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Hippodrome Niort hosted Sunday’s sixth harness racing leg of the Trophee Vert Series (purse 45,000€, 3550 meters distance handicap, 15 starters) named the Prix du Credit Mutuel.   A wild finish saw 7.6/1 Cromy (7g Baccarat du Pont-Hitie des Feugeres) score for trainer/driver Tony LeBeller, his 10 th career victory in 41 starts now for 186,660€ in life earnings.   Race time was 1.17.2kr. The 50 meter handicapped and 3.4/1 second betting choice, Ceylan Dairpet (7g Ouragon de Celland), was next for trainer LeBeller and reinsman Alexandre Abrivard.   The 8.3/1 Blues des Landiers (8g Phlegyas) took third, also handicapped 50 meters, with Sebastien Hardy aboard for owner/trainer/breeder Dominique Cheradame. 1.9/1 favorite Caid Barbes and 8.9/1 Azur des Caillons completed the top five finishers.   Thomas H. Hicks  

With Monday's third leg at Lindesberg completed, the harness racing World Drivers Championship will continue on Tuesday (May 28) and Wednesday (May 29), concluding on Friday (May 31).   The leaders after the third leg are shown below with Ulf Ohlsson still leading:   1.Ulf Ohlsson (Sweden) – 76.5 2. Eirik Hoitomt (Norway) – 74 3. Matthew Williamson (New Zealand) – 72.5 4. Rick Ebbinge (The Netherlands) – 72 5. Mika Forss (Finland) – 67 6. Doug McNair (Canada) – 64.5 T7. Michael Nimczyk (Germany) – 64 T7. Franck Nivard (France) – 64 9. James MacDonald (Canada/ITA) – 62 10. Yannick Gingras (USA) – 61.5 11. Rodney Gatt (Malta) – 58 12. Todd McCarthy (Australia) – 49   The Monday race winners at Lindesberg were as follows:   R2 Klocksve Sprinten (Doug McNair) in coldblood race over Nivard and Ohlsson R4 Anne (Rodney Gatt) in mares races over Matthew Williamson and Todd McCarthy R5 Ior Tooma (Matthew Williamson) over Gingras and Forss R7 You To Neat (Doug McNair) over Nimczyk and Ohlsson R8 Deede Star (Eirik Hoitomt) over Ebbinge and Nimczyk   Thomas H. Hicks

Saturday’s Kincsem Park featured Hippodrom ES Lovarda Sprinter Kupa (purse 2,000,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) saw 4.9/1 Zeal di Girifalco (4m Igor Font-Inviata d’Italia-Varenne) score from post 11, timed in 1.14.5kr.   Veljko Mazsity trains and drove the winner to his fourth harness racing win straight in 2019 and he is now eight wins in 10 starts in 2018-19 combined, with this rallying victory.   18/1 Urus Caf (6g Cantab Hall- Fantastic Star-Lemon Dra) closed for second driven by Paolo Scamardella for SLO based trainer Zuorko Osterc. Third went to 1.4/1 favorite and pacesetter Aileron (7g Scarlet Knight-Quacelle) handled by Imre Fazekas. 16/1 Tars Stars (8m Persugill-Ten Stars Vita-Ata Star L) was fourth for Janko Sagaj. The previous Sprinter Kupa winners are shown below. The fastest winner remains 1.13.6kr set by Romi Mms in 2015. This fine Turbo Sund mare has gone forward to race well in France since back to back wins in this event. On the undercard was the Hitelezo DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) that saw 14.9/1 Henrik Ibsen AT (6m Worship-Her Own Child-Impossant Sund) score timed in 1.15.4kr for pilot Csaba Lakatos. Henrik Ibsen AT Unique Vil (6m Conway Hall-Deborah Bi-Park Avenue Joe) was second teamed with Roland Balogh and Peterka I (5f Gerd November-Petrana Lobell-Scurry Lobell) was third handled by Mitja Slavic. Early in the card the Allyhills Hico DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) went to 3.9/1 stakes candidate Aronville (3g Calypso Capar-Saraville-What A Man) that scored in 1.20.1kr. Aronville Gyorgy Horvath teamed this Imre Fazekas trainee to his second win in six 2019 appearances. Destro Ferm (4m Napoleon) and Adama Fling (3m Maximus Lindy) followed the winner.   Thomas H. Hicks

The Hakkan Wallner Memorial (1,000,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters, a Breeders Course event) produced a 26.6/1 upset harness racing winner in 1.11.9kr timed Aetos Kronos (3m Bold Eagle-Will of a Woman-Muscle Yankee) reined by Johan Untersteiner for trainer Jerry Riordan and owned by Team Snyder AB et.al.   This colt rallied from far back, starting the final turn, to defeat Acciaio (3m Love You- Light my Candle-Garland Lobell) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. Third was Axl Rose (3m Love You-Linda di Casei-Uronometro) reined by trainer Gocciadoro that was seven for eight entering this race.   He engaged in a driver inspired battle with pacesetter and undefeated Upset Face (3m Joke Face-Iona LB-Supergill) that was a weakening fourth with Lutfi Kolgjini driving. From post one he was first to the lead and refused to relinquish quickly advancing Axl Rose. The power struggle set up the fast finishers.   ATG, Maharajah.se files/photos   The Menhammars Delicious race (300,000SEK first prize, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to the impressive 1.10.8kr timed Zalie Gar (4f Varenne-First Lady Gar-Lemon Dra) with Rene Legati at the lines for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. This mare took the lead before the first 500 meters and lengthened the advantage over pocket positioned Viking Grace (4f Johnny William-Catch Dream-American Winner) that was second for Jos. Verbeeck and trainer Riina Rekila. Third in a photo for second was Fanny Chenal (4f Love You-Pilgrims Truffles-Chocolatier) reined by trainer Bjorn Goop. Bay View (4f Yankee Glide) took fourth for Erik Adielsson.   The Tommy Hannes lopp (500,000SEK first prize, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) saw Missile Hill (4m Muscle Hill-India Hall-Garland Lobell) score impressively in 1.11kr (1.09,6kr at the 500 meter post; 1.10.9kr at the 1000) for driver Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet. He won for the fourth time in a 30-race career and in only his second start in Sweden after import from the United States. Evaluate (4m Andover Hall-Blathin-Classic Photo), racing shoeless with a late change, was second for trainer/driver/owner Stefan Melander. Fun Quick (4m Carpe Diem-Activity Quick-Jasmin de Flore) closed quickly for third reined by Wim Paal for trainer Maik Esper.   Other interesting winners today at Solvalla were Sashay My Way (3f Muscle Massive-Fancy-Conway Hall) in the Rune Stolts Custom Sulky race (200,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) reined by trainer Adrian Kolgjini. Timed in 1.12.6kr she scored for the fourth time in eight career outings, defeating Avena Jet (3f Maharajah-Ingrid di Jesolo-Pine Chip) with Orjan Kilhlstrom up for trainer Thorsten Tietz.   This year’s Gr. II International MonteElite (300,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) saw 8.8/1 Aigle Jenilou (9g Prodigious-Queen Jenilou-Kepi Vert) score an upset victory with Jonathan Carre in the irons for trainer Henk A.J. Grift. It was his 16 th life win in 65 starts and he was clocked in 1.11.3kr off fast fractions (1.07.7kr at the 500; 1.09.9kr at the 1000). Den Of Warlock (6m Muscle Hill- Sabrina Hall-Garland Lobell) was next for jockey Kristine Kvasnes. Third was last year’s winner in record time, Be Mine de Houelle (8f Scipion du Goutier), that set the fast pace for Marie Bacsich and trainer Franck Leblanc, before weakening around the final turn.   Thomas H. Hicks  

The 27.8/1 odds Dijon (6m Ganymede-Sonate d’Aunou-Coktail Jet) with Romain Derieux up for owner Mauricette De Sousa led gate to wire to victory in the Elitloppet harness racing final (3,000,000SEK first prize) timed in 1.10.3kr (fractions 1.08.1kr at the 500 meter mark and 1.09.9kr at the 1000).   He was off quickly and first from five post, placing second elim winner and favorite Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers-Baccarat du Pont) in the pocket.   Aubrion, handled by Jos, Verbeeck, vacated the pocket to avoid congestion, to follow Propulsion (8m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) and he was shuffled some six lengths from Dijon when Propulsion, reined by Orjan Kihlstrom, stalled on the backstretch, necessitating a three-wide move. Aubrion rallied gamely in the lane finishing a diminishing second by a neck at the line.   ATG, Maharajah.se photos   Makethemark (6m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) and pilot Ulf Ohlsson finished third after a good trip on the pegs. Propulsion lasted for fourth and Milliondollarrhyme was fifth for Fredrik B. Larsson. The race was marred when then co-favorite Readly Express was a late scratch lame.   It was also quite obvious that the winning Dijon was pacing the final two strides but there was no inquiry.   Dijon won for 13 time in a 50 race career and now has earnings of 10,739,454SEK.   In elimination one (250,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, eight starters) Readly Express (7m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream-Viking Kronos) scored in a rated 1.10.2kr for driver Bjorn Goop and trainer Timo Nurmos. Fractions were 1.08.4kr at the first 500 meters and 1.11.7kr at the 1000. Readly Express led throughout to score by a length over Makethemark and Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine-Silver Pine), that Ake Svanstedt drove for trainer Jean Michel Bazire.   Readly Express wins elim one   This one pressed the front from off the final bend and could not advance late in the lane.   Elim two had favored Aubrion du Gers as a front-end winner from post one for Jos. Verbeeck and owner/trainer Jean-Michel Bazire.   The victory was his 16 th in a row and 46 th for the career, and he was clocked in a rated 1.10.2kr (1.10.5kr at the 500; 1.10.7kr at the 1000 meter mark).   Aubrion du Gers takes elim two   When Verbeeck pulled the plugs late in the final bend he opened a three-length advantage and cruised home. Propulsion held second for Orjan Kihlstrom and Dijon rallied late for third driven by his trainer Romain Derieux.   As stated above, Readly Express was scratched lame just prior to the final and paraded before the fans, perhaps for a final time.   Thomas H. Hicks

The 5/10 favorite Colonel (7g Goetmals Wood-Royale Star) took today’s Quinte+Prix de L’Oblisque (purse 64,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 14 starters) timed in 1.12.6kr and reined by harness racing trainer Jean Michel Bazire for Ecurie des Charmes. The 13 time winner in 55 career starts won his second straight and increased his life earnings to 371,950€. The 10/1 Class de Loriol (7f Ready Cash) was second for Matthieu Abrivard, ahead of 39/1 Valfleury (10g Memphis du Rib) driven by Clement Duvaldestin. 12/1 Tinamo Jet and 4.2/1 Nancy America completed the top five and that set up an 871.40€ payoff for 982 winning 2€ ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 3,963,000€ and the total of all wagering pools on the Q+ race exceeded 8,265,000€ The Prix du Rhone (purse 63,000€, 2150 meters autostart) produced and unexpected result when 2.3/1 Dostoievski and rival 3.3/1 Exit Money crossed the wire first and were both disqualified. Diademe Atout wins on double dq--LeTrot photo That created a victory for 41/1 Diademe Atout (6m Timoko-La Lagune) handled by Christophe Martens for trainer Vincent Martens and Ecurie Olmenhof, the owner. Race time was 1.12.8kr. 13/1 Digne et Droit (6m The Best Madrik) was placed second with Tony LeBeller aboard and placed third was 11/1 Coumba Kuky (7f Matador de Vrie) handled by her trainer Gabriel Angel Pou Pou.   Thomas H. Hicks

Queer Fish (10g Varenne-Gambari-Victory Dream) rallied late to win the Sweden Cup Final (600,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, nine starters) for  harness racing reinsman Ulf Eriksson and trainer Magnus Traff.   Stall Traff HB, Lindqvist and Andersson own the winner that now has earnings of 3,515,700SEK with 29 career wins in 88 starts.   Race time was 1.09.7kr that is a career best. He was third in his elimination heat and was off at 47.46/1 odds in the final.   Chief Orlando (6m Orlando Vici) was second for Bjorn Goop after being second in his elim and pacesetter Cyber Lane (6g Raja Mirchi) was third after winning his elim (the first) timed in 1.10.9kr and defeating the pair that finished ahead of him in the final.     The Sweden Cup elims (each for 100,000SEK first prize) went to the aforementioned Cyber Lane as 5/10 favorite defeating Chief Orlando and Queer Fish timed in 1.10.9kr; to 3.6/1 Dante Boko (9g Going Kronos) in elim 2 for Adrian Kolgjini timed in 1.10.7 over Coquin Bebe (7m Rancho Gede) and Ua Huka (6f Muscle Yankee); and in the third elim to 10/1 Lexus Dream (5g Lexus Font) with Ari Moilanen up defeating Pastore Bob (6g From Above) and Arazi Boko (12g Varenne).   In the early part of today’s program was the Lady Snarts for the fast class mares (250,000SEK first prize, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starts) that was won by El Fitzgerald (5f EL Miko-EL Miss Courtney-Andover Hall) reined by Olli Koivunen for trainer Timo Nurmos.   She was clocked in 1.10.7kr in defeating Peace Of Mind (10f Uronomentro) and Elite du Ruel (5f Timoko).   The World Drivers Championship continued with a single race (100,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) that went to 1.12kr timed Deep Pockets (4g Ready Cash-Bloom Boko-Cantab Hall) with Rick Ebbinge driving for trainer Svante Bath. Ferry Boko was second for reinsman Michael Nimczyk and third home was Mellby Fantom with Mika Forss aboard.     Thomas H. Hicks

Eelis (5g Enjoy Lavec-Mazurka Lavec-Viking Kronos) closed strongly for harness racing reinsman Olli Koivunen to easily defeat then leading Handsome Brad (6m Bred de Veluwe) handled by Carl Johan Jepson to win the Gr. II International UET Masters Series Harper Hanovers (900,000SEK to winner, 3140 meters distance handicap, 15 startes).   Timo Nurmos trains the winner that now has three wins in six 2019 starts.   His career earnings advanced to 1,580,300SEK. Handsome Brad nearly overcame his 40 meter handicap. Third was Jet Voice (8m Jetstile) with Lars Anvar Kolle at the lines.   Eelis Wins Harper Hanovers      -ATG photo   Earlier on the undercard, the V75 Bronze (250,000SEK to winner,2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.11.6kr timed Bucks Tom Burn (6g Ready Cash-Staro Yours Truly-Supergill) with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Daniel Reden.   Vincero’Gar and Ural trailed the winner.   The V75 Silver (300,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) saw Heart Of Steel (5g Cantab Hall-Angel Heikant-Open The Sky) score in 1.11.8kr for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner. Global Trust and Mr. Golden Quick were next home.   The Klass I and II Finals were on the card as well, both raced over 2140 meters autostart and both with 12 starters.   The Klass I event went to the flashy chestnut Norton Commander (5m Gift Kronos-Push The Button-Love You) with trainer Conrad Lugauer aboard, timed in 1.11.1kr.   The Klass II race saw the winning Viking Brodde (4g Muscle Hill-Vasterbo My Melody-Super Arnie) come from fourth to first in the late stages for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Timo Nurmos. He was clocked in 1.11.4kr.     Thomas H. Hicks

May 24, 2019 - Friday began the 2019 harness racing world driving championship with the first session at Solvalla. After three races this day the leading point earner was Ulf Ohlsson with 33.5 points. He represents Sweden and leads Finland’s Mike Forss who earned 31 points.  The race winners were Hersey Boko (5f Zola Boko) with Mike Forss up, Pegasus All Over (4g Syrinxian) reined by James Macdonald of Canada, and Venerdi (5g Mondiale OK) with Ulf Ohlsson the pilot. The feature races of the day were three events sponsored by ASVT Trottex Auktion. The three year old colts raced for 200,000SEK first prize over 2140 meters autostart, with victory to 9/1 Power (3m Googoo Gaagaa-La Vici-Orlando Vici) with Bjorn Goop the pilot for trainer Bjorn Goop. He was clocked in 1.12.9kr. The Googoo gelding Bythebook (3g Googoo Gaagaa-Stellar Value-Viking Kronos) was second for Erik Adielsson. The two filly divisions were raced each for 100,000SEK first money also over 2140 meters autostart. The first went to 6.7/1 MBS Pretty Girl (3f Scarlet Knight-Lovely Face-Viking Kronos) for trainer/driver Claes Svensson and timed in 1.14.4kr. The second went to 3.8/1 Boxer Shrimp (3f Yankee Glide-Decapode-Cumin) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Robert Bergh. Classic pedigree here for the 1.14.1kr timed winner. Thomas H. Hicks

May 24, 2019 - The demand for well-bred trotting stock was on display Friday in the ASVT Elitauktion in Sweden. Held in conjunction with the Elitloppet this sale cataloged 100 head and the average was up 32% from 2018 at 283,684SEK (26,519€). The average last year was 215,473SEK. Sale toppers are shown below with winning bids in Swedish krona. Catalogue link:  https://www.asvt.se/images/aktuellt/Elitkatalogen-2019.pdf The catalogue page of the sale topper is shown below, this one a colt by Ready Cash-Aisle Stand-Scarlet Knight. He brought 142,557€ from a bid by well-known horseman Lutfi Kolgjini. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 19, 2019 - Sunday’s fifth leg of the Trophee Vert series was the Grand Prix d’Eauze (purse 45,000€, 3000 meters distance handicap on the turf) at Eauze and it was a competitive affair that was won by the 50 meter handicapped Doberman (6m Prodigious) reined by Franck Nivard to a close rallying victory for owner Richard Cohen. Doberman recorded his 11th career win now for 422,780€ in lifetime earnings. The 25 meter handicapped Boxing Day (8g Ganymede) was second driven by Manuel Criado and another 25 meter penalized performer, Comte du Vivier (7g Prince Gede) held third for Franck Jamard after setting the pace. Beach Boy (8g Jag de Bellouet) was fourth for reinsman M.X. Charlot. The next Trophee Vert leg is May 26th at Niort. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 14, 2019 - There were a pair of Groupe level contests and the Quinte+ race of the day on the Friday evening harness racing program at Paris-Vincennes. The Gr. III Prix Esam (purse 80,000€, 2100 meters autostart, nine European starters) began the action and 7.8/1 Alcoy (5m Ready Cash-Divann) scored timed in a sharp 1.10.5kr for teamster Christophe Martens. Vincent Martens trains the winner for Ceke Farm of Belgium as Alcoy increased his career earnings to 255,932€. Finishing second was 4.4/1 Detroit Castelets (6m Neoh Jiel) reined by David Thomain. 30/1 Aldo d’Argentre (9m Qualimo de Vandel) was third. The 5/10 favorite Super Fez was fifth for J-M Bazire. Today’s Quinte+ race was the Prix Lonis (purse 56,000€, 2700 meters, 16 starters) and 2.7/1 Cap Matyss (7m Love You-Ode Matyss) scored for pilot Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Franck Leblanc, timed in 1.12.1kr. The victory increased his life earnings to 304,680€. 8.6/1 Colorado Blue (7g Que Je T’Aime) was second for Gabriele Gelormini and 56/1 Beerscott (8m General du Pommeau) took third with Anthony Barrier the reinsman. 14./1 Citizen Kane and 3.6/1 Black Jack From completed the top five. There were 11 exact order Q+ winning tickets that each paid 53,957.80€. The Quinte+ pool was 3,390,168€ and the total of all wagering pools on this race exceeded 7,020,000€. Cap Matyss The program’s featured Gr. II Prix Ozo (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 11 starters) produced an easy seven-length win for the 5/10 favorite Green Grass (3f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Sebastien DeWulf. She scored for the seventh time in 12 career outings now for 283,900€ in life earnings. 20/1 Gloria du Goutier (3f Timoko) was second for J. Ph. Monclin and trainer Guarato. 7/1 Girls Talk (3f Brillantissime) was third driven by David Thomain for trainer Philippe Allaire. Green Grass Thomas H. Hicks

Three groupe level events graced the Tuesday Paris-Vincennes program and produced exciting harness racing action.   The Prix Camilla (Gr. III, purse 70,000€, 13 European starters) began the groupe tests and 4.1/1 Filou l’Auvergnier (4m Real de Lou-Quira l’Auvergnier) scored in 1.12.8kr for reinsman Kevin Leblanc, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Ecurie du Grand Buisson.   It was the seventh career victory for Filou in 16 starts and his life earnings increased to 164,410€. 15/1 Lover Boy (4m Conway Hall-Merlot DK) was second for Alexandre Abrivard and 9/1 Inspector Bros (4g Pastor Stephen) took third for pilot Franck Nivard. The 9/10 favorite City Guide was seventh.   The Gr. III Prix Heraclite (purse 70,000€, 2850 meters, nine European starters) was next and 1.7/1 Flora Quick (4f Prodigious-Star Quick) held on for close victory, reined by Gabriele Gelormini for Ecurie Quick Star and trainer Malik Esper. Flora won for the sixth time in 19 career starts now for 166,750€ earned.   Flora Quick                  - LeTrot photo 3.9/1 Fortuna Pride (4f Ready Cash) took second for Franck Nivard and the 1.6/1 favorite Fiorentina Somolli (4f Love You) was third with Matthieu Abrivard the teamster.   The three-year olds next took center stage in the Prix Kalma (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 10 starters) with victory to the 5/10 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa) timed in 1.14.6kr and reined by Eric Raffin for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire.   Gotland                            - LeTrot photo   J-P Guay bred the now winner eight times in nine lifetime starts for career earnings of 296,100€. He is a classy colt from a good mare. 3.2/1 Golden Bridge (3m Ready Cash-Usenza) took second with Yoann Lebourgeois up for trainer Allaire and breeder/owner Michel Tessier. Gassman d’Essa (3m Quido du Goutier) was third at 62/1 odds with Franck Nivard up for trainer Christophe Marie.   The 4.9/1 third betting choice General du Parc finished seventh.   Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s 5 th leg of the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (purse 85,000€, 2750 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) was held at La Capelle. The 1.12.6kr timed victory went to 13/1 Bachar (8m Prodigious-Princesse Victoire) with trainer Emmanuel Allard at the lines. Bachar won for the seventh time in 70 career starts now for 314,640€ earned. 15/1 Christo (7g Rieussec) was second for trainer/driver Michel Lenoir and the 25-meter handicapped 5/10 favorite Chica de Joudes (7f Jag de Bellouet) was third for owner/trainer/driver Alain Laurent. 123/1 Baron du Bourg and 93/1 Bad Boy du Dollar, also 25 meter handicapped, completed the top five finishers. This race was the Quinte+ race of the day and the exact order 2€ Q+ ticket paid 185,481.80€. The Q+ pool today was 3,170,334€ and the total of all wagering pools on this race exceeded 6,970,000€.   Thomas H. Hicks

The 2019 Elitloppet harness racing field is now set as shown below for May 26 th at Solvalla.   The Jean-Michel Bazire trainees Looking Superb and Aubrion du Gers will be driven by Ake Svanstedt and Jos. Verbeeck respectively.   This pair are among the favorites along with Readly Express and Propulsion that drew in separate eliminations.   Elim 1 Elitloppet   Makethemark, Ulf Ohlsson Disco Volante, Jorma Kontio Double Exposure, Erik Adielsson Next Direction, Ilkka Nurmonen Looking Superb, Ake Svanstedt (JM Bazire trainer) Uza Josselyn, Gabriele Gelormini Readly Express, Bjorn Goop Sorbet, Carl Johan Jepson   Elim 2 Elitloppet   Aubrion du Gers, Jos. Verbeeck (JM Bazire trainer) Milligan’s School, Ulf Eriksson Bahia Quesnot, Junior Guelpa Day Or Night In, Johan Untersteiner Propulsion, Orjan Kihlstrom Milliondollarrhyme, Fredrik B. Larsson Heavy Sound, Kenneth Haugstad Dijon, Romain Derieux   The Sweden Cup lineup is set for May25 at Solvalla, with three eliminations. Cyber Lane. Arazi Boko, Dante Boko and Pastore Bob are among the likely favored starters.      

On Sunday May 19 two classic races took place at Modena’s Ippodromo Ghirlandina.   The fillies first battled in the 88,000€ purse Premio Unione Europeo Filly (1600 meters autostart, 13 starters) with the 1.11.9kr timed harness racing victory earned by Zaniah Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro to her seventh career victory in 22 appearances.   She sat the pocket until the final bend when she zoomed to the front and secured a four-length score over Zabriskie OK (4f Conway Hall- Georgia Pines-Pine Chip) with Bjorn Goop aboard.   Third was Zealand As (4f Donato Hanover-Fortune As- Tenor de Baune) with Rene Legati up.   The male adversaries contested the 407,000€ purse Premio Unione Europea (2080 meters, 13 starters) and it was a battle between pacesetter Zacon Gio (4m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide) piloted by Roberto Vecchione and timed in 1.11.2kr. Zacon Gio won for 18 th time in 28 lifetime starts. His sire is a son of Varenne. Second finishing was Face Time Bourbon (4m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon-Love You) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Sebastien Guarato, timed the same as the winner. Face Time was away fourth and moved first up and within a half-length of the leader entering the final turn. Then Zacon Gio pulled away to a three- length advantage. Late in the lane Zacon tired under heavy urging from Vecchione and Face Time pulled back to within a quarter-length at the wire. Third was Zidane Grif (4m Ready Cash-Taffeta’Grif-Varenne) handled by G.P. Minnucci. Zlatan (4m Napoleon Bar) was fourth.    

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