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The road to the Prix d’Amerique began today when the 2.9/1 Davidson du Pont (6m Pacha du Pont-Laguna du Pont) scored for harness racing driver Franck Ouvrie, trainer J-M Bazire and owner/breeder Albert Rayon with a superb late rush in the Gr. II Prix de Bretagne. Timed in 1.12.7kr over the 2700 meter course the winner earned 49,500€ of the 110,000€ purse in this contest with the top three .gaining entrance for the Prix d'Amerique. The winner earned his 12th career victory in 36 starts now for 899,410€ in life earnings. The 13/1 Chica de Joudes (7f Jag de Bellouet-Queschua Love) held second for Alain Laurent and 4.4/1 Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) was a very game third with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Bazire, this one traveling most of way on the outer, near the leader. The 16/1 Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) was fourth for J.Ph. Monclin and trainer Sebastien Guarato with fifth to 6.6/1 Enino du Pommereux (5m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Sylvain Roger. Belina Josselyn and Bilibil finished 14th and 15th. This race was the Quinte+ race of the day and the exact order payoff was 9535.20€ for a 2€ wager. The Q+ pool was 5,596,370€ and over 11,093,000€ was wagered in all pools on this event. by Thomas H Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Today’s Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, 15 starters) drew a talented field and an enthusiastic audience. The winner gets an instant invitation to the Prix de Amerique in late January. The 4.2/1 Davidson du Pont (5m Pacha du Pont-Laguna du Pont) took a tough first over journey for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and gained the front at top of stretch with 5/10 favorite Bold Eagle (7m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) and driver Franck Nivard right behind. Davidson held game and drew to a length advantage on the line with 15/1 Delia de Pommereux (5f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) closing fast for second between horses, driven by Damien Bonne for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Bird Parker (7m Ready Cash-Belisha) was a tough third at 10/1 for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Bold Eagle was unable to gain late and ended fourth, ahead of 19/1 Carat Williams (6m Prodigious-Miss Williams) and driver David Thomain. 50/1 Briac Dark and 53/1 Cash Gamble completed the top seven with Belina Josselyn, Uza Josselyn and Charly du Noyer all dq’s. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_LLk_7GOxU The Gr. III Prix Boissy Saint-Leger (Gr. III, purse 95,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) was a hotly contested event with the dq place win to 33/1 Unique Juni (5f Uptown Yankee-Staro Unique) handled by Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Jorgen Westholm. Race timed was 1.12.2kr. The 2.8/1 Racing Mange (5m Orlando Vici) was first placed last for Joakim Lovgren for going inside several pegs in late homestretch. The 9/1 Diego Sautonne (5m Look de Star) was placed second for trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard and placed third was 108/1 Victor Ferm (4m Nad Al Sheba) driven by Andrea Guzzinati. Fun Quick (3m Carpe Diem-Activity Quick) at 4/1 won the Prix Jean Maurice Beteau (purse 52,000€, 2700 meters, four starters – three year olds) to start today’s action at Vincennes, timed in 1.16kr and piloted by Franck Nivard for trainer Marc Esper and Ecurie Quick Star. The 3.3/1 Fakir de Madey (3m Reve de Beylev) took second money for Yoann Lebourgeois and 12.1 Fakir Griff (3m Goetmals Wood) was third for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Dominique Mottier and Ecurie Griff, the owner/breeder. The 4/5 favorite Fortissimoko was a dq. The Prix de Cosse le Vivien (purse 75,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to 3.9/1 Ardente du Clos (8f Reve de Vallees-Lumiere du Clos) handled by owner/trainer Matthieu Abrivard. 28/1 Cicero Noa (6g Mandarino Blue-Ma Belle Reim) closed well for second with Pierre Vercruysse up for the breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. At 5/2 odds Class de Loriol (6f Ready Cash-Orageuse de Marjon) was third with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard. 8.2/1 Utile Lebel and 10/1 Tesauro completed the top five. Race time was 1.12kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

November 20, 2016 - 8.6/1 Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) rallied in spectacular fashion for harness racing driver Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc to get up in the final strides and win the Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 18 international starters). Anna caused a false start, as she has done in the past, but with a little handler help got away on a second try, albeit many lengths behind the field. After 600 meters she had only one horse beaten and then began moving forward with cover in the third tier. She entered into contention, second over in tier three, late in the final bend and began a steady surge that nailed 4/1 Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae) and driver Orjan Kihlstrom (trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet) nearing the line. 24/1 Princess Grif (7f Varenne-Fauve Grif) was third for Roberto Andreghetti (trainer Fabrice Souloy, owner Azienda Agricola Biasuzzio. The top three earned an automatic qualification to the Prix d’Amerique, as will the top three finishers in the remaining B’s. 7.3/1 Bird Parker (5m Ready Cash) was fourth for pilot Anthony Barrier and fifth was 219/1 outsider Trebol (9m Hot Blues), frome Spain, with trainer Gabriel Angel Pou at the line. The winner was timed in 1.13.1kr off even fractions (1.13.3kr at 1500 to go ; 1.13.kr at the 1000, 1.13.5kr at 500 to go). Replays : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvAaVE-aosA #15 Anna Mix ; #6 Propulsion ; #13 Princess Grif ; #16 Bird Parker ; #9 Trebol https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVJmnae7Qaw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zu1P9S78YHA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwZY3NGCxdA Thomas H. Hicks  

November 18, 2016 - There are 18 top flight trotters that will face the harness racing starter Sunday at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix de Bretagne, a Gr. II event over 2700 meters voltstart, for the €120,000 purse. This first of the four B’s before the Prix d’Amerique, includes Lionel, Tiego d’Etang (top career money winner in the lineup), Anna Mix, Amiral Sacha and Propulsion. Prix de Bretagne - 2700 voltstart 1.Tony Gio – Christophe Martens 2. Baltic Charm – Eric Raffin 3. Oibambam Effe – Pierre Levesque 4. Charly du Noyer – Yoann Lebourgeois 5. Rocky Winner – Pierre Vercruysse 6 .Propulsion – Örjan Kihlström 7. Viking de Val – Eric Lambertz 8 .Tagada Tagada – Sebastien Ernault 9. Trebol – Gabriel Angel Pou-Pou 10. Belina Josselyn – Jean-Michel Bazire 11. Moving On – David Thomain 12. Lionel – Matthieu Abrivard 13. Princess Grif – Roberto Andreghetti 14. Amiral Sacha – Gabriele Gelormini 15. Anna Mix – Franck Nivard 16. Bird Parker – Jean-Philippe Monclin 17. Voltigeur de Myrt – Lorenzo Donati 18. Tiego d’Etang – Christian Bigeon   The program also includes two Gr. II events, the Prix Jacques de Vauluge and Prix Annick Dreaux, plus the Gr. III Prix de Boissy Saint Leger. Saturday in Sweden is the V75 Gold and that field includes: Nahar, Robert Bergh (just back from Toronto and an Preferred victory) Love Voice, Thor Borg Nato Dream, Per Oleg Midtfjeld Thai Broadway, Bjorn Goop Fire To The Rain, Orjan Kihlstrom Call Me Hanover, Frode Fladen Winmecredit, Frode Hamre Capello Bob, Stefan Persson Ivar Sanna, Jormar Blekkan Thomas H. Hicks  

Akim du Cap Vert (5m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert) secured his entry to the 2016 Prix d’Amerique with his victory today in the first “B”, the Gr. II Prix de Bretagne (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) at Vincennes, France. Owner/trainer Franck Anne drive his stable star to a late rallying win in the rain soaked sloppy going at Paris-Vincennes. Timed in 1.13kr (3:17.10) Akim du Cap Vert nailed iron tough Anna Mix (5f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) that raced three, wide without cover, and lost ground when a rival made a wild brake in the last bend and caused Pierre Vercruysse to check Anna Mix to avoid the breaker. Anna Mix, owned and trained by Franck Leblanc, still closed stoutly for second also timed in 1.13kr ahead of third finishing Village Mystic (6m Love You-Netchka) and reinsman Damien Bonne for trainer/owner Louis Baudron, he too clocked in 1.13kr. Texas Charm (8m Cygnus d’Odyssee-Kamela Charm) was another two lengths back fourth for Julien Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams, just ahead of Solea Rivelliere (9f Calife des Noues-Heloa Rivelliere) reined by trainer Philippe Daugaerd. The 2015 Prix d’Amerique winner Up And Quick finished eighth with Timoko (second in the 2015 Yonkers International) ninth and Aladin d’Ecajeul tenth. Pacesetter Trebol (from Spain) was sixth and disqualified while favorite Voltigeur de Myrt was a dq for an early break in stride. Fractions were solid (1.13.9kr at 1500 to go mark; 1.12.8kr at 1000; 1.13.1kr at 500). The last nine Bretagne winners are shown below. The other “B” events are the Bourbonnais, Bourgogne and Belgique. Année Distance Cheval Pays Temps Père Driver Entraîneur Deuxième Troisième                     2014 2 700m Tiégo d'Étang  France 1'13"4 Chaillot Charles-Julien Bigeon Christian Bigeon Akim du Cap Vert Roxane Griff 2013 2 700m Uhlan du Val  France 1'12"9 Isléro de Bellouet Cédric Mégissier Cédric Mégissier Up and Quick Tiégo d'Étang 2012 2 700m Roxane Griff  France 1'12"5 Ténor de Baune Éric Raffin Sébastien Guarato Quoumba de Guez Royal Dream 2011 2 700m Ready Cash  France 1'13"3 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Thierry Duvaldestin Roxane Griff Lisa America 2010 2 700m Olga du Biwetz  France 1'12"9 Cezio Josselyn Éric Raffin Fabrice Souloy Nuit Torride Oyonnax 2009 2 700m Orlando Sport  France 1'12"6 Hand du Vivier Sébastien Baude Roger Coueffin Quarla Olga du Biwetz 2008 2 700m Olga du Biwetz  France 1'13"8 Cezio Josselyn Jos Verbeeck Sébastien Guarato Exploit Caf Popinée de Timbia 2007 2 700m Kool du Caux  France 1'13"6 Bijou du Bignon Franck Nivard Fabrice Souloy Hot Tub Nouba du Saptel 2006 2 850m Keed Tivoli  France 1'13"7 Steed James Maxime Bézier Antoine-Paul Bézier Ladakh Jiel Nijinski Blue   Earlier on the program was the Gr. II Prix Jacques de Vauloge (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) with 1.2/1 favorite Cristal Money (3m Coktail Jet-Making Money) teamed by Franck Nivard for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Richard Cohen. Thus 1.15.1kr winner defeated 32/1 Cahal des Rioults (3m Password-Plesse des Rioults) driven by J-Ph Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire. 23/1 Cocktail Meslois (3m Rock Meslois-Ocarina Mesloise) was third. Well-regarded Coquin Bebe was fifth and Cobra Bleu ended sixth with both of these off at less than 4/1 odds. The three year-old fillies battled in the Gr. II €130,000 Prix Annick Dreux (2700 meters, 13 starters) with the victory earned by 3.3/1 Cavaleria (3f Prodigious-Janga) driven by Eric Raffin for Sebastien Guarato trainer for Ecurie Castagniccia and timed in 1.14.6kr. A half-length behind was 6.1/1 Combattante (3f Sam Bourbon-New York) trained and owned by Louis Baudron and teamed by Pierre Vercruysse. Close by was third finishing, 29.1/1 odds, Cere Josselyn (3f Kaisy Dream-Kate) driven by David Thomain and trained by Thierry Duvaldestin. The 1.4/1 favorite Calita Wood was a break caused dq. Five year-olds contested the €95,000 Prix de Boissy-Saint Leger over the 2100 meter autostart sprinter distance. 18 European horses were at the start and the 1.13kr winner was 2.7/1 odds Red Rose America (5f Varenne-Armbro Voice), bred by the late Lou Guida, and driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Fabrice Souloy. 63/1 Adelie (5f Ganymede-Linea Dream) was second for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. The 25.6/1 Radieux (5g Love You-Dordogne) from Italy was third for Mathieu Abrivard for trainer/owner Lutfi Kolgjini. The next two on the line were 70/1 Rember Mail (5m Toss Out-Email Spin) for driver Christophe Martens and 2/1 odds Dante Boko (5g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa) from Sweden driven by Tony Le Beller for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. The Prix de Cosse le Vivien (purse €75,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) was won by the 4/5 favorite, Sweden’s Your Highness (6f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady), reined by Franck Nivard for trainer Fabrice Souloy and PV Racing HB. She was timed in 1.12.8kr off quick early fractions (1.10kr at 1500; 1.11.6kr at 1000; 1.13.1kr at 500). 19/1 Ulexa des Plans (7f Jag de Bellouet-Lola Dessati) was next for David Thomain and trainer Philippe Daugaerd with 4.3/1 Falcon Haleryd (6g Varenne-Falnos Bellona) third for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer Johan Untersteiner. Volare de Lou and Ut Viniere were the next two trotters to the line. At the end of the program today was the €44,000 Prix de Bazas over 2100 meters autostart for 12 three year-old females. 52.2/1 Cherry Cadence (3f Redlight Jet-Oderose) secured victory for driver Mlle. Victoria Ginard-Jurgens, trainer Emmanuel Allard and Ecurie E.S. Pou d’Es Rafal. She was clocked in 1.15.1kr and defeated 8.6/1 Comtesse du Chene (3f Quaker Jet-Imperiale du Chene) handled by Pierre Vercruysse and trained by Clement Casseron. Third went to 13.6/1 Circe La Chesnaie (3f Repeat Love-Gitane de Billeron) for teamster Glenny Delaune, trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Bivans SRL. Vemax upsets in Quinte+ Prix Triton Friday Friday’s Quinte+ at Paris-Vincennes (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to an impressive 1.13.2kr winner Vemax (6g Nice Love-Lafolly d’Ar) with trainer Romain Derieux aboard. He scored at odds of 70.1/1 ahead of 12.4/1 Vez des Voirons (6g Fortuna Fant-Naya des Voirons) handled by owner/trainer Alain Laurent. Third went to the Vincent Martens trained, Christophe Martens reined Veritable Crack (6g Little Crack-Navale Somolli) at 2.6/1. The payoff for holders of exact order tickets received over €130,000 for a €2 wager. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 16 Vemax R. Derieux A. Chère R. Derieux 2ème 7 Vez des Voirons A. Laurent Ecurie Alain Laurent A. Laurent 3ème 1 Véritable Crack C. Martens C. Neirinck V. Martens 4ème 8 Variuso du Bouffey M. Lenoir P. Thirionet C. Petrement 5ème 3 Versachet J. Raffestin V. Conforti J. Raffestin  Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 3.050.000 € - Numéro plus : 1207     Ordre :       130.512,00€     Désordre :       1.087,60€     Bonus 4 :       55,20€     Bonus 4sur5 :       27,60€     Bonus 3 :       18,40€                     Also on the Vincennes card was the Prix Arietis (purse €55,000, 2800 meters, 14 starters) and 3.2/1 Aghinetti (5m Magnificent Rodney-Quanossa de Visais) earned victory for driver Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and owner Stall Courant AB. 33/1 Atout du Hainaut (5g Gazouillis-Pivoine Folle) reined by Romain Derieux and trainer Vincent Collard. 9/1 Arba (5g Coktail Jet-Nuit de Reve) finished third for Eric Raffin. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The PMU in France has produced a special video (in English) highlighting the start of their 2014-2015 winter festival race meet at Vincennes that began at the end of October.  The video is well done and worth watching and learning about the major stakes events and horses as they begin their quest towards the Prix de Amerique. Submitted by Christian Le Barbey  

Timoko (7m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) took today's Elitloppet 2014 Final gate to wire for Bjorn Goop and trained Richard Westerink. The pair covered the 1609 meters autostart course in a sharp 1.09.5kr (1:51.82) to earn the 3SEK million first prize. Timoko now has 22 wins in 60 starts for earnings of 23,285,351SEK. Goop rated the winner effectively with Panne de Moteuri in the pocket throughout and Digital Ink parked out first-over in the death seat. Raja Mirchi raced second over with Maven right behind him. Approaching the last turn Raja Mirchi made an aggressive three wide advance for Lutfi Kolgjini and was rough gaited, eventually making a break that caused Maven minor interference albeit she would likely not have threatened the leaders. Timoko held strong through the line to score by a long length from Panne de Moteur with Delicious and Pascia'Lest next at the finish. Reven d'Amour and Maven were fifth and sixth respectively. The French trotter traces its roots back to the 1981 Elitloppet winner Jorky, through his third dam Vanina B. Timoko has a 3.95% inbreeding coefficient and the family has won classics over nearly 40 years at all distances. Vanina B. (FR) f, 1965 2:02.4  At 5, Winner of Criterium des 5 ans. At 6, Winner of Prix de France, second in Criterium de Vitesse de la Côte d'Azur, Prix d'Amerique. 1975 Jorky (FR)        1:57.3a   $ 1,311,448   58  28- 13- 3        h, by Kerjacques (FR)   - Vanina B. (FR)     At 3, Winner of Criterium des 3 ans. At 4, Winner of Criterium des 4 ans, third in Prix Marcel Laurent. At 5, Winner of Preis der Besten, Prix Marcel Laurent, Gran Premio Delle Nazioni, Prix de l'Atlantique, Criterium des 5 ans, Grote Prijs der Lage Landen, second in Prix de Sélection, Grosser Preis von Bayern, Grand Prix du Sud Ouest. At 6, Winner of Copenhagen Cup, Prix de Paris, Elite-Rennen, Grote Prijs der Lage Landen, Elitloppet, Preis der Besten, Prix de Bretagne, second in Gran Premio Delle Nazioni, Prix d'Amerique, Prix de Belgique, International Trot. At 7, Winner of Preis der Besten. At 8, third in Preis der Besten. At 9, second in Prix d'Amerique. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com                        

It is common practice in France, but standing a stallion at stud while pursuing an active racing career is a rarity in the United States. So when Deo Volente Farms in Flemington, New Jersey decided to stand their $2.2 million trotting star Wishing Stone at stud while also continuing his track career, it sent a buzz of excitement through the industry. Keeping stars racing is a proven formula for maintaining the public interest in Europe, and of course Wishing Stone himself has already proven himself highly competitive on both sides of the ditch, even more so considering his European sojourn was conducted when he was just four and five-years-old, a mere baby in European terms. And the news that he will also be available to European breeders has been warmly received – he has been oversubscribed already in Europe for services for the upcoming season – aware as they are that many of the top sires in Europe have competed successfully as an aged horse there – with Scarlet Knight and SJ’s Photo prime examples. “Wishing Stone brings to breeders, durability and longevity.   An exceptional colt and aged performer, it is likely his offspring will inherit those qualities,” says Sue Agopian, managing partner at Deo Volente Farms. Wishing Stone certainly ticks all the boxes as a potential stallion, a world record holder with major wins in four countries, the United States, France, Sweden and Denmark – he also competed in some of the very best races in Europe –where only the elite are invited. In France they pay down to seventh, and a placing in a group one event is the equivalent of a black type credential, with many going on to successful stud careers simply with the words classique or semi-classique on their CV. It showed they were good enough to race against the very best. Take Wishing Stone’s seventh placing in the 2011 Prix de France, one of the French Triple Crowns, the absolute jewels in the sparkling European circuit where the royally-bred French, Swedish and Italian elite race The winner of the Prix de France in 2011 was none other than Ready Cash, the greatest horse of a great generation in France. A dual Prix d’Amerique winner and winner of last year’s Masters du Trot grand final, he retired last month as the richest trotter in history with earnings of 4,282,300 euros (US $5,953,675).  . Second was Maharajah, the greatest horse that Sweden has produced in decades and the winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique, while third was Lana Del Rio, a multiple Group One winning Italian millionaire mare, who beat the boys in Italy’s richest race, the Italian Derby. Fifth was Olga du Bewitz who retired as the twelfth richest horse of all time in France, and the best of her generation with wins in the world championship of saddle racing, the Prix du Cornulier and under harness a win in the Prix de Bretagne and a third placing in the Prix d’Amerique. These races mean little to American breeders, but mean plenty to those in Europe and again Wishing Stone appeared in this blue ribbon event as a 4YO, which is incredibly young in European terms. Wishing Stone not only competed against the best trotters in the world on their own turf, he won several of their biggest races. When he came from an almost impossible position, with a withering sprint to win the Copenhagen Cup, he ran down Quarcio du Chene, a Group One winner (Finlandia-Ajo) and one of Sweden’s best aged performers, with Group Two victories in France, Norway and Sweden. In the process he also beat the German sensation Brioni , the winner of the Elitloppet and Olympiatravet – the two biggest open Group One races in Sweden, and French star, and popular stallion Oynonnax (who won the Prix d’Amerique) and also another brilliant French horse Rapide Lebel, the greatest gelding of the R generation who was second in the Elitloppet by a whisker and earned 2.5 million euros. When Wishing Stone won the Group One King Gustav Pokal, he beat Kadet C.D and Raja Mirchi, two of the brightest young stars in Sweden and when he won the Grand Prix de Sud-Ouest in France, he beat Premiere Steed  a multiple Group One winner, who won the prestigious French Prix Rene Balliere and Finland’s prestigious St Michel Ajo. In the USA he is a world record holder at 6 in 1:51.2f beating Uncle Peter,  Arch Madness and Market Share. As a 5YO he was winner of the Maxie Lee in 2013 (again over Uncle Peter) and before he left for his two-year-stint in Europe he was a top colt, winning the 2010 Kentucky Futurity in straight heats with a final time of 1:51.2. The same year he won the Matron, the American National and was third in the Hambletonian. Wishing Stone was also a winner as a 2YO with victories in the International Stallion Stake, the Bluegrass Stakes, and the NYSS at Monticello.  He has a super pedigree, especially for Europe, being the best son of Conway Hall, who is the brother of four successful stallions in Europe and closely related to several more. Wishing Stone is out of the super broodmare Meadowbranch Magic, a $330,000 yearling and the granddaughter of $1.1 Million winning Davidia Hanover. Wishing Stone’s full brother, Make It Happen, nearly a $1 million winner, has become a sought after stallion in Europe after producing two near Swedish  millionaires from his first crop including TravKrterium (Sweden’s top 3YO race)  second place finisher Final Oak.  Wishing Stone is also a sibling of three other $100,000 winners, which is always a great guide to prepotency. His durability says volumes for his physique and conformation and he is blessed with a perfect gait, which is a necessity for competition in France, where rough gaits lead to disqualifications. He has a wide-striding front action which will remind Swedes of the likes of Maharajah, the winner of this year’s Prix d’Amerique. With services to stallions in Europe heavily regulated, his popularity already is such that he is over-subscribed for his first season, for which he is in Maryland at SBS for frozen semen collection serving the non-US market.  He is to be distributed through Offspring Management in Sweden, Allevamenti Toniatti sas in Italy, ENS Snapshot in Denmark and Stallions Australasia  for Australia and New Zealand. “We plan to bring him home to New Jersey at Deo Volente Farms this week to serve the US breeding market,” says Sue Agopian.  “We will be breeding the mare Yalta Hanover dam of horse of the month Perfect Alliance to Wishing Stone this year. “He will continue breeding and start jogging and training at the training facility few miles from our farm and will be racing come summer. Breeding is part of his daily life, when we need to serve the US breeders we will bring him to the farm for collection.” Wishing Stone  will be breeding until June and his immediate racing programme is likely to  be focused on the the U.S looking towards the Cashman Memorial and Breeders Crown. However, the Copenhagen Cup & TVG trot are also on the future agenda.  “Our strategy is for him to have a global career. With Ron [Burke] as his trainer we have all the confidence that he will have a well rounded global career,” says Sue Agopian.  There are no plans for how long  Wishing Stone can continue combining a race career and breeding, it is common in Europe for racing stallions to continue until nine and ten if their form holds up, Ready Cash a great example, retiring recently at nine, just as his first progeny were cleaning up group races in France.  “He will tell us how long to continue breeding and racing him.  He had an exceptional season at age 6 setting world records in the process.. As long as he is able to compete at that lofty level, we will breed and race. He has a phenomenal legacy and we want to make sure it remains that way!” By David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

The Swedish invasion of Vincennes continues right up to the last with two of Sweden's top open age trotters Sanity and On Track Piraten lining up in the UET Masters Series Prix de l'Union Europeenne, on the last day of the Winter Meeting on Saturday. The group two staying race over 2000m is worth 160,000 euros and has attracted a field of nine entries, with Sanity vying for favouritism with French veteran Roi du Lupin. Sanity has been in super form in France since running seventh in the UET Masters Series final in September. Malin Löfgren's son of Love You won the 100, 000 euro Grand Prix la Voix du Nord later that month at Le Croise Laroche and followed that up with a win at Mexlay du Maine, in the 100,000 euro Grand Prix Anjou-Maine. He then ran third to Timoko in the 200,000 euro Grand Prix de Sud-Ouest in Beaumont de Lomagne in October before a second to Tiego d'Etang in the 110,000 euro Prix des Cevennes later that month, on the first day of the Winter Meeting at Vincennes. Sanity capped that off with a win in the group two 120,000 euro Prix de Brest on January 18, his last start before Saturday's race. The other Swedish star On Track Piraten also raced in the UET Masters final, prior to victory in the Swedish championships in December, the third win in a row on home soil. He returned to France in January for a sixth in the Prix du Luxembourg, and a close second to Une Fille d'Amour in the Prix du Plateau de Gravelle just over a week ago. The other Scandinavian raider is Finland's Maxwell Mayday, a veteran warhorse who has won over 440,000 on his travels all over Europe, who has a best placing of third in the group three Prix de Montignac-Charnete in November. Jean Paul Marmion's Roi du Lupin is a multi-talented performer with just shy of 1.5 million euros in earnings through group victories in both monte and harness, many of them UET Masters events such as the Grand Prix de Sud Owenst and the Prix Jacques Andrieu monte. The altered son of Fleuron Perrine galloped in the Prix de Brest but has had two warm-up wins in Belgium in preparation for this. Others who are prominent in early betting are Jean Michel's 10YO mare Quoumba de Guez (Urfist des Pres) was eighth in the Prix de Bretagne in November and has also been warming up in Belgium while Franck Leblanc's First de Retz stallion Son Alezan was a meritorious fourth in the Grand Prix de Paris last start. PRIX DE L'UNION EUROPEENNE Vincennes 01/03/14 Group II Euro UET Masters 3000m 5-10 €160 000 1 Starter du Rib (8g Ganymede - Jiviga) Dr: Jean Loic Claude Dersoir Tr: Joel Hallais 3000 2 Maxwell Mayday (9g S J's Photo - Counting Crowns) Dr: Björn Goop Tr: Jarmo Niskanen 3000 3 Quela Rive (10m Eclair de Vandel - Sissi) Dr: Anne Francoise Donati Tr: Roberto Donati 3000 4 On Track Piraten (6h Kool du Caux - Monrovia) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Hans R Strömberg 3000 5 Son Alezan (8h First de Retz - Kelle Ile) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Franck Leblanc 3000 6 Quinio du Relais (10g Kitcho d'Ecajeul - Gabriella) Dr: Sebastien Hardy Tr: Sebastien Hardy 3000 7 Riglorieux du Bois (9g Indy de Vive - Glorieuse du Bois) Dr: Alexandre Abrivard Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 3000 8 Roxana de Barbray (9m Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Roberto Donati 3000 9 Sanity (8g Love You - Flash Light) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Malin Löfgren 3000 10 Quoumba de Guez (10m Urfist des Pres - Vanina de Mareuil) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Bazire 3000 11 Roi du Lupin (9g Fleuron Perrine - Helia de Saint Pol) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 3000 by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

The Prix de Selection is the final Group I race of the rich Vincennes Winter Meeting and is an aptly named race which is often a precursor to a rich stud career for the place-getters. An inter-generational race for 4-6YOs, it is the second (after the Prix des Centaures) to be run under the new handicapping system which has reduced the handicap for older horses to address the more precocious modern horse, which has seen 4YOs dominate this traditional stallion identifying race. Only Milord Drill (Sancho Panca) as a 6YO in 2006 and Kiwi (Coktail Jet) at 5 in 2003 have won the race in the last 21 years, but the change from a 50m to a 25m handicap should readdress the balance. But even with this anomaly the race's success as a test of stallion potential can be seen by a quick look at its alumini who have been well represented in this Winter Meeting. Royal Prestige's son Buvetier d'Aunou, sire of superstar Up And Quick, winner of the Prix de Paris and runner up in the Prix d'Amerique won the race in 1992, while the following year's winner Cygnus d'Odysee, a son of former US 2YO star Workaholic is the sire of the brilliant Texas Charm, who was favourite for this year's Prix d'Amerique after a superb win in the Prix de Bourgogne until injury. And 2001 winner Jasmin de Flore is the sire of Criterium de Juenes winner Billie de Montfort. Prominent stallions who have won the race include Kaisy Dream (sire of group one winners Santa Rosa France and So Lovely Girl), the aforementioned Kiwi (sire of Criterium des 3 and 4 winner Quaro), Full Account (sire of Criterium de Jeunes winner Kinder Jet), Insert Gede and Meaulnes du Corta, Nice Love and rising star Saxo de Vandel. And underlining just how important the race can be for predicting great sires can be further illustrated by a look at some of the runners-up in the race - none other than Coktail Jet, Ganymede, Orlando Vici, Kesaco Phedo, Giant Cat and the next superstar sire Ready Cash. Last year's winner Village Mystic (who is already at stud) lines up against a swag of group one winners and such is the strength of the field that Louis Baudron's son of Love You will probably be seventh or eighth favourite. After running a narrow second in the Goup 1 Grand Prix de France Univers du Pan will be the favourite for this race, given the reduced nature of the handicap against his talented younger rivals. Philippe Raugeard's son of Kenya du Pont is in rare form, with three second placings in a row against the best older horses in the world, which will set him up for a great shot at this. Prix De Bretagne winner Uhlan du Val, who was also second to current star Up And Quick in last year's Criterium des 5 Ans, is also well in the mix here . Cedric Megissier's son of Islero de Bellouet is the only one of the field who graced the Grand Prix d'Amerique where he finished a meritorious sixth and his last three starts have all been in the crucible of the French triple crown. He also looks to be in great shape against his own and younger age-groups after such a torrid build up. Of the younger horses, who will start with a 25metre advantage on the 2175m trip, Sebastien Guarato's rising star Aladin d'Ecajuel (Quaker Jet ) is favoured to test the older horses and maintain the dominance of 4YOs, while Akim du Cap Vert (First de Retz) is also a very talented stallion. Mares have also enjoyed rare success with only the exceptional Pearl Queen and Qualita Bourbon having won the race in the past 20 years, but the A generation has been dominated by the female gender up until very recently. But whether the leading lights Axelle Dark (Ready Cash), Anastasia Fella (Goetmals Wood) and Atlessima (Rocklyn) are of that quality is the 240,000 euro question. PRIX DE SELECTION  Vincennes 2014-03-01 Group I 2175 4-6YOs € 240 000e 1 Aldo des Champs (4h Prince d'Espace - Noumea des Champs) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Matthieu Abrivard 2175 2 Alesia d'Atout (4m Defi d'Aunou - New York Jet) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Dominique Mottier 2175 3 Astor du Quenne (4h Opus Viervil - Qualinka du Quenne) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2175 4 Atlessima (4m Rocklyn - Noblessima) Dr: Julien Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 2175 5 Aladin d'Ecajeul (4h Quaker Jet - Nancy d'Ecajeul) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 2175 6 Anastasia Fella (4m Goetmals Wood - Jeanne's Fella) Dr: Franck Nivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 2175 7 Akim du Cap Vert (4h First de Retz - Prima du Cap Vert) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 2175 8 Axelle Dark (4m Ready Cash - Queen des Charmes) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire 2175 9 Vanna Coletto (5m Lejacque d'Houlbec - Paloma du Donjon) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Guillaume Grelier 2200 10 Viking de Val (5h Baccarat du Pont - La Forge de Val) Dr: Eric Lambertz Tr: Eric Lambertz 2200 11 Unabella Perrine (6m Diamant Gede - Minnie Perrine) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Jean Francois Mary 2200 12 Voltigeur de Myrt (5h Opus Viervil - Myrtille des Bois) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Roberto Donati 2200 13 Une Fille d'Amour (6m Infant du Bossis - Never So Great) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Cyril Raimbaud 2200 14 Village Mystic (5h Love You - Netchka d'Orgeres) Dr: Louis Baudron Tr: Louis Baudron 2200 15 Uhlan du Val (6h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 2200 16 Univers de Pan (6h Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) Dr: Philippe Raugeard Tr: Philippe Raugeard 2200 by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

VINCENNES, France - Ici S'ecrit L'histoire. Here history is written. So says the promo material for the Prix d'Amerique. And history certainly awaits Ready Cash on Sunday where he has the chance to win his third race and join the great Roquepine, Bellino II and Uranie. It would also give him the chance to emulate the immortal Ourasi next year with a fourth win. He certainly looked in stunning condition earlier this week at Thierry Duvaldestin's training establishment and the master mentor was confident that his great stallion was in prime condition to win a third Prix d'Amerique. Duvaldestin said his horse was more relaxed and "professional" than he had ever been and that he worked much better than this time last year. Ominous words indeed. But this was not always the way when the horse that was the best of what was emerging as one of the great generations, became a 4YO rogue for owner-trainer Philippe Allaire after winning the Prix Emmanuel Margouty as a 2YO and the Criterium des Juenes and Criterium des 3 Ans at three. So he turned to Thierry Duvaldestin in desperation, and the trainer went back to the basics, treating him like he would any other horse on his impressive training facility at La Ferté-Frênel In Normandy. The method was to treat him like any other on the Duvaldestin property. Given an outside box, with a paddock and a straw filled shelter, he thrived in the natural environment. Duvaldestin started on his family farm with 10 hectares where he built his first barn - where he and his family lived above until five-years ago. In time he has expanded both the number of barns and the size of his property to 80 hectares. It now has seven tracks. An oval grass jogging track, a sand oval main track, three straight tracks cinders, natural and mix natural-fibre and two tracks through the forest for variety. And of his great hope in the world's greatest aged trotting race. "He is more professional," Duvaldestin said. "We have had to push him a little more, he is too much relaxed. The last few weeks we have worked him a little more than other years, we have had to lose weight. "He has had no problem with injuries ever - he was the best horse of his generation at 2,3,4 and older." And now he is doing it all again as a sire being the first horse Duvaldesin believes who has had progeny win group one races while he himself was still winning group one races. But while the likes of brilliant youngsters Avila, Axelle Dark, Brillantisime and Bird Parker will ensure Ready Cash's legacy is in good hands. There is another more immediate matter, as Duvaldestin reminds us. "The goal is Sunday." Ready Cash fact file: 9YO Bay stallion Indy de Vive- Kidea 61 starts 36 wins, Earnings 4,265,500 euros Major victories: Criterium Des Jeunes (Gr1) (3YO), Criterium Des 3 Ans (Gr1), Grand Prix d'Amerique (Gr1) (2011, 2012), Prix De Paris Int (Gr1), Grand Prix De Wallonie (G1) , Prix De Bourgogne (G2) (2012-1, 2012-12, 2011), Prix Du Bourbonnais (Gr2) (2011, 2012), Prix De Bretagne (Gr2) , Prix Charles Tiercelin (G2), Prix Paul Viel (G2), Prix Ovide Moulinet (G2), Prix Kalmia (G2), Prix Pierre Plazen (G2), UET Masters Series final (Prix d'Ete)(G2), Prix d'Ete (2012), Prix Abel Bassigny (Gr2) , Prix Marcel Laurent (Gr2) (2009, 2010), Prix Jacques De Vauloge (Gr2), Prix Doynel De Saint-Quentin (Gr2), Prix Octave Douesnel (Gr2), Emmanuel Margouty (Gr2) (2YO), 2nds Grand Prix d'Amerique (Gr1) 2013, Prix Gelinotte (G2), Grand Prix Du Conseil General(G2), Prix Victor Regis (G2), Prix De Paris Int (Gr1), Prix De Selection (Gr1), 3rds Prix De Belgique (G2), Prix de Bourgogne (G2). by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com  

Vigove, under a tactical steer from Pierre Vercruysse, nailed his adversaries at the line to win the Gr. II Prix de Croix. Off at 9/1 the winner, trained by Franck Leblanc, scored for the sixth time in his career for earnings of 378,580 euro. Vercruysse placed Vigove in perfect position (second on the inner) before escaping the pocket to score in a close finish over Viking de Val and Voyage de Reve in a very fast final 500 meters. Invaders from Sweden and Italy took spots four and five. Paris-Vincennes - Prix de Croix, Gr. II, UET Masters Series, 120,000 euro purse, 2850 meters 1.16.6kr Fractions: 1.20kr at 1500; 1.19kr at 1000; 1.18,.1kr at 500, 1.16.6kr at finish 1st Vigove (5m Gazouillis-Gouive-Hetre Vert), Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Pierre Deblock at 9/1 odds 2nd Viking de Val (5m Baccarat du Pont-La Forge de Val-Quadrophenio), Eric Lambertz owner/trainer/driver, 2/1 odds 3rd Voyage de Reve (5m Password-Kiocalba-Coktail Jet), Julien Dubois up for Philippe Moulin training for Ecurie Victoria Dreams, 14/1 odds 4th Dreams Take Time - Sweden (5m Andover Andover-B My Honey-Viking Kronos), Jos. Verbeeck up for trainer Lars Nilsson, 8.3/1 5th Princess Grif - Italy (5f Varenne-Fauve Grif-Viking Kronos), Mathieu Abrivard up for Fabrice Souloy training for owner Az. Agr. Biasuzzi Srl., 15/1 As time winds down toward the January 26 Prix d'Amerique the field and favorites appear somewhat unknown. Tomorrow at Vincennes will provide some insights, as Texas Charm is out with a canon bone injury and Maharajah was a disappointment today. Timoko raced poorly in his last start as did Royal Dream (starts tomorrow) and Ready Cash was third in his last but performed reasonably well. Triode de Felliere has raced consistently well in the preliminaries for conditioner Jean-Paul Marmion. It's a horse race and anything can happen. It's been our sense for several months that 2014 might represent a changing of the guard among the best international trotters. Tomorrow will provide additional information from performances in the Prix de Belgique and Prix Tenor de Baune, and in a week from the classic 700,000 euro purse Prix de Cornulier (monte). Previous winners of the 2014 Prix d'Amerique qualifiers were: Prix de Bretagne - Uhlan duVal from Up And Quick Prix de Bourbonnais - Triode de Felliere from Uhlan du Val Prix de Bourgogne - Texas Charm from Triode de Felliere Criterium Continental - Victoire from Village Mystic The 2014 Prix d'Amerique is difficult to predict, but as always it will produce fan excitement, action on the racetrack and performance. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4er5ZRTUVA The final field for tomorrow's Prix de Belgique, a Gr. II International 2850 meter test plus a 25 meter distance handicap for three top earners, is shown below. Purse is 120,000 euro with 15 entrants to face the starter. There have a few that won this race and the Prix d'Amerique (Lurabo in 1984, Ourasi three times in 1986-1988, Tenor de Baune in 1991 and Queen L in 1993). Paris-Vincennes - Prix de Belgique - January 12, 2014 Talicia Bella, A. Barrier Victoire, M. Mottier Soleil du Fosse, T. Duvaldestin Marielles, M. Abrivard Renommee d'Obret, F. Ouvrie Univers du Pan, P. Daugeard Roxana de Barbray, E. Raffin Severino, Ch. Bigeon Vanika de Ruel, F. Anne Quinoa de Gers, F. Souloy Yarrah Boko, P. Vercruysse Reve de Beylev, D. Locqueneux The Best Madrik, Jean-Etienne Dubois, 2875 meters Save The Quick, J-M Bazire, 2875 meters Royal Dream, Jean-Philippe Dubois, 2875 meters The Prix Tenor de Baune (UET Masters Series, 2700 meters, purse 120,000 euro) might also reveal Prix d'Amerique entrants. Ten solid performers will be at the start: Paris-Vincennes - Prix Tenor de Baune - January 12, 2014 Ultimo Vingt, P. Ternisien Orient Horse, M. Abrivard Disco AE, E. Raffin Rocky Winner. D. Locqueneux Unabella Perrine, F. Ouvrie Oropuro Bar, M. Smorgon Vincennes, Mlle J. Lindqvist Une Fille d'Amour, D. Thomain Uhlan du Val, C. Megissier Up And Quick, J-M Bazire The great Sunday card also includes the Gr. II Prix Gelinotte for three year-old females. January 12, 2014 - Paris-Vincennes - Prix Gelinotte, Gr. II, 120,000 euro purse, 11 starters Bonnie Cadence, E. Allard Bliss Nevele, J. Ruaults Baileyse, M. Velua Barbalala, Jean-Etienne Dubois Biguglia, F. Ouvrie Balade de Blary, F. Anne Bassana de Marlau, Jean-Pierre Dubois Beauty Turgot, M. Abrivard Bergame Madrik, J-M Bazire Billie de Montfort, E. Raffin Be My Girl, Jos. Verbeeck by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com               

The injury of Prix d'Amerique favourite Texas Charm has dominated the headlines for the world's greatest trot in recent days, but there is still business aplenty for prospective participants with the two last chances for entry being held on a fantastic day of racing on Sunday. The Prix de Belgique, the last of the B races and the Prix Tenor Baune for six-year-olds, both offer a ticket to the big dance as well as UET Masters Series points to the first five home in each race - so there is plenty of offer besides the 120,000 euros, which like all races in France, is divided up among the first seven to cross the line. The earlier of the two is the Prix de Belgique, race four on the card and missing injured Texas Charm and the already qualified Ready Cash and Triode de Felliere -the first three home in the third B race, the Prix de Bourgogne at the end of December. The latter two will be keeping their powder dry, although Triode de Felliere is better over the shorter distance, which of course casts doubt over his Prix d'Amerique credentials. The Prix de Belgique is a tough final test for the Prix d'Amerique's aged candidates, being over the staying distance of 2850m and the early favouritism has gone to Univers de Pan, Philippe Daugeard's tough campaigner who has yet to win a group one race, but is the richest of the U generation. Criterium Continental winner Victoire comes into this race after three wins in a row against her own five-year-old crop and this is a big step up for Danielle Mottier's daughter of Kitko but French handicappers are confident she can. Being the last of the B races, handicappers also know there is a dividing line between the likes of Royal Dream, Save The Quick and The Best Madrik, who are superior horses and start of 25m but don't need the win to make the Prix d'Amerique - and the rest that do. So horses like Italian Marielles and Norway's Yarrah Boko - who won this race last year - will be at shorter odds than normal against the backmarkers. Soleil du Fosse and Talicia Bella, who would not normally figure highly in the market are also horses who come into this category. The Tenor de Baune is race six on the card and features a super lineup of six-year-olds, headed by Uhlan du Val, the winner of the Prix de Bretagne, the first of the B races of the Winter Meeting. Second in that race was Criterium des 5 Ans winner Up and Quick from Franck Leblanc's powerful Ecurie Quick Star barn and this pair will be fighting out more than just the favouritism here. Cyril Raimbaud's Une Fille d'Amour beat most of these home in the group two Prix Doynel de Saint-Quentin at the end of December and is the deserved third favourite in early markets. Sweden and Italy are represented by five horses, Vincennes, Disco A.E. and Rocky Winner from the Scandinavian powerhouse and Oropuro Bar and Orient Horse from the southern stronghold. The winner of last year's Tenor de Baune was a Swede, Raja Mirchi, who was withdrawn from Prix d'Amerique contention late last month. A third group two of the day is race seven, the 120,000 euro Prix Gelinotte over 2700m which features the top three-year-old fillies who are preparing for next month's Criterium des Jeunes. The first two home in last month's Prid Une de Mai, Sebastien Guarato's Billie de Montfort and Philippe Allaire's Be My Girl are vying for the early favouritism with French handicappers picking the daughter of Love You to reverse the order here. Most of the field competed in the first of their generation's big races last start, with the first five home appearing here, with the only notable absentee being the beaten favourite Brindille de Mai, although Franck Anne is represented by outsider Balade de Blary. Bergame Madrik, Beauty Turgot, Bassana de Marlau and Biguglia also have solid support on the market. Finally Rapide du Digeon and Rubis Daipet head a talented monte lineup in race 8, the Prix Djerid, a 2200m group III for six-year-olds and over which includes Prix de Cornullier hopefuls Sakura Jiel and Quarlos. The two favourites Rapide du Digeon and Rubis Daipet are ineligible for the world's richest under saddle event next weekend, because they are geldings, but both have been in great form this winter meeting. Rapide du Digeon was second behind rising star Ulysse in the rich Prix du Calvados last weekend and won the Prix August Francois in mid November, beating most of this field. Rubis Dairpet was third in that race, but a week earlier had beaten Rapide du Digeon into second in the Group II Prix Paul Buquet, the first big monte of the Winter Meeting. 12/01/14 Vincennes PRIX DE BELGIQUE   Group II Int 2850m 4-10 €120 000 1 Talicia Bella (7m General du Pommeau - Illicia Bella) Dr: Anthony Barrier Tr: Jean Paul Marmion 2 Victoire (5m Kitko - Juventa Blue) Dr: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Danielle Mottier 3 Soleil du Fosse (8h Jag de Bellouet - Fortune du Fosse) Dr: Thierry Duvaldestin Tr: Thierry Duvaldestin 4 Marielles (8m Kick Tail - Egida Play) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 5 Renommee d'Obret (9m Buvetier d'Aunou - Dixie L'Aventure) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Philippe Emmanuel Trible 6 Univers de Pan (8h Kenya du Pont - Gypsilore) Dr: Philippe Daugeard Tr: Philippe Daugeard 7 Roxana de Barbray (9m Speed Clayettois - Iriane des Enclos) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Roberto Donati 8 Severino (8h Gobernador - Katia de Tillard) Dr: Christian Bigeon Tr: Roger Coueffin 9 Vanika du Ruel (5m Jardy - Jacarandine) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 10 Quinoa du Gers (10h Ganymede - Targa du Chalange) Dr: Fabrice Souloy Tr: Fabrice Souloy 11 Yarrah Boko (9h Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten) Dr: Pierre Vercruysse Tr: Trond Anderssen 12 Reve de Beylev (9h Fortuna Fant - Heloise Poterie) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Sebastien Guarato 13 The Best Madrik (7h Coktail Jet - Lady Madrik) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 25 14 Save the Quick (8m Jasmin de Flore - Heureuse Duchesse) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc 25 15 Royal Dream (9h Love You - Ida Bourbon) Dr: Jean Philippe Dubois Tr: Philippe Moulin 25   PRIX Tenor de Baune   Group II Int 2 700m 6YO €120,000 1 Ultimo Vingt (6h Hasting - Korinella) Dr: Philippe Ternisien Tr: Philippe Ternisien 2 Orient Horse (6h Abano As - Irma Del Rio) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 3 Disco A.E. (6h Scarlet Knight - Queen A.E. ) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Stefan Melander 4 Rocky Winner (6h Credit Winner - Level Fortytwo) Dr: Dominik Locqueneux Tr: Jörgen Westholm 5 Unabella Perrine (6m Diamant Gede - Minnie Perrine) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Jean Francois Mary 6 Oropuro Bar (6h Love You - Ubatuba Oaks) Dr: Marco Smorgon Tr: Marco Smorgon 7 Vincennes (6m Spotlite Lobell - Lina Trot) Dr: Johanna Lindqvist Tr: Sören Lennartsson 8 Une Fille d'Amour (6m Infant du Bossis - Never So Great) Dr: David Thomain Tr: Cyril Raimbaud 9 Uhlan du Val (6h Islero de Bellouet - Indiana Beautiful) Dr: Cedric Megissier Tr: Cedric Megissier 10 Up And Quick (6h Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre) Dr: Jean-Michel Bazire Tr: Franck Leblanc PRIX GELINOTTE   Group II Vincennes 2700m 3F 120 000 1 Bonnie Cadence (Qualypso Jiel - Potuna Saint Andre) Dr: Emmanuel Allard Emmanuel Allard 2 Bliss Nevele (Ready Cash - Quick Nevele) Dr: Jerome Ruaults Tr: Philippe Allaire 3 Baileyse (Opus Viervil - Lance de Fourches) Dr: Matthieu Verva Tr: Christian Douillet 4 Barbalala (Qwerty - Pardinia) Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr: Jean Etienne Dubois 5 Biguglia (Coktail Jet - La Faisanderie) Dr: Franck Ouvrie Tr: Frederic Prat 2700 6 Balade de Blary (Qualmio de Vandel - Garine d'Occagnes) Dr: Franck Anne Tr: Franck Anne 7 Bassana de Marlau (Sam Bourbon - Jessie de Vonnas) Dr: Jean Pierre Dubois Tr: Patrick Chevrier 8 Beauty Turgot (Hand du Vivier - Quouragane) Dr: Mathieu Abrivard Tr: Fabrice Souloy 9 Bergame Madrik (Prince d'Espace - Houlba de Pouline) Dr: Jean Michel Bazire Tr: Jean Michel Baudouin 10 Billie de Montfort (Jasmin de Flore - Quismy de Montfort) Dr: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato 11 Be My Girl (Love You - Ornella Rainbow) Dr: Jos Verbeeck Tr: Philippe Allaire PRIX DJERID  Group III monte 2200m 6-10 € 110 000 1 Quel Chef (10g Chef du Chatelet - Herveyer) Rd: Fabien Gence Tr: Fabien Michel Andrieu 2 Saphir du Cebe (8g Kepler - Irma Saint Jean) Rd: Marie Bacsich Tr: Franck Leblanc 3 Saphir de Morge (8h Guenor - Folie de Morge) Rd: Pierre Yves Verva Tr: Franck Terry 4 Quassia du Bon Air (10g Capriccio - Io de Courson) Rd: Adrien Lamy Tr: Bruno Marie 5 Raison Jenilou (9g Hermes de Pericard - Jolly Jenil) Rd: Alexis Garandeau. Tr: Louis Baudron 6 Sakura Jiel (8m Buvetier d'Aunou - Milady Jiel) Rd: Matthieu Abrivard Tr: Jean Luc Dersoir 7 Rapide du Digeon (9g Urfist des Pres - Gerveine Barbes) Rd: Damien Bonne Tr: Thierry Raffegeau 8 Quarlos (10h L'As de Viretaute - Cette Angevine) Rd: Mathieu Mottier Tr: Michel Dabouis 9 Rubis Dairpet (9g Kaiser Soze - Betty de la Noe) Rd: Eric Raffin Tr: Sebastien Guarato by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com 

Sunday Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes hosts the third “B” leading to the Prix d’Amerique. Many of the top international trotting stars will be in action in this Gr. II UET Masters Series International event over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of 120,000 euro. The lineup sets forth as follows: Ready Cash, Franck Nivard The Best Madrik, Jean-Etienne Dubois Timoko, Jos. Verbeeck Royal Dream, Jean-Philippe Dubois Vanika du Ruel, Franck Anne (four year old mare) Texas Charm, Julien Dubois Tiego d’Etang, C.J. Bigeon Roxane Griff, Eric Raffin Reve de Beylev, Dominik Locqueneux Roxane de Barbray, Mme. A.F. Donati Triode de Felliere, Anthony Barrier (winner Prix du Bourbonnais) Univers de Pan, Philippe Daugearde Renommee d’Obret, Franck Ouvrie Marielles (Italy), Mathieu Abrivard Up And Quick, J-M Bazire Santa Rosa France, W. Bigeon Kadett C.D. (Sweden), Robert Bergh From this group will likely come several contenders for the 93rd edition of the Prix d’Amerique that could join Uhlan du Val (winner Prix de Bretagne), Victoire (winner of Criterium Continental), Sweden’s Maharajah plus Italy’s Mack Grace SM if they join the field of 18. Winners of the Prix de Bourgogne since 1990 Year Winner Driver Réd.Km. 2014       2013 Ready Cash Franck Nivard 1'10'' 8 2012 Ready Cash Franck Nivard 1'10'' 6 2011 Ready Cash Franck Nivard 1'11'' 5 2010 Olga of Biwetz Jean-Michel Bazire 1'12 "6 2009 Meaulnes du Corta Pierre Levesque 1'11'' 4 2008 Meaulnes du Corta Pierre Vercruysse 1'12 "7 2007 Kesaco Phedo Michel Lenoir 1'10 "8 2006 Kazire of Guez Stéphane Delasalle 1'12 "8 2005 Jag BELLOUET Christophe Gallier 1'11 "9 2004 Kesaco Phedo Jean-Michel Bazire 1'11 "9 2003 Insert Gede Yves Dreux 1'12 "2 2002 Insert Gede Yves Dreux 1'12 "6 2001 First of Retz Pierre Levesque 1'13 "9 2000 Giant Cat Nicolas Roussel 1'13 "1 1999 Moni Maker Jean-Michel Bazire 1'12 "5 1998 Aunou challenge Jean-Etienne Dubois 1'13'' 0 1997 Abo Volo Jos Verbeeck 1'15 "3 1996 Happiness Tillard Jean-Claude Hallais 1'16 "3 1995 Vourasie Bernard Oger 1'13 "6 1994 Vourasie Bernard Oger 1'14 "9 1993 Uka Champs Thierry Leveau 1'15 "1 1992 Ursulo Crouay Joel Hallais 1'14 "3 1991 Success Rozoy Roger Baudron 1'14 "8 1990 Dream Udon Yves Dreux 1'16 "3   Thomas H. Hicks  

Last week was a tough one in the V75, I think ours led into the straight in almost every race but somehow found someone to beat us. But that is why this series is so popular, outsiders get up on a very frequent basis such is the evenness of the racing and that leads to the big payouts.The V75 is taking place in Vermo, Finland this weekend, and so we will take a break from it and concentrate on some wagering in France, where the Winter Series is getting serious with the first of the Classiques this weekend, the Criterium des 3 Ans. Saturday R3: Prix Ariste Hemard (Group 2) 4YO Mares 2700m: Vanika du Ruel (9) looked like a superstar earlier in her career, with 4 group one wins but has fallen off her pedestal since an upset in the Criterium des 4 Ans. Victoire has been improving and won the most recent group two for this age group but there are two up and comers in this field who might figure at longer odds, in Votka Bleue (4) and Viva Island (5). It is a good punting race and I'm going for Jean-Pierre Dubois' Viva Island to win this. Selection: 5 R4: Prix du Bourbonnais (Group 2) 4-9YO H&M 2850m: This is the second of the B races and has all the big French guns turning out against the cream of several crops including a couple of European raiders. This should be between Ready Cash (15), Royal Dream (13), Timoko (14) and Texas Charm (10) even though there are up and comers like Prix de Bretagne winner Uhlan du Val (2) and Italian Derby winner Pascia'Lest (7) in the race. Ready Cash has won this race the last two times, and I'm picking he will make it three. Selection: 15 R6: Prix Raoul Balliere (Group 2) 3YO monte 2175m: This A crop is highly unusual in that it has thus far been completely dominated by fillies, and I'm picking that Asana Trembledaise (6) will continue that trend in this race although Aquarelle de Fael (8), Adio Josselyn (7) Atwood Griff (9) and Aston Fly(5) all have claims. Selection: 6 Sunday Prix Octave Douesnel (Group 2) 4YO H: 2700m: Village Mystic (9), Vaux le Vicomte (7), Vigove (6) and Voltigeur de Myrt (8) should fight this one out. Vaux le Vicomte has not won at group level, he is the form horse and this is his best chance of finally doing so. Selection: 7 Criterium des 3 Ans (Group 1) 3YO C&F 2700m: This is the biggest race on the calendar for 3YOs and this crop has been dominated so far by the super trio of fillies Axelle Dark (15), Anastasia Fella (12) and Avila (14). Colts Akim de Cap Vert (13) and Aldo de Champs (10) have been improving rapidly and actually doing faster times than the fillies in the A-generation races over the Winter Series so far. But I think Anastasia Fella just seems to have gone up a level recently, and provided she is handy, will be able to stare down any challenge. Selection: 12  

While the second of the B races on the road to the Prix d'Amerique, the Prix du Bourbonnais (Group 2, 120,000 euros) has brought the superstars of French harness racing out in force tonight, Sweden's biggest gun, Maharajah, may still get another shot at the World's greatest race despite a disappointing run in the Gavle Stora Pris three weeks ago. But Annika Lindblom, Projectleader of Travkompaniet, 'the Emperor's' owner said there was nothing amiss with the horse, who has been plagued with fetlock problems throughout his career, after the race. "The veterinary was pleased with him and he is ok in the training," Ms Linblom told Harnesslink. "Of course last race was a little bit of a disappointment but maybe he needs a couple of races before he is in shape again. Last race was only the third time he been at a racetrack since May!" As for a shot at the Prix d'Amerique, in which the great horse finished second in his first attempt in 2011, Ms Lindblom says Travompianet's connections have not made a final decision. "Well, the answer about the Prix D´Amerique is that we have not decides anything," she said. "We take one race at the time for Maharajah and We Will See after every race. "Next race for him will be in V75 in Gothenburg next Saturday , If he is okay in the training." Maharajah, who is trained by Stefan Hultman, has not previously entered the B races before the final race in January, the Prix de Bretagne, and it was a win in the 2011 renewal that earned him a place in that year's Grand Prix d'Amerique, where he finished a gallant second to Ready Cash, who like himself is an 8-year-old. The pair repeated the result the next week in the group one €400,000 Prix de France before Maharajah went on a week later to win the group one Prix de Paris (also €400,000), over the marathon 4175m trip around Vincennes with Ready Cash not fronting. But his old rival, who has won two Prix d'Amerique's and finished second last year will be making his first start at the Winter Series in this year's Prix de Bourbonnais, a race he has won two years in a row. Indeed Thierry Duvaldestin's son of Indy de Vive has a formidable record in B races. He has also won the Prix De Bourgogne (2100m) the last three times in a row, o won the Prix de Bretagne (2700m) at his second attempt in 2011 after galloping in his first ever B race in the 2010 renewal. In fact the only B race Ready Cash has not won is the Prix de Belgique (2850m), in which he finished third in his only attempt in 2012. He fronted up a fortnight later and won his first Prix d'Amerique. Last year's Prix d'Amerique winner Royal Dream has been patiently handled in his career by Jean-Etienne Dubois' Ecurie Victoria Dreams stable. Under the astute guidance of trainer Philippe Moulin, the son of Love You won seven on the trot when he began his career as a 4YO, all in provincial company and he did not make a start at Vincennes until late in his 5YO year. Even then he did not race in good company until he had fully matured as a 6YO in the Prix Tenor de Baune where he broke 50m from the line after he had drawn up alongside eventual winner Lana Del Rio and Ready Cash, who was subsequently disqualified. As a seven-year-old Royal Dream won the 2012 Prix de Belgique which gave him a ticket to that year's Prix dAmerique where he ran a promising sixth. He subsequently won his first group race, the Prix de France a fortnight later. Later that year he finished second in all three early B races, the Prix de Bretagne, Prix Du Bourbonnais and Prix de Bourgogne, before missing the Prix Belgique on his way to a stunning victory over Ready Cash in the Prix d'Amerique. He ran second in the Prix de France to Ready Cash and has been lightly raced the rest of the year with only six appearances, for a win and a second. He has had two warmup races in the provinces but he will be focussed on this, although not likely a favourite at this stage of his preparation. Rising star Timoko has had a stellar year with seven wins in 15 starts at the highest level and Richard Westerink's Imoko stallion might be nearing the level he needs to be to mount a serious challenge to Ready Cash, who was an easy victor in the UET Masters Series final, the last time they met. Ecurie Victoria Dreams and Moulin also have a second big gun in their arsenal with Texas Charm another from the impressive T generation, which is not far behind the quality of the much vaunted R crop. Texas Charm also has a victory over Timoko this year and has earned just under a million euros. The talented son of Cygnus d'Odyssee has won the Group one Prix Vincennes under saddle and group one Prix Rene Balliere in the bike and a clutch of group twos in both disciplines. There are plenty of other good horses in the field including world record breaking mare Save The Quick, recent Prix de Bretagne winner Uhland du Val and third placegettter Tiego d'Etang and former Italian Derby winner Pascia'Lest - who is in the same stable as Ready Cash. And with the big guns focusing on a bigger race in the last weekend of January, they could well provide an upset. Dave Sanders

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