Day At The Track
Search Results
1 to 16 of 817
1 2 3 4 5 Next »

Vincennes, France – Following the outside cover of Davidson Du Pont, harness racing driver Bjorn Goop and Face Time Bourbon weaved their way around horses and was able to post a two-length triumph to win the 100th Grand Prix d’Amerique race at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday. It was the 19th victory in just 22 career starts for Face Time Bourbon. The five-year-old son of two-time Prix d’Amerique winner, Ready Cash, is now harness racing newest international trotting star. The race began with a Calvary charge for control of the early lead with horses racing three-wide for the first half mile of the 1.67-mile race (2,700 meters). Billie De Montfort (Gabriele Gelormini) held the early lead, then Excellent (Alexandre Abrivard) got to the front and Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) was able to drop into the two-hole along the rail. And all the while there was Davidson Du Pont and driver Franck Ouvire parked out first-over and not giving up an inch. Meanwhile, Goop and Face Time Bourbon were following their cover second over. Excellent then went off-stride and that allowed Looking Superb (David Thomain) a brief time on the lead, but as they finally reached the top of the stretch, Davidson Du Pont, parked the mile, was in the lead, but Goop moved down along the rail and passed them by with Face Time Bourbon for the victory in 1’11’50. Davidson Du Pont held for the second place with the mare, Belina Josselyn (Jean-Michel Bazire), last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, finishing third. Bold Eagle was never in the hunt and finished 10th in the field of 18 starters. Ringostarr Treb, making his final start before going to the stud barn, make a break and finished last. Trained by Sebastien Guarato, Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SLR. It was his sixth straight win. He went off at odds of 4.9-1 odds. Before the Prix d’Amerique race, everyone at the track was treated to an unbelievable show on the racetrack celebrating American soldiers coming to help France in World War I. The crowds were so packed that is was impossible to try and get on the track apron to watch the show. Luckily for most, it was broadcast on all three jumbo screens in the infield. It was a presentation that left many speechless, amazed and proud to be part of this special day’s events. On the track were the following: 100 children dressed in driver colors with helmets 100 Horse costume parade and dance 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles parade, each with an American Flag 100 cheerleaders in USA outfits carrying Prix d’Amerique and American Flags Introduction of the 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique race, each driver came through the throngs of crowds, holding the hand of a child dressed in USA colors. Drivers giving Hi-Fives to fans, posing for selfies and then were escorted off the track on two-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Before the Prix d’Amerique race there was an outstanding performance of horsemanship by the French Royal Lancers. They performed precision riding with both lances and sabers while their special band played. There was also a very strong undercard at Vincennes with seven Graded Stakes. Total purses for the day was over 1.6 million euros. Major sponsors of this year’s Prix d’Amerique included Case IH Agriculture, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Lalique, RMC Sports Talk Radio, Gras Savoye, Lenotre Paris, FRM (Medicale), 20 Minutes and Printemps Nation. 100,000€ Prix Harley-Davidson This Groupe II stake was monte (racing under saddle) going 2700 meters (1.67 miles). It was a standing start and once the word go was given, jockey Mathie Mottier came charging from the far outside with Fame Music to take a commanding six length lead. As the field settled down, Flicka De Blary and jockey Camille Levesque went on the outside and had to settle for a pocket trip behind Fame Music as those two held a five-length lead over the field. Then as they came around the final turn, Fame Music went off-stride and was pulled to the inside of the track. That left Flicka De Blary and Levesque all alone in the lead and they held that lead through the stretch to win by six open lengths in 1”14’10. Flicka De Blary is a five-year-old mare by Sam Bourbon. She is trained by Thomas Levesque for the Levesque Stable. Flicka De Blary was the 2-1 favorite. 100,000€ Prix Case This Groupe II stake was another monte event but longer in distance at 2,850 meters (1.77 miles). The race belonged to Emir De Robomard and jockey Julien Raffestin who took the early lead away from Aribo Mix (Guillaume Martin) and then led the field nearly the entire race. As they charged down the stretch, Canan Prior and jockey Aurelien Desmarres kept gaining ground and collared Emir De Robomard at the wire to win by a half-length in 1’13’80. It was the 21st win for the eight-year-old son of Sancho Panca, who is owned and trained by Sylvain Desmarres. He went off at odds of 4-1. 100,000€ Prix RMC Sports Talk Another Grade II stake, only this race went behind the starting gate with 14 starters. Gotland (Eric Raffin) was first to leave the cut the mile until halfway through the race when Green Grass (Mathieu Mottier) came first-over, giving live cover to Gu D’Heripre (Franck Nivard). Then in a classic stretch drive to the wire, Gu D’Heripre was able to hold off a late charge by the race favorite, Gunilla D’Atout (Bjorn Goop), to win by a neck in 1’11’60. For Gu D’Heripre, a four-year-old son of Coktail Jet, it was a lifetime mark for trainer Philippe Billard and the D’Heripre Stable. He was the second choice in the race at odds of 4-1. TRACK NOTES: John Campbell, President and CEO of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Society has been in Paris this week for the big race and was overheard saying that plans are in the works for Bold Eagle to come back to America and race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Vincennes, France - With twenty minutes to the first race at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes, the traffic jams outside are two miles long, horse vans are trying to cut through and make it to the race paddock area for Prix d'Amerique Day. Lines stretch out from the track entrance as people are trying to get in before the first race goes off at noon. There is also added security checking all bags that are brought into the track. It's a pleasant madness as everyone is trying to get their place to sit or stand for the biggest days of harness racing in the world. There are four elevators on the main floor and it takes around ten minutes to get inside one, even if you have to go down two floors and then back up to the main level and then hopefully you can get to upper floor. Everyone tries to crowd in and then the buzzer goes off and one or two have to leave before the door will close. But being stuck on the elevator at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes is not such a bad thing as each elevator has a television monitor in it so you can views the races. The languages spoken throughout the plant are intense, French, Swedish, English (USA, Ireland, UK), German, Finnish, Norwegian, Italian and more. Same goes in the race paddock.  The best part is that everyone is happy and looking forward to a great day of racing. It's cloudy and some fog but around 50 so it is not so cold like earlier this week and fortunately no rain. The first race just went off and the day starts with a 14-1 long shot, Feline De Calvi with driver David Thomain coming from off the pace to win going away down the stretch.  More to come! by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Paris, France – Sunday afternoon the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes will transcend into the biggest day of harness racing around the globe. It’s the 100th anniversary of the classic trotting event, the Grand Prix d’Amerique. There will be 18 world class trotters racing from a standing start, 2,700 meters (1.67 miles), down and up a hill, completing for 900,000€ in prize money. But at Vincennes, it’s more than just a rich race. It’s a tribute week honoring America for its help in fighting World War I. The track is already decorated throughout the entire facility with the Red, White and Blue and Stars and Stripes of America. There will be more than 1.6 million euros in prize money for the afternoon. There are 11 races, 7 of them graded stakes. It is estimated that more than 30 million euros will be wagered on the afternoon to evening race program. The races start at noon (6:00 am in the USA east coast) with six races held. Then the following takes place after the sixth race. Parade of 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, 100 young drivers, 100 flag bearers, acrobats, dancers, stilt walkers, surprise birthday party for the 100th Grand Prix d’Amérique The 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique will be presented individually on the Vincennes Hippodrome de Paris track. The French Royal Lancers Show on the racetrack arena. The post parade of the 18 horses and drivers in the Prix d’Amerique. Then the Grand Prix d’Amerique race will start at 4:10 pm followed by a victory lap for the fans by the official winner of the race. That will be followed by a major winner’s circle presentation to the winning connections followed by the last four races on the program. For the Prix d’Amerique race itself. Bold Eagle is the class of the field. A career winner of 4,956,617€, Bold Eagle is a son of Ready Cash who will have the top driver Eric Raffin in the sulky. He has won the Prix d’Amerique twice, just as his sire did. If he can finish in the top four positions, he will surpass the great Timoko and become the richest French trotter in history. Back in November he came to Canada and the won the Breeders Crown for Older Trotters. The horse most people are talking about is Face Time Bourbon. Also sired by Ready Cash, Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion that was a late bloomer, but in the past two years has made just 21 starts, but has won 18 times with two second place finishes. His driver, Bjorn Goop, won the Prix d’Amerique in 2018 with Readly Express. There are six mares in the field and the top one is last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, Belina Josselyn. This nine-year-old daughter of Love You was sidelined with an injury for the better part of the 2019 season but has made a superb comeback. She was so dominant recently in the Grand Prix de Belgique that she may very well be able to defending her title from last year. She also had the great Jean-Michel Bazire driving. Other horses that cannot be overlooked include Propulsion, Billie De Montfort, Davidson Du Pont, Uza Josselyn and Ringostarr Treb, who will be retired to stud duty as the Prix d’Amerique will be his last start as a racehorse. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Vincennes, France – On the eve of the prestigious Grand Prix d’Amerique, American-born trainer, Jerry Riordan announced that this will be the last race for his top performer, Ringostarr Treb. Sired by Classic Photo, Ringostarr Treb has competed in 95 races with 33 wins and career earnings of 1,648,631€. “He is feeling great,” Riordan said of Ringostarr Treb, but this will be the last race of his career tomorrow. It just happens to be the Prix d’Amerique. The important thing for us is that after tomorrow we will not have him anymore. He is going to be a stallion so it’s a happy ending. “He’s ten years old now,” Riordan added. “It’s time for him to stop racing. I can’t think of a better way for him to end his career then racing in the Prix d’Amerique. With all the thousands of people clapping and cheering for the race, we will just think they are cheering for Ringostarr Treb’s last race.” A winner of the 2018 Elitloppet, Ringostarr Treb will be known for his classic battles with Propulsion in many elite races. It is his second time racing in the Prix d’Amerique. He will be driven by Jean-Philippe Monclin and is owned by E. Vam Racing Trotters. John Campbell, Tom Charters and Moira Fanning of the USA’s Breeders Crown/Hambletonian Society were at Vincennes and they were honored in the second race Saturday. Named the Prix Moni Maker, the trio made the trophy presentation to the winner. “I have been to Vincennes three times,” said Hall of Famer John Campbell. “And I regret that I never drove in a race here. I knew the first time I came here I should have asked to drive in some races. It’s such an amazing track, the racing surface is superb, the fans are so supportive of racing. I made a big mistake. It would have been great to have a drive in the Prix d’Amerique, but I would have been happy to get a drive in any race at this amazing track.” The Hippodrome Pari-Vincennes racetrack is an amazing place. There are three huge jumbo screens to watch the races from outside. New this year is a special running board that features what position each horse is in as the race is going. They also have a camera mounted on wires that catches all the action as the field comes down the stretch, very similar to what is done in professional American football. The paddock area for the horses racing that day is attached to the grandstand so people can go back and forth to see the horses with ease. But I know tomorrow it will be jammed, elbow to elbow. On Saturday there was a crowd of 15,000 fans and it will be hard to imagine that tomorrow there will be close to 40,000 fans. Tomorrow Vincennes will be the Kentucky Derby of Harness Racing. The feature race on Saturday was the 100,000€ Prix du Luxembourg. The winner was 18-1 Anzi Des Liards for driver Romain Derieux, who won by one length in 1’10’9, a lifetime record for the upset winner. He is a 10-year-old son of Look De Star. Track Notes: Harnesslink’s Thomas Hicks reported that the final Arqana-Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale at Paris-Vincennes produced some explosive bidding. Overall the sale saw 161 lots sold from 258 presented with gross proceeds of 3,529,000€, an average of 21,919€. The gross was up 1.6% from last year with the average down nearly 6%. Three young females sold by Jean Pierre Dubois led the sale. The sale topper at 370,000€ was hip 228 High Qualita (3f Ready Cash-Qualita Bourbon) that has recorded a win and two placings in four starts for 15,900€ earned. This is a classic pedigree with the dam Qualita Bourbon being a Gr. I winner of 1,538,050€ and this is the maternal family of Mara Bourbon, Kamera Bourbon, Sam Bourbon and the 2020 Prix d’Amerique starter Face Time Bourbon. The other Dubois presented toppers were hip 238 Haiti Dream (3f Love You-Tahiti Dream) that SRF Stable acquired for 200,000€ and hip 223 Gourgandine (4f Bold Eagle-Udine) that brought 160,000€ from Thomas Bernereau. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Grosbois, France – As one of the top harness racing drivers in all of Europe, Bjorn Goop knows his horses and he says that his horse in Sunday’s 900,000€ Grand Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, is in prime shape. The horse heads into the Prix d'Amerique on a five-race winning streak. “The horse is good,” Goop stated. “I think it is I that will need to have a little luck.” Goop was referring to and explaining that the Prix d’Amerique is so different from any other horse race because it is done from a standing start. There is no starting gate used for this world class field of horses. “It is not easy to be ready in a standing start,” Goop explained. “You have to stay in your general area and keep on moving, waiting for the word to start. You need to time it just right and yet you need some luck too. “You do not want to be last at the start,” Goop added, “And you do not want to be in the middle of the pack on the rail and then you are trapped for the race and cannot get out.” There are 18 horses going in the Prix d’Amerique, 18 older trotters, most of whom earned their way into the race by winning other Groupe races. More than half the field have each won over 1 million euros with Bold Eagle leading way. The two-time Prix d’Amerique winner has career earnings of 4,956,617€. A win, second or third place finish will put Bold Eagle over the 5-million-euro mark. Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion by Ready Cash, the same sire as Bold Eagle, who also won the Prix d’Amerique twice. The 2019 race season was superb for Face Time Bourbon as he started just 11 times with 9 wins and two second place finishes. Every one of his starts was in a Groupe I, II or III races. Face Time Bourbon is trained by Sebastien Giuarato, who has three starters in the Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, Valko Jenilat and the mare, Billie de Montfort. Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SRL, who also has Vivid Wise AS in the Prix d’Amerique. Bjorn Goop has his choice of whom to drive in the Prix d’Amerique and he choose Face Time Bourbon. “He is such a great horse,” Goop said. “He can race well from behind or can go on the front. I think for this race maybe we sit in the middle and see what happens. He is coming into this race in very good shape.” Goop is no stranger to the Prix d’Amerique. He won the race in 2018 with Readly Express and then raced back with him again in 2019 and was third. This past year Goop scored his 7,000th career win and has over 2,000 wins as a trainer. Track Notes: Of the 18 starters in the Prix d’Amerique, 8 are mares. All 18 horses will be not be wearing shoes in the race, which is not uncommon in European trotting. It was also reported that the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) have posted a better-than-forecast set of provisional results for 2019, with turnover of €9.56 billion and an operating profit returned to fund racing and trotting of €760 million. That is €13 million ahead of budget and will be welcome news to both the Trotters and Thoroughbreds, both of whom have been forced to tighten their belts in terms of running costs in recent years. Saturday’s race card at Vincennes will feature the Groupe II Prix de Luxembourg with a purse of 100,000€. Thursday first day of the Arqana-Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale saw 152 lots presented with 95 sold (62.5%) for gross proceeds of 1,263,000€. Stallion shares and broodmares highlighted the offering, many of the mares being in foal. Charmeause Mayjc (8f Prince Gede) led the sale at 120,000€ to AM Bloodstock. She was bred to Love You in 2019 and is barren, but her Ganymede first dam Teza Josselyn has produced the million euro plus winner Uza Josselyn that starts in Sunday’s Prix d’Amerique. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Vincennes, France – The maiden visit to the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes was an amazing experience to this first-time visiting American. And I never saw a horse on the track. There was no live racing today because the entire grandstand area was jammed packed with exhibits for the Prix d’Amerique Horse Expo plus outside was the annual ARQANA Trot horse sale. Just about anything you could imagine for your horse was there and so were the people, hundreds of people, visiting the booths, socializing with friends and business acquaintances, making deals for stallion breeding’s. They had just about everything that you could want for your horse and then some. And there was champagne, not just bottles, cases and more. Of the 100 or so exhibits I think 70% of them offered perspective business associates’ champagne. And we all drank some. Well, more than just some. I also saw tons of empty bottles stacked or being tossed out. “When you are in France, you drink champagne,” said Filip Van Hauwermeiren, a top breeder and trainer from Belgium who owns Star Breeding. “It is actually less expensive than bottled water or coke.” Hauwermeiren was promoting his stud farm where he not only has local stallions, but can provide breeders with frozen semen from world champion stallions Father Patrick, Trixton, Southwind Frank, Propulsion and Paster Stephen. There were plenty of stud farms there, along with a huge display from Finn Tack of all the equipment you can imagine from harnesses to jogging and race sulkies. There were horse shoes, feed, track surface materials, even a small backhoe just perfect for the smaller farms. Out of the racetrack, on the apron area you could check out the latest horse vans and trailers. There was even a big display of newest Hippocenter that sells swimming treadmills and water therapy units for horses. They even had the newest portable washing machine called My Groom that is able to clean all horse equipment. Not just a winter blanket that a horse has been rolling in the mud with. But you can even throw in the harness and bridle with the bit and this machine will clean it right up and in many cases all you need is the cleaning soap and a little water. It was just amazing. And, for those of you that are hungry, and we all need some food after drinking all that champagne, then just stop by one of the many concession stands that sold hamburgers and fries or perhaps a two pound lobster, some colossal shrimp, oysters and clams for $100 per person. They had it all there.   Check out the photos as they can tell the story of what this major Expo was all about. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Grosbois, France – Growing up in New Jersey in the USA and getting into the harness racing industry, I was around when they broke ground and built exquisite training facilities at Showplace and Gaitway Farms. But they are not that exquisite when compared to Grosbois, just outside of Paris, France. In fact, there may not be another harness racing training facility in world that could be compared to Grosbois. Upon entering the grounds, the entrance way features wrought-iron 20-foot gates attached to 12-foot walls that encompass the entire facility, which is just over 1,000 acres in size. In the far distance you can see a huge Manor House and green grass and dirt roads, also paths that lead to wooded areas with harness racing trotters galore jogging about. We were greeted at the horsemen’s entrance by Damien Beau, who is with the International Department of LeTROT, that oversees all of trotting in France. He was our guide for the private tour. We first went to the home of renowned Swedish and French trainer Anders Lindqvst, who was so kind to show us his home, his office, and his attached courtyard with maybe 40 stalls filled with trotters. There are no pacers in Europe except for Ireland and England. Linqvist first became interested in harness racing at the age of 14. “I wanted to be a professional soccer player,” Linqvist said. “But someone took me on a jog with a horse and I really liked that. My father wanted me in the family business,” Lindqvist added. “but after I worked with the horses a little, I trained a fast mile and that feeling convinced me to go into harness racing. “My first good horse I got I was age 22,” Lindqvist recalled. “And it was at that point that I said goodbye to working for my father part-time and took up harness racing full time. This horse, which gave me many wins, was at the time, sadly named Mr. Nixon. But despite his name he was my foundation horse. Mr. Nixon raced for me 431 times. That is the all-time record still in Sweden. “Then I was once racing in the Elitloppet in 1985,” Lindqvist said. “And after the race with Viroid (finished 5th) I was contacted by Mr. Lew Barash in the USA, asking me to come and race in the International Trot at Roosevelt Raceway and then I was hooked on international racing. “From there I was on my own for ten years,” Lindqvist explained. Until the great trainer/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois asked me to work for him in France. It was like being invited to be part of the Dream Team in basketball and I have been here ever since.” Lindqvist has driven in 19 countries, even twice in Russia. “When I won my first race in Russia,” Lindqvist said. “I got towards the winner’s enclosure, they stopped me and said they had to take my whip away. This was some security people and I did not understand why. Then I saw that the trophy was going to be presented to me by President Valdimir Putin and realized security would not let anyone get near him with a whip. That was something very special in my life.” Anders home has four bedrooms in addition to the attached 40 horse stalls and he said he pays around $8,000 per month rent for everything. That might seem a lot, but he also rents his spare bedrooms and most of his stalls to other trainers for their horses. He said it is like that throughout Grosbois, although some of the beautiful homes and barn areas are leased by horse owners, who turn around and rent or trade rooms/stalls for trainers and grooms to take care of their horses. Lindqvist also has a coffee vending machine in his office. Why one might ask and Anders jokingly said because during the winter season he has so many visitors he gives away around 4,000 cups of coffee. There are over five miles of just jogging tracks at Grosbois. It also has two tracks that horses can fast work on, a five-eighths mile track and a 15th/16th mile track, where horses can qualify to race at nearby Vincennes Racetrack. They also have an equine hospital on the grounds that is used by some 15 veterinarians. That many vets are needed for the 1,500 racehorses that call Grosbois home throughout the winter season. There are also numerous blacksmith shops on the grounds. At Grosbois, there are about 60 people that work in track maintenance to keep the large grounds clean and the track surfaces in prime shape. They use three different materials that are used on the jogging tracks and horseman use certain courses depending if they want a deep cushion, harder or softer surfaces for the horse’s hooves. You will also see many trotters being ridden at Grosbois as in France they have many trotting races under saddle. This past weekend the richest monte race (monte means under saddle) in the world took place at the Vincennes track with 15 horses racing for a purse of 650,000 euros. There is also a very nice horseman’s cafeteria and a party room on the grounds, tennis courts and soccer fields. The jogging trails also cut through the massive wooded area of Grosbois where people jogging horses have come across wild boar, reindeer, foxes and many birds of prey. The entire area was purchased and developed into the training facility in 1962 and continues to grow. It is 11 miles from the outskirts of Paris and only six miles away from the Vincennes Racetrack. And what if the weather is raining but you still need to work your horse. Then you just head over to the covered training track or perhaps lunge-line your horse at the indoor arena. It’s all at Grosbois. Coming up on Thursday, it’s back to Grosbois we go, this time to visit the special Manor House that is home to the French Trotting Museum and more. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Paris, France – Not a lot of people can really say in Paris that they know nothing about the Prix d’Amerique race this Sunday at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes. It’s on nearly every major street pole intersection throughout this wonderful city. Big, bold and beautiful, a harness racing horse draped in the colors of the American flag. Every year the Prix d’Amerique is the richest race in the world for old trotters, only this year the prestigious event is even bigger as it is the 100th anniversary of this spectacular day of racing. The Grand Prix d’Amerique was created to pay homage to the Americans for the help which they gave to France during the First World War. And every year the French go all out in this special day as a tribute to America. The race card will have 11 races, most of them held in early on. Then it’s parade time with perhaps the greatest display of tribute to America taking place on the track. The drivers are brought in on Harley-Davidson antique motorcycles, stilt-walkers dressed in the Stars and Stripes, the prestigious French Lancers Brigade on horseback and much more will take place. And then there is the actual Prix d’Amerique race. There will be 18 of the world’s top older trotters and sadly no representation from North America this year. These horses will go from a standing start and race 2,700 meters (1.67 miles), up and down a slight hill on the course at breakneck speeds. And, they will be racing for total prize money of 900,000€ euros ($1 million dollars US depending on exchange rate). On the betting side, around $40 million euros ($44.3 million US) will be wagered on Sunday. There will be 40,000 plus people coming out to the racetrack to view the race and all the special festivities that day and approximately 36 countries will broadcast the race on four different continents. It’s a big deal to say the least. And what about the horses that have entered the race. The return winner from last year, Belina Josselyn, is back. She is one of only a handful of mares who will be taking on their male counterparts in the Prix d’Amerique. Jean-Michel Bazire trains and drives Belina Josselyn, who comes into the race off a very impressive triumph two weeks ago in the Grand Prix of Belgium at Paris-Vincennes. The nine-year-old mare by Love You is a career winner of 2,335,470€. Other world class champion trotters in the race include two-time Prix d’Amerique winner, Bold Eagle, who back in October 2019 traveled to Canada and won the Breeders Crown at Mohawk Park; 3.1 million euro winner Propulsion is shipping in from Sweden; 2018 Elitloppet winner Ringostarr Treb will be in the race for trainer Jerry Riordan, Face Time Bourbon, Beillie de Montford and a host of other top flight trotters will be in the race. Also, this week Harnesslink will be reporting from the world class training facility, Grosbois, plus coverage of the horse sale Thursday and Friday, the Standardbred Expo Friday and the superb race cards this Saturday and Sunday at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes. It’s been sunny and around 40 in Paris as we toured the wonderful city a bit after landing this morning. There is a possible forecast of rain showers on Sunday and it is hopeful that will change later this week. Our hotel, the Pullman in Bercy Centre, is sold out this weekend as are other hotels in the area as the hype begins to build for the big race day on Sunday. Here are the leading 25 horses for the Prix d'Amerique. This number will get reduced to 18, By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Delray Beach, FL - A great unofficial opening day was had by all who attended the Saturday morning On The Deck viewing of two and three-year-old trotters and pacers in training at Sunshine Meadows Equestrian Village.   More than 50 people came out to On The Deck with some bringing their own lawn chairs to sit under the big tree at the finish wire and watch the training sessions. It was a sunny morning with a warm breeze at around 84 degrees.   For those with an appetite, there were bagels and flagels and cream cheese, butter, coffee and fruit salad, all compliments of Myron and Stephanie Bell.   And for those with a eye for horseflesh marveled as they saw Maverick out on the track. The $1.1 million Father Patrick yearling, now a magnificent looking two-year-old, continues to impress everyone that sees him. He is being trained by Tony Alagna. There was also talk about how Maverick's full brother, Greenshoe, who was voted Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt of the Year by the U.S. Harness Writers Association that was announced last night and has a great chance to be named Trotter of the Year.   Hall of Famer Jimmy Takter was out on the racetrack jogging some of the two-year-old's. Prominent local horseman Tom Merriman, talked about how he has just retired from training horse after 60 plus years. Tom is one of the few remaining horsemen who was at Pompano Park when it first opened in 1964.   Missing from the lineup of regulars was Murray Brown. Jeffrey Bell said that the 2020 Roster Book will be back from the printers this week, so they will be available come Saturday. Also there was Mike Saunders, who was a New York Knicks trainer for 25 years.   Other that were at On The Deck included Ted Smith, Robert Goldstein, Bob Marks, Jerry Glance, Ron Gurfein, Christina Takter, Eric and Lisa Cherry, Vicki Howard, Nick Salvi, Steve Oldford, Joe Pennacchio, and many others.   by Steve Wolf, for On The Deck  

Former world champion and Harness Horse of the Year (2015), Wiggle It Jiggleit, returned to the winner's circle after over a three-year absense due to injuries. Driven by Montrell Teague, victory came in his third start back to the races, capturing the 12th race $30,000 Invitational Pace at Dover Downs in Dover, Delaware. It was back on October 15, 2016 when Wiggle It Jiggleit last won at harness racing. It was the $250,000 Invitational Pace at Yonkers Raceway. On this Thursday evening with regular driver Montrell Teague back in the sulky, Wiggle It Jiggleit started from post two in the eight-horse field. For Teague, it was his return to the races after suffering a broken wrist over two months ago and it was also his 29th birthday Thursday. The race started with 38-1 long shot, Larry Karr (Mike Cole) leaving like a rocket from the far outside post 8 and took command of the field with Wiggle It Jiggleit settling into second place. They paced by the opening quarter mile in :27. Slick Tony (Ross Wolfenden) was stuck on the outside in seventh and started to move up as the field past the half mile marker in :55.3. Then, as Larry Karr was reaching the three-quarters, Teague pulled the pocket with Wiggle It Jittleit and came after the race leader as they past the three-quarters in 1:23.3. Wiggle It Jiggleit went right by Larry Karr and with Slick Tony on his back, cleared to a two-length lead at the top of the stretch and held command on the field through the wire, winning by one and one-half lengths in 1:51. Slick Tony was second with Bo Mach (Corey Callahan) third.   Trained by Clyde Francis for owners George Teague, Jr. and the Teague Racing Partnership, it was the first start of the yeawr for the eight-year-old gelded son of Mr Wiggle. Wiggle It Jiggleit has lifetime earnings of $3.9 million. His lifetime record is 1:47.2. Wiggle It Jiggleit paid $7.60 to win. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Wiggle It Jiggleit had another tough mile in his harness racing comeback trail, finishing sixth in the $30,000 Open Handicap Pace Thursday at Dover Downs. The 12th race feature was won by New Zealander Billy Badger N in an upset score. Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Jim Morand were able to get to the lead by the opening quarter mile in :26 over Bo Mach (Corey Callahan). Stuck on the outside from the start was the race favorite, Dealt A Winner (George Napolitano, Jr.), who started coming after Wiggle It Jiggleit with Larry Karr (Mike Cole) second-over. Then in the backstretch, Cole came three-wide with Larry Karr as Quality Bud (Victor Kirby) followed their cover and Larry Karr cleared to challenge Wiggle It Jiggleit at the three-quarters in 1:21.4. Wiggle It Jiggleit began to fade, Larry Karr took the lead and there was Billy Badger N tipping three-wide and coming on. Quality Bud overtook Larry Karr in the stretch but could not hold off Billy Badger N, who won by a slim nose over Quality Bud with Larry Karr third. The time of the mile was 1:50.   It was a lifetime mark for New Zealand import Billy Badger N, a six-year-old gelding by Art Major, who is not only driven by but is also owned by Dexter Dunn. He is trained by Nifty Norman and paid $23.00 to win. Wakizashi Hanover was reunited with trainer Jim King, Jr and driver Tim Tetrick as they captured the fourth race $15,000 pace in a photo finish. The seven-year-old gelded son of Dragon Again had been “off-the-shelf” for six months and then qualified and raced in of all place, Truro Raceway in Nova Scotia, Canada (His owners live there). He won his first start and then was off for five months until returning to the King Stable. Wakizashi Hanover was given a perfect drive by Tetrick. As Bro Hanover (Dexter Dunn) cut the mile, Lyons King (Mike Cole) had the pocket seat through early fractions of :26.4 and :55.1. Then the action heated up as Abner The Great (George Napolitano, Jr.) came first-up with Wakizashi Hanover second-over past the three-quarters in 1:23.4. On the final turn Wakizashi Hanover tipped three-wide and then it was a five-horse dash to the wire with Wakizashi Hanover winning by a nose over Lyons King with 99-1 long shot Quick Shot (Jonathan Roberts) photo bombing the photo finish for show. The fifth place horse was a half length off the winner.   Undefeated in two starts in 2019, Wakizashi Hanover is owned by Bruce Kennedy, Percy Bonnell, Wayne Burley and Jennifer Weeks, all of Nova Scotia. He paid $8.20 to win. Slick Tony ($4.80) swept three-wide on the backstretch for driver Dexter Dunn, collared pacesetter Late Mail N (George Napolitano, Jr.) and then held off a late charge by Little Ben (Tim Tetrick) by a nose to win the $27,500 Blue Hen Open Pace.   It was the 16th win this year for the four-year-old son of No Spin Zone. He covered the one-mile race in 1:50.3 for owner and trainer George Leager of Sudlersville, MD. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Auckland, NZ - John Curtin, founder and CEO of Harnesslink has announced that a team of harness racing journalists from North America and Europe will be in Paris, France the last week of January, 2020, to provide coverage of the prestigious Prix d’Amerique trotting classic.  With a purse of 900,000€ ($1 million US), the Prix d’Amerique is one of the richest Standardbred races in the world and is held annually at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes. The race was first held in 1920 and it was developed as a tribute to America for its aid to France in World War I. Heading the Harnesslink team going to Paris is harness racing Hall of Fame Communicator, Steve Wolf. Wolf, who resides in Florida, has been Harnesslink’s Director of Operations for the past seven years and prior was the head of racing operations and publicity at Pompano Park and head of publicity at Freehold Raceway. “I have been fortunate in my career to have covered all the major harness races held in North America and also the Elitloppet in Sweden,” Wolf said. “But I have never covered the Prix d’Amerique in person and I think this will be one of the greatest weeks of my life. We have a top team assembled and promise to provide race fans around the world with full coverage of the events leading to and on Prix d’Amerique race day, January 26.” Providing the Social Media coverage will be the world-renowned Heather Vitale from Delaware.  Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, tweeting or any other social media platform, when you look up harness racing, there is Heather Vitale. Vitale will be covering the Prix d’Amerique for the first time and is over the top excited to be going to Paris. “When Steve Wolf called and asked if I would come to France and cover the Prix d’Amerique,” Vitale exclaimed. “I was in total shock. Then I asked him what the dates were and when he told me (and there were no conflicts), I said Yeah Baby, I’m going to Paris! “I have covered harness racing around the world,” Vitale said. “But this is Paris, the superb food, flowing champagne, the night life, the museums, the shopping….oh yes, and the great harness racing too. This won’t be work for me.” Plans call for trips to the world-renowned training center, Grosbois, just outside of Paris, where most of the horses racing in the Prix d’Amerique will be headquartered. Grosbois is also the home of the Trotting Museum in France. Coverage will also include Thursday and Friday evening at the Grand Prix Horse Auction and also, on Friday, the Standardbred Expo featuring trotting professionals, stud farms, equipment suppliers, associations and foreign trotting federations. Taking photographs for Team Harnesslink will be Scotland’s Sarah Thomas. Thomas, a consummate horsewoman, who first started out as a reporter for Harnesslink, will be covering all the events of the big weekend with her camera and video. This past year she won the World Trotting Conference Media Award for best Film/Video. “I have been to Vincennes twice,” Thomas said. “But never in a working capacity nor for the Prix d’Amerique. This will be very exciting and knowing both Steve Wolf and Heather Vitale, it will be a pleasure to be able to work with them again.” The final member of the Harnesslink Team lives right in Paris and is none other than renowned trainer Anders Lindqvist. The Swedish-born, French trainer has his stable at Grosbois Training Center. Linquest speaks fluent English, French and Swedish and will assist the Harnesslink Team with any translations needed as Wolf, Vitale and Thomas do not speak a word of French. “I first met Steve Wolf via Facebook and then at the Elitloppet in Sweden years ago and we became instant friends,” said Lindqvist. “I look forward to helping these young professionals to bring the Prix d’Amerique race coverage world-wide from France.” “The Prix d’Amerique is so prestigious,” Said Harnesslink’s John Curtin. “it really has no equal in the harness racing world and deserves the best coverage possible. Not only does the race draw over 40,000 race fans, but they wager on average, 31 million euros ($34.5 million US) on the afternoon program. Plus, there is all the pageantry and parades before the start of the race card. It really is a premier event with week-long activities.” Updates for the Team Harnesslink Prix d’Amerique 2020 coverage will be forthcoming. From Harnesslink Media

A lot of harness racing fans were glued to Dover Downs Thursday as their 12th race $25,000 Open Pace featured the once again return of 2015 Harness Horse of the Year, Wiggle It Jiggleit. Most fans would be very disappointed. As Bo Mach (Corey Callahan) and Larry Karr (Mike Cole) left out of the starting gait along with Wiggle It Jiggleit (Jim Morand in the bike as Montrell Teague was away) trying to leave some and then Morand snatched him up into fourth place. Larry Karr took the lead away from Bo Mach by the opening quarter mile in :26.4. Then they raced to the half mile in :55.3 and just as you would think that Morand would come first-over with Wiggle It Jiggleit, they sat in as Rock Lights (George Napolitano, Jr.) came first-over with Billy Badger N (Dexter Dunn) second-over. As they raced down the backstretch it looked as if Wiggle It Jiggleit almost went off-stride as they backed to the back of the pack. Meanwhile, Larry Karr was strong on the lead with Bo Mach in the pocket at the three-quarters in 1:23.4. Off the final turn, Callahan moved to the outside with Bo Mach and gunned down Larry Karr coming to the wire, winning by a long neck in 1:51.1. Billy Badger N was third.   As for Wiggle It Jiggleit, he finished seventh, race timed in 1:52.3. Sent off at odds of 38-1, Bo Mach scored a lifetime mark and his eighth win of the year. The four-year-old gelding by Mach Three is trained by Dylan Davis and owned by Howard Taylor and Thomas Lazzaro. He paid $79.00 to win. In the 10th race $27,500 Blue Hen Open Handicap, Late Mail N and driver George Napolitano, Jr. sat the pocket trip as Sicily (Victor Kirby) cut fractions of :26.2, :55.3 and 1:23 to the three-quarters. Race favorite, Slick Tony (Dexter Dunn) had come up first-over at the half but could not really gain ground on the leaders. Blazing Bobby Sox (Art Stafford, Jr.) was second-over and then fanned out three-wide on the final turn.   As soon as they could, Napolitano sent Late Mail N into the passing lane and in deep stretch collared Sicily and went on to win by a half-length in 1:50.4. Sicily was second with Slick Tony nosing out Blazing Bobby Sox for third place. It was a lifetime mark for Late Mail N. The six-year-old gelded son of Bettor’s Delight is trained by Michael Hall for the Claim To Fame Stable of Dagsboro, DE. Sent off at 28-1 odds, Late Mail N paid $59.20 to win. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

JK First Lady and driver Yannick GIngras used outside cover and came on in the stretch to best Rocknificent at the wire in the $411,000 Three Diamonds Final for two-year-old harness racing pacing fillies. The daughter of Western Ideal, the first foal from the Harness Horse of the Year mare, JK She's A Lady, who also won this race in 2014, covered the one mile race in a lifetime best record of 1:49.2, which was also the track and stakes record. She is trained by Nancy Takter and owned and was bred by the 3 Brothers Stable of New York, NY. She paid $8.20 to win. Rocknificent was second with Lyons Sentinel third. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Always A Prince and driver Yannick Gingras stole the show in the $350,000 TVG Open Pace Final Saturday at the Meadowlands. Starting from post eight, Yannick sent the four-year-old gelding by Always A Virgin right to the front and never looked back. The duo held the field at bay and then pulled away in the stretch for a 1:48.2 triumph. He is trained by Tyler George and is owned by Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, Ohio. He paid $12.00 to win. Bettor's Wish was second with American History third. "It was the first time I ever drove him was tonight," said Yannick Gingras. "He was really nice to drive." by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

Papi Rob Hanover and driver Dave Miller posted their fifth straight harness racing win with a three and one-half length triumph in the $401,850 Governor's Cup Final for two-year-old pacing colts at the Meadowlands Saturday. The son of Somebeachsomewhere is trained by Brett Pelling and owned by David McDuffee of Delray Beach, FL. He paid $2.20 to win.  Father Nuno was second with Cattlewash third. "It was pretty easy tonight," said David Miller. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink  

1 to 16 of 817
1 2 3 4 5 Next »