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March 15, 2019 - Today was the finale of the harness racing Winter Meet at Cagnes-sur-Mer and there was a good lineup of trotting action that began with the Prix de Syracuse (purse 27,000€, 2925 meters, 13 European starters). In this race the 5/10 favorite Popeye Diamant (8g Love You-Jasmin Diamant) won again timed in 1.14.5kr, his fourth win in eight starts in France. Gerhard Biendl trains and drove the winner for Stall M.S. Diamanten as he increased his career earnings to 154,789€. 3.4/1 Ursus Caf (6m Toss Out-Nespola Caf) was two lengths back second for Enrico Bellei, and third was 8.3/1 Callicot du Vivier (7g Repeat Love-Kalika du Vivier) with trainer Y-A Briand at the lines. Popeye Diamant The Cagnes-sur-Mer Winter Meet finale feature today was the Gr. III Prix de Vincennes (purse 80,000€, 2925 meters, 11 starters). The 4.9/1 odds Bulle de Laumont (8f Hand du Vivier-Ozo de Laumont) scored timed in 1.13.8kr with trainer Stephane Cingland aboard for owner Josiane Pigaue, her 18th career win in 52 starts that raised career earnings to 306,830€. 78.6/1 Creative Castel (f Pomerol de Laumac) was second for J.Ch. Feron, the pilot for trainer Nicolas Ensch. 2.7/1 Balbir (8g Ganymede) took third for trainer/driver Mickael Cormy, ahead of the 2/1 favorite Calle Crown (5m Great Challenger) with David Bekaert up. 2.9/1 Bolt (8m Prince Gede) was fifth for Junior Guelpa in this competitive field. Bulle de Laumont To watch a replay of this race click here.             Today’s featured trot at Mauquenchy was the Prix de la Societe des Courses de Bihorel (purse 29,000€, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) and 1.6/1 favorite Moni Viking (6m Maharajah-Jeunesse Doree) prevailed with Bryan Coppens teaming for trainer Pierre Vercruysse. The winner is owned in Norway by Jan Lyng and racing barefoot today he recorded his third victory in 10 starts in France, now for 186,629€ earned for the career. 12.6/1 Jerry Mom (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) rallied for second handled by David Thomain for trainer Luc Roelens and owner JPB Building BVBA, this one a full-brother to Traders. 19.5/1 Concerto Cointerie (g Quopeck) took third for Nicolas Dromigny ahead of 4.2/1 Caresse (7f Ready Cash-Stefani Hanover) reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Bjorn Goop. Moni Viking Earlier in the week it was announced that the 2019 Prix d’Amerique winner, Belina Josselyn, was sidelined until Fall Season due to injury. Belina also won the Prix de Paris marathon event that completed the France Triple Crown events. She was the first mare in 20 years to win the Amerique. The injury statement follows (translated): Wednesday, late in the morning, Jean-Michel Bazire gave news of his champion, Bélina Josselyn (eight years old), victim of a slight crack of the rudimentary internal metacarpal of the anterior left. "At the end of the meeting, I felt that she had lost some flexibility, but I thought the whole rest would do her good," says JMB. But we saw a little mark on the result of the control radio that she passed; This is a small crack. Nothing serious, he adds, even if his spring season is cancelled. " Heroic, this winter, in Vincennes, during which time she won the Grand Prix of America and the Paris Marathon, the ballerina of the French trot could be reviewed in the fall, in the province. "If all goes well, she will be re-started in September or October," said Bazire. Belina will have six weeks of stall rest due to the injury. Thomas H. Hicks

March 9, 2019 - Saturday’s harness racing trotting action at Cagnes sur Mer showcased the start of the weekend of speed with five of the seven races contested at the unusual 1609 meters (one mile) autostart format. The Prix de Pise (purse 21,000€, 1609 meters autostart, European eligibles six year old females) saw Gina Schermer (6f Varenne-Ellymay) score in gate to wire fashion for Rick Ebbinge, the pilot for trainer Jeruen Engwerda and owner Stal Schermer. She was timed in 1.10.6kr (mile 1:53.4) and the victory increased her career earnings to 84,599€. Ua Huka (6f Muscles Yankee-Fancy Bi) took second with Rene Legati at the lines for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. Third was Ulena Car (6f Garden Spot-Ghinea Car) with G.P. Minucci up for trainer Lorenzo Baldi. Gina Schermer The other mile distance races also showed speed. The Prix Pisoni (purse 20,000€, 1609 meters autostart, European eligibles) went to the 3/5 favorite Rache HBD (9m Brad’s Photo-Liebe HBD) timed in 1.11.2kr (mile 1:54.6) with Cesare Ferranti aboard for trainer/owner Matteo Rostelli, 33.4/1 Thiago Three (g Naglo) was second for Romain Derieux and Bella de la Basle (8f Echo) took third for pilot Y-A Briand. The winner now has career earnings of 117,606€. The six year old males battled in the Prix de Balogne (purse 21,000€, 1609 meters autostart, European eligible six year old males) with Umberto (6m Broadway Hall-Depuis Blue) victorious for driver Filippo Rocca and trainer Fausto Barelli. Race time was 1.11.2kr (mile 1:54.5) for the now career winner of 86,352€. Muscle Boy AS (6m Muscle Hill-Zelda Per) was second for Cornelia Mayr, trainer Gerhard Mayr and Stall Antonshof. Third went to Unorcs duc Grafa’ (6m Goetmals Wood-Minuit) with Claudio Baldi aboard for trainer Cristian Rizzo. Apprentice drivers contested the Prix de Naples (purse 12,000€, 1609 meters autostart) with Vitinou (10f Jet Fortuna-Hircca) victorious timed in 1.11.8kr (mile 1:55.5). Thomas Audin teamed this Junior Guelpa trainee. Amateur drivers battled in the Prix de Modene (purse 5,500€, 1609 meters autostart) with Cactus du Donjon (7g So Lovely Girl-Reine du Donjon) scoring, timed in 1.12.6kr (mile 1:56.8). Celine Huguet teamed the winner for trainer Guillaume Richard Haguet. On the good harness racing undercard this Grand Criterium de Vitesse day was a selection of races for three, four and five year olds plus the day’s Quinte+ event.  The Quinte+ race of the day was the Prix de Rome (purse 41,000€, 2925 meters, 15 European starters) with the favorite being 1.2/1 Cash And Go, the brother to Bold Eagle. He was in the hunt early, took a pocket seat, and showed little in the lane as the death seat traveling and 13.7/1 Colonel Bond (7g Revel d’Anama-Miss Margaretha) scored timed in 1.13.8kr. Pierre Vercruysse was the pilot for trainer J.P. Ensch and owner Alain Dutheil. The winner recorded his 13th career win in 56 starts now for 378,050€ earned. 11.8/1 Viking Fromentro (10g Capriccio) was second for Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque, ahead of 12.8/1 Balooka du Boccail (8g f Look de Star) reined by trainer Yves Hurel. 6.8/1 Usain Henna and 16.9/1 Baldi Star completed the top five and the exact order Q+ payoff for a 2€ ticket was 92,382.20€. There were 18 winning tickets and the Q+ pool was 6,284,172€, setting up total race pools (all bets including the Quinte+) of over 10,039,000€. The Prix de Vichy (purse 45,000€, 2925 meters, eight three year old starters) went to the 7/10 favorite Go On Boy (3m Password-Balginette) reined by trainer Romain Derieux to his fourth win in just seven career starts, Race time was 1.15.4krkr for the now earner of 49,420€.  The 3.9/1 Gun Sissi (4m Vabellino) was second with trainer Y-A Briand aboard and 9.7/1 Giorgio Perrine (3g Aladin d’Ecajeul) was third for owner/trainer/driver Anthony Muidebled, who has a great day at CSM along with Derieux. Famous Lady (4f Prodigious-Une Lady de Nappe) took the Prix Var-Matin (purse 45,000€, 2925 meters, four year olds) clocked in 1.13.7kr with Eric Raffin the catch-driver of this 5.4/1 odds mare. Nicolas Ensch trains this one for breeder/owner Louis Baudron and the win increased her life earnings to 77,990€. The 9/10 favorite First In Love (4m Goetmals Wood-Just In Love) was second with Loris Garcia aboard for Ecurie du Vieux Chene. Third was 16.2/1 Franklin Park (4g Prince Gede) for the aforementioned Anthony Muidebled, the owner/trainer/driver. The 14.2/1 outsider Ekiango de Nile (5g Olimede-Sophia Saint Juvin) took the Prix du Club de l’Eco (purse 45,000€, 2925 meters, five year olds) timed in 1.13.7kr and reined by owner/trainer Anthony Muidebled to victory that raised his life earnings to 123,310€. The 4/5 favorite Elvis du Vallon (5m Reve de Beylev) was second reined by trainer Nicolas Ensch. Third went to 5/1 Eclat de Gloire (5g Tiego d’Etang) with trainer Loris Garcia at the lines. The Prix Club Sante (purse 45,000€, 2925 meters, 11 starters) went to the 5/2 favorite Django du Bocage (6g Real de Lou-Plume Bleue) handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Romauld Mourice to the 1.13.6kr victory, his 10th in 42 starts for 158,800€ earned. 14.8/1 Dimidisia (6f Phlegyas) was second for trainer/driver Loris Garcia and 4.6/1 Delmonica (6f Prince d’Espace) was third handled by owner/trainer Anthony Muidebled. Thomas H. Hicks

January 22, 2019 - Snow appeared in the Paris-Vincennes region this day and harness racing took place on a muddy racecourse. The featured Prix de Port-Audemer (purse 56,000€, 2100 meters autostart) with victory earned by the 7.1/1 Four Your Madrik (4m Up And Quick-Quelea Madrik) handled by J. Ph. Monclin for trainer J.L. Bigeon and owner Joel Seche. Far West du Rib (4m Memphis du Rib-Unopaline du Rib) was second at 50/1 with J.L.Cl. Dersoir driving for Ecurie Rib and trainer Joel Hallais. 14/1 Facetieux (4m Niky-Shustina) was third for J-M Bazire. Race time was 1.13.kr over the off going. Four You Madrik The Prix de Lamballe (purse 31,000€, 2700 meters) capped the card and produced a 1.16.4kr timed victory for 11/1 Elite de Duffel (5f Ready Cash-Reine de Duffel) and reinsman Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and owner Mme. Ingrid Vonckx. 10/1 Enigme des Andiers (5f Sun Ceravin) was second with trainer Jeremy Koubiche at the lines. Third was 4.4/1 Emba du Vivier (5f Riseaide Jeux) with Jean Michel Bazire driving. Elite de Duffel At Mons Ghlin the featured Prix Bresil (purse 7,200€, 1750 meters autostart, nine European starters) went to the veteran class-master and 2.2/1 second choice Truman Dairpet (12g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) timed in 1.13.7kr and reined by Piet Va Pollaert. The Union stable owned performer won for the 31st time in 131 career outings now for 691,548€ earned. 4.3/1 Gossip Sidney (9g SJs Photo-Super Sidney) was second for Marc Huygens and 17/1 Va Zizou (10g L’ecu du Verney) took third with trainer Mathieu Brun at the lines. The 8/10 favorite As Dore was a dq. Truman Dairpet The region’s snowfall covered Grosbois as well, ahead of the world’s greatest trotting race on Sunday.  The pre-weekend festivities also feature the 32nd Edition of the Prix d’Amerique Mixed Sale conducted by Arqana Trot and the Etalons Expo with over 100 vendors, farms and association represented. The catalog link “smart format” and the listing follow: Smart Catalogue Arqana Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale click on this link Listing Catalog click on this link A directory of the presenters may be found on the Arqana-Trot website (www.arqana-trot.com). Thomas H. Hicks  

Afternoon trotting action at Paris-Vincennes saw the Gr. III monte Prix de Roubaix (purse 80,000€, 2175meters, 10 starters) contested with the red-hot 5/10 favorite Daytona Jet scoring clocked in 1.12kr.   The six-year old daughter of Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet won the fourth time in her last six outings, those victories all in monte events, and all with Mlle. Mathilde Collet in the irons.   Stephane Meunier trains the winner for owner Ecurie du Londel and she was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois.   Daytona Jet recorded her eighth career win in 43 starts now for 305,210€ earned. 6.1/1 Cash du Rib (7g Ready Cash-Quille Castelets) took second for Mlle. Clara Dersoir and trainer J.L.Cl. Dersoir. Third went to 11/1 Barry de Courtison (8g Quirky Jet) with Louis Jublot up. LeTrot photo   LeTrot photo   The card also included the day’s Quinte+ Prix de Brionne (purse 45,000€, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) and that produced an exact order Q+ payoff of 68,019.20€ to the four holders of winning tickets.   The winner was 1.12.7kr timed and 6.5/1 odds Calou Renardiere (7g Lets Go Along-Rosee Renardiere) handled by Eric Raffin for owner/trainer J.M. Baudouin, his 12 th career victory in 40 career trotting starts, now for 177,730€ earned. Second was the 29/1 outside Angle Of Attack (7g Scarlet Knight-Magyare Turgot) with Dominik Locqueneux at the lines for trainer Robert Bergh and owner Roland Wiksten. 7.9/1 Champion Dore (7g Prince Gede) took the third check for his owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard.   The final pair to the finish were 10/1 Canolar (7g Jet Fortuna) with Franck Nivard up and 2.4/1 Tellmeastory (7g Zola Boko) reined by Bjorn Goop.   LeTrot photo   A nice group of five-year old monte performers contested the Prix de Charbourg (purse 35,000€, 2175 meters, 16 starters). In that one the 4/1 Eole du Phenix (5m Qwerty-Velanda du Rabutin) came from nearly last to first along the pegs to win for jockey Mme. Camille Levesque, trainer Thomas Levesque and owner Ecurie Pierre Levesque timed in 1.12.9kr.   Eole du Phenix won for the third time in his career and increased life earnings to 65,340€. The 3/1 Evening Quick (5g Magnificent Rodney) finished second for Adrien Lamy and Ecurie Quick Star, with 16/1 Éclair Desbois taking the third check with jockey Benjamin Rochard aboard.   As the Prix d’Amerique is now less than two weeks away there are 11 horses that earned automatic invites from their performances in the six qualifying races. Those invitees are Bird Parker, Bahia Quesnot, Carat Williams,   Looking Superb, Eridan, Bold Eagle, Readly Express, Uza Josselyn, Delia du Pommereux, Belina Josselyn, and Davidson du Pont. Recent training news indicates that Propulsion is back to training well following an illness and Italy’s Timone EK, after a weak performance in SWE, will not seek the Amerique.   Thomas H. Hicks

January 10, 2018 - Jean Michel Bazire teamed his trainee Bel Avis (8g Ganymede-Gloria Maris), off as the 2.2/1 favorite, to a rallying victory in today’s harness racing Quinte+ Gr. III Prix de la Cote d’Azur (purse 120,000€, 2900 meters distance handicap, 16 starters after Coktail Fortuna was scratched) at Gagnes. The 50 meter handicapped veteran score his 17th career win now for 636,390€ earned. Race time was a quick 1.12.5kr over the extended distance, for owner New Blue 1 LLC (USA). Comte de Bellaigue bred the winner that defeated 36/1 Bolt (8m Prince Gede-Souvola) handled by trainer Junior Guelpa for breeder/owner Christophe Gallier and that was penalized 25 meters at the start. Third went to 10/1 and 50 meter handicapped Balbir (8g Ganymede-Manzir) with trainer Mickael Cormy aboard. Comte de Bellaigue also bred this one. 9/1 Voltaire Gifont (5m Quaker Jet) with Pietro Gubellini up and 18/1 Deimos Racing (6g Quite Easy) handled by Matthieu Abrivard completed the top five, this pair handicapped 25 and 50 meters respectively. Bel Avis winning the Prix de la Cote d’Azur at Cagnes The Q+ exact order payoff was 95,259.40€ for a 2€ wager. Thomas H. Hicks

Betting on horse races has declined in several years in France, and a cut in purses was expected. The French governing body for harness racing, Le Trot, has announced that purses in races in 2019 will be cut by 11 percent – that is 26 million Euro. Europe’s richest harness race for elder trotters, the Grand Prix d’Amerique, will now have a total purse of 900,000 Euro – down from one million. The winner will get 405,000 Euro – down from 450,000 Euro. Other big races in the Winter Meeting like the Prix de France and Prix de Paris will now each have a total purse of 350.000, down from 400,000 Euro. The world’s richest under saddle race, Prix de Cornulier, will see a decrease from 700,000 Euro to 650,000. Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

April 28, 2018 - Veteran Up And Quick (10m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre), a former Prix d’Amerique winner, driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Antoine Lherte and Ecurie Quick Star, won today’s Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie (purse €100,000, 1609 meters  autostart, 13 starters) clocked in 1.10.7kr at Argentan. He earned this score through miscue dq of Romanesque that got up first on the outside, only to be placed out. 2/1 Up And Quick bested 11/1 Un Mec d’Heripre (10m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) with Yann Lorin up and third placed was 4.6/1 Ave Avis (8m Kesaco Phedo=Magna Avis) with trainer J-M Bazire up. 1.9/1 favorite Bille de Montfort was fourth for David Thomain. The winner is now 16 for 65 yielding €2,089,040 earned for the career. Thomas H. Hicks

March 12. 2018 - Monday’s Bordeaux Le Bouscat featured Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran at Bordeaux (purse €40,000m 2650 meters distance handicap, 15 starters) went to 10/1 and 25 meter handicapped Shark Attack (10g April Perfect-Step By Step) handled by owner/trainer Mario Van Dooyeweerd. The game veteran now has nine wins in 33 FR starts and raised his career earnings to €238,058. Heinrich Platvoet bred the winner in Germany that is by a son of Armbro Goal and the dam Step By Step is a daughter of Allison Hollow from a Shogun Lobell dam. He was nicknamed early in his career “Crazy Horse” for his antics and as Claudia Platvoet now states  “We ❤ u crazy horse”. Another 10/1 and 25 meter penalized performer Aribo Mix (8g Reve des Vallees) rallied late for second, a neck short, for driver Dominik Cordeau with third to 4/5 favorite Diego Sautonne (5m Look de Star) reined by conditioner Matthieu Abrivard. A horse really named Crazy Horse was ninth. Thomas H. Hicks

January 29, 2018 - Day one post Amerique showcased the Quinte+ Prix de Rethel (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters European) and 16/1 Brihana (7f Korean-Roxane Nova) scored in 1.14.7kr for harness racing driver Mathieu Mottier and owner/trainer Daniel Delaroche. 16/1 Ballerina Bella (7f Scipion du Goutier) was a rallying second for Matthieu Abrivard and owner/trainer Christophe Feyte. 4.6/1 Thorn Bird (7f Clerk Magistrate) and Eric Raffin were third for trainer Eric Martinsson. 1.6/1 Basic and 8.8/1 Black Rain completed the top five. The Prix d’Yvetot (purse €36,000, 2175 meters, 13 starters) went to 2.2/1 Dan Josselyn (5m Quaker Jet-Quena Josselyn) for driver David Thomain and owner/trainer Fredrik Wallin.  Race time was 1.14.2kr. 12/1 D’Artegnan de Lara (5g Otello Pierji) took second for Mathieu Mottier and 23/1 Dornadu (5g Flash de Cosse) was third for the owner/breeder/trainer/driver Christophe Gallier. The Prix de Faverolles (monte, purse €58,000, 2200 meters) went to 1.13.2kr timed and 6.6/1 odds Bariane James (7f Goetmals Wood-Ma Sissi James) with Franck Nivard in the irons for trainer Philippe Billard. Batata (7f Mood West) was second with Adrien Lamy up and Baron du Bourg (7g Lilium Madrik) was third for Eric Raffin. Although Amerique 2018 is old news, its’ impact on racing goes on with analysis of the winners’ pedigree and speculation on the future, especially upcoming Triple Crown races, the Prix de France and Paris. Carina du Parc Wins Q+ and Dark Night Love Scores in Prix de Laval January 30, 2018 - Today’s Quinte+ Prix de Vittel (purse €50,000, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) this day went to 6.7/1 Carina du Parc (6f Roc Meslois-Nymphe du Parc) for Franck Ouvrie. Christian Boisnard owns and trains this winner. 15/1 Cambridge (6f Coktail Jet-Symphonie) and driver J-M Bazire was a close second with third to 12/1 Thetis Moon (6f Idele Luis-Fairy Mabel) took third for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciador. 86/1 Contree d’Erable and 16/1 Terra del Rio (6f Varenne) completed the top five. The Prix de Cholet (monte, purse €44,000, 2175 meters, nine starters) went to 7/2 odds Ferreteria (3f Goetmals Wood-Avenue Victoria) timed in 1.15.2kr with Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. Yves Boireau trains the J-P Dubois owned filly. 1.6/1 favorite Fado du Chene (3m Singalo-Star du Chene) held gamely second for P.Ph.Ploquin aboard for Julien LeMer, training for Claude Guedj. 39/1 Fiascetto (3m Ubriaco-Andalouse Lady) was a distant third. The featured  Prix de Laval (purse €70,000, 2100 meters autostart, 13 European) went to 1.12kr timed Dark Night Love (5f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnes) with trainer J-M Bazire up with the 1.3/1 favorite. 6.5/1 Divine d’Ecajeul (5f Ready Cash-Mutine d’Ecajeul)  was second for Christophe Martens and Ecurie Olmenhof. 4.4/1 Dominicana (5f Rocklyn-Passion d’Haufor) held third along the pegs for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Louis Baudron. Unison Kronos finished eighth and Unica Steed was 12th. The Prix d’Ambert (purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) produced another Dubois family victory as Fly To The Moon (3m Rocklyn-Vendetta de Joudes) literally flew past the opposition for Julien Dubois. Philippe Moulin trains the winner for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and breeder Jean Philippe Dubois. Race time was 1.17kr. The winner off at 6.1 odds was away a distant last, then sixth over in the outer, then sweeping to the front in late stretch. Quite impressive!. 7/2 Francesco (3m Sarenne As-Flair As) held second for Christophe Gallier, breeder/owner/trainer/driver. 6.5/1 First Daidou (3m Univers de Pan)  was a good closing third for trainer/driver Romain Derieux and Ecurie Daidou. The seventh race Prix Jean et Andre de la Vaissiere (purse €50,000, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) went to game 1.14.6kr timed and 6.5/1 Ever Pride (4m Prodigious-Queenly Pride) with Gabriele Gelormini up. Sebastien Guarato trains and Philippe DeWulf owns Ever Pride. 18/1 Elnino Montaval (4g Magnificent Rodney) with Eric Raffin up and 3.1/1 Eagle Speed (4m Jasmin de Flore-Perle Speed) trailed the winner, the latter trained by Guarato for Bold Eagle’s owner Pierre Pilarski. Thomas H. Hicks

January 12, 2018 - Today’s harness racing Q+ was the Prix de Mauriac at Paris-Vincennes (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 18 european starters). 4.6/1 Delloro Vedaquais (5g Ready Cash-Spandelle) scored easily for J.Ph. Monclin driving for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Race time was 1.13.1kr as the winner bested 4/1 Goofy Greenwood (5g Russel November-Chatooga River) handled by Franck Nivardf for trainer Hugo Langeweg Jr. and owner Stal Amsterdam. 5.8/1 Super Nice (5m Orlando Vici) was third for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. 7.8/1 Diable de Vauve and 23/1 Ubimajor Bi completed the top five. 1.4/1 Seibella Park (7f Varenne-Grandera Park) won the Prix de Ranes (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) for J-M Bazire for trainer Vincent Lacroix and owner Scuderia Allenamento Team Minopoli. Race time was 1.13.8kr in this pick 5 event. The other pick 5 was the Prix de Vic-Bigorre (purse €34,000, 2100 meters, 16 starters) and 4.1/1 Fortune du Taco (3f Village Mystic-Kaducee) scored timed in 1.15.4kr for Franck Nivard. 2/1 Forgaria (3f Sam Bourbon-Udine) was second for David Thomain driven by Yves Boireau, the trainer for breeder/owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. 24/1 France Madrik (3f Timoko-Pretty Jet) was third for Genny Delaune driving for Sebastien Guarato. Sunday on the third “B” day will honor now retired Timoko, double winner of the Elitloppet. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 10, 2018 - Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix de la Cote d’Or (purse €46,000, 2925 meters, 18 starters) at Cagnes sur Mer on the seaside. 3.8/1 Aigle Jenilou (8g Prodigious-Queen Jenilou) scored for harness racing trainer/driver Louis Baudron, overcoming a 25 meters penalty. 29/1 Bamaro de la Gazo (7g Imoko) was second for J.Ch. Feron and another 25 meter penalized performer landed third, this being 15/1 Ara d’Ostal for Y-A Briand. 97/1 Auteur Compositeur and 2.7/1 Canyan Castelets completed the top five. Last Saturday action returned to Madiina Martinque for its first 2018 program on the turf. The Prix de la Societe de Madinina (purse €5,000, 2600 meters) went to 1.25.1kr timed Bavorois du Varlet (7g Laetenter Diem-Hera du Varlet) for his owner/trainer/driver J-L. Langeron. The winner recorded his first victory at Martinique in his initial start after being winless in 2017. The Prix Claude Cayol (purse €5,000, 2600 meters) went to 1.23.1kr clocked Vlatou des Salines (9g Magnificent Rodney-Griffe des Salines), overcoming a 50 meter handicap, and reined by J-L Langeron. This winner recorded his six score in 017-18 combined. Titan Pierji (11g Jardy-Kora Pierji) was second for Christophe Moise, also overcoming the 50 meter penalty. This coming weekend action returns to Paris-Vincennes and the January 13th card features two groupe contests including the Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest for three year olds. Black Jack From Wins at Vincennes January 9, 2018 - The January 9th Quinte+ Prix Limousin (purse €65,000, 2850 meters,) at Paris-Vincennes went to 1.14.6kr timed Black Jack From (7g Scipion des Goutier-Off Key) at 6/1 and reined by Eric Raffin for owner/trainer Guillaume Gillot. Vixel (9g Quido du Goutier) was second for Franck Ouvrie at 17/1, also trainer for breeder/owner Jacques Vandromme.  26/1 Vicomte de Corveil (9g Orlando Vici) took third for Anthony Barrier, ahead of 7/1 Ange de Luma (Matthieu Abrivard) and 25/1 Bachar (Pierre Vercruysse) On Tuesday the Q+ was at Vincennes in the Prix l’Aveyron (purse €65,000, 2850 meters). 82/1 outsider Venus du Rossy (9f Halimede-Lalie du Rosay) scored timed in 1.14.7kr for Laurent Verva and trainer Olivier Tirard. Valentines Day (9f Carpe Diem) at 18/1 and driver Franck Nivard was second for trainer Gregoire Houel. 86/1 Aragonaise (8f Ouragon de Celland) and P.Ph. Ploquin took third ahead of 8/1 Beau de Beauval (David Thomain) and 12/1 Ardente du Clos (Matthieu Abrivard) that completed the top five. The program also included the Prix Christelle Zimmer (monte, purse €88,000, 2850 meters, apprentice jockeys). Veteran Americaine (8g Chef du Chatelet-Marine Raudiere) scored at 5.1/1 oddds timed in 1.13.6kr for Alexandre Angot in the irons for trainer J-P Marmion. Accord Marjacq (8g Odeisis de Vandel) at 15/1 was second for Victor Saussaye and third was 11/1 Arena del Phedo (8f Magnificent Rodney) for jockey Mlle. Oceane Briand. Thomas H. Hicks    

December 30, 2017 - Today’s Gr. III Prix Yvonnick Boden (monte, purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) went to noteable front stepping harness racing monte specialist 2.6/1 Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) and jockey Mlle. Delphine Besse, who won her first in 2017. Philippe Allaire trains the property of Frederic Sauque. 29/1 Vrai Voyou (8g Gazouillis-Oranginette) was second for Romain Marty, in the irons for trainer P. Emmanuel Marty. 19/1 Americaine  (7f Chef de Chatelet-Marine Raudiciere) was third with Alexandre Angot up.  Race time was 1.12.4kr for the six length winner. Today’s Quinte + was the Prix de Bar le Doc (purse €105.000, 2850 meters distance handicap. 15 European starters) went to 1.13.7kr timed and 11/1 Ungaro d’Eva (9g Ipsom de Mormal-Iomolly) driven by Eric Raffin for J-M Baudouin. 8.9/1 Alfor de Mire (7g Notre Haufor-Hilda Dix) was second for Charles J. Bigeon and trainer Christian Bigeon, ahead of 22/1 and 25 meter handicapped Totem d’Azur (10m Joao Panca) and Junior Guelpa, also trainer. 23/1 Arthuro Boy and 5.2/1 A Nice Biy completed the top five. 3/1 Atlas da Vinci with Bjorn Goop and 7/2 Call Me Keeper and Pierre Vercruysse were dnf’s when Atlas fell at top of stretch and following Call Me Keeper went into his rival and also went down. Both pilots were unseated. The Prix de Tence (purse €40,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) went to 6.6/1 Capella de Vrie (5f Prince d’Espace-Pandore Vrie) for driver Franck Nivard and breeder/owner/trainer Roger Baudron. 9/1 Carte Secrete (5f Prodigious-Libre Allure) was second for driver Julien Dubois, Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 2.2/1 favorite Cadence des Fre (5f Panache de l’Iton) and driver Eric Raffin took third. Race time was 1.14.9kr. Other good winners on the card were 1.4/1 Dubai D’essarts (4f Kaisy Dream-Ode des Essarts) timed in 1.12.4kr for Francois Lagadeuc  in the Prix de Damville (purse €70,000, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters). Two year olds contested the Prix des Eglantiers (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) and the winner was 17/1 Fighter Smart (2m Uniclove-Vicky Cash) with Matthieu Abrivard up. 7.9/1 Fargo (2m Atlas de Joudes) was second for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 4/1 French Man (2m Voyage de Reve-Oh Butterfly) held third for Julien Dubois, the breeder/owner/trainer. Fleuron d’Iroise (2m Kaisy Dream) with William Bigeon and 1.3/1 favorite Faithful (2m Village Mystic) for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron were fourth and fifth. J-M Bazire remains the FR dash winning driver for 2017 with 231 wins for €6.2million purse won. Bazire had 255 wins in 2016 and has held the title since 2010 with Franck Nivard second in each year except one. Thomas H. Hicks

December 12, 2017 - Today’s harness racing Quinte+ was at Cabourg in the Prix des Calceolaires (purse €40,000, 2750 meters, 16 starters) and the result lighted up the payoff scoreboard. 35/1 The Au Lait (10g Nuage de Lait-Kalfouny) scored timed in 1.13.1kr for Pierre Christian Jean and trainer Stephane Provoost/owner Ecurie Danover. 10/1 Valeur Ges (8f Quaro) was second for owner/trainer/driver Sylvain Marmion. 22/1 Valentine’s Day (8f Carpe Diem) took third for Pierre Houle. 10/1 Amigo Turgot and 24/1 Uppy de Vive ended fourth and fifth. The exact order payoff exceeded €372,000 for a €2 play. Interestingly the next four were off at 45, 28, 17 and 22/1 respectively, all finishing ahead of 7/10 Angelo AM that finished 10th, illustrating why horses race. Upcoming Vincennes weekend action includes the Saturday Prix Oscar Collard (Gr. III, purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart) and Sunday the Prix Jean Dumouch (Gr.III, purse €115,000, 2850 meters, European). The latter includes in its early entrants Call Me Keeper, Uza Josselyn, Cash Gamble, Tony Gio, Traders, In Vain Sund and many others. Thomas H. Hicks

December 3, 2017 - 1.8/1 favorite Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) took today’s Quinte+ Finale Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (purse €150,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) with a sweeping move to the front around the last bend. Harness racing trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire has the Wildenstein Stables Ltd. Veteran well positioned behind outer tier cover before exploding to the front and then leading comfortably in the lane. Comte de Bellaigue bred this winner that bested 13/1 Vulcania de Godrel (f Memphis du Rib-Julietta) reined by Anthony Barrier. Third was 8.9/1 Violine Mourotaise (8f Le Retour-Mourotaise) for David Thomain ahead of the next pair, Vanderlov and Tiger Danover. The afternoon program included several groupe events, The Gr. II monte  Prix Philippe du Rozier (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) went to 2.4/1 Driver Cadence (4m Saxo de Vandel-Rose Pourpre) with Mathieu Mottier up for Ecurie Cadence 3 and trainer Emmanuele Allard. Race time was 1.13.1kr and theft 3/5 favorite Dragon du Fresne (4m Saphir Castelets) and Alexandre Abrivard second. 7/2 Dexter Fromentro (4m Qwerty) took third for Camille Levesque. There were three Gr. III Le Trot Open des Regions on the card, each for a purse of €85,000 and raced over the 2850 meter distance. The three year old edition went to 1.2/1 Elvis Madrik (3g Overtrick-Tequila Dara) with J-M Bazire aboard. Elisione Mag (3f Quaker Jet-Perle du Ravary) was second with David Thomain up. The four year olds event was won by 4.1/1 Danise d’Etary (4f Un Amour d’Haufor-Rumba d’Etang) timed in 1.14.4kr for trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. The five year old contest went to 1.14kr timed and 20/1 Comete Leman (5f Neptune Leman) with Mathieu Mottier up for owner/trainer Y.J. Bezcoet. Later in the card Christian Bigeon was back for a second win driving Diane d’Haufor (4f Paris Haufor) timed in 1.15.8kr in the €38,000 Prix de Jonchery. The Finale Grand National des Jockeys (monte, purse €62,000, 18 starters) also took place with the 1.13.8kr timed and 70/1 Varum Boy (8g Baccarat du Pont) winning for Damien Bonne and Yves Dreux, the breeder/owner/trainer. David Thomain and his mount Brut de la Cote finished second ahead of Eric Raffin aboard Baronne de Bapre (6f Prodigious). Thomas H. Hicks  

November 29, 2017 - Yoann Lebourgeois drove 7.2/1 Mindyourvalue WF (4g Hovding Lavec-Mind Your Business) to a 1.13.6kr timed victory in today’s  harness racing Quinte+ Prix de Picardie (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) at Paris-Vincennes. This Robert Bergh trainee is owned by Christer Englund and the winner bested 9/2 Direct Way (4g Quaker Jet-Queen Flore) handled by Anthony Barrier for trainer Philippe Allaire. 27/1 Diable de Vauvert (4m Prince d’Espace-Pop Star) was third for David Thomain. 15/1 Dream de Nilrem and 1.8/1 Rajesh Face were the next pair to the line creating a €6,755 payoff for a €2 play. Other winners on the Vincennes program included 17/1 Ezio Josselyn (3m Prodigious-Lezira Josselyn) for driver Bjorn Goop in the €60,000 Prix Jean Maurice Beteau. Ronny Kuiper is the trainer of the 1.15.8kr timed Ezio Josselyn. The €58,000 Prix de Bouville went to 1.12.8kr timed (over 2175 meters) and 2.3/1 odds Callijo Delbi (5g Rieussec-Joliette de Manvez) reined by Matthieu Abrivard for owner/trainer H.N. Bihel. Two year olds were on display in two divisions of the (€38,000 A Division and €35,000 B Division) Prix des Anemones  each raced over 2200 meters. Groupe A went to 1.18.1kr timed and 3.8/1 odds Fantastic Life (2f Prodigious-True Life) driven by Jean Philippe Dubois for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The B groupe went to 1.17kr timed and 3.1/1 odds Flower Power (2f Love You-Ornella Rainbow). Thomas H. Hicks    

Today’s Quinte+ was the Paris-Vincennes Prix de Meslay du Maine (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters). The 3/2 favorite Athis Deladou (7g Islero de Bellouet-Prettily du Dame) scored for reinsman J-M Bazire, defeating 22/1 Very First (8g Orlando Vici) handled by trainer J.F. Senet and third finishing 50.5/1 Variuso du Bouffey (8g Look de Star) driven by Gabriele Gelormini. 2.8/1 Ange de Lune and 11.2/1 Vaat des Caillons completed the top five and set up the €10,299 payoff for a €2 wager. Top action is on tap for this weekend at Vincennes. On December 2 are the Gr. II Prix Joseph Lafose, a monte event for €120,000 purse raced over 2700 meters, and the Gr. II Prix Doynel de Saint-Quentin for the same purse and raced over 2850 meters. On December 3 there is the Gr, II Finale of the GNT Paris-Turf for €150,000; and the Gr. II monte Prix Philippe du Rozier for four year olds. That program also includes three Gr III Le Trot Open des Regions, one each for three, four and five year olds, each raced over 2850 meters. Thomas H. Hicks  

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