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September 12, 2017 - Harness racing 9/10 favorite Clemenza AM (5g Muscle Hill-No Better Kronos) took the Quinte+ Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri-Duran ay Beaumont de Lomanges (purse €40,000, 2550 meters distance handicap, 14 european starters) scoring timed in 1.15.3kr for reinsman Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and owner Courant AB. The winner earned €18,000 and increased his career earnings to €121,918. 32/1 Twist Lie (10g Indu de Vive) was second overcoming a 25 meters penalty for Eric Audebert. Third was 2.9/1 Charmante Fierte (5f Quaro) for J. Ph. Monclin. Q+ payoffs and winning photo follow. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 6, 2017 - Whether Sweden Cup or Elitloppet at the end of May Dante Boko (7g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa-Abo Volo) may get a call off his Saturday decisive harness racing victory in the V75 Gold (150,000SEK to the winner, 1609 meters autostart). Clocked in a sharp 1.10kr the 4.7/1 second choice was teamed by Adrian Kolgjini for trainer Lutfi and Stall Be The Best. 10.7/1 Highspeed Call (9g From Above-Love Call-Alf Palema) took second for Anders Eriksson with third to 3.2/1 Food Money (9g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) reined by Ulf Ohlsson. Fractions were likewise quick (1.07 at the first 500 meters and 1.19.6kr at the 1000 mark). The Orebro card also featured the Stayerlopp (400,000SEK first money, 3140 meters voltstart, Gr. II International event). 9/2 Balfour (6g Scipion du Goutier-Pay The Bill-Sancho Panca) scored in 1.13.3kr driven by Kim Eriksson for owner/trainer Robert Bergh. 2/1 Sauveur (7m Echo-Operah Bob-Easy Lover) was second for Bjorn Goop, ahead of 16/1 Usain Henna (7m Super Light-Kassandra Kuron-Gidde Palema) reined by Osker Svanberg. The winner now has posted four wins in eight 2017 starts and is an impressive 10 for 24 lifetime. Thomas H. Hicks

November 20, 2016 - Venkatesh (7m Varenne-Honey Face) stormed home in the four wide path to win the harness racing Prix de Cosse Le Vivien (purse €75,000, 2100 meters, 15 European starters) at Vincennes. The Lutfi Kolgjini trainee was driven by Pierre Vercruysse for Sweden’s Stall Venkatesh. The 21.1/1 odds winner was timed in 1.11.8kr off quick fractions (1.07.6kr at 1500 to go, 1.10.9 at the 1000; 1.12kr at 500 remaining. Even-money favorite Reckless (6m Ready Cash-Haver) held for second the photo finish with Bjorn Goop aboard, also trainer/owner. Ulexa des Plans (8f Jag de Bellouet-Lola Dessuti) was third for pilot Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Philippe Deaugeard. Thomas H. Hicks

Wednesday’s harness racing Quinte+ Grand Prix Federation Regionale du Nord (purse €100,000, 2700 meters autostart, 14 international starters) resulted in an impressive 1.11.4kr win for 13/1 Dante Boko (6g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa). This one raced barefoot and was an open length winner for Adrian Kolgjini, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Be The Best. 4.1/1 Briac Dark (5m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) took second for Franck Anne, also trainer, for Ecurie Guy Barou. 1.7/1 favorite Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was third for owner/driver Franck Leblanc and driver Franck Nivard. Duke of Greenwood, Valko Jenilat and Voltigeur de Myrt were the next three across the finish line. Also at Le Croise Laroche was the Prix Leopold Verroken (purse €32,000, 2700 meters autostart, 16 European starters) and the 1.13.7kr winner was barefoot 3/2 favorite Vitesse du Val (7f Super Photo Kosmos-Jenny Kiss) with Franck Ouvrie up. 48/1 Cuba Cohiba (8f Scarlet Knight-Hananna’s Hanna) was second ahead of 63/1 Tesaco de Pont (9g Kesaco Phedo-Ma Soiree du Pont) with trainer Alexis Garandeau driving. Wednesday at Solvalla was the ASVT Trottex Auktionslopp for 240,000SEK to the winner, one division for the fillies and colts, raced over 1640 meters autostart, each for the same first money. The filly division went to 1.16.3kr timed Staro Lochlyn (2f Varenne-Loch Ness Broline-Andover Hall) trained by Svante Bath and teamed by Erik Adielsson at 5.7/1. This was her initial career. Vasterbo Rainbow (2f Brioni-Victoria ROK-Super Arnie) took second for Joakim Lovgren, also trainer, and third was Restless (2f Ready Cash-Grail Lady Ann-Supergill) for trainer/driver Ake Lindblom. The colt division went to 24.6/1 Mr. Deauville (2g Prodigious-Glimma du Ling-Running Sea) for trainer/driver Mattias Djuse. Timed in 1.15kr this one bested Ripkin Joe (2m Ken Warkentin-Maggie Qvickstep-Wired Pine) handled by Bjorn Goop with third to Chapuy (2g Quite Easy-Popcorn Lavec-Enjoy Lavec) for Ake Lindblom, trainer/driver. Today’s Paris-Vincennes featured Quinte+ Prix de Mehun Sur Yavre (purse €50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) went to 51/1 Ochongo Face (5g Kiss Francais-Jubel Kemp) for driver Franck Ouvrie, trainer Bjorn Goop and Ecurie Abron 35 AB. 8.4/1 Bar d’Or (5g Orlando Vici-Star du Donjon) was second for trainer/driver Alexis Garandeau. 4.2/1 King Sur Kir (5m Make It Happen-Kings Blondie) was third with Franck Nivard aboard. Ecurie IC Equine AB owns this one and Fabrice Souloy trains. Time for the winner was 1.12.1kr. The Prix Bernard le Quellec (purse €68,000, 2700 meters, 11 european starters) went to 1.14kr timed 3/5 favorite Arazi Boko (9g Varenne-Laura Kemp) with Jean-Michel Bazire up for Ecurie Pirat. Fabrice Souloy trains this horse. 4.7/1 Uno Dancer (8g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) was second for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. 7.9/1 Tabrouk de Payre (9g Meaulnes du Corta-Orcade de Payre) was a close third for J-Ph Monclin. Today’s Prix de Taverny (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 12 european starters) went to 1.15kr timed and even-money favorite Draft Life (3f Ubriaco-Maflymede). Eric Raffin teamed this Louis Baudron owned, bred and trained filly. 3.2/1 Dream Life (3f Royal Dream-Union Of My Life) took second for Jean-Philippe Dubois, Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 28.5/1 Danse Cadence (3f Un Amour d’Haufor-Potuna Saint Andre) was third for Emmanuel Allard, owner/trainer/driver. Thomas H. Hicks

On V75 day at Jagersro, Sweden, the featured L.C. Peterson-Broddas 2016, an Olympiatravet prep, for 150,000SEK to the winner, was taken by Mosaique Face (7m Classic Photo-Iona LB-Supergill) timed in 1.11.9kr for trainer/driver Lutfi Kolgjini over 2140 meters autostart. Tommy Nilsson Holding AB is the owner as Mosaique Face recorded career victory 15 in 59 starts, now for 11,951,136SEK earned. Spartan Kronos (5m Muscle Hill-Dame Kronos-King Conch) was second for trainer/driver Conrad Lugauer and third was Vasterboonthenews (8g Credit Winner-Sandra Dime-Alf Palema) with Christoffer Eriksson aboard. Solvato (7m Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide) was well back in the beaten field after a long layoff. Lutfi Kolgjini On the good Jagersro undercard, Pepi di Jesolo (7g Ganymede-Zanna di Jesolo-Baltic Speed) won the V75 Bronze earning 110,000SEK first money in the 1640 meter autostart for sprinters. Bjorn Goop teamed the winner for trainer Edvin Ceka and Ceka Stable AM, his second straight 2016 score and 15th lifetime in 77 starts. Timed in 1.12kr Pepe di Jesolo bested Officer CD (5g Scarlet Knight-Kiss Of Life-Tenor de Baune) with trainer Robert Bergh up for In The Zone AB. Third was Orakel Face (5g Going Kronos-Rakel Sund-Armbro Goal) driven by Adrian Kolgjini for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Vallro AB. The V75 Silver with 125,000SEK to the winner of the 2140 meter autostart contest, went to Radysin America (6f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream) clocked in 1.12.5kr for driver Christoffer Eriksson, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Lisa Riordan. The late Lou Guida bred this half-sister to Lisa America. Go Green Pellini (8m Love You-Sparkling Pellini-Giant Chill) was second for Peter Ingves and trainer Petri Puro, with third to Even’s First Boy (7g Ken Warkentin-Even Southwind-Alf Palema) for trainer/driver Flemming Jensen. One race later Riordan return to the winners’ circle as his trainee Rocky Hanover (3m Cantab Hall-Rapsong-Windsong’s Legacy) won an event for three year-olds worth 40,000SEK first prize. This recent US import was reined by Johan Untersteiner for owner Euro-Vets AB. Timed in 1.14.6kr over the 2140 meter autostart course, Rocky Hanover defeated Mitos Gold (3g Good As Gold-Principessa-Pearsall Hanover) with Stefan Soderkvist driving. Three other 100,000SEK first money events were on the card. Four year-olds contested the 2016 Derby Trial over 2640 meters autostart, with the winner being Tellmeastory (4g Zola Boko-Katydid-Fast Photo) timed in 1.13.8kr for trainer/driver Vlejo Heiskanen. The V75-2 Klass I event was won by Target Kronos (4g Raja Mirchi-Ebony Kronos-Pine Chip) clocked in 1.13.9kr for Adrian Kolgjini and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini for Allev. Kronos SRL of Italy. The V75-5 for mares over 2140 meters autostart, went to Jetset (7f Juliano Star-Superlet-Super Arnie) reined by trainer Peter Untersteiner for owners Lars Melin and Birgitta Olsson. This one was tiked in 1.13.5kr. The April 30 Olympiatravet, raced at Aby,  lineup now includes Mosaique Face, Anna Mix, Your Highness, Sauveur, On Track Piraten, B.B.S. Sugarlight (last year’s winner) and Support Justice. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

January 14, 2016 - Dominik Locqueneux teamed 1.7/1 favorite Quick Fix (7g From Above-Glued) to victory in today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €2.3 million) Gr. III Prix de la Cote d’Azur (purse €150,000, 2900 meters, 18 starters) clocked in 1.16kr at Cagnes-sur-Mer. The shoeless winner is trained by Lutfi Kolgjini for Tommy Nilsson Holding AB. 59/1 Une de Bannes (8f Vroum d’Or-Jeune de Bannes) landed second for Christophe Martens with third to 5.6/1 Riff Kronos (6m Dream Vacation-Elaine Kronos) reined by Franck Nivard. 27/1 Potenza OM (7f Yankee Slide-Fiancee du Jesolo) was fourth for Gabriel Gelormini with fifth to 13.8/1 Un Diamant d’Amour (8g Diamant Gede-Havane de la Motte) for driver Eric Raffin. Trebol finished seventh, Truman Dairpet was disqualified and unplaced were Osiride Grif, Berry’s Boy and Africaine. The Prix de Cagnes-sur-Mer (purse €50,000, 2925 meters, 14 European starters) on the undercard went to 1.15.6kr winner Baby Lou Max (5g Gazouillis-Kamaxie) at 3/2 odds for Denis Bekaert, trainer Ph. Mortagne and owner J-D Resson. Second was 11.3/1 Udo’s Oiler (8g Orlando Vici-Carmela Kemp) with trainer Robert Bergh aboard with third to 28/1 Beanhawaii (6g Dream Vacation-Honalulu Lulu) with Christophe Martens driving for trainer Vincent Martens. 17/1 Paparazzi (7g Infinitif-Emily di Jesolo was fourth in this Pick 5 event for driver Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 64/1 Team Marceau (9g Opus Viervil-Havane Marceau) finished fifth. The Prix Kaizer Soze (purse €32,000, 2925 meters, 15 European starters) this day at Cagnes-sur-Mer  went to 7.5/1 odds Pike River (9g Likable River-Ocala As) with Antoine Wiels at the reins for trainer Marku Vartiainen and By The River Stable of Finland. 24/1 Urbec Dry (8g Gros Grain-Kismie d’Eronville) for owner/trainer/driver Romuald Mourice was second with 40/1 Ulysse de la Vitar (8m Neoh Jiel-Jeansadnieres) home third. The winner was clocked in 1.16.6kr over a rain soaked raceway. Early wagering on the month end Prix d‘Amerique at Paris-Vincennes indicates interest in Bold Eagle, Up And Quick, Timoko, Robert Bi and Lionel as the wagering top five. Robert Bi (a winner of €944,000) is out in Sunday’s Prix de Belgique but he starts tomorrow at Wolvega over 2620 meters in a distance handicap event with eight of the 13 starters to travel 2600 meters. It was reported by Gaet that Nuncio is an out for the Prix d’Amerique, instead staying in Sweden. 2  17:40 GRAND PRIX W.H. GEERSEN (WOLVEGA WINTER CH./ELITE CH.) Prijzendraverij. (g.l.s.) - 15-01-16, Wolvega  Drafsport - 2600 mtr - Bandenstart  Dotering: € 9.900 ( 4250 2400 1100 600 300 200 150 en 10% fokpremie)     Dimaggio Boko J. de Leeuw 2600 1     Dream Well E. Bot 2600 2     SJs Junior C S. Schoonhoven 2600 3     Radamante T.H. Kooyman 2600 4     Banker Transs R N. D' Haenens 2600 5     Boucher le Blanc F.W. van der Blonk 2600 6     Dex Beuckenswijk H. Ebbinge 2600 7     Crizzly Bear J.V.M.G. Verbeeck 2600 8     Best Well J. Westenbrink 2620 9     Bibi Barosso H.W. Langeweg jr. 2620 10     Your Love Lois A. Bakker 2620 11     Duke of Greenwood M.F. Rothengatter 2620 12     Robert Bi R. Bakker 2620 13   Thomas H. Hicks

November 28, 2015 - Dante Boko (5g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa) took Saturday’s Quinte+(jackpot €3.45 million) Prix de Chenonceaux at Vincennes for a purse of €100,000. 18 European starters battled over the 2700 meter course with the win going to the Dominik Locqueneux driven, Lutfi Kolgjini trained, Stall Be The Best owned, 2.8/1 odds Dante Boko as he led throughout and was timed in 1.12.3kr. He raced barefoot and sent an even pace (1.12.1kr at 1500 to go mark; 1.12.5kr at 1000; 1.12.7kr at 500). 7/1 Briac Dark (4m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) rallied to be second for trainer/driver Franck Anne with 36/1 Adelia de Melodie (5f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) third for Franck Ouvrie. Beau Gamin and Viking Va Bene took the fourth and fifth spots on the line. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 5 Dante Boko SWE D. Locqueneux Stall Be the Best Lutfi Kolgjini 2ème 8 Briac Dark F. Anne Ecurie Guy Barou F. Anne 3ème 10 Adélia de Mélodie F. Ouvrie P. Lecat S. Meunier 4ème 12 Beau Gamin E. Raffin Ecurie J-Michel Rancoule S. Guarato 5ème 7 Viking Va Bene NOR F. Nivard P. Hauger F. Souloy  Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 3.450.000 € - Numéro plus : 0141     Ordre :       6.315,20€     Désordre :       90,80€     Bonus 4 :       15,00€     Bonus 4sur5 :       7,50€     Bonus 3 :       5,00€                     Quick Fix (6g From Above-Glued) too today’s €90,000 purse Prix de Quimper over the 2700 course and contested by 14 European starters. Dominik Locqueneux drove the 9.7/1 odds winner for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and owner Tommy Nilsson Holdings AB. 16/1 Venue de Bailly (6f Chaillot-Oceane de Bailly) was second for driver J-M Bazire ahead of 7/10 favorite Your Highness (6f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady) handled by Franck Nivard for trainer Fabrice Souloy and P.V. Racing HB. Paparazzi and Prince di Poggio landed the next two spots in the race with the winner clocked in 1.13.8kr. The Prix de Bagnoles de l’Orne (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) went to the 1.13.5kr winner, 28.6/1 Teatro (8m Ganymede-Josette) for owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. 1.7/1 favorite Un Diamant d’Amour (7g Diamant Gede-Havane de la Motte) was second for Eric Raffin ahead of 6/1 Tropic du Hetre (8g Jasmin de Flore-Ixia de Perthuis) for Damien Bonne. The top three all raced shoeless. Thomas H. Hicks    

November 25, 2015 - Lutfi Kolgjini’s trainee Maffioso Face (6g Revenue-Nouchka) took today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €3.3 million) Prix de la Camarque (purse €62,000, 2700 meters, 18 European entrants) timed in 1.13.7kr for teamster Mathieu Abrivard. The 3.7/1 odds winner held along the pegs to defeat fast closing 10/1 Vasco de Viette (6g Capriccio-Nonette Tivoli) reined by Eric Raffin with third to 17/1 Victor de Levres (6f Lontzac-Eva Lina) and driver Anthony Barrier. Tell Me No Lies and Va Et Vient finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 3 Maffioso Face SWE M. Abrivard Folk&Fä HB Lutfi Kolgjini 2ème 5 Vasco de Viette E. Raffin Mme B. Chaudemanche F. Lercier 3ème 7 Victoire de Lèvres A. Barrier Ecurie de Neret F. Provost 4ème 12 Tell Me No Lies SWE F. Nivard KLV Holding AB F. Souloy 5ème 14 Va et Vient D. Thomain J. Coupez C. Nicole  Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 3.300.000 € - Numéro plus : 0557     Ordre :       6.830,00€     Désordre :       136,60€     Bonus 4 :       24,00€     Bonus 4sur5 :       12,00€     Bonus 3 :       8,00€                     Two year-olds contested two divisions of the Prix des Gnemones each for a purse of €35,000 over 2200 meters. The A division had 13 starters with 6.7/1 Diva du Mouchel (2f The Best Madrik-Perle  du Mouchel) emerging victorious for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Laurent Edin clocked in 1.17.5kr. 24/1 Diana du Chatelet (2f Real de Lou-Tirade du Chatelet) was a close second ahead of 5/2 favorite Delmonica Vet (2f So Lovely Girl-Harmonie Chery) handled by trainer Bertrand Le Beller The B division saw 12 entrants at the start and the 1.19kr winner was 2.2/1 odds Daylight Jet (2f Jag de Bellouet-Ocarina Jet) with trainer Pierre Vercruysse aboard for owner Jean-Etienne Dubois. 3.6/1 Dream Filly (2f Tucson-Nectarine) was second in the win photo for Eric Raffin ahead of 5.1/1 Dochine de Hovelle (2f Gazouillis-Olita de Kefrauso) with Franck Nivard driving for trainer Franck Leblanc. Dam of the winner, Ocarina Jet, is a 2002 daughter of Coktail Jet-Hermine Jet-Buvetier d’Aunou. She also has produced Norman Jet 1:57.1 (US$227,919) and two other winners of in excess of US$63,000. It’s also the maternal family of Abercrombie 1:56.3 (US$488,279), Camino 1:56.2 (US$1,168,559) and Gobernador 1:54.1 (US$996,594). Prior day (Tuesday) at Paris-Vincennes was the €58,000 purse Prix Lachesis (2200 meters, 15 starters) and 1.6/1 favorite Akayama (5f Prodigious-Hirosaka) took victory in 1.15.6kr for David Thomain and trainer Alain Roussel. 7.3/1 Action Partage (5f Opium-Loumana Flor) was second for driver Pierre Levesque, trainer Mike Lenders and owner Daniele Gozlan. 33/1 Agrippa Mesloise (5f Jasmin de Flore-Jessces Mesloise took the third spot. A solid card at Vincennes awaits fans on Thursday featuring the €90,000 monte Prix  de L’Ile de Re over 2850 meters with 20 contestants. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 21, 2015 - Adrian Kolgjini piloted the Lutfi Kolgjini trained Buzz Mearas (4g Dream Vacation-Dance Of Joy-Malabar Man) to victory in today’s Axel Jensens at Bjerke, with 300,000NOK to the winner of this 1609 meter autostart contest. The winner scored easily timed in 1.10.4kr (1:53.2 mile rate) to defeat Explosive De Vie (4g Explosive Matter-Ava-Pine Chip) driven by trainer Jim Oscarsson with third to Daley Lovin (4m Conway Hall-Dreamsmadeofthis-Dream Vacation) handled by trainer Daniel Reden. Exodus Hanover and Royal Ice took the next two spots. All of the top five, except the winner, were bred and registered in the US. On the Bjerke card was the Kai Eriksens Gold Division and the winner was Denmark’s Tycoon Conway Hall (5m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) for trainer/driver Steen Juul. The winner earned 150,000NOK in victory over the 1609 meters autostart course. Timed in 1.11kr (mile rate 1:54.3) Tycoon Conway Hall defeated Magiccarpetride (9m Angus Hall-Meadowbranch Magic-Valley Victory) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom and third finishing Chatain (6g Love You-C’est Bon-Bosphorus) from Denmark and piloted by Erlend Rennesvik. Remee La Marc (7g Andover Hall-Loving Her Is Easy-Valley Victory) and Vidar Hop was fourth ahead of Art On Line (8g Rite On Line-Lass Fleur-Backstreet Guy) and Johnny Takter. Bjerke’s Silver Division Flaata Eiendom for 125,000NOK to the winner over 1609 meters autostart went to US-bred Call Me Hanover (6g Kadabra-Chiptease-Pine Chip) driven by Eriend Rennesvik. Timed in 1.11.2kr (mile rate 1:54.6) the winner vanquished Denmark’s Punk (6m Angus Hall-Primavera-SJ’s Photo) driven by Tom Erik Solberg with third to Tripolini VP (5g Archduke Kemp-Lady Magic-Shane Scottseth) and teamster Jeppe Juel. Highspeed Call, by From Above, was fourth with Ja El Tomcat, by Chocolatier, fifth, that one from the dam of JL Cruze, Topcat Hall by Conway Hall.  Earlier in the week at Aby SWE (November 18), the Jerry Riordan trained, Lisa Riordan owned, Radysin America won an event worth 70,000SEK to the winner. Radysin America (5f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream) was driven by Peter Ingves and scored in 1.13.1kr for her third 2015 victory and 12th career win in 40 starts. Radysin was bred by the late Lou Guida and is a half-sister to the great European mare Lisa America, bred in Italy. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Paris-Vincennes co-featured Gr. III Prix Aigle Azur (purse €85.000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 3/5 favorite Dante Boko (5g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa) timed in 1.13.4kr for driver Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and owner Stall Be The Best. Another Kolgjini trainee, 12.5/1 Radieux (5g Love You-Dordogne) was second for driver Mathieu Abrivard and owner Ecurie Kolgjini AB. Third was 24/1 Artiste de Joudes (5m Prodigious-Memory des Joudes) with David Thomain up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Dante Boko impressively led most of the way and steadily increased speed (1.15.8kr at 1500 to go; 1.14.3kr at 1000; 1.13.9kr at 500) to assert himself as a future top-class performer. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_Fw0ZfeaNg The Quinte+ (jackpot €3.55 million) Gran Prix du Portugal (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) went to Udo’s Oiler (7g Orlando Vici-Carmela Kemp) at 9.9/1 for driver Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and owner Etoile Sweden HB. The winner scored in 1.14kr by two lengths. 7/1 Unique de l’Iton (7g Capriccio-Majesta de l’Iton) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Hughes Levesque. 15/1 Oudry del Veltri (7f Varenne-Pamela Stra) was third for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Johanna Lindqvist. 1.9/1 favorite Belina Josselyn (4f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) easily took the €82,000 purse Prix d’Auvergne over 2700 meters with 14 European participants. This 1.13.5kr winner was teamed by trainer J-M Bazire for owner Yvan Bernard. 8/1 Bahia Quesnot (4f Scipion de Goutier-Queen Ines) was second for reinsman Eric Raffin and 6/1 Balva Montaval (4f Magnificent Rodney-Primavera de Lou) was third for Gabriel Gelormini. The Vincennes co-featured Gr. III Prix Alfred Lefevre (monte, purse €100,000, 10 starters over 2850 meters) went to 9.6/1 Volcan d’Occagnes (6g Quido du Goutier-Hermina Beaucea) with Mathieu Abrivard in the irons. This pair scored in 1.13.8kr off even fractions (1.14.1kr at 1500; 1.13.6kr at 1000; 1.13.4kr with 500 to go). Franck Nivard teamed 4.8/1 Veloce du Banney (6g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) for trainer Franck Leblanc to finish second ahead of 13.1/1 Valse de Reve (6f Mister President-Nouba Houba) and Camille Levesque for trainer/owner Alain Roussel. Fourth was 9/10 favorite Uppercut de Manche (7g Neutron du Cebe-Nuit du Manche) with Damien Bonne up for trainer Thierry Raffegeau. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LHatLh78d6Q Today at Ecommoy on the turf, the Prix de la Ville d’Ecommoy (purse €34,000, 2750 meters, 18 starters) went to 13/1 outsider Udine de la Coudre (7f Fortuna Fanbt-Hakimora) driven by Fabien Gence. 6/1 Titan du Lieuvin (8g Gogo-Milady de Paris) was second for Bertrand Le Beller with 13/1 Uno Dancer (7g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) third. Turf trotting contests continue to attract good crowds at venues throughout France. Also on turf at Alencon was the Prix Serma BTP (purse €40,000, 2625 meters, 18 European starters) and 4.6/1 Sierra Leone (9f John Arifant-Une d’Havetot) was the winner for teamster J.Cl. Hallais and trainer J.W. Hallais. 14/1 Viking Dream (6g Iserio-Helfie) was second ahead of 8.5/1 Un Poco Loco (7g Kenya du Pont-Port Vila). On Saturday (September 19) at Kincsem Park the 600,000Huf Uli DIJ over 1960 meters distance handicapped went to Reste Premier (10h Laetenter Diem-Certitude Bertini) that overcame a 20 meter penalty to win in 1.16.6kr for Istvan Papp, trainer Joseph Rutkai and owner Prolongo Kft. Also on the card the US-sired Andorra Gold (7f Andover Hall-Olympics) scored in the Labdarozsa Handicap (purse 360,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) for Csaba Lakatos, trainer/driver, and owners Drimwind 2011 Kft and Ari Pylvakinen timed in 1.19.1kr. Another of Olympics offspring also was victorious this weekend in the US (On The Podium at 1:55.4h winner at Saratoga). Thomas H. Hicks  

September 13, 2015 - Harness racing trainer driver Lutfi Kolgjini piloted 3.9/1 odds Mosaique Face (6m Classic Photo-Iona LB) to a decisive front-end score in today’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Final (purse €504,000, 2300 meters autostart) at Mons Ghlin (Belgium) timed in 1.11.7kr over an off-track. The winner is owned by Thomas Nilsson Holdings and trained by Kolgjini. 13/1 Creatine (5m Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles) was a rallying second for trainer/driver Johnny Takter, and US owner Adam Bowden, after being well-placed second in the outer for much of the contest. 16/1 Oasis Bi (7m Toss Out-Up Front JM) was third for Claes Svensson in a three-way battle with Creatine and fourth finishing On Track Piraten. Papagayo E was fifth with BBS Sugarlight sixth. Vincennes, El Mago Pellini, Nahar and Rue du Bac was disqualified for miscues and Timoko was scratched. Thomas H. Hicks    

August 22, 2015 - Today’s top harness racing events in Sweden were at Gavle, the E3 Finals for three year-old fillies and colts, each with 900,000SEK to the winners, raced over 1640 meters autostart, and both were Gr. I International contests. The ES Final for fillies went to Princess Face (3f Muscle Hill-Hepburn Broline-Pine Chip) with Adrian Kolgjini up for owner/trainer Lutfi Kolgjini timed in 1.11.1kr for this length victory. This one now shows a slate of 3-3-0 in seven outings for 1,088,500SEK earned. Toohotforyou (3f Scarlet Knight-VasterboFromHeaven-Red Xing) and teamster Ulf Ohlsson and Ninepoints Gaagaa (3f Steinlager-Ninepoints Kelly-Scarlet Knight) with trainer Jorgen Westholm aboard were second and third in a close finish, both clocked in 1.11.2kr. The E3 for colts and geldings went to Heavy Sound (3g Ken Warkentin-Illustre November-Viking Kronos) with Kenneth Haugstad up for trainer Roger Walmann clocked in 1.10.9kr for a three length victory. The winner is owned by AB Svensk Reklamfinans and now has a 6-2-2- slate in 10 starts for 1,681,000 earned.  Camelot Sisu (3m Even Better Odds-Warrawee Karri-Dream Of Glory) handled by Ulf Ohlsson and Farzad Boko (3g Zola Boko-Kathy Silvio-Spotlite Lobell) with Johnny Takter teaming were second and third in another close finish. Also on the card was the Lars Axerlssons Gold Division worth 150,000SEK to the winner and contested over 2140 meters autostart. Italy’s Royal Blessed (5m Varenne-Ivory Kronos-Viking Kronos) took this one in 1.11.4kr for trainer/driver Wim Paal, his first 2015 win and ninth lifetime in 53 starts for 2,419,480SEK earned.  Arazi Boko (8g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) was second for Christoffer Eriksson with third to veteran Lord Capar (10m Varenne-Foxy’n Rowdy-Rowdy Yankee) and teamster Thomas Dalborg. Kash’s Cantab, Nothing But Class and Hard Livin were in the beaten field. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 13, 2014 - On this day in the land of the midnight sun at Boden SWE El Mago Pellini (6m Chocolatier-Mr Intuition-Andover Hall-CR Kay Suzie) and teamster Adrian Kolgjini won the Gr. I International UET Masters Series Norbottens Stora Pris (2140 meters autostart, 1,000,000SEK to the winner, 9 starters) with a gutsy death seat journey outside harness racing favorite Panne de Moteur (7m Credit Winner-Jalopy-Donerail) with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Stefan Hultman. The winner, that applied long lasting pressure on leader Panne de Moteur, is trained by Lutfi Kolgjini for owner Vitkindale HB. El Mago Pellini now has a career slate of 12-5-5 in 43 starts for 4,055,697SEK earned. Third went to On Track Piraten (7g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) and Johnny Takter (trainer Hans R. Stromberg), that made a rush from the backfield, with Indigious, Backfire and Knows Nothing next to the line. Creatine was away alertly, found the three hole and showed nothing, backing up late in the contest. Nahar, winner of the 2013-2014 editions of this race made a miscue. Some of the better northern European trotters were at the start. Under the midnight sun, still at 23:10 local time, the huge crowd enjoyed an excellent trotting card highlighted by this classic. Thomas H. Hicks

May 2, 2015 - Lutfi Kolgjini’s trainee Quick Fix (6g From Above-Glued) won Saturday’s Prix d’Etain Royal at Seinajoki Finland scoring in 1.12.71kr at 8/1 for harness racing reinsman Toumas Korvenoja and owner Tommy Nilsson Holdings AB. The €100,000 purse international contest drew 10 entrants over the 2100 meter autostart course. 11/1 Big Sky Hurricane (7g Revenue-Big Sky Queen) was second for Mikka Forss ahead of 10.6/1 Traveling Man (10g Supergill-Kimberly Lobell) trained by Daniel Reden for Stall Zet. Former Elitloppet winner Nahar and veteran Womanizer finished back of fifth. As of this date eight invitations have been made for the 2015 Elitloppet with four important prep races remaining: Invitees: Timoko, France Maven, US On Track Piraten, SWE Digital Ink, SWE Wind Of The North, US BBS Sugarlight, NO Aladin d’Ecajeul, FR Support Justice, NO Remaining Preps: Copenhagen Cup, May 10 Algot Scotts Minne, May 16 Finlandia AJO, May 17 Prins Daniels Lopp, May 23 The action is sure to intensify leading to the Elitloppet. Be there to witness one of the world’s great sporting events. Thomas H. Hicks

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