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Readly Express (7m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream), off at 1.2/1, was a decisive front end winner of today’s Grand Prix de France (Gr. I International, purse 350,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters) timed in 1.10.3kr and reined by Bjorn Goop. On the lead early, pilot Goop set a quick pace, eased the middle speed and jetted away in the lane for victory, the fourth for Readly Express in eight starts in France, now with life earnings of 2,125,324€. Timo Nurmos trains Readly Express for owner Bro Byggnads AB. Fractions were 1.06kr at the 1500 meters remaining point; 1.10.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.2kr with 500 to go.  The 37/1 longshot Uza Joselyn (8f Love You-Teza Joselyn) sat the pocket and remained there to the line, three lengths back, for Gabriele Gelormini, Rene Aebischer and Ecurie Rhythm and Blues. The 2.3/1 Bold Eagle (8m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) was away fourth on the pegs before moving first over in the late stages, but under the urging of Franck Nivard he could not threaten the winner and ended third, a long neck behind Uza Josselyn. The 79/1 Dijon (6m Ganymede) was fourth for Romain Derieux and 153/1 Billie de Montfort was fifth for Eric Raffin. The 240/1 Hard Times was a distant sixth. There were many miscue dq’s and all the Bazire trainees were affected – Belina Josselyn, Traders, Valko Jenilat, Davidson du Pont and Looking Superb. The Gr. III Prix Chambord (purse 80,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) began today’s groupe action. This winner was the 7/10 favorite Dreambreaker (6g Offshore Dream-Brooke Boko) handled by the trainer Jean Michel Bazire for Stall Oberkracher. The 1.11.9kr timed winner now shows six wins in 12 outings in France for 257,168€ in life earnings. The 11/1 Divine Mesloise (6f The Best Madrik) was second with Alexandre Abrivard driving for Pierre Belloche and Ecurie Bois Doufray. Generaal Bianco (6f Ufo Kievitshof was third at 7.8/1 odds with Franck Nivard up for trainer Peter Untersteiner. Braquo (8g Ludo de Castelle-Reuve de Presse) took today’s Quinte+ Prix des Vosges (“Chia”) at Vincennes, where 18 starters contested the 2850 meter event for a purse of 48,000€. Antoine Dabouis teamed the nine time winner in 58 career starts that was timed in 1.15.2kr for trainer Michel Dabouis and owner Tanguy Bernier. The 16/1 Beach Julry (8f Hulk des Champs) was second for breeder/trainer/driver Jean Paul Gauvin. 9/1 Croma du Guibel (7f Infant du Bossis) took third with Franck Nivard up, ahead of 4./1 Bleu Ciel and 3.9/1 Cyriel d’Atom. The Q+ exact order 2€ ticket paid 84,679€ and the Quinte pool reached 6,118,124€ today. Monte performers battled in the Prix de Centaures (Gr. I, purse 200,000€, nine starters) and the 1.11.5kr timed victory went to 3.9/1 Evangelina Blue (5f Speedy Blue-Happy Blue) with jockey Mathieu Mottier aboard. J.Ph. Mary trains and owns this now six time winner in 19 starts for 310,800€ in career earnings. The 4/5 favorite Fado du Chene (4m Singalo-Star du Chene) was second handled by P.Ph. Ploquin for trainer Julien LeMer and owner Claude Guedj. 7.4/1 Feeling Cash (4m Ready Cash-Royale Star) took third with Eric Raffin in the irons. In the Gr. II Prix Jean le Gonidec (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 12 starters five year olds) was raced in pouring rain and it resulted in a dramatic late winning surge by 21/1 Eclipse Danica (5f Hasting-Odyssee du Ravary) timed in 1.13.9kr and teamed by her trainer Pierre Vercruysse. Comte Paul de Senneville owns this mare. He previously owned Amiral Mauzon that won an Elitloppet. Eclipse Danica was away quickly and obtained the pocket. She was subsequently shuffled far back and emerged between horses off the final find, then sweeping to the far outside for the winning move. The final 500 was quick (1.07.2kr) for the winner (1.12.4kr at the 1500 meters to go mark; 1.13.7kr at the 1000 and 1.15kr with 500 remaining). Eclipse Danica won for the eighth time in 21 career starts for 275,960€ earned. The 5.3/1 Estola (5f Nectar-Nika) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Emmanuel Ruault and owner Ecurie Comte Pierre de Montesson. Third was 22/1 Extra Light (5f Village Mystic-Ulotis du Goutier) with David Thomain up. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix Guy Lux (purse 64,000€, 2700 meters, 15 European starters aged mares) at Paris-Vincennes. The 33/1 outsider Belline d’Urzy (8f Otello Pierji-Querida d’Urzy) scored timed in 1.13.5kr reined by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Gregoire Houel and USA harness racing owner Patrick Van Nevel. The winner recorded her fifth career win in 67 starts now for 322,230€ earned. The 4.3/1 Contree d’Erable (7f Prince Gede-Soiree d’Erable) took second for David Thomain and trainer J.P. Thomain, ahead of 15/1 Bauloise Haufor (8f Kool du Caux) in rein to Charles J. Bigeon for breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. The exact order top five was completed by 10/1 Crepe de Satin (7f Le Retour) and 32/1 Coral Sea (7f Niky) and there was one Q+ exact order winning ticket that paid 196,146.40€ for the 2 wager. As usual the Q+ total wager was a huge 3,591,905€ and the race handle (all bet forms) was over 7.4€ million. The Gr. III monte Prix Andre Theron (purse 70,000€, 2700, eight starters) produced a driving three horse finish with 2/1 Flicka de Blary (4f Sam Bourbon-Kalinkaya) prevailing with Camille Levesque the jockey for owner/trainer Thomas Levesque. This mare now has five life wins in 12 appearances for 136,030€ earned. The 15/1 Fabulous Dream (4m Royal Dream-Story Charm) was second with Anthony Barrier aboard for trainer Luc Roelens and owner JPB Building BVBR. Third was 16/1 Ficschetto (4m Ubriaco) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons. The Sunday February 10th feature races at Paris-Vincennes are the Gr. I Grand Prix de France, the second leg of the FR Triple Crown (shown below), along with the Gr. I monte Prix des Centaures for 200,000€, the Gr. II Prix Jean le Gonidec for 100,000€ for five year olds and the Gr. III Prix de Chambord for an 80,000€ total purse. C6 - GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 350 000€ - Groupe I - Attelé - 2100m - Grande piste, European Trotting Masters Series 2019 C5 - PRIX DES CENTAURES 200 000€ - Groupe I - Monté - 2200m distance handicap - Grande piste Sunday is also a superb fan day with the Fête du Nouvel An Lunaire. The Saturday February 9th feature races include the 100 000€ Prix Ephrem Houel (shown below) along with the Prix de Munich and Prix de Lisieux, both races for 75,000€ purses. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Next Sunday’s second leg of the FR Triple Crown of Trotting will be raced at Paris-Vincennes. The Grand Prix de France, a Gr. I International European Trotting Masters 2019 event, is raced over 2100 meters autostart for a 350,000€ total purse. The Bazire Big Three is entered (Belina Josselyn, Looking Superb and Davidson du Pont) along with the remaining world’s top trotters currently racing. C4 - GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE 350 000€ Groupe I - Attelé - 2100m   European Trotting Masters Series 2019 Course Internationale   Départ à l'autostart The Grand Prix de France began in 1956 and there have been three-time winners only three times – Jamin, Eleazar and Ourasi. Raced over what is called the FR sprinter distance, the record race time is 1.09.8kr set by Kool du Caux in 2007. This year’s 98th Prix d’Amerique winner Belina Josselyn won the GP de France in 2018 over Bold Eagle and Propulsion in a driving finish. Bold Eagle won the 2016-2017 editions and Ready Cash and Meaulnes du Corta have been double winners in the last ten years. Be there for what will likely be a superb race and program at Paris-Vincennes.  Last year’s race replay follows from the Equidia network, as Belina Josselyn rallied late to nip hard-used Bold Eagle on the line: https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=2018+grand+prix+de+france+Belina+Josselyn&view=detail&mid=608D2C90B0FF370176B6608D2C90B0FF370176B6&FORM=VIRE by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

VINCENNES, FR - The great mare Belina Josselyn (7f Love You-Lezira Joselyn), off at 5.2/1, with trainer J-M Bazire up, won the Grand Prix de France today, the second leg of the 2018 France Triple Crown, with a powerful stretch drive to nip the game pacesetter Bold Eagle on the line. Timed in 1.10.2kr (fractions 1.06.5kr at 1500 to go; 1.08.9kr at the 1000; 1.10.3kr with 500 remaining), a new race record having lowered the 1.10.3kr of Ready Cash in 2011. Belina rallied late and five wide after being shuffled back from post three to record her 18th career win in 46 starts now for €1,442,230 earned for breeder/owner Yvan Bernard. Timone EK led early and then 1.2/1 favorite Bold Eagle (7m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) moved three wide to the lead for Franck Nivard on a quick front 600 meters.  The Eagle continued on the lead with 46/1 Wild Honey, Timone EK and then 2.1/1 Propulsion in pursuit, with 54/1 Ringostarr Treb working closer from post 15.  Belina then got loose for Bazire and mounted her relentless wide charge in the lane for the narrow score over Bold Eagle. Between these two horses going to the wire was Propulsion (7m Muscle Hill-Danae) for the Orjan Kihlstom, Daniel Reden and Stall Zet team to grab third place by just a half length. The 31/1 Briac Dark (7m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) took fourth for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Guy Barou. Ringostarr Treb (8m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral) flattened to be fifth for Gabriele Gelormini, Jerry Riordan and EVAM Racing. The 39/1 Uza Josselyn (7f Love You-Teza Josselyn) and 46./1 Wild Honey (6f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy) completed the top seven. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

February 8, 2018 - Fifteen top level international trotters drew in for Sunday’s harness racing Grand Prix de France (Gr. I, purse €400,000, 2100 meters autostart) led by Bold Eagle (post position 8), Propulsion (pp4), Belina Josselyn (pp3) and the recent monte titan Traders (pp1). Post positions are drawn with the top career earners vying for the nine positions in tier one. Bold Eagle has been second in his last five outings. Blue Story Wins Q+ at Vincennes Today’s Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix Guy Lux (purse €75,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters).  2.8/1 Blue Story (7g Opium-Loumana Flor) scored for driver/breeder Pierre Levesque, and trainer Thomas Levesque, timed in 1.16.5kr. 69/1 Jet Set (9f Juliano Star-Superlet) and driver Mathieu Mottier was second for trainer Jorgen Westholm and Swedish owner Lars Melin. Third was 6.3/1 Seibella Park (7f Varenne-Grandera Park) took third for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Vincent Lacroix and Scuderia Allemento Team Minopoli. 18/1 Agora du Goutier (8f Jardy) and 12/1 Beaute de Bailly completed the top five. The undercard included the Prix de Luneville (Gr. III, purse €82,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) and 38/1 Elusive Feeling (4f Goetmals Wood-Quechya de Charve) scored for J-Y Ricart and trainer Philippe Billard. 3/1 Elino Bilou (4g Uniclove) was second for Matthieu Abrivard and owner/trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Third was 16/1 Etoile de Bruyere for Adrien Lamy. Yesterday the Q+, at Vincennes, was the Prix de l’Ille-et-Vilaine (purse €50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters). The ten length 1.11.6kr timed winner was 3/2 favorite Abydos du Vivier (8g Diamant Gede-Osmie du Vivier) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Mlle. Cl. Minier. Jean Yves Lucuyer bred the winner now with 10 wins in 43 starts for €216,620 earned. 6.5/1 This Is It (7f Ballingary-Traicy) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up. Bjorn Goop trains this one for Stall Panamera Racing of Denmark. 15/1 Ahrima Turgot (8f Prodigious) was third ahead of 16/1 Super Fez (7m Love You) and 8.1/1 Seattle ( Bi (7f Equinox Bi) completed the top five. The Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to 1.3/1 favorite Calaska de Guez (6f Pomerol du Laumac-Miss de Geuz) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire for Ecurie Vautors, timed in 1.15.2kr. 4.1/1 Costa Haufor (6f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) took second for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 5.7/1 Calizza Boko (6f Qwerty-Trancosa Boko) was third for driver Franck Nivard, owner Camilla Vikstrom and trainer Philippe Billard. The lineup is shown below for race four on the fine Paris-Vincennes program Sunday’s Grand Prix de France. N° Cheval Père Mère Père de mère Tps qualif. Date Site Spéc Éleveur 000011 TRADERS READY CASH GRAZIELLA (ITY) GIANT CAT           000022 ANNA MIX LUDO DE CASTELLE IRES TENOR DE BAUNE 1'21"0 06/11/2012 MESLAY-DU-MAINE A Indivision Félix DEBROIZEIndivision Félix DEBROIZE 000033 BELINA JOSSELYN LOVE YOU LEZIRA JOSSELYN WORKAHOLIC 1'20"2 11/07/2013 CAEN A Ecurie Yvan BERNARDEcurie Yvan BERNARD 000044 PROPULSION MUSCLE HILL DANAE ANDOVER HALL           000055 TIMONE EK MR VIC GEMONA             000066 WILD HONEY CANTAB HALL U WANNA LINDY             000077 BILLIE DE MONTFORT JASMIN DE FLORE QUISMY DE MONTFORT AND ARIFANT 1'17"3 28/08/2013 CAEN A Philippe DAUPHINPhilippe DAUPHIN 000088 BOLD EAGLE READY CASH REETHI RAH JET LOVE YOU 1'18"8 05/09/2013 CAEN A Jean Etienne DUBOISJean Etienne DUBOIS 000099 BOOSTER WINNER LOVE YOU QUILLE VIRETAUTE ELVIS DE ROSSIGNOL 1'20"8 13/09/2013 GROSBOIS A Ecurie WINNEREcurie WINNER 0001010 VAL ROYAL CAPRICCIO QUARDA DU RIB GOBERNADOR 1'20"2 26/08/2011 GROSBOIS A Ecurie des CHARMESEcurie des CHARMES 0001111 CALL ME KEEPER PINE CHIP ELIZA KEEPER             0001212 BRIAC DARK PRINCE GEDE QUEEN DES CHARMES LOOK DE STAR 1'20"5 16/08/2013 CAEN A Mathieu CATHERINEMathieu CATHERINE 0001313 UZA JOSSELYN LOVE YOU TEZA JOSSELYN GANYMEDE           0001414 VIVID WISE AS YANKEE GLIDE TEMPLE BLUE CHIP             0001515 RINGOSTARR TREB CLASSIC PHOTO FARSALO EGRAL               The Grand Prix de France is the second leg of the FR Triple Crown and race speed record is 1.09.8kr set by Kool de Caux in 2007. Ourasi was a triple winner in 1986-88 and Jamin preceded him with three straight in 1958-60.   Année Cheval S/A Pays Temps Père Driver Entraîneur 2017 Bold Eagle M.6  France 1'10"9 Ready Cash Franck Nivard Sébastien Guarato 2016 Bold Eagle M.5  France 1'10"7 Ready Cash Franck Nivard Sébastien Guarato 2015 Timoko M.8  France 1'11"4 Imoko Björn Goop Richard Westerink 2014 Noras Bean M.9  Suède 1'12"1 Super Arnie Björn Goop Ulf Stenströmer 2013 Ready Cash M.8  France 1'11"4 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Th. Duvaldestin 2012 Royal Dream M.7  France 1'11"6 Love You Jean-Philippe Dubois Philippe Moulin 2011 Ready Cash M.6  France 1'10"3 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Th. Duvaldestin 2010 Meaulnes du Corta M.10  France 1'11"7 Voici du Niel Pierre Levesque Pierre Levesque 2009 Meaulnes du Corta M.9  France 1'11"6 Voici du Niel Pierre Vercruysse Pierre Levesque 2008 Exploit Caf M.7  Italie 1'10"7 Toss Out Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy 2007 Kool du Caux M.9  France 1'09"8 Bijou du Bignon Franck Nivard Fabrice Souloy 2006 Jag de Bellouet M.9  France 1'11"6 Viking's Way Christophe Gallier Christophe Gallier 2005 Naglo M.6  Suède 1'12"2 Coktail Jet Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 2004 Naglo M.5  Suède 1'10"7 Coktail Jet Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 2003 Hilda Zonett F.6  Suède 1'12" Spotlite Lobell D. Locqueneux Robert Bergh 2002 Fan Idole F.9  France 1'13" Le Ham R-W. Denéchère R-W. Denéchère 2001 Gobernador M.7  France 1'12"2 Buvetier d'Aunou D. Locqueneux P.-D. Allaire 2000 Giant Cat M.6  France 1'13"1 Quito de Talonay Nicolas Roussel Nicolas Roussel 1999 Moni Maker F.6  États-Unis 1'13" Speedy Crown J-M. Bazire Jimmy Takter 1998 Balou Boy M.9  France 1'13"6 Moscantido Yves Dreux Yves Dreux   The Grand Prix de France weekend festivities also include seven other top level events: Saturday February 10 Prix de Munich €95,000 Prix de Lisieux €88,000 Prix Ephrem Houel €120,000 Gr. II Sunday February 11: Prix Jean le Donidec €120,000, Gr. II Prix Salem €90,000 Prix de Chambord €90,000 Gr. III Prix des Centaures €240,000, Gr. I monte four to six year olds Thomas H. Hicks  

February 12, 2017 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethu Rah Jet) sat third in the outer before rallying around the final bend and drawing off to a four length win for harness racing pilot Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Jean-Etienne Dubois bred the young champion that now has 32 wins in 37 career starts for €2,923,300 earned. The Grand Prix de France (Gr. I International UET Masters, purse €400,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 entrants) is the second leg of the FR Triple Crown with the Grand Prix de Paris to follow in two weeks. The winner, that won the Prix d’Amerique at end of January, was off as the 3/10 favorite and he bested a game 12.8/1 Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) reined by Bjorn Goop for Richard Westerink, trainer/owner, and breeder Paul Van Klaveren. This veteran champion has 32 victories in 93 starts for €4,401,098 earned, as today he led early and then enjoyed a pocket spot behind noted front runner Un Mec d’Heripre.  81.3/1 Voltigeur de Myrt (8m Opus Viervil-Myrtille des Bois) was third for Lorenzo Donati driving for owner/trainer Roberto Donati. Fourth was 68/1 Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper) that rallied late for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. 21/1 pacesetter Un Me d’Heripre (9m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) was fifth for J-M Bazire ahead of Propulsion and Anna Mix, completing the top seven.  Race time was 1.10.9kf off steady fractions (1.10.1kr at the 1500; 1.10.2kr with 1000 remaining; 1.10.8kr at the 500 remaining post). ..................................................................................... Dollar Macker Takes Gr. I Monte Prix des Centaures at Vincennes February 12, 2017 The classique Gr. I Prix des Centaures (monte, purse €240,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) was a stunner of sorts, as 5/1 odds Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) and jockey Yoann Lebourgeois were the rabbit, starting fast and opening a substantial lead for owner Mme. Marie Anne Thomas and trainer Philippe Allaire. However, he lasted despite tiring at mid-stretch, and defeated 3/5 favorite Bilibili (6m Niky-Quetty du Donjon) in a close verdict. The latter was ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon. 12/1 Canadien d’Am (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) was third for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Franck Leblanc. 8.5/1 well regarded Booster Winner finished fifth. Fractions were swift early with the winning time 1.11.9kr (1.09.2kr at the 1500 to go post; 1.09.2kr at the 1000; 1.11.2kr with 500 remaining). The Prix des Vosges (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) this afternoon went to 1.13.2kr timed and 2.2/1 odds Attacus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 45/1 Urion de Piervive was second for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa and 7.5/1 And de Saint Prest ended third for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. The fast-class Prix de Juvigny (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 11 European starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed and 2/1 Cantin de l’Eclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Josselyn) handled by Tony LeBeller for Ecurie Éclair. 6/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star) was second for Gabriel Gelormini, ahead of the 1/2favorite Clever Lymm (5m Korean-Oquidia) reined by Franck Nivard for Ecurie Le Tremont. At program end, Franck Nivard recorded another winter meet driving victory. He scored with 9.6/1 Civka Burka Darby (5f Neoh Jiel-Resille) in the €37,000 purse Prix de Macon raced over 2850 meters by 15 starters. Kenneth de Poorter bred and owns the 1.14.9kr timed mare. 7.5/1 Calypso du Relais and 53/1 Crystal Race were second and third, the latter a five year-old daughter of Goetmals Wood-In Race. ....................................................................................... Darlhey du Rib and Shadow Gar Win Groupe Tests at Vincennes February 12, 2017 Gr. III Prix de Luneville (purse €76,000, 2700 meters, seven starters, monte) was today’s Paris-Vincennes opener and the 2/5 favorite Darlhey du Rib (4f Ganymede-Quille Castelets) was victorious for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and breeder/owner Ecurie Rib. This expert monte team bested 23.7/1 Dollar du Vivier (4m Hand du Vivier-Ta Folie du Vivier) reined by Julien Raffestin. Legendary Jean-Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 4.9/1 Diego de la Criere (4g Paris Haufor) was third for Damien Bonne, also trainer. Race time was 1.15.3kr. The Prix Salam (purse €90,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 12 monte) produced an exciting victory for 9.2/1 Cenora (5f Blue Dream-Nalara) timed in 1.14.2kr with Mathieu Mottier in the irons. Dominique Mottier owns, trains and bred the winner. 4.5/1 Castel Black (5g Ludo de Castelle-Princesse Black) was second for Clement Frecelle and 2.5/1 Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) nearly overcame her distance penalty to be third clocked individually in 1.13.6kr. Dominique Mottier also trains this one and Antoine Dabouis was the jockey. The Prix de Chambord (Gr. III, purse €90,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 starters) went to 1.11.5kr quick stepping 23.6/1 Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with Pietro “Pippo” Gubellini driving. Gubellini is also trainer and owner of the winning mare. 12.6/1 Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier-Pike Josselyn) was a game second for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and 9/2 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit Of Charm) rallied to gain third for Gabriel Gelormini. Fourth was 3.3/1 Scellino Luis (6f Andover Hall-Susy Trio) and Matthieu Abrivard and fifth home was 14.1/1 El Catwalk (6f Classic Photo-El Mistress Leena) for Franck Nivard. Fractions were fast from the start (1.09.3kr at the 1500 to go mark, 1.10.3kr at the 1000, 1.11.4kr at 500 remaining). ...........................................................................................   Thomas H. Hicks

February 9, 2017 - Bold Eagle has favorable post four in Sunday’s Gr. I Grand Prix de France at Vincennes. 14 top trotters will battle over 2100 meters off the mobile starting car. Harness racing driver Franck Nivard will team the Sebastien Guarato trainee owned by Pierre Pilarski. Lionel, Timoko, Wild Honey and Un Mec d’Heripre also start in the front line, as does Anna Mix, a fast mare that performs best off the gate. 1 - Up and Quick - Mathieu Mottier - F4 2 - Anna Mix - Yoann Lebourgeois - D4 3 - Lionel - Matthieu Abrivard - D4 4 - Bold Eagle - Franck Nivard - DP 5 - Voltigeur de Myrt - Lorenzo Donati - D4 6 - Timoko - Björn Goop - D4 7 - Akim du Cap Vert - Franck Anne - D4 8 - Wild Honey - David Thomain - D4 9 - Un Mec d’Héripré - Jean-Michel Bazire - D4 10 - Call Me Keeper - Pierre Vercruysse - D4 11 - Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström - D4 12 - Amiral Sacha - Eric Raffin - DP 13 - Princess Grif - Roberto Andreghetti - D4 14 - Ursa Major - Pierre Christian Jean - F4 Thomas H. Hicks

Fouteen of the world’s best harness racing trotters will line up Sunday for the Gr. I Grand Prix de France, raced over 2100 meters autostart. Bold Eagle leads the hopefuls and he will face the typical rivals Timoko, Lionel and Princess Grif. We expect Call Me Keeper, Wild Honey and Anna Mix will benefit from the mobile start and shorter distance. Anna Mix has been dependable off the gate, a complete reversal from her refusal to move in the volt start format that caused her to be scratched from the Prix d’Amerique two weeks ago. It will also be interesting to view the return of Un Mec d’Heripre, now conditioned by Philippe Billard, after positive cobalt tests caused forfeiture of important wins in 2016. Billard also now trains Princess Grif. Post positions and final field will be set tomorrow.   Thomas H. Hicks

Sunday’s €400,000 purse Grand Prix de France entrant count is now 16 including favorites Bold Eagle, Timoko and Oasis Bi plus some that could benefit from the shorter 2100 meter distance and the mobile start such as Un Mec d’Heripre, Bird Parker, Lionel, Trebol and perhaps Anna Mix. This group also includes Italy’s Pascia’ Lest and Vaillant Cash, both with front-end speed. Interestingly, the US-bred mare Vanity Matters (5f Explosive Matter-Vanity Plates-Conway Hall) remains on the starter list, with driver Pierre Levesque scheduled. Vanity Matters raced in the US for trainer Jonas Czernyson winning US$175,991 in 22 starts producing a 2-4-2 slate and a time badge of 1:53.1. She is now owned by Jean-Pierre Barjon who owned Prix d’Amerique winner Meaulnes du Corta. Vanity Matters raced nine times in Sweden in 2015 with a 2-0-2 slate and 160,635SEK earned for driver Bjorn Goop.   Thomas H. Hicks

Twenty one trotteurs remain engaged for Sunday’s Gr. I International Grand Prix de France at Paris-Vincennes. The final field, to be determined Thursday, will battle over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of €400,000. Despite Bold Eagle’s sharp score in the Prix d’Amerique, many challengers remain including Timoko, Oasis Bi, Bird Parker, Anna Max, Trebol and Lionel. The pacesetter in last Sunday’s monte Prix d’Ile-de-France, Vaillant Cash, is in the field. The rolling start is likely to produce a fast pace and winning time. The cinders are fast as shown by the 1.10.6kr victory by Scarlet Turgot last weekend in the monte classic. Look for a new challenger that might benefit from the shorter distance and mobile start plus the race could showcase just how strong Bold Eagle is. The 2015 edition saw Timoko vs Texas Charm with Timoko just up on the line for a close victory clocked in 1.11.4kr. Video below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7LnchI9V4k Thomas H. Hicks

February 8, 2015 - The Gr. I Prix des Centaures (€240,000, 2200 meters distance handicap, monte, nine starters) resulted in a decisive win clocked in 1.12.5kr for Booster Winner (4m Love You - Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin up for harness racing trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 2/1 favorite handled, by four lengths, 3.9/1 Bali du Leard (4f Gazouillis-Irman Williams) with Franck Nivard in the irons for Franck Leblanc. Beauty Turgot (4m Hand du Vivier-Quouragane) ended third for Anthony Barrier and trainer Fabrice Souloy. The Gr. III Prix de Luneville (€78,000, 2700 meters, seven starters, monte) went to 1.7/1 odds Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle - Neva du Rosier) in an easy score clocked in 1.16kr after slow fractions (1.17.9kr at 1500; 1.17kr at 1000; 1.16.2kr at 500). Clement Frecelle reined the winner for trainer Jean Luc Bigeon. 11/1 Buckingham Park (4m Coktail Jet - North American) was second for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux ahead of Bilooka du Boscail (4f Look de Star  -Mirza du Vivier) with Nathalie Henry in the irons. Yves Hurel trains this one. In other upper class races Agrippine (5f Hasting - Moquevse) took today’s Prix Salam (€95,000 purse, monte, 10 five year-old starters, 2850 meters) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard at 3.8/1. The winner was clocked in 1.14kr in defeat of Attentionally (5m Jasmin de Flore - Intentionally) at 7/1 for David Thomain with third to Astre Blanc (5m Memphis du Rib - Java Blanche) at 11.1 for Mathieu Mottier and conditioner Sebastien Guarato. Norway’s Lionel (5m Look de Star - Aurora Sign) captured the Prix Application Parieurs (€75,000, 18 European five year-old males) for Franck Nivard. The 7/2 odds winner is trained by Fabrice Souloy and owned by Goran Antonsen. Aubrion du Gers (5g Memphis du Rib - J’Arrive du Gers) was second at 2.7/1 for owner, trainer, pilot J-M Bazire ahead of Italy’s third place Raul Breed (5m Yankee Slide - Flamma d’Asolo) at 124/1 for reinsman Mario Minopoli Jr. and trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The Prix Janval (€60,000, 2700 meters, nine three year-old starters) produced a win by Cirrus du Chene (3m Milford du Chene - Oasis du Chene) teamed by Franck Nivard. The 2.7/1 odds winner scored in 1.16.6kr as he defeated Cobra (3m The Best Madrik - Phuket Island) at 8/1 for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and third finisher Christo (3m Rieussec - Panacee) at 32/1 for Michel Lenoir, trainer/driver. Today at Le Bouscat the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duren (€35,000 purse, 2650 meters, 17 European starters) went to Jean-Pierre Dubois driven and owned Tast Of Bourbon (5f Donato Hanover - Qualita Bourbon). Jean Baudron trains this winner that was the 2/1 favorite.  Second was 2.8/1 Berry’s Boy (7g Love You - Realy Furniture) trained by Sebastien Guarto and driven by Glenny Delaune. Third was 16/1 Twist des Pleignes (8g Gazouillis - Ibiza des Plaignes) for owner/driver Denis Broussard. The earlier reported Prix de France summary is shown below with the winner Timoko. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjejaDIwSvk What a racing day this was, in this second leg of the French Triple Crown. Two weeks from now will be the Grand Prix de Paris over the marathon distance of 4150 meters. The Gr. I UET Masters Series event for €400,000 was won a year ago by Up And Quick with J-M Bazire up as he defeated Tiego d’Etang and Roxane Griff. Thomas H. Hicks

February 8, 2015 - The Gr. I International UET Masters Series Grand Prix de France (€400,000, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) went to 6/1 Timoko (8m Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces - And Arifant) with Bjorn Goop piloting for harness racing trainer/owner Richard Westerink. This 25th career victory for Timoko increased his earnings to €3,145,478. Timoko was away alertly, yielded to Texas Charm that appeared to be a winner at the top of the stretch with several lengths advantage, and then the game Timoko wore down his rival nearing the line for a narrow victory. The winner was clocked in 1.11.4kr off even fractions (1.10.3kr at 1500; 1.10.8kr at 1000; 1.11kr at 500). Texas Charm (8m Cygnus d’Odyssee - Kamela Charm) was second for 22 year-old Julien Dubois and trainer Philippe Moulin (Ecurie Victoria Dreams owner) with 167/1 outsider Linda de Casei (10f Uronometro - Comtesse Ferm) rallying third for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro, the one from Italy. 21/1 Tiego d’Etang (6m Chaillot - Harolene) ended fourth for trainer/driver Christian Bigeon with early pegs sitting Maven (6f Glidemaster - M Stewart) fifth at 15/1 for pilot Johnny Takter.  The 4/5 favorite Up And Quick raced second over on the outer for most of the contest and appeared to be struggling before going off-stride off the final turn. Also disqualified for miscues were Vanika du Ruel and Kadett CD. Solvato finished sixth, Severino seventh and  defending champion Noras Bean ended eighth. The race was the Quinte+ race of the day. We’ll be back with coverage of today’s card shortly. Thomas H. Hicks

February 5, 2015 - Today’s Q+ (jackpot €5.25 million) Prix Guy Lux (€75,000 purse, 18 European starters, 2700 meters) went to 17/1 odds pacesetting Traveling Man (10m Supergill - Kimberly Lobell-Speedy Somolli) from Sweden. Pierre Vercruysse teamed the impressive winner for trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet. He scored in 1.13.9kr off well-rated fractions (1.15.5kr at 1500; 1.14kr at 1000; 1.13.9kr at 500). The winner, in this his first 2015 start, now has 26 career wins for €312,282 earned. Team Job (8g Buvetier d’Aunou - Just Love) was second for Romain Derieux and trainer Yoan Teerlnck at 25/1. Ugor du Beauvoisin (7m Olitro - Klea du Beauvoisin) was third for Alexandre Abrivard at 7/2.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.250.000 € - Numéro plus : 0390   Ordre :       82.392,00€   Désordre :       686,60€   Bonus 4 :       80,00€   Bonus 4sur5 :       29,10€   Bonus 3 :       19,40€ Today’s feature event was the Gr. II UET Masters Series Prix Jean le Gonidec (€120,000, European 10 starters, 2175 meters) and it resulted in an impressive open-lengths score by 4/5 favorite Amiral Sacha (5m Ganymede - Nostalgique Sacha - Goetmals Wood) and driver Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Florent Lamare clocked in 1.13.1kr, with a powerful closing kick off modest fractions (1.13.7kr at 1500; 1.14.1kr at 1000; 1.14.6kr at 500). Andre Battal owns the winner. Amiral Sacha now has seven career wins good for €442,430 earned. Africaine (5f Oiseau de Feux - Italienne), at 2.8/1 odds, rallied from a second over position to end second for Jean-Etienne Dubois, also trainer/owner) ahead of Astor du Quenne (5m Opus Viervil - Qualinka du Quenne) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 35/1 Re Italiano UR (5m Ganymede - Dark Lux SM) sat outside the winner most of the journey and held fourth for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Catello Savarese ahead of fifth place Duke of Greenwood (5m Otello Pierji - Nikki Greenwood) off at 26/1 for teamster Robin Bakker for trainer Peter J. Strooper. Venosc de Minel (6g Laetenter Diem - Melia Monochrome) and J-M Bazire took the Prix Leon Zitone (€58,000 purse, European 14 starters, 2700 meters) clocked in 1.14kr. This 2.7/1 favorite, trained by Mme. Severine Raimond, defeated Sweden’s Falcon Haleryd (6g Varenne - Falnos Ballona) with Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Johan Untersteiner, with third to another Swedish invader Tell Me No Lies (6g Offshore Dream  -B Glorious) with Franck Nivard aboard for trainer Fabrice Souloy. Thomas H. Hicks

February 5, 2015 - A field of 13 will contest Sunday’s Gr. I International  UET Masters Series Grand Prix de France. Nine of the starters will race barefoot over the Paris-Vincennes harness racing surface (Maven, Up And Quick, Timoko, Vanika de Ruel, Noras Bean, Napoleon Bar, Linda de Casei, Solvato and Kadett CD). The field will travel 2100 meters from the mobile autostart going for a €400,000 purse.   N° Horse Driver 1 Maven Johnny. Takter 2 Up And Quick J-M. Bazire 3 Timoko B. Goop 4 Texas Charm J. Dubois 5 Vanika du Ruel F. Anne 6 Uhlan du Val C. Mégissier 7 Noras Bean S. Soderkvist 8 Napoleon Bar P. Vercruysse 9 Tiégo d'Etang C. Bigeon 10 Sévérino D. Bonne 11 Linda Di Casei A. Gocciadoro 12 Solvato O. Kihlstrom 13 Kadett C.D D. Locqueneux   Defending champion Noras Bean will be at the start, albeit a likely longshot. Johnny Takter was named to pilot US invader Maven from post one.Noras Bean Thomas H. Hicks  

February 2, 2015 - The February 8th Prix de France engagements closed this morning with 21 harness racing horses entered including 2015 Prix d’Amerique winner Up And Quick and the 2014 Prix de France winner Noras Bean. Those entered also include Timoko, Texas Charm, Tiego d’Etang, Uhlan du Val and yesterday’s Prix L’lle-de-France winner Udayama plus US-breds Solvato, Maven and Luckycharm Hanover. This second leg of the FR Triple Crown is a UET Masters Series Gr. I International event. The purse is €400,000 and the race is conducted over 2100 meters autostart.   Thomas H. Hicks

While the exceptionally well presented and contested Elitloppet 2014 captured worldwide trotting attention last weekend, there was great action elsewhere too throughout Europe. At Vannes, the fifth leg of the “Trophy Vert”, the green (turf) trophy, took place with the winner being Touho de Karenga with Tony LeBeller aboard. The €45,000 purse (Prix de la Societe des Courses de Vannes) went to the son of Jag de Bellouet who landed his 13th career victory good for €194,660 earned. The long striding veteran sailed over the grass in 1.18.3kr over 3200 meters (two miles). Favored Super Berry Chenou was second for J-P Monclin.May 25, 2014 Vannes, Prix de la Societe des Courses de Vannes, €45,000, 3200 meters, 18 starters on the turf, 1.18.3kr 1st Touho de Karenga (7m Jag de Bellouet-Mythical Rodney-Cezio Josselyn), Tony LeBeller for trainer J-M Legros, 3.8/1, 13th career win for €194,660 2nd Super Berry Chenou (8g Jardy-Finaline), J-P Monclin trainer/driver, 2.2/1 odds 3rd Sierra Leone (8f John Arifant-Une d’Havetot), J-C Hallais for J-W Hallais trainer, 21/1 At Paris-Vincennes graded and fast class action drew the fans. The Prix Victor Cavey, a Gr. II monte test over 2850 meters for €120,000, went to the Camille Levesque reined Vol de Nuit in 1.14.k5kr. The five-year-old daughter of Goetmals Wood is trained by Mike Lenders for Ecurie Pierre Levesque as she earned her fifth lifetime win. Vision Intense was scratched and two of the remaining presumed contenders were off the board. May 27, 2014 Paris-Vincennes,  Prix Victor Cavey, Gr. II monte €120,000, 2850 meters, 9 starters, 1.14.5kr 1st Vol de Nuit (5m Goetmals Wood-Manon Lescaut-Vikings Way), Camille Levesque up for trainer Mike Lenders and owner Ecurie Pierre Levesque, 2.3/1, 67 poids, fifth win for €135,500 2nd Viva Jenilou (5f Phlegyas-Louve Jenilou), Philippe Masschaele up, 23/1, 65 poids 3rd Valse de Reve (5f Mister President-Nouba Houba), Anthony Barrier, 34/1, 65 poids Vision Intense was scratched; Valdice de Mars (seventh)  and Valse Castelets (eighth) off the board On the “attele” the Prix Talitha was contested for lightly raced three year-old males over 2200 meters and for €46,000. Heavily backed Buvetier, a son of Goetmals Wood and handled by Julien Dubois, went down to defeat as Bandit Charentais scored easily with a down the middle rally. Francois Lagadeuc drove the winner to his fifth success. The son of So Lovely Girl-Here I Am-Buvetier d’Aunou earned the win at 4/1 odds. May 27, 2014 Paris Vincennes, Prix Talitha, €46,000, males, 2200 meters, 11 starters, 1.14.3kr 1st Bandit Charentais (3m So Lovely Girl-Here I Am-Buvetier d’Aunou), Francois Lagadeuc up for Jean M. Baudouin trainer, 4/1 odds, fifth victory for €57,150 2nd Buvetier (3m Goetmals Wood-Rapide Aventure-Love You), Julien Dubois up for trainer Patrick Chevrier, owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and Ecurie D breeder, 3/5 odds 3rd Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois)m Gilles Delacour driver/trainer, 25/1 At Kincsem Park the 105th edition of the Nemzeti Djiban took place. The 2HUf million purse, 1960 meter event  went to Red Stone with Csaba Lakatos aboard. The four year-old gelded son of Wall Street Banker defeated 10 rivals in 1.17.5kr while overcoming a 40 meter penalty. Three year-old Salt Lake City almost held on for trainer/drive Imre Fazekas. The co-featured Faust DIJ for aged open class trotters went to the veteran Diamond Way stallion Lambert SAS is a quick 1.13.3kr over 1800 meters autostart. Josef Sagaj piloted the out of country winner to defeat the good Supergill mare Orifiamma Jet with former Derby winner Ollyan Nincs ending third. May 24, 2014 Kincsem Park, 105th Nemzeti DIJ, 2HUf million purse, 1960 meters distance handicap, 11 starters, 1.17.5kr 1st Red Stone (4g Wall Street Banker-Astalavista), Csaba Lakatos up for L. Marton trainer and AMMA owner, fourth win in seven starts in 2014, traveled 2000 meters, 24.5/1 odds 2nd Salt Lake City (3m Detroit-Jolly Beauty), Imre Fazekas trainer/driver for Pimri owner, 1960 meters, 4/1 3rd Rozsakert (4f Wall Street Banker-Viragos), Emil Csordas up, 2000 meters, 16.8/1 odds May 24, 2014 Kincsem Park, Faust DIJ, 750,000HUf, 1800 meters autostart, 11 starters, 1.13.8kr Lambert SAS (9m Diamond Way-Agena LB), Josef Sagaj trainer/driver, Slovenia, 3/1 odds as favorite 1st Orifiamma Jet (6f Supergill-Ticket to Ride-Nevele Pride), Tibor Hajnal driver/trainer, 7/1 2nd Ollyan Nincs (6g Pickaflick-C’est la Guerre), Andrea Fazekas for Imre Fazekas trainer, 3.9/1 3rd Princess View (6f Igor Brick-Review As), Csaba Lakatos aboard, 15.7/1 4th Rose’s La Nena (7f Pearsall Hanover-O’Hill’s Rose), Laszlo Kolozsi, 35.4/1 Lastly, reports indicate that Maharajah has had a successful 2014 at stud and has recovered from injury during winter 2014 after his Prix d’Amerique victory. His connections plan to defend the title in 2014 and also plan to contest the Prix de France over 2100 meters with Panne de Moteur, recently a solid second in the Elitloppet final and winning his elimination over Raja Mirchi. And, as reported previously, Magic Tonight (Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) scored yesterday at Aby in record time 1.09.3kr in the mile distance  Algot Scotts Minne. This one is the family of Lookout Victory. I’m The Answer (by Credit Winner) set blistering fractions setting up Magic Tonight’s victory for driver Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Roger Wahlman. by Tom Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

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