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March 2, 2017 - A superb afternoon harness racing program at Paris-Vincennes featured three groupe contests and began with the Quinte+ Prix Emile Allis Courboy (purse €82,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters)  and 62.1/1 Tallien (10g Extreme Aunou-Gykadelia) scored for owner/trainer/driver Herve Sionneau, clocked in 1.13.8kr. The winner surged home quickly after the 500 meters remaining time was 1.14.8kr. 16/1 Bolide Jenilou (6g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) was second for Anthony Barrier, and third went to 12/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (6m Magnificent Rodney-Nymphe du Dollar) for driver/trainer Sylvain Roger. Vacate Money (8f Prodigious) was fourth for Jean-Philippe Dubois and 133/1 Romanesque (7m Love You) was fifth for Christophe Martens. Heavily backed 7/10 odds Cash Gamble was a miscue dq when on the lead entering the lane.  The Gr. II monte Prix Ali Hawas (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to 1.16kr timed and 2.9/1 odds Evidence Roc (3f Paris Haufor-Misface du Boulay) for Mme. Emilie LeBeller. Bertrand LeBeller trains the winner for Ecurie d’Embeli. 1.7/1 favorite Elegante de Mont (3f Saxo de Vandel-Locovia) was second for jockey David Thomain and trainer Th. Gauchet, and third was earned by 7.4/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) ridden by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire.  The Gr. III Prix Vindex (purse €95,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to 1.14.4kr clocked and 8/1 odds Diablo du Noyer (4m Jasmin de Flore-Une et Indivisible), with William Bigeon driving for owner Cl. Guedj. Second was 16/1 Doria Desbois (4f In Love With You-Ivariez) for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer/owner Ch. Feyete. Third was 3.6/1 Dream Life (4f Royal Dream-Union Of My Life) for Jean-Philippe Dubois and Philippe Moulin trainer for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The Gr. II monte Prix Felcien Gavreau (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to the impressive ten length winner, and 1/5 favorite, Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. Philippe Allaire is owner/trainer of the undefeated colt, a five time winner for €158,850 in the brief career. 8.4/1 Eclat du Thure (3m Paris Haufor-Quintussue) was second for Matthieu Abrivard and 39/1 Electro Cadence (3m Kaisy Dream-Potuna Saint Andre) was home third for jockey Franck Nivard.   The Prix de Lorient (purse €65,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Cleangame (6g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) reined by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner J.M. Rancoule. 29/1 Candidat d’Ortage (5m Giant Cat-Rare d’Ortige) was next for trainer Franck Leblanc and Matthieu Abrivard driving. Third was 9/1 Coffee Look d’Eam (5g Look de Star-Nidra Pierji) for Anthony Barrier.  Yesterday action was at Enghien, and the Q+ was the Prix de Sedan (purse €55,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European starters). The quick 1.12.7kr timed winner, at the beginning of heavy rain, was 4/5 favorite Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) with Charles J. Bigeon up. The Christian Bigeon trainee is owned and was bred by Andrew Francis Bigeon and now has ten wins in 34 career starts for €239,660 earned. 25/1 Azaro D’eva (7f Lynx de Belouet-Lomolly) was second for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire and third was 28/1 Uranie du Glay (9f Hermes Pericard-Karine Picarde) with trainer Junior Guelpa the driver. The Enghien card also included the Prix de Lure (purse €80,000, 2875 meters, 12 European starters) and 16/1 Black d’Arjeanc (6g Prince d’Espace-Perle de Riviere) scored in 1.15.5kr over the sloppy surface with Mathieu Mottier driving for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Breizh d’Espace). 3/1 Ble du Gers (6g Quinda du Gers-Moorea) was next for trainer Guarato and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was 63/1 Staro Italy (6m Make It Happen-Irene Bi) trained by Vincent Martens and reined by Roberto Andreghetti. Thomas H. Hicks

January 29, 2017 - The exceptional, extraordinaire Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethu Rah Jet) scored a convincing harness racing victory in the 2017 Prix d’Amerique Opodo clocked in 1.11.2kr for Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski, Jean-Etienne Dubois bred Bold Eagle, now with €2,743,300 earned. Belina Josselyn (6f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) was a game second after gaining the lead late in the final bend for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Yvan Bernard. Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) rallied for third for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Daniel Reden and owner Goran Antonsen of Norway. Propulsion, Briac Dark, Call Me Keeper and Booster Winner were next to the line. Fractions were steady and quick over the 2700 meter distance for a purse of €1,000,000 (1.11.8kr at 1500 to go; 1.12kr at the 1000; 1.11.4kr with 500 meters remaining). Princess Grif, Timoko and Univers de Pan contested the early pace. The 1.11.2kr clocking today was a race record, lowering the 1.11.4kr record set by Bold Eagle last year, with only three winning times better than 1.12kr (the third Royal Dream 1.11.9kr when defeating Ready Cash) Opodo America Awards 2017: And two for Bold Eagle! Thomas H. Hicks

January 25, 2017 - Solid trotting action took place this day at Cagnes sur Mer and Hambourg. At Cagnes siur Mer the Prix Houston Laukko (purse €31,000, 2150 meters autostart, 13 starters) went to 1.13.3kr timed and 1.6/1 odds Bea Ecus (6f Quick Wood-Iffrida) with Markku Vartainen up, he is also the harness racing breeder/owner/trainer. 6.4/1 Calicot du Vivier (5g Repeat Love-Kalika du Viver) was second for owner/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois and Yves Boireau, trainer. Jean-Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 48.2/1 Bolide de la Cote (5g Quatre Juillet-Scarlet Pride) held third. 1.3/1 Douce Aventure (4f Sam Bourbon-New York) took the Prix Dollar de Meslay (purse €24,000, 2150 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.14.5kr. Breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron reined the winner. Another Sam Bourbon offspring won the Prix Tigre Royal (purse €24,000, 2150 meters autostart). The 1.13.3kr timed winner was 4/5 favorite Dixon Dark (4m Sam Bourbon-Queen des Charmes) owned byStall Rita and driven by Jorma Niskanen. The Quinte+ was at Cagnes sur Mer in the Prix Une de Mai (purse €55,000, 2925 meters, 14 starters). 3/5 favorite Baby Lou Max (6g Gazouillis-Kamaxie) scored victorious for Nicolas Mortagne ahead of 103.7/1 outsider Boss du Meleuc (6g Lucky Blue-Rafale du Meleuc) with owner/trainer Y-A Briand driving. Third was 117.2/1 Undici (9g Kaiser Soze-Jobeth) for trainer/driver David Bekaert. Race time was 1.13.8kr. Well respected Cash Hanover (5m Love You-Impasse) took the Preis de Hamburger 2016 Champions at Hambourg, Germany. Michael Nimczyk is trainer/driver for owner Ulrich Mommert and the winner was timed in 1.15.9kr over 2200 meters for a €7,000 purse. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 25, 2017 - The 2017 Prix d’Amerique Opodo (purse €1 million, 2700 meters) is fast approaching with 22 harness racing horses engaged, that will be narrowed to 18 tomorrow. It is expected that four (Orient Horse, Ursa Major, Trebol and Amiral Sacha) will not be in the final field and if true the following will be at the start: Treasure Kronos  Christoffer Eriksson Briac Dark - David Thomain Call Me Keeper - Pierre Vercruysse Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström Bélina Josselyn - Jean-Michel Bazire Lionel - Matthieu Abrivard Booster Winner - Eric Raffin Princess Grif - Roberto Andreghetti Anna Mix - Mathieu Mottier Bird Parker - Jean-Philippe Monclin Akim du Cap Vert - Franck Anne Wild Honey - Gabriele Gelormini Voltigeur de Myrt - Lorenzo Donati Oasis Bi - Johnny Takter Univers de Pan - Philippe Daugeard Tiégo d’Étang - Christian Bigeon Bold Eagle - Franck Nivard Timoko - Björn Goop Thursday (January 26) begins the Arqana Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale at Paris-Vincennes and Friday is the exceptional “Etalons Expo” that showcases breeding farms, stallion syndicates, equipment, feed products and even wine. The mixed sale smart catalog link follows and includes stallion shares, in foal mares, racing prospects and racehorses. http://www.arqana-trot.com/template/img/vente/smartcat/v143/3225ccdca6a5408f657eb80d32332a9bce0aebdc.jpg Be there for what is a fantastic weekend for worldwide trotting fans.  Thomas H. Hicks  

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 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 10, 2017 - Tuesday’s Quinte+ Prix du Limousin (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) was at Paris-Vincennes and was won by 6.6/1 Viking Madrik (8g Jasmin de Flore-Keltry d’Occagnes) timed in 1.15.2kr for Gabriel Gelormini, driving for harness racing owner/trainer Yannick-Alain Briand). 1.8/1 Ange de Lune (7g Laetenter Diem-Kera Elle) landed the second spot for owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard. 10.7/1 Alf de Melandre (7g Panache de l’Hon-Luciole de Bisoir) and driver Franck Nivard. The same day 4/5 favorite Class Action (5f Scipion du Goutier-Nepeta) and reinsman J-M Bazire took the Prix de Ribeauville (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) timed in 1.14.7kr. Ch. Dreaux is owner/trainer of the winner that defeated 10.6/1 Circe Le Chesnaie (5f Repeat Love-Gitance de Billeron) handled by Genny Delaune for trainer Sebastian Guarato and Scuderia Bivans SRL. 52.6/1 Coral Sea (5f Niky-Quest For Love) and Alexandre Abrivard was third for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Prior day (Monday) at Paris-Vincennes provided several interesting winners. The Prix d’Etrepagny (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) was won by 1.13.7kr timed, 3.4/1 odds, barefoot, Corenzo Turbo (5m Ganymede-Poesie de Vigne) with J-M Bazire. 9/2 Clever Lymm (5m Korean-Oquidia) and reinsman Franck Nivard was second. The top two finishers are trained by Ph. Billard. 1.1/1 favorite Cleangame (5g Ouragan de Celland-Red Bull) was third for Eric Raffin. In the €85,000 purse Prix de Villedieu (monte, 2700 meters, eight starters) the 1.2/1 Broardo (6g Niky-Proadayna) was victorious timed in 1.15.3kr for jockey Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Vincent Martens and Ecurie Olmenhof. Later in the program the 4/5 favorite Detroit Castelets (4m Neoh Jiel-Rosanna Bonheur) scored victorious for Franck Ouvrie, trainer J.L. Dersoir and Ecurie Luck. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 9, 2017 - 2.7/1 Voice Dream (8f Love You-Lovely de Paris), with J-M Bazire driving, took today’s harness racing Quinte+ Prix de l’Aveyron (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Timed in 1.15.3kr, the winner, trained by Ph. Billard for owner/breeder David Berchetrit, bested 4.9/1 Vahine de Felliere (8f Jasmin de Flore-Orista Jet) with Antoine Wiels the pilot for owner/trainer J-P Marmion. 6.6/1 Azela des Pleignes was third. The Prix Christelle Zimmer (monte, purse €88,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters with apprentice jockeys) went to 1.14.6kr timed and 14.4/1 odds Ulster Perrine (9m Tenor de Baune-Nana Perrine) for jockey Mme. Charlene Callico and trainer J-M Baudouin. 18.2/1 Vaisseau (8g Le Retour-Nausicaa Sautanne) took second for Gael Gervais, ahead of 12.9/1 Utwo En Live (9g Milord Drill-Eau Proide) with Antoine Dabouis up. 40 trotters have been engaged for Sunday’s Prix de Belgique (Gr. II, purse €120,000), a path to the Prix d’Amerique. This group includes Traders, Call Me Keeper, Charly du Noyer, Propulson, Trebol, Beline Josselyn, Lionel, Bird Parker, Wild Honey, Oasis Bi, Univers de Pan and Up And Quick. Thomas H. Hicks

After battling the now age-retired Scarlet Turgot, the superb harness racing six year-olds Bellissima France (6f Blue Dream-Quanta Rosa Sun) and Bilibili (6m Niky-Quetty du Donjon) battled to line in the Gr. II Prix du Calvados (purse €150,000, 2850 meters) at Vincennes. Both were away toward the end early with Bilibili outside of Bellissima, before Bilibil and Alexandre Abrivard (trainer L.Cl. Abrivard, owner Jean Pierre Barjon) zoomed to the front around the final bend and jetted off to what looked like an insurmountable lead. Bellissima France (driver Matthieu Abrivard, also trainer, owner LD-M Abrivard) escaped her position locked on the pylons and worked toward the top pack, then darted toward the inside and drove past Bilibili on the line. She was clocked in 1.13.6kr off rated fractions (1.14.5kr at the 1500 to go mark; 1.14.1kr with 1000 remaining; 1.13.9kr at the 500) and raised her career earnings to €643,330. Bilibili now has earned €590,800.  Bellissima France was off at 1.3/1 and Bilibili at 2.6/1. 8/1 Attentionally (7f Jasmin de Flore-Intentionally) was third for David Thomain and owner/trainer Paul Viel Bellissima France The undercard’s Prix Scarlet Turgot (Crack Series Six Year Olds) went to the 1.14.3kr timed Carabinieri (6m Wellino Boko-Dew Princess) reined by Johan Untersteiner for AB Ybena of SWE and trainer Peter Untersteiner, at 2.6/1 odds. Second was 8.9/1 Scellino Luis (6g Andover Hall-Susy Trio) with Matthieu Abrivard driving for trainer Daniel Reden and Lekeryd AB, also of SWE. King Sir Kir (6m Make It Happen-Kings Blondie) landed third at 5.3/1 for J-M Bazire and Sweden’s Ecurie I.C. Equine AB. Italy’s Super Fez (6m Love You-Lucia FI) was fourth for Gabriel Gelormini ahead of Bel Auteur (6m Password-Possession) with Jean Philippe Dubois up. The Bigeon family stable shined toward program end. Costa Haufor (5f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) took the Prix de Talence (purse €39,000, 2850 meters) at 7.4/1 for Charles Julien Bigeon at the lines for trainer/owner Christian Bigeon. Cybele des Peria (5f Quaker Jet-Miss du Boisnant) took second for Franck Nivard ahead of Comete cdes Vaux (5f Singalo-Queen Marie Vaux) and Yoann Lebourgeois. A race later Ch. J and trainer Christian returned another winner in the Prix Salon de Provence (purse €58,000, 2100 meters autostart) with Aufor de Mire (7g Notre Haufor-Hilda Dix) clocked in 1.13.1kr. A.F. Bigeon owns this one. Auch (7g Niky-Migraine) at 4.4/1 was second for the same connections, Christian Bigeon as driver/trainer/owner. Both of these now have career earnings in excess of €215,000. Third was 21/1 After River (7f Quaker Jet-Ogusa de la Merite) driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Sebastian Guarato. Thomas H. Hicks

January 8, 2017 - 17.1/1 Doberman (4m Prodigious-Quietude Mesloise) trained and reined by Franck Nivard, for owner Richard Cohen, won the €120,000, 2175 meters, Prix Crack Series 2016 for harness racing three-year-olds in a blanket finish. The winner now has €254,230 in career earnings. 5.3/1 Diego du Guelier (4m Kepler-Ophelie la Garenne) was a head back in second for Mathieu Mottier driving for owner/trainer Denise Mottier. Third was Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 6.6/1 for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Louis Baudron. The most favored Django Riff (4m Ready Cash) was fifth at 1.1/1 odds and Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel) ended fourth at 4.3/1, both of these trainer by Philippe Allaire. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix-Cracks des Cracks 2016 for a purse of €88,000 over 2100 meters autostart. The impressive winner was 1.2/1 Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper), trained by Daniel Reden for Stall Zet, and reined by Pierre Vercruysse. Fractions were steady with the finish in 1.11.5kr (1.09.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.10.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.7kr with 500 remaining). The winning pair reached the front at the halfway point and easily handled this field to score for the 10th time, now with career earnings of €476,890. Arazi Boko (10g Varenne-Laura Kemp) at 5.1/1 was second for driver J-M Bazire and 9/1 Beau Gamin (6m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) landed third for Eric Raffin. Akido (7g Love You) and Orient Horse (9m Abano As) took the fourth and fifth spots. Thomas H. Hicks

The featured Gr. II Prix Leon Tacquet at Vincennes (monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters) was won by 4/1 Canadien d’Am (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) with Mathieu Mottier in the irons for harness racing trainer Franck Leblanc, timed in 1.12.3kr off even fractions (1.12kr with 1500 to go; 1.11.7kr at the 1000; 1.12.3kr with 500 remaining). Second was 10/1 Candela (5f First de Retz-Ofara) with Antoine Lherete up for breeder/owner/trainer Paul Viel. Third was 3.3/1 Celina Polka (5f Kool du Caux-La Canella) for Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute. The monte Prix de Sully (purse €70,000, 2175 meters) went to 2.9/1 Alto du Lys (7g Magnificent Rodney-Hi Fi d’Eronville) timed in a quick 1.12.03kr (fractions 1.09.2kr at 1500 remaining ; 1.10.5kr at the 1000 ; 1.11.9kr with 500 to go). Clement Frecelle rode the winning J.L. Bigeon trainee. 2/1 Aqiitaned’Aron (7f Neutron du Cebe-Miss d’Iquaine) was second for Damien Bonne and the 8.5/1 Vamp Gede (8f Capriccio-Feerie Gede) was third for jockey Joann Lebourgeois. Dream Gold (4m Royal Dream-Simplicity) took the Prix de Gontaud (purse €37,000, 2700 meters) clocked in 1.15.7kr with a fast final 500. The 7/2 odds winner was teamed by Julien Dubois for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Dexter des Baux (4g Querido des Baux-Perle des Baux) rallied to besecond for trainer Franck Leblanc and reinsman Franck Nivard. 5.2/1 Defi Dream (4m Royal Dream-Quelea MIP) was third for Jean Michel Bazire. Un Nuage de Betton (9g New Aldo-Haloona de Betton) at 20.3/1 odds captured the Quinte+ Prix de Breteuil (purse €55,000, 2100 meters autostart, 17 starters) at Vincennes. William Bigeon teamed the winner clocked in a sharp 1.12.1kr, a horse that is owned/trained and was bred by Jean Luc Bigeon. 11.1/1 Uhendo Rivelliere (9g Nil du Rib-Nana Montbrun) took second in a blanket finish for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard, and third was 2.4/1 Ufelo de Carentone (9g Kiwi-Maeva d’Harcouel) that Franck Nivard reined for J.G. Van Eeckhaute. 36/1 Thesee de Corbery was fourth and fifth was 21.4/1 Vivaldi d’Amboise. Baila Sport at 15.7/1 took the Prix de Maisons-Alfort (purse €66,000, 2850 meters, 14 European starters). The six year-old daughter of Jag de Bellouet-Koea Josselyn was teamed by Matthieu Abrivard for owner/trainer Jacques Leloutre. 14.4/1 Easytowin (6f Offshore Dream-Victory My Way) and trainer/driver Dion P. Tesselaar took second for owner Gerrits Recycling BV of Holland. 5.5/1 Barbue (6f Hernes du Bisson-Harengere) was third for driver/trainer/owner Karl Champenois. Pierre Levesque reined Blue Story to a fourth place finish. The winner was clocked in 1.15.2kr. The Prix de Chateaugiron (purse €39,000, 250 meters, 15 starters) went to 5/10 favorite Cash And Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) in rein to Franck Nivard for trainer Sebastian Guarato. This brother to Bold Eagle is owned by Pierre Pilarski and was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois. 8.7/1 Crack de la Brosse (5g Hibiscus du Rib-Katia de la Brosse) rallied for second driven by trainer Matthieu Abrivard and 7.6/1 Chef Dairpet (5g Severino-Prunella du Pre) was third for owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. Race time was 1.15.2kr. Action also took place at Cagnes sur Mer this day and the Prix Ideal du Gazeau (purse €17,000, 2150 meters autostart) for three year-olds went to 1.16.9kr timed and 7.3/1 odds Elstar (3m Look de Star-Liste d’Atout). Trainer Marco Smorgon was at the lines for owner Scuderia Trotto Italia SAS. 7.8/1 Elite Darling (3f Sam Bourbon-Lets Go Darling) was second for owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois and trainer Yves Boireau. Third was 19/1 Easy Going (3g Very Pleasant-Urkane JAB). At Romme SWE the day’s V75 action was led by the V75 Gold for 150,000SEK first money raced over 2640 meters autostart. The winner was veteran class-master On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) at 1.02/1 for driver Johnny Takter and trainer Hans R. Stromberg. Timed in 1.14.2kr the “Pirate” now has a slate of 32-21-12 in 100 career starts for 13,649,710SEK earned. 8/1 Usain Henna (7m Super Light-Kassandra Kuron-Gidde Palema) was second fore Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Oskar Svanberg. Third was 46/1 Fly The World (7f Juliano Star-Nigh Mare E-Ride The Night) with Ulf Eriksson driving for trainer Bjorn Rocklinger. At Bologna Italy on January 6 was the Grand Premio Della Vittoria for €25,300 and raced over 2460 meters. The 1.15.6kr winner was veteran Oncle Photo VL (9g SJ’sPhoto-Balalaica SLM-Lemon Dra) for Fed. Esposito, his 29th career victory in 105 starts. Second was Rorimac Baba (7m Frisky Bieffe-Zucca di Casei-Lemon Dra) handled by Gior. d’Allessandro Jr. Third went to Thetis Moon (5f Idale Luis-Fairy Mabel-Crowning Classic) for driver Roberto Vecchione. Sunday action again showcases top trotting and family entertainment. Next weekend at Paris-Vincennes includes the fourth “B” Prix de Belgique, a Gr. II International event raced over 2850 meters for €120,000. The top three finishers earn a Prix d’Amerique invitation. On January 14-15 there are seven groupe level trots. Thomas H. Hicks

January 6, 2016 - Friday’s harness racing action was at Cagnes sur Mer headed by the Prix de la d’Argent (monte, purse €32,000, 2825 meters, 12 starters). The 1.14.7kr timed open-lengths winner was 5.2/1 Veritable Crack (8g Little Crack-Narvale Somolli) ridden by F. Desmigneaux for trainer Vincent Martens. Second was 2/1 Verdi de Carrelis (8g Nahar de Beval-Mine de Tillard) with R. leCreps up. Third was 38/1 Volnico la Vallee (8g Le Retoru-Nora du Cadran) handled by R. Thonnerieu. The Prix Jain de Beval (purse €26,000, 2925 meters, 15 starters) went to 6.8/1 odds, 1.16.4kr timed, Urion de Piervive (9g Chaillot-Nestoria Marceaux) reined by trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. Second was 2.7/1 Arthus Mijoro (7g Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-KJoline Jamas) with Christophe Martens up for trainer Vincent Martens. 70.2/1 Voici de Lahaye (8g Meaulnes du Corta-Pearl du Boscail) was third for J.Ch. Feron, also the trainer. Cagnes sur Mer races trot and gallop during the spring season, often in conjunction with Paris-Vincennes, where the races of the two venues are off every 15 minutes on the simulcasting networks. Shortly after completion of the FR Triple Crown (Amerique, Paris and France) the spectacular Cagnes sur Mer hosts groupe international mile distance classic. Thomas H. Hicks

Two year-olds harness racing colts contested the Gr. II Prix Ourasi (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) Friday evening with 6.2/1 Eridan (2m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout-Coktail Jet) posting an impressive 1.15.7kr timed victory. David Thomain teamed the Sebastian Guarato trainee that is owned by Ph. Dewulf. The winner’s dam was a career winner of €179.541 with a 1.12.7kr record. The 4/5 favorite Everest Vedaquais was a dq. Finishing second was 17/1 Everest de Ginai (2m Love You-Nymphe de Ginai) handled by Gabriel Gelormini for trainer Philippe Allaire and Finland owner Reima Kuisla OY. Third was Eros du Chene (2m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova) for Franck Nivard. The evening’s Quinte+ Prix Hilda (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to 1.15.7kr timed and 4.8/1 odds Aurore de Chloee (6f Islero de Bellouet-Loisiane de Nacre). Anthony Barrier piloted this winner for trainer Emmanuel Varin inn defeat of 85/1 Ariane du Nil (6f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Melby du Lin) with Maxime Bezier the trainer/driver. 4.9/1 Azela des Plaignes (6f Lilium Madrik-Ibiza des Plaignes) was third in a photo for trainer/driver Denis Brossard, also trainer. Secret Boy (8g Allison Hollow-Sugarcanes Riviera) took tonight’s Winter Cup at Wolvega (purse €6,960, 2100 meters autostart, 8 starters) timed in 1.15kr at 5/1 for Dion P. Tesselaar.  The 9/10 favorite Olympic Kronos (8g Viking Kronos-Ebony Kronos) was second for Joseph Verbeeck and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Third was 29/1 Radamante (6g Ganymede-Tenderembrace) Thomas H. Hicks  

December 1, 2016 - 1.2/1 favorite Daida de Vandel (3f Real de Lou-Gallia de Vandel) held off two others to secure victory in the harness racing Gr. III monte Prix Urgent (purse €90,000, 2700 meters, 8 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Alexandre Abrivard reined the winner for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and owner Ch. Germain. 23/1 Dino de Jilme (3g Orsy Dream-Une du Maine) was a close second for P.Y. Verva and 9/1 Dragon d’Avril (3m Thorens Vedaquais-Sirene d’Avril) landed third for jockey Adrien s’Avril and owner/trainer Sebastian Houyrey. The winner was clocked in 1.16.5kr off even fractions. The Gr. II monte Prix Paul Buquet (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters) for upper class trotters went to 7.7/1` Veloce du Banney (7g Quaro-Java du Banney) and jockey Franck Nivard. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Ecurie du Grand Buisson. 2.9/1 Nene’Degli Dei (9g Uconn Roc-Maureen Lobell) from Italy was a close second for Alexandre Abrivard, and trainer Vincent Lacroix. 12/1 Texas de l’Iton (9g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Iliadra de l’Iton) took third for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Hughes Levesque, ahead of 4/1 Tornade du Digeon (9f Jag de Bellouet-Herlane du Terme) with Eric Raffin up for trainer J-M Bazire. 1.9/1 The Tiger (9g Nelson de Vandel-Notre Dame Bourbon) was fifth for Damien Bonne and owner/trainer Benjamin Goetz. Time for the winner was 1.14.5kr. Veloce du BanneyThe Prix d’Angles (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 9 starters) went to 51/1 Douceur de Vivre (3f Rocklyn-Resless) that rallied between rivals to win for breeder/driver Jean-Philippe Dubois. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 5.4/1 Diamond Crown (3f Repeat Love-Ma Crown) was second for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Sebastian Guarato, owner Lady O’Reilly and breeder Ecurie D. 6.1/1 Doria Desbois (3f In Love With You-Ivaniez) was third Action returns to Vincennes tomorrow with the Gr. III Prix Ourasi for two year olds. Everest Vedaquais is the likely favorite. On Saturday three groupe events highlight the program along with the eighth edition of the Prix des Rencontres Internationale. Sunday’s program include five groupe contests headed by the €150,000 purse Grand National du Trot Finale. Swedishman, Val Royale and Ultimate du Rib are in the Gr. II field that will battle over 2850 meters. Thomas H. Hicks    

November 20, 2016 - Venkatesh (7m Varenne-Honey Face) stormed home in the four wide path to win the harness racing Prix de Cosse Le Vivien (purse €75,000, 2100 meters, 15 European starters) at Vincennes. The Lutfi Kolgjini trainee was driven by Pierre Vercruysse for Sweden’s Stall Venkatesh. The 21.1/1 odds winner was timed in 1.11.8kr off quick fractions (1.07.6kr at 1500 to go, 1.10.9 at the 1000; 1.12kr at 500 remaining. Even-money favorite Reckless (6m Ready Cash-Haver) held for second the photo finish with Bjorn Goop aboard, also trainer/owner. Ulexa des Plans (8f Jag de Bellouet-Lola Dessuti) was third for pilot Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Philippe Deaugeard. Thomas H. Hicks

November 20, 2016 - Harness racing favorite Cash Gamble (5m Ready Cash-No Way Back) rallied from close to the pace to secure victory in the Prix de Bossy Saint Leger (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) at Vincennes. Timed in 1.11.6kr off quick fractions (1.06.7kr at 1500 meters remaining, 1.10.1kr at the 1000 ; 1.12.5kr at 500), the Fabrice Souloy trainee is owned by Norway’s Stall TJ Gamble. 2.3/1 Carat Williams (4m Prodigious-Miss Williams) was second for David Thomain, driving for trainer Sebastian Guarato, and 146/1 Cliff du Pommereux (4m Love You-Noune du Pommereux) was third for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger. Thomas H. Hicks    

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