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July 7, 2019 - Valko Jenilat (10m Kepler-Perle du Roc) took today’s 2nd leg of the harness racing Challenge du Trot Grand Vitesse (the Gr. II Prix de la Communaute de Communes Thierache du Centre) at La Capelle clocked in 1.10.5kr and reined by Paul Philippe Ploquin. Sebastien Guarato trains the veteran campaigner for owner Guy Chaumont. Valko now has 22 career wins in 102 starts for 1,258,415€ in  life earnings. He was off at 54/1 odds and rallied late to defeat 6/10 favorite Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib) with owner/trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard. Aubrion was parked from the start in a death match with Bold Eagle. 18/1 Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore) rallied from the pocket for third driven by Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Guarato, just missing second. The 1.3/1 second choice, Bold Eagle (8m Ready Cash), gave way late for fourth with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Guarato. To watch a replay click here. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 6, 2019 - The 9/10 favorite Jerry Mom (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) continued his improvement as this full-brother to Traders scored in today’s Enghien harness racing featured Quinte+ Prix de la Manche (purse 80,000€, 2875 meters, 14 European starters) clocked in 1.13.2kr. Pierre Vercruysse teamed the Luc Roelens trainee that is owned by JPB Building BVBA, to his fifth career win in 28 starts in France. His slate for the last eight starts is an impressive 4-3-1 and his life earnings have reached 332,446€. 5.2/1 Cerenzo Turbo (7m Ganymede) was second for Franck Nivard, with 15/1 Colorado Blue (7g Que Je T’Aime) third with Francois Lagadeuc the pilot. 12/1 Bachar and 10/1 Cocktail Julino completed the top five finishers. The Q+ exact order payoff was 744.00€ to 1405 recipients. The Q+ pool was 3,996,436 and 8,547,000€ was wagered on this race. On the undercard was the Gr. III Prix de Berlin (purse 70,000€, 2875 meters, 13 European starters) and 28/1 Godfather (3m Village Mystic-Horsaca) scored a narrow victory with trainer Louis Baudron teaming for owner Mauricette De Sousa. The winner recorded his third win in 13 career starts. Godfather 78/1 Guerner Royal (3m Very Nice Marceaux) and 12/1 Grand Art (3m Prodigious) completed the top three as the 9/10 favorite Aramis Bar was a dq. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 6, 2019 - It was a JMB harness racing sweep today at Vichy in the Grand Prix du Conseil Municipal (Gr. II, purse 90,000€, 2950 meters, 10 International starters). Jean Michel Bazire won the race for the sixth time starting in 2010 (Aubrion du Gers won the 2017-18 editions) and his trainees finished 1-2-3 with son Nicolas Bazire catch driving the fourth-place finisher. The 6/10 favorite Cleangame (7g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) scored with Jean Michel Bazire aboard for owner J-M Rancoule, his 25th victory in 40 career starts now for 865,970€ in life earnings. Cleangame now has posted six wins in seven 2019 starts with a second-place finish. Race time was 1.14.4kr. 4.4/1 Ble de Gers (8g Quinoa de Gers) was second for Alexandre Abrivard, teaming for the Bazire-Rancoule team. Third was another JMB trainee, 4.1/1 Valokaja Hindo (8m Great Challenger), with Christophe Martens up. Nicolas Bazire teamed 22/1 Cicero Noa (7g Mandarino Blue) to a fourth-place finish for breeder/owner/trainer Jan Van Houcke. 27/1 Balbir (8g Ganymede) took fifth money with trainer Mickael Cormy at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 30, 2019 - Sunday’s 9th leg of the Trophee Vert series was the harness racing Grand Prix BVS held at Sable-Sur-Sarthe. 18 trotteurs contested this 2800 meter distance handicap events for a total purse of 45,000€. The 1.16.8kr timed victory went to Derby du Dollar (6m Rodrigo Jet-Magalie du Dollar) that overcame a 25 meter handicap teamed by Matthieu Abrivard. Sylvain Roger trains the eight time career winner in 35 starts for owner Thierry Coupireau. His career earnings advanced to 233,070€. Baladin Hongrois (8g Bon Conseil) overcame a 50 meter handicap to be second for trainer/driver Arnaud Desmottes. Berry Felin (8m Nahar de Beval) was third for Gilles Delacour, this one handicapped 25 meters. Braquo, Ali de Saint Marc, Citizen Kane and Absolut Perfect completed the top seven and earned checks. Click on this link for Replay The next leg of the Trophee Vert is July 14 at Royan-la-Palmyre. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 29, 2019 - Today’s Enghien harness racing action featured the Quinte+ Prix du Roussillon (purse 48,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 15 European starters). Conrad Lugauer was back in the winner’s circle with his trainee winner, 28/1 Calvin Borel (9g Super Photo Kosmos-Ulrika Furan), a horse he also owns, timed in 1.12.4kr. Lugauer won yesterday at Vincennes with Norton Commander. Calvin Borel now has life earnings of 249,476€. 3/1 Calou Renardiere (7g Lets Go Along) took second for Eric Raffin and 7.4/1 Crescendis (7f Querido de Blary) was home third with J.F. Senet the trainer/driver. 21/1 Vasterbo Grosbois and 18/1 Beloit Royal completed the top five. That set up an exact order Q+ payoff of 74,782.40€ for seven winning 2€ ticket holders. The Q+ pool today was 3,848,175€ and the total wagered on the race exceeded 8,172,000€. On the card was also the Prix de l’Observatoire (purse 52,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 11 European starters) that drew a fine field. The quick timed 1.10.9kr winner was 2.8/1 Violetto Jet (5m From Above-Nocciolara Jet) with Franck Nivard the pilot for trainer Philippe Billard. Violetto Jet The 23,400€ first money improved the winner’s career earnings to 141,492€. The 1.6/1 favorite Ghazi BR (5m Cantab Hall-Fiery Chip) was second with trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard. 10/1 Docteur d’Erable (6g Ganymede) was third for David Thomain ahead of 3.6/1 Hambo Transs R (5g Love You) and 19/1 Ursa Caf (6m Toss Out). Thomas H. Hicks  

June 21, 2019 - Top flight harness racing trotting action takes place today through Sunday at Paris-Vincennes. There are seven groupe level races and the Prix de Grosbois with many of Europe’s better horses on stage. Today was the monte Prix Xavier de Saint Palais, a Gr. II event for five year olds, worth a  100,000€ purse and raced over 2175 meters. This one had 3.6/1 Et Voila de Muze (5m Royal Dream-Noloaila) score timed in a sharp 1.10.9kr with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Union Stable. The winner won for the 15th time in 27 career starts now for 212,276€ in life earnings. 7/1 Exotica de Retz (5f Prodigious) was second for jockey Mme. D. Beaufils-Ernault, trainer Sebastien Ernault and Ecurie des Charmes. Far back in third was 1.3/1 Evangelina Blue (5f Speedy Blue) for Mathieu Mottier. Et Voila de Muze Today’s card also included the Quinte+ Prix Clementine (purse 45,000€, 2850 meters, 14 European starters). The 1.14kr timed winner was 3/5 favorite Bandit Brick (6m Yankee Glide-Blazing Kemp) trained and reined by Jean Michel Bazire. Stald Pimax of Denmark owns the handsome and great gaited winner that scored for the first time in France and raised his career earnings to 114,292€. 6.4/1 Dimoko de Jamac (6g Timoko) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up and 86/1 Ulberto (6m Broadway Hall) took third with Pierre Vercruysse aboard. 26/1 Constantina Magic and 36/1 Dayan Winner completed the top five and set up an exact order Q+ payoff of 12,946.60€ for the 2€ wager. Bandit Brick The Q+ pool this day was 3,699,807€ and the total wagering pools on this race exceeded 7,582,000€ Sunday there are six groupe contests at Vincennes, as summarized below along with expected favorites: Gr. III Prix Raymond Fouard (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, European starters led by Foxtrot Sea and Zucchino Roc) Gr. I Prix d’Escai (monte, purse 170,000€, 2175 meters, three year olds) with Gala Tejy a likely favorite Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere (purse 170,000€, 2100 meters autostart, International) with champions Bold Eagle, Dijon and Looking Superb in the lineup Gr. I monte Prix du President de la Republique (purse 200,000€, 2850 meters. Four year olds) with Freeman de Houelle a probable favorite Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (purse 170,000€, 2700 meters, three year olds) with a good field led by Good Boy Ligneries at the start Gr. III Prix de Grasse (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, European starters) with Germany’s Portland and Jean Pierre Dubois’ Classic Connection in the field Prix Bertrand Deloison (purse 75,000€, 2850 meters, European starters), also labeled the Prix de Groisbois, with Nancy America, Jerry Mom and Defi de Retz in the lineup Earlier in the week (June 18) was the Arqana Trot Mixed Sale at the Hippodrome de Cabourg. 90 head were presented for sale with 59 sold, averaging 12,390€ compared to 12,921€ a year ago. The two sale leaders were acquired by Christian LeBarbey (ITS) led by hip #85 Get Up Smart (2016 f Ready Cash-Una Bella Fier-Love You) in foal to Muscle Hill. Get Up Smart The runner-up was hip #84 Flower Power (2015 f Love You-Ornella Rainbow-Extreme Dream) that sold in foal to Bird Parker. Pedigree follows, a fine maternal family. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 15, 2019 - Best Of Bourbon (8g Ready Cash-Herba Bourbon) took the Enghien monte featured Prix de la Place Belard (purse 48,000€, 2875 meters distance handicap, 13 monte starters) with another start to finish harness racing score timed in 1.13.5kr (1:58.26 mile rate). Melle Mathilde Collet was the jockey for trainer Vincent Jarry and Ecurie Nice Nasach. He won for the 10th time in a 53 race career to increase life earnings to 153,290€. Off as the 1.6/1 favorite Best Of Bourbon bested 3.6/1 Atout du Hainaut (9g Gazouillis) with Eric Raffin in the irons and 5/1 Barack (8g Ludo de Castelle) with Alexandre Abrivard up. 19/1 Bettina de Tillard and 10/1 Byrh Gede completed the top five in this 1.79 mile event. Best Of Bourbon Thomas H. Hicks  

Three year old harness racing fillies contested the Prix Eunyke (purse 47,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) on Tuesday at Paris-Vincennes. The 2.7/1 second wagering choice Giuletta Jet (3f Rolling d’Heripre-Ulla Jet) scored timed in 1.14.4kr with Franck Nivard up. Jarmo Niskanen trains the winner that was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois. It was her third triumph in seven career starts. 2.3/1 Gondole de Blary (3f Sam Bourbon) was a close second with Yoann Lebourgeois the pilot for owner/trainer Sebastien Guarato. 14/1 Geisha d’Em (3f Kiwi) was third for Tony LeBeller and trainer J.P. Allix.   Thomas H. Hicks

June 15, 2019 - Classic Connection (5m Love You-Crys Dream) rallied off cover for Jean Philippe Dubois to win today’s Enghien featured Prix New York (purse 75,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 14 European starters), the harness racing Quinte+ race of the day. Yves Boireau trains the winner for owner/breeder Jean Pierre Dubois as 12/1 Classic Connection won for the third time in 16 starts in France to raise his career earnings to 210,620€. His dam was an exceptional Grand Circuit winner in the US, Race time today was 1.10.9kr off steady fractions. Classic Connection was away from post 12 and secured a pegs position third before moving to the second tier with cover. He surged to a third tier position at top of stretch, gained and held advantage to the line. 6.4/1 Clarck Sotho (7g Oiseau de Feux) held third for Guillaume Martin. 9/1 Cicero Noa and 7.9/1 Viking d’Hermes completed the top five and set up a Quinte+ exact order payoff of 22,097.20€ that 29 winning ticketholders enjoyed. The Q+ pool was 4,100,259€ and the total pools for the Prix New York exceeded 8,802,000€. Classic Connection The undercard’s Prix de la Porte de la Plaine (purse 56,000€, 2875 meters, 16 European starters) was a competitive affair that went to 2.8/1 Lover Boy (4m Conway Hall-Merlot DK) timed in 1.13.2kr and reined by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Yves Desmet and owner Ecurie DSM Trotting. He won for the first time in France and increased his career earnings to 84,390€. The 3.7/1 odds City Guide (4m Love You-Crys Dream) took second with Pierre Vercruysse the pilot for trainer Erwin Bot and owner Gerrits Recycling BV. This brother to Classic Connection has recorded five wins in his last seven starts including today. 3.2/1 Emilion (4m Sam Bourbon-Emily de Jesolo) was third for Michael Nimczyk. Lover Boy Thomas H. Hicks  

June 5, 2019 - The sixth leg of the harness racing Gr.I Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (purse 85,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) was held Wednesday at Laval. This race was also the Quinte+ race of the day.  The 1.9/1 odds second choice Calaska de Guez (7f Pomerol de Laumac-Miss de Guez) scored for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and owner Ecurie Vautors. This was the winner’s 17th career victory now for life earnings of 298,100€. The 1.8/1 favorite Dream de Lasserie (6g Orlando Vici) was second for owner Ecurie Daidou and reinsman Romain Derieux. 20/1 Candidat d’Ortige (7m Giant Cat) was third for Kevin Leblanc. The top five was completed by 7.81 Colorado Blue and 22/1 Azaro d’Eva and that set up an exact order payoff of 2,127.00€ to 326 winning ticket holders. The Q+ pool was 3,389,893€ and the total race handle (all wagers) exceeded 7,711,000€. The next GNT leg will be June 19 at Reims. Thomas H. Hicks  

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

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

May 15, 2019 - Gala Tejy (3m Atlas de Joudes-Aurore des Charmes) took today’s Gr. I monte Saint Leger des Trotteurs at Caen (purse 120,000€, 2450 meters, 11 starters) with P.Ph. Ploquin in the irons for Ecurie Chalon and harness racing trainer Ch. Chalon. The 1.14kr timed winner won for the third time in 11 career starts and increased his life earnings to 177,140€. This 2/1 favorite was narrow winner over 5.1/1 Gospel Pat (3m Uriel Speed-Namorosa) with David Thomain up for trainer Philippe Allaire. Garibaldi (3m Love You-Venitienne) was third. On the same card the Q+ Prix Georges Dreux (purse 37,000€, 2450 meters, 15 European starters) went to 1.13.9kr timed and 22/1 odds Aron The Baron (7g Vasterbo Prestige) with David Thomain up for trainer Tomas Malmqvist and Stall Panamera Racing. The now winner of 201,500€ defeated 1.2/1 favorite Super Nice (5m Orlando Vici) handled by Bjorn Goop and 11/1 Belle Louise Mabon (8f Derby du Gite) with Yves Dreux aboard. 23/1 Barry Felin and 31/1 Caviar du Vivier completed the exact order top five that paid 42,733.60€ to the nine winning 2€ tickets. The Quinte+ pool was 3,073,840€ and the total of all wagering pools on this race exceeded 6,556,000€ Aron The Baron Earlier the four-year olds contested the Prix de la Ville de Caen (purse 21,000€, 2200 meters autostart, 18 starters) with the 1.15.7kr timed victory earned by 1.8/1 Fidelity (4f Prodigious-Rapide Aventure) with Jean Philippe Dubois at the lines for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. The now four-time winner bested 42/1 Fils Prodigue (4g Love You-Rouge Terre) with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. Third home was 18/1 Figaro Vici (4m Village Mystic) with trainer Jorgen Westholm the pilot. Fidelity Thomas H. Hicks  

Three groupe level events highlighted today’s Paris-Vincennes program, one being the Quinte+ race of the day.   The first was the monte Prix Guillaume de Bellaigue (Gr. III, purse 90,000€, 2700 meters, nine starters) and veteran monte performer Arlington Dream (9g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) was at his best with a start to finish victory timed in 1.12.2kr.   Yoann Lebourgeois was in the irons and rated the winner exceptionally well for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederik Sauque. Arlington Dream won for 22nd time in his 75-race career to raise his life earnings to 1,107,600€. He was off as the 9/2 third wagering choice.   The 3/5 odds favorite Clegs des Champs (7g Legs du Clos) was second with David Thomain the jockey for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. Third was 18/1 Bohemian Rhapsody (8f Niky) handled by Camille Levesque for breeder/owner Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque. The 3.1/1 second choice Carly was a miscue dq.   The Quinte+ race was the Gr. III Prix du Perreux (purse 80,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) and what a finish for the fans.   The 1.12.9kr winner was 7.6/1 Jerry Mom (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) reined by Pierre  Vercruysse for trainer Luc Roelens and owner JPB Building BVBA of Belgium.   Jerry Mom stormed home traveling the final 200 meters in 1.05.6kr to get up in the final step. 2.9/1 Portland (5m Ganymede-Eiffel Bi) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Bjorn Goop with 6.7/1 Alcoy (5m Ready Cash-Divann) third handled by Christophe Martens. Pierre  Vercruysse   These three all were timed in 1.12.9kr. 32/1 Dollar Soyer was fourth ahead of 18/1 Extra Light. Victor Ferm was scratched. The Q+ exact order payoff was 13,907.20€ for the 48 winning holders of 2€ tickets.   The Quinte+ pool was 4,256,484€and the total of all wagering pools on this race exceeded 8,867,000€. The speed stats, photo and replay link are shown below.   The Prix du Gatinais (Gr. III, purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, 12 starters) completed the groupe level races and the 2019 Elitloppet invitee and 2/5 favorite Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) escaped heavy traffic on the pegs and when free jetted away to a 1.12kr timed victory.   Looking Superb   Jean-Michel Bazire teamed his trainee to a fourth win in 11 starts in France for owner Kolbjoern O. Selmer of Norway. Looking Superb now has life earnings of 536,082€. The 73/1 outsider Azaro d’Eva (9m Lynx de Bellouet) was a fast-closing second for Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer J-M Baudouin. 77/1 Cobra Blue (7m Fortuna Fant) was third for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and breeder/owner Nathalie Chapdelaine, 4.6/1 Detroit Castelets was fourth,     Thomas H. Hicks

April 27, 2019 - The heavy 1/5 favorite Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) held on for half-length harness racing victory in today’s Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie, the initial leg of the Challenge Cup Grand Vitesse, held at Argentan. With owner/trainer Jean Michel Bazire at the lines, the Elitloppet 2019 invitee, won his 44th race in a 68-race career. He now has career earnings of 2,263,447€. The 4.8/1 Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) rallied for second with Eric Raffin aboard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner/breeder Philippe Dauphin. 43/1 Tamure Roc (7f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc) took the third check with Santo Mollo at the lines. Aubrion du Gers Earlier in the card was the Prix Texas Charm (monte, purse 25,000€, 2875 meters, 14 starters) and the easy winner was 1.4/1 favorite Napa Valley (7m In Dix Huit-Nadja) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Cees F. Kamminga and owner Tim Oosterhof. The classy performer won for the ninth time in 18 starts in France now for 180,926€ earned. 9/2 Zauni (6m Quite Easy) took second for Mme. Ronja Walter, ahead of 42/1 Cash Drive (7g Reflet Jet) with Mlle. Alexiane Lepage in the irons. Napa Valley Thomas H. Hicks  

Tuesday Paris-Vincennes action was all about three-year old trotteurs led first by the Prix Paul Karle (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters, three-year old colts).   In this harness racing event the 1.6/1 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa) scored timed in 1.12.4kr, his seventh career win in eight starts, now for 251,500€ earned.   Eric Raffin was the pilot for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire of the fine colt bred by Jean Pierre Guay. 9/1 General du Parc (3m Lejacque d’Houlbec) was a game second for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Frederic Prat, with third going to 133/1 Gilmour (3m Tag Wood) reined by Mathieu Mottier. The 3.9/1 odds Gamble River was fourth.   The fillies then took the stage in the Gr. II Prix Masina (purse 100,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters, three year old fillies) and that race produced a relatively easy score for 6.3/1 Girls Talk (3f Brillantissime-Be My Girl) with David Thomain up. She was clocked in 1.13.3kr for her fifth career victory in ten starts, now for 212,000€ earned. Philippe Allaire bred and trains the winner for Gitte Paulsen- Allaire.   Girls Talk        - LeTrot photo   Second was 25/1 Gee (3f Brutus de Bailly) with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Bruno Bourgoin. 13/1 Grai9ne de Crack (3f Booster Winner-Pearl Mip) took the third check with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Allaire. The 5/10 favorite Green Grass was a miscue dq after coming into the race with three straight wins in 2019.   Thomas H. HIcks

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