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January 22, 2017 - Today’s Cornulier program was excellent and included top flight harness racing events supporting the great monte classic. Today’s opener was the Prix Roxane Griff (monte, purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) and victory was earned by 6.4/1 Billy de la Calade (6g Quick Wood-Mania Danover) ridden by Antoine Dabouis for breeder/owner/trainer Serge Yana. Clocked in 1.14.9kr, off modest fractions, the winner defeated 5.5/1 Baladin Hongrois (6g Bon Conseil-Relodie Hongroise) with Guillaume Martin in the irons for trainer SArnaud Desmottes. Third was 9/2 Brut de la Cote (g Kepler-Ombria Maifu) for jockey David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato. Delia du Pommereux (4f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) took the Gr. III Prix Bellino II/Prix Southys (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.12.9kr for Franck Nivard. She raced barefoot for Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. She was off at 9/2 odds and prevailed over 1.2/1 Detroit Castelets (4m Neoh Jiel-Rosanna Bonheur) reined by Matthieu Abrivard for Ecurie Luck and owner J.L. Dersoir. 3.2/1 Darling de Reux (4f Prodigious-Queen Jet) took third for Eric Raffin, Ecurie Winner and trainer Sebastien Guarato. The record over this distance for four year-olds was not threatened, that being 1.10.1kr by Traders. Agora du Goutier (7f Jardy-Olympe Pierji) took the Grand Prix Ereel Programme Souffle de Violet (purse €55,000, 2100 meters autostart) timed in 1.12.9kr for teamster Franck Nivard and trainer David Cherbonnel. 13.2/1 Ventura Jiel (8f Neoh Jiel-Oceane Jiel) was second for Matthieu Abrivard, Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. Third was 6.2/1 Altesse de Chloee (7f Niky-Diva d’Isques) for trainer/driver P-Y Verva. The Gr. III Prix Michel Marcel Gougeon (purse €110,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) was timed in 1.14.4kr by winner, 45.4/1 odds, Best du Hardy (6g Roc Meslois-Madrema), for owner/trainer/driver Olivier Bizoux. The even-money favorite Brissac (6m Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Jannibelle) was second for J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Jean Elgin Eliphe. Third was 52.6/1 Banjo de la Noemie (6g Flambeau des Pins-Prima de la Noemie) for Matthieu Mottier. Today’s Gr. II Prix Camille de Wazieres (monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, seven starters) went to 1.12.7kr timed and 3/5 odds Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) reined by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. Marie Anne Thomas. 18.4/1 Dominator Blond (4m Kenor de Cosse-Orchidee Blonde) was next for Damien Bonne and third was 7.4/1 Dahlia du Rib (4m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) for J.L.Cl.Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. Citizen Kane (5g Orlando Vici-Queen Of Viking) took the Prix Agencie Cosmo/Prix de Mirande (purse €90,000, 2700 meters, 13 European starters) for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque. Pierre Levesque is the owner/breeder of this 8.9/1 odds winner. Race time was 1.14kr off even fractions by the barefoot Citizen Kane. 9.6/1 Clarck Sotho (5g Oiseau de Feux-Mosanda) and Anthony Barrier was second and third was 173/1 Chant des Sirenes (5m Opus Viervil-Nice Quenny) for F.P. Bossuet. The 4/5 favorite Cash Maker finished seventh. The Prix Ecole Esthetique Catherine Sertin (purse €46,000, 250 meters, 16 starters) continued the impressive winter meet at Vincennes for Charles J. Bigeon and that teamster won again with 2/1 odds Costa Haufor (5f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor), racing barefoot, for breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 69/1 Callas du Bouffey (5f Look de Star-Polka du Bouffey) was second for trainer/driver Michel Lenoir, ahead of 6.2/1 Cantate (5f Oiseau de Feux-Petite Fortune) for driver Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Mme. Mauricette DeSousa. Yesterday in Sweden the V75 action was at Farjestad. The Gold Division (150,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) went to 1.10.7kr timed On Track Piraten for driver Johnny Takter at 1.11/1. The Hans R. Stromberg trainee now has 33 wins in 101 starts for 13,799,710SEK earned. The winner, a nine year-old gelded son of Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line, now has two 2017 wins in as many starts. Second was 8.7/1 Royal Fighter (9m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) for Jennifer Tillman and trainer Per Eriksson. Third was 50/1 Highspeed Call (9h From Above-Love Call-Alf Palema) driven by Daniel Ohlsson for trainer Nicklas Pettersson. The V75 Silver (125,000SEK to the winner, 2640 meters autostart) went to 1.14.2kr timed and 3.8/1 Thai Navigator from Norway. The six year-old gelded son of Ganymede-Role Model-Angus Hall) was reined by Bjorn Goop for trainer Anette Skarnes. The lightly raced winner scored in his first 2017 start after only three outings in 2016. He now has 10 wins in 20 career starts for 1,281,058SEK earned. Thomas H. Hicks

January 22, 2017 - 3.2/1 second choice Bellissima France (6f Blue Dream-Quanta Rosa Sun) tracked the pace before making a strong move in the lane to wear down 18.8/1 Tornade du Digeon (10f Jag de Bellouet-Herlane du Terme) to win the harness racing Gr. I Monte Prix de Cornulier (purse €700,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) at Vincennes. Owner/trainer/jockey Matthieu Abrivard piloted Bellissima France to a 1.13kr victory, well off the 1.12kr record set by Quif de Villeneuve. Tornade du Digeon raced gamely for Eric Raffin, trainer J-M Bazire and owner J-Y Roze. 1.7/1 Bilibili (6m Niky-Quetty du Donjan) was third for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon. 8.6/1 Attentionally (7f Jasmin de Flore-Intentionally) was fourth for David Thomain and breeder/owner/trainer Paul Viel, ahead of 4.7/1 Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) for Anthony Barrier, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. The exceptional event also honored last year’s winner Scarlet Turgot and her connections. She was on display pre-race and will be bred to Ready Cash in 2017. Prix De Cornulier 2017 - Bellissima France (M. Abrivard)   Thomas H. Hicks  

January 21, 2017 - The 2017 Kincsem Park trotting season began Saturday on a chilly day at Budapest with the harness racing feature being the Evnyito DIJ raced over 1800 meters autostart for a 600,000Huf purse. Recent import and 1.1/1 favorite Sultana Jet scored easily in 1.19.1kr for driver and co-owner Gyorgy Horvath. Imre Fazekas trains the fine six year-old daughter of Igor Font-Art Deco-Diamond Way that Pimri Bi co-owns. Sultana Jet was imported from Germany and was bred by Toniatti Giacometti SS Agricola. 15.8/1 Kozsakert (7f Wall Street Banker-Viragos-Surefire Lobell) was second for driver Andras Gaspar and third was 5.2/1 Ruby Reeves (7g Wall Street Banker-Jade-Valley Guardian) handled by Balazs Juhasz. On the undercard was a victory in the Hidalgo DIJ (purse 360,000Huf, 1980 meters distance handicap) in 1.20.3kr by 3/1 Timoko RL (4m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina-Golden Goal). Overcoming a 40 meter handicap the recent import from Serbia was driven by trainer Imre Fazekas for owner Arizona d.o.o.. The lightly raced colt was bred by Stable Sport Line of Belgrad, Serbia. The Akos Handicap (purse 360,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) went to the  1.21.1kr timed, 3.7/1 odds, veteran mare Mountain Bambi (10f Victor Victor-Give Me Five-Lindy’s Crown) that was reined by Emese Vezer for trainer Emil Csordas. She is owned by Sun System Kft and Laura Pekker. Congratulations also to Kincsem Park for their excellent website redesign: Thomas H. Hicks    

OFFALY, Ireland - It has been announced by Derek and James Delaney of Oakwood Stud in Ireland, that they will be standing the French trotter, Rachmaninov Seven, for the 2017 breeding season. It will be the first time a French trotter has ever stood in Ireland. Acquired in a lease arrangement from his owner in Belgium, Rachmaninov Seven is a 12-year-old stallion sired by Korean from the Pelican Du Pont mare, Indiana Of The Bridge. Korean is also the sire of world champion racehorse Sebastian K. "We hope to have Rachmaninov Seven at Oakwood Stud by mid-March," said Derek Delaney. "It's great news for Oakwood to get involved in the breeding of French trotting horses here and to bring a horse of his calibre to the quality broodmares that have been bought in France for Ireland and the UK." The resulting foals from the 2017 season at Oakwood Stud will be eligible to all of the LeTrot Series in both Ireland and the UK plus they will be eligible to race not only in France, but throughout Europe. Rachmaninov Seven made 55 career starts with 12 wins, six second and four third place finishes with earnings of €418,975 and a record of 1.11.9 at 2175 meters. He was victorious in the Prix D'Angouleme, Prix Joseph Aveline, Prix De Clermont-Ferrand, Prix Magimnus and the Prix Bernard Le Quellec, all raced at Vincennes, Paris. He is owned by Lieven de Groot and is being leased from Star Breeding Company. 2017 will be the fourth season standing stud for Rachmaninov Seven. "His oldest foals are now three," Delaney said. "And the trainers are all talking good things about the ones they have training in Belgium. Delaney said they have not yet set a stud fee price for Rachmaninov Seven. "This is a win win situation for all of us." Delaney added. "The revitalization of the trotter here in Ireland and the UK over the last year thanks to the arrangements made with LeTrot in France is outstanding and growing by leaps and bounds." By Steven Wolf, for Oakwood Stud    

January 21, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Pardieu (harness racing monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 11 starters) at Paris-Vincennes went to Durzie (4f Jag de Bellouet-Shall We) at 6.7/1 odds with Alexandre Abrivard up. L.Cl. Abrivard trains this one for Ecurie Augustin Normand. 1.8/1 Darlhey du Rib (4f Ganymede-Quille Castelets) was second for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, respected monte trainer Joel Hallais and owner Ecurie Rib. 18/1 Dona Maza (4f Jag de Bellouet-Rczyana) was third in a photo for Damien Bonne, trainer Sebastian Ernault and Ecurie de Maza. Fractions were quick and steady (1.12.2kr at 1500 to go; 1.12.2kr at the 1000; 1.13.9kr at 500 remaining, 1.13.4kr finish). The Quinte+ Prix Brest (Gr. III purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) went to 12.4/1 Ustie Haufor (9f Niky-Lara du Houlbet) in a late surge for Charles J. Bigeon, and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 1.4/1 favorite Avenir de Blay (7g Hooper-Mirabelle de Blay) held second for owner/trainer/driver Tony LeBeller and fast-rallying 32/1 Rod Stewart (7m Love You-Valley Lane) was third with Gabriel Gelormini teaming for trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Graziano Ceccaroni. The winner was timed in 1.14.2kr off steady fractions (1.15.7kr at 1500 to go; 1.14.8kr at 1000 remaining; 1.14.5kr at the 500). The Gr. III Prix PMU Lyon/Prix de Pornichet (purse €78,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) was won by 6.2/1 Uno Dancer (9g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) in rein to Antoine Dabouis for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and breeder/owner Josette Boivin. 3.3/1 Volcan de Bellande (8g Magnificent Rodney-Etoile de Bellande) was second for Mlle. Noemie Hardy and 10.8/1 Verveine du Mony (8f Orlando Vici-Douala) was third for Mlle. Audrey Laroche, trainer Franck Blandin and Ecurie AB Trot. Yesterday at Vincennes was the Prix de Beaucourt (purse €46,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) and the 1.14.1kr winner was 11.5/1 Coffee Look d’Eam (5g Look de Star-Nidra Pierji) with Anthony Barrier aboard. Second was 4/5 favorite Cash And Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), the full brother to Bold Eagle, reined by Franck Nivard for Sebastien Guarato (trainer) and owner Pierre Pilarski. 11.2/1 Coco Flanel (5g Kaiser Soze-Organza Jet) held third for Yoann Lebourgeois. Thomas H. Hicks

January 19, 2017 - The final harness racing lineup was set today for Sunday’s Prix de Cornulier. This group is down to 16 with the prospective leaders remaining in those that seek to succeed Scarlet Turgot’s 2016 crown. C4 – Vincennes 1/22/17 Prix de Cornulier (Gr. I monte, purse €700,000, 2700 meters, 19 starters) Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Career Earnings €000 Brainstorn, Julien Raffestin, F. Boismartel, €204,000 Vaillant Cash,Clement Frecelle,  Y. Letellier, 402,000 Boeing du Bocage, Franck Nivard, F. Leblanc, 405,000 Ursa Major, Pierre Christian Jean, S. Provoost, 406,000 Ulka des Champs, Pierre Yves Versa, G. Curens, 451,000 Ulster Perrine, Yoann Lebourgeois, J.M. Baudouin, 466,000 Alienor de Godrel, Damien Bonne, F. Anne, 482,000 Bilibili, Alexandre Abrivard, L.Cl. Abrivard, 590,000 Bellisima France, Matthieu Abrivard, M. Abrivard, 643,000 Best Of Jets, Francois Lagadeuc, J.M. Baudouin, 644,000 Udayama, Guillaume Martin, L. Groussard, 703,000 Attentionally, David Thomain, P. Viel, 738,130 Tornade du Digeon, Eric Raffin, J-M Bazire, 797,000 Astor du Quenne, Adrien Lamy, S. Guarato, 1,108,000 Bird Parker, Anthiny Barrier, Ph. Allaire, 1,167,000 Tiego d’Etang, Charles, Bigeon, Ch. Bigeon, 1,819,000 Be there for one of the world’s greatest races.  Prix Jean Paul Bertrand at Vincennes Eric Raffin teamed 11.5/1 Barbarella (6f Prince d’Espace-Quatie d’Espace) to a 1.14.3kr timed victory in today’s Prix Jean Paul Bertrand (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. The Sebastien Guarato trainee is owned by Ecurie Briezh d’Espace. 5.2/1 Bora Bora Jiel (6f Rombaldi-Houba Houba Jiel) was second for Franck Nivard, trainer J.L. Dersoir and Ecurie Luck. 1.7/1 Bauloise Haufor (6f Kool du Caux-Hostesse des Pres) held third for Charles J. Bigeon. The Quinte+ exact order payoff was €15,260 for a €2 wager. The Prix Jean Pierre Reynaldo (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.14.1kr clocked Cantin de L’éclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Joyeuse). Tony LeBeller teamed the winner that defeated 2.9/1 Cho Oyu Vedaquais (5g Saxo de Vandel-Rotonde) reined by Franck Nivard for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Third was 12.3/1 Cochise Griff (5m Lets Go Along-Jipsie du Breucq) handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Griff. At Cagnes sur Mer the Prix Christian Allilaire (purse €30,000, 2925 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.6/1 Cote Ouest (5g Goetmals Wood-Island Dream) timed in 1.15.3kr. Ch.A. Mary reined the winner that was bred by J-P Dubois’ Scuderia Bolgheri. Ironically, 4.7/1 Calicot du Vivier (5g Repeat Love-Kalika du Vivier) was a length beaten second for driver Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trainer Yves Boireau. Jean Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 19.3/1 Carina Beji (5f Rolling d’Heripre-Salsa Beji) was third for trainer/driver Yannick A. Briand. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 18, 2017 - Sunday’s Prix de Cornulier for some is the world’s greatest trotting race. The harness racing monte classic is raced over the 2700 meter grande piste for a €700,000 purse. The field is shown below. C4 – Vincennes 1/22/17 Prix de Cornulier (Gr. I monte, purse €700,000, 2700 meters, 19 starters) Horse, Trainer, Career Earnings €000 Brainstorn, F. Boismartel, €204,000 Begum Fromentro, T. Levesque, 296,000 Vaillant Cash, Y. Letellier, 402,000 Boeing du Bocage, F. Leblanc, 405,000 Ursa Major, S. Provoost, 406,000 Ulka des Champs, G. Curens, 451,000 Ulster Perrine, J.M. Baudouin, 466,000 Alienor de Godrel, F. Anne, 482,000 Bilibili, L.Cl. Abrivard, 590,000 Bellisima France, M. Abrivard, 643,000 Best Of Jets, J.M. Baudouin, 644,000 Athena de Vandel, C. Megissier, 682,000 Udayama, L. Groussard, 703,000 Tornade du Digeon, J-M Bazire, 797,000 Tornado Bello, Th. Levesque, 874,000 Astor du Quenne, S. Guarato, 1,108,000 Bird Parker, Ph. Allaire, 1,167,000 Tiego d’Etang, Ch. Bigeon, 1,819,000 The Cornulier began in 1903 and was ended in the 1920’s only to be restored in 1931 as a monte affair for aged “trotteurs”, named for the memory of  Gontran de Cornulier and his son Jean, who like his father was a former President of the SECF too (now known as 'LeTrot'). The race winners constitute the best of the classic performers. There have been five three-time winners (Bellino II, Kaiser Trot, Jag de Bellouet and in earlier times Soumus and Gardon. Jean Mary won the race eight times as jockey and Joel Hallais eight times as trainer. The fastest winner is 1.12kr by Quif de Villeneive in 2012, followed by the grande mare Roxane Griff timed in 1.12.3kr and Singalo in 1.12.4kr. Last years’ winner was the now retired mare Scarlet Turgot timed in 1.12.9kr (replay link). Watch for Bilibili, Bellisima France and Bird Parker to be among the 2017 chief rivals. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 16, 2017 - Five starting spots remain for harness racing's 2017 Prix d’Amerique. The earned invitations to date are listed below. Sweden’s trainer Daniel Reden has three on the list (Lionel, Call Me Keeper and Wild Honey) that will line up against favorite Bold Eagle. 1- Anna Mix – 1st Prix de Bretagne (Gr.II) 2- Propulsion – 2nd Prix de Bretagne (Gr.II) 3- Princess Grif – 3rd Prix de Bretagne (Gr.II) 4- Bold Eagle – 1st Prix du Bourbonnais (Gr.II) 5- Lionel – 2nd Prix du Bourbonnais (Gr.II) 6- Voltigeur de Myrt – 3rd Prix du Bourbonnais (Gr.II) 7- Belina Josselyn – 1st du Ténor de Baune (Gr.II) 8- Treasure Kronos – 1st Critérium Continental (Gr.I) 9- Timoko – 2nd Prix de Bourgogne (Gr.II) 10- Booster Winner – 3rd Prix de Bourgogne (Gr.II) 11- Briac Dark – 1st Prix de Belgique (G.II) 12- Call Me Keeper – 2nd Prix de Belgique (G.II) 13- Wild Honey – 3rd Prix de Belgique (G.II) Thomas H. Hicks

January 16, 2017 - 15/1 Verveine du Mont was victorious in today’s Gr. III Prix de Roubaix (purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 13 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Mlle. Audrey Laroche was in the irons for Ecurie AB Trot and harness racing  trainer Franck Blandin. The winner scored timed in 1.12.7kr to defeat 10.6/1 A Mery de Chahains (7f Password-Nuit de Plainville) and jockey Florian Prioul for owner/trainer Cedrik Megissier. Third was 75/1 Ardelot (7g Hello Barbes-Kora de Montfort) with Mlle. Lolita Balay aboard. The co-featured Prix de Brionne (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) this day went to 3.1/1 Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes), racing barefoot, for driver Ch.J. Bigeon, trainer Christian Bigeon and owner Andre Francis Bigeon. 6.9/1 Bily de Gueriniere (6g Prodigious-Haldane) was second for trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard and for breeder/owner Pierre Gypteau. 7/1 Sylvester America (6g Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) raced close-up throughout and ended third for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Jerry Riordan. 18.6/1 Spirit Real closed quickly from far back to be fourth for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Riordan. Time Machine (8g Super Arnie-Union Highness) was fifth at 109/1 for Dominik Locqueneux and owner/trainer Jorgen Westholm. Thomas H. Hicks

January 15, 2017 - Today’s Gran Premio Encat (purse €25,300, 2250 meters autostart) went to 1.14.4kr timed Tano Fohle SM (5m Ganymede-Fohle BSM-Sugarcane Hanover) with harness racing driver Roberto Vecchione up. The sharp trotting colt recorded his 15th victory in 22 starts. Showmar (6m SJ’s Photo-Lucemar-Lemon Dra) rallied from his third spotted position to be second and Sharon Gar (6f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) held on for third after being the pacesetter. At Jagersro on the January 14 V75 program, aged mares raced for 100,000SEK first money over 2140-2180 meters distance handicapped. Victory was impressively earned by 40 meter penalized Red Rose America (7f Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) clocked in 1.13.6kr. Orjan Kihlstrom reined the 5.4/1 winner for trainer Jeanette Hansen for her 18th win in 45 starts, now for 3,858,474SEK earned. Sangria Knight (5f Scarlet Knight-Yahaa Brodda-Varenne) was second for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner, with third to the pacesetter Mulligan (4f Maharajah-Music la Marc-Dream Vacation) handed by trainer Thomas Uhrberg. JetSet was fourth for Johan Untersteiner. Also on the Jagersro card was the V75 Gold for 150,000SEK to the winner of the 2140 meter autostart test. The 1.13.3kr timed winner was 42/1 Obi Wan (11g Ganymede-Hejsa Reerstrup-Speedy Herve) for Flemming Jensen, his 25th win in 87 starts for 3,710,565SEK earned. Dreams Take Time (8m Andover Andover) took second for Peter Untersteiner, ahead of Spring Erom (12m Gentle Star) and Torbjorn Jansson. The Prix d’Amerique qualified Anna Mix finished seventh and veteran Nahar was a miscue dq. The V75 Silver for 125,000SEK to the winner, went to 1.13.2kr timed (distance 1640 meters autostart) and 1.3/1 Aron The Baron (5g Vasterbo Prestige-Gossip Gal-SJ’s Caviar) for driver Orjan Kihlstom, trainer Jeanette Hansen and owners Panamera Racing/J.G. Hansen. British Steel (6g Kadabra) was next for driver Erlend Rennesvik, ahead of Even’s First Boy (8g Ken Warkentin) with driver Flemming Jensen. Thomas H. Hicks

January 15, 2017 - Briac Dark (6m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) rallied three wide and then tracked outside of pacesetting Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) and Bjorn Goop, and with harness racing driver David Thomain’s urging the 23.1/1 outsider, trained by Thierry Duvaldestin for owner Guy Barou, rallied past the 3.4/1 leader to score by a length in the Grand Prix de Belgique (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 17 starters). Call Me Keeper held bravely for second as stablemate Wild Honey (5f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy) closed well for third, driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. This trainer/owner pair also campaign Call Me Keeper. 7.9/1 Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sun), trained by Reden for Goran Antonsen of Norway, was fourth with Matthieu Abrivard driving and 110.3/1 Trebol (10m Hot Blue-Sally Can Wait) was fifth for trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou of Spain. Trinity Zet, Akim du Cap Vert and Oasis Bi were next in a contest in which six horses were dq’d and Propulsion, another Reden trainee, was scratched. Race time was 1.13.8kr off slow fractions in heavy rain (1.14.3kr at 1500 to go; 1.14.3kr at the 1000; 1.14.6kr with 500 meters remaining). The top three finishers received Prix d’Amerique invitations. Discours Joyeux and Val Royal Wins Gr.III Paris-Vincennes Contests Discours Joyeux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelle Copine) rallied at 6/1 odds for driver Eric Raffin to win the Gr. III Prix Riberac (purse €78,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) at Vincennes on Prix de Belgique Day. Thierry Raffegeau trains this winner for owner J-Y Roze. 3/2 Dream Life (4f Royal Dream-Union Of My Life) held second for breeder/driver Jean Philippe Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 12/1 Dokha Vedaquaise (4f Prodigious-Sestriere) was third for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and driver Yoann Lebourgeois. Race time was 1.14.6kr with modest fractions. The Prix Toulouse (purse €78,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.14.2kr timed, 2/1 odds Alphea Barbes (7f Look de Star-Lova Barbes) by open lengths for driver Ch.J. Bigeon, trainer Christian Bigeon and breeder/owner Andre Francis Bigeon. 13/1 Alamo du Goutier (7g Quido du Goutier) and 12.1/1 Arthuro Boy (7m Le Retour) were next to the line on this undercard event. 4.4/1 odds and barefoot Val Royal (8m Capriccio-Quanda du Rib) secured a 1.13.1kr timed victory in the Gr. III Prix Djerio (monte, purse €110,000, 2200 meters, 12 starters). Alexandre Abrivard was the pilot for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ecurie des Charmes. 12/1 Adelia de Melodie (7f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) was second for David Thomain (trainer St. Meunier) and 19.4/1 Tripolia (10f Sancho Panca-Garivane) was third for jockey Mathieu Mottier (trainer J.Ph. Mary). Thomas H. Hicks

January 15, 2017 - Today’s Prix de Belgique festivities began with harness racing monte action and the Gr. II Prix Gelinotte. Cenora (5f Blue Dream-Nalara) took today’s opener, the Prix de Castera-Venduzan (monte, purse €46,000, 2175 meters, eight starters). Mathieu Mottier was in the irons for this 1.13.6kr timed victory. Dominique Mottier is owner/trainer/breeder of the fine mare. Second was 2.9/1 Cannelle de Pipan (5f Singalo-Pour d’Aube) with Adrien Lamy up for trainer Bruno Marie, and third was 2.3/1 Calypso Queen (5f Scipion du Goutier-Dan’s Girl) with Franck Nivard aboard. The co-featured Gr. II Prix Gelinotte (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to 1.15kr timed rallying 9.4/1 Elea Madrik (3f Goetmals Wood-Ouelea Madrik). William Bigeon reined and trains the winner that Cl. Ghedj owns and Emmanuel Leclerc bred. Even-money favorite Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Coutier-These d’Oliverie) held second for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and breeder/owner Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 10.7/1 Elisione Mag (3f Qualker Jet-Perla du Ravary) was third for David Thomain. The Prix Jura (purse €75,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) producing a driving finish with the victory to 22.7/1 odds Tamisso (10g Nobody du Chene-Hastavissa). David Thomain teamed the R. Jaffrelot trainee that is owned by breeder Patrick Gerard Cavey. 11/1 Venus de Bailly (8f Chaillot-Oceane de Bailly) was second for Franck Ouvrie and 3.8/1 Ultra de Vindecy (9g Jasmin de Flore-Nora The Best) took third for Eric Raffin. The 7/2 favorite Unbridled Charm was unplaced. Thomas H. Hicks

January 14, 2017 - The Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) was expected to be an easy conquest for 1.1/1 Equinoxe (3m Texas Charm-Pelagie) and 2.2/1 Everest Vedaquais (3m Ready Cash-Spandelle) but both were disqualified, the latter for an early miscue and the former after an impressive victory, presumably for being rough gaited in the lane. Victory was thus awarded to fast-closing 6.9/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with David Thomain in the irons for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe DeWulf, timed in 1.16kr. Placed second was 30/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) reined by J.Ph Monclin and placed third was 5/1 Euro du Chene with Franck Nivard up. The Quinte+ Gr. II Prix de Croix was the day’s co-feature (purse €120,000, 2850 meters). Well respected Treasure Kronos, racing with shoes, and Cobra Bleu was miscue dq’s. 9.3/1 odds barefoot In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine) was an impressive rallying winner for Franck Nivard. This pair followed good outer tier flow and surged three wide in the late final bend to just get up for the 1.12.5kr clocked victory, with a quick final fraction (the timed was 1.13.1kr with 500 meters remaining). Daniel Reden trains the winner for Stall Zet. 3.6/1 Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) took second, beaten a nose, for Gabriel Gelormini and trainer Guarato. Third was the 9/10 favorite pacesetting Traders (5m Ready Cash-Graziella) for David Thomain and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 84/1 Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) rallied from far back to be fourth for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Graziano Ceccaroni, with fifth to Tony Gio (5m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) reined by Christophe Martens for Scuderia Bivans SRL and trainer Vincent Martens. The Gr. III Prix du Forez/Prix les Seniors (purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.12.8kr timed and 5.1/1 odds Anzi des Liards (7g Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines for breeder/owner Richard Padovani and trainer David Bekaert. 7/1 Athos des Elfes (7m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg) was second for trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was rail hugging 4.2/1 Altesse de Mirel (7f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Florence Allera. The winner closed stoutly as the time with 500 meters remaining was 1.13.8kr. A superb Saturday afternoon Paris-Vincennes program began with newly aged three year-olds contesting the Prix de Montreuil (monte, purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters), with an open-lengths victory earned by 1.3/1 favorite Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout). The Alexandre Abrivard teamed filly was clocked in 1.18.2kr and is trained by J-M Bazire for breeder/owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. 22.4/1 Etincelle de Rocha (3f Repeat d’Ombree-Rondinara) was the distant second for Matthieu Abrivard and 13.5/1 Extase de la Basle (3f Redea Josselyn-Ibiza de la Masle) was third with Eric Raffin in the irons. Monte performers continued with the Prix de Mauquenchy (purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 10 European starters) and 9/10 favorite Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) prevailed for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Denise Mottier and Ecurie Cheffreville). 7.2/1 Codie de Beaulieu (5f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) closed well for second, handled by J-Y Ricart. Third went to the 6.9/1 and Matthieu Abrivard teamed Chiuricahua (5f Pomerol de Laumac-Phoenix Arizona). Thomas H. Hicks

January 13, 2016 - Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix de Ranes (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 18 European) and 7/10 favorite Amarilla de Rabut (7f Ideal de l’Iton-Deux Pommes) scored timed in 1.13.9kr for Yoann Lebourgeois and harness racing owner/trainer Ph. Duclos. 12.6/1 Vizzavoni (8f L’As de Viretaute-Gocity Coulonces) was second for Eric Raffin ahead of 8.2/1 Riviera As (7f Cantab Hall-Fortune As), Franck Ouvrie up, and 42.7/1 Princess Kronos (8f Donato Hanover-Malibu Princess) with Christophe Martens driving. The featured Prix de Mauriae (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 10n starters) went to 1.12.6kr timed and 12.8/1 Cupidon du Vivier (5m Love You-Odessa du Vivier) for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and breeder/owner Jean Yves Lucuyer. 20.4/1 Clarck Sotho (5g Oiseau de Feux-Micanda) was a rallying second for Anthony Barrier and 15.7/1 Coach Franbleu (5g Prince d’Espace-Oydra) was home third for Loic Guinoiseau. The 1.1/1 favorite Cash Maker was a miscue dq. The 2/5 favorite Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) won the monte Prix de Bollene (purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) timed in 1.17kr. Yoann Lebourgeois was in the irons for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 10.3/1 Epsom d’Ariane (3m Uppercut de Rib-Passion d’Ariane) was a distant, ten lengths, second for David Thomain and 8.7/1 Eclat du Thure (3m Paris Haufor-Quintussie) was third for Alexandre Abrivard. The monte Prix de Sartilly (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) was a competitive affair throughout, with 2.8/1 Balzac de l’Iton (6g Panache de l’Iton-Kabylie de l’Iton) prevailing clocked in 1.14.8kr for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Hughes Levesque. Ecurie de l’Iton owns the winner that narrowly defeated 12.4/1 Billy de la Calade (6g Quick Wood-Mania Danover and 15.3/1 Bruyere de Rib (6g Kaiser Soze-Inopaline). Etoile d’Amour (3f Sam Bourbon-Union d’Amour-Coktail Jet) at 42.1/1 took the Prix de Vic-Bigorre (purse €34,000, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) at Vincennes with Ch. Thierry up for Ecurie du Precieux and trainer Sebastian Guarato. Clocked in 1.15.1kr this filly bested another Guarato trainee, 7.1/1 Eureka de Nappes (3f Saxo de Vandel-Milady Jet-Defi d’Aunou) with Gabriel Gelormini up for owner Philippe DeWulf. 8.4/1 Elemine de Valforg (3f Rolling d’Heripre-Helenime) was third for Yann Lorin and Ecurie le Tremont Thomas H. Hicks

This Sunday, January 15, the Belgian Grand Prix will distribute the last three qualifying tickets for the Prix d'Amérique Opodo. They will be seventeen to take up the harness racing challenge. Daniel Redén will present five boarders (Wild Honey, Lionel, Propulsion, Call Me Keeper and Trinity Zet) in this semi-classic, which is extremely rare. To be from Sunday, January 29, some have no choice but to finish in the top three of the Belgian Grand Prix . It is thought primarily to Bolero Love , who came close coronation in "Tenor de Baune," ending near Belina Josselyn and Bird Parker . Call Me Keeper , who did not tremble in Lille Prix Sunday after his misfortunes of "Burgundy" , found the right fuel and should be at the start with the "knife between the shoes." Daniel Reden also present Wild Honey , an American 5 who has already exceeded one million euros of gains. It will be the attraction of this event, especially as Franck Nivard will be associated with him. But Lionel , second in the Grand Prix du Bourbonnais and Propulsion , excellent second in the Grand Prix de Bretagne . Trinity Zet will also be in the running. Thus, Daniel Redén will be quintupled in this semi-classic, which is quite unusual to be emphasized.  Pan Universe does not displeased Philippe Daugeard lastly: "The horse itself short. It struggled to pass the top speed at the entrance to the straight, but it left at the end, which made me say that it should progress on this exit. At four weeks of the Prix d'Amérique, we are not to "pick up". Directed the Prix de Belgique. "   Up And Quick was sparkling in his return to Belgium and will be closely followed for its return to the trot of the Temple. Traders involved in Cross Award yesterday. This day at Nantes was the Prix Joseph David (purse €35,000, 3000 meters distance handicap, 11 European starters) and the 1.17.6kr timed Orione Spin (9g Viking Kronos-Karisma Zet) scored, overcoming a 25 meter penalty, for driver Cedrik Terry and owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Vulcain Tonic (8g Look de Star-Osmose de Couronne) was second for Valantin Roger and trainer Herve Habart, with third to 25 meter penalized Pike River (10g Likable River-Ocala As) for Antoine Wiels, trainer Markku Vartainen and owner By The River Stable. Thomas H. Hicks

January 12, 2017 -  Franck Nivard today teamed 11.1/1 Apollon de Kacy (7m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kids) to victory in the prestigious Gr. III Prix de la Cote d’Azur (purse €150,000, 2925 meters, 16 starters) at Cagnes sur Mer for harness racing owner/trainer Jorgen Westholm of Sweden. The winner raced barefoot in this 1.13.7kr clocking to defeat 15.1/1 Baby Lou Max (6g Gazouillis-Kamaxie) for Nicolas Mortagne and 18.5/1 Radieux (7g Love You-Dordogne) of Italy was third for Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 3.5/1 Balbir (6g Ganymede-Manzir) was fourth for Mickael Cormy, also trainer, and fifth finishing 62.3/1 Shark Attack (9g April Perfect-Step By Step) for owner/trainer/driver Mario Dooyeweerd of Holland. Each of the top five raced barefoot. The Q+ exact order payoff on this race was €59,200 for a €2 wager. The Prix Cagnes sur Mer (purse €50,000, 2925 meters distance handicap, 18 European starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed, 10.3/1 odds Aigle Jenilou (7g Prodigious-Queen Jenilou) that was bred and is owned/trained by Louis Baudron. The winner was reined by Gwenn Junod. 3.1/1 Bering was second for Christophe Martens, 3.6/1 Ut d’Ylea was third for Franck Nivard and distance penalized 5/2 odds Archangel AM (7g Going Kronos-No More Time) was fourth timed in 1.13.8kr for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. The Prix Meteor II for a purse of €40,000 and raced over 2925 meters went to 3/2 favorite Colonel Bond (5g Revel d’Anama-Miss Margaretha). Timed in 1.14.1kr, the Pierre Vercruysse teamed J.P. Ensch trainee defeated twelve rivals. Antoine du Bourg (7g Oyonnax-Pin Up du Bourg) was second for Nicolas Mortagne and 23.5/1 Balthazar Maza (6g Prodigious-Paloma) landed third for Romauld Mourice. Thomas H. Hicks

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