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Saturday at Paris-Vincennes showcased several groupe events beginning with the Prix Jean Riaud (Gr. III, purse 90,000€. 13 starters, a Quinte+ race of the day), named after the trainer/driver of the great Jamin.   In this one, trainer J-M Bazire send out a talented team of three from his training stable and all were in the top five finishers. 9/1 Ble du Gers (8g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) was the 1.12.5kr timed winner with Alexandre Abrivard the reinsman for trainer Bazire and owner J-M Rancoule.   He won for the 19 th time in 55 career starts now for life earnings of 78,360€. Bazire’s favorite, the 2.3/1 Cleangame (7gOuragon de Celland-Red Bell), took second with J-M Bazire up for owner Rancoule.   Third was 19/1Anzi des Liards (9g Look de Star) handled by Romain Derieux. 29/1 Tony Gio (7m Varenne) and 17/1 Bel Avis (8g Ganymede) completed the top five, the latter a Bazire trainee and reined by Nicolas Bazire.   19/1 Traders and 41/1 Delia du Pommereux earned the last two checks. The Q+ payoff of a 2€ exact order winning ticket was 2,713.80 and there were 276 winners. The Q+ pool was 4,850,782€ and the total of all the race pools was 90,826,000€. The co-featured Gr. II Prix Henri Levesque (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, nine five year old starters) produced an impressive victory for 9/10 favorite Enino du Pommereux (5m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. The win was the first in 2019 for the now nine time career winner in 30 starts for 522,780€ earned. Race time was a swift 1.11kr. The 2.8/1 second choice Excellent (5m Real de Lou-Udine d’Odyssee) was second, driven by Alexandre Abrivard and 3.6/1 Eridan (4m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout), a Prix D’Amerique starter, was a distant third for pilot David Thomain. 22/1 Elite du Ruel (5f Timoko-Romances du Ruel) finished fourth for trainer/driver Franck Anne. The Prix de Chateau-Gaillard (purse 56,000€, 2700 meters, 18 starters) included some upper level campaigners and victory went to 3.1/1 Nancy America (8f Revenue-Camarque) in rein to Franck Nivard for Stall Leumas and trainer Philippe Billard. The victory increases her life earnings to 299,078€. Dreambreaker (6g Offshore Dream-Brooke Boko) took second as the 7/10 favorite and with Jean Michel Bazire driving. Third was 12/1 Bleu Ciel (8g Milord Drill) with Adrian Lamy the pilot. Monte performers (three year olds) contested the Gr. II Prix Hemine (monte, purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, seven starters, three year olds) and even-money favorite Gala Tejy (3m Atlas de Joudes-Aurones des Charmes) prevailed for jockey Paul Philippe Ploquin, trainer Christophe Chalon and owner Ecurie Chalon. Gala Tejy                              -LeTrot photo He earned his second career victory in 10 outings now for 123,140€ earned. Race time was 1.14.8kr. 2.4/1 Guerilla de Simm (3f Brillantissime) took second with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard the Philippe Allaire owned and trained filly. Third was 15/1 Girlikova (3f Torino Pierji) that Emmanuel Allard trains and Mathieu Mottier was in the irons. Thomas H. Hicks

Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) rallied from a blocked position on the pegs early in the lane to score by half-length in the Gr. III Prix Angers Loire Metropole (purse 55,000€, 3100 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) at Hippodrome Angers.   Trainer/owner Jean Michel Bazire teamed the 1.12.8kr timed winner to his 43 rd career harness racing victory in 67 starts, now for 2,222,947€ earned.   He overcame a 50 meter handicap and got into striking position early before yielding to Bugsy Malone (8g Ready Cash-Night Captain) and getting blocked.   Marie Brigitte Anty bred the great champion that is accepted in the 2019 Elitloppet and today was the 2/5 favorite. The 50 meter handicapped Bugsy Malone, off at 5.4/1 odds, raced gamely to be second for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and driver Yoann Lebourgeois. 17/1 Beau de Grimoult (8g Pacifique Gede) took third for trainer/driver Franck Anne after a 25 meter penalty.   7.1/1 Archibald (9g Meaulnes du Corta) was fourth for Thomas Levesque and fifth went to 25 meter handicapped 33/1 outsider Blues des Landiers (8g Phlegyas) for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Dominique Cheradame.   Well-regarded Super Fe was eighth and Django Riff was ninth.   Replay http://www.pmu.fr/turf/live-et-replay/?num-reunion=1&num-course=1&date-fr=03042019   There was other interesting action this week in Europe. Tuesday at Paris-Vincennes Go Along (3f Ready Cash-Oxano de Chanterne) scored in the Prix Enif (47,000€ purse, 2700 meters, 10 starters) at 1.2/1 odds.   Go Along     ---LeTrot photo   The Philippe Allaire owned and trained filly was timed in 1.16.4kr with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard.   On Monday at Argentan three year olds contested the Prix Vesta (purse 21,000€ 2150 meters autostart, 12 starters) and 4/1 Guerande (3f Quaker Jet-Symphonie) scored for Yann Lorin, also the trainer for owner J.M. Lorin. 3.9/1 Gourgandine (3f Bold Eagle-Udine) was second for breeder/owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois, ahead of the 1.7/1 favorite Genialissime (3g Brillantissime)reined by Tony LeBeller.   Later in that program was the Prix Phebus (pure 27,000€, 2875 meters, 18 starters) that saw 6.1/1 Cadet Joyeux (7g Love You-Cadette) score timed in 1.14.6kr for David Thomain. Second was 10/1 Crazy Dream (7f Repeat Love-Daisy Chain) for trainer/driver Yves Boireau.   Cadet Joyeux            --PMU/LeTrot photo   This J.P. Dubois bred campaigner rallied from far back in the final bend.   Thomas H. Hicks

The 1.1/1 favorite Belina Josselyn (8f Love You-Lezira Josselyn), with trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard, bravely won today’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Grand Prix de Paris (purse 350,000€, 4150 meters, 11 starters) at Paris-Vincennes on a clear sunny day before a great audience.   Bahia Quesnot, Looking Superb and Tessy d’Ete were in the top spots for the first half of the race with Looking Superb on the front with 1500 meters to go. Then veteran Valko Jenilat made a strong move into contention forcing Belina Josselyn out of fourth position and she surged forward leaving Valko Jenilat three wide in the final turn.   Belina then engaged and move past stablemate Looking Superb in the upper stretch under strong Bazire urging.   She drew ahead by three lengths and then held by a length on the line ahead of fast closing Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) handled by Christophe Martens that was off at 28.5/1.   Carat Williams (7m Prodigious-Miss Williams) also rallied strongly late in the lane to be three lengths back in third at 10.4/1 with David Thomain up.   Belina Josselyn won for the 21 st time in her 65-race career with life earnings advancing to 2,284,930€. Race time was 1.13.9kr, well of the 1.13.5kr race record of Up And Quick in 2015.   Belina also won the Prix d’Amerique and completed the double last done in 2017 by Bold Eagle. The fractions were steady throughout (1.14.9kr at 1500 to go; 1.14.3kr at the 1000 and 1.14kr with 500 meters remaining). Cash Gamble. Tessy d’Ete, Looking Superb and Bahia Quesnot earned the fourth through seventh checks.     by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Today’s Quinte+ harness racing event of the day was the Prix du Cantal at Paris-Vincennes (purse 52,000€, 2850 meters, 2850 meters, 15 European starters). The 1.12.2kr timed victory was earned by the 2.2/1 Valokaja Hindo (8m Great Challenger-Hindo Enghave) reined by trainer Jean Michel Bazire to his seventh win in 11 starts in France. He is owned by Eirik Djuve of Norway and now has career earnings of 310,004€ with today’s win in which he overcame a 25 meter distance handicap.  The 2.7/1 Titanium Gar (7g Daguet Rapide-Lady Killer Gar) gamely held second for Hugo Langeweg Jr. and owner Stall Arend of Holland.  The 23.3/1 outside Jerry Mom (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) was third with David Thomain up for trainer Luc Roelens and JPB Building BVBA of Belgium. This one is a brother to the exceptional Traders. The top five was completed by two 25 meter penalized contestants, the 33.1/1 Brasil de Bailly for Alexandre Abrivard and 30.8/1 Cash du Rib with J.L.Cl. Dersoir up. The Q+ payoff for a 2€ ticket was 15,332.60€ and the total pool was 3,373,352€ Bazire scored again in the Prix de Guise (purse 56,000€, 2700 meters, 11 starters) with 2/1 Freyja du Pont (4f Quinoa du Gers-Parade du Pont) that he also trains for Ecurie Rayon. Freyja won for the seventh time in 13 starts now for 109,650€ in life earnings. Race time was 1.14.7kr. 17.6/1 Fiorentina Somolli (4f Love You-Quitalia Somolli) rallied to be second with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Jerome Compas. Third went to 3.3/1 Fame And Fortune (4f Sam Bourbon-Ma Crown) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Franck Nivard, who bought this mare from Jean Pierre Dubois at the Prix d’Amerique Sale. A race later Jean Michel Bazire won his third of the day in the Prix de Grignes (purse 47,000€, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) driving 9/2 odds Enska (5f Coktail Jet-Polenska) that Emmanuel Ruault trains for Ecurie Comte P de Montesson. Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris lineup is now set with a 12 horse field led by the trotting queen Belina Josselyn (by Love You) and perhaps a chief rival Uza Josselyn (also a Love You mare), both eight years old and both substantial career euro earners. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

January 27, 2019 -  Favorite 5/2 odds Belina Josselyn (8f Love You-Lezira Josselyn-Workaholic) rallied late in the lane for harness racing trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire to win the 98th Prix d’Amerique (Gr. I International UET Masters Series 2019, purse 900,000€, 2700 meters) timed in 1.11.7kr. The victory was career number 20 in 63 starts for the now winner of 2,127,430€. The great mare was bred and is owned by Yvan Bernard. Stablemate and 66/1 outsider Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) was second after rallying from behind Readly Express with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Bazire and owner Kolbjoern O. Selmer. Third was 3.2/1 third wagering choice Readly Express (7m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream) that Bjorn Goop teamed for trainer Timo Numos. The 2018 Amerique held game to the end after enduring the death seat for the final half of the race to nip the tough 14/1 Davidson du Pont (6m Pacha du Pont) that Frank Ouvrie piloted for trainer J-M Bazire, as he raced on the front inner in the later stages after Uza Josselyn led early. The 5.1/1 Propulsion was fifth ahead of 2.8/1 second choice and double Amerique champion Bold Eagle (8m Ready Cash) that was sixth after getting away near the end and was sixth over in tier two before making a late attempt to engage the leaders. 191/1 Uza Josselyn (8f Love You) ended seventh. Grand Prix d'Amérique 2019 - La course - Victoire du couple Belina Josselyn & Jean-Michel Bazire Face Time Bourbon (4m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon-Love You) battled successfully as the 4/10 favorite to win the Prix Association SIS Autisme France (“Charles Tiercelin”) timed in 1.11.2kr for reinsman Bjorn Goop, trainer Sebastien Guarato, owner Scuderia Bivans and breeder SARL Haras Saint-Martin. This exceptional colt won for the 10th time in 12 career starts now for 397,150€ earned. He was timed in 1.09kr over the final 500 meters as he swept three wide to engage the leader in the final bend. The 7.5/1 Fakir du Lorault (4m Vaillant Cash) was second for Francois Lecanu and trainer Frederic Heon. Third went to 91/1 Fric du Chene (4m Nobody du Chene) for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer Julien LeMer. Holy Water (4m Pastor Stephen) at 21/1 and Falcao de Laurma (4m Uniclove) completed the top five. Face Time Bourbon is cited by some a likely successor to Bold Eagle and Ready Cash as the top International trotteur. Face Time Bourbon on the final bend Face Time Bourbon An explosive rainstorm during the Prix Lalique, also the Prix de Montreal (purse 56,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) did not deter the winning 9/1 Excellent (5m Real de Lou-Udine d’Odyssee) with Alexandre Abrivard up for breeder/owner/trainer Laurent Claude Abrivard. Excellent recorded his fifth career victory now for 177,760€ in career earnings. Race time was a quick 1.11.7kr off very fast fractions set by second finishing 11/1 Elnino Montaval (5m Magnificent Rodney) with Eric Raffin up. The kr rate at the 1500 mark was 1.06.9 and at the 1000 it was 1.09.5kr; 1.11.6kr with 500 meters remaining). Germany’s Portland (5m Ganymede) was third for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop, ahead of 78/1 Eugenito du Noyer (5m Saxo de Vandel) and 163/1 Classic Connection (5m Love You-Crys Dream), the latter with legendary Jean-Pierre Dubois driving a shore he bred and owns. Excellent Evangelina Blue winning the Prix Harley-Davidson (the “Camille Blaisot”, Gr. II, 100,000€ purse, monte, 2850 meters, eight starters, harness racing five year olds) began the Prix d’Amerique day at Paris-Vincennes before a huge crowd despite rain and clouds. The winner scored her second straight win at Vincennes and fifth of her career, timed in 1.13.8kr (she won in 1.11.8kr on January 5). Mathieu Mottier was in the irons for owner/trainer Jean Philippe Mary on this five year old daughter of Speedy Blue-Happy Blue who now has life earnings of 220,800€, and today was off at 3.1/1. Easy des Racques (5m Rodrigo Jet) was a 25/1 second for Anthony Barrier and 9/1 Exotica de Retz (5f Prodigious) was a distant third with Delphine Beaufils-Ernault the jockey. The 5/10 favorite Ekeren finished fourth. Evangelina Blue 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

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