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The 30/1 outsider Cristal River (7m Quaker Jet-Olga de la Greane) took the Friday evening Quinte+ Prix Gratia (purse 48,000€, 2700 meters) at Paris-Vincennes.   Francois Legadeuc teamed the Sebastien Guarato harness racing trainee that is owned by breeder Gerard Manzi. He scored for only the fourth time in 58 career starts but now has 218,630€ earned.   Race timed was 1.14.1kr. 13/1 Coumba Kuky (7f Matador de Vrie) took second for trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou and 9/1 Dimmosia (6f Phlegyas) was third for trainer Loris Garcia and pilot Matthieu Abrivard. 12/1 Baron du Gouthier and 3/2 favorite Calou Renardierre completed he exact order top five finishers and set off a 54,137.60€ payoff for the eight winning 2€ Q+ tickets.   6th April   The Q+ pool was 4,332,038€ and the total pools of all bets on this race exceeded 8,656,000€. The 14/1 outsider Coach Franbleu (7g Prince d’Espace-Olydra) was fast off the start for Yoann Lebourgeois, opened a 15 length advantage and gamely held off late challengers to win the 75,000€ purse Prix du Treport raced over 2700 meters.   Coach Franbleu         - LeTrot photo   The winner, owned and trained by Franck Leblanc, now has 12 career wins in 53 outings for 495,870€ earned. Race time was 1.12.2kr.   The 7/10 favorite Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici)rallied late along the pegs for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire to be second and third was 4.9/1 Tessy d’Ete (7f Ganymede) with Franck Nivard up. 60/1 Detroit Castelets and 22/1 Cantin de l’éclair completed the exact order top five and the Quinte+ payoff was 13,153.80€ for the 36 winning ticketholders.   The Q+ pool this day was 4,564,058€ and the total of all wagering pools on the race was 9,547,000€.   Earlier the Prix de Saintes (Gr.III, purse 70,000€, 2100 meters autostart, three year old fillies) went to 1.1/1 favorite Galilea Money (3f Bold Eagle-Uturn Money) reined by trainer Jean Michel Bazire for breeder/owner Yvan Bernard.   Galilea Money   - LeTrot photo   Race time was 1.14.8kr. The winner recorded her fourth career win in seven appearances, now for 87,960€ earned.   She was impressive with this last to first surge. 4.3/1 Gaia Olmendorf (3f Ready Cash) was a game second for Christophe Martens and breeder/owner Ecurie Olmendorf. 4/1 Gemme deBussett (3f Brillantissime) held third for pilot David Thomain   Thomas H. Hicks  

Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) rallied from a blocked position on the pegs early in the lane to score by half-length in the Gr. III Prix Angers Loire Metropole (purse 55,000€, 3100 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) at Hippodrome Angers.   Trainer/owner Jean Michel Bazire teamed the 1.12.8kr timed winner to his 43 rd career harness racing victory in 67 starts, now for 2,222,947€ earned.   He overcame a 50 meter handicap and got into striking position early before yielding to Bugsy Malone (8g Ready Cash-Night Captain) and getting blocked.   Marie Brigitte Anty bred the great champion that is accepted in the 2019 Elitloppet and today was the 2/5 favorite. The 50 meter handicapped Bugsy Malone, off at 5.4/1 odds, raced gamely to be second for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and driver Yoann Lebourgeois. 17/1 Beau de Grimoult (8g Pacifique Gede) took third for trainer/driver Franck Anne after a 25 meter penalty.   7.1/1 Archibald (9g Meaulnes du Corta) was fourth for Thomas Levesque and fifth went to 25 meter handicapped 33/1 outsider Blues des Landiers (8g Phlegyas) for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Dominique Cheradame.   Well-regarded Super Fe was eighth and Django Riff was ninth.   Replay   There was other interesting action this week in Europe. Tuesday at Paris-Vincennes Go Along (3f Ready Cash-Oxano de Chanterne) scored in the Prix Enif (47,000€ purse, 2700 meters, 10 starters) at 1.2/1 odds.   Go Along     ---LeTrot photo   The Philippe Allaire owned and trained filly was timed in 1.16.4kr with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard.   On Monday at Argentan three year olds contested the Prix Vesta (purse 21,000€ 2150 meters autostart, 12 starters) and 4/1 Guerande (3f Quaker Jet-Symphonie) scored for Yann Lorin, also the trainer for owner J.M. Lorin. 3.9/1 Gourgandine (3f Bold Eagle-Udine) was second for breeder/owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois, ahead of the 1.7/1 favorite Genialissime (3g Brillantissime)reined by Tony LeBeller.   Later in that program was the Prix Phebus (pure 27,000€, 2875 meters, 18 starters) that saw 6.1/1 Cadet Joyeux (7g Love You-Cadette) score timed in 1.14.6kr for David Thomain. Second was 10/1 Crazy Dream (7f Repeat Love-Daisy Chain) for trainer/driver Yves Boireau.   Cadet Joyeux            --PMU/LeTrot photo   This J.P. Dubois bred campaigner rallied from far back in the final bend.   Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Gran Premio Italia (purse 40,040€, 1660m autostart) at Bologna went to the impressive Ayrton Treb (3m Majestic Son-Letter Bomb Treb-Enjoy Lavec) with Andrea Farolfi aboard and timed in 1.12.5kr.   He defeated All Wise As (3f Varenne-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) with trainer Erick Bondo at the lines.   Third was Al Capone Stecca (3m Napoleon Bar-Ombretta Bar-Ganymede) with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro driving.   Other news during the week was the move of stallions. Algiers Hall has moved to Spain, Crazed to Finland and Flocki d’Urzy to Sweden, this one a young son of Ready Cash. Further it was announced that Ringostarr Treb will start in the April 27 th Olympiatravet at Aby and if he does well it could set up his defense of the Elitloppet trophy.   Algiers Hall in Spain Thomas H. Hicks  

Saturday’s Prix du Haras d’Haufor at Laval saw a good field battle over 2875 meters (distance handicap) for a purse of 33,000€.   Victory was earned by 1.14.3kr timed Boyokos Atout (8g Goetmals Wood-New York Jet) reined by trainer Franck Nivard to his 14 th career win now for life earnings of 207,700€. Fast closing second went to 25 meter handicapped Drole de Jet (6m Coktail Jet-Likely Jet) with Pierre Vercruysse the trainer/driver for Ecurie d’As. He was clocked in 1.13.7kr.   Third went to 25 meter penalized Elite du Ruel (5f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) with Franck Anne up for breeder/owner Annick Bezin. Delloro Vedaquais (6g Ready Cash-Spandelle), also 25 meter handicapped, was fourth the J.Ph. Monclin teaming for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire.   At Kincsem Park (Budapest) their Saturday featured Akkuratos DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) went to the 1.3/1 favorite Zeal di Girafalco (4m Igor Font-Inviata d’Italia-Varenne) with Veljko Mazsity the trainer/driver.   This was his first 2019 start and ninth career win in Hungary in 11 starts. The breeder was Russia based Elleca Society Agr. Finishing second was 27.9/1 and 20 meter handicapped Milady Amok (6f Scarlet Knight-Balett Amok-Defi d’Aunou with third to 13/1 Ujrazi! (6m Maximus Lindy-Gyarsukj!-Witsends Speedy.   Zeal di Girifalco                                 -Kincsem Park   Earlier on the program the 1.3/1 favorite Alfa Boy (3m Racino-Chippychip GT) won the Fenyves DIJ clocked in 1.18.9kr. Trainer Csaba Lakatos was the reinsman. Two interesting trotters race in a qualifying event before the main card with victory to 1.19.4kr timed Underpaid Hanover (10m Revenue-Up Front Lisa-Lindy Lane) and Csaba Lakatos over Arum Ville (3g Calypso Capar-Izaville-Endless Sands) with trainer Imre Fazekas aboard.   Arum Ville was a good two year old and is owned by NFL Oakland Raiders fans under the banner Silver and Black Racing.   Top quality racing also took place Saturday in the V75 card at Boden (SWE).   The headliner was the C.Th. Ericcsons Memorial (400,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart), a Gr. I event leading to the Olympiatravet.   This race went to 1.11.6kr timed and 3.5/1 odds Milligan’s School (6m Yankee Glide-Tori Ann-SJs Photo) reined by Ulf Eriksson for trainer/owner Stefan Melander. The winner was bred in the USA by Richard and Joyce McClelland of Ohio, and he recorded victory number 15 in 68 starts now for 8,676,994SEK earned. 6/1 Handsome Brad (6m Brad de Veleuve) was second for pilot Carl Johan Jepson, ahead of 25/1 Speedy Foxy Vicane (10f Chouchou des Dames) handed by Kim Eriksson.   The Solvalla undercard had five raced with 300,000SEK first money and another five for 250,000SEK first prize.   The winners of these included the following: V75 Silver 300,000SEK – Velvet Gio (5g Nad Al Sheba) 1.11.6kr over 2140 meters autostart Margaretas three year old males 300,000SEK – Fort Knox (3m Muscle Hill) 1.14.6kr over 2140m autostart Margaretas three year old fillies 300,000SEK – Zolly (3f Zola Boko) – 1.14.9kr over 2140m autostart Margaretas four year old females 300,000SEK – Racing Brooda (4f Prodigious) – 1.14.7kr over 2140m autostart Margaretas four year old males 300,000SEK – Night Brodde (4m Up And Quick) – 1.14kr over 2140m autostart Mares Elite 250,000SEK – Double Exposure (6f Donato Hanover) – 1.12.4kr over 1640m autostart Klass II Final 250,000SEK – Magic Cash (4g Ready Cash) – 1.12.4kr over 2140m autostart STL Bronze 250,000SEK – Perfect Dynamite (6g So Perfect) – 1.12.5kr over 2140m autostart Diamantstoet Final 250,000SEK – Odessa Celeber (5f Cantab Hall) – 1.13.8kr over 2140m voltstart (plus 20m handicap) Klass I Final 250,000SEK – Vlad Del Ronco (5m Iulius del Ronco) – 1.12.9kr over 2140m autostart   Thomas H. Hicks

Bulle de Laumont (8f Hand du Vivier-Ozo des Laumont) rallied to win today’s Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf second leg, held at Marseille Borely. The Gr. III harness racing contest was raced over 3,000 meters distance handicap by 16 starters. The 9/1 odds winner was piloted by Stephane Cingland, also his trainer, as Bulle won for the 19 th time in a 53 race career, now for 345,080€ in life earnings. Joseine Pigace bred the winner that overcame a 25 meter handicap to defeat 22/1 Bachor (8m Prodigious-Princesse Victoire) reined by trainer Emmanuel Allard. 70/1 Allegro Nonantais (9g Otello Pierji) was third, ahead of 14/1 Viking d’Hermes, handicapped 25 meters, and 17/1 Cross Dairpet to round out the top five. This race was the Quinte+ race of the day and the exact order payoff was 359,378€ to the one holder of a winning 2€ ticket. The Q+ pool this day was 3,404,149€ and total of all wagering pools on the Q+ race was 7,051,000€.   Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s Enghien harness racing feature was the Prix du Pont d’Iena (purse 63,000€, 2875 meters, 12 European starters). Italy’s Victory Ferm (5m Nad Al Sheba-Gavina di Casei) scored at 3.2/1 odds for driver Andrea Guzzinati, trainer Mauro Baroncini and owner M.A. Passoni.   Victor Ferm recorded his second win in nine starts in France and now has career earnings of 182,788€. 8.7/1 odds Broadwell (5m Conway Hall- Boria) took second with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Erwin Bot and owner Ecurie Gerrits Recycling BV. 1.6/1 favorite Alcoy (5m Ready Cash-Divann) took third for pilot Christophe Martens, trainer Victor Martens and Ceke Farm BVBA of Belgium.   At Caen a group of lightly raced three year olds contested the Prix de Ianville (purse 18,000€, 2200 meters autostart, 12 starters). The 9/10 favorite Gold Eagle (3m Bold Eagle-No Limit Jet) scored timed in 1.15.5kr with Eric Raffin aboard. The winner is unbeaten in two outings for trainer Sebastien Guarato, owner Pierre Pilarski and was bred by Serge Bernereau.   Gold Eagle    - LeTrot photo   The 2.1/1 odds Gitano (3m Tucson-Que d’Ojeille) was second for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin that had won his only previous start. Third was 11/1 Give Me Five (3g Brillantissime-A New Bill) that Anthony Barrier teamed for breeder/owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, in his first career start.   Tomorrow the trots moves to Marseille Borely and that venue hosts the Grand National du Trot Paris- Turf (Gr. III, purse 85,000€, 3000 meters distance handicap). This is the GNT second leg.   Thomas H. Hicks  

Pantera del Pino (10f Turbo Sund-Desire’ del Pino-Sugarcane Hanover) too Sunday’s featured Gran Premio Giorgio Jeghar (purse 40,040€, 1660 meters autostart) at Trieste timed in 1.13.4kr and reined by Rene Legati.   The veteran harness racing mare has 32 wins in 176 starts for 213,372€ in career earnings. Peace Of Mind (10f Uronometro-Erica d’Alfa-Sugarcane Hanover) was a game second with Alessandro Gocciadoro the pilot. Venanzo Jet (5m Gruccione Jet-Liza-Indro Park) was third ahead of Very Joy (5m Napoleon Bar- Nieves Joy-Naglo).     Upcoming on March 31 at Bologna is the Gr. III G.P. Italia that features a goof field of three year olds (shown below):     Some of these most recently battled at Firenze on March 17 th in the Pr. Etroria Mem Ran d’Stefano (purse 40,040€, 1600 meters autostart). In that contest pacesetter Ayrton Treb (3m Majestic Son-Letter Bomb Treb-Enjoy Lavec) scored timed in 1.13.8kr for teamster Andrea Farolfi.   He will start in the GP Italia along with second finishing Aida Francis (3f Zola Boko-Raya Bi-Self Possessed) and third placed A Sexygirl Par (3f Varenne-Fight For Lux-Toss Out). Aladin Effe (3m Maharajah-Imperfection Effe-Varenne) was fourth. This pack was within a length at the line.     Thomas H. Hicks  

March 23, 2019 - Today Vincennes, the Prix Jean Cabrol (purse 64,000€, 2700 meters, 12 European starters), although not a groupe level race, brought out some top-level harness racing stars. Victory went to the 2.7/1 second choice Chica de Joudes (7f Jag de Bellouet-Queschua Love) with owner/trainer Alain Laurent at the lines.  The winner recorded his 11th career victory in 38 starts now for 423,920€ earned. Race time was 1.12.7kr off slow fractions (the leader was at the 1000 meters to go post in 1.14.2kr). 75/1 Cicero Noa (7g Mandarino Blue-Ma Belle Reine) rallied to get second for Christophe Martens and breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. He nipped the 3/5 favorite Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) by a nose for second, this one driven by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer J-M Bazire and in the death around the final bend and into the lane. He could not close on the winner. Looking Superb was second in the Prix d’Amerique after winning the Prix Tenor de Baune to earn an Amerique starting spot. Fourth today was 15/1 Titty Jepson (7f Varenne-Lama di Costa) with Matthieu Abrivard aboard. The J-M Bazire teamed Dreambreaker was 10th and off at 20/1 odds. Chica de Joudes The Prix Robert Auvray (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2850 meters, 12 starters) brought out top flight five year olds and 6.1/1 Excellent (5m Real de Lou-Udine d’Odyssee) scored timed in 1.12.5kr for Alexandre Abrivard. L.Cl. Abrivard bred, trains and owns the winner that now has six career wins in 28 appearances for 232,860€ earned. The 3/2 favorite Enino du Pommereux (5m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) was second, handled by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. 41/1 outsider Extra Light (5f Village Mystic) was third for J.Ph. Monclin and trainer Stephane Meunier. 4.7/1 Eridan (5m Ready Cash) was fourth for David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato and fifth was 12/1 Eclipse Danica (5f Hasting) driven by Bryan Coppens for trainer Pierre Vercruysse. Excellent The Prix de Gueugnon (purse 56,000€, 2700 meters, 11 European starters) showcased the return to France of today’s 2/1 favorite City Guide (4m Love You-Crys Dream) handled by Robin Bakker. Erwin Bot trains the winner for Gerrits Recycling BVBA. City Guide has won now five straight in 2019 and today was his third win in France in seven starts. His career earnings reached 92,430€. Race time was 1.14.9kr off slow fractions (1.17.8kr at the 1500 to go mark; 1.17.3kr at the 1000 and 1.16.1kr with 500 meters remaining) as City Guide that ground his way to the front past the grandstand, was well rated on the front by Bakker and powered away in the lane. City Guide was impressive and has improved significantly in recent months. Zakk Wise (4m Equinox Bi-Sorority Wise) took second for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. 6.8/1 Falco d’Heripre (4m Goetmals Wood) was third ahead of 37/1 Great Gatsby As (4m Abano As) that Bot also trains, this one owned by L.G. Gerrits. City Guide   Daida de Vandel Wins Gr. II Prix Louis Forcinal at Vincennes; Cleangame Wins Again Groupe level action returned to Vincennes this day beginning with the Prix Louis Forcinal (Gr. II monte, 100,000€ purse, 2700 meters, nine starters). Victory went to 9/1 Daida de Vandel (6f Real de Lou-Gallia de Vandel) impressively, with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and owner Charles Germain. She won for the eighth time in 35 career starts now for 307,880€ earned. Race time was 1.13.3kr as speed increased throughout the race (1.15.9at 1500 meters remaining; 1.15kr at the 1000; 1.14kr with 500 meters to go). The 2/5 favorite Dexter Fromentro (6m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) held second in a photo with Camille Levesque up for trainer Thomas and owner Pierre Levesque. Third was 4.3/1 Evangelina Blue (5f Speedy Blue-Happy Blue) with Mathieu Mottier the jockey for trainer/owner J.Ph. Mary. Daida de Vandel The Quinte+ Prix du Bos de Vincennes (Gr. III, 90,000€, 2850 meters, 13 starters) saw the J-M Bazire entry (two of the three) at the line together timed in 1.12.1kr. The 2/5 favorite Cleangame (7g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) was up in the final stride, after making a three wide move from sixth in the final turn, for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and owner Ecurie J-M Rancoule for his 23rd victory in 37 career starts, now for 757,970€ in life earnings. 8.8/1 Ble du Gers (8g Quinoa du Gers-Moore) was a game second after making the pace with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Bazire and owner Rancoule. 22/1 Anzi des Liards (9g Look de Star-Nausccaa du Sud) took third for Romain Derieux and trainer David Bekaert. 11/1 Tessy d’Ete and 21/1 Bel Avis completed the top five finishers, the latter also a Bazire trainee that Nicolas Bazire teamed for New Blue 1 LLC of the USA. There were 3087 winning Q+ exact order tickets that paid 423.60€ for the 2€ wager. The Q+ pool was 4,621,691€nd the total of the race pools (all wagers including Q+) was 9,158,000€. Cleangame (outside)   Costa Haufor Wins Q+ Prix Maia at Vincennes Costa Haufor (7f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) took Friday evening’s Paris-Vincennes featured Quinte+ Prix Maia (purse 48,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap) at 9/2 odds, with Charles J. Bigeon driving. This Christian Bigeon bred and owned trainee scored his eighth victory in 35 career starts now for 226,990€ earned. Race time was 1.12.9kr as the winner overcame a 25 meter handicap. 9/1 Bambrina Fortuna (8f Buvetier d’Aunou-Jina Fortuna) was second for J-M Bazire and owner/trainer Pierre Alain Rynwalt-Boulard. Third went to 25 meter penalized and 4.6/1 Comtesse du Clos with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard. Croisette and Carina du Porhoet completed the WQ+ exact order top five that paid 32,017€ to the 18 winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool this day was 3,710,412€ and the total of all Q+ race pools was 7,287,000€. Costa Haufor Today the ATG V75 action was in Norway at Momarken where the V75 Gold (200,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to 20.6/1 Cokstile (6m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) reined by Lars Anvar Kolle for trainer Jan Kristian Waaler, timed in 1.11kr. The 6.4/1 Donatomite (7g Donato Hanover-Malvictorian-Malabar Man) was second for Frode Hamre and third was 44.7/1 The Last Ticket (8m Thai Tanic). Pastor Bob and Lionel finished fourth and fifth. Thomas H. Hicks

March 21, 2019 - The 1.3/1 favorite DC (5f Great Challenger-Quite A Beauty) took Thursday’s Grand Prix d’Ardeuil AOC Buzet (purse 32,000€, 2625 meters, 15 European starters) at Agen la Garenne. This race was the day’s Quinte+ event and the 1.13.9kr timed victory by CD, reined by Nicolas Bazire for owner/trainer J-M Bazire, was his first in France and increased his life earnings to 113,097€. 6.1/1 Massive Attach (6m Pine Chip-Ibis SE) was second for trainer/driver Olivier Raffin. Ahead of third finishing 15/1 Dauphin du Lot (6g Laetenter Diem) with trainer B. Muel aboard. 9.1/1 Ulberto (8m Broadway Hall-Depuis Blue) and 50.8/1 Damour Jiel (6m Rombaldi) comoleted the top five, setting up a 8,143.20€ payoff for a 2€ ticket. There were 94 winning tickets and the Q+ pool reached 3,120.578€. The total of all pool of this Q+ race was 6,354,000€. CD On the same card was the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri (purse 38,000, 2625 meters, 12 European starters) with the 1.13.3kr timed victory earned by 3.3/1 Cap de Narmont (7m Islero de Bellouet-Sissi de Narmont) with Denis Brossard driving, to his 13th career win in 58 appearances. 52.5/1 Casting de Chenu  for Pierre Pellerot and 69.9/1 Byron du Klau with Olivier Raffin up, completed the top three finishers. Cap de Narmont Say Wolvega this day their featured event was the 10,000€ purse Championnat d’Hivier Finale. Raced over 2600 meters autostart by nine starters, the victory went to 16.6/1 Dream Gibus (6g Love You-Qualite Gibus) reined by trainer Mme. Anne Lahmann for owner Drafsport Lehmann. The 2.2/1 second favorite Ditto Quick (6g Cezio Josselyn) was second for owner/driver Sven Hoste and third was 8.3/1 Dillinger Gentil (6g Kiwi) for Micha Brower.  The race favorite, 3/5 odds Brio de Janeiro, was a dq. Dream Gibus Thomas H. Hicks

Aero King (9g Hooper) took Tuesday’s Enghien featured Prix Bernard Simonard (monte, apprentice jockeys, 58,000€ purse, 2875 meters, 11 starters) clocked in 1.13kr and ridden by Maxime Tijou.   Off at 4.4/1 odds, Aero King won for the 10th time in 85 starts, now for 437,270€ earned. Mme. Virginie Moquet trains the winner. 3.6/1 Delcieux de Cebe (6g Gazouillis) was second with Mlle.   Oceane Briand aboard for trainer Franck Leblanc, and 2.8/1 Carla du Chatelet with third with Maxime Gilbert in the irons for trainer Sebastien Guarato.   On the same card lightly raced three year olds contested the Prix du Pont Saint-Michel (purse 41,000€, 2875 meters, eight starters) with victory to the 9/10 favorite Great Zeus (3f Niky-Tine de Villeneuve) handled by Eric Raffin.   Gregory Thorel trains the 1/19kr clocked winner that scored for the second time in three career starts. 7/1 Gaston du Roc (3m Quirky Jet) was close second for Patrice Toutain and 4/1 Great Father (3m Opus Viervil) rallied for third with Nicolas Roussel up.   Great Zeus                   - LeTrot photo   At Mons Ghlin this day was the featured Prix Shanghai (7,200€ purse, 2300 meters autostart, nine International starters). 17.2/1 outsider Ultimate du Rib (11g Dahir de Prelong-Kara Pelois) scored timed in 1.14.9kr, his 16 th career victory in 128 starts now for 551,352€ earned.   Gert Sucaet teamed the trainee of Christophe De Groote. 4.1/1 Truman Dairpet (12g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) took second for Piet Van Pollaert and third was the 5/10 favorite Goofy Greenwood (6g Russel November-Chatooga River) with trainer H.W. Langeweg Jr. at the lines. Ustang Ludois, Buzz Mearas and Banker Transs R followed the top three home in this good field.   Ultimate du Rib       -LeTrot photo   Later in that card the Prix Melbourne (6,000€, 2300 meters autostart, eight starters) saw 2.7/1 Elencio (5m Love You-Olencia) score, timed in 1.14.8kr for pilot Joseph Verbeeck and breeder/owner/trainer Alphons Vanberghen.   Racing also was held this day at Hyeres with the feature race being the Prix du Restaurant “le Porquerollais” (purse 37,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap).   12.2/1 odds Avocat des Loyeau (9g Meaulnes du Corta) was victorious for owner/trainer/driver Laurent Freneau timed in 1.14.6kr.   This winner recorded his 12 th career win now for 182,890€ earned. 40.2/1 Venezia de Mai was second for Anthony Laignon, overcoming a 25 meter handicap, and 10.4/1 Bichon del Green was third.   The 1.9/1 Colonel Bond was fourth, he too 25 meter handicapped, as was 1.8/1 Auch that finished sixth.   Avocat des Loyaux   Note that the great French gelding Aubrion du Gers has received and accepted an invitation to the 2019 Elitloppet. Trainer Jean Michel Bazire announced the acceptance and that he is a double winner of the event. It is not known whether Bazire will travel to Sweden to drive his champion that has been driven by another double Elitloppet winner Joseph Verbeeck in other ventures outside of France. Readly Express, Propulsion and Dijon were previously invited to the 2019 Elitloppet.     It was also rumored that Bjorn Goop could drive Bold Eagle in his anticipated race at Enghien in the Prix l’Atlantique, that is scheduled for April 20.   This is Enghien’s only Gr. I event and it carries a purse of 170,000€ (2150 meters autostart is the distance).   Bold Eagle won the 2017-2018 editions of the race that has historically drawn the best trotteurs then racing in Europe. Winners since 2004 are shown below.         Thomas H. Hicks

Aileron (7g Scarlet Knight-Quacelle-Jackpot de Relais) took today’s featured Janos Brody Memorial (purse 1,500,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap, 12 entrants with one scratch) timed in 1.16.1kr.   The recent harness racing import from France (last start at Vincennes February 21) was reined by Imre Fazekas for trainer Jozsef Rutkai for owner Prolongo. Aileron, off at 2.2/1 odds, overcame a 20 meter penalty, quickly caught his rivals and raced in the death seat before moving to the front entering the final turn from which he moved to an eventual three length score.   The 20 meter handicapped and 11.4/1 Victory Knick (7g Cantab Hall-Lapponia Knick-Lindy’s Crown) rallied late for second with Joze Sagaj aboard for trainer Emil Csordas.   Third was 2/1 Timoteo (7m Abano As-Ghirlanda As-Diamond Way) reined by Veljko Mazsity up. Milliondollar Lux and game pacesetter Sanger Ms took the fourth and fifth purse checks.   Unfortunately this classic race resulted in fines and suspensions for irregular whipping and failure to comply with post parade instructions.   The winner was ordered to inspection for doping.   There were two interesting races on the undercard. The Koppany DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) went to 1.6/1 favorite Urzulina (6f Maximus Lindy-Cicciolina Fling-Supergill) from post one timed in 1.20.6kr with Csaba Lakatos up. Kabala Menes Kft bred this winner.   Urzulina         -Kincsem Park photo   On a sad note, the exceptional Supergill (1985 by Super Bowl-Winky’s Gill-Bonefish) died this week in Italy at age 34. He was a US$500,000 yearling in 1986 and stood at stud for six years at Castleton Farm before export to Italy. Supergill (3, 1:53.3; US$664,194), an eight time winner in 22 starts at age two and three (at two, winner of Peter Haughton Memorial, second in E H Harriman Challenge Cup; at three, second in Breeders' Crown, Stanley Dancer Trot, third in World Trotting Derby), was a sire titan.   He sired sons who also were successful in the breeding barn, like Malabar Man, Toss Out, the sire of Robert Bi, and Current Cast, but also the world record filly Giant Diablo, dam of D’One.   Supergill is probably one of the best broodmare sires in recent years, with horses like Mosaique Face, Blur, Civil Action, Corleone Kosmos, More Chips, Look MP, Jalopy (dam of Panne de Moteur), Egon Lavec, Tycoon Conway Hall, Ravenna, Occhione Jet, First Lavec, and Couch Doctor.   Supergill at his Italian Home Stud Allevamenti Toniatti   Earlier in the Ali DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 2400 meters autostart) saw 4.9/1 Iago d’Amore (3m Mago d’Amore-Indyran-Uronometro) score an impressive 1.16.5kr victory in his first 2019 appearance. Mitja Slavic teamed the Zoltan Ozvar trainee that Branislav Mukity bred in Szerbia. He was away second behind the previously unbeaten Longines (5f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) that Andrea Fazekas drove for trainer Imre Fazekas, also making her first 2019 start, after recording ten straight wins in 2017-2018. Longines led until mid-stretch when Iago d’Amore powered past for a four length score.   Thomas H. Hicks

Saturday’s V75 harness racing card in Sweden was at Mantorp. The big races were the STL Gold worth 200,000SEK to winner of the 2140 meters autostart event contested by seven upper level campaigners.   The 1.13.1kr timed winner was 3.4/1 Handsome Brad (6m Brad de Veluwe-Ulrica M-Red Xing) with Carl Johan Jepson aboard.    This was the first 2019 appearance for the now 11 time career winner of 2,212,543SEK. Second was 7.3/1 Vasterboonthenews (11g Credit Winner-Sandra Dime-Alf Palema) with Orjan Kihlstrom up and third was 3.7/1 Milligan’s School (6m Yankee Glide-Tori Ann-SJs Photo) for Ulf Eriksson.   This one was bred in the USA (Ohio) by Dick and Joyce McClelland.   The co-featured Kjell P Dahlstroms Minne (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, nine starters) saw the 1.8/1 favorite Zack’s Zoomer (5m Deweycheatumnhowe-Passageway-Angus Hall) score timed in 1.14.1kr.   The Stall TZ owned and Stefan Melander trained winner secured his 15 th career victory with Orjan Kihlstrom up this day, in 37 starts now for 2,712,260SEK earned, with this first 2019 start.   Brittany Farms bred Zack’s Zoomer last raced in the USA for Erv Miller in October 2017. 12.9/1 Catch My Love (5f Symphonic Hanover-Give Me Your Love-Pine Chip) took second ahead of 4/1 Transcendence (5g Maharajah-Full Authority-Scarlet Knight).   Thomas H. Hicks

March 15, 2019 - Today was the finale of the harness racing Winter Meet at Cagnes-sur-Mer and there was a good lineup of trotting action that began with the Prix de Syracuse (purse 27,000€, 2925 meters, 13 European starters). In this race the 5/10 favorite Popeye Diamant (8g Love You-Jasmin Diamant) won again timed in 1.14.5kr, his fourth win in eight starts in France. Gerhard Biendl trains and drove the winner for Stall M.S. Diamanten as he increased his career earnings to 154,789€. 3.4/1 Ursus Caf (6m Toss Out-Nespola Caf) was two lengths back second for Enrico Bellei, and third was 8.3/1 Callicot du Vivier (7g Repeat Love-Kalika du Vivier) with trainer Y-A Briand at the lines. Popeye Diamant The Cagnes-sur-Mer Winter Meet finale feature today was the Gr. III Prix de Vincennes (purse 80,000€, 2925 meters, 11 starters). The 4.9/1 odds Bulle de Laumont (8f Hand du Vivier-Ozo de Laumont) scored timed in 1.13.8kr with trainer Stephane Cingland aboard for owner Josiane Pigaue, her 18th career win in 52 starts that raised career earnings to 306,830€. 78.6/1 Creative Castel (f Pomerol de Laumac) was second for J.Ch. Feron, the pilot for trainer Nicolas Ensch. 2.7/1 Balbir (8g Ganymede) took third for trainer/driver Mickael Cormy, ahead of the 2/1 favorite Calle Crown (5m Great Challenger) with David Bekaert up. 2.9/1 Bolt (8m Prince Gede) was fifth for Junior Guelpa in this competitive field. Bulle de Laumont To watch a replay of this race click here.             Today’s featured trot at Mauquenchy was the Prix de la Societe des Courses de Bihorel (purse 29,000€, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) and 1.6/1 favorite Moni Viking (6m Maharajah-Jeunesse Doree) prevailed with Bryan Coppens teaming for trainer Pierre Vercruysse. The winner is owned in Norway by Jan Lyng and racing barefoot today he recorded his third victory in 10 starts in France, now for 186,629€ earned for the career. 12.6/1 Jerry Mom (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) rallied for second handled by David Thomain for trainer Luc Roelens and owner JPB Building BVBA, this one a full-brother to Traders. 19.5/1 Concerto Cointerie (g Quopeck) took third for Nicolas Dromigny ahead of 4.2/1 Caresse (7f Ready Cash-Stefani Hanover) reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Bjorn Goop. Moni Viking Earlier in the week it was announced that the 2019 Prix d’Amerique winner, Belina Josselyn, was sidelined until Fall Season due to injury. Belina also won the Prix de Paris marathon event that completed the France Triple Crown events. She was the first mare in 20 years to win the Amerique. The injury statement follows (translated): Wednesday, late in the morning, Jean-Michel Bazire gave news of his champion, Bélina Josselyn (eight years old), victim of a slight crack of the rudimentary internal metacarpal of the anterior left. "At the end of the meeting, I felt that she had lost some flexibility, but I thought the whole rest would do her good," says JMB. But we saw a little mark on the result of the control radio that she passed; This is a small crack. Nothing serious, he adds, even if his spring season is cancelled. " Heroic, this winter, in Vincennes, during which time she won the Grand Prix of America and the Paris Marathon, the ballerina of the French trot could be reviewed in the fall, in the province. "If all goes well, she will be re-started in September or October," said Bazire. Belina will have six weeks of stall rest due to the injury. Thomas H. Hicks

March 15, 2019 - The great gelding Aubrion du Gers (9g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) returned to harness racing action today at Caen, winning the Prix de Cauvicourt (purse 32,000€, 2200 meters autostart, 14 starters in this Quinte+ event). Owner/trainer Jean Michel Bazire teamed the now 42-time winner in just 66 starts to the 1.13.2kr timed victory. His career earnings reached 2,197,179€ with today’s win. Marie Brigette Anty bred this champion. The 1/5 favorite left the gate from post one and was away third between horses before gaining the lead that he did not relinquish. 25.1/1 Blues de Landiers (8g Phlegyas-Mega des Landiers) rallied for second and 17.7/1 Clif de Pommereux (7m Love You-Noune du Pommereux) took third with David Thomain up for trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. 19.6/1 Dreammoko (6m Timoko) took fourth ahead of 32.6/1 Alamo du Goutier. The Quinte+ payoff for a winning 2€ ticket was 1844.60€. There were 495 winning tickets and the Q+ pool was 3,883,229€. The race total pools, all bets, reached 8,029,000€. Aubrion du Gers For the Race Replay click here.   On the same card was the Prix de Canapville (purse 31,000€, 2450 meters, 13 European starters) and the 1.12.7kr timed winner was 2.1/1 Very Kronos (5m Ready Cash-Glide About-Yankee Glide) with Erik Adielsson at the lines for trainer Svante Bath and owner Kjell Johansson. The winners career earnings increased to 133,507€ as Very Kronos won his first race in France in two starts. 10.4/1 Excellent (5m Real de Lou) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up for breeder/owner/trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. 5.6/1 Current Affair (5f Love You-Global Future) secured the third check with David Thomain aboard for trainer Tomas Malmqvist. 2.2/1 Ghazi BR (5m Cantab Hall-Fiery Chip) was fourth for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire. The pace in this race was contested initially by Spickleback Face (5g Raja Mirchi-No Finish Line) that Robert Bergh trains and Frabck Nivard teamed. Very Kronos For the race replay click here.    Thomas H. Hicks

March 10, 2019 - Today top trotting action was at Padova (Italy) with two co-featured harness racing events. The Gr. III Grand Premio Citta di Padova (purse 40,040€, 1640 meters autostart) saw Zabul FI (4m Ganymede-Sole del Rio-Varenne) score timed in 1.12kr over the half-mile track, with Andrea Farolfi aboard for trainer Mauro Baroncini. The winner sat the pocket before emerging for stretch surge that increased his career earnings to 205,996€. Zlatan (4m Napoleon Bar-Nastassia Bar) was second after racing parked out for driver Alessandro Gocciadoro. Zante Laser (4f Maharajah-India di Jesolo-Toss Out) was third. The other top race was the Grand Premio Padovanelle (purse 40,040€, 1640 meters autostart) and veteran Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) benefitted from a pocket trip engineering by driver Alessandro Gocciadoro to win timed in 1.12.3kr. Sonia (8f Donato Hanover-Ele Cod-Uronometro) was second for driver Rene Legati, with third to Viola Trio (5f Nad Al Sheba-Face Trio-Toss Out). On Saturday March 9 the V75 Gold in Sweden was at Farjestad (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart) with victory to 1.4/1 favorite On Track Piraten (11g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line), his second straight Gold win in 2019. Rikard N. Skoglund teamed the Hans R. Stromberg trainee that scored in 1.13.1kr, for the 45 time in a 144 race career now for 17,516,005 SEK earned. 9.3/1 Phantasm SOA (6m Cromwell-Uiver H-Uver LB) took the second check for Johan Untersteiner and trainer Anders Lundstrom. Third went to the 89.5/1 longshot Rocky Winner (11m Credit Winner) reined by Oskar J. Andersson for trainer Jorgen Westholm. Today at Kalmar 2/1 Muscle Hustle (6m Muscle Mass-Crown Lauren-Cantab Hall) scored in the Stayerserien (35,000SEK to the winner, 3140 meters voltstart) timed in 1.14.3kr with trainer Robert Bergh at the lines. Bergh and Ecurie des Charmes own Muscle Hustle that won for the 15th time in 47 career starts now for 3,945,230€ earned. He last raced in October 2016 in Canada before export. He is being pointed for a possible Elitloppet appearance in late May. Thomas H. Hicks

March 9, 2019 - Saturday’s Kincsem Park harness racing featured trot was the Ezerjo DIJ (purse 600,000€, 2400 meters autostart, seven starters) and the 1.17.2kr timed winner was 2.3/1 odds Zseda (4f Frullino Jet-Filigran-Witsends Speedy) reined by Csaba Lakatos. He co-owns the winner with Napsugar and Zseda was bred by Kabala Menes Kft. The 5/2 second favorite Disney HR (6f Light Up de Vonnas-Times-SJs Photo) was second for Balazs Juhasz and third went to 3.4/1 Timoko RL (6m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina-Golden Goal). Trotting action resumes on March 17 and that program includes the fast class Janos Brody Memorial. Below are the remaining fast class events scheduled for 2019 including the Magyar Trotting Derby on June 30th. Zseda Thomas H. Hicks

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