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June 8, 2019 - Milligan’s School (6m Yankee Glide-Tori Ann-SJs Photo) took Saturday’s harness racing Gr. II UET Masters Series Jamtlands Stora Pris at Ostersund (purse to winner 700,000DSEK, 2140 meters autostart) clocked in 1.11kr to secure his 16th career victory in 72 starts now for 9,427,994SEK earned. Stall TZ (Stefan Melander) owns and trains the 3.6/1 odds winner that was bred in Ohio USA by Richard and Joyce McClelland. Carl Johan Jepson teamed the winner that defeated the 2/1 favorite Double Exposure and 10/1 Queer Fish. Thomas H. Hicks

June 8, 2019 - The Gr. III Prix Istres (purse 70,000€, 2700 meters, 11 starters) began today’s harness racing Groupe events at Vincennes and this one went to 7.3/1 Arnas Cam (3f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam) timed in 1.14.3kr and reined by Jean Michel Bazire for Ecurie La Camargue Srl. Her trainer is Andrea Baveresi. The 7/10 favorite Gloria du Goutier (3f Timoko) was a game second with J.Ph. Monclin up for Ecurie Saint Martin and trainer Sebastien Guarato. 45/1 Gesira (3f Boccador de Simm) was third with Alexis Prat up for trainer Frederic Pratt. Another of this day’s Groupe events was the Prix Louis Jariel (Gr. II, 100,000€ purse, 2175 meters, 10 starters) and 9/1 Eugenito du Noyer (5m Saxo de Vandel-Pakarina) was a start to finish quick timed 1.10.4kr winner. Eric Raffin was a happy reinsman for trainer J.M. Baudouin and owner Ecurie Ostheimer. Eugenito won for the seventh time in a 29 race career and advanced his life earnings to 236,770€. The fractions were fast (1.05.5kr with 1500 meters remaining; 1.07.6kr at the 1000; 1.10.9kr at 500 to go). The 7/10 favorite Enino du Pommereux (5m Coktail Jet) was a game, chasing second with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. 12/1 Eridan (5m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) was a distant third for David Thomain, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf. Eugenito du Noyer Today’s Quinte+ race was the Prix de Villeneuve-Sur-Lot at Vincennes (purse 48,000€, 2850 meters, 15 starters) and the game winner was 6.8/1 Dollar Soyer (6g Phlegyas-Quinoa Soyer) with Anthony Barrier aboard. Gregory Thorel trains the winner for Ecurie La Pinmsonniere and he was clocked in 1.13.7kr off even fractions. 2/1 Duel des Gers (6g Quaker Jet) was second with trainer Matthieu Abrivard at the lines for owner J.M. Rancoule. 9/1 Destin Casisaie (6g Uniclove) rallied for third with Eric Raffin up for breeder/owner/trainer Jacques Etienne Thuet. 7.4/1 Delfino and 34/1 Dancing Love completed the top five and set up an exact order payoff of 2,405.40€ to 347 winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 4,063,314€ and over 7,714,000€ was wagered on this Q+ race. Dollar Soyer On the undercard the Prix du Dauphine (purse 47,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) went to the 1.4/1 favorite Cocktail Desbois (7g Coktail Jet-Queen Grulette) clocked in a quick 1.11kr with Eric Raffin up for trainer J.M. Beaudoin and Ecurie le Riverge. The winner wscored for the 13th time in a 56 race career, now for 195,280€ in life earnings. 4.7/1 Caliu des Bose (7g Pomerol de Laumac) was second for owner/trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou. Third was 7.7/1 Chaud Devant (7g Otello Pierji) for pilot Franck Nivard. Cocktail Desbois Thomas H. Hicks  

June 8, 2019 - The Gr. II International Prix Chambon P at Vincennes (purse 100,000€, 2850 meters, nine starters) produced a big harness racing upset as 15/1 Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) rallied late in the lane to score for Eric Raffin timed in 1.11.7kr. Sebastien Guarato trains this one for Scuderia Bivans Srl. Tony Gio won for only the sixth time in 47 career starts and today raised his life earnings to 804,365€. The 3/10 favorite Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib), second in the Elitloppet Final, was second under heavy urging of trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire after racing third until around the final bend. He moved slowly to the lead in mid-stretch but could not hold off Tony Gio. Tony Gio Anzi des Liards (9g Look de Star) off at 39/1, rallied quickly toward the line to be a close third with Romain Derieux aboard. Django Riff and Cash Gamble were next to the finish. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 5, 2019 - The sixth leg of the harness racing Gr.I Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (purse 85,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) was held Wednesday at Laval. This race was also the Quinte+ race of the day.  The 1.9/1 odds second choice Calaska de Guez (7f Pomerol de Laumac-Miss de Guez) scored for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and owner Ecurie Vautors. This was the winner’s 17th career victory now for life earnings of 298,100€. The 1.8/1 favorite Dream de Lasserie (6g Orlando Vici) was second for owner Ecurie Daidou and reinsman Romain Derieux. 20/1 Candidat d’Ortige (7m Giant Cat) was third for Kevin Leblanc. The top five was completed by 7.81 Colorado Blue and 22/1 Azaro d’Eva and that set up an exact order payoff of 2,127.00€ to 326 winning ticket holders. The Q+ pool was 3,389,893€ and the total race handle (all wagers) exceeded 7,711,000€. The next GNT leg will be June 19 at Reims. Thomas H. Hicks  

Perfect Spirit, the 2017 Hambletonian winner, will have his first race in an International open race in the Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke Sunday (June 9) afternoon. After his entrance at the Swedish trotting scene, last year Perfect Spirit was campaigned against other 4-year old trotters, but this year his trainer, Daniel Redén, has matched him against elder trotters. Perfect Spirit won his first two races this year – best timed in 1.52.4 – but third time out he made a break and was disqualified. In the Oslo Grand Prix, Perfect Spirit with regular driver Ôrjan Kihlström, will be among the favorites to win the event which has a purse of $175,000. Perfect Spirit will leave from post position two in the 1-5-16 mile event. Here are the post positions: 1. Slide So Easy (DK) – sired by Quite Easy (U.S.) 2. Perfect Spirit (US) – sired by Andover Hall (U.S.) 3. Ringostarr Treb (IT) – sired by Classic Photo (U.S.) 4. Vitruvio (IT) – sired by Adrian Chip (U.S.) 5. Bahia Quesnot (FR) sired by Scipion du Goutier (FR) 6. Gretzky BR (NO) – sired by Quite Easy (U.S.) 7. Valokaja Hindø (DK) – sired by Great Challenger (U.S.) 8. Uza Josselyn (DK) – sired by Love You (FR) 9. Nadal Broline (SE) -sired by Yankee Glide (U.S.) 10. Looking Superb (NO) – Scratched by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

This Friday evening Paris Vincennes program included two groupe III harness racing events and the Quinte+ race of the day.   The Prix Caecilia (Gr. III, purse 70,000€, 2700 meters, 11 starters) began the groupe action and it went to 9/1 Foxtrot Sea (4m Olitro-Vezia) reined by owner/trainer Cedrik Megissier and timed in 1.14kr.   Frisbee d’Am (44fm The Best Madrik) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Richard Westerink, the trainer of legendary Timoko. 30/1 Florida Sport (4f Tornado Bello) took third for trainer/driver Miguel X Mestra Suner.   The 7/10 favorite Filou L’Auvergnier was fourth.   Friday’s Quinte+ race was on the Vincennes card and it was the Prix Titania (purse 48,000€, 2850 meters, 14 starters), with victory to the 6.6/1 odds Crescendis (7f Querido de Blay-Libertatis) timed in 1.14.4kr with J-F. Senet at the lines. Senet also trains the winner for breeder/owner Thierry de Wazieres.   Crescendis                 --LeTrot photo   Crescendis won for the ninth time in 46 starts for 227,960€ in life earnings. 5.1/1 Deux Etoiles Gede (6f Roc Meslois) took second with Franck Nivard up for conditioner Alexandre Pillom. 19/1 Inga In Heaven (6f Orlando Vici) was third, handled by Franck Ouvrie for owner/trainer Fredrik Wallin. 3.6/1 Dascalia and 5.7/1 Dimmidisia completed the top five and resulted in the exact order Q+ payoff of 15,878.40€ for 26 winning ticketholders.   The Q+ pool was 3,868,236€ and total of this race handle was 7,944,000€.   The second groupe contest this evening was the Prix de Gien (Gr. III, purse 70,000€, 2700 meters, 14 starters). The 4.1/1 Good Boy Ligneries (3m Un Mec d’Heripre-Amy Ligneries) scored with J.Ph. Monclin up for trainer Philippe Billard (Souloy-Billard) and Ecurie le Tremont.   This winner scored for the fourth time in five starts now for 78,350€ in career earnings. Race time was 1.15.4kr. 6,1/1 Gallant Way (3m Ready Cash) was placed second with Eric Raffin aboard for trainer Philippe Allaire.   That was the result of the dq of second finishing Aramis Bar. Placed third was Gassman d’Essa handled by Anthony Barrier   15:50 C4 - PRIX CHAMBON P 100 000€ (June 8, 2019 at Vincennes) Groupe II - Attelé - 2850m - Grande piste Course Internationale Pour 5 à 10 ans inclus, ayant gagné au moins 160.000.).     Thomas H. Hicks  

Victor Ferm (4m Nad Al Sheba-Farina di Casei-Uronometro) took Sunday’s Gr. III Grand Premi Della Republica (purse 40,040€, 1660 meters autostart) at Bologna ITY. Santo Mollo reined the harness racing winner to the 1.11.5kr timed victory.   A length and a half back second was Vernissage Grif (4m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe) and third went to Deimos Racing (6g Quite Easy-Athena Haleryd-Pine Chip), Enrico Bellei up.   Entries for the Oslo Grand Prix have been revealed for this UET Masters classic with a purse of 308,000, and raced over 2100 meters autostart. The race is held at Oslo’s Bjerke Racecourse. There have been double winners in the race history: Copiad, Gidde Palema, Grande Frances and Rex Rodney. The 2018 winner, Urlo dei Venti, clocked in a race record 1.10kr, was disqualified for doping. Post Position Order (horse, country, driver and trainer: 1. Slide So Easy (Denmark), Flemming Jensen also trainer 2. Perfect Spirit (SWE), Orjan Kihlstrom, Daniel Reden 3. Ringostarr Treb (ITY), Wilhelm Paal, Jerry Riordan 4. Vitruvio (ITY), Jorma Kontio, Alessandro Gocciadoro 5. Bahia Quesnot (FR), Junior Guelpa also trainer 6. Gretsky BR (Norway), Magnus Teien Gunderson, Geir Vegard Gunderson 7. Valokaja Hindo (Norway), Christophe Martens, Jean Michel Bazire 8. Uza Josselyn (Suisse), Gabriele Gelormini, Rene Aebischer 9. Nadal Broline (FIN), Bjorn Goop also trainer 10. Looking Superb (Norway), Jomar Blekken, Jean Michel Bazire Other top races soon to arrive are Jamtlands Store Prix at Ostersund on June 8 that has Double Exposure among an upper class field; and on June 15 is the Kymi Grand Prix that has Dijon Billie de Montfort and Colonel among those committed. Great summer racing in Europe for the many fans and supporters.   Thomas H. Hicks

May 31, 2019 - The Netherland’s harness racing driver Rick Ebbinge was a consistent winner of the 2019 World Drivers Championship contested over the past week in Sweden. Ebbinge won two races on the last card, at Gavle, along with a second placed finish the prior day at Rattvik. He nosed out USA’s Yannick Gingras for the victory. Gingras won a race at Gavle and at Rattvik, along with a second at Rattvik and a third place finish at Gavle. There were five drivers in the hunt late in the competition. Point total at the finish are shown below along with results of the Rattvik and Gavle WDC races and photos, including with winners ceremony, McNair at one of his two Drivers of the Day presentations and Gingras with a coldblood. The drivers experienced varying distances, starting methods and racing the coldbloods in a superb week of action. 1. Rick Ebbinge (The Netherlands) - 199.5 points 2. Yannick Gingras (U.S.A.) - 193.5 3. Ulf Ohlsson (Sweden) - 191.5 4. Doug McNair (Canada) - 189.5 5. Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) - 187 6. Matthew Williamson (New Zealand) - 181.5 7. Mika Forss (Finland) - 177 8. Franck Nivard (France) - 162 9. James MacDonald (Canada/ITA) - 154 10. Michael Nimczyk (Germany) - 151.5 11. Rodney Gatt (Malta) - 142 12.Todd McCarthy (Australia) - 136   Gavle 5/31/19 Results – winning horse, driver and next two drivers Jackpot Band (Rick Ebbinge), McNair and Gingras two/three Pyrmo (Rick Ebbinge), Nivard, Hoitomt Edbent (Matthew Williamson), MacDonald, Hoitomt Desideria de Soze (James MacDonald), Williamson, Forss Vine Vision (Yannick Gingras), Nimczyk, MacDonald   Rattvik 5/29/19 Results Livi Mistress (Yannick Gingras), Ohlsson, Nivard Fast Food (Michael Nimczyk), Ebbinge, Foss and Hoitomt in dh Faks Nils (Mika Forss), Gingras, Williamson Fagur (Eirik Hoitomy), McNair, Forss Spickleback Face (Ulf Ohlsson), McCarthy, Gatt Thomas H. Hicks  

May 31, 2019 - The Friday evening harness racing featured Gr. II Monte Prix Lavater (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 12 starters four year olds) saw 1.3/1 favorite Feeling Cash (4m Ready Cash-Royale Star) get up in the final stride to score timed in 1.13.5kr for jockey Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Carlos Lerner.  He won for the seventh time in 26 career starts now for 582,450€ in life earnings. 49/1 Filoute de Bassard (4f Tiego d’Etang) was a game second for Francois Lagadeuc, in the irons for trainer Herve Soinneau and breeder/owner Jean Francois Bassard. Third was 2.8/1 Ferreteria (4f Goetmals Wood-Avenue Victoria) with Matthieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. On the undercard was the Quinte+ Prix Pythia (purse 64,000€, 2850 meters, 17 European starters) that saw 3.3/1 Jerry Mon (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) score his third straight for driver Franck Ouvrie, trainer Luc Roelens and owner JPB Building BVBA. Jerry Mom won for only the fourth time in a 26 race career in FR and now has life earnings of 277,696€. Jerry Mom 24/1 Cicero Noa (g Mandarin Blue) took second for breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke and driver Christophe Martens. Third home was 6.4/1 Gareth Boko (6m Make It Happen) with trainer Conrad Lugauer aboard for owner Boko Stables. The top five was completed by 22/1 Super Nice (6m Orlando Vici) for Bjorn Goop and 2.4/1 Diable de Vauvert hanlded by Yoann Lebourgeois. Race time was 1.12.1kr off rated fractions and the exact order Q+ payoff was 37,069.80€ for the 11 winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 3,451,048€ and the total of all wagering pool on this race exceeded 7,200,000€.   Jerry Mom Following last week’s Elitloppet the UET Masters point leaders are as follows: Propulsion, 3550 Readly Express, 2900 Aubrion du Gers, 2600 Uza Josselyn, 1850 Dijon, 1700 Belina Josselyn, 1700 Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s seventh harness racing leg of the Trophee Vert series was at Alencon in the Grand Prix Seche Environement (purse 45,000€n 2625 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) and it went to 1.2/1 favorite Derby du Dollar (6m Rodrigo Jet-Magalie du Dollar) reined by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Th.Coupireau.   The winner, now with life earnings of 212,780€ and seven wins in 33 career starts, was handicapped 25 meters and was timed in 1.14.2kr over the grass, his third straight victory.   Second was 14/1 Blues des Landiers (8g Phlegyas) with Sebastien Hardy up timed in 1.13.7kr with his 50 meter handicap. 19/1 Candidat d’Ortige (7m Giant Cat) was third with a 25 meter penalty, trained by Franck Nivard, and with Loic Guinoiseau at the lines.   LeTrot photo A large audience was on hand for the afternoon of trots on the turf. Thomas H. Hicks  

The grand harness racing champion of Spain, Trebol (12m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait), won for the 45th time consecutively in today’s Premi Rommel at Menorca’s Hippodrom Torre del Ram (purse 200€, 2100 meters autostart, five starters) clocked in 1.18.6kr. FCA A.M.   Bosch teamed the winner for Cuadra Sa Farolo. Trebol now has earned 77 career victories in 131 starts for life earnings of 686,316€.   He has posted nine wins in 2019, 28 in 2018, and eight in 2017 in this winning streak. Tesben Rush and Caviar d’Occagnes trailed the classy winner that posted groupe victories when based in France for then trainer Gabriel Angel Pou Pou.   Thomas H. Hicks

The excellent mare Longines (5f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) took today’s Kincsem Park featured Rothchild Hojgard DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart, eight starters) timed in 1.16.3kr for owner Pimri, pilot Andrea Fazekas, and harness racing trainer Imre Fazekas.   She was bred in Germany by Kornelius Heitmann and today scored in her usual gate to wire manner, her second 2019 victory in three starts with one second place finish.   Her career slate is 12-1-0 in 13 starts. She was off as the 3/2 favorite and bested 73/1 Unika VIK (6f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro reined by Andor Angyal and 12/1 Disney HR (6f Light Up de Vonnas-Times-SJs Photo).   Kincsem Park photo   Thomas H. Hicks  

Veteran Tabrouk de Payre (12g Meaulnes du Corta-Orcade de Payre), off at 9/1 odds, won today’s Prix de Vitesse Suisse (purse 10,663€, 1609 meters, six starters) at L‘Hippodrome de Avenches handled by M.A. Bovay for Ecurie Muller Roland.   Race time was a sharp 1.09.6kr (mile 1:51.91) for the now 18 time career winner in 96 starts for life earnings harness racing of 430,026€. Mme.   Marie Claude Bereteau bred the winner, sired by Prix d’Amerique winner Meaulnes du Corta, that defeated 1.8/1 odds pacesetter Un Geant d’Amour (11g Gigant Neo-Glorieuse Rhee) reined by trainer J.B. Mathey and third finishing 9/10 favorite Brabus (8g Nem) for Nathalie Gronin.   Thomas H. Hicks

The 5.5/1 Eolia de Houelle (5f Goetmals Wood-Sawasde de Houelle) took the featured harness racing Gr. II monte Prix Victor Cavey (purse 100,000€, 2850 meters, 10 starters) at Paris-Vincennes.   Anthony Barrier was the jockey for breeder/trainer Franck Leblanc as the winner was timed in 1.13.5kr in this her seventh career win in 31 starts, now for 290,260€ earned. 5/2 Evangelina Blue (5f Speedy Blue) took second money for Mathieu Mottier and owner/trainer J.Ph. Mary. 13/1 Etoile de Bruyere (5f Kenor de Cosse) was third ahead of 15/1 Exotica de Retiz and 1.7/1 favorite Etonnant.   On the undercard was the Prix Talitha (purse 56,000€, 2200 meters, 14 starters all three year olds) and the 1.15.2kr timed winner was 2.6/1 Godfather (3m Village Mystic-Horsaca) reined by Eric Raffin for breeder/trainer Tony LeBeller and owner Mauricette De Sousa, the recent Elitloppet winning owner.   Godfather                    -LeTrot photo   Godfather won for second time in an 11 race career. 2.9/1 Golfe Juan (3m Jam Pridem) took second with Yoann Lebourgeois up and 3.3/1 Giuliano (3m Prodigious) was third with Matthieu Abrivard in the irons.   Thomas H. Hicks

The fourth leg of the harness racing World Drivers Championship took place today Tuesday at Eskilstuna SWE with Canada’s Doug McNair now leading the point standings after two wins, with 9.7/1 Artic Agent in race four and with 5.7/1 Arbiggan in the eighth race.   Other winners in the five heat WDC fourth leg were 1.8/1 Fabulous Journey for Rick Ebbinge, 6.8/1Pelle Roc for Ulf Ohlsson and 3/1 My Dream Art for Eirik Hoitomt.   The leaderboard is shown below.   The fifth leg will be at Rattvik on Wednesday where the 12 drivers will compete in five more heats.   Leaderboard Through Leg 4   Doug McNair, 123.5 Ulf Ohlsson, 118.5 Rick Ebbinge, 115.5 Mika Forss, 110 Matthew Williamson, 107.5 Eirik Hoitomt, 104 Yannick Gingras, 103.5 Franck Nivardm 99 James Macdonald, 94 Michael Nimczky, 92.5 Rodney Gatt, 79 Todd McCarthy, 70     Thomas H. Hicks  

Sundbyholm, Sweden — After a bad start during the first two days at Solvalla, Doug McNair has started to come around and followed up Monday’s two victories on the World Driving Championship tour with another two at Sundbyholm on Tuesday (May 28) and for the second day in a row the Canadian became Driver of the Day. Monday it was close between the drivers at the top, but at Sundbyholm McNair was the shining star of the evening when he not only posted two wins with Argbiggan and Arctic Agent, but also placed second with New Song. “She felt better than what she looked like and did exactly what she was supposed to do when going over the stretch,” McNair said in the winner’s circle after the victory with Argbiggan from the front. Rick Ebbinge beat the Canadian for his second place, when Ebbinge led the whole race with Fabulous Journey and crossed the finish line on his own. Aside from a gallop the Dutchman did not have any trouble in the other races, which brought him up to third place in the WDC standings. “It went pretty slowly and the horse went well over the stretch,” said Ebbinge in the winner’s circle with Fabulous Journey. Monday’s leader Ulf Ohlsson also had a pretty good Tuesday night with a victory, but it was not enough to keep the lead in the WDC. He dropped the lead to McNair, but Ohlsson is still in second place. “It was important for the WDC to win this race because I think I haven’t had any good chances today,” said Ohlsson following the victory with Pelle Roc. The last winner of the day was Eirik Höitomt, who won with My Dream Art after pushing to the lead early in the race. The victory was crucial for the Norwegian, who had a bad night in Eskilstuna. Höitomt is currently right outside the leaderboard as we head on to the last two days of the WDC. The next five races will take place in Rättvik Wednesday. The leaderboard after leg four of the 2019 WDC appears below. 1. Doug McNair (Canada) – 123.5 2. Ulf Ohlsson (Sweden) – 118.5 3. Rick Ebbinge (The Netherlands) – 115.5 4. Mika Forss (Finland) – 110 5. Matthew Williamson (New Zealand) – 107.5 6. Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) – 104 7. Yannick Gingras (USA) – 103.5 8. Franck Nivard (France) – 99 9. James MacDonald (Canada/ITA) – 94 10. Michael Nimczyk (Germany) – 92.5 11. Rodney Gatt (Malta) – 79 12. Todd McCarthy (Australia) – 70 For more information, go to the official World Driving Championship website.   from the Swedish Trotting Association

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