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August 6, 2017 - Saturday, the very accomplished Bold Eagle (purse €180,000, 2300 meters autostart, 12 starters) scored at Mons Ghlin for harness racing driver Franck Nivard timed in 1.13.4kr over an off track at 1/10 odds, holding off 19/1 stablemate Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) and David Thomain by a diminishing length. Sebastien Guarato owns this pair, the first owned by Pierre Pilarski and bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois, the second owned by Philippe Dauphin. 49/1 Booster Winner (6m Love You-Quille Viretaute) took third for Christophe Thierry and trainer Guarato. Ecurie Winner owns this one. Quick Fix and Zorro Photo finished fourth and fifth in a field outclassed by the top two. Bold Eagle now has posted 37 trotting victories in 43 starts for career earnings of €3,426,020. Bold Eagle The same day at Enghien was the monte Prix de Forges-les-Eax (purse €70,000, 2875 meters, nine starters) and the 1.17.2kr timed winner was 2.4/1 Dreole Verderie (4g Kalusphenio-Reole Verderie) with Eric Raffin in the irons. 47/1 Coranie Lebel (5f Quido du Goutier-Star Lebel) rallied to be second ahead of the 3/5 favorite Jerry Mom (4m Ready Cash-Graziella) that rallied for the three spot. Dreole Verderie Yesterday the Enghien action was focused on the Gr. III Prix Henri Cravoisier (purse €85,000, 1609 meters, ten starters). The punters liked 2/5 favorite Vivid Wise As (4m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip) and he won the race on disqualification of Varieta’Luis (3m Ideal Luis) that rallied past the roughed up pacesetter than Enrico Bellei drove for trainer Marco Smorgon and owner Scuderia Bivans SRL. Race time was 1.12.2kr. 34/1 Espoir des Vaux (3g Ubriaco-Marina des Vaux) was placed second, and 8/1 Euro du Chene (3m Neoh Jiel-Oseille du Chene) was placed third, a length back. The turf action this Sunday was leg 12 of the Trophee Vert raced at Carentan, the Prix Maurice de Folleville (purse €45,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 18 starters). 3.7/1 Bugsy Malone (6g Ready Cash-Night Captain) overcame a 50 meter penalty to win for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. This team extinguished the handicap quickly, open a lengthy lead mid-race, and held game for victory as he tired and swerved to the fan side in the lane. Time was a good 1.16kr on the grass and Bugsy won for the 17th time in 33 career starts now for €522,810 earned. 51/1 Univers de Marzy (8h Look de Star-Lovelie de Marzy) was second for Clement Duvaldestin and 7.4/1 Bon Copan (6m Love You-Haie) landed third. The prior week’s Trophee Vert at La Gacilly went to Bolt and driver Christophe Gallier but he was not entered today. Last week there was also a turf contest at Brehal for €35,000 purse and favored Authorized took that one for Pierre Levesque. Sweden’s Saturday V75 action was at Rattvik. The V75 Gold (150,000SEK to the winner) went to 1.8/1 Seedorf OMF (6g Algiers Hall-Indy’s Lindy-SJs Caviar) timed in 1.11.3kr over 1640 meters autostart for Orjan Kihlstrom, driving for trainer Stig H. Johansson, another great active legend in the sport. The featured event of the day was the Gr. II National for 300,000SEK to the winner of the 2660 meter test. 4.9/1 Trot Kronos (5m Muscle Hill-Melody Not-Coktail Jet) scored timed in 1.13.5kr for Jan Norberg, driving for trainer Veijo Heiskanen. Thomas H. Hicks

July 9, 2017 - Veteran classmaster Up And Quick (9m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) survived a speed duel early before taking the lead after 400 meters for driver Franck Nivard, and the race was over. This Prix de la Communaute de Comaunes (Gr. II, 1609 meters autostart, purse €100,000) was a rare on-mile dash for speed and Up And Quick did not disappoint with his 1.10.2kr victory, the mile rate 1:52.89. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Ecurie Quick Star and the victory today took the winners’ career earnings to €2,042,040 with 15 wins including a Prix d’Amerique. Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort), at 3.8/1, rallied nicely to be second for driver David Thomain, trainer Sebastien Guraato and owner/breeder Philippe Dauphin, and the aforementioned early leader, 20/1 Breidabliks Nubbe (5m Lindy Lane-Wildgirl Boshoeve) held third for driver Marc Elias and trainer Conrad Lugauer. Booster Winner and Ave Avis were the next to reaching the line. Thomas H. Hicks

June 24, 2017 - Franck Nivard teamed Express Bourbon (3m Ready Cash-Kamera Bourbon-Cezio Josselyn-Etta Extra) to a 1.17kr victory this day in the Prix du Green Horse Festival (purse €21,000, 2850 meters, three year-old open). Sebastien Guarato trains this winner for owner Yvette Engelke. Haras Saint Martin bred Express Bourbon that is from a US$221,000 winning mare. Second was another well-bred three year-old, this the filly Erabella Madrik (3f Ready Cash-Talina Madrik-Korean-Ketty d’Occagnes-Workaholic) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. Her dam won US$439,000. Third was Early Morning (3m Coktail Jet-Passion d’Amour-Joyau d’Amour) reined by Thibault Borderie. Fourth went to Expeditious (3m Prodigious-Rapide Aventure-Love You-Bahama), his dam a winner of US$244,000, and today driven by Julien Dubois for trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The quality of this race set the pace for a superb Paris-Vincennes program tomorrow, with seven groupe races and a myriad of top performers led by Bold Eagle and Belina Josselyn in the Gr. I UET Masters Prix Rene Balliere for a €200,000 purse. The other Gr. I events are the Prix d’Essai, Grand Prix du President de la Republique and Prix Albert Viel. Eiffel Tower, Django Riff and Ecu Pierji are favorites in these. Program here: The great horses and races highlight a day of family entertainment at the Temple du Trot first featuring the equine stars.  Thomas H. Hicks

May 27, 2017 - Franck Nivard teamed 12/1 Vic du Pommereux (9m Love You- Kubrune) to victory this day at Enghien in the Quinte+ Prix d’Oblisque (purse €64,000, 2150 meters autostart, European eligibles). The Sylvain Roger trainee is owned by Noel Lolic and recorded his ninth career victory for earnings now of €361,600. 41/1 Atout du Lerre (7g Oakwood du Closet-Haquismie) was second for owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne. Third went to even-money favorite Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Neloca Ta) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Super Ariel and 122/1 Vasco de Viette completed the top five. On the program, Ble du Gers (6g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) took the Prix du Rhone (purse €75,000, 2875 meters, 15 starters) timed in 1.13.5kr for reinsman Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato (tomorrow at Solvalla with Bold Eagle) and owner J.M. Rancoule. This 22/1 outsider bested 2.4/1 Chart des Sirenes (5m Opus Viervil-Nice Quenny) and teamster F.P, Bossuet. Third was 13/1 Cathy A Quira (5f Password-Quinra des Jacquets) handled by David Thomain for trainer Jarmo Niskanen. Thomas H. Hicks    

May 9, 2017 - Franck Nivard teamed Victoria Luis (3f Conway Hall-Danae del Ronco) to an easy harness racing victory in the featured Gr. III Prix Fama (purse €66,000, 2700 meters, nine European starters) at Paris Vincennes. Salvatire Minopoli trains the winning filly for Allenamento Team Minopoli. Race time was 1.16.6kr off rated fractions. Everglades (3f Rodrigo Jet-Penang) was second for Thomas Levesque, also trainer, for breeder/owner Pierre Levesque. Third was Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) for trainer/driver Franck Anne and breeder/owner Annick Bazin. Fourth was Elusive Feeling (3f Goetmals Wood-Quechua de Charue) for J-M Bazire. The Ready Cash daughters Elegantissime and Encore Plus were fifth and seventh. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 29, 2017 - Veteran and former Prix d’Amerique winner Up And Quick (9m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) gained an impressive gate to wire harness racing victory in today’s Gr. II first speed leg of the FR summer, this one named the Criterium de Vitesse de Base Normandie and raced at Argentan. Franck Nivard teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee that is owned and was bred by Ecurie Quick Star. The winner recorded his 14th win in 58 starts for €1,988,540 earned. Today’s event carried a purse of €100,000 and was raced over 1609 meters autostart, clockwise direction. The 5.5/1 barefoot winner bested 2.8/1 and pocket placed Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) reined by David Thomain for Sebastien Guarato, trainer for owner/breeder Philippe Dauphin. Third was the 1.6/1 favorite Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) driven by J.Ph. Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Target Kronos and Arazi Boko were the next two to the line.  Race time was 1.09.4kr, the mile rate a sizzling 1:51.64. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 22, 2017 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) kept on rolling with an easy front-end score at Enghien in the Prix de l’Atlantique (Gr. I UET International, purse €200,000, 2150 meters autostart, 11 starters). Franck Nivard was again the harness racing pilot and the 1.12.2kr timed winner now has 34 wins in 39 career starts for €3,193,300 earned. Sebastien Guarato trains Bold Eagle for Pierre Pilarski and Jean Etienne Dubois bred and early developed the champion. The 1/10 favorite bested 23/1 stablemate Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) that Guarato trains for Philippe Dauphin. Third was 13/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Guis) driven by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Ottavia Rolfiu-Urano. Boosters Winner and Duke Of Greenwood took the fourth and fifth positions behind the “exceptionale!!!” champion. A “huge” crowd was on-hand at Enghien-Soisy to see one the greatest perform after more than a two-month layoff. The Q+ on today’s Enghien program was the Prix du Casino Baurnere (purse €60,000. 2150 meters autostart, 15 European starters) and the 4/5 favorite Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) prevailed for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner J.M. Machet. Attacus recorded his 11th career win in 41 starts for €337,300 earned and he was timed in 1.14.9kr. 9.1/1 Zonguldac (8g Love You-Heartenings Crown) finished second for driver Christophe Martens and Radieux (7g Love You-Dordogne) was third for Dominik Locqueneux and owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Agora and Blues d’Ourville completed the top five. Thomas H. Hicks  

March 4, 2017 - The Prix d’Alencon (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, nine European monte starters) began the Saturday Paris-Vincennes harness racing program and it went to 1.13.6kr timed and 10.4/1 odds Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with jockey Franck Nivard up, for trainer H.E. Bondo and Scuderia Erodi di Gubellini of Italy. 2.2/1 Catalogne (6f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) was second for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Dominique Mottier. Third was 17.1/1 Belle Louise Mabon (6f Derby du Gite-Nefertiti Mabon) for Eric Raffin and breeder/owner/trainer Yves Dreux. The Gr. II Prix Louisle Bourg (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, ten monte starters) produced a rallying victory for 3/2 favorite Durzie (5f Jag de Bellouet-Shall We) for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and Ecurie Augustin-Normand. 6.1/1 Dominator Blond (4m Kenor de Cosse-Orchidee Blonde) was second for Damien Bonne and third was 11.6/1 Dahlia du Rib (4m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) for jockey Alexis Collette, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib, the breeder/owner. The Q+ Prix Maurepas (purse €65,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) went to 1.14.8kr timed and 2.8/1 Carla Love (5f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnas) for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire. 14.6/1 Calencia (5f Quaker Jet-Olencia) was second for Gabriel Gelormini and breeder/owner/trainer Alphonse Vanberghen. 6.8/1 Clea Madrik (5f Prince d’Espace-Paisy Tivoli) took third for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Benoit Robin. The next two finishers were off at 19/1 and 50/1 odds respectively. The Gr. III Prix Henri Desmontils (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine starters) went to a game front-ending 2/5 favorite Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) for jockey Yoann Lebourgeois. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for owner Frederic Sauque. Arlington now has 12 wins in 48 starts for €464,650 earned. 14.1/1 Alpha Saltor (7m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) rallied for second ridden by Matthieu Abrivard and third was 10.9/1 Texas de l’Iton (10g Cygnus d’Odyssee) for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Hughes Levesque. 10.3/1 odds Venezia de Mai (8f Prodigious-Iomoe de Tesse) took the Prix de Montsoreau (purse €66,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) timed in 1.12.9kr. The barefoot winner was reined by Nicolas Mortagne. 3.2/1 Monas Invercote (8f Vikings Kronos-Monas Speranza) was second, beaten a neck for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Third was 14/1 Un Cher Ami (9g Jag de Bellouet-Olygarchy) for Mathieu Daougabel. The featured Prix de Selection (Gr. I, purse €240.000, 2200 meters distance handicap, nine starters) went to 1.11.4kr timed and 47.4/1 odds Discours Joyeaux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelle Copine). Racing barefoot for Damien Bonne, the winner is trained by Thierry Raffegeau for owner J.Y. Roze. 25.6/1 Dreammoko (4m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout) was second for Gabriel Gelormini, and trainer Richard Westerink, also trainer/owner of the champion Timoko. 20.4/1 Black d’Avril (6m Oceano Nox-Olivia d’Avril) took third reined by J-M Bazire for trainer Frederic Prat. 2/1 favorite Carat Williams was fourth ahead of fifth finishing Doberman. Thomas H. Hicks

March 3, 2017 - 6.1/1 Tell Me No Lies (8g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious) held on (on the pegs) to win today’s harness racing Quinte+ Prix Stockholm (purse €60,000, 2825 meters, 15 starters) timed in 1.14kr. Franck Nivard teamed the KLV Holdings owned and Philippe Billard trained campaigner, now a career winner of €317,064. 31.8/1 Une Serenade (9f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) just missed and ended second for trainer/driver Serge Peltier. 36.2/1 Probo OP (8m From Above-Elimara) was third for Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Ed. Moni. 41.2/1 Bocage d’Ortige (6m Mirage du Goutier-Providence d’Ortage) rallied for fouth for Regis Le Vexier ancd trainer Nicolas Ensch. Fifth was 28.5/1 Undici (9g Kaiser Soze-Jobeth) for trainer/driver David Bekaert. The 1.6/1 favorite Red Rose America raced near or on the lead throughout for Bjorn Goop and faded late. Watch for the upcoming €200,000 purse, 1609 meters (one mile autostart) Grand Criterium de Vitesse on March 12 at Cagnes-sur-Mer, it’s always a great tussle by the sprinters. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 26, 2017 - Magnifique!!! Extraordinare!!! Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) won today’s Gr. I Grand Prix de Paris (purse €400,000, 4150 meters) for harness racing driver Franck Nivard, coming from a fourth back outer position during much of this race. He followed advancing Briac Dark late in the last bend and sprinted past for a length score timed in 1.14.kr. Off at 3/10 odds the winner now has 33 wins in 37 career starts for career earnings of €3,103,300) after the €180,000 winners share today. Bold Eagle and connections also earned a €300,000 Triple Crown bonus after also winning the Prix d’Amerique and Prix de France during the Paris-Vincennes winter meet. What a horse!!! 13.6/1 Briac Dark (6m Prince Gede-Queen des Chames) was a solid second for David Thomain, trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Guy Barou. Third was 30.2/1 Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) for J.Ph.Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. 9.1/1 Belina Josselyn (6f Love You-Lezira Josseln) was a competitive fourth for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Yvan Bernard with fifth to 274/1 Best Of Jets (6m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) driven by Tony LeBeller for owner/trainer Jean Michel Baudouin. Lionel, last year’s Prix de Paris upset winner, and Akim du Cap Vert were next to the line. Game pacesetter Up And Quick, a double winner of this race and race time record holder, faded to 10th. Bold Eagle’s accomplishment today is made even more important by the fact that it has been over 40 years since Bellino II won the Triple Crown of FR trotting and there had been only three winners (Jamin, Gelinotte and Bellino II) prior to Bold Eagle. Other interesting notes are that Thierry Duvaldestin trained Ready Cash during much of his career and was second as trainer today with Briac Dark. Philippe Allaire, owner/developer of Ready Cash, was third today as trainer of another son of that sire, Bird Parker. The top five finishers are all FR-bred six year-olds, quite a powerful crop. The Prix de Paris was today’s Quinte+ as well. Prix de Paris 2017 : Bold Eagle remporte la Triple Couronne Guarato back on the Bold Eagle GP of Paris and discusses the future Peter Pilarski after the Grand Prix de Paris Bold Eagle Thomas H. Hicks

February 24, 2017 - 2.7/1 Bellina d’Ourville (6f Quaker Jet-Orsina) took today’s Quinte+ Prix Gallus II (purse €46,000, 2150 meters, 16 starters) timed in 1.15.4kr for reinsman Franck Nivard, owner Ecurie Elite and harness racing trainer Florent Lamare. Racing barefoot the winning mare rallied to nose out 14/1 Bahia Somolli (6f Millenium Wood-Italia Somolli) for Matias Dudouit, trainer Jerome Compas and Ecurie Somolli, her breeder/owner. 15/1 Bellone Speciale (6f Sam Bourbon-Jolie Jacqueline) was third for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Mickael Lemercier and Ecurie Haras des Senora. The Q+ exact order payoff was €18,990 for a €2 play. The program’s Prix de Montsalvy (purse €38,000, 2875 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.16.9kr clocked and 2.2/1 Electra Jet (3f Ready Cash-Olivia Jet) with trainer Pierre Vercruysse up. Ecurie des As owns the winner that Jean-Etienne Dubois bred. 7.4/1 Everglades (3f Rodrigo Jet-Penang) was second for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque and breeder/owner Pierre Levesque. 8/1 Extasia Bella (3f Prodigious-Rare Perle) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Tomorrow is the big one, the Grand Prix de Paris (Gr. I, purse €400,000, marathon distance 4150 meters, International 13 starters). Bold Eagle seeks the elusive Triple Crown of FR, a title that was missed last year when Lionel captured the 2016 Prix de Paris. Another previous winner, Up And Quick, is in the field and he is the race time record holder of 1.13.5kr set in 2015 and also a winner of this prestigious event in 2016. He has not in peak form for some time but anything can happen. The children will also be entertained during the Sunday program. Thomas H. Hicks

February 12, 2017 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethu Rah Jet) sat third in the outer before rallying around the final bend and drawing off to a four length win for harness racing pilot Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Jean-Etienne Dubois bred the young champion that now has 32 wins in 37 career starts for €2,923,300 earned. The Grand Prix de France (Gr. I International UET Masters, purse €400,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 entrants) is the second leg of the FR Triple Crown with the Grand Prix de Paris to follow in two weeks. The winner, that won the Prix d’Amerique at end of January, was off as the 3/10 favorite and he bested a game 12.8/1 Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) reined by Bjorn Goop for Richard Westerink, trainer/owner, and breeder Paul Van Klaveren. This veteran champion has 32 victories in 93 starts for €4,401,098 earned, as today he led early and then enjoyed a pocket spot behind noted front runner Un Mec d’Heripre.  81.3/1 Voltigeur de Myrt (8m Opus Viervil-Myrtille des Bois) was third for Lorenzo Donati driving for owner/trainer Roberto Donati. Fourth was 68/1 Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) that rallied late for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. 21/1 pacesetter Un Me d’Heripre (9m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) was fifth for J-M Bazire ahead of Propulsion and Anna Mix, completing the top seven.  Race time was 1.10.9kf off steady fractions (1.10.1kr at the 1500; 1.10.2kr with 1000 remaining; 1.10.8kr at the 500 remaining post). ..................................................................................... Dollar Macker Takes Gr. I Monte Prix des Centaures at Vincennes February 12, 2017 The classique Gr. I Prix des Centaures (monte, purse €240,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) was a stunner of sorts, as 5/1 odds Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) and jockey Yoann Lebourgeois were the rabbit, starting fast and opening a substantial lead for owner Mme. Marie Anne Thomas and trainer Philippe Allaire. However, he lasted despite tiring at mid-stretch, and defeated 3/5 favorite Bilibili (6m Niky-Quetty du Donjon) in a close verdict. The latter was ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon. 12/1 Canadien d’Am (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) was third for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Franck Leblanc. 8.5/1 well regarded Booster Winner finished fifth. Fractions were swift early with the winning time 1.11.9kr (1.09.2kr at the 1500 to go post; 1.09.2kr at the 1000; 1.11.2kr with 500 remaining). The Prix des Vosges (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) this afternoon went to 1.13.2kr timed and 2.2/1 odds Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 45/1 Urion de Piervive was second for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa and 7.5/1 And de Saint Prest ended third for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. The fast-class Prix de Juvigny (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 11 European starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed and 2/1 Cantin de l’Eclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Josselyn) handled by Tony LeBeller for Ecurie Éclair. 6/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star) was second for Gabriel Gelormini, ahead of the 1/2favorite Clever Lymm (5m Korean-Oquidia) reined by Franck Nivard for Ecurie Le Tremont. At program end, Franck Nivard recorded another winter meet driving victory. He scored with 9.6/1 Civka Burka Darby (5f Neoh Jiel-Resille) in the €37,000 purse Prix de Macon raced over 2850 meters by 15 starters. Kenneth de Poorter bred and owns the 1.14.9kr timed mare. 7.5/1 Calypso du Relais and 53/1 Crystal Race were second and third, the latter a five year-old daughter of Goetmals Wood-In Race. ....................................................................................... Darlhey du Rib and Shadow Gar Win Groupe Tests at Vincennes February 12, 2017 Gr. III Prix de Luneville (purse €76,000, 2700 meters, seven starters, monte) was today’s Paris-Vincennes opener and the 2/5 favorite Darlhey du Rib (4f Ganymede-Quille Castelets) was victorious for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and breeder/owner Ecurie Rib. This expert monte team bested 23.7/1 Dollar du Vivier (4m Hand du Vivier-Ta Folie du Vivier) reined by Julien Raffestin. Legendary Jean-Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 4.9/1 Diego de la Criere (4g Paris Haufor) was third for Damien Bonne, also trainer. Race time was 1.15.3kr. The Prix Salam (purse €90,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 12 monte) produced an exciting victory for 9.2/1 Cenora (5f Blue Dream-Nalara) timed in 1.14.2kr with Mathieu Mottier in the irons. Dominique Mottier owns, trains and bred the winner. 4.5/1 Castel Black (5g Ludo de Castelle-Princesse Black) was second for Clement Frecelle and 2.5/1 Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) nearly overcame her distance penalty to be third clocked individually in 1.13.6kr. Dominique Mottier also trains this one and Antoine Dabouis was the jockey. The Prix de Chambord (Gr. III, purse €90,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 starters) went to 1.11.5kr quick stepping 23.6/1 Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with Pietro “Pippo” Gubellini driving. Gubellini is also trainer and owner of the winning mare. 12.6/1 Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier-Pike Josselyn) was a game second for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and 9/2 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit Of Charm) rallied to gain third for Gabriel Gelormini. Fourth was 3.3/1 Scellino Luis (6f Andover Hall-Susy Trio) and Matthieu Abrivard and fifth home was 14.1/1 El Catwalk (6f Classic Photo-El Mistress Leena) for Franck Nivard. Fractions were fast from the start (1.09.3kr at the 1500 to go mark, 1.10.3kr at the 1000, 1.11.4kr at 500 remaining). ...........................................................................................   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 14, 2017 - The Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) was expected to be an easy conquest for 1.1/1 Equinoxe (3m Texas Charm-Pelagie) and 2.2/1 Everest Vedaquais (3m Ready Cash-Spandelle) but both were disqualified, the latter for an early miscue and the former after an impressive victory, presumably for being rough gaited in the lane. Victory was thus awarded to fast-closing 6.9/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with David Thomain in the irons for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe DeWulf, timed in 1.16kr. Placed second was 30/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) reined by J.Ph Monclin and placed third was 5/1 Euro du Chene with Franck Nivard up. The Quinte+ Gr. II Prix de Croix was the day’s co-feature (purse €120,000, 2850 meters). Well respected Treasure Kronos, racing with shoes, and Cobra Bleu was miscue dq’s. 9.3/1 odds barefoot In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine) was an impressive rallying winner for Franck Nivard. This pair followed good outer tier flow and surged three wide in the late final bend to just get up for the 1.12.5kr clocked victory, with a quick final fraction (the timed was 1.13.1kr with 500 meters remaining). Daniel Reden trains the winner for Stall Zet. 3.6/1 Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) took second, beaten a nose, for Gabriel Gelormini and trainer Guarato. Third was the 9/10 favorite pacesetting Traders (5m Ready Cash-Graziella) for David Thomain and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 84/1 Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) rallied from far back to be fourth for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Graziano Ceccaroni, with fifth to Tony Gio (5m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) reined by Christophe Martens for Scuderia Bivans SRL and trainer Vincent Martens. The Gr. III Prix du Forez/Prix les Seniors (purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.12.8kr timed and 5.1/1 odds Anzi des Liards (7g Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines for breeder/owner Richard Padovani and trainer David Bekaert. 7/1 Athos des Elfes (7m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg) was second for trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was rail hugging 4.2/1 Altesse de Mirel (7f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Florence Allera. The winner closed stoutly as the time with 500 meters remaining was 1.13.8kr. A superb Saturday afternoon Paris-Vincennes program began with newly aged three year-olds contesting the Prix de Montreuil (monte, purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters), with an open-lengths victory earned by 1.3/1 favorite Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout). The Alexandre Abrivard teamed filly was clocked in 1.18.2kr and is trained by J-M Bazire for breeder/owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. 22.4/1 Etincelle de Rocha (3f Repeat d’Ombree-Rondinara) was the distant second for Matthieu Abrivard and 13.5/1 Extase de la Basle (3f Redea Josselyn-Ibiza de la Masle) was third with Eric Raffin in the irons. Monte performers continued with the Prix de Mauquenchy (purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 10 European starters) and 9/10 favorite Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) prevailed for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Denise Mottier and Ecurie Cheffreville). 7.2/1 Codie de Beaulieu (5f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) closed well for second, handled by J-Y Ricart. Third went to the 6.9/1 and Matthieu Abrivard teamed Chiuricahua (5f Pomerol de Laumac-Phoenix Arizona). Thomas H. Hicks

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

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

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