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Italy’s Vitruvio (5m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) took today’s Oslo Grand Prix (purse 2,830,000Nokr, 2100 meters autostart, nine starters after Looking Superb was scratched.   Jorma Kontio teamed the winner to a rallying score for harnes racing trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro, Vitruvio’s third 2019 win in four starts and 16th in his career that spans 36 appearances.   His life earnings are now 9,987,837Nokr. Bahia Quesnot was a game second for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa after racing first over and putting away the breaking pacesetter Ringostarr Treb at the end of the final bend.   Valokaja Hindo rallied for third with Christophe Martens teaming for trainer Jean-Michel Bazire. Former Hambletonian winner Perfect Spirit was also a miscue dq for his break into the first turn.   Vitruvio                                 --Bjerke Travbane, ATG, Rikstoto files/photos   Race time was 1.11.6kr for the 7.1/1 odds winner. The undercard action at Bjerke was excellent.   The 555,000Nokr total purse Energima Cup Final went to 1.11.3kr timed Gigant Invalley (Gigant Neo) with Gunnar Austevoll up. This one was third in his elimination. The two elimination winners were Une Etoile Gar (Varenne) clocked in 1.11.2kr and Donatomite (Donato Hanover-Malvictorian) in 1.12kr.   The Finn Tack Europamatch (565,000Nokr purse, 2100 meters autostart) went to 1.12.9kr timed Heart of Steel (Cantab Hall) with Peter Untersteiner up. Gina Shermer (Varenne) took the Akershus Tracktors for Mares with a 410,000Nokr purse, clocked in 1.11.8kr over the 1609 meters autostart course.   The YesBox Trot (255,000Nokr purse, 1609 meters autostart) saw Reigning Moni (Donato Hanover) score in 1.11.6kr with Orjan Kihlstrom driving for trainer Daniel Reden.   Early in the program was the Kingsrod Trading Monte (195,000Nokr purse, 1609 meters autostart) and Be Mine de Houelle (Scipion du Goutier) scored for jockey Maria Bacsich timed in 1.11.6kr. Franck Leblanc trains this one that was recently third in Solvalla’s Monte Elite, a race she won in 2018.     Thomas H. Hicks

Perfect Spirit, the 2017 Hambletonian winner, will have his first race in an International open race in the Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke Sunday (June 9) afternoon. After his entrance at the Swedish trotting scene, last year Perfect Spirit was campaigned against other 4-year old trotters, but this year his trainer, Daniel Redén, has matched him against elder trotters. Perfect Spirit won his first two races this year – best timed in 1.52.4 – but third time out he made a break and was disqualified. In the Oslo Grand Prix, Perfect Spirit with regular driver Ôrjan Kihlström, will be among the favorites to win the event which has a purse of $175,000. Perfect Spirit will leave from post position two in the 1-5-16 mile event. Here are the post positions: 1. Slide So Easy (DK) – sired by Quite Easy (U.S.) 2. Perfect Spirit (US) – sired by Andover Hall (U.S.) 3. Ringostarr Treb (IT) – sired by Classic Photo (U.S.) 4. Vitruvio (IT) – sired by Adrian Chip (U.S.) 5. Bahia Quesnot (FR) sired by Scipion du Goutier (FR) 6. Gretzky BR (NO) – sired by Quite Easy (U.S.) 7. Valokaja Hindø (DK) – sired by Great Challenger (U.S.) 8. Uza Josselyn (DK) – sired by Love You (FR) 9. Nadal Broline (SE) -sired by Yankee Glide (U.S.) 10. Looking Superb (NO) – Scratched by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

An excellent V75 card was the menu Saturday at Bjerke (NO) included the Big Noon (Gold division, 200,000 NOkr to the winner, 2100 meters autostart). The 1.9/1 Global Trustworthy (5m Muscle Hill-Trophy Stand-Garland Lobell) scored for driver Jorma Kontio and trainer Timo Nurmos. Race time was 1.11.7kr as the winner bested internationally respected and 2.3/1 Lionel (8m Look de Star-Aurora Sign-Smok’n Lantern) that owner Goran Antonsen drove for trainer Daniel Reden. The 57.8/1 Deep Sea Dream (10g Offshore Dream-Nightlight-Super News) was third for Tom Erik Solberg. Probo OK was seventh and Donatomite and Spitcam Jubb were dq’s. On the undercard was the V7 Silver Flaata Elendom As (purse to the winner 150,000Nokr, 2100 meters autostart) with that victory to The Last Ticket (7m Thai Tanic-One Way Ticket-Diamond Way) handled by Dag-Sveinung Dalen. Race time was 1.12.5kr. Vasterbo Exact (7g Racer Bourbon) was second for Thomas Uhrberg and third went to Gigant Invalley (8m Gigant Neo-Fachi-JR Broline). The four year olds mares contested the Axel Jensens Minelop (150,000NOkr to the winner, 2100 meters autostart) with the 1.13.3kr timed victory earned by Denmark’s 3.1/1 Carna Sensei (4f Prodigious-Line Sensei-Mr. Flirt) with Thomas Uhrberg aboard for trainer Steen Juel. The 6.5/1 Normandie Royal (4f Orlando Vici-Lamitech Monique-Sugarcane Hanover) took second for trainer/driver Frode Hamre, and third was 4.1/1 Tropicana As (4f Manofmanymissions-Tropical Breeze As-Striking Sahbra) that was steered by Carl Johan Jepsopn for trainer Jerry Riordan. The race record for this stake was set in 2016 by the Jerry Riordan trained and Christoffer Eriksson reined Treasure Kronos at 1.11.7kr. The day’s featured event was the Axel Jensens Minnelop (300,000NIOkr to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, ten starters), a race that began in 1944 and has been raced annually ever since exceot for 1994 and 1996. The stake record was set in 2015 by Buzz Mearas at 1.11.5kr with Adrian Kolgjini up. Ferrari BR won last year’s edition in 1.11kr for Per Oleg Midtfjeld. This year the winner was 3/1 Vainqueur RP (4m Infinitif-Global Affair-Broadway Hall) with Ulf Ohlsson up for trainer Frode Hamre. He defeated 5.3/1 Enterprise (4m Chapter Seven-Shes Gone Again-SJs Caviar) that was piloted by Carl Johan Jepson for Courant AB and trainer Stefan Melander. 6.1/1 Giveitgasandgo (4g Yabkee Glide-Mazda Hanover-Andiver Hall) was third for driver Kevin Oscarsson and trainer Hamre. 13/1 Snowstorn Hanover finished fourth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The 2.3/1 Diamanten (5m Adrian Chip-Iata Kill-Ata Star L) easily took today’s Gr. I Ulf Thoresens Grand International at Jarlsberg, Norway with Erik Adielsson aboard for trainer Stig H. Johansson and owner Lars Otten Froode. Race time was 1.11kr over 2100 meters autostart with 10 contestants vying for the 157,388 euro total purse. The 26/1 Trendy OK (6f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) closed rapidly for second handled by trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. 17/1 Rajesh Face (5m Raja Mirchi-Nippy Girl-Ginger Somolli) was third for Adrian Kolgjini and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 28/1 Coquin Bebe and 3/1 Twister Bi ended fourth and fifth respectively, the latter after a miscue at the start. The Jarlsberg undercard was an interesting one showing high speed and vibrant pedigrees. Uni Lest (5m Varenne-Superiors Sun) took the Prix Onyx Noir (purse 20,440 euro, 3100 meters, 15 starters) at 6.6/1 odds and timed in 1.15.6kr. This winner, owned by Stall Festa di Trotto, is a brother to international performer Pascia’Lest. Vincent (4m Classic Photo-Olga LP) at 9/1 took the Prix Grenat (13,798 euro total purse, 1609 meters autostart, 12 starters) clocked in 1.11.7kr. Eric Hoitomt teamed the winner that defeated a third finishing favorite (1/2 odds) Forever Peace (5m Muscle Hill-Peaceful Way). Second was MS Triple J (3m Cantab Hall-Marita’s Victory-Valley Victory), his dam a Hambletonian Oaks winner, US$160,000 yearling and dam of Quite Easy (winner of Champlain and International Stallion Stake), From Above and Stick Man Moe from nine foals. Gina Schermer (5f Varenne-Ellymay) was the 1.10.9kr timed winner of the Prix Malachite (total purse 20,440 euro, 1609 meters autostart, 12 starters) with Rick Ebbinge driving for trainer J.W. Engwerda. Laser Tile (5g Cantab Hall-Vicky Diablo) was the 1.12kr winner of the Prix Tourmaline (16,383 euro total purse, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) as the 2/1 favorite. The day’s speed monster was in the Prix Oeil de Tigre (purse 21,054 euro, 1609 meters autostart, 12 starters) with victory to 7/2 odds Waffle Cone (4f Muscle Hill-Sugar Cone) timed in 1.09.8kr (1:52.3) for Erik Adielsson, driving for trainer Frode Hamre. Giant Invalley and Shadow Gar trailed the winner home. The Jarlsberg undercard’s top event was the Prix Turquoise (40,880 euro total purse, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters) with victory to 2/1 Coktail Fortuna (9g Love You-Dalloah No-Diamond Way) handled by trainer Robert Bergh.10/1 Ubertino Grif (5m Libeccio Grif-Nebraska Grif-Varenne) was second for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro with third to 41.1 Photo Lavec (6m SJs Photo-Joyful Lavec-Enjoy Lavec) with Tom Erik Solberg driving. Trinity Lux was scratched. Race time was 1.12.4kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink      

July 7, 2017 - Friday’s Grand Prix Champion Jarlsberg was raced in two eliminations and a final for Norway’s best harness racing four year-old trotters. The eliminations and final were raced over 1609 meters autostart (one mile) with the elims carrying a purse of 65,000NOk (30,000NOk to the winner. Purse for the final was 600,000NOk (300,000NOk to the winner). In the final 3.8/1 Phantasm SOA (4m Cromwell-Uiver H-Uxer LM), off at 3.8/1 second choice, raced third over for driver Asbjorn Tengsareid before starting a three wide move midway on the backside of the second lap. In the lane the winner surged forward to score by a length timed in a record 1.09.8kr (1:52.31 mile rate). Phantasm finished second in elim one to 1.10.5kr timed Cokstile (4m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) driven by Kars Anvar Kolle, the horse that was second, as the 2/1 favorite, in the final. Shotproof (4m Yankee Glide-Shadowshot-Malabar Man) was third in the final for driver Flemming Jensen, after winning elim two clocked in 1.11.5kr. In elim one Forever Peace (4m Muscle Hill-Peaceful Way-Angus Hall) finished third for Erlend Rennesvik. In elim two Always On Time (4m Revenue-Pimafarina-Windsongs Legacy) was second and third went to Chief Orlando (4m Orlando Vici-Muito Bonita-Felix Santana) driven by Frode Hamre that was off as 2.6/1 favorite. Interestingly, the winning sire (Cromwell) has NY roots, being by Credit Winner-Skeptical Miss-Sir Taurus-Gilina-Speedy Somolli). This 2002 foal won the Zweig Memorial at age three, was exported and finished third in the Orsi Mangelli before competing in upper classes in Europe through age seven earning about US$500,000. He was a sharp individual with a slick gait that Phantasm reminds me of. Thomas H. Hicks

July 9, 2017 - Today’s Jarlsberg feature event was the Gr. I Ulf Thoresen Grand International (2100 meters autostart, 750,000NOk to the winner). Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi) was placed directly on the lead from post two by driver Christoffer Eriksson, rated comfortably, and drew off with 500 meters remaining to secure a five length victory for trainer Jerry Riordan, timed in 1.10.4kr. Twister Bi recorded his fourth win in eight 2017 starts, now for 4,907,005NOk earned in a successful and emerging career. An elated Riordan stated on post race interview that his charge is a happy horse that was just rolling along in the final 400. Oasis Bi (9m Toss Out-Up Front JM) sat the pocket for driver Erik Adielsson but lost the second spot to fast closing Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) and driver/owner Goran Antonsen for trainer Daniel Reden. The secondary feature this day was the Anders Jahres (2100 meters autostart, 200,000SEK to the winner) and the 1.11.2kr timed winner was Djali Boko (7m Ready Cash-Lucky Lavec) that moved decisively in the final bend and jetted off to an easy score for reinsman Adrian Kolgjini and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Nappa Scar (5m Scarlet Knight-Butterfly Player) was the second horse home for trainer/driver Per Lennartson. Bjorn Goop piloted the Jerry Riordan trainee Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) to a third place finish. Also on the undercard was the Felleokjopets (2100 meters autostart, 75,000NOk to winner) with victory going to Ferrari BR (4m Muscles Yankee-Bauxite) timed in 1.13.2kr for trainer/driver Per Oleg Midtfjeld, who campaigned Cromwell (sire of Phantasm SOA) throughout most of his European racing career. Second in this event was the Jerry Riordan trainee Umberto Axe (4m Love You-Ira Furiosa Spin) driven by Tom Eric Solberg. Defy Anything (5f Cantab Hall-Flirtin Victory) took third for driver Erik Adielsson and trainer Flemming Jensen. Thomas H. Hicks

June 11, 2017, Bjerke -   Italy’s Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) rallied off cover three wide in the final bend for driver Christoffer Eriksson and ran down then leading Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sign-Smok’n Lantern) and owner/driver Goran Antonsen to win the Gr I UET Masters Series VG Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke. Raced in the fog and rain the Jerry Riordan trainee, owned by Pasuquale Ciccarelli, earned 1.5NOK million for the win, his 19th in 45 career starts. Total purse was 2,770,000NOK. Timed in 1.12.6kr the winner bested a game Lionel, trained by Daniel Reden, that raced in the death seat through much of the 2100 meter autostart event, Third was Aubrion du Gers (7g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers-Baccarat du Pont) with Joseph Verbeeck catch-driving for trainer Jean-Michel Bazire. Takethem and DD’s Hitman ended fourth and fifth. Photos below – finish, stretch drive, happy trainer and driver. Pacesetter Dante Boko and well-regarded Volstead, BBS Sugarlight, Your Highness and Cruzado Dela Noche were among the also-rans today. Winning trainer Jerry Riordan, always a great post-race interview, commented that his horse raced today for the first time in an American sulky and with pull out ear-plugs, and like Varenne, is always a tough competitor, who can beat anybody with a good trip. Today he got that good trip. The undercard included the Energima Cup (final with 300,000NOK to the winner and 100,000NOK for winners of the two eliminations) with the elims and final raced over 1609 meters autostart. The final, pictured below, went to Italy’s Turno di Assiurra (5m Love You-Foga di Aziurra-Lemon Dra) in rein to Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Erik Bondo, and timed in 1.11.5kr. He won his elimination timed in 1.11.8kr in a dead-heat with Thai Broadway (8m Broadway Hall-Isabella Knick-Tap In) reined by trainer Bjorn Goop. Thai Broadway was second in the final.  The other elim was won by Donatomite (5g Donato Hanover-Malvictorian-Malabar Man) for trainer/drive Frode Hamre timed in 1.10.9kr with victory over Victory Bonsai (6m Kadabra-Victory Bouquet-Balanced Image) with Mika Forss driving the Heikki Korhonen trainee. Bonsai was third in the final.  Canari Match and Phantasm SOA Win at Bjerke June 11, 2017 - Today’s Oslo Grand Prix day of racing showcased top flight three, four and five year-old trotters plus open class mares. Starting in reverse order with the Finn Tack Europamatch (purse to winner 300,000NOK, 2100 meters autostart) for the five year-olds, the winner was 1.12.9kr clocked Canari Match (5m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostal-Joe l’Amoroso) for Orjan Kihlstrom. Daniel Reden trains this one. Second was the Jerry Riordan trainee Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real-Lemon Dra), with third to the mare Trendy OK (5f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro. She was one of only two females in this event. French Laundry was fourth in the nine horse field. The four year-olds contested the Gjensidige (purse to winner 200,000NOK, 1609 meters autostart) and that fine group was vanquished by Phantasm SOA (4m Cromwell-Uiver H-Uxer LB) driven by Bjorn Goop for trainer Olivier Raffin. This Norway  bred colt now has two 2017 wins in three outings and nine career victories in 16 starts. Off at 5/2 odds, Phantasm SOA scored in 1.12kr over Makethemark (4m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) reined by Ulf Ohlsson. Third was Dominion Beach (4m Muscle Hill-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) driven by Orjan Kihlstrom and is Stefan Melander trained.  Three year-olds battled in the Support Justice (200,000NOK to the winner, 2100 meters autostart). That event was won by Black Talisman (3m Sam Bourbon-Netherlee Way-Muscles Yankee) driven by trainer Magnus Teien Gundersen. Second was Championchip (3m Pine Chip-Madam Lavec-Egon Lavec) for Per Oleg Midtfjeld. Third was Robin GT (3m Broadway Hall-Linderchip GT-Enjiy Lavec) for Asbjern Tengsareid in the 1.15.1kr timed contest. Earlier was the Stayerloop (200,000NOK to the winner, 2140 meters voltstart, distance handicapped). One of non-penalized horses was the winner, Titanium Gar (5g Daguet Rapide-Lady Killer Gar-Varenne), with Hugo Landgweg Jr. the pilot and timed in 1.15.6kr. Totem d’Azur (10m Joao Panca-Heidi l’Indienne-Butin du Vivier) was second at 21/1 for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa, overcoming a 40 meter penalty. Third was another 40 meter handicapped entry, Reckless (7m Ready Cash-Haver-Supergill) driven by trainer Bjorn Goop. The aged mares battled in the Flaata Eiendom (200,000NOK first money, 1609 meters autostart) and it produced a quick 1.11.7kr victory by Italy’s Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar-Varenne) for Erik Adielsson and trainer Erik Bondo. This one is a half-sister to the above described Stayerlopp winner Titanium Gar. Shadow Gar, pictured below, now has four wins in 2017 from eight outings. Second this day was Indoor Voices (6f Yankee Glide-Celebrity Whisper-SJs Caviar) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom, ahead of Alwaysinblackpedia (6f Muscle Hill-Baker Black Jet-Supergill) driven by trainer Frode Hamre.  One cannot complete the program coverage without mentioning the Kingsrod Trading Monte (100,000NOK to winner, 1609 meters autostart). Sofia Adolfsson was in the irons on Nantucket (11m Viking Kronos-Malabar Lady-Valley Victory), shown below, as that one scored quick timed in 1.11.6kr. Tosca Victory (7m Up di Poggio-Tootsie Rich-Super Arnie) was second for Henriette Larsen, and third went to Quality QC (6g Going Kronos-Tina QC-Quadrophenio) and jockey Christina A. Hande. Well-regarded Tsar de Houelle, Call Me Hanover and O’Grady were back of these.  Thomas H. Hicks

Norway’s Tekno Odin (8m Moe Odin-Lyana-Spring Best) took the featured Unionskampan (purse to winner 300,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) for coldbloods timed in 1.19.1kr, his fourth straight victory and now with a 11-2-2 slate in 19 starts this year. The brave campaigner now sports 63 wins in 102 career starts for earnings of 9,630,801SEK. Oystein Tjomsland is driver/trainer of the winner that defeated Tekno Jerken and third finishing Solor Stegg. The top standardbred affair this day was the V75 Gold (150,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart) and the length winner was 1.12.3kr timed Vasterbo Highflyer (8g Look de Star-Vasterbo Highclass-Pine Chip) for trainer Daniel Reden, Stall Zet and driver Johan Untersteiner. The winner is now 3-3-2 in 13 starts this season. Thai Broadway (7m Broadway Hall-Isabella Knick-Tap In) was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and third went to Food Money (8g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) with Jennifer Tillman up. The V75 Silver for 125,000SEK to the winner over 2140 meters autostart, went to 1.12.3kr timed Slide So Easy (7g Quite Easy-Elegante Frokjar-Smokin Yankee) with trainer Flemming Jensen driving. The victory was his fifth straight and seventh this year in 13 outings. Pepe di Jesolo (7g Ganymede-Zanna di Jesolo-Baltic Speed) took second for Thomas Uhrberg and trainer Edvin Ceka, with third to King City (5m Muscle Hill-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Roger Walmann. The V75 Bronze with 110,000SEK to the winner was raced over 2140 meters autostart. Global Republic (5m Muscle Hill-Serene Yankee-Conway Hall) was the winner timed in 1.12.3kr for Thor Borg and trainer Trond Thorseth. Mellby Collector (5g Going Kronos-Merit Lane-Lindy Lane) was second for the Kihlstrom/Walmann team with third was Sylvester D.K. (7g Hovding Lavec-Happy CN-Ride the Wave) for Peter H. Sjoberg. Other winners on the program were Hades Haleryd (5g Olimede-All American Chill-Giant Chill) timed in 1.11.2kr over 1640 meters autostart in a Klass I event worth 100,000SEK to the winner that Erik Adielsson teamed. Heartbreaker V.S. took a 3140 meter distance handicapped stayer contest timed in 1.14.1kr to earn 100,000SEK. Bjorn Goop trains and drove this one. Monte players battled over 2140 meters autostart for a 50,000SEK first prize and Brasil Boko (6m Love You-Harpune-Speedy Soma) prevailed for Beata Persson. This 1.13.6kr winner is a Veijo Heiskanen trainee. Thomas H. Hicks  

The 3/10 favorite Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle) took todays Gr. I UET Masters Finale (purse €399,908, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) by two lengths clocked in 1.10.66kr. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Stefan Melander trained and owned harness racing champion. 9/1 Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM) took second for Erik Adielsson, trainer Stefan Pettersson and Ecurie Frackstad Lantbruks AB. Third was 16/1 Mosaique Face (7m Classic Photo-Iona LB) with Adrian Kolgjini up for Tommy Nilsson Holding AB and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Spring Erom and Explosive De Vie were fourth and fifth. Nuncio (Ö.Kihlström/S.Melander) G1 UET Masters Final 18/09/2016 Finale U.E.T Trotting Masters NUNCIO On the Bjerke program was also the VG Norsk Derby (purse €226,922, 2600 meters autostart, 12 starters) with victory to 1.9/1 El Diablo BR (4m Muscle Hill-Fiery Chip) for trainer/driver Frode Hamre. The winner was clocked in 1.13.42kr and is owned by Brinvest Danmark APS. 5/1 Cash Okay (4m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was second for G.V. Gundersen with third earned by 5/1 Ultimate Photo (4m SJ’s Photo-Madam Lavec) and Bjorn Goop. Fourth was the Jeppe Juel driven and trained Akermann (4g Crazed-Ta Ta Hall). The Finn Tack Norsk Criterium (purse €175,325, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) produced a 1.12.71kr timed winner in 14.3/1 Shocking Superman (3m Orlando Vici-Bernadette’s Cat). Bjorn Goop is trainer/driver of this Tar Stable KB owned performer. 19.5/1 Mini Viking (3m Maharajah-Jeunesse Defee) was second for trainer/driver Frode Hamre and third was 15/1 Evil Enok ME (3m Magnetic Power-Topaz Dragon) for trainer/driver N.P. Braekken. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Gr. I International Ulf Thoresens at Jarlsberg Norway went to 1.1/1 Sauveur (6m Echo-Operah Bob) with harness racing trainer Ake Lindblom driving for owner Hammab AB of Sweden. Timed in 1.11.23kr the winner secured the winners’ share of the €105,300 purse in the 2100 meter autostart event that was part of the V75 wagering card. 9.5/1 Ringostarr Treb (6m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral) took second for driver Wim Paal and trainer Holger K. Ehlert. Third was the game 18.4/1 Rod Stewart (6m Love You-Valley Lane) for Tom Erik Solberg and trainer Jerry Riordan for Italian owner Cezziano Ceccaroni. 43/1 Repay Merci (8m Offshore Dream-News From Heaven) was fourth for trainer/driver Knud Monster and Denmark owner Stald Repay. Papagayo E and Anna Mix were the next two across the line. The undercard included the Anders Jahres (400,000Nokr to the winner, 2100 meters autostart) and the 1.11.7kr timed winner was Je T’Aime Express (5f Symphonic Hanover-Je T’Aime Marran-Sugarcane Hanover) for driver Peter Untersteiner. Second went to DD’s Hitman (5f Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny-Muscles Yankee) and driver Peter Ingves with third to Spirit Real (5f Supergill-Civetta Real-Park Avenue Joe) handled by Tom Erik Solberg. Thomas H. Hicks

Bjorn Goop enjoyed quite a day at Bjerke (wins with Rod Stewart, Timone EK and Crfzado dela Noce earlier on the harness racing card) and none better than with Oslo Grand Prix winner Your Highness (7f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady-Conway Hall) as this Fabrice Souloy trainee rallied late to nail Nuncio (5m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) and Orjan Kihlstrom driving for owner/trainer Stefan Melander. The winning mare, off at 1.7/1 on the PMU network, was clocked in 1.10.5kr for this her seventh straight 2016 victory and it raised career earnings to 8,568,228kr. Nuncio was off at 2.8/1 on PMU and favored on the other major European networks, was a game second and now has an impressive 31-14-2 slate in 47 lifetime appearances. 2.2/1 (PMU) Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling-Buvetier d’Aunou) was third for Franck Nivard and trainer Souloy. Papagayo E, Support Justice and Lionel were the next three to the line. The Oslo Grand Prix, a Gr. I UET International event with 1,500,000NoKr to the winner (purse in euros €302,212) was contested over 2100 meters autostart (1-5/16 miles). Your Highness Thomas H. Hicks ATG, Fintoto, Rikstoto, PMU files/photos

Top flight harness racing action occurred throughout Oslo Grand Prix day at Bjerke Travbane. Mares ages three to ten battled in a 1609 meters autostart event worth 175,000NoKr to the winner and 6.5/1 Playing Tua (8f Gigant Neo-Sandy Nalan-Lindy’s Crown) came out on top for trainer/driver Thomas Uhrberg. The impressive, gorgeous, long-striding mare now has 17 career wins in 65 starts for earnings in excess of 2,150,000NoKr. Timed in 1.11.1kr she defeated 12.5/1 Diadora BR (5f Ken Warkentin-Bauxite-SJ’s Caviar) with Thor Borg up for trainer Frode Hamre. Third was 2.4/1 Soho (7f Dream Vacation-Hillery Toll-General November) with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Bo Westergaard. The winner recorded her third win in the last four outings. Late stretch leading Radysin America made a miscue under heavy urging from Bjorn Goop and was disqualified. Heaven’s Door finished unplaced. Four year-olds contested an open event worth 200,000NoKr to the winner and Goop teamed front-stepping 1.9/1 Cruzdo dela Noche (4m Muscle Massive-Alidade-Credit Winner) to a 1.10.4kr victory for trainer Stefan Melander. After a recall the winner was all business and defeated Divisionist (4m Andover Hall-Only Lonely-Yankee Paco) with Jorma Konto up for trainer Melander. Third was another Melander trainee French Laundry (4m Muscles Yankee-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall) with Orjan Kihlstrom aboard. Broadway Appolo and Cahal des Rioults were fourth and fifth. The top group are US registered. Cruzado dela Noche The Euroamatch for four and five year-olds drew a fine field that raced over 2100 meters autostart for 300,000NoKr first prize. The 1.11.6kr timed winner was the 1.6/1 favorite, and Bjorn Goop piloted, Timone EK (4m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra), an Italian campaigner trained in FR by Fabrice Souloy. 42/1 Exodus Hanover (5m Andover Hall-Exotic Destination-Dream Vacation) was second driven by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Roger Walmann, and 2.48/1 Buzz Mearas (5g Dream Vacation-Dance Of Joy-Malabar Man) was third with Roberto Andreghetti holding the lines. Buzz Mearas has been racing well going into this contest. As previously reported Goop won the Energima Cup Final and his elimination with the Riordan trained Rod Stewart, that started reinsman Goop’s big day. Thomas H. Hicks PMU, ATG, Rikstoto, Fintoto files

Two eliminations were raced today leading to the Oslo Grand Prix undercard feature Energima Cup Final, contested over 1609 meters autostart for 300,000NoKr first prize. The 100,000NoKr elims (purse in euro €21,061) were first won by Ringostarr Treb (6m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) with Wim Paal up for trainer Holger Ehlert at 2.85/1 odds, over .85/1 favorite Tycoon Conway Hall (6m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) with trainer Steen Juul up. Third was 42/1 Rafolo (8g Love You-Farola-Speedy Herve) with Lars Anvar Kolle driving. The second elim went to 5/1 Rod Stewart (6m Love You-Valley Lane-Lindy Lane) with Bjorn Goop at the lines for trainer Jerry Riordan. 1.27/1 favorite Allaballakaitoz (8g Credit Winner-Southwind Sweetbay-Valley Victory) took second for trainer/driver Peter Ubtersteiner and 22/1 Royal Ice (5g Muscle Hill-The Ice Queen-Conway Hall) landed third for trainer/driver Frode Hamre. Gigant Slugger was scratched from this elimination. Earlier the Montelopp (1609 meters autostart, 100,000NoKr to winner) went to 3/5 favorite Nantucket (10m Viking Kronos-Malabar Lady-Valley Victory) for Sofia Adolfsson. Call Me Hanover and More Caviar were next across the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

A top field is set for the June 12 edition of the harness racing Gr. I International Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke. Mosaique Face (Lutfi Kolgjini) was the last add to the group and post positions were drawn with Nuncio (Orjan Kihlstrom) to start from post nine and Un Mec d’Heripre from the three spot with Franck Nivard to drive. The race distance is 2100 meters autostart with the purse expected to be 2,870,000kr (approx €300,000). The race record of 1.11.3kr was set last year by BBS Sugarlight and driver Peter Untersteiner, that eclipsed the previous 1.11.5kr mark held jointly by L’Amiral Mauzon, Arch Madness and Commander Crowe. The 2013-14 OGP editions were won by Sebastian K and Univers de Pan. STARTLISTEN VG OSLO GRAND PRIX 2016 1. Mosaique Face - Lutfi Kolgjini 2. Support Justice - Geir Vegard Gundersen 3. Un Mec d'Heripre - Franck Nivard 4. Your Higness - Bjørn Goop 5. Papagayo E. - Ulf Ohlsson 6. B.B.S. Sugarlight - Peter Untersteiner 7. Lionel - Gøran Antonsen 8. Victory Bonsai - Mika Forss 9. Nuncio - Ørjan Kihlstrøm 10. Volstead - Jorma Kontio Thomas H. Hicks

At Momarken SWE the V75-6 was the Stienlagers with 250,000SEK to the winner of the 1640 meter autostart harness racing event. The race was promoted as the comeback of the 2015 Yonkers International winner Papagayo E (6m Coktail Jet-Ann Speedy T-Speedy Tomali) after a lengthy sideline period. He raced well first on the outer and then flattened in the lane to finish third for driver Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Jan Kristgian Wagler. The race went to rallying Donna di Quattro (6f Love You-Whoopie As-SJ’s Photo) for Bjorn Goop and trainer Tomas Malmqvist. Pacesetter Allaballakaitoz (8g Credit Winner-Southwind Sweetbay-Valley Victory) held for third driven by trainer Peter Untersteiner. Southwind Sweetbay is a daughter of Speedy Beauty 1:58.2 ($45,735), winner of the Acorn at age two, she a daughter of Speedy Crown-Perfect Beauty 1:57.3 ($191.892). Perfect Beauty won the American National at age three and was second in the Stanley Dancer. In today’s V75-6 were Call Me Hanover (7g Kadabra-Chiptease-Pine Chip) and veteran Traveling Man (11m Supergill-Kimberly Lobell-Speedy Somolli). 1.7/1 odds co-favorite Athos de Ludreau (6g Panache de l’Iton-Anais Danyk) took Saturday’s Hippodrome Lisieux Grand Prix de la Societe des Courses de Lisieux (purse €35,000, 2725 meters, 16 starters) clocked in 1.16kr for Franck Nivard. The winner defeated 1.7/1 co-favorite Uno Dancer (8g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) that nearly overcame a 25 meter penalty to finish second for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin (this one clocked in 1.15.4kr). Third went to 20/1 Ulhior du Beziau (8m Orsy Dream-Jipsie du Beziau) for David Thomain in a nearly blanket finish with ten contestants within four lengths at the line. Also at Lisieux was the €22,000 Prix de la Communaute de Communes de Lisieux with 13 starters battling over the 2725 meter distance. Timed in 1.16.8kr was the 6.2/1 odds winner Catch One (4m Prodigious-Possession) with Julien Dubois aboard for Philippe Moulin, trainer for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The 1.7/1 odds favorite Calico Bello (4m Jasmin de Flore-Rosaria Bella) was second for Antoine Wiels and owner/trainer J-P Marmion. 9.1/1 Clara du Bocage (4f Nuage Noir-Sarah du Bocage) landed third for trainer/driver Bertrand Le Beller. Thomas H. Hicks

December 5, 2015 - Today’s excellent program at Paris-Vincennes included two Gr. II and one Gr. II trotting events. The Prix Joseph LaFosse (Gr. II, monte, purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to the 1.134kr winner, 9/1 odds Athena de Vandel (5f Prince Gede-Maelia de Vandel) that was teamed by Mathieu Abrivard for trainer Cedrik Megissier and Ecurie la Tour de Vandel. The winner rallied late and drew off easily with second going to Americaine (5f Chef du Chatelet-Marine Raudiere) for jockey Antoine Wiels and trainer J-P Marmion. Americaine raced on or near the front throughout and held gamely ahead of third finishing 2/1 Apprenti Sorcier (5m Love You-Queen of Viking) with Camille Levesque aboard for Mike Lenders training for Ecurie Pierre Levesque. This one also was well placed and led into the stretch before fading. 9.7/1 odds Amazone du Dollar (5f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Magalie du Dollar) was fourth for P-Y Verva and trainer Sylvain Roger. Fractions were even during the contest (1.13.2kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.12.5kr at 1000, 1.13.4kr at 500). The card also included the Quinte+ (jackpot €3.8 million) Prix de Saint-Georges de Didonne (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters). This victory went to the red-hot 7/10 favorite Viking Blue (6g Prodigious-Idole Blue) reined by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Y-A Briand. The winner now has 19 wins in 53 career starts with earnings in excess of €265,000 lifetime. The comfortable win by Viking Blue was timed in 1.13.3kr off even fractions (1.14kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.13.6kr at 1000; 1.13.1kr at 500). 6.5/1 Venus de Bailly (6f Chaillot-Oceane de Bailly) was second for J-M Bazire with third to 18.9/1 Univaldi d’Aval (7g Vivaldi de Chenu-Kiss Me d’Aval) handled this day by Mathieu Abrivard. Another red-hot performer took the Gr. II Prix Doynel de Saint-Quentin (purse €120,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 11 starters) as Norway’s 3/2 favorite Lionel (5m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) scored in 1.14kr for Franck Nivard driving for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Goran Antonsen. Lionel rallied late to defeat 2.3/1 Ave Avis (5m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) at 2.3/1 odds and teamed by trainer J-M Bazire. Third went to 8.5/1 odds, 25 meter handicapped Robert Bi (5m Toss Out-Up Front JM-Self Possessed) teamed by Robin Bakker for trainer Paul Hagoort for owner K.K. Bijkerk. Robert Bi closed with strength from a position at the back of the field until late in the final bend and he now has career earnings in excess of €900,000. Robert Bi could be a force in the 2016 Prix d’Amerique. His second dam is the Bonefish mare Icefolly. 45/1 odds Athos des Elfes (5m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg) was fourth for trainer/driver Joel Van Eeckhaute. Well respected Red Rose America was fifth, Africaine ended sixth and Backfire was eigth in the competitive field. Again fractions in this contest were rated (1.15.2kr at 1500; 1.14.5kr at the 1000 and 500 meters to go posts).  Relay: At Vincennes today the Gr. III Prix Vourasie (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 13 starters, two year-olds) went to 13.7/1 Bombastic Design (2f Prodigious-Athenas Lucky Girl) handled by Franck Ouvrie for Denmark’s trainer/owner Kenneth P. Hansen. 3/1 Deesse de Gueron (2f Melchior Jet-Olivia) was second for owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne with third to 16.5/1 Diva du Mouchel (2f The Best Madrik-Perle du Mouchel) for the driver/trainer team of Franck Nivard and Franck Leblanc. The winner was clocked in 1.16.3kr finishing strongly off slow fractions (1.17.4kr at 1000 to go; 1.18kr at 500).  Also today at Vincennes was the annual Prix des Recontres Internationales (purse €22,000, 2100 meters autostart, claiming 15 starters), the driver’s championship for representatives of PMU partner nations. Victory went to the FR home team with Mathieu Abrivard teaming the 1.16.2kr winner, at 7.1 odds, Saxo de Breteil (9g Look de Star-Jayena de Beval) that is trained by Stephane Provoost for Ecurie Danover. Trailing the winner is a close battle to the line were Sage de Gueriniere (Zydrunas Vasilionka up), Rocco Darche (Juan-Antonio Riera Rossello), Rickshow (John DeLeeuw) and Rite du Bocage (Marc Huygens). No Canadian and United States teamsters were in this year’s contest.  Thomas H. Hicks

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