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February 23, 2017 - 14 upper class international harness racing trotters appeared at Vincennes for today’s Gr. II Prix de Plateau de Gravelle (purse €110,000, 2100 meters autostart and this competitive Quinte+ contest went to 1.12.1kr clocked and 55.1/1 odds Timone EK (5m Mr. Vic-Gemona) with J-Ph Monclin up. Fractions were quick from the outset (1.06.6kr at 1500 to go; 1.09.3kr at the 1000; 1.12kr with 500 remaining). Luigi Lottieri of Italy owns the Ph. Billard trainee. 274/1 Orione Degli Dei (9g Conway Hall-Elissa Dei) was second for driver Roberto Andreghetti, owner Scuderia Bologna 2011 and trainer Ph. Billard. 16/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) took third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. 28/1 Rod Stewart (7m Love You-Valley Lane) was fourth reined by Franck Ouvrie for trainer Jerry Riordan and Italy’s Graziano Ceccaroni, the owner. 130/1 Sugar Rey (6m Look de Star-Aurora Boreale) was placed fifth due to disqualification of Indigious and Franck Nivard. Sugar Rey was teamed by Pietro Gubellini for trainer H.E. Bondo and Italy’s owner Ecurie Tre Cer. The 3/10 favorite Propulsion was a miscue dq, as was United Back. The opening activity today was the Prix des Pas Nordiques (purse €20,000, 2100 meters autostart, 12 International coldblood starters) and the 2.3/1 favorite Smedsbo Faksen (6m Jarvsofaks-Kjostad Besta) scored in 1.23.9kr for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jan-Olav Persson and owner Travakademien-Easy of Sweden. This son to legendary Jarvsofaks, perhaps the greatest trotting horse ever, easily bested 10.8/1 Wik Emil (9m Lome Elden-Mille N), a distant second, ahead of third finishing and 2.4/1 Finnskog Fokus and Gunnar Austevoll. Speed Delicious (7m Fast Photo-Ala Delicious), racing barefoot, scored a 1.14.7kr timed victory in the Prix du Cantal (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 18 Eiuropean starters) for driver Franck Nivard at 4.3/1 odds. Sweden’s Mattias Luduigssun owns this Ph. Billard trainee. 37.7/1 Monas Invercote (8f Viking Kronos-Monas Speranza) was second with Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Bjorn Good and Stall Timotej AB and Ove Bergkin of Sweden. 23.8/1 Romi Mms (7f Turbo Sund-Goldy LB) was third for Mathieu Mottier. This invader from Austria and Hungary racing is owned by Mitja Slavic (Croatia) and now trained by Ph. Billard. Super Fez was fourth for Pietro Gubellini. Thomas H. Hicks  

A total of 34 upper level trotters have been engaged for Sunday’s Gr. I Prix de Paris, the third leg of the France Triple Crown, and raced over 4150 meters (just over 2.5 miles) for a purse of €400,000. The group, which will be finalized and narrowed on Thursday, includes Bold Eagle, Timoko, Up And Quick, Tiego d’Etang and Voltigeur de Myrt among the largest career money winners. J-M Bazire has named Belina Josselyn and Tornade du Digeon; Philippe Allaire entered Bird Parker and Traders; Daniel Reden named Wild Honey, Lionel, Propulsion, Call Me Keeper and Bold Eagle’s conditioner Sebastien Guarato also entered Valko Jenilat and Beau Gamin. The February 26 Paris-Vincennes program also includes the Gr. II Prix Paul Bastard (monte, purse €120,000, 2700 meters) and the Gr. III Prix de la Mayenne (purse €105,000, 2700 meters). On February 23 will be the Gr. III International Prix du Plateau de Gravelle (purse €110,000, 2100 meters) and the Prix du Cantal (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, European eligibles). Trotting action on February 24-25 is at Enghien. More to follow. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Vincennes, FR - The 7/10 favorite Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) took Monday’s Paris-Vincennes featured Prix Ovide Moulinet (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight five year-olds) timed in 1.13.8kr for David Thomain. Sebastien Guarato trains the winner for Mme. Francoise Deboudaud. The 18/1 Clif du Pommereux (5m Love You-Noure du Pommereux) was second for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger and third finishing 14/1 Caid Griff (5m Password-Savace Griff) reined by Mathieu Mottier, trainer Guarato and Ecurie Griff. Well-regarded Charly du Noyer was a dq.  The Prix de Fontainbleau (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 17 European starters) was the day’s Quinte+ contest with victory to 1.14.5kr timed and 1.7/1 odds Cleangame (5g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell). Eric Raffin was the pilot for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Jean Michel Rancoule. 31/1 Chilkoot Trail (5g Ready Cash-Pulp Fiction) was second for J.Ph. Monclin and third was 7/1 Trillo Park (5m Varenne-Mystery Flight) with Enrico Bellei aboard. Cristal River and Chocolat du Bourg were the next two in line. The program also included a victory by Al Capone Danjo (7g One du Rib-Java du Rib) clocked in 1.14.3kr in the monte Prix Patrick Mottier (purse €75,000, 2850 meters, 13 apprentice reined starters). Florian Priout was the pilot for owner/trainer Ch. Cuiller. Four year-old mares contested the Prix de Carquebut (purse €42,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) with a 1.14.6kr victory to 2.9/1 Dontella Bella (4f Ready Cash-Salsa Bella) for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer J.P. Marmion. 61/1 Douloureuse (4f Timoko-Migraine) was second for driver Quentin Machet. This one is owned/trained by Richard Westerink. Attacus takes Prix du Chesnay today at Vincennes Today’s Q+ Prix du Chesnay (purse €88,000, 2850 meters) went to 1.13.5kr timed 2.4/1 Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner J.M. Machet. 27/1 Ustou (9g Niky-Oh Manon) was second for David Thomain, ahead of 5.9/1 Vulcain de Vandel (8m Jag de Bellouet-Ophelia de Vandel) teamed by trainer Franck Nivard. Dino de Jilme (4g Orsy Dream-Une du Maine) scored, timed in 1.15.1kr, in the monte Prix de Lers (purse €65,000, 2700 meters) at 2.9/1 for jockey P.Y. Verva. 2/1 Diamant de Larre (4g Magnificent Rodney-Rose de Larre) was a five length back second for Matthieu Abrivard and third was 11.9/1 Duc Gibus (4m Uniclove-Rosita Gibus). Bohemian Rhapsody (6f Niky-Kuala Lumpur) scored in the monte Prix de Cerisy (purse €56,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters), timed in 1.14kr, with Camille Levesque the jockey. The winner was 3.9/1 and was a three length winner over a group of pursuers including second finishing Belle Louis Mabon and Eric Raffin, with third to Belle Katie and J.Y. Ricart. The program’s Prix de Cahors (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, European eligibles) went to 1.14.8kr timed and 9.7/1 odds Chica de Joudes (5f Jag de Bellouet-Queschua Love) reined by owner/trainer Alain Laurent. 18/1 Comtesse du Chene (5f Quaker Jet-Imperiale du Chene) teamed by Franck Nivard and 18/1 Croix du Buisson (5f Repeat Love-Maunie du Buisson) was third for Yves Dreux. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

February 19, 2017 - A top flight harness racing program today at Paris-Vincennes included three groupe races led by the €200,000 Prix Comte de Montesson for three year-olds, but first the apprentice jockeys were on display in the monte Prix de Grenade (purse €50,000, 2175 meters, apprentice jockeys) that started the day’s action. 1.7/1 favorite Aida des Valoisien (7f Chef du Chatelet-Ida des Valois) scored, clocked in a quick 1.12.3kr, for Jean-Yann Ricart and trainer Eddy Castelleta. Four lengths back second was 7.8/1 Atout de Fontaine (7g Oxford du Rib-Mistina de Tragui) for Julien Balu, in the irons for breeder/owner/trainer Bruno Courault. Third went to 20.4/1 Aphrodite Child (7f Love You-New Orleans) for Honorin Guerot and trainer Matthieu Abrivard. Univaldi d’Aval (9g Vivaldi de Chenu-Kiss Me d’Aval) was victorious as 4/5 favorite in the Prix d’Aras (purse €45,000, 2700 meters, 18 European entrants – one scratch) for pilot J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Daniel Bethouart (picture below). Time was 1.14.3kr off even modest fractions. 29/1 Bazir Dimanche (9g Orlando Vici-Stora Mellosa) was second for Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Robert Bergh. Third was 11.2/1 Queasy (8g Donato Hanover-Merinated Herring) reined by Bjron Goop for trainer Ronny Kuiper and Sweden’s owner Stall Tavkompaniet AB. 40/1 Alexia du Cherisay (7f Le Big Boss-Precious Thing) was fourth for Franck Ouvrie and fifth in this Quinte+ contest was the Jerry Riordan owned/trained 5.2/1 Radysin America (7f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei) with Franck Nivard up. The exact order Q+ payoff (without jackpot) was €11,792 for a €2 wager. The Gr. III monte Prix du Pontavlle de Heussey (purse €110,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) produced a well earned victory, clocked in 1.12kr (fractions 1.09.9kr at the 1500; 1.10.5kr with 1000 remaining; 1.11.6kr with 500 to go), for 13.5/1 Valse de Reve (8f Mister President-Nouba Houba) with Camille Levesque up for owner/trainer Alain Roussel. 20.2/1 Udayama (9f Echo-Lancia du Pont) was next for Guillaume Martin and owner/trainer Lois Gruossard. Third was 1.2/1 favorite Adelia de Melodie (7f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) for David Thomain and the 3/2 second betting choice, Val Royal (8m Capriccio-Quarda du Rib), took fourth for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Charmes. The Gr. III Prix d’Orthez (purse €100,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters – four year-olds) produced a blanket finish led by 9/2 invader from the north, Phantasm Soa (4m Cromwell-Ulver H), in rein to Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Olivier Raffin and Norway’s owner, Gudbrand ALM Skiaker. The 1.13.9kr timed winner closed stoutly to defeat 11.5/1 Discours Joyeux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelloe Copine) and Damien Bonne, for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. The 2.4/1 favorite Detroit Castelets (4m Neoh Jiel-Rosanna Bonheur) and pilot Franck Ouvrie took third for trainer J.L. Dersoir and Ecurie Luck. Fractions throughout were modest. The featured Gr. I Prix Comte Pierre de Montesson (purse €200,000, 2700 meters. 14 three year-starters) went to 1.14.5kr timed and 6.9/1 Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) with Mathieu Mottier aboard. Sebastien Guarato trains this one for Philippe Dewulf and he was bred by Pierre Julienne. 23.8/1 Eros du Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulamova de Lou) was second for driver J-M Bazire and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. Julien LeMer is the trainer. 8.3/1 Estella Love (3f Love You-Shucca) rallied strongly for Franck Ouvrie to gain third for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois, who bred this filly through Ecurie Dream With Me. Yves Boireau is the trainer. Elisone Mag and Eliseo were fourth and fifth. Well regarded Erminig d’Oliverie,Elea Madrik and Equinoxe was miscue dq’s. The Prix Finistere (purse €80,00, 2850 meters, 10 startes) went to 5.7/1 Cathy A Quira (5f Password-Quira des Jacquets) driven by Matthieu Abrivard and trained by Jarmo Niskanen, for breeder/owner Etienne Desmet. 10.4/1 Carla Love (5f Royal Lover-Queridade Vonnas) was second for J-M Bazire, ahead of 33.3/1 Crescendis (5f Querido de Blart-Libertatis) and driver J.F. Senet. This winner powered home in 1.13.9kr after the clocking at 500 meters remaining was 1.14.9kr. Later in the Vincennes card the $56,000 Prix de la Gacilly went to 1.14kr timed and 3/1 odds Basic (6f Sam Bourbon-Buwarienne) raced over 2850 meters by trainer/driver Bjorn Goop for Stall Ardvidssons AB. The coldbloods contested the Prix des Trotteurs “Sang-Froid” for €20,000 over 2100 meters autostart. The 1.24.5kr clocked winner was 10/1 Finnskog Fokus (10g Spiked-Silje Spretta) with Gunnar Astevoll at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks

February 18, 2017 - Saturday at Agen la Garenne was the Prix de Foulayronner (purse €38,000, 225 meters) and the harness racing regional champion and even-money favorite Brissac (6m Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Jannibelle) held on for victory in record time 1.12.7kr for the distance. Jean-Alain Eliphe was at the controls, he also owner/trainer. 10.2/1 Very Very Fast (8g Quaro-Nocturne de Bresse) was a very very fast closing second for Benjamin Goetz. 2.4/1 Shark Attack (9g April Perfect-Step By Step) was third with trainer Mario J.W. Van Dooyeweerd aboard. The winning Brissac now has 20 career wins for €392,540 earned, and in his last 11 starts he has posted seven wins and two second place finishes. Thomas H. Hicks

February 18, 2017 - Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) record an easy, and well-rated. front end harness racing victory tonight in the V75 Gold at Axevalla in Sweden. The Orjan Kihlstrom driven and Stefan Melander trained and owned (Stall TZ) champion was timed in 1.15.7kr (fractions: 1.17.3kr at first 500 meters; 1.18.3kr at the first 1000; 1.18.1kr at the 1500) over 2140 meters autostart to earn 150,000SEK first prize. Nuncio last raced September 18, 2016 at Bjerke. Russell C. Williams of Hanover, PA bred Nuncio, the 1.07/1 favorite that bested 30.79/1 Bruno di Quattro (9m Broadway Hall-Ussel-Speedy Soma) with Kenneth Haugstad up and 31.88/1 Art On Line (9g Rite On Line-Fleur-Backstreet Guy) for Johnny Takter. Winmecredit and Spring Erom were fourth and fifth. Nuncio’s career slate now stands at 38-12-2 in 52 starts for 27,723,230SEK earned. He is now 12 for 12 in 2016-17. This night Nuncio was eased to the front, faced a challenge deep in the last bend, and then drew off for a four length score. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) Thomas H. Hicks  

February 18, 2017 - Trainer Emil Csordas teamed veteran, and 9/1 odds, Milliondollar Lex (11m Ganymede-Dadaumpa Jet-Supergill) to a 1.17.5kr timed harness racing victory in today’s featured Geza Sennyey Memorial (purse 1,500,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). The Sun Systems Kft and Laura Pekker owned winner, pictured on this cold late afternoon, bested 10/1 Rinette Streamline (10f Kashner Hanover-Keys Praise-Prakas) and driver Csaba Lakatos and 19.2/1 Orderly (10f Yankee Glide-Dearest Darling-Ultra Decal) reined by trainer Attila Budai. Other action in the program included the several interesting winners: Szacharin (6f Vanito-Inzulin) for trainer/driver Istvan Papp and Gyolai Racing Kft. in the 600,000Huf purse Globus DIJ raced over 1900 meters autostart, timed in 1.19.9kr; Timoko RL (4m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina) in the 400,000Huf purse Erika DIJ (1900 meters autostart) timed in 1.20.7kr for trainer/driver Imre Fazekas and owner Airzoom d.o.o; Rosamundi (9f Chipmate-Kama Sutra) for co-owner/driver Jozsef Karai and trainer Csaba Lakatos, timed in 1.21.6kr winning the 360,000Huf Mother’s Song Handicap raced over 1800 meters autostart. Next weekend Kincsem Park will zone in, as will most of Europe, on the Gr. I International Grand Prix de France, the final leg of the Triple Crown of France, as part of their simulcast offering. Thomas H. Hicks

February 17, 2017 - On Sunday tune in for important groupe events at Vincennes including the Gr. III monte Prix du Pontarice de Heussy, the Gr. III Prix d’Orthez and the featured Gr. I Prix Comte Pierre de Montesson where 14 top three year-olds line up, including Elea Madrik, Eros du Chene, Equinoxe,  Ecu Pierji and Estelle Love. Yesterday, the Q+ Prix de Chateaubriand (purse €75,000, 2700, 17 European starters) went to 1.15.5kr timed and 3.3/1 Unbridled Charm (9m Password-Intense Action). With no front shoes the veteran mare recorded her 15th career win and now has earned €352,190. Jean Philippe Dubois teamed the Philippe Moulin trainee that Ecurie Victoria Dreams owns. 1.8/1 Reckless (7m Ready Cash-Haven) was second for owner/trainer/driver Bjorn Goop, and 7.2/1 Tell Me No Lies (8g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious) was third for J-M Bazire. Vic de Pommereux (8m Love You), Radieux (7g Love You) and onguldak (8g Love You) were the next three  The Gr. III Prix de Nevers (purse €110,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) began the groupe action with a victory earned by 22.8/1 Ceylan Dairpet (5g Ouragan de Celland-Rosy MIP) with trainer Tony LeBeller up for Ecurie Dairpet. The `1.13.6kr timed winner defeated 12.6/1 Coach Franbleu (5g Prince d’Espace-Olydra) for Luc Guinoiseau and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. 39.8/1 Bonne Copine (6f Love You-Joie Baroque) was third for Eric Raffin, trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. Evidence Roc  won the monte Gr. II Prix Holly du Locton (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters) timed in 1.14.8kr, off at 7.9/1 for jockey Mme. Emilie LeBeller. The three year-old daughter of Paris Haufor-Mistase du Boulay) is trained by Bertrand LeBeller for Ecurie d’Embeli. 1.7/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) took second for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Philippe Allaire. 5.4/1 Elladora de Forgan (3f Gazouillis-Hamina) was third for Franck Nivard and trainer Franck Leblanc. 3/10 favorite Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) easily took the monte Prix Edouard Mareillac (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters) for Yoann Lebourgeois, and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire as that trainer continues his consistent success developing young trotters. 7.4/1 Eclat du Thure (3m Paris Haufor-Quintussie) was second for Matthieu Abrivard and third went to 15.2/1 El Nono (3m Torino d’Auvillier-Toque Blue) was third for jockey Clement Frecelle and J.L. Bigeon, the trainer. Venezia de Mai (8f Prodigious-Ismie de Tesse), racing barefoot for reinsman Nicolas Mortagne, took today’s Quinte+ Prix de Barcelone (purse €60,000, 2925 meters, 17 European starters) timed in 1.13.7kr. The 57/1 odds winner bested 7/2 Boss du Meleuc (6g LuckyBlue-Tafale du Meluc) with Eric Raffin teaming for trainer/owner Yannick A. Broand. Third was 21.2/1 Varus du Bocage (8m Paisy Dream-Noria du Bocage) for trainer/driver Romuald Mourice. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 14, 2017 - The Quinte+ today at Paris-Vincennes was the Prix de Bercy A (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) with a rallying harness racing victory timed in 1.15.1kr for 61.8/1 outsider Balzac de Souvigne (6g Lontzac-Jalna de Souvigne). Michel Lenoir reined and trains the winner. He bested 19.6/1 Bolero du Levant (6g Ludo de Castgelle-Laluska) and driver Eric Raffin. Third was 39.4/1 Owen Face (6g Gift Kronos-Muscle McNuggets) for Pierre Vercruysse and Sweden’s owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 13.7/1 Bolide du Guet (6g Fortuna Fant) and teamster Franck Nivard and 5.2/1 Staro Italy (m Make It Happen), also from Sweden, reined by Christophe Martens were the next pair to the finish. The Prix de Bercy B (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) on the program, was captured by 19.7/1 Solar da Meda (6m Goetmals Wood-Desiree du Louvre) reined by Roberto Andreghetti for Italy’s Salvatore Minopoli, the trainer, and Scuderia Sole Che Sorgi, the owner. 11.2/1 Blason d’Ecajeul (6g Orlando Vici-Melody d’Ecajeul) was second for driver/trainer/owner Christian Bigeon, and 5.2/1 favorite Schubert (6m Abano As-Glide Be Nimble) was third for pilot Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Erwin Bot and owner Gerrits Recycling BV of Holland. Race time was 1.14.7kr. Twitter (8g Offshore Dream-Face For Ever) won this day’s Pick5 Prix de Chateau-Gontier (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) clocked in a quick 1.12.2kr (fractions 1.09.4kr at 1500 remaining; 1.10,3kr at the 1000; 1.12.5kr at 500). Bjorn Goop was the winning owner/trainer/reinsman. Off at 13.6/1 Twitter bested 11.3/1 Speed Delicious (7m Fast Photo-Ala Delicious) for driver Franck Nivard, Swedish owner Mattias Ludvigsson and trainer Ph. Billard. 1.6/1 favorite Aulis du Courtille (7g Buvetier d’Aunou-Miss du Courtille) was third for J-M Bazire, ahead of 51/1 Twins Fairytale and 34/1 Quarter OF An Hour. Thomas H. Hicks *

February 11, 2017 - Horse racing at the FR Caribbean island of Martinique took place Saturday with two trotting and six gallop events on the program at Hippodrome de Martinque ( near the Aeroport International Martinique near Fort-de-France. The racecourse offers pari-mutuel wagering and offers racing 14 days each year by the Societe des Courses de Madinina. The trotting featured Prix de Begonias (purse €5,000, 3800 meters distance handicap, volt start) on the turf course (1,200 meters) went to veteran Titan Pierji (10g Jardy-Kora Pierji) with owner/trainer Lora Duplessis-Kerjomard at the lines, his second straight victory. The winner overcame a 25 meters handicap to score in 1.20.3kr, to increase his career earnings to over €65,200. Vlatou des Salines (8g Magnificent Rodney-Griffe des Salines) finished second for Jean Luc Longeron, also owner/trainer, and also penalized 25 meters at the start. Aulady Tartifume (7f Jeanbat du Vivier-Lady du Tartifume) landed third for driver Alexandre Faivre and owner/trainer Edmond Langeron. The Prix des Tulipes “Challenge de la Martinique” (purse €5,000, 3800 meters distance handicap, volt start) went to Quamalox de Guez (13g Dahir de Prelong-Egyptia de Salomon),  timed in 1.24.5kr in rein to Benoit Magdeleine, also trainer/owner. This career winner of over €111,000 bested the 50 meter handicapped Usly de Visais (9g Defi d’Aunou-Pristine Jet) with Jean Luc Langeron driving.Tosca de Logis (10f Islero de Bellouet-Maria du Logis) was third for Alexandre Faivre. Martinique is an insular region of France located in the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean Sea, with a population of about 385,000.. Like Guadeloupe, it is an overseas region of France. One of the Windward Islands, Martinique is directly north of Saint Lucia, southeast of Puerto Rico, northwest of Barbados, and south of Dominica, and is one of the eighteen regions of France (being an overseas region) and an integral part of the French Republic. With France, it is part of the European Union and the currency is the euro. The official language is French, and much of the population also speak Antillean Creole. Martinique is a well-known vacation destination with air service from European markets, Venezuela, Canada, Caribbean locations and the United States. Horse racing also awaits the island tourists. Thomas H. Hicks

February 13, 2017 - Bjorn Goop reined his trainee 2.1/1 favorite I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Marie Dulcinea) to victory in today’s Quinte+ Prix de Senlis (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) at Paris-Vincennes. The classy mare is owned by Morton Gunnar Sem of Norway and was timed in 1.12.1kr off quick fractions (1.08kr at the 1500; 1.09.5kr with 1000 remaining; 1.10.8kr at the 500). She raced without shoes. 24.5/1 Primula Brazza’ (8f Oiseau Feux-Erbarosa Brazza’) was second for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Salvatore Carro and owner Scuderia Della’Acquario. Third was 8.7/1 Riviera As (7f Cantab Hall-Fortune As) reined by Franck Ouvrie for Belgium’s Ecurie Z and trainer Stephane Soenen. 4.3/1 Soho (8f Dream Vacation-Hillery Toll) handled by Eric Raffin was fourth for trainer Vincent Lacroix and Norwegian owner Kurt Kile. The international race flavor continued with fifth finishing Paula del Ronco (8f Prodigious-Ina Effe) owned in Italy by Scuderia Munacore and reined by Roberto Andreghetti for trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The top five finishers were from non-FR countries illustrating the competitive nature of winter meet racing at Vincennes and often the money-earned advantage of these invaders. Thomas H. Hicks

February 13, 2017 - A good Monday program of trotting action occurred today at Paris-Vincennes featuring a collection of largely fillies/mares mid-level contests The Prix de Juan Las Pins (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) went to 1.15kr timed and 21.2/1 odds Bahames Quick (6f Pim Quick-Kooriakine) for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Quick Star, the breeder/owner. 9/10 favorite Basic (6f Sam Bourbon-Buwarienne) from Sweden was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and owner Stall Arvidssons, with third to 7.6/1 Berkane and driver Eric Raffin. The monte specialists competed in the Prix des Montebourg (purse €45,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters). The quick 1.12.7kr timed victory went to 7/10 favorite Birgitt Menuet (f Prodigious-Roxane Menuet) for owner/trainer/jockey Matthieu Abrivard. 5.2/1 Benjamine Gede (6f Insert Gede-Niquette Gede) was second for Damien Bonne with 11.6/1 Breeders Cup (6f Roc Meslois-Onglette) home third. 5/2 Caracas (5f The Best Madrik-Menthe Fraiche) took the Prix de Darnetal (purse €46,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) clocked in 1.15.2kr. Trainer Pierre Vercruysse was the winning pilot for owner Florence Allera. 31/1 Cisulie du Guex (5f Baccarat du Pont-Quasulie) was a length off second for driver Davis Thomain and trainer/owner Benoit Robin. Third was 6.6/1 Cherie Cash (5f Ready Cash-Nice Star) with Eric Raffin driving for trainer Thierry Raffegeau. Well-bred 2.3/1 favorite Elegantissime (3f Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire) with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard won the €46,000 Prix d’Oloron contested by 11 starters over the 2700 meter course. The Philippe Allaire trainee is owned and was bred by Frederic Sauque and stopped the timer at 1.16.6kr. 11/1 Ena de Laumac (3f Goetmals Wood-Valdivia) was next for Franck Anne, also owner/trainer. 56/1 Ecuvna des Louanges (3f Gazouillis-Jolie Liby) was third for Franck Ouvrie. The Prix de Blain-Bouvron-Le Lavre (purse €52,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) went to even-money favorite Dream Cash (4g Ready Cash-Susy Love) timed in 1.14.8kr. J-M Bazire teamed this winner, he also the trainer, for Ecurie Charmes. 6.5/1 Danehille Dancer (4m Gogo-Legere) rallied for second reined by Pierre Vercruysse and 5.7/1 Digne et Droit (4m The Best Madrik-Plenty Pocket) held third for piloy Franck Nivard. Thomas H. Hicks

February 12, 2017 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethu Rah Jet) sat third in the outer before rallying around the final bend and drawing off to a four length win for harness racing pilot Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Jean-Etienne Dubois bred the young champion that now has 32 wins in 37 career starts for €2,923,300 earned. The Grand Prix de France (Gr. I International UET Masters, purse €400,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 entrants) is the second leg of the FR Triple Crown with the Grand Prix de Paris to follow in two weeks. The winner, that won the Prix d’Amerique at end of January, was off as the 3/10 favorite and he bested a game 12.8/1 Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) reined by Bjorn Goop for Richard Westerink, trainer/owner, and breeder Paul Van Klaveren. This veteran champion has 32 victories in 93 starts for €4,401,098 earned, as today he led early and then enjoyed a pocket spot behind noted front runner Un Mec d’Heripre.  81.3/1 Voltigeur de Myrt (8m Opus Viervil-Myrtille des Bois) was third for Lorenzo Donati driving for owner/trainer Roberto Donati. Fourth was 68/1 Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) that rallied late for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. 21/1 pacesetter Un Me d’Heripre (9m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) was fifth for J-M Bazire ahead of Propulsion and Anna Mix, completing the top seven.  Race time was 1.10.9kf off steady fractions (1.10.1kr at the 1500; 1.10.2kr with 1000 remaining; 1.10.8kr at the 500 remaining post). ..................................................................................... Dollar Macker Takes Gr. I Monte Prix des Centaures at Vincennes February 12, 2017 The classique Gr. I Prix des Centaures (monte, purse €240,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) was a stunner of sorts, as 5/1 odds Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) and jockey Yoann Lebourgeois were the rabbit, starting fast and opening a substantial lead for owner Mme. Marie Anne Thomas and trainer Philippe Allaire. However, he lasted despite tiring at mid-stretch, and defeated 3/5 favorite Bilibili (6m Niky-Quetty du Donjon) in a close verdict. The latter was ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon. 12/1 Canadien d’Am (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) was third for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Franck Leblanc. 8.5/1 well regarded Booster Winner finished fifth. Fractions were swift early with the winning time 1.11.9kr (1.09.2kr at the 1500 to go post; 1.09.2kr at the 1000; 1.11.2kr with 500 remaining). The Prix des Vosges (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) this afternoon went to 1.13.2kr timed and 2.2/1 odds Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 45/1 Urion de Piervive was second for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa and 7.5/1 And de Saint Prest ended third for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. The fast-class Prix de Juvigny (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 11 European starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed and 2/1 Cantin de l’Eclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Josselyn) handled by Tony LeBeller for Ecurie Éclair. 6/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star) was second for Gabriel Gelormini, ahead of the 1/2favorite Clever Lymm (5m Korean-Oquidia) reined by Franck Nivard for Ecurie Le Tremont. At program end, Franck Nivard recorded another winter meet driving victory. He scored with 9.6/1 Civka Burka Darby (5f Neoh Jiel-Resille) in the €37,000 purse Prix de Macon raced over 2850 meters by 15 starters. Kenneth de Poorter bred and owns the 1.14.9kr timed mare. 7.5/1 Calypso du Relais and 53/1 Crystal Race were second and third, the latter a five year-old daughter of Goetmals Wood-In Race. ....................................................................................... Darlhey du Rib and Shadow Gar Win Groupe Tests at Vincennes February 12, 2017 Gr. III Prix de Luneville (purse €76,000, 2700 meters, seven starters, monte) was today’s Paris-Vincennes opener and the 2/5 favorite Darlhey du Rib (4f Ganymede-Quille Castelets) was victorious for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and breeder/owner Ecurie Rib. This expert monte team bested 23.7/1 Dollar du Vivier (4m Hand du Vivier-Ta Folie du Vivier) reined by Julien Raffestin. Legendary Jean-Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 4.9/1 Diego de la Criere (4g Paris Haufor) was third for Damien Bonne, also trainer. Race time was 1.15.3kr. The Prix Salam (purse €90,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 12 monte) produced an exciting victory for 9.2/1 Cenora (5f Blue Dream-Nalara) timed in 1.14.2kr with Mathieu Mottier in the irons. Dominique Mottier owns, trains and bred the winner. 4.5/1 Castel Black (5g Ludo de Castelle-Princesse Black) was second for Clement Frecelle and 2.5/1 Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) nearly overcame her distance penalty to be third clocked individually in 1.13.6kr. Dominique Mottier also trains this one and Antoine Dabouis was the jockey. The Prix de Chambord (Gr. III, purse €90,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 starters) went to 1.11.5kr quick stepping 23.6/1 Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with Pietro “Pippo” Gubellini driving. Gubellini is also trainer and owner of the winning mare. 12.6/1 Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier-Pike Josselyn) was a game second for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and 9/2 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit Of Charm) rallied to gain third for Gabriel Gelormini. Fourth was 3.3/1 Scellino Luis (6f Andover Hall-Susy Trio) and Matthieu Abrivard and fifth home was 14.1/1 El Catwalk (6f Classic Photo-El Mistress Leena) for Franck Nivard. Fractions were fast from the start (1.09.3kr at the 1500 to go mark, 1.10.3kr at the 1000, 1.11.4kr at 500 remaining). ...........................................................................................   Thomas H. Hicks

February 11, 2017 - Recent FR import Bimbo de Chenu (6f Scipion du Goutier-Orive de Chenu) overcame a 20 meter handicap and won today’s featured Laszlo Tolnay Memorial (purse 600,000Huf, 2560 meters distance handicap) at Kincsem Park in this her second HU appearance.Harness racing trainer/driver Tibor Hajnal teamed the winner for Illetmeny Kft and Csaba Dinnyes, Hajnal also the trainer. Off at 7.9/1 the winner was clocked in 1.25.9kr over a wet muddy surface. 1.6/1 favorite Editor Rapide (6f Explot Cagf-Sierra Rapide-Express Ride) was a distant second for trainer/driver Sandor Varga and 7.9/1 No Fear (10m Crown Sweep-Naughty Lobell-Reado) was third for trainer/driver Laszlo Kolozsi. The undercard included the Betolakodo DIJ (purse 360,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) with the 1.23.3kr win going to 23.4/1 Tiara Boss (5f Wall Street Banker-Peace Force Pro-Kosar). Zoltan Ozvar reined and trains the winner for Arizona doo of Szerbia. Tiara Boss defeated 1.3/1 favorite Timoko RL (4m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina-Golden Goal) that Imre Fazekas trains and drove today for owner Ozvar L and breeder was Stable Sport Line of Belgrad, Szerbia. 11.7/1 Tutanhamon (4m Tamesways Sweet L-Super Arnie) took third with Laszlo Kolozsi at the lines.   Thomas H. Hicks

February 11, 2017 - Yoann Lebourgeois piloted 4.3/1 barefoot Andalouse (7f Tenor de Bauine-Mosaique) to a close victory in today’s monte Prix de Rambouillet (purse €66,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) at Paris-Vincennes to begin a strong racing weekend. The 1.14.6kr timed winner is owned/trained by Flavien Provost. 8.3/1 Uno de Guinette (9g Kaiser Soze-Isis de Guinette) was second for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Sebastien Hardy and breeder/owner Gille Brion. Third went to 5/1 Alto du Lys (7g Magnificent Rodney-Hi Fi d’Eronville) with Clement Frecelle in the irons for trainer J.L. Bigeon. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix de Munich (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European entrants) at Paris-Vincennes with victory earned by 3.6/1 Sauveur (7m Echo-Operah Bob) from Sweden, trained and reined by Bjorn Goop for owner Hammab AB. 5.3/1 Beau Gamin (m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) was second for Eric Raffin and the trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner J.M. Rancoule. Third was 4.3/1 Ustie Haufor (9f Niky-Lara du Houlbet) with Charles J. Bigeon up for Christian Bigeon, the breeder/owner/trainer. Venus de Baily and Orient Horse were fourth and fifth. Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Lalla Chairchamp) was a start to finish winner at 7/10 odds in the Prix de Lisieux (monte, purse €88,000, 2850 meters, 11 European starters). Timed in 1.13.2kr the winner’s pilot was Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque and Arlington Dream won for the 10th time in his career, now for €372,400 earned. 6.3/1 Aero King (7g Hooper-Quarmina de Hour) was second for Anthony Barrier ahead of 26/1 Alpha Saltor (7m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) woth Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. Draft Life Wins Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel at Vincennes 5/2 second wagering choice Draft Life (4f Unriaco-Maflymede) took today’s featured Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, eight starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Timed in 1.15.9kr after very slow fractions (1.18.5kr at 1500 meters remaining, 1.1.8kr at the 1000; 1.17kr at 500 to go) Draft Life stormed home for Eric Raffin. Louis Bardron bred, owns and trains the winner. 9/10 favorite Diego du Goutier (4m Kepler-Ophelie la Garenne) was second for Mathieu Mottier and owner/trainer Dominque Mottier, with third to 5.3/1 Doberman (4m Prodigious-Quietude Mesloise) for trainer/driver Franck Nivard and owner Richard Cohen. 21.5/1 Douce Rebelle (4f Sam Bourbon-Rebelle) rallied well to end fourth for Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner and breeder through Scuderia Bolghieri Srl, and trainer Yves Boireau. She was on the lead early and then shuffled almost to the end before escaping too late to threaten the leaders. The Prix de Verneuil (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 17 European starters) went to J-M Bazire driving Class Action (5f Scipion du Goutier-Nepeta) timed in 1.14.9kr. The 1.6/1 favorite, owned by trainer Ch. Dreux, defeated 121.8/1 Charmante (5f Sam Bourbon-Tipsy Love) reined by Gwenn Junod for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 9/2 odds Creation (5f Rieussec-Ovation) was third for Franck Nivard and trainer J.G. Van Eeckhaute. Later in the program the Prix de Gournay-en-Bray (purse €44,000, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) went to 1.15.3kr timed and 1.9/1 favorite Dixon Dark (4m Sam Bourbon-Queen des Charmes). Jarmo Niskanen is trainer and was driver of Dixon Dark for Denmark’s Stall Rita. 8.6./1 Diplomate d’Em (4m Love You-Kalmie Melody) was next for Clement Duvaldestin and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin Thomas H. Hicks  

Nuncio was named Horse of the Year in Sweden Friday night (Feb. 10) at the Swedish Galla night in Stockholm. Unbeaten in 11 races last year, the North American bred son of  Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle, received 86 percent of the votes. Nuncio has not raced since Sept. 18, but is in training and Stefan Melander expects to bring the now 6-year old trotter back in action in late March. The first big target for Nuncio could be the Olympic Trot to be raced in Gothenburg late April. While Nuncio has been resting another top trotter, Bold Eagle is busy at the racetracks and on Sunday (Feb. 12) Bold Eagle, driven by regular driver Franck Nivard, will race in the Prix de France at Vincennes. The Prix de France is raced over 1-5/16 miles, which is the shortest distance races are carried out at Vincennes. The total purse is $425,000. Bold Eagle won this race last year when he beat Timoko, driven by Bjorn Goop, to second. Timoko will also race tomorrow. Bold Eagle will also take on North American breds Propulsion, driven by Ôrjan Kihlström and Wild Honey, driven by David Thomain. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Internet Correspondent

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