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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

February 8, 2015 - The Gr. I Prix des Centaures (€240,000, 2200 meters distance handicap, monte, nine starters) resulted in a decisive win clocked in 1.12.5kr for Booster Winner (4m Love You - Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin up for harness racing trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 2/1 favorite handled, by four lengths, 3.9/1 Bali du Leard (4f Gazouillis-Irman Williams) with Franck Nivard in the irons for Franck Leblanc. Beauty Turgot (4m Hand du Vivier-Quouragane) ended third for Anthony Barrier and trainer Fabrice Souloy. The Gr. III Prix de Luneville (€78,000, 2700 meters, seven starters, monte) went to 1.7/1 odds Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle - Neva du Rosier) in an easy score clocked in 1.16kr after slow fractions (1.17.9kr at 1500; 1.17kr at 1000; 1.16.2kr at 500). Clement Frecelle reined the winner for trainer Jean Luc Bigeon. 11/1 Buckingham Park (4m Coktail Jet - North American) was second for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux ahead of Bilooka du Boscail (4f Look de Star  -Mirza du Vivier) with Nathalie Henry in the irons. Yves Hurel trains this one. In other upper class races Agrippine (5f Hasting - Moquevse) took today’s Prix Salam (€95,000 purse, monte, 10 five year-old starters, 2850 meters) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard at 3.8/1. The winner was clocked in 1.14kr in defeat of Attentionally (5m Jasmin de Flore - Intentionally) at 7/1 for David Thomain with third to Astre Blanc (5m Memphis du Rib - Java Blanche) at 11.1 for Mathieu Mottier and conditioner Sebastien Guarato. Norway’s Lionel (5m Look de Star - Aurora Sign) captured the Prix Application Parieurs (€75,000, 18 European five year-old males) for Franck Nivard. The 7/2 odds winner is trained by Fabrice Souloy and owned by Goran Antonsen. Aubrion du Gers (5g Memphis du Rib - J’Arrive du Gers) was second at 2.7/1 for owner, trainer, pilot J-M Bazire ahead of Italy’s third place Raul Breed (5m Yankee Slide - Flamma d’Asolo) at 124/1 for reinsman Mario Minopoli Jr. and trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The Prix Janval (€60,000, 2700 meters, nine three year-old starters) produced a win by Cirrus du Chene (3m Milford du Chene - Oasis du Chene) teamed by Franck Nivard. The 2.7/1 odds winner scored in 1.16.6kr as he defeated Cobra (3m The Best Madrik - Phuket Island) at 8/1 for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and third finisher Christo (3m Rieussec - Panacee) at 32/1 for Michel Lenoir, trainer/driver. Today at Le Bouscat the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duren (€35,000 purse, 2650 meters, 17 European starters) went to Jean-Pierre Dubois driven and owned Tast Of Bourbon (5f Donato Hanover - Qualita Bourbon). Jean Baudron trains this winner that was the 2/1 favorite.  Second was 2.8/1 Berry’s Boy (7g Love You - Realy Furniture) trained by Sebastien Guarto and driven by Glenny Delaune. Third was 16/1 Twist des Pleignes (8g Gazouillis - Ibiza des Plaignes) for owner/driver Denis Broussard. The earlier reported Prix de France summary is shown below with the winner Timoko. What a racing day this was, in this second leg of the French Triple Crown. Two weeks from now will be the Grand Prix de Paris over the marathon distance of 4150 meters. The Gr. I UET Masters Series event for €400,000 was won a year ago by Up And Quick with J-M Bazire up as he defeated Tiego d’Etang and Roxane Griff. Thomas H. Hicks

February 7, 2015 - The excellent Saturday Paris-Vincennes harness racing program began with the Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel (€120,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) went to Bardane du Houel  (4f Jet Fortuna - Hague du Houlbet) with David Thomain the pilot for R-Ch. Larue trainer. The 7.6/1 winner was clocked in 1.14.3kr with a quick last panel off modest fractions (1.15.4kr at 1500; 1.15kr at 1000; 1.14.7kr at 500) to score easily over Briac Dark (4m Prince Gede - Queen des Charmes) the 9/10 favorite handled by trainer Franck Anne. Black d’Avril (4m Oceano Nox - Olivia d’Avril) was third for teamster Frack Ouvrie and trainer Frederic Prat at 9.1/. The winner recorded her third career win now for €203,340 earned. The Quinte+ Prix de Munich (€95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) went to 6/1 Scarlet Turgot (9f Dahir de Prelong - Noella de Massy) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Y-A Briand. Favorite Chelsea Boko made a misque at the start. The winner was clocked in a sharp 1.11.7kr off even fractions (1.09.8kr at 1500; 1.11.2kr at 1000; 1.11.9kr at 500). Italy’s Princess Griff (6f Varenne - Fauve Griff) was second at 9/1 for trainer Fabrice Souloy and pilot Roberto Andreghetti. 31/1 Septour (9g Love You - Kenitra) was third for Julien Dubois.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.350.000 € - Numéro plus : 0897   Ordre :       35.712,00€   Désordre :       297,60€   Bonus 4 :       66,20€   Bonus 4sur5 :       11,40€   Bonus 3 :       7,60€   Nonant le Pin (8f Goetmals Wood - Blazing Janice-Pine Chip) took the Prix de Lisieux (€88,000, 2700 meters, 12 European monte starters) took this test in her first ridden start for David Thomain, trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro and owner Scuderia le Pradine. The Italian invader scored at 14.3/1 odds timed in 1.14kr (mile rate 1:59) after even fractions (1.15.1kr at 1500; 1.14.2kr at 1000; 1.14.1kr at 500), during which she took an early lead, yielded and raced third until around the final bend when she rallied to the front and edged away for a two-length victory over 3/2 favorite Valleroi (6m Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato and 3/1 Veloce du Banney (6g Quaro - Jeus du Banney) handled by Joan Lebourgeois for trainer Franck Leblanc. Nonant le Pin now has 20 wins for €316,656 earned. The five year-old mare Prix de Verneuil (€75,000, 2700 meters, European 13 starters)) went to Aupiquaria (5f Goetmals Wood - Illys Way) with trainer/driver J-M Bazire up as 1.6/1 favorite. She scored in 1.15kr with a good closing effort from soft fractions (1.16.8kr at 1500; 1.15.2kr at 1000; 1.15.9kr at 500) to defeat 10/1 Alpine du Rib (5f Opium - Rockeuse du Rib) reined by J.L. C. Dersoir for trainer Joel Hallais. The Divine Miss F (5f Kiss Francis - Fast Wise As) was a 20/1 third for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Halena Burman for Folkbolagen AB from Sweden. Tomorrow is Grand Prix de France day and what a racing program it promises to be. Thomas H. Hicks

February 4, 2015 - Harness racing trainer driver Jean-Michel Bazire piloted 1.8/1 favorite Val Royal (6m Capricio - Buardu du Rib) to victory in the Wednesday Quinte+  Prix de L’lle-et-Vilaine (€50,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters, Q+ jackpot €5.2 million).  Bazire also trains Val Royal, timed in 1.13.6kr, as the pair defeated Ultra d’Asnois (7m Jasmin de Flore-Hotesse de Feu) with Christian Bigeon up at 7/2. Ustou (7g Niky-Oh Manor) was third at 9/1 for David Thomain. Sweden’s  Photo Princess (10f Super Photo Kosmos-Milady Hornline) ended the contest fourth for Michael Lonborg, also trainer. The relatively low odds top five produced an unusually modest exact order payoff.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.200.000 € - Numéro plus : 0802   Ordre :       2.260,00€   Désordre :       45,20€   Bonus 4 :       9,60€   Bonus 4sur5 :       4,80€   Bonus 3 :       2,60€   The Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (€58,000, 2700 meters, European females, 15 starters) went to Sweden’s Monas Invercore (6f Viking Kronos - Moras Speranza) for teamster Eric Raffin and trainer Svante Bath.   Clocked in 1.14.6kr the 8/1 winner defeated Va Vole de Lys (6f Oiseau de Feux-Nostalgie du Lys) at 7.5/1 reined by Franck Nivard with third to Vitesse la Ravelle (6f Lontzac-Ma d’Ylea at 67/1 for Tony Le Beller. Italy’s Petra Axe (6f Daguet Rapide-Image Delmar) was fourth with J-M Bazire at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks

The featured Gr. I UET Masters Series Prix de L’lle de France (€200,000 purse, 2175 meters, International, 12 starters) produced what appeared to be a  wide rally by the “Grande-Dame” of French trotting Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise-Sancho Panca) as she scored narrowly across the line for Eric Raffin, harness racing trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie Griff.  The 3/5 favorite was, however, disqualified after steward investigation and this denied her from achieving the €3 million mark in career earnings. Roxane again drifted very wide in the stretch as she did in the Prix de Cornulier on January 18th (Eric Raffin commented post-race that the great champion used her heart to overcome pain).  Placed first was Udayama (7f Echo - Lancia du Pont) trained by Lois Groussard and handled by Gaetan Prat and race pacesetter Talicia Bella (8f General du Pommeau -Illicia Bella), ridden by Anthony Barrier, was placed second ahead of Seduisant Fouteau. The undercard this day was exceptional, with several group (graded) events. The Gr. III monte Prix de l’Amite (€95,000 purse, 2175 meters, 8 participants) went to the Camille Levesque teamed Valse de Reve (6f Mister President-Nouba Houba) that was off at 1.3/1 for trainer Nicolas Roussel. The good performing mare swept to the lead in the last turn and held off two challengers in deep stretch, second placed Virgious du Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) at 2.5/1 for Damien Bonne and trainer Sebastian Ernault, followed by Vrai Voyou (6g Gazouillis-Oranginette). The winner was clocked in 1.12.5kr after even fractions (1.11.4kr at 1500; 1.12kr at 1000; 1.12.8kr at 500). The Grand Prix d’Afrique (€60,000 purse, 2850 meters, 18 European starters, Quinte+ €5.05 million jackpot) went to Vico du Petit Odon (6g Otello Pierji-Mine Éclair) at 2.4/1 odds,  driven by Franck Nivard. Franck Leblanc trains the winner that scored in 1.14.8kr with a sharp closing kick (fractions 1.16.5kr at 1500; 1.16.1kr at 1000; 1.16.1kr at 500). Theo d’Erah (8g Baccarat du Pont-Linda d’Erah) closed well for second, handled by David Thomain, at 90/1. By Air (8g From Above-Come Fly With Me) held third for Sweden’s trainer/driver Robert Bergh at 31/1 and Italy’s Overland Gar (7f Windsong’s Legacy-Happy Diamonds) was a 47/1 third for driver/trainer Romain Derieux. Race five on the excellent card today was the Gr. III Prix de Rouen (€100,000 purse, 2700 meters, nine European participants) and the exciting finish was changed by disqualification of the Stg H. Johansson trained  Indigious that was rough gaited shortly before the line. Thus, Anna Mix (5f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was placed first at 9/10 odds for trainer/driver Franck Nivard, over second placed Moving On (6f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie with J-M Bazire up for trainer Fabrice Souloy. 31/1 Vive Mayjc (6f Baccarat du Pont-Mammy Blue) was placed third and she was reined by Mathieu Abrivard for trainer/owner Louis Baudron. The winner was clocked in 1.13.6kr closing sharply off soft fractions (1.14.5kr at 1500; 1.14.8kr at 1000; 1.15kr at 500). The Gr. III Prix La Marne (€110,000 purse, 2700 meters, International, 13 starters) produced a victory for Une Fille d’Amour (7f Infant du Bossis-Never So Great) and teamster David Thomain. The Cyril Raimbaud trainee, off at 8/1 odds, defeated Akim du Cap Vert (5m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert) and owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne and Solea Riveliere (9f Calife des Noues-Holua Rivelliere) with Philippe Daugeard aboard at 18/1. Soleil du Fosse finished fourth with Beckman fifth. Favorite Viking de Val ended eighth and Rapide de Digeon was unplaced in this fast-class event. The winner was clocked in 1.13.4kr on honest fractions (1.12.9ker at 1500; 1.13kr at 1000; 1.13.4 at 500).  Thomas H. Hicks  

Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia  Mesloise), at 2.6/1 odds, with jubilant Eric Raffin in the irons for Ecurie Griff and conditioner Sebastian Guarato, made a powerful move around the final bend from third over in the outer flow and surged to the front in winning the €700,000 Prix de Cornulier (monte) at Vincennes, France. They held off the favorite 1.8/1 Tiego d’Etang (8m Chaillot-Harolena) and Charles J. Bigeon up in the drive, overcoming a drift out to the fans fence by Roxane Griff that perhaps cost her four lengths and nearly the victory as she won by just a head. Nevertheless she held on with Raffin saluting the crowd without reins in hand. Roxane Griff scored her 21st victory in 105 starts, now for €2,891,818 earned. The “grande-dame” of trotting raced without shoes. This was the world's richest monte race for trotters. Pacesetter Vittel de Brevol and David Thomain was third on the line but disqualified causing Talicia Bella (8g General du Pommeau-Illicia Bella) to be placed third for Anthony Barrier and trainer J-P Marmion, ahead of Udayama and Ugo de Nieil. The winner became the first ten year-old to win this classique. The pace was even (1.13.6kr at 1500; 1.13.6kr at 1000; 1.13.8kr at 500: 1.13.3kr finish) but the top two picked it up impressively in the drive to the line. The Cornulier was today’s Quinte+ race of the day (jackpot €4.35 million) and over €1.85 million was bet on the race on win/place alone. On a sunny, well-attended winter day at Paris-Vincennes, the Gr. II monte Prix Camille de Wazieres (€120,000 purse, monte, 2175 meters) went to 7/1 Bocage d’Ortize (4m Mirage du Goutier-Providence d’Ortize) with Mathieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Sebastian Guarato. The winner rallied steadily in the lane to defeat 4/5 favorite Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin up, also for top trainer Guarato. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) was a good third for Franck Lagadeuc at the lines for Jean-Michel Baudouin. The winner scored in a sharp 1.12.3kr after solid early fractions (1.09.9kr at 1500; 1.11.1kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500). The Gr. III Prix de Dinan (€110,000 purse, 2850 meters, 17 starters) went to fast finishing 6/1 Volare de Lou (6g Korean-Pareastern de Lou) with Christophe Martens driving for trainer Vincent Martens. The winner scored in 1.14.4kr after modest fractions. Vodka du Wallon (6f Onlyx du Goutier-Neige des Harneaux) was second at 8/1 for Eric Raffin ahead of 41/1 Val Royal with Alexandre Abrivard teaming for trainer J-M Bazire. The Gr. III Prix de Valence (€95,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Buffalo de Beylev (4m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis) with Mathieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Hubert Hardy. 67/1 outsider Bardane du Houlbet was second for David Thomain with third to 10/1 Brasil de Bailly and teamster Franck Ouvrie. The winner scored in 1.15.5kr. Today’s Prix Bellino II (€85,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) produced victory for 2/1 Virgious du Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition), with David Thomain up for trainer Sebastian Ernault. The winner scored in 1.14.4kr, closing stoutly off modest fractions (1.15.3kr at 1500; 1.14.4kr at 1000; 1.14.9kr at 500). 25/1 Varoum Boy (6m Baccarat du Pont-Hawai Girl) ended second for Eric Raffin and trainer Yves Dreux. Anthony Barrier teamed third place finisher Vivier de l;Oison (6g Prince de Montfort-Punaise) at 6/1. Lightly raced three year-olds contested the Prix de Maisons-Lafitte (€42,000 purse, 2200 meters, nine starters) and the winner was undefeated (now in three starts) Comtesse du Chene (3f Quaker Jet-Imperiola du Chene) with Pierre Vercruysse up at 9/10 odds. Cana de Bailly and Carla Bilou trailed the winner across the line. Young sire Quaker Jet looks to be an emerging stallion. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

For the first time since 1979, one of the last preparatory race prior to the Prix D’Amerique, the Prix de Belgique , has only ten trotters entered for this Sunday at Paris-Vincennes. The purse is at $145,000 (US). Since 1990, the last of the "B" race has at least twelve starters. This edition promises to be very special, and will not be supporting the quinté + bet. The morning line favorite for the race is Vabellino (2 - Eric Raffin), who races barefoot and can win his ticket to the big race if successful as the winner of the race gets an automatic entry into the Prix D’Amerique . Another favorite in the field is Up And Quick ( 10 - Jean- Michel Bazire ) who will be handicapped twenty-five meters, and will wear shoes with Jean -Michel Bazire driving . Texas Charm (9 - Julien Dubois), will race with shoes too. Elles W Phedo (1 - Johanna Lindqvist ), better known in the European races, tries his luck against the elite, racing without shoes. Here is the field for the Prix de Belgique 1. Elles W Phedo–Johanna Lindqvist 2. Vabellino–Eric Raffin 3. Very Nice Marceaux–Pierre Vercruysse 4. Solea Rivelliere–Philippe Daugeard 5. Kadett CD–Robert Bergh 6. Uhlan du Val–Cedric Megissier 7. Roxana de Barbray–Gabriele Gelormini 8. Severino–Christian Bigeon 9. Texas Charm–Julien Dubois Trailing the field by 25 meters 10. Up and Quick–Jean Michel Bazire Maven also races on the same program and headlines the Prix Tenor de Baune, a race for 6-year-old trotters over the 1-11/16 mile distance, also for a purse of $145,000. There are ten entered in the race and Maven drew the far outside post 10 as she is the highest money earner in the field. She will again face Solvato (Orjan Kihlstrom), who two weeks back captured the Prix de Bourgogne at Vincennes and earned an automatic entry to the Prix D’Amerique. Solvato was bred in the United States and is a full brother to world champion filly, Shake It Cerry. Here is the field for the Tenor de Baune 1. Claes Boko–Johanna Lindqvist 2. Valko Jenilat–Glenny Delaune 3. Voyage de Rêve–Jean Philippe Dubois 4. Vulcain de Vandel–Franck Nivard 5. Villeroi–Eric Raffin 6. Chelsea Boko–Bjørn Goop 7. Voltigeur de Myrt–Gabriele Gelormini 8. Solvato–Örjan Kihlström 9. Mosaique Face–Jos Verbeeck 10. Maven–Jean Michel Bazire By Steve Wolf, for

Saturday’s co-featured events included the Gr. II Prix de Tonnan-Villeneuve (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, 11 starters, time 1.12.9kr), won by favorite Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quisma de Montfort) with Eric Raffin teaming for trainer Sebastian Guarato. The 1.4/1 choice defeated Brillantissime (4m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire) off at 3.5/1 for teamster Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Philippe Allaire. 14/1 Beauty Turgot (4f Hand du Vivier-Quouragare) ended third for Franck Nivard and trainer Fabrice Souloy. The winner recorded her 10th career victory now for earnings of €611,000. The Quinte+ (jackpot €3,650,000) was the prix des Breteuil (€54,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 18 participants, time 1.13.5kr). Pierre Levesque teamed Tagada Tagada (8f Meaulnes du Corta)-Lambada) to victory at 7.3/1 odds over Ulexa des Plans (7f Jag de Bellouet-Iola Dessuti) and Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Philippe Daugeard at 6.7/1. Third went to Trinite du Mont (8f Hugo Barbes-Ozo du Mast) and P-Y Verva at 19/1. The winner’s sire, a Prix d’Amerique winner, was trained by Levesque during his storied career. The Gr. II Prix Uon Tacquet (€120,000 purse, monte, 2175 meters, 8 starters) went to 1.1/1 favorite Astor de Quenne (5m Opus Viervil-Qualinka de Quenne) for Eric Raffin. Sebastian Guarato trains this one, timed in 1.13.1kr in defeat of Aladin des Bordes (5m Koktail de Perron-Illusion de Bonnes) and M-M David aboard at 36/1. Airport (5m Love You-Privore) was third at 3.8/1 for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Ake Kristoffersson. Second choice in the wagering, Amazone de Dollar, finished fourth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Today’s featured Prix de Bar-le-Duc (€105,000, 18 European starters, 2850 meters distance handicap) went to front-stepping Vive Majyc (5f Baccarat du Pont-Mammy Blue) handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Louis Baudron and owner SARL Ecurie de Sassy.  The 34/1 winner was timed in 1.15.1kr over the rain soaked course to defeat Voyage de Reve (5m Password-Kiocalba) with Jean-Philippe Dubois aboard for trainer Philippe Moulin. Beckman (7g Turbo Sund-Nina Palema) ended third overcoming a 25 meter handicap for reinsman Franck Nivard  and trainer Fabrice Souloy as did fourth place finisher Voltigeur de Myrt and Gabrielle Gelormini. Fifth home was Vicomte Boufarcaux with Joseph Verbeeck driving. Winner Vive Majyc scored for the ninth time in her career for earnings of €356,020. The solid undercard on this rainy Saturday afternoon in Paris included the Prix Yvonnick Boden (€105,000, monte, 2700 meters, 18 starters, apprentice jockeys) and veteran Rire Mutin (9g Bijou du BIgnon-Miss Mutine-Sancho Panca) was forwardly placed early, gained the front midway and led to the line for jockey Clara Dodard-Taiquel. The 10/1 winner held off Quartz de Vindecy and Christelle Le Coz with third to Udayama with Esther Van Petten in the irons. The winner recorded his 17th career win for €585,160 earned. Rire Mutin was timed in 1.13.7kr after even fractions. The Prix de Sainte Marie-du-Mont (€50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 entrants) was a showcase of early speed (fractions – 1.06.3kr at 1500; 1.10.2kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500, 1.12.2kr finish) and Sebastien Ernault teamed his trainee Urasi de la Valee (6g Onyx du Goutier-La Vallee) to an easy win at 17/1 over Kalle (6g Smok’n Lantern-Burning Desire) at 15/1 for Pierre Vercruysse. Orient Horse (6m Abano As-Irma del Rio) was third for Gabreille Gelormini. The Prix de Damville (€70,000, 2100 meters autostart, 16 female starters) went to the Franck Ouvrie teamed Adelia de Melodie (4f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) at 8/1 odds. Ariane du Goutier (4f Goetmals Wood-Logoden Vro) was second for Mathieu Mottier and third went to Alpine du Rib (4f Opium-Rockeuse du Rib) and J.L.Cl. Dersoir up for trainer Joel Hallais. The winner scored in 1.12.4kr off solid fractions (1.09kr at 1500; 1.11.8kr at 1000; 1.12.5kr at 500). Tomorrow’s Prix de Bourgogne shapes up as a superb third “B” leading to the Prix d’Amerique in a month. Of particular interest will be veteran Ready Cash that needs to earn €31,000 to gain Prix d’Amerique eligibility for the 2015 edition. Ready Cash overcame a 25 meter handicap to race well in the Prix du Bourbonnais, given an easy trip by Franck Nivard. He drew post eight in tomorrow’s Gr. II event. Trainer Thierry Duvaldestin stated that he is less spirited than in the past but has worked effectively each week on the beach of Deauville. Defending champion Texas Charm is a likely threat along with a host of tier one entrants plus Solvato from the second tier. This race could be a speed duel off the 2100 autostart distance and top money winners drawing post positions in the first tier. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Roxane Griff (9f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise-Sancho Panca) rallied stoutly from fourth around the final bend to decisively score in today’s Gr. II UET Masters Series Monte Prix Jules Lemonnier (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, 8 starters) in a sharp 1.11.8kr. Eric Raffin rated the gallant mare perfectly for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner/breeder Ecurie Griff. Roxane Griff won for the 20th time in her career, now for earnings of €2,567,218, today at 3/5 odds. In her last seven outings she has a 1-3-2 slate with three mounted starts and four to sulky. Earlier this year she won the prestigious Prix de Cournulier (monte), the world’s richest monte race, a week before the the Prix d’Amerique . She then finished a solid fourth in that sulky classic. Germany’s Armando Kievitshof raced well today and held second for Philippe Masschaele and trainer Carine de Soete, in what was only his second monte start since April, at 25/1 odds. Torre Crepin (7g Capriccio-Ianaka) was third at 9/1. Well regarded veteran Singalo contested the event near the leading pack and eventually went offstride in late stretch. Today’s Gr. II Prix Une de Mai (€120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters, two year-old females) went to front-striding Classica du Ruel (2f Scipion du Goutier-Romance du Ruel-Jam Pridem) with trainer Franck Anne up for breeder/owner Annick Bazin. The victory was the second of her brief career now for €127,480 earned. She was timed in a sharp 1.13.7kr, at 4.3/1 odds, in defeating Couleur Citron (2f Coktail Jet-L’aunou du Fier) and teamster Yohan Lebourgeois for Philippe Allaire who trains for Ecurie J-P Barjon. Conception (2f Ready Cash-Soeur Winner) was third for Joseph Verbeeck, trainer Allaire and owner Ecurie Val de Moulin. The Prix de Strasbourg (€88,000 purse, 2850 meters, 12 starters) also graced the card with that win to 4/5 favorite Trophee de Jaba (7g Kesaco Phedo-Otika Vita-Gal d’Hautmoniere) trained and reined by J-M Bazire. He was up in the final stride to score in 1.14.2kr to record career victory 17 for €447,900 earned. He posted his third straight win. The de Chene (7g Blue Eyes America-Heparine) was second for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, also trainer, with third to Tornado de l’Ocean (7g Look de Star-Talvina) with Pierre Levesque teaming for trained Mike Lenders and owner Ecurie J-P Barjon. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Vabellino (5m Ouragan de Celland-Girl de Chantepie) won today’s Gr. II Prix Duynel de Saint Quentin at Paris-Vincennes. The €120,000 purse event for five year-olds was contested over 2850 meters. Eric Raffin teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee for owner Ecurie Podium to his 14th win in 31 career appearances. The 1.8/1 favorite defeated 27/1 Princess Grif (5f Varenne-Fauve Grif) for Roberto Andreghetti and trainer Fabrice Souloy with third to 8/1 Moving On (5f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie) and Franck Nivard, also a Souloy trainee. The winner scored easily in 1.15.2kr after a slow early pace. Today’s Gr. II Prix Joseph Lefosse for €120,000 over 2700 meters for nine monte performers went to 5.7/1 Viva Forest (5m Mickael de Vonnas-Java de Bazeille) for jockey Franck Nivard and trainer Fabrice Souloy. The winner rallied late to nail 3/5 favored and leading Valse Castelets (5f Memphis du Rib-Elide) with JLC Dersoir up for trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. Votka Blue (5f Jasmin de Flore-Joyeuse Bleue) was a game third for David Thomain at 32/1. The winner was timed in 1.14kr. Team Job (7g Buvetier d’Aunou-Just Love) took today’s Quinte+ Prix de Saint-Georges de Didonne over the 2850 meters distance. 18 contested this event for €95,000 and the 1.14.1kr winner was skillfully teamed in a rallying manner by Romain Derieux at 61/1. Tip Top Nellie (7g Go Lucky-Nuvely Blue) was second for J-Ph Mary at 11/1 with third to 44/1 outsider Uno de Guinette (6g Kaiser Soze-Isis de Guinette) and Sebastien Hardy up. The longshots were such that there were no exact order winning tickets.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 4.250.000 € - Numéro plus : 2588   Ordre :       néant€   Désordre :       28.312,20€   Bonus 4 :       370,40€   Bonus 4sur5 :       185,20€   Bonus 3 :       116,00€ The Gr. III €80,000 Prix Vourasie over 2200 meters for two year-old females went to Campo Rossa (2f Coktail Jet-Manille du Lec) and Franck Ouvrie in a late rush to the line. The Fredeic Prat trainee scored at 6/1 odds timed on 1.16.4kr. Classica du Ruel (2f Scipion du Goutier-Romance du Ruel) was game, late pacesetting second for trainer/driver Franck Anne at 5/2. Cuise la Motte (2f Repeat Love-Onagra du Vivier) was third for Eric Raffin at 11/1 with favored Couleur Citron disqualified. Tomorrow’s Vincennes highlight is the GNT Finale. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Tomorrow’s first “B”, the €120,000 Prix de Bretagne starts the path to the 2015 Prix d’Amerique at Vincennes racecourse in France. A total of 18 contestants will travel 2700 meters in this Gr. II 2015 UET Masters Series event. The field includes heavily-campaigned and Elitloppet winner Timoko to be reined by Bjorn Goop and the great mare Roxane Griff with Eric Raffin to drive. Uhlan de Val, Un Mec d’Heripre and Up And Quickare worth watching as well. Eight of the starters sport career earnings in excess of €1 million. Prix de Bretagne (horse/driver/trainer) Axelle Dark (Jos Verbeeck), P. Allaire Olmo Holz (Christophe Martens), V. Martens Juggle Face (Dominik Locqueneux), L. Kolgjini Amour d’Occagnes (Alexandre Abrivard), F. Rebeche Une Fille d’Amour (David Thomain), C. Raimbaud Akim du Cap Vert (Franck Anne), F. Anne Soleil du Fossé (Thierry Duvaldestin). Th. Duvaldestin Village Mystic (Pierre Vercruysse), L. Baudron Uhlan du Val (Cédric Mégissier), C. Megissier Sévérino (Damien Bonne), Ch. Bigeon Un Mec d’Héripré (Franck Nivard), F. Souloy Texas Charm (Julien Dubois), Ph. Moulin Singolo (Cédric Beurel), L. Baudron Rêve de Beylev (Sébastien Ernault), S. Guarato Up And Quick (Jean-Michel Bazire), F. Leblanc Tiégo d’Etang (Charles-Julien Bigeon), Ch. Bigeon Roxane Griff (Eric Raffin), S. Guarato Timoko (Björn Goop), R. Westerink This week has been highlighted by solid performances in Sweden. On November 12 at Solvalla the good two year-old Mister J.P. won in 1.13.6kr over 1640 meters autostart to earn 50,000SEK first prize. The J-P Barjon owned son of Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide is trained/driven by Bjorn Goop and remains undefeated in five starts for earnings of 700,000SEK. On that card the Steve Organ (Canada) owned Frisky Magic won in 1.11.8kr over 1640 meters autostart. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Roger Walmann trainee that is four year-old mare by Kadabra-Frisky Fergi-Garland Lobell) as she earned 70,000SEK first money. Jerry Riordan sent out two winners at Aby on November 13. Rosnay scored in 1.15kr over 2140 meters autostart to earn 20,000SEK. Peter Arnqvist (amateur) drove the four year-old Love You mare from Lovable-Daguet Rapide. Lisa Riordan and Folli Srl owned this one. Peter Ingves scored with another Riordan trainee, The End (2f Self Possessed-Liberia de Jesolo-Lemon Dra), in 1.17.9kr over 1640 meters voltstart to earn 50,000SEK. Lisa Riordan owns this filly that scored in her first start. Riordan was also second with Tiflomia Jet.    

Astor du Quenne (4m Opus Viervil-Qualinko du Quenne) won today’s Gr. II UET Master Series Prix Orly Roederer for monte four year-olds at Vincennes. The €120,000 purse event, contested by nine over 2850 meters, was a competitive affair with the Eric Raffin teamed, Sebastian Guarato trained 9/10 favorite a two length winner over Anna Mix ridden by Franck Nivard and Argan du Loulay and jockey Alexandre Abrivard. The evenly rated event was timed in 1.16kr The co-featured Gr. II Prix Abel Bassigny (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, nine starters) went to Bold Eagle (3m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet-Love You) with Franck Nivard up. This Sebastian Guarato trainee was bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois and is owned by Ecurie Pierre Pilarski. The pace was fast, as was the closing 500 meters, and Bold Eagle was timed in 1.12.7kr, a race record replacing the 1.13.1kr set in 2010 by Timoko. The winner was off at 1.6/1 and he defeated Black d’Avril (3m Oceano Nox-Olivia d’Avril) with Franck Ouvrie up for trainer Frederic Prat. Philippe Allaire’s Brillantissime (3m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire) was a solidly closing third for Jos. Verbeeck. The Gr. II Prix Reine du Corta (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters for three year-old fillies) went to 5/2 odds Billie de Montfort (3f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy des Montfort) with Eric Raffin up. The Sebastian Guarato trainee scored in 1.13.5kr defeating 3/5 favorite Biche des Clos (3f Rolling d’Heripre-Moon d’Eronville) with Mathieu Mottier aboard and 18/1 outsider Bodeguita (3f Repeat Love-Netchka d’Orgeres) with owner/trainer Louis Baudron up.   This third Paris-Vincennes winter meet program also showcased more top level races. Italy’s Nefertite del Rio took the €82,000 Prix d’Arcachon in 1.12.9kr for Alexandre Abrivard. The seven year-old daughter of Varenne-Zeudia scored over favorite Teatro, Sweden’s Global Manhattan and Spain’s Trebol. The Quinte+ (€2.9 million jackpot) Prix Amiens for €50,000 went to reinsman Franck Nivard with the Franck Leblanc owned/trained Vico du Petit Odon (5g Otello Pierji-Mine Éclair) over Verrazano Bridge with Thomas Levesque up. Win/place handle on the Q+ race was over €1 million and handle on the eight race afternoon card was excellent. The Paris-Vincennes winter meet began October 29 and its 88 programs will include 725 races (11 Gr. I, 49 Gr. II, 44 Gr. III) with purses in excess of €44 million (US$54,900,000, or $75,760/race). Among the classic races are the Grand Prix d’Amerique on January 25, 2015 and the Prix de France on February 1 and Prix de Paris on February 22. The Prix d’Amerique qualifiers start soon with the Prix Bretagne on November 15 with the other B’s being Prix Bourbonnais on December 6, Prix Bourgogne (December 28) and Prix Belgique (January 11). The other qualifiers include the Criterium Continental (December 21), Prix Tenor de Baune (January 11) and the €700,000 purse monte classic Prix de Cornulier a week before d’Amerique on January 18.  

Robin Bakker teamed Italy’s Spada Nera (3f Muscle Hill-Zelda Per-Crowning Point) to victory in tonight’s featured €85,000 Prix Kurse at Paris-Vincennes. Sixteen European starters contested the 2100 meter autostart event. Timed in 1.14.4kr, the daughter of Muscle Hill is trained by Paul Hagoort for Germany’s well-respected breeder/owner Alwin Schockemohle. Off at 9.3/1, the winner defeated 17/1 Biguglia (3f Coktail Jet-Le Faisanderie) with Franck Ouvrie up for trainer/owner Frederic Platt with 79/1 outsider Black Charm (3m Prodigious-Podana) reined by Etienne Dubois for Ecurie Victoria Dream and trainer Philippe Moulin. The undercard also produced interesting results starting with the opener for two year-olds. The Prix Phaedrafor €46,000 went to Caid Griff (2m Password-Savane Griff) over seven rivals. Eric Raffin teamed the chestnut winner for Sebastian Guarato, trainer for Ecurie Griff. The 7/10 favorite covered the 2200 meter course in 1.18.09kr to narrowly defeat Canari Match (2m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostal) for Franck Ouvrie and trainer Frederic Pratt, off at 6/1. Captain d’Ourville (2m Korean-Solvalla) was third for Mathieu Abrivard at 23/1. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Swedishman (8g Gogo-Volgana) took today’s Gr. III International Grand Prix Anjou-Maine at Angers, a 3125 meter distance handicap event with a purse of €100,000. 17 starters contested this Quinte+ race of the day with a €5.7 million jackpot. Franck Nivard teamed the winner for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin to his 25th career victory, now for €801,330 earned. Swedishman overcame a 25 meter handicap to score in 1.13.5kr at 3.6/1 odds and has proven this summer that he can handle upper-level competition in France. Stetheric  (8g Alpha Barbes-Justice Pruvee) was second for trainer/driver Franck Ouvrie with Uprince (6g Prince d’Espace-Malupricia) third at 29/1 for Eric Raffin, he also handicapped 25 meters. Ulk Medoc and Roi du Lupin were in the beaten field. Swedishman Thomas H. Hicks  

At Paris-Vincennes the €240,000 Prix des Elites (Gr. I monte, 2200 meters, 11 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Booster Winner (3m Love You-Quille Viretaute) for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe Aloisio. Timed in 1.12.5kr the winner benefitted from a 50 meter advantage over competitors four and five years old to score easily, his sixth career win for earnings now of €365,050. Second choice Brutus de Bailly was second for Mathieu Mottier with Viva Forest home third for Franck Nivard and trainer Souloy. This one also overcame the 50 meter handicap to be third, timed in 1.11.5kr, with handicapped A Nous Deux fourth for Julien Raffestin, aboard for Ronny Kuiper trainer and Jean-Pierre Dubois owner. The European Criterium for five year-olds at Vincennes went to 3/2 favorite Support Justice (5m Kadabra-Artisane-Lindy Lane) for trainer/driver Geir-Vegard Gundersen from Norway. Timed in 1.11.6kr over 2100 meters autostart, the winner scored for the 19th time in his career now for earnings of €603,861, in this Gr. I European event for €150,000 purse. The 29/1 Swedish  entrant El Mago Pellini (5m Chocolatier-My Intuition) was second with Dominick Locqueneux aboard for trainer/owner Lutfi Kolgjini. Village Mystic (5m Love You-Netchka d’Orgeres) was third for owner/trainer/driver Louis Baudron and Increased Workload (5m Scarlet Knight-My Darling) was home  fourth for J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Pascia L’est and Very Nice Marceaux were next across the line in a solid 11 horse field. The Prix Ovidius Naso-Beachcomber Hotels for €85,000 went to Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette-Arnaquer) and Ch. J. Bigeon. He scored for the 11th time now for earnings of €332,650 in this European event over 2850 meters. Timed in 1.14.5kr the winner, off at 9/10 odds, narrowly defeated Elles W.Phedo (8f Kasaco Phedo-Elles W.Lolita) with Johanna Lindqvist aboard and Tornade du Digeon with J-M Bazire up.Teatro At Solvalla the main event was the Swedish Kriterium for three year-old colts, with a purse of €443,200, contested by 12 horses over 2640 meters autostart. The winner in 1.14.01kr was Je T’aime Express (3g Symphonic Hanover-Je T’aime Marron) handled by Johan Untersteiner for trainer Peter Untersteiner. Stall Wetact owns the winner that scored at 31/1 odds. Buddha (3m Muscle Mass-Kinshasa) was second at 23/1 for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop with 56/1 From Dust To Dawn (3m From Above-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall) third for Johnny Takter and trainer Lars Nilsson. Wingait Holger and Conlight As crossed the line fourth and fifth. The Swedish Trotting Oaks (three year-old fillies) for a purse of €310,240 went to Face’Em (3f Offshore Dream-Tuula Boko) with trainer Peter G. Norman up. The 6/1 odds winner covered 2140 meters autostart in 1.13.8kr. Differenceadaymade (3f Muscle Hill-Trophy Stand) was second at 25/1 for Bjorn Goop and Op’s First Girl (3f Flirtin Man-Jobi nhorse) ended third for Erik Adielsson at 28/1. The Graf Kalman Hunyady Memorial was also held today at historic Krieau (Vienna, Austria). Contested by eight over 2600 meters autostart with a €30,000 purse, the International event went to 31/1 outsider Solo Nolo (5g Dream Vacation-Vupti) for Hubert Brandstatter Jr. aboard. He trains the winner that scored in 1.15.3kr over Colin McKenzie (10g Just Had A Vision-Christie) and teamster A. Kaarlenkaski. Brandstatter also trains this one that bested third place Vrai Lord (5m Meaulnes du Corta-Orelady) off at 10/1 for Gerhard Mayr. Heavily favored at 1/10,9 Your Love Lois (9g Love You-Realy Furniture) was fourth for Rik Ebbinge. Abano Boy and legendary reinsman Heinz Wewering was fifth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

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