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March 4, 2017 - The Prix d’Alencon (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, nine European monte starters) began the Saturday Paris-Vincennes harness racing program and it went to 1.13.6kr timed and 10.4/1 odds Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with jockey Franck Nivard up, for trainer H.E. Bondo and Scuderia Erodi di Gubellini of Italy. 2.2/1 Catalogne (6f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) was second for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Dominique Mottier. Third was 17.1/1 Belle Louise Mabon (6f Derby du Gite-Nefertiti Mabon) for Eric Raffin and breeder/owner/trainer Yves Dreux. The Gr. II Prix Louisle Bourg (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, ten monte starters) produced a rallying victory for 3/2 favorite Durzie (5f Jag de Bellouet-Shall We) for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and Ecurie Augustin-Normand. 6.1/1 Dominator Blond (4m Kenor de Cosse-Orchidee Blonde) was second for Damien Bonne and third was 11.6/1 Dahlia du Rib (4m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) for jockey Alexis Collette, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib, the breeder/owner. The Q+ Prix Maurepas (purse €65,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) went to 1.14.8kr timed and 2.8/1 Carla Love (5f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnas) for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire. 14.6/1 Calencia (5f Quaker Jet-Olencia) was second for Gabriel Gelormini and breeder/owner/trainer Alphonse Vanberghen. 6.8/1 Clea Madrik (5f Prince d’Espace-Paisy Tivoli) took third for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Benoit Robin. The next two finishers were off at 19/1 and 50/1 odds respectively. The Gr. III Prix Henri Desmontils (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine starters) went to a game front-ending 2/5 favorite Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) for jockey Yoann Lebourgeois. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for owner Frederic Sauque. Arlington now has 12 wins in 48 starts for €464,650 earned. 14.1/1 Alpha Saltor (7m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) rallied for second ridden by Matthieu Abrivard and third was 10.9/1 Texas de l’Iton (10g Cygnus d’Odyssee) for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Hughes Levesque. 10.3/1 odds Venezia de Mai (8f Prodigious-Iomoe de Tesse) took the Prix de Montsoreau (purse €66,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) timed in 1.12.9kr. The barefoot winner was reined by Nicolas Mortagne. 3.2/1 Monas Invercote (8f Vikings Kronos-Monas Speranza) was second, beaten a neck for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Third was 14/1 Un Cher Ami (9g Jag de Bellouet-Olygarchy) for Mathieu Daougabel. The featured Prix de Selection (Gr. I, purse €240.000, 2200 meters distance handicap, nine starters) went to 1.11.4kr timed and 47.4/1 odds Discours Joyeaux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelle Copine). Racing barefoot for Damien Bonne, the winner is trained by Thierry Raffegeau for owner J.Y. Roze. 25.6/1 Dreammoko (4m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout) was second for Gabriel Gelormini, and trainer Richard Westerink, also trainer/owner of the champion Timoko. 20.4/1 Black d’Avril (6m Oceano Nox-Olivia d’Avril) took third reined by J-M Bazire for trainer Frederic Prat. 2/1 favorite Carat Williams was fourth ahead of fifth finishing Doberman. Thomas H. Hicks

February 26, 2017 - Magnifique!!! Extraordinare!!! Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) won today’s Gr. I Grand Prix de Paris (purse €400,000, 4150 meters) for harness racing driver Franck Nivard, coming from a fourth back outer position during much of this race. He followed advancing Briac Dark late in the last bend and sprinted past for a length score timed in Off at 3/10 odds the winner now has 33 wins in 37 career starts for career earnings of €3,103,300) after the €180,000 winners share today. Bold Eagle and connections also earned a €300,000 Triple Crown bonus after also winning the Prix d’Amerique and Prix de France during the Paris-Vincennes winter meet. What a horse!!! 13.6/1 Briac Dark (6m Prince Gede-Queen des Chames) was a solid second for David Thomain, trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Guy Barou. Third was 30.2/1 Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) for J.Ph.Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. 9.1/1 Belina Josselyn (6f Love You-Lezira Josseln) was a competitive fourth for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Yvan Bernard with fifth to 274/1 Best Of Jets (6m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) driven by Tony LeBeller for owner/trainer Jean Michel Baudouin. Lionel, last year’s Prix de Paris upset winner, and Akim du Cap Vert were next to the line. Game pacesetter Up And Quick, a double winner of this race and race time record holder, faded to 10th. Bold Eagle’s accomplishment today is made even more important by the fact that it has been over 40 years since Bellino II won the Triple Crown of FR trotting and there had been only three winners (Jamin, Gelinotte and Bellino II) prior to Bold Eagle. Other interesting notes are that Thierry Duvaldestin trained Ready Cash during much of his career and was second as trainer today with Briac Dark. Philippe Allaire, owner/developer of Ready Cash, was third today as trainer of another son of that sire, Bird Parker. The top five finishers are all FR-bred six year-olds, quite a powerful crop. The Prix de Paris was today’s Quinte+ as well. Prix de Paris 2017 : Bold Eagle remporte la Triple Couronne Guarato back on the Bold Eagle GP of Paris and discusses the future Peter Pilarski after the Grand Prix de Paris Bold Eagle Thomas H. Hicks

February 26, 2017 - Grand Prix de Paris day began with the Groupe II harness racing Monte Prix Paul Bastard (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters). A large crowd saw the 1/2 favorite Canadian d’Am (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) be a decisive 1.14.3kr winner for jockey Mathieu Mottier, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Laurent Efin. The winner recorded his tenth victory in 22 starts now for earnings of €516,410. 6.1/1 Celina Polks (5f Kool du Caux-La Canella) was second for Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute. Third went to 6.2/1 Cyprien de Bordes (5m Ouragon de Celland-Perle des Bordes) for jockey J.L.Cl Dersoir. Legendary Joel Hallais trains this one for Ecurie Rib. This winner stalked the slow pace from a loose death seat position until surging to the front late in the final bend. Canadian d’Am then coasted to a open lengths lead and held off his pursuers to the line.    

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 - Yoann Lebourgeois teamed Charley du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) to victory in todays harness racing Gr. II Prix Jean le Gonidec (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, nine starters) timed in 1.12.6kr, with a torrid finish (time with 500 meters to go was 1.14kr). Marie Anne Thomas owns the winner that Philippe Allaire trains and Mme. Josiane Dubief bred. 4/5 favorite In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine) was a solid second for Franck Nivard, trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. 7/2 Treasure Kronos (5f Raja Mirchi-Glide About) was third for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and North American owners Goodrow and Snyder. This Criterium Continental was forwardly placed throughout and challenged in the final bend. Caid Griff and Timbal were fourth and fifth. Vulcana de Godrel Wins Q+ Prix Guy Lux at Vincennes A solid Thursday Paris-Vincennes program is under way and features the Quinte+ and the Gr. II Prix Jean le Gonidec. The day began with the Prix Gerard Brami, a monte event for apprentice jockeys, racing over 2175 meters for a purse of €60,000 and contested by 11 campaigners. 3/2 favorite Balzac de l’Iton (6g Panache de L’iton-Kabylie de l’Iton) scored in a quick 1.12.7kr for Ch. Mottier, trainer Hughes Levesque and breeder/owner Ecurie de lIton. 3.7/1 Big Boss Jo and 40/1 Best Of Sly finished second and third. Today’s Quinte+Prix Guy Lux (purse €75,000, 2700 meters, European eligibles) went to 1.9/1 favorite Vulcana de Godrel (8f Memphis du Rib-Julietta) timed in 1.14.7kr and reined by Franck Nivard. For owner/trainer D. Marsault. Valse Mika (8f Niky-Ellamika) at 58.7/1 was secomd for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger. Third was 26.6/1 Radysin America (7f Donato Hanover-Zagabria  Dei) handled by Franck Ouvrie for owner/trainer Jerry Riordan. 157.3/1 Vestale du Goutier ) 8f Quido du Goutier-Olympe Pierji) was fourth for J.Ph. Monclin and fifth was 19.9/1 Geisha Sund (7f Love You-Kanadia) for trainer/driver Robert Bergh. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 29, 2017 - Today’s 2017 Prix d’Amerique program was a great display of top fight harness racing and festivities for the enthusiastic crowd. Canadien d’Em (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) started today’s racing action with victory in the Gr. II Prix Harley Davidson/Camille Blaiset (monte, purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters). Mathieu Mottier teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee for Laurent Edin. The 1.14.1kr timed winner bested Cypien des Bordes in rein to J,.L.Cl. Dersoir for the legend Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. Third was Celina Polka with Alexandre Abrivard up for owner/trainer Joel VanEeckhaute. The Prix de Montreal/Le Parisien(purse €70,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) was next up and it went to 1.11.3kr quick clocked 2/1 Calin de Morge (5g Ozio Royal-Paradise Princess). Matthieu Abrivard was the pilot for David Haon, trainer for Ecurie HD Trot. 22/1 Tesauro (5g Filipp Roc-Iniziale) rallied for second, driven by Pietro Gubellini for trainer Christian Rizzo and Scuderia RB Team Srl. 13/1 Clever Lymm (5m Korean-Oquidia) was third for Anthony Barrier, Ecurie Le Tremont and trainer Philippe Billard. Fractions were 1.07.4kr at 1500 meters remaining; 1.09.4kr at the 1000 mark and 1.11kr with 500 to go. The Gr. II Prix RMC/Jacques Andrieu (monte, purse €120,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 11 starters) went to 1.13.4kr timed Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamps) at 4.8/1 for jockey Yoann Lebourgeois. Philippe Allaire is the trainer for Frederic Sauque, the owner of this now €332,800 career winner. The often unpredictable Arlington Dream was on a loose lead throughout and weakened in the lane albeit still posting an easy victory (fractions 1.12.6kr with 1500 remaining; 1.11.4kr at the 1000 and 1.12.3kr at 500 to go). The 25 meter penalized Texas de l’Iton (10g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Iliada de l’Iton) was second at 4.9/1 with Mathieu Mottier up for trainer Hughes Levesque and third was Italy’s Nene’ Degli Ulivi (10g Uconn Roc-Maureen Lobell) for jockey Eric Raffin. Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) took the Gr. II Prix Lalique/Charles Tiercelin (purse €120,000, 2100 meters, 13 four year-old starters) timed in 1.12.1kr for Eric Raffin. The 1.9/1 second wagering choice is trained/owned/bred by Louis Baudron. 1.3/1 favorite Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner/breeder Elisabth Allaire. 22/1 Dahlia du Rib (4m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) rallied for third teamed by J.L.Cl. Dersoir and trained by Joel Hallais for owner Ecurie Rib. The winner stormed home after the modest time of 1.12.7kr with 500 meters remaining. Cash Gamble (6m Ready Cash-No Way Back) took the Gr. III Prix Jean Rene Gougeon/Maison Coilieres (purse €105,000, 2100 meters, 11 starters) clocked in 1.11.8kr with J-M Bazire driving for Philippe Billard training for Stall TJ Gamble. This 1.8/1 favorite defeated 11/1 Apollon de Kacy (7m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kids) driven today by Franck Niavrd for owner/trainer Jorgen Westholm. Third was 22/1 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit of Charm) reined by Gabriel Gelormini. The Gr. III Prix Helen Johansson/Lenotre (purse €105,000, 2100 meters, 18 starters) provided the landscape for a Dubois victory as 7.9/1 Vacate Money (8f Prodigious-Making Money) scored in 1.11.9kr for Jean-Philippe Dubois and his Ecurie Victoria Dreams, The Philippe Moulin trainee was rated beautifully by Dubois and held steady to the line, defeating 56/1 Super Ariel (8f Super Arnie-Orika Lep) with Matthieu Abrivard up. 105/1 El Catwalk (6f Classic Photo-El Mistress Leena) and Franck Nivard was third. The Gr. III Prix Association La Chaine de l’Espoir (purse €80,000, 2100 meters, 13 starters) saw 1.2/1 favorite Eros de Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova) score in a well-rated 1.16.7kr in this event for lightly raced three year-olds. Franck Nivard reined the winner, owned and bred by Clause Guedy. 38/1 Elsa du Pommereux (3f Coktail Jet-Saba du Pommereux) with Mathieu Mottier up was second for breeder/owner Noel Lolic, and 4.8/1 Estella Love (3f Love You-Shucca) was a good third for Franck Ouvrie, owner Jean Pierre Dubois and Yves Boireau, trainer. Ecurie Dream With Me bred this one. The Prix de Meadowlands (purse €50,000, 2850 meters, 14 European four year olds) was a competitive event with 10.8/1 Una Bella Gar (5f SJ’s Photo-Georgette Gar) rallying for the 1.14.9kr victory with Antonio Greppi up. The Mme. D.R. Cortina owned mare is trained by Lorenzo  Colletti. 7/2 Ursel Gio (4f Love You-May Glide Font SM) was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and owner R.F. Nooteboom. 14/1 Unique Dream Bar (4f Goetmals Wood-Genial Power) took third for Santo Mollo and Scuderia Guida Edoardo. Tom Charters of the Hambletonian Society and his team (Moira Fanning and Jay Farrar) presented the trophy and spoke about The Meadowlands, host of the three year old US trotting classic, the Hambletonian Stake. The program ending Prix Tidalium Pelo (monte apprentice jockeys, purse €62,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) went to placed winner by dq awarded to 30.5/1 Vicomte d’Havane (8g Invar-Mandoline de Ry) with Pierre Sorais in the irons for trainer Bruno Marie and Ecurie BKM. First home but dq’d was 8/1 Uhendo Rivelliere. Placed second was 9.3/1 Uno de Guinette (9g Kaiser Soze-Isis de Guinette with Mlle. Noeme Hardy aboard and placed third was 56/1 Visa de la Noemie (8m Cygnes d’Odyssee-Bea de la Noemie) with Florent Guerineau up. Race time was 1.14.3kr. The Amerique Day at Vincennes was quite spectacular, as always, professionally presented and well received by the huge crowd. Next up in two week increments are the Prix de France, Prix de Paris and then the Cagnes sur Mer Grand Criterium de Vitesse. Thomas H. Hicks

January 14, 2017 - The Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) was expected to be an easy conquest for 1.1/1 Equinoxe (3m Texas Charm-Pelagie) and 2.2/1 Everest Vedaquais (3m Ready Cash-Spandelle) but both were disqualified, the latter for an early miscue and the former after an impressive victory, presumably for being rough gaited in the lane. Victory was thus awarded to fast-closing 6.9/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with David Thomain in the irons for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe DeWulf, timed in 1.16kr. Placed second was 30/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) reined by J.Ph Monclin and placed third was 5/1 Euro du Chene with Franck Nivard up. The Quinte+ Gr. II Prix de Croix was the day’s co-feature (purse €120,000, 2850 meters). Well respected Treasure Kronos, racing with shoes, and Cobra Bleu was miscue dq’s. 9.3/1 odds barefoot In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine) was an impressive rallying winner for Franck Nivard. This pair followed good outer tier flow and surged three wide in the late final bend to just get up for the 1.12.5kr clocked victory, with a quick final fraction (the timed was 1.13.1kr with 500 meters remaining). Daniel Reden trains the winner for Stall Zet. 3.6/1 Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) took second, beaten a nose, for Gabriel Gelormini and trainer Guarato. Third was the 9/10 favorite pacesetting Traders (5m Ready Cash-Graziella) for David Thomain and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 84/1 Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) rallied from far back to be fourth for Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Graziano Ceccaroni, with fifth to Tony Gio (5m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) reined by Christophe Martens for Scuderia Bivans SRL and trainer Vincent Martens. The Gr. III Prix du Forez/Prix les Seniors (purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.12.8kr timed and 5.1/1 odds Anzi des Liards (7g Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) with Romain Derieux at the lines for breeder/owner Richard Padovani and trainer David Bekaert. 7/1 Athos des Elfes (7m Ganymede-Lazio du Bourg) was second for trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was rail hugging 4.2/1 Altesse de Mirel (7f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Florence Allera. The winner closed stoutly as the time with 500 meters remaining was 1.13.8kr. A superb Saturday afternoon Paris-Vincennes program began with newly aged three year-olds contesting the Prix de Montreuil (monte, purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters), with an open-lengths victory earned by 1.3/1 favorite Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout). The Alexandre Abrivard teamed filly was clocked in 1.18.2kr and is trained by J-M Bazire for breeder/owner Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano. 22.4/1 Etincelle de Rocha (3f Repeat d’Ombree-Rondinara) was the distant second for Matthieu Abrivard and 13.5/1 Extase de la Basle (3f Redea Josselyn-Ibiza de la Masle) was third with Eric Raffin in the irons. Monte performers continued with the Prix de Mauquenchy (purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 10 European starters) and 9/10 favorite Catalogne (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) prevailed for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Denise Mottier and Ecurie Cheffreville). 7.2/1 Codie de Beaulieu (5f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) closed well for second, handled by J-Y Ricart. Third went to the 6.9/1 and Matthieu Abrivard teamed Chiuricahua (5f Pomerol de Laumac-Phoenix Arizona). Thomas H. Hicks

The featured Gr. II Prix Leon Tacquet at Vincennes (monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters) was won by 4/1 Canadien d’Am (5m Ready Cash-Kanadia) with Mathieu Mottier in the irons for harness racing trainer Franck Leblanc, timed in 1.12.3kr off even fractions (1.12kr with 1500 to go; 1.11.7kr at the 1000; 1.12.3kr with 500 remaining). Second was 10/1 Candela (5f First de Retz-Ofara) with Antoine Lherete up for breeder/owner/trainer Paul Viel. Third was 3.3/1 Celina Polka (5f Kool du Caux-La Canella) for Alexandre Abrivard and owner/trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute. The monte Prix de Sully (purse €70,000, 2175 meters) went to 2.9/1 Alto du Lys (7g Magnificent Rodney-Hi Fi d’Eronville) timed in a quick 1.12.03kr (fractions 1.09.2kr at 1500 remaining ; 1.10.5kr at the 1000 ; 1.11.9kr with 500 to go). Clement Frecelle rode the winning J.L. Bigeon trainee. 2/1 Aqiitaned’Aron (7f Neutron du Cebe-Miss d’Iquaine) was second for Damien Bonne and the 8.5/1 Vamp Gede (8f Capriccio-Feerie Gede) was third for jockey Joann Lebourgeois. Dream Gold (4m Royal Dream-Simplicity) took the Prix de Gontaud (purse €37,000, 2700 meters) clocked in 1.15.7kr with a fast final 500. The 7/2 odds winner was teamed by Julien Dubois for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Dexter des Baux (4g Querido des Baux-Perle des Baux) rallied to besecond for trainer Franck Leblanc and reinsman Franck Nivard. 5.2/1 Defi Dream (4m Royal Dream-Quelea MIP) was third for Jean Michel Bazire. Un Nuage de Betton (9g New Aldo-Haloona de Betton) at 20.3/1 odds captured the Quinte+ Prix de Breteuil (purse €55,000, 2100 meters autostart, 17 starters) at Vincennes. William Bigeon teamed the winner clocked in a sharp 1.12.1kr, a horse that is owned/trained and was bred by Jean Luc Bigeon. 11.1/1 Uhendo Rivelliere (9g Nil du Rib-Nana Montbrun) took second in a blanket finish for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard, and third was 2.4/1 Ufelo de Carentone (9g Kiwi-Maeva d’Harcouel) that Franck Nivard reined for J.G. Van Eeckhaute. 36/1 Thesee de Corbery was fourth and fifth was 21.4/1 Vivaldi d’Amboise. Baila Sport at 15.7/1 took the Prix de Maisons-Alfort (purse €66,000, 2850 meters, 14 European starters). The six year-old daughter of Jag de Bellouet-Koea Josselyn was teamed by Matthieu Abrivard for owner/trainer Jacques Leloutre. 14.4/1 Easytowin (6f Offshore Dream-Victory My Way) and trainer/driver Dion P. Tesselaar took second for owner Gerrits Recycling BV of Holland. 5.5/1 Barbue (6f Hernes du Bisson-Harengere) was third for driver/trainer/owner Karl Champenois. Pierre Levesque reined Blue Story to a fourth place finish. The winner was clocked in 1.15.2kr. The Prix de Chateaugiron (purse €39,000, 250 meters, 15 starters) went to 5/10 favorite Cash And Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) in rein to Franck Nivard for trainer Sebastian Guarato. This brother to Bold Eagle is owned by Pierre Pilarski and was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois. 8.7/1 Crack de la Brosse (5g Hibiscus du Rib-Katia de la Brosse) rallied for second driven by trainer Matthieu Abrivard and 7.6/1 Chef Dairpet (5g Severino-Prunella du Pre) was third for owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. Race time was 1.15.2kr. Action also took place at Cagnes sur Mer this day and the Prix Ideal du Gazeau (purse €17,000, 2150 meters autostart) for three year-olds went to 1.16.9kr timed and 7.3/1 odds Elstar (3m Look de Star-Liste d’Atout). Trainer Marco Smorgon was at the lines for owner Scuderia Trotto Italia SAS. 7.8/1 Elite Darling (3f Sam Bourbon-Lets Go Darling) was second for owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois and trainer Yves Boireau. Third was 19/1 Easy Going (3g Very Pleasant-Urkane JAB). At Romme SWE the day’s V75 action was led by the V75 Gold for 150,000SEK first money raced over 2640 meters autostart. The winner was veteran class-master On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) at 1.02/1 for driver Johnny Takter and trainer Hans R. Stromberg. Timed in 1.14.2kr the “Pirate” now has a slate of 32-21-12 in 100 career starts for 13,649,710SEK earned. 8/1 Usain Henna (7m Super Light-Kassandra Kuron-Gidde Palema) was second fore Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Oskar Svanberg. Third was 46/1 Fly The World (7f Juliano Star-Nigh Mare E-Ride The Night) with Ulf Eriksson driving for trainer Bjorn Rocklinger. At Bologna Italy on January 6 was the Grand Premio Della Vittoria for €25,300 and raced over 2460 meters. The 1.15.6kr winner was veteran Oncle Photo VL (9g SJ’sPhoto-Balalaica SLM-Lemon Dra) for Fed. Esposito, his 29th career victory in 105 starts. Second was Rorimac Baba (7m Frisky Bieffe-Zucca di Casei-Lemon Dra) handled by Gior. d’Allessandro Jr. Third went to Thetis Moon (5f Idale Luis-Fairy Mabel-Crowning Classic) for driver Roberto Vecchione. Sunday action again showcases top trotting and family entertainment. Next weekend at Paris-Vincennes includes the fourth “B” Prix de Belgique, a Gr. II International event raced over 2850 meters for €120,000. The top three finishers earn a Prix d’Amerique invitation. On January 14-15 there are seven groupe level trots. Thomas H. Hicks

The newly aged three year-olds were part of today’s Paris-Vincennes program. The Prix de Bonneuil (purse €33,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters) went to 6.9/1 Embrun du Mai (3m Ready Cash-Sirene de Mai) with Anthony Barrier driving. Philippe Allaire trains this nice colt for  the legendary Ecurie Compte de Montesson. 10.3/1 Esos (3m Imoko-Osten Sible) was second for reinsman Bjorn Goop and owner/trainer Richard Westerink, the Timoko connections. Third was 49.7/1 Esmeraldi (3g Opus Viervil-Saquina) with David Thomain aboard, Race time was 1.15.7kr. The Prix d’Acigne (purse €33,500, 2175 meters, 14 starters) produced a 1.16.7kr timed winner, 9/1 odds Erika Dream (3f Ready Cash-Situtunga) with David Thomain driving. Yves Boireau trains the filly, bred by Ecurie MIP, and owned by Jean-Pierre Dubois. She rallied from far back in the stretch to roll past 15.9/1 Elisa d’Occagnes (3f Titan d’Occagnes-Palma de la Besure) with trainer/driver Franck Nivard aboard for owner Ph. Joyeux. Third was 17/1 Express Lady (3f Texas Charm-United Express) for Julien Dubois, also breeder/owner/trainer. Electra Bar (3f Sam Bourbon-Rabane d’Atout) was fourth for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Matthieu Abrivard. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

January 1, 2017 - Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), at 3/10 odds and teamed by Franck Nivard, rallied from a second tier spot around the final bend and prevailed in a stretch long battle with pacesetter Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces), at 5.5/1 and reined by Bjorn Goop, to win the Gr. II Grand Prix de Bourgogne (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 International starters). Bourgogne is the third “B” leading to the Prix d’Amerique. Sebastien Guarato trains Bold Eagle for Pierre Pilarski, the owner. Jean-Etienne Dubois bred and early developed the now 30 times a winner in 34 starts for career earnings of 2,293,500€. Timoko is trained by owner Richard Westerink and was bred by Paul Van Klaveren. The superb veteran Timoko now has 31 victories in 91 starts for 4,301,058€ earned after his €30,000 today for finishing second. Booster Winner (6m Love You-Quille Viretaute) closed well to land third at 57.2/1 for Eric Raffin, and he earned a spot in the Prix d’Amerique as did Timoko. Booster Winner is trained by Sebastien Guarato for breeder/owner Ecurie Winner. 22/1 Princess Grif was fourth for Roberto Andreghetti and fifth was 25/1 Voltigeur de Myrt with Lorenzo Donati up. Race time was 1.12.1kr off rated fractions (1.07.9kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.11.1kr at the 1000 mark, 1,12.9 with 500 remaining) with a quick finish. The Bourgogne was spectacularly presented and attracted a fine family audience for the International trotting showcase this New Years Day. Ten entrants for the Prix d’Amerique are now in line for that classique the last Sunday of January. Thomas H. Hicks  

Harness racing 6-year-old Swedish mare D’One, winner of the 2015 Breeders Crown Mare Trot, has been sold as a broodmare at a public auction for $345,000. Two leading breeders from each side of the Atlantic, Steve Stewart of Hunterton Farm and John Bootsman of Boko Stable of The Netherlands and Sweden, have bought the mare in company. The plan is to breed D’One in Europe in 2017 to the French stallion Ready Cash and register the foal in Sweden, while in 2018 she will go to Hunterton Farm to be bred to Muscle Hill. D’One, who actually was born and raised at Hunterton Farm, is by Donato Hanover and out of Giant Diablo, who both took marks of 1.50.1. D’One 5,1:51.3 has raced 38 times and besides winning the Breeders Crown, she won the Fresh Yankee, Muscle Hill and Allerage Farm Mare Trot in the United States. In Sweden she is the winner of The Swedish Oaks and the final in Summer Meeting Mares. D’One has earnings of $1.26 million. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent 

The heavily favored Bold Eagle (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) rallied four wide at top stretch from his third position in the second tier to easily take the €120,000 purse Grand Prix du Bourbonnais (Gr. II, 2850 meters, 17 starters) at Vincennes for harness racing reinsman Franck Nivard timed in 1.12.7kr (fractions 1.13.7kr at 1500 to go; 1.13.4 at the 1000, 1.13.3kr with 500 meters remaining). He won for 29th time in 34 career starts now for €2,239,300 earned. Trained by Sebastien Guarato for owner Pierre Pilarski, the winner was bred by Jean-Etienne Dubois.    Bold Eagle earned a Prix d’Amerique start today, along with Norway’s Lionel (6m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) and Voltigeur de Myrt (7m Opus Viervil-Myrtille des Bois) that were second and third for their teamsters Mathieu Abrivard and Lorenzo Donati. 31/1 Bird Parker, Timoko, Moving On and Princess Grif were next after original fifth finishing Bolero Love was disqualified. Timoko was first to the front and then raced in the pocket. His inside pegs stretch move was empty this day in the quick finishing late sprint to the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

The Quinte+ Prix des Blois (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 European starters) today went to 1.12.5kr timed and 3.1/1 odds Altesse du Mirel (6f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) racing barefoot. Pierre Vercruysse trains and drive the winner for harness racing owner Mme. Florence Allera and breeder Mlle Anette Holmgren. Altesse record her 12th career victory now for €543.990 earned, leading this one in quick fraction before yielding after the first 1000 meters. She then raced in the pocket until mid-stretch when she rallied between rivals to win. Fractions were as follows (1.10.1lr with 1500 to go; 1.11.4kr with 1000 meters remaining, 1.12.5kr with 500 to go). 4.4/1 Arazi Boko (9g Varenne-Laura Kemp_ was second for Franck Nivard, trainer Fabrice Souloy and Sweden’s Ecurie Piret. 2/1 Unice de Guez (8g Capriccio-Eau Blanche) held third on the pegs for trainer/driver J-M Bazire Replay: The Prix de Murat (purse €54,000, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) went to 5.3/1 Beverly Boulevard (7f Quite Easy-Long Beach) for J-M Bazire, trainer Fabrice Souloy and Swedish owner Mme. Camilla Vikstrom, clocked in 1.15.2kr. 112/1 Cuba Cohiba (8f Scarlet Knight-Havannas Hanna) was second for P-Y Verva ahead of 30/1 Angelina BR (8f Angus Hall-Fiery Chip). The Prix de Saint-Aubin les Elbeuf (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.15.2kr timed and 5.5/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (5m Magnificent Rodney-Nymphe du Dollar) with trainer Sylvain Roger up. 4/5 favorite Baladin Hongrois (5g Bon Conseil-Reludie Hongroise) took second for trainer/driver Arnaud Desmottes. 3.8/1 Bel Avis (5g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) was third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and Wildenstein Stables Ltd. The Prix de Blangy (purse €36,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) went to fast closing 8.4/1 Deepstack (3m Royal Dream-Missrev) with owner/trainer/driver Bjorn Goop aboard. Jean Philippe Izzo was his breeder. 1.1/1 Dream Cash (3g Ready Cash-Susy Love) was second for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and owner Ecurie Charmes. 30/1 Diplomate d’Em (3m Love You-Kalmie Melody) was third for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and pilot Mathieu Abrivard. Race time was 1.15.2kr. Yesterday’s top level monte test was at Vincennes. The 8.7/1 odds Adelia Melodie (6f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) took the Prix d’Honfleur (purse €78,000, 2175 meters, 17 monte entrants) clocked in a sharp 1.12.5kr for Mille Audrey Laroche and trainer Stephane Meunier. Even-money favorite Aventurier Cehere (6g Niky-Iloa de l’Orne was a distant second for Antoine Weils with third to 115/1 Viking de Tremahou (7g Flash de Cosse-Lea Fotuna) for A.Ph. Grimault. Yesterday’s top events in Sweden took place at Solvalla. The Gunnar Nordins (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to Globalsatisfaction (4g Kadabra-Glide path-Yankee Glide) for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Timo Nurmos clocked in 1.14.3kr. Banthechocolate (4f Chocolatier-Bancroft Hall-Conway Hall) was second for Tomi Haapio ahead of Floyd Fortuna (4g Yankee Glide-Jane O’Donnell-SJ’s Photo) with Erik Adielsson driving. The Gosta Nordins (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.15.2kr timed Attack Diablo (6g Blue YorkYankee-Chanson d’Inverne-SJ’s Photo) for Christoffer Eriksson driving for Peter Untersteiner. Charrua Forlan and Partout Simoni were next to the line. The card also included the Mehammer Stuteri (100,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart) for two year-olds. 27/1 Drizzle CC (2f Sam Bourbon-Tucson Yankee-Lindy Lane) scored for driver Pierre Nystrom timed in 1.16.4kr. Violet Bi (2f Equinox Bi) was second for Kenneth Haugstad and trainer Jim Oscarsson. Thomas H. Hicks  

Phillipe Allaire’s Brillantissime (5m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire-Buvetier d’Aunou) took today’s Gr. I Premio Duomo UET Masters (purse €110,000, 1600 meters autostart) at Firenze, Italy (1000 meter track) in gate to wire fashion timed in 1.12.4kr. Pierre Vercruysse reined the winner that easily held off Sharon Gar (5f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) driven by Gaetano Di Nardo and third to Stella di Azzura (5f Supergill-Genny de Azzurra-Pine Chip) for Alessandro Gocciadoro. Note, the second dam of Sharon Gar is Happy Diamonds (Diamond Exchange-Sharon’s Streak-Sirloin).  Interesting to me was the naming of the undercard races after well-known trotters Toss Out, Keystone Patriot, Friendly Face, Intact Hornline, Italiano, Crowns Invitation and Brads Photo. Two undercard winners were Trillo Park (4m Varenne-Mystery Flight-Balanced Image) for Enrico Bellei timed in 1.12.2kr over 1600 meters, and Velvet Dancer (2m Mondiale OK-Natalie Starlight-Self Possessed) in another 1600 meter autostart contest with a purse of €13,200. This winner was clocked in 1.13.1kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

Two year-olds harness racing colts contested the Gr. II Prix Ourasi (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) Friday evening with 6.2/1 Eridan (2m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout-Coktail Jet) posting an impressive 1.15.7kr timed victory. David Thomain teamed the Sebastian Guarato trainee that is owned by Ph. Dewulf. The winner’s dam was a career winner of €179.541 with a 1.12.7kr record. The 4/5 favorite Everest Vedaquais was a dq. Finishing second was 17/1 Everest de Ginai (2m Love You-Nymphe de Ginai) handled by Gabriel Gelormini for trainer Philippe Allaire and Finland owner Reima Kuisla OY. Third was Eros du Chene (2m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova) for Franck Nivard. The evening’s Quinte+ Prix Hilda (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to 1.15.7kr timed and 4.8/1 odds Aurore de Chloee (6f Islero de Bellouet-Loisiane de Nacre). Anthony Barrier piloted this winner for trainer Emmanuel Varin inn defeat of 85/1 Ariane du Nil (6f Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Melby du Lin) with Maxime Bezier the trainer/driver. 4.9/1 Azela des Plaignes (6f Lilium Madrik-Ibiza des Plaignes) was third in a photo for trainer/driver Denis Brossard, also trainer. Secret Boy (8g Allison Hollow-Sugarcanes Riviera) took tonight’s Winter Cup at Wolvega (purse €6,960, 2100 meters autostart, 8 starters) timed in 1.15kr at 5/1 for Dion P. Tesselaar.  The 9/10 favorite Olympic Kronos (8g Viking Kronos-Ebony Kronos) was second for Joseph Verbeeck and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Third was 29/1 Radamante (6g Ganymede-Tenderembrace) Thomas H. Hicks  

November 26, 2016 - Today’s Gr. III Prix de Chenonceaux (purse €100,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to hot-trotting Traders (4m Ready Cash-Graziella) at 2/5 odds for David Thomain. Philippe Allaire trains the seven-time harness racing winner, now with earnings of €339,910 for owner Scuderia Colibri SAS. The front-end winner stormed home clocked in 1.13.3kr off even fractions (1.14.4kr at 1500 to go; 1.13.9kr at 1000; 1.14kr with 500 remaining). 9.7/1 Glen Ord Superb (5m Orlando Vici-Orions Hilda) was second for Christophe Martens and 12/1 Boeing du Bocage (5m Scipion du Goutier-Lova du Cap) was third for Loic Guinoiseau and trainer Franck Leblanc. Traders rallied past Bold Eagle is his last outing prior to today. The Saturday afternoon program also included the €90,000 purse Prix de Quimper contested over 2850 meters by 12 European entrants. 3.6/1 Avenir de Blay (6g Hooper-Mirabelle de Blay) scored in 1.13.5kr for driver/trainer/owner Tony LeBeller. 43/1 Amiral du Bisson (6g Jeanbat du Vivier-Melodie du Bisson) was a distant second for David Thomain and third was 10/1 Arthuro Boy (m LeRetour-Guyane) for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Yves Dreux. The Prix de Bagnoles de l’Orne (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed and 12/1 Une Serenade (8f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade). Eric Raffin teamed the Serge Peltier trainee. 18/1 Ustie Haufor (8f Niky-Lara du Houlbet) was second for Christian Bigeon and third went to Thierry Duvaldestin teamed 7/1 Univers de Daidou (8g Jag de Bellouet-l’Absinthe). The day’s monte featured event was the Prix de Thoissey (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 16 European starters) and the impressive Talikser Horse with Camille Levesque up was sidetracked by a dq. This the winw as awarded to 32/1 Caid de Bangale (4g Loulou Jet-Tierce de Bangale) with Eric Raffin up. 9/1 Concerto du Ruel (4g Prince Gede-Jacarendine) was second for David Thomain and trainer Franck Anne. 26/1 Codie de Beaulieu (4f Oyonnax-Melody d’Arcy) was third after the placings. Thomas H. Hicks  

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