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Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM-Self Possessed) took his elimination and the harness racing final of the 67th edition of the Gr. I International Lotteria at Agnano Racetrack, Napoli Italy. Johnny Takter teamed the winner that left early for the lead, yielded to second finishing Voltigeur de Myrt (7m Opus Viervil-Myrtille des Bois-Tenor de Baune) with Gabby Gelormini up, and then rallied up the inside to score by half-length in the final 100 meters. Third was fast closing Princess Grif (7f Varenne-Fauve Grif) with Orjan Kihlstrom up and fourth went to Pascia’Lest (7m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way) with Pietro Gubellini aboard. Race time was 1.10.7kr. Pascia’Lest and Voltigeur de Myrt won their eliminations timed in 1.10.9kr and 1.10.6kr respectively, defeating Probo OP and Sahara Fairytale. Oasis Bi scored his elimination win timed in 1.10.9kr over Princess Grif. Purse for the Finale was €506,000 after the eliminations went each for €14,300. All of these heats were over 1600 meters autostart. Replay link follows: The €33,000 Lotteria Consolation, also a 1600 meter test, went to Pioneer Gar (7m Varenne-Follia) with Pietro Gubellini at the lines, timed in 1.11.8kr. Quick Fix and Sharon Gar followed that winner home. On the Lotteria program was the finale of the Italy vs. USA Friendship Amateur Drivers Challenge with Italy being the winner. Top points leading teamster was Italy’s Ciro Ciccarelli who won the €7,700 purse finale over 1600 meters autostart timed in 1.15.6kr. He reined Paradisea Jet (7f Ken Warkentin-Giada Jet-Kramer Boy) to the win over Piccolarobytor handled by Giovanni De Simone Jr. with third to Hannah Miller driving Narzis Lady. Hannah Miller led Team USA with a third place finish (31.5 points). The competition point leader was Italy’s Ciro Ciccarelli with 60.5 points. For those that missed the other weekend trotting classics see links below of the Argentan Criterium de Vitesse won the Un Mec d’Heripre and the Olympiatravet victory at Aby by Your Highness. The latter was been invited to the Elitloppet. Argentan 4/30/16 Criterium du Vitesse de Normandie Olympiatravet at Aby 4/30/16 Thomas H. Hicks

The Lajos Marton trained and reined Salihamidzic (5m Wall Street Banker-Helikon-Awesome Goal) won Saturday’s harness racing featured Grand DIK at Kincsem Park timed in 1.19.5kr over 1900 meters distance handicap. Amma i. owns the winner of the 600,000Huf purse contest. Nocsabasz (9m Tony Oaks-Zala Szepe-Rugged Lobell) was second for Veljko Mazsity with third to Orinoco (8f PS Dimo-Yxor-Witsend’s Speedy) and driver Arpad Lakatos. On the undercard Ragdoll (4f Ever To Excel-Woodhill’s Elvirah-Friendly Face) won the fifth straight for trainer/driver Csaba Lakatos. The Picero DIJ was raced over 1800 meters autostart for a purse of 360,000Huf. Next weekend (Saturday) there will be the first great race in 2016 for three year-olds plus the Dr. Borostyankoy Memorial for four year-olds and up in a two heat format. On Friday evening begins the season’s  night racing (gallop, trotting and greyhounds), and there will be May 6-8 the popular Spring Food-Truck Show. Thomas H. Hicks

Saturday’s €77,000 purse GP Regione Campania, over 1600 meters autostart for harness racing four year-olds, went to Totoo del Ronco (4m Ganymede-Magic Vision LF-Uronometro) with Mario Minopli Jr. aboard and timed in 1.12.3kr. Tulum (4m Algiers Hall-Image OM-Lemon Dra) landed second for Mass. Castaldo with third to Talabarteria (4f Love You-Claire Barb-Yankee Glide). The Italy vs. USA competition continued on the card with the €5,500 purse, 1600 meter autostart, contest going to Tano (4m Irrestible-La Carela-Buvetier d’Aunou) with Ciro Ciccarelli up. Tabuz was second for Vincenzo D’Alessandro with the next two spots to Tesio Trgf and Mike Mitchell aboard, and fourth to Steve Oldford driving Tortorella Jet. This event was clocked in 1.16.9kr. The final Friendship Competition event is set for Sunday, Lotteria Day, the 67th edition of the Gr. I classic. Thomas H. Hicks

NAPLES, Italy - The second day of the competition in the USA vs Italy Friendship Challenge proved nearly fruitless for the visitors but with Hannah Miller's third place finish in the race saved face somewhat for the visitors. With incredibly sunny Italian sky's overhead, the USA-Italy Amateur Friendship Challenge concluded on Sunday (May 1) and though uneventfully on the racetrack, at least for the visitors, every moment was cherished and will forever be remembered by all the participants.. With all the events contested in the four race competition the Italians prevailed with three wins to the American's one, which came from a heads-up drive by Dein Spriggs, USA Team Captain Joe Pennacchio said of the Friendship Competition, "We couldn't be happier with the races and hospitality shown to us and we expressed special thanks to track, (Ippodromo di Agnano) owner Pier Luigi D'Angelo, who went overboard making us welcome." Hannah Miller led the Americans with a third place finish with 31.5 points and received a trophy to mark that occasion. The competition point leader was Italy's Ciro Ciccarelli who finished with 60.5 points. "You really have to drive the horse. They need lots of help at the start and in the turns and if your horse breaks (stride) you are disqualified. So I was careful," Ms. Miller explained. "The Italians drove like a team and did a lot of blocking to clear their better horses," added USA team member Steve Oldford. "Ciro had the best showing by winning two races. "We had a great lunch after the competition with all the drivers and our new friends and enjoyed the 67th edition of the Gran Premio Lotteria Di Agnano which was won by Oasis Bi, who was driven to victory by Johnny Takter, Jimmy's brother." by John Manzi for Team USA Amateur Drivers

Today’s €299,407 purse Gr. I International Olympiatravet over 2140 meters at Goteborg (Aby) SWE went to hot trotting mare Your Highness (7f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady-Conway Hall-Lady Stormont) with harness racing driver Bjorn Goop up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and PV Racing HB, the owner. This 1.4/1 odds winner has five 2016 wins in as many starts for seasonal earnings of 3,127,737SEK. Her career slate is now 23-7-5 in 47 starts for 6,602,022SEK earned. Your Highness was timed in 1.10.9kr and raced without shoes. 10/1 Sauveur (6g Echo-Operah Bob-Easy Lover) was second for driver/trainer Ake Lindblom and 8/1 Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Irco-Tenor de Baune) rallied strongly for third for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc after getting a slow start away from the car and trailing the field in early going. BBS Sugarlight finished fourth at 2.2/1 and On Track Piraten was fifth at 2/1 after leading much of the way. Nahar made an early miscue and was disqualified. Thomas H. Hicks

A harness racing solid sprinter field faced the starter for the €100,000 purse, 1609 meter autostart, Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse at Argentan. Third in the recent Prix d’Atlantique, the winner Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling)  with Jean-Michel Bazire up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Ecurie d’Heripre at 9/10 odds, scored in a sharp 1.10kr (mile 1:52.7). A length and a half back was Billie de Montfort (5f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) handled by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dauphin at 10.2/1 odds. The next three to the line, all clocked in 1.10.5kr, were 311/1 Tabrix du Gite (9m Ganymede-Kadrizia du Gite) for Alexandre Abrivard, 11/1 Aladin d’Ecajeul (6m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf and fifth finishing 27/1 Univers de Pan with trainer Philippe Daugeard driving. 3.4/1 odds Amiral Sacha was disqualified for a miscue as were Kadett CD and Luckycharm Hanover. Thomas H. Hicks

Ten upper level harness racing trotters faced the mobile in this 2100 meter autostart Seinajoki Race in Finland, with a €60,000 purse on the line. 7.5/1 El Mago Pellini (7m Chocolatier-My Intuition-Andover Hall) driven by Adrian Kolgjini recorded a comfortable victory clocked in 1.12.1kr, two lengths the best over 5/1 Ed You (9g Love You-Lancia Brick-Super Arnie) handled by Mika Forss. 10/1 Ringostarr Treb (6m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) rallied for third driven by Wim Paal. Summary and video replay link follow. Lähtö 10 TRO DUO 1. Palkinto 60 000,00 € Katso video Lämminveriset ryhmäajo 2100 m Avoin Seinäjoki-Race P. 60 000 e. (60000-25000-15000-6000-2000) Toto76 Sij. Hevonen Ohjastaja Matka:Rata Aika Palkinto Kerroin 1 6   El Mago Pellini* (SE) Adrian Kolgjini 2100:6 12,1a 60000 € 8,55 2 10   Ed You* (SE) Mika Forss 2100:10 12,4a 25000 € 6,53 3 2   Ringostarr Treb* (IT) Wilhelm Paal 2100:2 12,5a 15000 € 9,89 4 7   Quid Pro Quo* (SE) Erik Adielsson 2100:7 12,6a 6000 € 12,49 5 9   Donna di Quattro* (SE) Christoffer Eriksson 2100:9 12,8a 2000 € 6,37 6 8   Twigs Voici* (SE) Pekka Korpi 2100:8 12,8a   24,53 7 5   Jontte Boy Tuomas Korvenoja 2100:5 12,8a   13,55 8 4   Edward Ale Peter Ingves 2100:4 12,9ax   7,13 9 1   Jeppas Maxi* (SE) Torbjörn Jansson 2100:1 13,0a   5,43 10 3   Bret Boko (SE) Ari Moilanen 2100:3 13,7a   7,69 Väliajat 10.0/Bret Boko, 13.5, 12.0, 10.0 Link: Separately, it was reported that the fine mare Delicious was declared out of the upcoming 2016 Elitloppet. The mare was operated on Friday and trainer Daniel Reden would not comment on the outcome. On Friday it was discovered that Delicious had a swollen carpal. Thomas H. Hicks

Friday evening action at Paris-Vincennes featured a solid program including the Gr. III Prix Antigone for 13 monte performers over the 2850 meter distance (distance handicapped) for a purse of €110,000. The impressive 1.12.8kr timed winner was 4.4/1 Ulka des Champs (8f Offshore Dream-Melissa des Champs) for Eric Raffin as they bested 2.6/1 Botido (5g L’as de Neige-Otida) withMatthieu Mottier up. 23/1 Bijou d’Auvillier (5g Kepler=Olive d’Auvillier) was third ahead of 52/1 Vagabondu Mag, that one timed in 1.12.5kr after a distance penalty. On the same card the Prix Maginus (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed, 3.8/1 odds Coup de Poker (4m Coktail Jet-Tac Ticienne) for owner/trainer/driver Christophe Gallier. 4.3/1 Caduceus des Baux (4g Mark Speed-Festina des Baux) was next for Matthieu Abrivard with 8/1 Class de Loriol (4f Ready Cash-Orageuse de Margin) third. This was a Pick5 wagering race. The Quinte+ this evening was the Prix Huberta (purse €54,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) and the 1.12.9kr winner was 1.3/1 favorite Anzi des Liards (6g Look de Star-Narsicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines. 3.6/1 Vivaldo Bello (7m Love You-Enfilade) landed second for Franck Nivard and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Enfilade is the dam of Offshore Dream and many other good performers. 22/1 Accordeon (6g Baccarat du Pont-Quaba des Corvees) was third for driver Beloit Robin. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 14 Anzi des Liards R. Derieux Ecurie Bkr D. Békaert 2ème 13 Vivaldo Bello F. Nivard R. Boucret T. Duvaldestin 3ème 10 Accordéon B. Robin L. Leduc L. Leduc 4ème 2 Apollo de Souvigné M. Lenoir G. Simon M. Lenoir 5ème 8 Alik Julry J.-P. Gauvin Ecurie Julry J.-P. Gauvin     At Napoli (Agnano) Italy the Amateur Friendship competition began between Italy and the USA. The first event (purse €5,500, 1600 meters autostart) went to Team Italy’s Perche’ Si Jet (7m Pine Chip-Sovrana Jet-Sharif di Jesolo) with Giovanni DeSimone Jr. aboard timed in 1.15.1kr. The five-length win was secured over Matteo and Hannah Miller with third to Paplov and driver Ciro Ciccarelli. The second amateur event went to Obelix Bi (8g Angus Hall-Claudette Bi-Toss Out) for Team USA’s Dein Spriggs. The 1.15.6kr timed winner defeated Ologramma with Antonio Simioli up and third was Oliseo and Ciro Ciccarelli. Another battle is set for April 30 with Hannah Miller’s mount the favorite from post 10. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

After getting grounded in Germany because of a strike at the airport Hannah Miller, along with her boyfriend Nick Surick, found another way to get to Naples for the harness racing International Friendship Challenge which began today (Friday) at Agnano race track. With the visiting Americans now at full strength--Hannah missed the opening ceremonies on Thursday due to the airport strike--the 10 drivers were ready to do battle in the first of the Challenge races. Despite being on unfamiliar turf the visiting Americans made a strong showing on the first day of competition in the Friendship Challenge, especially Dein Spriggs, who won the second Challenge trot and Hannah Miller, who had a second place finish in the first Friendship Challenge race. In the second event Pennacchio hustled his charge to the lead while Spriggs settled in fifth position on inside and Hannah got away stuck on the limb. Oldford's trotter made a break early and Mitchell's horse was never got in contention. Spriggs sat chilly with a very live horse while pinned in as Pennacchio cut the mile. When Hannah's trotter tired it allowed Spriggs to see daylight and he angled his horse to the outside and took the lead and then charged home an easy winner. In the earlier race Hannah went to the lead and then let Joe Pernnacchio take command, which he did but then he allowed an Italian to cut the fractions. When the field headed down back side both Pennacchio and Hannah got shuffled farther back as another Italian cleared to the front. When the field rounded the final turn and headed for paydirt , Hannah pushed her way out and began a charge but her trotter fell just a neck short and they finished a very creditable second.. Pennacchio finished fifth, Steve Oldford was sixth and Dein Spriggs and Mike Mitchell's horses both made breaks and they were disqualified. The afternoon action on day- one of the Friendship Competition. was related by both Nick Surick and Steve Oldford and it was a delighted Oldford who spoke for Team USA when he said; "Our Italian friends are treating us to mucho wine and fine food," and then he added ,"Viva Italia!!" Racing continues Saturday with one race slated for the Friendship Challenge. The Gran Premio Lotteria will be raced on Sunday and prior to that event there will be a final race in the USA vs Italy Friendship Challenge. John Manzi

Final weekend to enter Name “Pinky’s” Foal Contest

On the upcoming weekend Italian and US amateur drivers begin competition at several raceways in Italy. Starting on April 29 at Napoli the contestants will compete in two events and another the next day. The USA team is comprised of Hannah Miller, Mike Mitchell, Dein Spriggs, Steve Oldford, Joe Pennacchio. The amateur races are shown below. 3 15.30 April 29 - PR. 1^PROVA ITALIA-UAS MEM.C.SAT - condizionata E 5.500 - mt 1600     1 MATTEO 1600 H.Miller             2 OVVIO DI AZZURRA " V.D'Alessandro             3 NILO NES " M.Mitchell             4 ROBY ALCA " D.Spriggs             5 PAPLOV " C.Ciccarelli             6 SCACCOMATTO NP " S.Oldford             7 SKY OK " J.Pennacchio             8 PAATA PATA " A.Simioli             9 PATRIOT GAR " E.Villani             10 PERCHE' SI JET " G.De Simone Jr             5 16.30 - PR. 2^PROVA ITALIA-USA MEM.C.SAT - condizionata E 5.500 - mt 1600 - Trio     1 MATEO MABEL 1600 S.Oldford             2 PANZER LP " V.D'Alessandro             3 MARENGO AI " J.Pennacchio             4 PIXEL GRIF " H.Miller             5 OLOGRAMMA " A.Simioli             6 PARADISEA JET " M.Mitchell             7 PON PON PRIDE " E.Villani             8 ODILLAX " G.De Simone Jr             9 OBELIX BI " D.Spriggs             10 OLISEO " C.Ciccarelli               5 16.15 April 30 - PR. SFIDA ITALIA-USA MEM.CAROLO - condizionata E 5.500 - mt 1600 - Trio             1 TURIZ  C 1600 A.Simioli                 2 TORTORELLA JET " S.Oldford                 3 TESIO TRGF " M.Mitchell                 4 TEOLINDA  C " E.Villani                 5 TANO " C.Ciccarelli                 6 TEODORA BI " G.De Simone Jr                 7 TEX DI JESOLO " D.Spriggs                 8 TABUZ  C " V.D'Alessandro                 9 TROPICANA LUIS " J.Pennacchio                 10 TIMBUCTU BI " H.Miller               Dein Spriggs heads the Florida Amateur Drivers Club. The Italian team lineup includes Ciro Ciccarelli,Elena Orlando Villani, Antonio Simioli, Vincenzo D’Alessandro and Giovanni De Simone. The Agnano Napoli racetrack is a 1000 meter oval. Also on the Saturday card is the Gr. II €77,000 purse Gran Prix Regione Campania with 14 rivals contesting the 1600 meter sprinter event. Testimonial OK is the opening money favorite with Enrico Bellei up.   8 18.00 - PR. GP.REGIONE CAMPANIA TR.MAGO - gruppo 2 E 77.000 - mt 1600     1 TROJA D'ASOLO 1600 Rene' Legati             2 TEMON YOUR SM " M.Smorgon             3 CHATEAUROUX " A.Gocciadoro             4 TOTOO DEL RONCO " M.Minopoli Jr             5 TAURUS DEL RONCO " G.Di Nardo             6 TOBIAS DEL RONCO " G.P.Minnucci             7 TIOSS MEDE SM " A.Di Nardo             8 TESTIMONIAL OK " E.Bellei             9 TALABARTERIA " N.Cintura             10 TENTATION ANS " P.Gubellini             11 TULUM " Mass.Castaldo             12 TIBERIX " V.Luongo             13 TITANIC DANY " G.P.Maisto             14 TEMIBILE OK " R.Gallucci             On May 1 (Sunday) the headliner is the 67th edition of the Grand Premio Lotteria di Agnano. Three eliminations will be followed by the final and consolation, each over 1600 meters autostart.   G.P. LOTTERIA DI AGNANO - QUOTE INFORMATIVE PRIMA BATTERIA                 SECONDA BATTERIA                TERZA BATTERIA 01 RADIOFRECCIA FI                        4,5 01 RUM E COCA DAY       20 01 STEVEN DEL RONCO    20 02 SAHARA FAIRYTALE      5,5 02 RAVENNA-DK             15 02 PASCIA LEST            2,2 03 RANIA LEST             3,5 03 SHARON GAR             8 03 OLONA OK               20 04 VOLTIGEUR DE MYRT      1,9 04 OASIS BI               2,3 04 PROBO OP              5 05 PIONEER GAR            15 05 PRINCESS GRIF          2 05 SEATTLE BI             10 06 RIBELLE OP             30 06 PEACE OF MIND         10 06 QUICK FIX              2,5 07 PACHA DEI GREPPI       25 07 SAVANNA BI            15 07 ORSIA                  10 08 RUE VARENNE DANY       12 08 SUPERBO CAPAR          20 08 SUGAR REY              30     Quite a trotting weekend is on tap in Italy. Groupe II action took place on the Tuesday night program at Paris-Vincennes with upsets in both contests. The three year-old colts battled in the €120,000 Prix Paul Karle (2100 meters, 11 starters) and 10.2/1 Dollar Macker (3m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) scored victory with J-Ph Monclin aboard. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for Olivier Henri Thomas as this 1.14.3kr timed colt defeated the 1/2 favorite Django Riff (3m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) with Yoann Lebourgeois up. Allaire trains the favorite for owner Elisabeth Allaire. Third was 20/1 Duroc Montaval (3m Singalo-Ovalie Montaval) and driver Eric Raffin ahead of 32/1 Diablo du Noyer (3m Jasmin de Flore-Une Et Indivisible) and 13/1 Ducato Bourbon (3m Love You-Kamera Bourbon). The fillies contested the €120,000 GR. II Prix Masina (2100 meters, 14 starters) with the win to 1.15.1kr timed, 17/1 Diva du Mouchel (3f The Best Madrik-Perle du Mouchel). Eric Raffin teamed the winner for Franck Leblanc, trainer for Laurent Edin. 34/1 Douce Ligneries (3f Love You-Ouragne) landed second for trainer/driver Benedetto Marigliano with 1/1 favorite Dewana (3f Ready Cash-Sanawa) third with J-Ph Monclin driving for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Don’t Explain (3f Prodigious-Quarmen du Gite) landed the fourth spot for Matthieu Abrivard and fifth belonged to Daylight Jet (3f Jag de Bellouet-Ocarina Jet) with trainer Pierre Vercruysse aboard for owner Jean-Etienne Dubois. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

This day’s Quinte+ event was the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (leg 4, purse €90,000, 2650 meters, 18 starters) at Le Bouscat, France and it went to 7/2 odds favorite Bahia Quesnot (5f Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) for driver Eric Raffin, owner Mlle. Florence Scalici and trainer Cedrik Herserant. Co-favorite Unero Montaval (8g Nem-Heroine du Lar) earned second for Franck Nivard, ahead of 10/1 Buffalo de  Beylev (5m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis) and trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. 76/1 Tui de Narmont and 7.5/1 Ulster Perrine were fourth and fifth. Race time was a good 1.13.9kr over the extended distance. The same card at Le Bouscat included the Grand Prix Baron d’Ardeuil (purse €25,000, 2550 meters autostart, 16 European starters) and victory went to 3.2/1 LoverFace (8g Love You-Ambra OK) for driver Franck Nivard, trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Bengt Olsson, timed in 1.15.1kr. The 2/1 Geisha Sund (6f Love You-Kanadia) landed second for Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and Etoile Sweden HB. Third home was 5.5/1 Orient Horse (8m Abano As-Irma del Rio) with Thomas Levesque up, ahead of fourth finishing 11.6/1 odds Only One Glory (8m Ganymede-Eva Kany Gar), that one also from the Souloy training stable. Another weekend race worth watching is in Finland (Seinajoki) on April 30 where ten classy rivals will battle in the €60,000 Seinajoki Race. 2100 meters autostart – The Seinajoki Race, purse €60,000   PP Horse/Driver   Record   Earnings             1 Jeppas Maxi*  /  Torbjörn Jansson   11,8ake   119 548 €             2 Ringostarr Treb*  /  Wilhelm Paal   10,4aly   272 553 €             3 Bret Boko  /  Ari Moilanen   10,3aly   349 210 €             4 Edward Ale  /  Peter Ingves   10,5aly   340 488 €             5 Jontte Boy  /  Tuomas Korvenoja   11,1aly   312 934 €             6 El Mago Pellini*  /  Adrian Kolgjini   10,8aly   564 914 €             7 Quid Pro Quo*  /  Erik Adielsson   10,2aly   731 096 €             8 Twigs Voici*  /  Pekka Korpi   10,6aly   199 725 €             9 Donna di Quattro*  /  Christoffer Eriksson   10,9aly   340 324 €             10 Ed You*  /  Mika Forss   10,1aly   678 575 € by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Nuncio (5h Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) scored this night in a swift 1.09.9kr (mile 1:52.47) for owner/trainer/driver Stefan Melander at .68/1 odds from post one in a 1640 meter autostart contest at Sovalla, Sweden. It was the fastest time in Europe so far this year. Nuncio now has three wins in as many 2016 starts and a career slate of 29-12-2 in 43 starts for earnings of 18,372,726SEK. Winner’s share of the purse was 80,000SEK. The 3.4/1 Food Money (8g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) was second for Jennifer Tillman with 4.2/1 Nimbus CD (6f Mythical Lindy-Kiss Of Life-Tenor de Baune) third for Orjan Kihlstrom. On the same V86 card another 1640 meter autostart even, worth 60,000SWK to the winner, went to 2.9/1 Pepi di Jesolo(7g Ganymede-Zanna di Jesolo-Baltic Speed) handled by Bjorn Goop for trainer Edvib Ceka. This 1.11.5kr timed winner bested 3.1/1 Ski To The Max (5f Conway Hall-Enjoy The Sun-Enjoy Lavec) driven by Per Lennartsson. Arden Homestead Stable co-bred this mare with Adelaide Skoglund. 9.6/1 Neon Face (6f Igor November-Pelopanic-Coktail Jet) was third, that one trained by Stig H. Johansson. On Saturday (April 30) at Aby will be the Gr. I Olympiatravet, over 2140 meters autostart with 1.5SEK million to the winner. Nine solid performers will be at the start following the scratch of Papagayo E. 1) On Track Piraten – Johnny Takter 2) B.B.S.Sugarlight – Peter Untersteiner 3) Anna Mix – Pierre Vercruysse 4) Nahar – Robert Bergh 5) Your Highness – Björn Goop 6) Sauveur – Åke Lindblom 7) Spartan Kronos – Conrad Lugauer 8) Papagayo E. – non runner 9) Mosaique Face – Lutfi Kolgjini 10) Gigant Slugger – Jeppe Juel The undercard includes the Lovely Godivas (first prize 250,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) and that field includes the Chocolatier mares Coco de Vie and Ultimate Wine. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The Italian Amateur Friendship Challenge officially kicked off with a gala dinner hosted by the mayor of Naples Italy, Luigi de Magistris on Thursday. Pier Luigi De Angelo principle owner of Agnano race track in Naples, guided the invited American amateur drivers to this event held at the elegant Belvedere Carafa Museum in downtown Naples, Italy. "The people and the food are over the top and the majesty and history of this area goes back thousands of years," team correspondent Steve Oldford said. Festivities will continue when team America will dine with their Italian counterparts prior to the racing action which begins Friday afternoon and continues through Sunday when track hosts the world class $500,000 trot, the Grand Premio Lotteria. "There's no doubt that amateur racing is moving to a new level and we hope the events here in Naples will continue to promote amateur racing at a world-wide level, " noted team USA team captain Joe Pennacchio. When the races get underway Friday at Agnano, Pennacchio and Oldford will be joined by Mike Mitchell, Dein Spriggs and Hannah Miller. The five outstanding American amateur drivers will compete against the best that the Naples area has to offer. Two events are slated for Friday with a race on Saturday and one on Sunday, the day of the Gran Premio Lotteria where the attending crowds will be in the tens of thousands. by John Manzi and Steve Oldford

Look out Italy, the Americans are coming. A contingent of American amateur drivers, that is. Amateur racing is coming out of the shadows and now is an integral part of the harness racing scene, not only in the United States but in Europe, Australia and New Zealand too. International driving competitions among the sportsmen are growing exponentially. Recently the Florida Amateur Club hosted an international driving competition and as a result of those races earlier this year at Pompano Park an invitation was extended to a group of American amateurs to compete against their Italian counterparts in Naples, Italy on April 29, 30 and May 1. "Pierre Luigi D'Angelo, the owner of Angano, the racetrack in Naples, extended the invitation during the Isle of Capri International (amateur) Championship at Pompano," noted "Joltin' Joe Pennacchio, who has known D'Angelo for many years and has previously driven at Angano. "He (D'Angelo) said we should get a team of five drivers to compete against our (Italian) amateurs in a Friendship Competition on the weekend of April 29, 30 and May 1. D'Angelo told me that those dates hinge around Italy's greatest race, the $600,000 Gran Premio Lotteria, which will be contested on May 1. He promised us (the U. S. amateurs) that we will have one race on the card that day when the attending crowds will be monstrous." In all, the Friendship Competition will include four races with two contests on Friday, April 29 and one on Saturday, April 30. Even with a short advance notice, Pennacchio, a longtime sportsman and avid amateur reinsman, searched for available drivers and has come up with a very respectful team. Joining "Joltin' Joe" will be Steve "You're Never Too" Oldford, Dein "the Dream" Spriggs, Mike "the Mortgage Man" Mitchell and "Hurricane Hannah" Miller; all members of the C.K.G. Billings Series as well as members of other amateur driving clubs. For the record, Oldford (2013), and Ms. Miller (2015), are previous U.S. National Amateur Driver of the Year Award winners while Spriggs is a two-time recipient (2004 & 2005) .The members of the American team will wing their way to Italy early this week and prior to the competition they will be hosted and shown the wonder and the history of Naples and the surrounding area. "We're very excited about the upcoming Friendship Competition and a chance to enjoy greater Naples," said Steve Oldford, who has driven winners in previous European amateur competitions. "And maybe, just maybe, we, our team, will be able to win a race or two." Oldford promises to relay the happenings and the daily race results during the Friendship Competition. by John Manzi for the USA Amateur Drivers

On April 24 the turf trotting specialists were at Rambouillet, France contesting the Grand Prix de Trot de Rambouillet (purse €45,000, 2800 meters distance handicapo, 18 starters on the turf) with victory to 16/1 Verso de Crennes (7g Islero de Bellouet-Jet Set de Crennes) for driver Jeremy-Pascal Maillard and trainer Erno Szirmay. The 3/2 favorite Akido (6g Love You-Isba) was second for trainer/driver Franck Nivard for Ecurie Comte P de Montesson, carrying a 25 meter penalty. Two other 25 meter handicapped campaigners were third (Ulf du Noyer at 25/1 for Aymeric Thomas) and fourth (Un Poco Loco at  15/1 for Yann Gerard) with the 50 meter penalized Tagada Tagada (9f Meaulnes du Corta-Lambada Blue) fifth at 4/1 for Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Emmanuel Varin. On Saturday at Enghien (April 23) the Q+ Prix de la Ville d’Enghien (purse €72,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to 3/2 favorite Uza Josselyn (5f L’as de Viretaute-Heda) for Alexandre Abrivard, owner Yvan Bernard and trainer J-M Bazire timed in 1.13kr. Another Bazire trainee, the 2/1 Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier-Pika Josselyn) was second with Bazire driving for owner Mme. O. Roffi-Urano. Third was 77/1 Easytowin for Dion P. Tesselar and Gerrits Recycling Group and fourth was 34/1 Suricato Jet for Yoann Lorin. Fifth was 23/1 Barry Felin handled by Eric Raffin. Also on the Enghien card was the €60,000 purse Prix de la Ville de Saint Gratien over 2150 meters autostart. 13 European rivals were in this contest with the 1.12.7kr timed victory earned by 15/1 Plutonio (7m Self Possessed-Indra Bi) for Christophe Martens. The 64/1 Victoria Empress (7f Magnificent Rodney-Pay The Bill) was next home for owner/trainer/driver Ulf Nordin and third was 14/1 Radieux (6g Love You-Dordogne) with Dominik Locqueneux up for owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 28/1 Pingus Vang (by SJ’s Photo) and 71/1 Vasterbo Fantast (by Mr. Pine Chip) were the next pair across the line. Eliminations have been established for the May 1st Grand Premio Lotteria, the 67th edition and worth a total purse of €581,900. The Gr. I International UET Master Series event is contested over 1600 meters autostart, the eliminations, final and consolation. 67° G.P. LOTTERIA (GR1) Master du Trot Uet 2016  - € 581.900,00 -  1.600 meters BATTERIE Batteria A Batteria B Batteria C OLONA OK OASIS BI PACHA DEI GREPPI ORSIA PEACE OF MIND PIONEER GAR PASCIA’ LEST PRINCESS GRIF RADIOFRECCIA FI PROBO OP RAVENNA - DK RANIA LEST QUICK FIX RUM E COCA DAY RIBELLE OP SEATTLE BI SAVANNAH BI RUE VARENNE DANY STEVEN DEL RONCO SHARON GAR SAHARA FAIRYTALE SUGAR REY SUPERBO CAPAR VOLTIGEUR DE MYRT   by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

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