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Today in bright sunlight celebrated Afrique in France with a fine harness racing card of groupe level contests and the day’s Quinte+ race. The monte Prix de L’A.L.A. “Association de Lotteries Africaines” (Gr.III, purse 80,000€, 2175 meters, nine starters) began the action with a victory by 5.2/1 Eqao Jenilou (5g Village Mystic-Queen Jenilou) with Eric Raffin in the irons for trainer Louis Baudron and owner Nicolas Baudron. The winner scored for the sixth time in 20 career starts and increased his life earnings to 173,050€. The 3/5 favorite Daida de Vandel (6f Real de Lou) was second for jockey Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Laurent Claude Abrivard. 34/1 Espion Joune (5g Kesaco Phedo) took third with Matthieu Abrivard aboard. The Prix Africain I was next in the 35,000€ purse event raced by 12 over 2100 meters autostart. 15/1 First Lame (4f Kaisy Dream-Poesie de Beylev) scored for Gabriel Angel Pou Pou, also trainer, timed in 1.14kr. 3.3/1 First Lady Carjac (4f Voltigeur de Myrt) was second for pilot Eric Raffin, ahead of 24/1 First Thing First (4f Qualypso Jiel-New Creation) with Pierre Vercruysse up for breeder/trainer A.J. Mollema. The Quinte+ Grand Prix d’Afrique (purse 45,000€, 2850 meters, 18 starters) produced a fine race with 12/1 Cigjie de Guez (7f Pomerol de Laumac) victorious for Jean Michel Bazire and owner Ecurie Vautors. This mare recorded her 11th career win in 44 starts and increased her life earnings to 146,530€. Race time was 1.14kr with a quick final 500. 30/1 Dorus Well (6g Gogo) took second for Franck Nivard and 8.8/1 Blacky de Cambron (8g Onyx du Goutier) teamed with Eric Raffin for third. The 3.2/1 Dentella Bella (6f Ready Cash) and 7.7/1 Concerto des Dunes completed the exact order top five that returned 23,010.60€ for the 2€ wager to 58 winning ticketholders. The Prix de L’Ile de France (Gr. I International monte, purse 170,000€, 215 meters, nine starters) was the final leg of the FR Monte Triple Crown. Absent were Cornulier winner Bilibili and the second finishing Traders. Today it was even-money favorite Dexter Fromentro (6m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) coming from the back to score timed in 1.12.6kr. Dexter won for the eighth time in a 42 race career, now for 726,970€ earned, for trainer Thomas Levesque, owner Pierre Levesque and most importantly the jockey Camille Levesque. The winner traveled the final 500 meters at a 1/10kr rate. The 2.9/1 Daelia de Vandel (6f Ready Cash-Maelia de Vandel) was second for jockey Matthieu Abrivard  ahead of 58/1 Valse de Reve (10f Mister President) with Guillaume Martin in toe irons for trainer Alain Roussel. 48/1 Cassate (7f Neoh Jiel) was fourth for Adrien Lamy. The Prix Miss Africa France (“de la Marne”, Gr. III, purse 90,000€, 2700 meters, 10 starters) saw the 3/5 favorite Ble de Gers (8g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) score for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and owner J.M. Rancoule. The winner scored for the 18th time in a 52 race career, now for 695,360€ earned. Race time was 1.11.7kr off steady fractions with the clocking at the 500 meters to go mark 1.12kr. The 7.7/1 Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) took second for Christophe Martens ahead of 21/1 Anzi des Liards reined by Romain Derieux. 9/1 Balbir (8g Ganymede) was fourth for Mickael Cormy and placed fifth was 99/1 Drole de Jet (5m Coktail Jet). Digital Ink was sixth in this race that honored by the trophy presenting Miss Africa France,  The Prix de L’Amite (“de Rouen’), a Gr. III event for an 80,000€ purse, was raced over the 2700 meters classic distance by ten competitors. 5.7/1 Express Jet (5m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) scored for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie des As to record his sixth career wi in 29 outings, now for 401,860€ earned. The 4/5 favorite Vainqueur RP (5m Infinitif-Global Affair) was second for driver Eric Raffin and trainer J.L. Bigeon. Third went to 37/1 Estola (5f Nectar) handled by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Emmanuel Ruault and owner Ecurie Comte de Montesson. 9/1 Doberman (6m Prodigious) and 5/1 Elite du Ruel (5f Timoko) completed this top five. The winning Express Jet was away fourth, brushed to lead after about 1000 meters and controlled thereafter for a two length victory.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

December 5, 2018 - The Wednesday harness racing Q+ race was the Prix de la Ville de Royan (purse 50,000€, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Victory went to 10/1 odds Chistera (6f Qwerty-Medici) driven by J.Ph. Monclin for trainer J.P. Lecourt. This Pierre Levesque bred mare was timed in 1.13.9kr. The 9/1 Class Thourjan (6f Rolling d’Heripre) was second for owner/trainer/driver Anthony Dollion. Caresse (6f Ready Cash-Stefani Hanover) was third driven by David Thomain for trainer Bjorn Goop. 2.9/1 Coumba and 12/1 Chacha de Goutier completed the top five, with the exact order Q+ 2€ ticket paying 5,487€. On the card was the Prix d’Houfleur (monte, purse 80,000€, 2175 meters, 12 starters) and it produced a quick timed 1.12kr victory for 27/1 Voltorb d’Oliverie (9g Mourofais-Betty d’Oliverie) with Franck Nivard in the irons for trainer Sebastien Houyvet and owner Serge Gabriel. The 9/10 favorite Beau de Grimoult (7g Pacifique Gede) was second for jockey Yoann Lebourgeois and third was 55/1 Uranium (10g Jag de Bellouet) with P-Y Verva up. Earlier on the Wednesday Vincennes program was the Prix de Bourigny (purse 70,000€, 2850 meters, 11 starters) and that victory was earned by the 1.14.5kr timed and 3/2 odds Dostoievski (5g Ganymede-Nuor des Charmes) with trainer Jean Michel Bazire driving. Ecurie des Charmes owns the winner that defeated 7/2 odds Dollar Soyer (5g Phlegyas) reined by Anthony Barrier for trainer Gregory Thorel. Tuesday’s Q+ was also at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix de Laon (purse 37,000€, 2700 meters, 18 starters) and the 1.14.4kr timed winner was 3.2/1 odds Elorious de Guez (4g Look de Star-Quazirette de Guez) reined by his trainer Jean Michel Bazire, for breeder/owner Ecurie Vautors. Second was 7/2 odds Eliot d’Ambri (4g Ti Punch River) for Yoann Lebourgeois and third went to 73/1 Euzo Viva (4g Kiwi). Completing the top five were 12/1 Enjoleor Leman (4g Hulk des Champs) and 118/1 Exil d’Erable (4g Coktail Jet) and the exact order Q+ payoff was 56,677€ for the 2€ wager. On the same card was the Prix des Pyrennes (purse 50,000€, 2850 meters, 12 European starters). The 27/1 odds Mellby Drake (6g Viking Kronos-U.Don’t Wanna Know) scored timed in 1.15kr for driver Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Robert Bergh and owner Mellby Gard AB. 1.2/1 favorite Bryssel (6m Ready Cash-Spacelane) took third for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop, ahead of 7/1 Crazy Charm (6g Prodigious-Know How) reined by trainer Pierre Vercruysse. Sunday at Vincennes is the next “B” race, the Gr. II Prix du Bourbonnais, with the top three finishers receiving an invitation to the Prix d’Amerique. The field will battle over 2850 meters for the 120,000€ purse and the lineup is shown below. Thomas H. Hicks

Vincennes, FR - Sunday trotting action at Paris-Vincennes was sensational under sunny skies and before a large and enthusiastic gathering. The first test was the monte Prix Xavier de Saint Palais (Gr. II, purse 120,000 euro, 2175 meters, nine starters). 5.2/1 Dexter Fromentro (5m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) scored in a quick 1.10.9kr for jockey Camille Levesque, trainer Thomas Levesque and Ecurie Pierre Levesque. Dexter record his seventh career victory in 34 attempts now for 435,870 euro earned. The 3/10 favorite Draft Life (5f Ubriaco-Maflymede) was second for Eric Raffin and breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 2.8/1 Dominator Blond (5m Kenor de Cosse-Orchidee Blonde) took the third check for jockey Damien Bonne and trainer J.B. Bossuet. Early in today’s star filled program was the Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (purse 200,000 euro, 2700 meters, 15 starters) and the 1.14.2kr timed winner was 160/1 Fighter Smart (3m Uniclove-Vicky Cash). Mathieu Mottier handled the Cyrille Buhigne trainee that Ecurie Smart owns and bred. 64/1 Fortaleza (3f Prince D’Espace-Houlba de Pauline) took second money with J-M Bazire up for William Bigeon. Third was another outsider, the 40/1 Fend la Bise (3f Prince Gede-Una Prima Steed) handled by trainer Franck Anne for Ecurie AB Trot. 4/5 favorite Flocki d’Aurcy and well regarded Follow You were dq’s. The co-featured Gr. I monte Prix du President de la Republique (240,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, 17 starters) saw 23/1 Elladora de Forgan (4f Gazouillis-Hamina) score timed in 1.13.5kr with Franck Nivard the pilot for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner S.J. Dupont. The 64/1 Etoile de Bruyere (4fKenor de Cosse-Reinette de Tijas) took second for Adrian Lamy, the jockey for trainer Charles Dreux. 43/1 Emilius de Play (4m Hulk des Champs-Orelie de Play) was the third horse on the line with Alexandre Abrivard aboard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. The next two home were 4.6/1 Equinoxe Jiel (4m Rancho Gede) for Matthieu Abrivard and 2.1/1 Etonnant (4m Timoko) for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Richard Westerink. The Q+ Prix Bertrand Deloison (purse 90,000 euro, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) went to rallying 7.7/1 Une Serenade (10f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) with an excited Eric Raffin up. Serge Peltier trains this 18 time career winner in 82 outings now for 694,830n euro earned. The 16/1 Beau Gamin (7m Quinoa du Gers) was next with trainer J-M Bazire up and 32/1 Blues des Landiers (7g Phlegyas) was third for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Dominque Cheradame. 12/1 Unbridled Charm (10m Password)  was fourth for Jean Philippe Dubois and fifth was 11/1 Classic Way (6m Prodigious) and driver J.Ph. Monclin. Dubois (Jean Philippe) also bred this one. Well-regarded Caprice du Lupin, Cash Gamble and Bugsy Malone were miscue dq’s. The monte Gr. I Prix d’Essai (purse 200,000 euro, 2175 meters, 10 three year olds) saw 4/5 favorite Fado du Chene (3m Singalo-0Star du Chene) ride the pegs home for a passing win with P.Ph. Ploquin in the irons for trainer Julien LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Guedj clocked in 1.13kr. The 3.1/1 Feeling Cash (3m Ready Cash-Royale Star) gamely held second with Joann Lebourgeois up for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Carlos Lerner. 30/1 Flore de Janeiro (3f Vanishing Point-Uzie de Janiero) was third for jockey Anthony Barrier and trainer/owner Franck Blandin. 6.1/1 Ferreteria (3f Goetmals Wood-Avenue Victoria) was fourth for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. The Gr. III Prix de Grasse (80,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, 15 starters) went to 1.13.9kr timed 3/1 odds Orlando Jet (5m Orlando Vici-Chicolina) with Rudolf Haller the trainer/driver for Team Neuhof. This Elitlopp starter bested 23/1 Coach Franbleu (6f Prince d’Espace) handled by Franck Nivard for owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. Third was 36/1 Dream de Nilrem (5g Jet Fortuna) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Frederic Prat. The Gr. III Prix Raymond Fouard (100,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, four year olds) produced an easy score for the 7/10 favorite Earl Simon (4m Prodigious-Tindrana) with Franck Ouvrie the pilot. Jarmo Niskanen trains the now seven time career winner in only nine starts. Ecurie Skytten owns the career winner now of 250,900 euro. 22/1 Easy des Racques (4m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) was second with J.Ph. Monclin up for trainer Alexandre Buisson. 35/1 Elana Sport (4f Titan d’Occagnes-Victoria Sport) took the third spot with Guillermo Andreu Adrover at the lines. Race time was 1.13.9kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II monte Prix Olry-Roederer (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine European starters) drew a superb harness racing field and victory went to Dexter Fromentro (4m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) and jockey Camille Levesque. Thomas Levesque trains and Pierre Levesque owns the 1.16.3kr timed winner that was off at 9/2 odds. 6.3/1 Dragon d’Avril (4m Thorens Vedaquais) was second with Adrien Lamy up for Sebastien Houyvet, the owner/trainer. Third was 6/1 Dreamer Delo (4m Ready Cash-Reverie d’Ar) and jocket Damien Bonne. The 1.4/1 favorite Darlhey du Rib was a misque dq. The day’s Q+ was also at Vincennes this day and the Prix de Cognac (purse €55,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) went to 2.1/1 Viking Fromentro (8g Capriccio-Ormindia) for driver Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque, quite a fine day for the Levesque team.  4.3/1 Balando was second for Dominik Locqueneux and third was 44/1 As de Godisson and driver Laurent Verva. Q+ payoffs follow. Thomas H. Hicks    

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