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The 6.8/1 outsider Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) rallied to win today’s Gr. III Grand Prix de la Federation Regionale du Nord (purse 90,000€, 2700 meters autostart, eight starters) held at La Croise Laroche in France. He was clocked in 1.10.8kr. Eric Raffin teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee for Scuderia Bivans Srl to his seventh career victory in 51 starts now for life earnings of 867,815€. The winner exploded past early pocket sitter, 1.6/1 Bold Eagle (8m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) reined by Bjorn Goop for trainer Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski, that had followed 47/1 leader Express Jet (5m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) until top of the stretch. Bold Eagle was second beaten two lengths. The 8/10 favorite Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) with J-M Bazire aboard was away last before making a halfway point move to the death seat alongside Express Jet. But his effort was futile and he finished a tired fourth with Express Jet fifth for Pierre Vercruysse. Bazire’s stablemate, 18/1 Bel Avis (8g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) rallied late to be third for Alexandre Abrivard. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The day’s featured event was the Criterium des 5Ans (Gr. I, purse 200,000€, 3000 meters, five year olds). The 9/1 Eugenito du Noyer (5m Saxo de Vandel-Pakarina) was the upset winner, trained by J.M. Baudouin for Ecurie Ostheimer. Eric Raffin was the pilot as the winner earned his ninth career win in 32 starts now for 353,320€ earned. Race time was 1.12.2kr. The 2.4/1 Enino du Pommereux (5m Coktail Jet) was second for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. 25/1 Epic Julry (5m Nice Love) was third for trainer/driver J.P. Gauvin. The 15/1 Excellent and 36/1 Estola completed the top five and this Q+ exact order payoff was 32,859.20€ to 19 winning ticketholders. The Q pool was 3,880,880€ and over 8,557,000 was wagered on the race. Groupe action began today at Paris-Vincennes with the monte Gr. III Prix Legoux-Langre (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters) and the 1.14kr timed victory went to Etoile de Bruyere (5f Kenor de Cosse) teamed with jockey Adrien Lamy and off at 4.3/1 odds. Etoile won for the fourth time in her career now for 300,670€ earned. Flamboyant Blue (4g Timoko) and Filoute de Bassar (4f Tiego d’Etang) trailed the winner. The Gr. II Prix Victor Regis (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, three year old males) produced an upset winner in 3.2/1 Good Boy Ligneries (3m Un Mec d’Heripre-Amy Ligneries) with Franck Nivard the pilot. He won for the sixth time and increased life earnings to 168,350€. Ecurie le Tremont owns the Philippe Billard (Souloy-Billard Stabke) trainee that was clocked in 1.12.5kr. The 3/5 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa) held second for Eric Raffin and trainer/owner Philippe Allaire. 40/1 Gospel Pat (3m Uriel Speed) was third also for trainer Allaire and reinsman David Thomain. Gamble River (3m Un Mec d’Heripre) and Golden Bridge were next, these conditioned by Guarato and Allaire. The Gr. II Prix Guy le Gonidec (100,000€ purse, 2700 meters, 18 four year old mares) saw 12/1 Fleche Bourbon (4f Saxo de Vandel-Uzara Josselyn) score easily on the front for J. Ph. Monclin as she continued her resurgence. This started a great afternoon for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. Fleche Bourbon won her ninth career victory now for 324,650€ earned. Race time was 1.13.1kr. The 8.9/1 Favorite Fligny (4f Rockfeller Center-Africa Fligny) took second for Sylvain Dieudonne and 18/1 Feerie Wood (4f Rockfeller Center-Vire Fee) was third handled by Alexandre Abrivard. Fubia (4f Password) and Fend le Bise (4f Prince Gede) followed the top three. The Gr. II Prix Jules Thibault (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, four year old males) saw 8/10 favorite Face Time Bourbon (4m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) score in 1.11.2kr on the front end with Bjorn Goop at the lines. Sebastien Guarato trains the winner for SARL Haras Saint Martin as he won for the 14th time in 17 career starts, now for 703,550€ in life earnings. Face Time appeared an overwhelming winner before weakening late against rallying 5.2/1 Falcao de Laurma (4m Uniclove-Rangoon) that Franck Nivard teamed for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 13/1 Frisbee d’Am (4m The Best Madrik) was third for Alexandre Abrivard. 40/1 Fakir du Lorault and 102/1 Fighter Smart completed the top five. The Gr. II Prix Uranie (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, three year old fillies) went to the Sebastien Guarato stable’s 7.1/1 Gunilla d’Atout (3f Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with Eric Raffin aboard. This 1.12.2kr timed winner is owned by Ecurie Saint Martin and recorded her fifth career win in six starts now for 99,900€ earned. 19/1 Gloria du Goutier (3f Timoko-Uranie du Goutier) was second for the same connections and reined by J.Ph. Monclin. The 7/10 favorite Green Grass (3f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) took third for trainer Guarato and owner Sebastien DeWulf, ahead of 9/2 Girls Talk (3f Brillantissime-Be My Girl) teamed with David Thomain for trainer Phillipe Allaire. 10/1 Galilea Money was fifth for J-M Bazire. The final of the groupe tests today was the Gr. III Prix des Beaugency (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, European) that went to 17/1 outsider Clarck Sotho (7g Oiseau de Feux-Mocarda) reined by Guillaume Martin for owner/trainer L.B. Martin. He won for the seventh time in 56 career starts for 440,600€ in life earnings. The 1/5 favorite Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) was a game second after a front-end journey for driver/trainer J-M Bazire. 16/1 Bolide Jenilou (8g Kesaco Phedo) was third for Anthony Barrier, ahead of Anzi des Liards and Vasco de Viette. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The well-regarded and 7/10 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa) held on for Eric Raffin to win today’s Enghien featured Gr. III Prix Henri Cravoisier (purse 70,000€, 1609 meters autostart, 12 starters). Race time was 1.11.3kr (mile 1:54.66). Jean Pierre Guay bred the winner that Philippe Allaire owns and trains. Gotland now shows nine career wins in 11 starts for 345,100€ in life earnings. The 40/1 Alcide Roc (3m Daguet Rapide-Inga Allmar) was a fast closing second driven by Fili[ppo Rocca for trainer Fausto Barelli and Scuderia Sant Eusebio SNC. Third home was 7.3/1 General du Parc (3m LeJacque d’houlbec) that Alexandre Abrivard teamed for trainer Frederic Prat,. This one battled the winner until giving was late in the lane. Replay: https://info.pmu.fr/live-et-replay?num-reunion=3&num-course=6&date-fr=04082019 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Tuesday Paris-Vincennes action was all about three-year old trotteurs led first by the Prix Paul Karle (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters, three-year old colts).   In this harness racing event the 1.6/1 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa) scored timed in 1.12.4kr, his seventh career win in eight starts, now for 251,500€ earned.   Eric Raffin was the pilot for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire of the fine colt bred by Jean Pierre Guay. 9/1 General du Parc (3m Lejacque d’Houlbec) was a game second for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Frederic Prat, with third going to 133/1 Gilmour (3m Tag Wood) reined by Mathieu Mottier. The 3.9/1 odds Gamble River was fourth.   The fillies then took the stage in the Gr. II Prix Masina (purse 100,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters, three year old fillies) and that race produced a relatively easy score for 6.3/1 Girls Talk (3f Brillantissime-Be My Girl) with David Thomain up. She was clocked in 1.13.3kr for her fifth career victory in ten starts, now for 212,000€ earned. Philippe Allaire bred and trains the winner for Gitte Paulsen- Allaire.   Girls Talk        - LeTrot photo   Second was 25/1 Gee (3f Brutus de Bailly) with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Bruno Bourgoin. 13/1 Grai9ne de Crack (3f Booster Winner-Pearl Mip) took the third check with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Allaire. The 5/10 favorite Green Grass was a miscue dq after coming into the race with three straight wins in 2019.   Thomas H. HIcks

Today in bright sunlight celebrated Afrique in France with a fine harness racing card of groupe level contests and the day’s Quinte+ race. The monte Prix de L’A.L.A. “Association de Lotteries Africaines” (Gr.III, purse 80,000€, 2175 meters, nine starters) began the action with a victory by 5.2/1 Eqao Jenilou (5g Village Mystic-Queen Jenilou) with Eric Raffin in the irons for trainer Louis Baudron and owner Nicolas Baudron. The winner scored for the sixth time in 20 career starts and increased his life earnings to 173,050€. The 3/5 favorite Daida de Vandel (6f Real de Lou) was second for jockey Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Laurent Claude Abrivard. 34/1 Espion Joune (5g Kesaco Phedo) took third with Matthieu Abrivard aboard. The Prix Africain I was next in the 35,000€ purse event raced by 12 over 2100 meters autostart. 15/1 First Lame (4f Kaisy Dream-Poesie de Beylev) scored for Gabriel Angel Pou Pou, also trainer, timed in 1.14kr. 3.3/1 First Lady Carjac (4f Voltigeur de Myrt) was second for pilot Eric Raffin, ahead of 24/1 First Thing First (4f Qualypso Jiel-New Creation) with Pierre Vercruysse up for breeder/trainer A.J. Mollema. The Quinte+ Grand Prix d’Afrique (purse 45,000€, 2850 meters, 18 starters) produced a fine race with 12/1 Cigjie de Guez (7f Pomerol de Laumac) victorious for Jean Michel Bazire and owner Ecurie Vautors. This mare recorded her 11th career win in 44 starts and increased her life earnings to 146,530€. Race time was 1.14kr with a quick final 500. 30/1 Dorus Well (6g Gogo) took second for Franck Nivard and 8.8/1 Blacky de Cambron (8g Onyx du Goutier) teamed with Eric Raffin for third. The 3.2/1 Dentella Bella (6f Ready Cash) and 7.7/1 Concerto des Dunes completed the exact order top five that returned 23,010.60€ for the 2€ wager to 58 winning ticketholders. The Prix de L’Ile de France (Gr. I International monte, purse 170,000€, 215 meters, nine starters) was the final leg of the FR Monte Triple Crown. Absent were Cornulier winner Bilibili and the second finishing Traders. Today it was even-money favorite Dexter Fromentro (6m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) coming from the back to score timed in 1.12.6kr. Dexter won for the eighth time in a 42 race career, now for 726,970€ earned, for trainer Thomas Levesque, owner Pierre Levesque and most importantly the jockey Camille Levesque. The winner traveled the final 500 meters at a 1/10kr rate. The 2.9/1 Daelia de Vandel (6f Ready Cash-Maelia de Vandel) was second for jockey Matthieu Abrivard  ahead of 58/1 Valse de Reve (10f Mister President) with Guillaume Martin in toe irons for trainer Alain Roussel. 48/1 Cassate (7f Neoh Jiel) was fourth for Adrien Lamy. The Prix Miss Africa France (“de la Marne”, Gr. III, purse 90,000€, 2700 meters, 10 starters) saw the 3/5 favorite Ble de Gers (8g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) score for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and owner J.M. Rancoule. The winner scored for the 18th time in a 52 race career, now for 695,360€ earned. Race time was 1.11.7kr off steady fractions with the clocking at the 500 meters to go mark 1.12kr. The 7.7/1 Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) took second for Christophe Martens ahead of 21/1 Anzi des Liards reined by Romain Derieux. 9/1 Balbir (8g Ganymede) was fourth for Mickael Cormy and placed fifth was 99/1 Drole de Jet (5m Coktail Jet). Digital Ink was sixth in this race that honored by the trophy presenting Miss Africa France,  The Prix de L’Amite (“de Rouen’), a Gr. III event for an 80,000€ purse, was raced over the 2700 meters classic distance by ten competitors. 5.7/1 Express Jet (5m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) scored for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie des As to record his sixth career wi in 29 outings, now for 401,860€ earned. The 4/5 favorite Vainqueur RP (5m Infinitif-Global Affair) was second for driver Eric Raffin and trainer J.L. Bigeon. Third went to 37/1 Estola (5f Nectar) handled by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Emmanuel Ruault and owner Ecurie Comte de Montesson. 9/1 Doberman (6m Prodigious) and 5/1 Elite du Ruel (5f Timoko) completed this top five. The winning Express Jet was away fourth, brushed to lead after about 1000 meters and controlled thereafter for a two length victory.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Extra Light (4f Village Mystic-Ulotis du Goutier) took the co-featured Prix Laetitia (70,000€ purse, 2850 meters, eight starters – four-year-old mares) timed in 1.15.1kr and reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Stephane Meunier. She posted her fifth career victory in 27 starts, now for 159,380€ earned. Even-money favorite Electra Jet (4f Ready Cash-Olivia Jet) rallied late for second with trainer Pierre Vercruysse up for owner Ecurie des As. 25/1 Eternelle Delo (4f Saxo de Vandel-Princess Royale) was third. The co-featured Prix Mebsuta (purse 70,000€, 2850 meters, 14 starters all four-year-old males) went to 2.9/1 Exit Money (4m Coktail Jet-Making Money) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and Ecurie Yvan Bernard. Race time was 1.14.2kr for this seven-time winner in 17 career starts, now for 156,110€ earned. The 1.4/1 Early Dream (4m Royal Dream-Uniformity) was second for Jean Philippe Dubois, Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 47/1 Elisea (4g Timoko) was third for Adrien Lamy. Three year-old fillies contested the Prix Florentera (purse 35,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 14 entrants) where 24/1 First Thing First (3f Qualypso Jiel-New Creation) scored on a dq to win for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer/breeder Arnold J. Mollema. Longshot at 54/1 Free Europa (3f Tabby Point) was second for Adrien Lamy and 10/1 Freedom l’Eijy (3f The Best Madrik) was third. Race time was 1.16.8kr for this blanket finish. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Youth was on stage this evening at Paris-Vincennes. The two year-old fillies battled in the Prix Marcel Dejean (Gr. III, purse 80,000€, 2200 meters autostart, seven starters) with 1.4/1 Girls Talk (2f Brillantissime-Be My Girl) scoring for driver Eric Raffin. Girls Talk is trained by Philippe Allaire for breeder/owner Mme. G. Poulsen-Allaire. The winner is now 4 for 4 in her brief career for 88,200€ earned. The 8.4/1 odds stablemate Graine de Crack (2f Booster Winner-Pearl MIP) took second for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire.  The 8.5/1 Gloria Berry (2f Quaker Jet-Tequila Berry) landed third with owner/trainer Jean-Michel Bazire at the lines. 10/1 Gee (2f Brutus de Bailly) and 1.1/1 favorite Green Grass (2f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) completed the top five. Green Grass raced alongside the winner for much of the contest and weakened late with trainer Sebastien Guarato driving. The three year-old fillies contested the Prix Lameia (purse 42,000€, 2850 meters, 15 three year-old filly starters) with 14/1 outsider Fiorentina Somolli (3f Love You-Quitalia Somolli) prevailing for reinsman Matthieu Abrivard, breeder/owner Ecurie Somolli and trainer Jerome Compas. Race time was 1.15.9kr. The 48/1 Fast Lane (3f Voyage de Reve-Riviera Italienne) rallied for second with owner/trainer Julien Dubois up. Mme. Etiennette Dubois bred this filly. The 9/2 odds Frostie Love (3f Sam Bourbon-Ustie Love) was third with Eric Raffin up for owner/trainer Etienne Dubois. Ecurie D bred this one. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Tonight’s Paris-Vincennes card showcased three Groupe III events and an upper level monte contest. The first of the groupe events was the Gr. III Prix Louis Cauchois (purse 80,000€, 2200 meters, eight two year old starters) with victory timed in 1.15.5kr to 1.3/1 favorite Gotland (2m Ready Cash-Sanawa) with Eric Raffin the pilot for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. J-P Guay bred the winner that is now unbeaten in three outings for 71,100€ earned. 10/1 Gatsby Perrine (2m Bird Parker-Unabella Perrine) was second for Anthony Barrier, owner J.F. Mary and trainer Allaire. Allaire, as trainer and owner, swept the top three as 5/1 Granon Vedaquais (2m Brillantissime-Sestriere) took third for Yoann Lebourgeois. J-P Guay also bred this colt that was undefeated in three starts before this evening. The monte Prix Ariadne (purse 50,000€, 2850 meters, 11 starters) saw the 1/5 favorite Crossfire (6g Prince de Charme-Katiana) record his ninth straight win, all in 2018, after just one win in two 2017 starts. Yoann Lebourgeois was the jockey this day for trainer Stephanie Lepetit. Crossfire now has 11 career wins in 20 starts for 148,650€ earned.2/1 Charlotte Twin (6f Open Charm) was second for Mlle. Oceane Briand and third was 23/1 Cutty Sark (6g Baccarat du Pont) with Julien Balu in the irons. The Gr. III Prix Pierre Van Tryoen (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, 12 starters) went to 4.3/1 Dayana Berry (5f Scipion du Goutier-Idec du Corta) with J-M Bazire up, he also the owner/trainer. Michel Aladenise bred the winner that now has six wins in 25 career outings. Race time was 1.14.1kr off rated fractions set by fourth finishing Espella Vedaquais. 8.3/1 Divine Mesloise (5f The Best Madrik) was second for Alexandre Abrivard and third went to the 1.4/1 favorite Eclipse Danica (4f Hasting) that Pierre Vercruysse drove and trains for Cte. Paul de Senneville. The final groupe event was the Gr. III Prix Gisela (purse 70,000€, 2850 meters, 10 starters, three year olds) and the 3/10 favorite Feliciano (3m Ready Cash-Ravanella) scored impressively for Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie des Charmes. He now has four career victories in 13 outings for 123,350€ earned. Race time was 1.14.6kr off even fractions. 14/1 Faithful (3m Village Mystic-Horsaca) took second in a photo with Alexandre Abrivard up for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 27/1 Flambeau Royal (3m Look de Star-Rodea Josselyn) gained the third check for reinsman Gabriele Gelormini.s by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Saturday’s Derby Weekend at Berlin Mariendorf featured the Filly Derby (purse 91,877 euro, 12 starters) and 1.4/1 Avalon Mists (3f Pastor Stephen-Sunshine Bi) scored timed in 1.13.4kr with Robin Bakker at the lines for trainer Paul Hagoort. Two lengths back in second was Cahaya (3f Love You-C’est la Vie) with trainer Dion P. Tesselaar driving. Isabella Boshoeve (3f Ready Cash-Yewel Boshoeve) was third driven by Heinz Wewering and also trainer by Tesselaar. Fourth was Isabella Granata (3f Corleone-Granata Aas) reined by trainer Rudolf Haller. Sunday is the 123rd edition of the Deutsches Traber Derby for a purse of 215,633 euro and the Super Trot 2018 carrying a 70,000 euro total purse, Saturday at Enghien the FR two year old fillies were on stage in race two for 32,000 euro and raced over 2150 meters autostart. Girls Talk (2f Brilliantissime-Be My Girl) scored with a front end journey in 1.17.94 with Eric Raffin aboard for trainer Philippe Allaire. This great gaited filly races unchecked. So far in 2018 the offspring of Brilliantissime (2011 m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire-Buvetier d’Aunou) have excelled in qualifying races. Three year olds also contested at the monte discipline for a 58,000 euro purse over 2875 meters voltstart, with 5/1 Fleo Lila (3g Timoko-Sally de Neuliac) scoring in 1.17.6kr for Eric Raffin and trainer Franck Anne. Forbes Delo (3m Saxo de Vandel-Reverie d’Ar) was second for jockey Adrien Lamy. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Wednesday’s Q+ at Graignes went to 6.9/1 Cimarron (6g Oiseau de Feux-La Duedoise) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Jarmo Niskanen and Ecurie Skytten.  Race time was 1.14.7kr. 9/2 Comtesse du Clos (6f Eclot de la Crav) was second and 6.2/1 Class Thourjan took the third spot. The 15/1 Cash du Rib and 9/1 Artiste du Lyn completed the top five and led to a Q+ payoff (including the unique million euro bonus) of 1,003,514 euro. At Mons Ghlin was the Prix Darby Three Year Olds (A Group) with victory earned by 2/5 favorite Lover Boy (3m Conway Hall-Merlot OK) timed in 1.17.3kr over an off track, driven by Marc de Soete for trainer/owner DSM Trotting. The 17/1 Lucky Base (3g Akja S Funnymaker) was second for Frank Van Den Berg and third was 13/1 Lord Of Love (3g Love You) handled by Marc Huygens. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The superb Vincennes Friday evening card began with the Prix Eva (purse 60,000 euro, 2100 meters, 18 starters) and 78/1 Dextase Montaval (5f Ryder de Tagor) lighted up the board with a 1.11.3kr score. Gabriele Gelormini teamed the Fabrice Lercier trainee that Brigitte Chaudemance owns. 10/1 Dune du Chenaid (5f Infant du Bossis) took second for Anthony Barrier and 9/1 Enora de Piercourt (4f Nuage de Lait) was third for trainer/driver Franck Blandin. The same owner/trainer connections returned to win the Quinte+ Prix Nemousa (purse 60,000 euro, 2100 meters, 18 European starters) with 6.5/1 Elnino Montaval (4g Magnificent Rodney-Qurla Montaval) and driver Eric Raffin. The breeder was Gerard Chaudemanche. 5/1 Broadwell (4m Conway Hall-Boria) was second for Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort amd Ecurie Gerrits Recylcing BV. Third was 20/1 Dino du Riler with Mathieu Mottier up. 8/1 Alcoy and 6.9/1 Docteur d’Erable completed the top five and the Q+ exact order payday was 5,954 euro. The featured Gr. III Prix Paul Delanoe (monte, 110,000 euro purse, 2850 meters) went to 1.13.3kr timed and 6.8/1 Alpha Saltor (8m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) with Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. Daniel Bethouart trains the winner for Ecurie P.G. David. The ever so close finish saw 12/1 Anzi des Liards (8g Look de Star) be second for Romain Derieux and 5.4/1 Vrai Voyou (9g Gazouillis) was third. Bohemian Rhapsody and Valse de Reve completed the top five with 1/1 favorite Cyprien des Bordes a misque dq. The card completed with the monte Prix Isis (purse 42,000 euro, 2850 meters, eight starters – three year- olds). 4/5 favorite Felixorio (3m First de Retz-Java du Vaumicel) with Eric Raffin up recored the 1.15.9kr score, his third career victory in just five outings, all monte. Sebastien Guarato owns and trains this one that defeated 8.6/1 France d’Anama (3f Vanishing Point-Provence d’Anama). Third was the P.Ph. Ploquin ridden Fifty Barbes (3m Ganymede). byThomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

November 19, 2017 - Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) held gamely and scored in today’s harness racing Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, International) timed in 1.13.2kr and reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. The 1.1/1 favorite defeated peg hugging stablemate 12.6/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) with David Thomain driving for owner Philippe Dauphin and trainer Guarato. 21.9/1 Charly du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) was third for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. These top three earned qualification for the Prix d’Amerique in late January. 5.3/1 second choice Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) was fourth for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire, ahead for fifth finishing 66.1/1 outsider Shadow Gar (5f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with owner/trainer Pietro Gubellini up. Belina Josselyn finished ninth racing with shoes and UIza Josselyn was tenth. Bold Eagle was a late scratch. Fractions were conservative (1.14.1kr with 1500 meters remaining, 1.14.4kr at the 1000, 1.13.8kr with 500 to go). A sizeable crowd was on hand at Paris-Vincennes this day for a superb racing program. Thomas H. Hicks

November 2, 2017 - Today’s Gr. III Prix de Cevennes (purse €110,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) drew a super quality harness racing field and victory went to 1/2 favorite Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) teamed by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. 6.8/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) took second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire ahead of 7.6/1 Virginie du Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) with trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. Uppercut du Manche, Booster Winner and Amiral Sacha were fourth through sixth. The beaten field also included monte stars Bilibili and Bellissima France. Race time was 1.13.8kr. The Vincennes program also included the Q+ Prix de Soulac (purse €70,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) with victory to 1.13kr timed 24.9/1 Aero King (7h Hooper-Quarmina du Hour) for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Vincent Lecroq. 98.4/1 Vasco Flower (8g Niky-Nimea) was second for Damien Bonne and owner/trainer Christian Bigeon with third to 8.6/1 Arius du Douet (7g Oyonnax) with Franck Nivard the trainer/driver. The Prix du Durat (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) also was a day’s highlight and 5/2 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) scored for Pierre Levesque, and trainer Thomas Levesque. Timed in 1.14.2kr the winner bested 6.7/1 Black Atout (6m Prodigious-La Laqune) and Mathieu Mottier for trainer Franck Leblanc. 9.4/1 Brune des Forges (6f Rolling d’heripe) was third for David Thomain. Other Vincennes action took place earlier in the week. On Tuesday the Prix Lameia (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters three year old fillies) went to 1.15.6kr timed and 12.4/1 Estancia Love (3f Repeat Love-Quelle Aventure) with Matthieu Abrivard driving for Yves Boireau who trains for owner Jean Pierre Dubois. His Ecurie D was the breeder. 16.2/1 Esquisse Royale (3f Prodigious-Royale Flower) was next for Emilien Roulline driving for Philippe Moulin, trainer for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and this one was bred by Jean Philippe Dubois. Leo Abrivard teamed the third finishing 27.3/1 Escalade (3f Love You-Uranie du Corta). On Tuesday the Prix Marcel Dejean (Gr. III, purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 10 two year old starters) went to 1/2 favorite Fly With Us (2f Ready Cash-Nariane Marceaux) teamed with Eric Raffin for trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. 5/1 Fontaleza (2f Prince d’Espace-Houlba du Pouline) and Jean Michel Bazire took second for owner/trainer Jean Michel Beaudouin. 13.4/1 Fend l Bise (2f Prince Gede-Una Prima Steel) rallied for third with trainer Franck Anne up, for Ecurie AB Trot, the breeder/owner. Wednesday at Laval was the Prix Albert et Raymond Poiteven (purse €30,000, 2875 meters, 15 three year olds) and the 1.15.6kr timed victory went to 6.9/1 Exotic Destination (3f Love You-Quiromantica) with Matthieu Abrivard up. Yves Boireau trains the winner for owner Jean Pierre Dubois. 9/10 favorite Exit  Money (3m Coktail Jet-Making Money) took second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire while 18.1/1 Energy Victory (3f Prodigious-Queens Victory) secured third for Mathieu Mottier, Philippe Moulin (trainer) and Ecurie Victoria Dreams (Jean Philippe Dubois breeder). Also at Laval was the Grand Prix de la Ville de Laval (purse €60,000, 2875 meters, 18 European starters) and the 1.14.7kr timed winner was 3.4/1 Univaldi d’Aval (9g Vivaldi de Chenu-Miss Me d’Aval) for J-M Bazire and owner/trainer Denis Bethouart. 2.2/1 Une Serenade (9f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) rallied for second driven by Eric Raffin and 4/1 Cash Okay (5m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was third for Olivier Raffin. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 15, 2017- The Enghien harness racing feature this Saturday was the Prix de Bruxelles (purse €95,000, 2150 meters autostart, eight European starters). The 2/5 favorite Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) was a two length winner for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. Valko Jenilat took his 17th victory in 72 career outings, now for €859,515 earned. 15.7/1 Olmo Holz (9m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras) was second for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens, ahead of 5.1/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) driven by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer J-M Bazire. 19/1 Arazi Boko (10g Varenne-Laura Kemp) was fourth with Franck Nivard up, and 36/1 Trebol (10m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait) was fifth for trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou. Race time was 1.12.9kr. Today’s Q+ was the Prix du Palais de Chaillot (purse €68,000, 2875 meters. 18 starters) at Enghien with the 1.14.8kr timed victory going to 5/1 Azur Somolli (7m Obrillant-Ophelia Somolli) reined by trainer Sebastien Ernault. 8.8/1 All Feeling (7m Otello Pierji-Quelle Cerencaise) took second for Christophe Martens ahead of 14/1 Unero Montaval (9g Nem-Heroine du Loir) and driver Franck Nivard. 188/1 Baleyse was fourth for Alexis Garandeau and fifth was 8/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (6m Magnificent Rodney-Nymphe du Dollar) for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Sylvain Roger. July 15 action at Enghien also included the Prix du Louvre (purse €80,000, 2875 meters, 12 European starters) with that victory earned by 12.3/1 Cantin de l’Eclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Joyeuse) timed in 1.14.2kr and driven by Tony Le Beller for Ecurie Éclair. 9/1 Coup Droit (5m Prodigious-Saint Leonard) took second for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not. 3/2 favorite Bredabliks Nubbe (5m Lindy Lane-Wildgirl Boshoeve) was a rallying third for Conrad Lugauer. Thomas H. Hicks

June 25, 2017 - Groupe action today at Paris Vincennes included three monte events, two being Gr. I tests. The monte day began with the Prix Xavier de Saint Paris (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 12 starters) and it went to 6.5/1 Cassate (5f Neoh Jiel-Quivadu Rib) with Adrien Lamy in the irons for Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. 22/1 Cavalleria (5f Prodigious-Janga) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato, with third to 18/1 Clara du Pontseuil (5f Mich Phili-Osaka d’Occagnes) for jockey Anthony Barrier. The heavy 9/10 favorite Canadien d’Am was a miscue dq. The Gr. I Monte Prix Dessai (purse €200,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters, three year olds) went to 1.13kr clocked and 5/10 odds favorite Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. The Philippe Allaire owned and trained product was bred by Hugues Rousseau. 20/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) almost nailed her stablemate on the line with Anthony Barrier up for trainer Allaire and breeder/owner Pierre Tebirent. 5/1 Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout) took third for jockey David Thomain, trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ottavia Roffi-Urano. The race winner bounced back nicely from a pair of recent miscue dq’s. Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 10/1 took the prestigious Gr. I Monte Grand Prix du President de la Republique (purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) with Eric Raffin in the irons. Raffin powered Draft Life to the front after 1000 meters and opened a huge margin that the pair held to the line. Louis Baudron bred, owns and trains the winner. Draft Life recorded her eighth career win in 21 starts, now for €482,170 earned. 13/1 Dawana (4f Ready Cash-Sanawa) was second for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Third was 6/1 Dragon de Fresne (4m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) with Matthieu Abrivard, the jockey. Heavily backed Django Riff and Darling de Reux was miscue dq’s. Race time was 1.12.8kr. This event was presented, as was the entire program, very professionally and garnered great support from the large crowd in the fan and entertainment areas and in the winner’s circle. Great racing, great horses and fan entertainment makes for an unbeatable afternoon. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwfHsvcL7vw This win by Eric Raffin placed him in the points lead for the E-challenge and culminated superb monte action. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 4, 2017 - Today’s top turf trotting action was at Alencon with the sixth leg of the Trophee Vert series. The Grand Prix Seche Environement (purse €45,000, 225 meters distance handicap, 18 starters on the grass) went to 9/10 favorite Bob (6m Overtrick-Fee du Houx) reined by Eric Raffin for owner/trainer Estelle Dessartre. This one overcame a 25 meter handicap to record his 10th career victory now for €199.030 earned. 41/1 and 25 meter penalized Viola Ecus was second for Martial Gilard and 18/1, 25 meter handicapped. Viking Fromentro was third for Pierre Levesque. Uniflosa Bella and Tresor Wic finished fourth and fifth. FR and PMU sponsored trots took place this day at Dundalk, Ireland, the nations’ only lighted all- weather track. Four FR trots took place, each for a €7,000 purse and raced over 2000 meters. Fields ranging from 14-15 trotters contested each race and FR driver Pierre Vercruysse took part in each, but without a victory. The winners were 12/1 Vichy de Moem (8m Vivaldi de Chenu) teamed by Alan Richardson timed in 1.20.2kr; 7/1 Balarou des Iles (6m Osiris de Corbery) for Alan Wallace Sr. clocked in 1.21.7kr; 8/1 Ariane des Tithais (7f Olitro) with Seamus Quill aboard timed in 1.21.3kr and 21/1 Balzac de Villars (6m Roi du Coq) scored in 1.20.5kr. Turf trotting continued with the monthly action at Madinina Marftinque over their 1200 meter grass course. The Prix de Grosbois (purse €5,000, 2600 meters distance handicapped) went to 1.26.1kr timed and 50 meter handicapped Yoly du Visais (9g Defi d’Aunou-Pristina Jet) with Christine Lebreton aboard, she also owner and trainer. The Prix de Cabourg (purse €5,000, 2600 meters distance handicapped) went to Ussein Royal (9g Lilium Madrik-Itgeloire) piloted by Jean Francois Gate, timed in 1.19.4kr for the winning owner/trainer Christine Lebreton, a training double for the afternoon. Thomas H. Hicks

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