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November 10, 2019 - Cokstile (6m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) won his elimination and then won the harness racing Mattii finale in record time 1.10.4kr on the 806 meter Montegiorgio course with Antonio DiNardo at the lines. The purse was 154,000€ in the finale that was raced over 1600 meters autostart. Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) was a game second for Alessandro Gocciadoro and third was the rallying Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) handled by Gabriele Gelormini. The eliminations (batterias) went to Pantera del Pino (10f Turbo Sunbd-Desire’ del Pino) in the A batteria (Pascia’Lest) timed in 1.11.2kr for Rene Legati, a narrow victory over Vanesia EK (5f Exploit Caf) reined by Pietro Gubellini. Pocahontas Diamant (8f Look de Star) was third for Alessandro Gocciadoro and fourth was Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore) with Gabriele Gelormini up. The batterias were raced over 1600 meters autostart for 12,100€ purses. Batteria B was named the Moni Maker and the 1.10.8kr victory went to Cokstile and driver DiNardo. Vesna (5f Libeccio Grif) was second for Rene Legati and Visa As (5f Varenne) was third for Gocciadoro. The Batteria C “Dryade des Bois” saw veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne) score by six lengths timed in 1.11.2kr for Gocciadoro, with Orion Tilly (8g Clerk Magistrate-Intra Tilly-Super Arnie) second and third was Von Wise As (5m Muscle Massive-Desert Flower K) for Andrea Guzzinati. Later in the card was the PR Mack Grace Consolation (purse 15,400€, 1600 meters) that saw Vincent SM (5n CCs Chuckie T-Nikata Yank SM) score in 1.11.3kr for Mario Minopoli Jr. Unno Del Duomo (6m Ganymede-Irma del Duomo) was second for Antonio Greppi and MT Insider (9m Offshore Dream) was third. On the same program was the GP San Paolo (purse 40,040€, 1600 meters autostart) and that 1.11.2kr timed victory was earned by Zilath (4m Maharajah-Only LB-Conway Hall) reined by Guzzinati. A length back was Zefiro d’Ete (4m Majo l’Amore) and third went to Zarrezza (4m Ready Cash). Thomas H. Hicks

September 29, 2019 - Zaniah Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) took today’s harness racing Grand Premio Continentale (purse 154,000€, 2060 meters autostart, 11 starters) at Bologna (804 meter track) clocked in 1.12.5kr. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the mare that was bred by and owned by Az. Agr. Biasuzzi Srl. She recorded her eighth victory in 24 appearances. Zefir Gar (4m Varenne-Georgette Gar-Lemoin Dra) held for second for Mario Minopoli Jr. and Zaire Wise As (4m Maharajah-Southwind Pomona-Dream Vacation) was third handled by Andrea Guzzinati. The companion Grand Premio Continentale Filly (purse 88,000€, 1660 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.12.3kr timed Zoe AMG (4f Nad Al Sheba-Iride-Supergill) with Gaetano DiNardo at the lines for her eighth victory in a 46 race career. Zoe AMG She was off at 64.8/1. Zanzibar Wise As (4f Muscle Massive-Lovely Fame-Varenne) was next for Andrea Guzzinati and third home was Zara (4f Quaker Jet-Noche di Jesolo-Self Possessed) with Romeo Gallucci up. Thomas H. Hicks  

Alrajah One (3m Maharajah-Marcu’-Varenne) scored an upset victory in the 92nd edition of the Derby Trotto Finale (purse 847,000€ ($932,000 US), 2100 meters autostart) with a two length 1.12.6kr victory. Enrico Bellei teamed the winner that defeated Amon You Sm (3m Love You-Saron Sabte Fe’ Sm-Lemon Dra) reined by Antonio Greppi. Third money went to Antony Leone (3m Lebeccio Grif-Gasping Ferm-Lemon Dra). Aramis Bar finished fourth for Bjorn Goop. The hot favorite Axl Rose was the early leader before taking a bad step causing a miscue on the backside. The winner’s pedigree is shown below. Note Granit (1972 m, Ayres-Roquepine) is in the maternal family. The superb undercard this day included the Premio Grand Prix Turilli (purse 154,000€, 2100 meters autostart) and it showcased a 1.11.3kr victory for Vivid Wise As (5m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Tamure Roc (7f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc-Lemon Dra) was second with Filippo Rocca aboard and third went to Vanesia Ek (5f Exploit Caf-Nike Ek-Varenne) with Bjorn Goop at the lines. Ursa Caf finished fourth. Vivid Wise As was a dominant winner by four widening lengths in the lane. The Premio Oaks del Trotto (purse 253,000€, 1600 meters autostart, 12 starters), the day’s second main event, went to 1.13.4kr timed Audrey Effe (3f Up And Quick-Simphony Effe-Going Kronos) with Andrea Farolfi the reinsman. This impressive filly was a gate to wire winner over Alouette teamed with Enrico Baldi with third to Alcatraz Stecca (3f Napoleon Bar-Minut di No-Indro Park) handled by G.P. Minnucci. Arnas Cam took fourth money for Roberto Andreghetti. Andrea Effe is a slick gaited slender filly with a superb stride at full speed. She showed it this evening with an easy two length score. Two-year olds contested the Premio Oi Dialogoi (purse 8,800€, 1600 meters autostart) this evening at Napoli Agnano, with victory to 1.14.3kr record timed Bleff Dipa (2m Mister JP-Preziosa JW-Let’s` Go). Roberto Vecchione teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee.  The sire Mister JP is a son of Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide. Barbaresco Grif (2f Conway Hall-Maura Grif-Varenne) was second for reinsman Gior. D’Allessandro Jr. and Barenne (2m Varenne-Miss Chip FAS-Pine Chip) was third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

September 7, 2019 - The grand harness racing veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride-Keystone Sheena) won today’s PR Campianato Europa at Cesena’s 800 meter track. This race is contested in two heats with reversed post positions (each for a purse of 11,000€ over 1660 meters autostart) and a match race finale if needed for 132,000€ purse raced over the same distance. The Finale saw Arazi Boko victorious timed in 1.11.1kr reined by his trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro in wire to wire fashion. He won the second heat and in the raceoff bested the other heat winner, Cokstile (6m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) teamed with Antonio DiNardo. The race replay of the Finale can be seen by clicking here. The heats were also superb with Cokstile taking the first timed in 1.12kr for his 14th career score in 39 outings. He bested Urgano Trebi’ (6m Nad Al Sheba - Istria Bi-Toss Out-Traffic Jam) and pilot Roberto Vecchione and third finishing Vernissage Grif (5m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe). The second heat went to 1.12kr timed Arazi Boko over Vernissage Grif and Uragano Trebi’. The race format, found in some European classic events, is an exciting alternative. Thomas H. Hicks

Three eliminations of the Oaks del Trotto were held August 31 at Roma Capannelle, Italy with each batteria for a purse of 22,000€ over the 1640 meter autostart course. Batteria A went to the 1.13.4kr timed Alcatraz Stecca (3f Napoleon Bar-One Minut di No-Indro Park) with G.P. Minnucci aboard. Ariala Cash (3f Ready Cash) and Angiolina OP (3f Chiaccio del Nord) followed the winner to the line.  Batteria B saw Audrey Effe (3f Up and Quick-Simphony Effe) score for pilot Andrea Farolfi timed in 1.13.5kr. Alouette and Avena Jet ended second and third. Audrey Effe The Batteria C elimination race saw Arnas Cam (3f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam-Varenne) score in a quick 1.12kr for Roberto Andreghetti. Always BR Ready (3f Inglesias) was a length away second and third was All Wise As (3f Varenne). Arnas Cam crushed this group and was the most impressive elim winner. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The Premio Finale Campionato Femminile (purse 88,000€, 2100 meters autostart, four year old mares) this day at Ippodromo del Garigliano in Italy, went to Zariah Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) handled by Mauro Biasuzzi clocked in 1.12.9kr. Zealand As (4f Donato Hanover-Fortune As-Tenor de Baune) rallied for second with Rene Legati up. Zarina Daniel (4f SJs Photo-Onda d’Asolo-Uronometro) was third. Winner’s pedigree is shown below. The three year old fillies then contested the Premio Finale Campianato Feminile (purse 88,000€, 2100 meters autostart) with victory earned by 1.12.7kr timed Audrey Effe (3f Up And Quick-Simphony Effe-Going Kronos) reined by Andrea Farolfi for Scuderia Gardesana. The race time was a new record for the open lengths winner. Pedigree shown below. Ampia Mede SM (3f Ganymede-Polimpia Slide SM-Yankee Slide) was second for Vincenzo d’Alessandro Jr. with third to Arnas Cam (3f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam-Varenne). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The classy colt Axl Rose (3m Love You-Linda di Casei-Uronometro) sat the pocket before rolling to victory in Sunday’s Pr Carlo Marangoni Memorial (purse 154,000€, 2100 meters autostart) at Torino, Italy. The Alessandro Gocciadoro trained and reined pupil was timed in 1.12.8kr after Alrajah One set the pace for Enrico Bellei, only to be off the board. Amon You SM (3m Love You-Emon Sante Fe’SM-Lemon Dra) was second with Antoni0p Greppi at the lines and Antony Leone (3m Libeccio Grif-Gasping Ferm-Lemon Dra) was third. Al Capone Stecca and A Sexygirl Par completed the top five. The winning pedigree photo shows that the first dam was an exceptional winner of over 706,000€. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

John Calabrese kept the ball rolling with a win at Cesena. For sure for the affable John it was his first on the soil of his ancestors. this harness racing win, coupled with his smile, brought him many female admirers, especially when they somehow heard that he owned five racetracks in the USA. In the next event though the Italians scored a 1-4 placing over a really slow half pulled off by an Italian wall built up front mirroring those built in ancient times. They could have waited no longer to spoil our fun but took the cruelest path to deflate the American plans for a victory party. It did not matter though because the Americans were treated so royally well that if they had been beaten by 100 instead of by a mere six points. Truthfully the Americans were the big winners. With the care the Americans received from their hosts and friends, Stefano, Rafaello, Roberto Piergiovanni, and Daniele Ortello from amateur clubs from Venezia, Tuscano and Emiglia Romano ( Cesena), we certainly came out on top. Two more days until home for the USA team and all the baggage will be jam packed and brimming over with fond memories of the good times and our friends, both old and new. Coming next on the NAADA schedule will be friends from Torino arriving on US soiled in August. Their mission to compete and win some amateur races and see the famed Hambletonian. As Danile Orsini said we need to keep ties between our countries, as Italy and America have a lot in common, like between Phillip Mazzei and Thomas Jefferson. We must keep the game going at home and with our old Italian friends abroad. Italian horsemen have a great spirit in keeping the game going when you learn that purse money is delayed by six or more months. Yet these dedicated people come to Lexington and Harrisburg and they proudly displayed their Chapter Sevens, Donato's, Trixtons, and talked of the many others when displaying them. The American industry, as well as the global industry owes these people a lot. Bona note Bella Italia for now and benvenuti from USA to our guests coming from Torino.. by Joseph Faraldo

After two days on the beach under wispy clouds and 90 + degree heat the USA harness racing team was scooted off to the Padovanella Hippodromo in Padova Italy.   There USA team members Joe Faraldo and Alan Schwartz duked it out down the lane of this historic half mile track. When the dust and shouting was over Joe Faraldo emerged victorious. For Joe it was a return to the place where he got his 1st pari-mutuel win many years ago. Alan took the place dough and the Americans were on top.   In the next event Alan dropped his longshot into the two hole and though shuffled back a bit emerged on the top of the lane to garner yet another second. As a result the USA team had 64 points to Italy's 40. Truly rewarding but as Yogi Berra use to say: "it ain't over till it's over."are e Italians have 4 more races to close the gap and try to surge a comeback which they are very capable of doing. The cherry on top of the cake for team USA was seeing our dear friend Mauritzio Biasuzzi and his lovely wife Marinella and competing and chatting with the former World Champion amateur driver who has nearly 1,000 wins.   The competition moves on to Montecatini then Cesena Thursday and Friday.   by Joseph Faraldo

Victor Ferm (4m Nad Al Sheba-Farina di Casei-Uronometro) took Sunday’s Gr. III Grand Premi Della Republica (purse 40,040€, 1660 meters autostart) at Bologna ITY. Santo Mollo reined the harness racing winner to the 1.11.5kr timed victory.   A length and a half back second was Vernissage Grif (4m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe) and third went to Deimos Racing (6g Quite Easy-Athena Haleryd-Pine Chip), Enrico Bellei up.   Entries for the Oslo Grand Prix have been revealed for this UET Masters classic with a purse of 308,000, and raced over 2100 meters autostart. The race is held at Oslo’s Bjerke Racecourse. There have been double winners in the race history: Copiad, Gidde Palema, Grande Frances and Rex Rodney. The 2018 winner, Urlo dei Venti, clocked in a race record 1.10kr, was disqualified for doping. Post Position Order (horse, country, driver and trainer: 1. Slide So Easy (Denmark), Flemming Jensen also trainer 2. Perfect Spirit (SWE), Orjan Kihlstrom, Daniel Reden 3. Ringostarr Treb (ITY), Wilhelm Paal, Jerry Riordan 4. Vitruvio (ITY), Jorma Kontio, Alessandro Gocciadoro 5. Bahia Quesnot (FR), Junior Guelpa also trainer 6. Gretsky BR (Norway), Magnus Teien Gunderson, Geir Vegard Gunderson 7. Valokaja Hindo (Norway), Christophe Martens, Jean Michel Bazire 8. Uza Josselyn (Suisse), Gabriele Gelormini, Rene Aebischer 9. Nadal Broline (FIN), Bjorn Goop also trainer 10. Looking Superb (Norway), Jomar Blekken, Jean Michel Bazire Other top races soon to arrive are Jamtlands Store Prix at Ostersund on June 8 that has Double Exposure among an upper class field; and on June 15 is the Kymi Grand Prix that has Dijon Billie de Montfort and Colonel among those committed. Great summer racing in Europe for the many fans and supporters.   Thomas H. Hicks

Veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) scored for harness racing trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro in the Modena Italy featured Pr. Renza Orlandi (purse 40,040€, 1600 meters autostart) clocked in a swift 1.11.7kr. The open lengths winner left from post one, surrendered the lead and quickly went back to the front and the race was essentially over. He opened lengths around the final bend and scored easily over Venanzo Jet (5m Gruccione Jet-Liza-Indro Park) handled by Lorenzo Baldi and Victor Chuc SM (5m CC’s Chuckie T-Conversa SM-Lemon Dra). The fifth dam of the winner is the legendary mare Stenographer.   Thomas H. Hicks

Bel Avis (8m Ganymede-Gloria Maris-Workaholic) roared home for harness racing trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire, just as he did in his batteria, to take the 70th edition of the Gran Premio Lotteria (purse 603,000€, 1600 meters autostart) timed in 1.11.3kr over the 1000 meter track at Napoli. Disco Volante (6g Scarlet Knight-Glorify-Super Arnie) was second for reinsman Bjorn Goop after a pace setting trip where he parked Vitruvio throughout, and third was Ursa Caf (6f Explot Caf-Crismar) with Antonio Esposito aboard. Bazire and Bel Avis followed Disco Volante from a second over journey before making a three wide surge past the tiring Vitruvio late in the final bend, and it was over. Watch the replay here! Bel Avis                    Bel Avis reached the finale with another furious finish to win the third batteria (purse25,300€, 1600 meters autostart) timed in 1.11.6kr. In this one he was away fourth after a slow start and worked his way toward the leaders before jetting away late. Timone EK (m Mr. Vic-Gemona) with Roberto Vecchione up set the pace and gamely held second, ahead of Vanesia EK (5f Explot Caf-Nike EK) with Pietro Gubellini driving. The other batterias went to (the first) Disco Volante (6g Scarlet Knight) with Goop aboard timed in 1.11.9kr in a gate to wire score over Attack Diablo (9g Blue York Yankee) handled by Fed. Esposito and the third finishing Urlo Dei Venti (6m Mago d’Amore).  Disco Volante with Goop       Gaet photo The second batteria saw Vitruvio (5m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM) win timed in 1.11.5kr with an impressive first up brush to the lead at the 600 meter mark and from then on it a controlled win engineered by the trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro. This team defeated Ua Huka (6f Muscles Yankee-Fancy Bi) for Rene Legati and third finishing Ursa Caf (6f Exploit Caf) for Ant. Esposito. Before the finale there was the Lotteria Consolation (purse 33,000€, 1600 meters autostart). Here the front end winner was veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) with Gocciadoro again the driver/trainer. Race time was 1.11.1kr. Vernissage Grif (5m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe) was second and Very Joy (5m Napoleon Bar-Nieves Joy) took the third check ahead of Voltaire Gifont (5m Quaker Jet).   Thomas H. Hicks

Sunday’s trotting action at Torino (Italy) included the Premio Campili (two eliminations for purses of 11,000€ each, 1600 meters autostart) and a final for €13,200 purse and raced over the same distance.   The batteria (elimination) winners were Ua Huka (6f Muscles Yankee-Fancy Bi-Toss Out) timed in 1.12.6kr with harness racing driver Rene Lagati up. She defeated Unno del Duomo and Venanzo Jet.   The second batteria saw Varieta’ Luis (5m Ideale Luis-Griff Baby-Sugarcane Hanover) win timed in 1.11.6kr. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the better that defeated Specialess and Ticket To Ride.   The finale was a match race and Varieta’ Luis went offstride early and Ua Huka zoomed to victory timed in 1.14.1kr for Rene Lagati.   On the card was also the Premio Mario Riccio Memorial (purse 13,200€, 1600 meters autostart).   The 1.11.9kr timed winner was Pantera del Pino (10f Turbo Sund-Desire’ del Pino-Sugarcane Hanover) reined by Rene Legati and she has career earnings of 223,342€.   Urlo dei Venti (6m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy-Malabar Man) was second and Vernissage Grif (5m Varenne-Dalia Grif-Park Avenue Joe) was third. Timone EK was sixth upon return from Sweden.   Thomas H. Hicks

Friday’s harness racing action at Milan Italy featured the Grand Premio Nazionale Prep (purse 13,200€, 2250 meters autostart) and Axl Rose (3m Love You-Linda di Casei-Uronometro) impressed with a 1.13kr seven-length victory with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro driving.   The career winner of 170,714€ defeated Adelante (3m Ready Cash-Iniziale) reined by Marco Smorgon and third finishing Ares Caf (3m Ideale Luis-Ira Caf) with Andrea Guzzinati the pilot. The in the Premio Lana del Rio (purse 13,200€, 1650 meters autostart) the winner was Vitruvio (5m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) clocked in 1.11.3kr. He was a five length winner after rallying from fifth with a three-wide move into the final turn. Trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro reined the winner of 697,196€. Vivid Wise As (5m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip) and Unicorno SLM (6m Love You-CL Brightness-King Conch) followed the winner.   Thomas H. Hicks

The 88,000€ purse Premio Citta di Torino was raced Sunday at Torino Italy over 2060 meters by a good harness racing field of four year olds.   Victory went to 1.12.5kr timed Zacon Gio (4m Ruty Grif-May Glide Font SM) trained by Holger Ehlert and reined by Roberto Vecchione.   He rallied on the backside on the final lap to defeat Zlatan (4m Napoleon Bar-Nastassia Bi) with G.P.Minnucci aboard. Ziosauro Jet (4m Maharajah- Liberte) took third ahead of Vidana Grif (4m Ready Cash) and Zilath (4m Maharajah) completed the top five.   The winner’s pedigree:     On Saturday other trots in Europe included the LC Peterson Broddas Minne at Jagersro, this an Olympiatravet trial for 200,000SEK first money.   The 1.11.4kr timed winner over the 2140 meters autostart course, was 9.6/1 Day Or Night In (7m Muscle Hill-Ellie America-Buvetier d’Aunou) with Peter Untersteiner aboard and Invexbro AB and trainer Yohan Untersteiner. 3/1 Cyber Lane (6g Raja Mirchi- Sybaris Hanover-Cantab Hall) was second for Johan Untersteiner and 3/1 Racing Mange (6m Orlando Vici-Kara Kickan-Alf Palema) was third with Joakim Lovgren up.   Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Gran Premio Italia (purse 40,040€, 1660m autostart) at Bologna went to the impressive Ayrton Treb (3m Majestic Son-Letter Bomb Treb-Enjoy Lavec) with Andrea Farolfi aboard and timed in 1.12.5kr.   He defeated All Wise As (3f Varenne-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) with trainer Erick Bondo at the lines.   Third was Al Capone Stecca (3m Napoleon Bar-Ombretta Bar-Ganymede) with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro driving.   Other news during the week was the move of stallions. Algiers Hall has moved to Spain, Crazed to Finland and Flocki d’Urzy to Sweden, this one a young son of Ready Cash. Further it was announced that Ringostarr Treb will start in the April 27 th Olympiatravet at Aby and if he does well it could set up his defense of the Elitloppet trophy.   Algiers Hall in Spain Thomas H. Hicks  

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