was second at 7.5/1 after making a strong push of the last turn and sustaining that run throughout the stretch for Roberto Andreghetti. Fabrice Souloy trains this one for Scuderia Future 2004 Srl. Rooibus (6m Rotation-Miss Tessani) was third along the pegs for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and owner BS Stables AB at 8.5/1.  Fractions were pedestrian that set up a quick and wild finish (1.14.7kr at 1500; 1.15.5kr at 1000; 1.16.2kr at 500; 1.14.8kr finish). Thomas H. Hicks

Harness racing trainer/driver Richard Westerink showcased lightly raced Cocomoko (3m, Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) today at Le Cepiere and it produced a comfortable win clocked in 1.17.3kr in the Prix Aerocons Tellation (€22,000 purse, seven starters) as the 9/10 favorite. 2.8/1 Cristal des Baux was second ahead of 11.7/1 Carl des Penguen. The winner is worth tracking for the future. At Vincennes the Prix Regulus (€55,000 purse, 2850 meters, 13 starters) went to As Dore (5m Coktail Jet-Dragee d’On) for teamster Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Franck Leblanc. Timed in a sharp 1.12.7kr the 10.1/1 odds winner handled Arpont d’Ostal (5m Meaulnes du Corta-Quina Perrine) and J-Ph Mary ahead of third finishing Valmayor (5g Le Retour-Kornnaya du Bac) for Joseph Verbeeck at 4.7/1. The card also featured the Prix Leo (€55,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) resulted in a 1.11.6kr victory for 9.1/1 odds Toopie du Hetre (8g Jasmin de Flore-Ixla de Perthos) and Eric Raffin. Favorite at 1.3/1 odds Universal Rider (7m Nahar de Beval-Hanska) ended second for Mathieu Mottier with Ucapata third at 14/1. Thomas H. Hicks

April 28, 2015 - The afternoon harness racing card at Saint Galmier this day featured the Quinte+ and the Grand Prix du Centre Est. Ubanji (7g Jag de Bellouet-Perle d’Aunou) took the Quinte+ Prix de la Chorale de Roanne (€35,000, 2650 meters, 15 European starters) in 1.15.5kr for teamster Franck Nivard at 6/1. Tantale de Fol (8g Impact du Rib-Ivorine Folle) landed second for Serge Peltier at 12/1 with 5.2/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) home third for Mikael Cormy. The card at Saint Galmier featured the Grand Prix du Centre Est. (€100,000, 2650 meters, international 10 starters) and 34/1 Scarlet Turgot (9f Dahir de Prelong-Noelle de Massy) took the win in 1.15.1kr for Y-A Briand. 40/1 Ulk Medoc (7m Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet) rallied for second for Franck Corbineau with third to 1.6/1 favorite Swedishman (9g Gogo-Volganc) and trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. The Vincennes featured Prix Rene Palyart (€120,000, Gr. II monte, 8 starters, 2175 meters) went to Eric Raffin teamed Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), victorious as 3/5 favorite. Clocked in 1.12.2kr the winner handled Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) at 8/1 with third to 23/1 Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castille-Neus du Rosier) with L.C. Frecelle up. On the Vincennes evening undercard Cottie Cash (3f Sam Bourbon-Kidea) took the Prix Arachne (€37,000, 10 starters, 2200 meters) with Mathieu Abrivard up, clocked in 1.16.7kr for trainer Philippe Allaire. Off at 1.2/1 odds the winner defeated 135/1 Chance des Douits (3f Power Jet-Pony Girl) and 88/1 Cahora Fonciere (3f Severino-Quietude Fonciere). The winner is from Kidea a 1998 foal and dam of Ready Cash and six winners from nine foals, three with earnings in excess of €100,000. KIdea is by Extreme Dream and has Workaholic, Star’s Pride and Kimberland (Nevele Pride) represented in the pedigree. Thomas H. Hicks

April 26. 2015 - Aladin d’Ecajeul (5m Quaker Jet-Nona d’Ecajeul) took Sunday’s feature at Argentan with Eric Raffin up.  Sebastian Guarato trains the winner for owner Philippe Dewulf. The even-money favorite recorded career win 12 in 27 starts for earnings in excess of €857,000. The Criterium de Vitesse (€100,000, International with 13 starters, 1609 meters autostart) winner was clocked in a rapid 1:52.3 (1.09.8kr). Italy’s Pascia’Lest (6m Varenne-Superiors Sun) was second for Andrea Guzzinati at 11/1 with 10/1 Univers de Pan home third for Philippe Daugeard. Beckman finished fifth. The winner is a future European star for years ahead, in our opinion. Thomas H. Hicks

February 16, 2015 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Ovide Moulinet (€120,000, 2700 meters, 7 starters) was an expected victory for 0.5/1 favorite Aladin d’Ecajeul (5m Quaker Jet  -Nancy d’Ecajeul) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. The winner, clocked in 1.13.2kr, now has 12 wins in 25 career starts for €818,740 earned for owner Ph. Dewulf. 5/1 Africaine (5f Oiseau de Feux - Italienne) was second for teamster Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Jean-Etienne Dubois. 34/1 Alesia d’Atout (5f Defo d’Aunou - New York Jet) landed third for Mathieu Mottier. Monday’s Quinte+ was the Prix de Cahors (€60,000, 18 European five year-olds, 2700 meters) and the 1.14.7kr winner was Italy’s Roxanne Bar (5f Exploit Caf - Guendalina Bar) at 13/1 for Roberto Andreghetti up for trainer Catello Savarese. She rallied off the final bend to gain the lead and sustained her drive to the line. Favorite 1.7/1 odds Action Package (5f Opium - Loumana Flor) was second for Pierre Levesque and trainer Mike Lenders. Italy’s 24/1 Rosemary Gar (5f Donato Hanover - Allstar FC) was third for Mario Minopoli and trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The Prix de Bracieux (€56,000, 18 European starters) ended with victory by 3/1 Falcon Haleryd (6g Varenne - Falnos Ballona) teamed by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Johan Untersteiner. Timed in 1.14.5kr the winner defeated a driving 8/1 King of the World (6m Magnificent Rodney - Queen of Hearts) with Michael Nimczyk up and third place 28/1 Viking du Pilet (6g Kuadro Wild - Indra du Pilet) handled by Franck Ouvrie. The initial engagement for Sunday’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Grand Pris de Paris includes 26 and leading performers Timoko, Up And Quick and Roxane Griff. It looks to be a competitive group. UET Masters Series - Groupe I - International - Attelé - 400.000 € - 4.150 mètres (2.58 miles) - Grande piste Primes : 22 500 €, 12 500 €, 7 000 €, 4 000 €, 2 500 €, 1 000 €, 500 € Prix : 180 000 €, 100 000 €, 56 000 €, 32 000 €, 20 000 €, 8 000 €, 4 000 € Separately the excellent mare Prussia (6f Ken Warkentin - Elvezia-Pine Chip) was named Italy’s Trotter of the Year at ceremonies Sunday at Naples. The Pietro Gubellini trainee won the L’Etain Royal in Finland, the Gran Premio Turilli at Rome and the Gran Premio delle Nazioni at Naples. Thomas H. Hicks

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