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January 28, 2019 - Monday’s Q+ was the Prix Rethel at Vincennes (purse 39,000€, 2850 meters, 18 European starters, harness racing seven year old mares) and 5.3/1 odds Crescendis (7f Querido de Blary-Libertatis) reined by trainer Jean Francois Senet for breeder/owner Thierry de Wazieres. The mare opened a huge lead in the lane and was timed in 1.14.2kr off evenly rated fractions. 14/1 Croma du Guibel (7f Infant du Bossis) took second for Eric Raffin ahead of third finishing 2.4/1 favorite Kash Broda (7f Ready Cash) with Franck Nivard up for trainer Peter Untersteiner. 3.9/1 Chira Julry with Adrien Lamy up and 25/1 Terrible GSO and teamster Francois Lagadeuc completed the top five. The Q+ exact order payoff for a 2€ wager was 4,981.80€. There was over 2.8€ million bet on this Q+. Crescendis Paris-Turf TV - Crescendis Three year old females contested the monte Prix de Lezignan (purse 33,000€, 200 meters, 14 monte three year old fillies) with the 1.18.5kr timed victory to 3.7/1 Grandissima (3f Viking du Val-Bellisima Love) reined by Mathilde Collet for trainer Stephane Meunier and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Dubois. This filly was anrna at the Friday evening Arqana-Trot Sale. 18/1 Gimhagine Noblesse (3f Roi Vert) was second for jockey Arthur Rebeche and 2.3/1 favorite Girlissime (3f Bird Parker-Ivre de Victoire) was third for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Philippe Allaire. Grandissima Four year old males contested the Prix d’Issoire (purse 35,000€, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) this afternoon with victory earned by the 2.7/1 Zakk Wise (4m Equinox Bi-Soranity Wise) with Jean Michel Bazire driving for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. Race time was 1.16.2kr. 28/1 Zar Ross (4m Andover Hall-Armbro Artisan) was second for trainer/driver Andrea Guzzinati, ahead of 2.2/1 favorite Zaire Wise As (4m Maharajah-Southwind Pamona) with trainer Gocciadoro the reinsman. Fourth was Fakir de Val (4m Vanishing Point) handled by breeder/owner/trainer Eric Lambertz. Zakk Wise Five year old females battled in the Prix de Chevilly (purse 35,000€, 2700 meters, 13 starters) with the 1.16kr timed victory going to 3.3/1 Ellora du Cedre (5f Ludo de Castelle) for David Thomain and trainer J.P. Thomain, her third career win in 18 starts. 2.1/1 Elite San Leander (5f Oiseau de Feux) was next for J-M Bazire in a noses apart photo and third went to 13/1 Egerie Quesnot (5f Sam Bourbon) teamed with Franck Nivard. Ellora du Cedre (inside) On the weekend note in Paris were a few races worth mentioning. On January 26th at Kalmar 6/1 Speedy Foxy Vicane (10f Chouchou des Dames-Speedy Vicane) won the V75 Gold raced over 2140 meters autostart with 200,000SEK to the winner. The now 16 time winner in 61 starts for 2,146,000SEK earned, was driven by Kin Eriksson for trainer/owner David Kallgren. 34/1 Elliot Coger and 2.9/1 Jairo trailed the winner. Race time was 1.12.9kr. On the same card the V75 Silver (150,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart) saw 2.1/1 Global Trust (6g Yankee Glide-Refuse to Lose-Conway Hall) score in 1.11.2kr with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Timo Nurmos. He scored for the 11th time in 23 life starts, to defeat 9/2 Master Crowe (9m Conway Hall-Somack-Mack Lobell), the half-brother to Commander Crowe, and 40/1 Te Quiero Giff (9m Donato Hanover –Miss Eleonora-Enjoy Lavec. Two days earlier at Aby in a 2140 meter cobtest worth 40,000SEK to the winner, the Jerry Riordan trained, Team Snyder AB owned, Zanzibar Effe (4f Donato Hanover-Etna Sec-Viking Kronos) scored at 24.9/1 for Christoffer Eriksson timed in 1.15.2kr. This was the second life win for this mare in 10 starts. The Riordan trainee and 31/1 Zima Axe (4f Love You-Roni Axe-Ready Cash) was second for Carl Johan Jepson. The winner’s dam, Etna Sec, has produced Nesta Effe (1,035,987€ career earnings) and  Oibambam Effe (301,279€ earned). Thomas H. Hicks

January 27, 2019 - The storms eased somewhat later in the Prix d’Amerique harness racing program this afternoon. Three groupe level contests took place. The Prix 20 Minutes (“Helen Johannson”), Gr. III, 80,000€ purse, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters went to 13/1 Chica de Joudes (7g Jag de Bellouet-Eueschula Love) reined by owner/trainer Alain Laurent. The quick 1.10.9lr timed victory increased the winner’s life earnings to 365,200€. The race fractions were swift from the start (1.0.2kr at the 1500 to go mark; 1.09.2kr at the 1000 and 1.10.4kr with 500 meters remaining).  1.7/1 Terry d’Ete (7f Ganymede-Love Me Tender) took second for Franck Nivard and Scuderia Eurocolor Srl and 14/1 Ursa Caf (6f Explot Caf-Crisunar) rallied for third with Bjorn Goop the  pilot. Chica des Joudes The Prix Lenotre (“Jean Rene Gougeon”), a Gr. III event for a purse of 80,000€, was raced over 2100 meters autostart by 18 starters. Jean-Michel Bazire was back in the winner’s circle teaming his trainee Dorgos de Guez (6g Romcok de Guez-Fromentro), a horse bred and owned by Ecurie Vautors. This one was off as the 5/20 favorite and was timed in a quick 1.11.2 with fast steady fractions and a quick final 500. 14/1 Delloro Vedaquais (6g Ready Cash-Spandelle) took second with Jean Philippe Monclin up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The 5/1 campaigner Super Fez (8m Love You-Lucia FI) was third. This one also a Bazire trainee and reined today by Gabriele Gelormini. The winner drifted wide and his large lead diminished to two lengths at the line. Dorgos du Guez The Gr. III Prix Leopold Verroken (purse 60,000€, 2100 meters autostart,  13 European three year olds) went to 8/10 favorite Golden Bridge (3m Ready Cash-Usenza) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for breeder/owner Michel Tessier and trainer Philippe Allaire. Race time was 1.14.5kr off rated fractions. The 48/1 outsider In Your Dreams (3f Donato Hanover-Iron lady) was a fast closing second for driver Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. This filly was RNA in the Friday evening Arqana-Trot Amerique Sale. 17/1 l Capone Stecca (4m Napoleon Bar-Ombretta Bar) took third for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro. Golden Bridge Thomas H. Hicks

January 26, 2019 - The Quine+ Prix du Luxembourg (Gr. III, purse 100,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) was the Saturday harness racing feature and it showcased some of the continent’s better older trotteurs. As the punters expected the 6/10 favorite Cleangame (7g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) secured victory with relative ease. Trainer Jean-Michel Bazire handled the reins for owner JH-M Rancoule timed in 1.10.8kr. The pace was quick from the outset (1.07.9kr at the 1500; 1.09.7kr with 1000 meters remaining; 1,11,1kr at the 500). Cleangame now has 21 career wins in 35 starts for 681,470€ earned. His breder was Alain Louis Beaumont. Finishing second was 9/2 odds Cash Gamble (8m Ready Cash-No Way Back) and pilot Franck Nivard with third to 7.8/1 Dijon (6m Ganymede-Sonate d’Aunou) with Romain Derieux the trainer/driver. 21/1 Sharon Gar (8f Varenne-Geneve Gar) was fourth abd 22/1 Abydos du Vivier completed the top five, the latter with Nicolas Bazire up. Cleangame The Q+ exaxt order payday has many winners over 6,700, of the 214€ payoff for a 2€ wager. The Saturday opener was the Prix Offshore Dream (purse 47,000€, 2850 meters, 10 monte starters) with the double Prix d’Amerique winning trophy presented by his trainer/driver Pierre Levesque to the 9/10 favorite winning Evening Star (5f Magnificent Rodney-Pay The Bill) with jockey Anthony Barrier in the irons for trainer Gregory Thorel and Ecurie La Pinsonniere. Race time was 1.15.1kr and the winner wore down pacesetter 6.1/1 odds Lorina Citron (5f Niky-Valley Victoria) in the lane. Alexandre Abrivard teamed the second place check winner for trainer Bjorn Goop and owner Jean Pierre Barjon, who last night bought the highest priced 71,000€ yearling in the Amerique sale, the Charly du Noyer sired colt Irish Whiskey. The third check in today’s monte event was 3.1/1 Etonne de Carsi (5f Okepi de Fael) ridden by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Franck Leblanc.. Evening Star The Prix Moni Maker (purse 35,000€, 2700 meters, 15 starters) saw Italy’s Zahra Mil (4f Nad Al Sheba-Clea d’Alfa) scored at 8.5/1 odds for reinsman Bjorn Goop, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Pimpicks Srl. This rugged mare raced in, out, in front, trailing the leader before powering past in the lane for the 1.14.7kr victory, off slow fractions (1.17.8kr at the 1500 meters remaining point). The winner raised her modest career earnings to 51,776€ with today’s victory. 5.2/1 Fulmida (4f Reisling-Jenillidia) was second for owner/trainer/driver A.G. Maillard and third was 12/1 Flora Vensei (4f Gazouillis) that Franck Nivard piloted. Zahra Mil The Prix Varenne (purse 41,000€, 2850 meters, 13 starters) continued races named for legendary trotteurs, and it went to 1.15.3kr timed and 1.2/1 favorite Energie d’Echal (5f Tiego d’Etang-Traviata de Fleur) with Eric Raffin up for breeder/owner Claudine Minier. 25/1 Elvetica (5f Ubriaco) and 10/1 Elegant Delo (5f Goetmals Wood) were the next pair to the line. Energie d’Echal The fifth race, Prix Ready Cash (purse 52,000€, 2850 meters, 13 starters), saw 3.9/1 Duel du Gers (6g Quaker Jet-Le Chasse Verte) score for trainer Matthieu Abrivard, reining for owner J-M Rancoule. Race time was 1.13.1kr for the now nine time winner in 21 life starts good for 167,590€ earned. 4.2/1 Destin Carisaie (6f Uniclove) was next with Eric Raffin aboard and third was 4.8/1 Ragaa da Sopra (6g From Above) for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Duel du Gers The Prix de Chateaubriant (purse 29,000€, 2200 meters, 14 starters) saw 2/1 Gallant Way (3m Ready Cash-Queen Flore) defeat a group of inexperienced three year olds timed in 1.17.4kr with Eric Raffin up.  Philippe Allaire trains this first time winner for Jacques Pauc, the breeder/owner. 7/1 Gwendalo Bello (3m Booster Winner) was second for Christophe Feyte and 47/1 Gentilove Job (3m Love You) took third. Gallant Way The European amateur drivers contested the Coupe d’Europe des Amateurs (purse 16,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 entrants, one scratch) today and it was a good race won by the pacesetter and 6/1 odds Staro Ivy League (8g Make It Happen-Staro Bello Dorine) driven by Leonardo Vastano. Peter Untersteiner trains this one for Kgosterien AB. Second was fast closing 9/1 Final Oak (9m Make It Happen-Cara Bobs Crown) with Mlle Kassandra Fresneau aboard and third went to 4.6/1 Panoramic (9g Scarlet Knight) with Piet Van Ollaert up for trainer Henk Grift. 4.9/1 Brandeis Jet and 35.1 Brome des Lunes completed the top five, these reined by Dennis Kristiansen and Nicklas Benzon. Staro Ivy League At Wolvega on January 25, 2019 was the Grand Prix Willem H. Geersen (purse 9,900€, 2600 meters, 12 starters) in honor of that legendary horseman. The victory was earned by 10/1 Thai Investment (10g Broadway Hall-Thai Wonder) timed in 1.14.3kr and reined by Jaap Van Rijn for trainer H.A.J. Grift and owner J.A.C. Vanduffel.  The winning trotter now has career earnings of 127,524. 3.4/1 Gustafson (6g Quick Wood-Ultimate Lady) was second for Rick Ebbinge and trainer J.W.M. Engwerda, ahead of 11/1 Flavius (7g Pegasus Boko-Yemaya). The 1.3/1 favorite Ustinof de Vivier was fifth. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 24, 2019 - Prix de Yonkers Raceway (purse 52,000€, 2850 meters,18 European starters, harness racing six year old females) was today’s Paris-Vincennes co-feature and it went to the 8/10 favorite Darling Berry (6f Prince Gede-Osaka) reined by Eric Raffin for owner/trainer J-M Bazire. The winner recorded her eighth career victory in 29 career starts for 193,890€ earned. Race time was 1.14.2kr. The 18/1 Lesperanza (6f Ready Cash-Esperance) was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop ahead of 71/1 Dascalia (6f Norginio) and her teamster Dominik Locqueneux. The next two on the line were 4.9/1 Dastavia de Guez reined by Nicolas Bazire for trainer Jean-Michel and 191/1 Darling Franbleu (6f Quaro) with Kevin Leblanc aboard for trainer Franck Leblanc. Yonkers Raceway racing officials were on-hand to present a trophy to Eric Raffin. Darling Berry rallies to win Thomas H. Hicks

A field of 18 harness racing trotters will race in one of the world’s toughest trotting races, the Grand Prix d’Amerique, this Sunday afternoon (Jan. 27) at Vincennes. The home team dominates the field with 11 entries. Norway and Italy each have two, while Denmark, Sweden and the United States have one each. Readly Express of Sweden with Björn Goop in the bike is the defending champion. In France hopes are high for Bold Eagle, driven by Franck Nivard, and Belina Josselyn, driven by Jean Michel Bazire. This year the purse is 100,000 Euro less than last year because of the crisis in French horse racing, where the turnover at the betting company PMU has been declining. The total purse is 900,000 Euro ($1,020,000) and the purse for the winner is now 405,000 Euro, down from 450,000 Euro last year. The distance is 2,700 meters tape start (1-11/16th miles). Here is the start list with horse, nationality, driver and trainer 1. Looking Superb (NO) – Alexandre Abrivard (Jean-Michel Bazire) 2. Bahia Quesnot (FR) – Junior Guelpa (Junior Guelpa) 3. Eridan (FR) – Eric Raffin (Sébastien Guarato) 4. Davidson du Pont (FR) – Franck Ouvrie (Jean-Michel Bazire) 5. Delia du Pommereux (FR) – Damien Bonne (Sylvain Roger) 6. Charly du Noyer (FR) – Pierre Vercruysse (Philippe Allaire) 7. Urlo dei Venti (IT) – Anthony Greppi (Gennaro Casillo) 8. Uza Josselyn (DK) – Gabriele Gelormini (René Aebischer) 9. Carat Williams (FR) – David Thomain (Sébastien Guarato) 10. Valko Jenilat (FR) – Francois Lagadeuc (Sébastien Guarato) 11. Traders (IT) – Yoann Lebourgeois (Philippe Allaire) 12. Belina Josselyn (FR) – Jean-Michel Bazire (Jean-Michel Bazire) 13. Lionel (NO) – Göran Antonsen (Daniel Redén) 14. Billie de Montfort (FR) – Pierre-Yves Verva (Sébastien Guarato) 15. Readly Express (SE) – Björn Goop (Timo Nurmos) 16. Bird Parker (FR) – Jean-Philippe Monclin (Philippe Allaire) 17. Propulsion (US) – Örjan Kihlström (Daniel Redén) 18. Bold Eagle (FR) – Franck Nivard (Sébastien Guarato) by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

January 20, 2019 - Today’s Prix de Cornulier (Gr. I International, the World Championship of Trot Monte, purse 650,000€, 2700 meters, 15 starters, Quinte+ race of the day at Vincennes) went to fast closing Bilibili (8m Niky-Quetty du Donjon) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for harness racing trainer Laurent Claude Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon.  Bilibili was off at 2.4/1 odds, the second choice, and he recorded victory 12 in 41 career starts now for 1,452,100€ earned (292,500€ today). Bilibili raced back and on the outer throughout before engaging Traders in the lane and surging past to victory. Race time was a quick, record 1.11.2kr off fast steady fractions (1.10.9kr at the 1500 to go post; 1.10.5 at the 1000; 1.10.9kr with 500 meters remaining) set by the leading and then second finishing Traders (7m Ready Cash-Graziella) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Traders won this classic a year ago in a then race record 1.11.3kr. The 12/1 odds Dexter Fromentro (6m Qwerty) was third with Camille Levesque in the irons for Ecurie Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque. A pair of outsiders completed the top five with 32/1 Carla du Chatelet (7f Jag de Bellouet) fourth for Francois Lagadeuc and 59/1 Elladora de Forgan fifth with Anthony Barrier up. Etonnant and Alpha Saltor earned the last two checks. Bilibili Laurent Claude Abrivard and Jean Pierre Barjon Prix de Cornulier reception for Bilibili Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Laurent Claude Abrivard and breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon. The recent previous Cornulier winners are listed below: 2018 Traders 1.11.3kr 2017 Bellissima France 1.13kr 2016 Scarlet Turgot 1.12.9kr 2015 Roxane Griff 1.13.3kr 2014 Roxane Griff 1.12.3kr 2013 Singalo 1.12.4kr 2012 Quif de Villeneuve 1.12kr 2011 Olga du Biwetz 1.12.7kr Today’s race was magnificent and Bilibili proved to be a great champion. By the way the Q+ payoff was 3,512.20€ to each of the 461 winning 2€ ticket holders. Thomas H. Hicks

January 19, 2019 - Today’s featured harness racing Gr. II Prix de Pardieu at Vincennes (monte, purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, 15 starters) produced a nose victory for fast closing Ferreteria (4f Goetmals Wood-Avenue Victoria) with jockey Matthieu Abrivard up. The now seven time career winner in 21 starts increased her life earnings to 429,090€ for trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. The fine mare, off at 5/2 odds, was bred by SARL Haras de Villepelee. The 4.4/1 Flicka de Blary (4f Sam Bourbon-Kalankaya) took second with Camille Levesque in the irons for owner/trainer Thomas Levesque. Third was 3.8/1 odds Flore de Janeiro (4f Vanishing Point-Ozie de Janeiro) with Anthony Barrier up for trainer/owner Franck Blandin. Race time was 1.12.6kr with a blistering final stretch battle (fractions 1.10.7kr at 1500 to go; 1.12.1kr at the 1000; 1.13.5kr with 500 remaining). The winning Ferreteria was eighth early, slipped inside and then outside to just nip pacesetting Flicka de Blary on the line. Ferreteria The co-featured  Gr. III Quinte+ Prix de Brest (purse 90,000€, 2850 meters 15 starters) went to the 22/1 outside Abydos du Vivier reined by Nicolas Bazire for trainer Jean Michel Bazire, owner Claudine Minier and the breeder was Jean Yves Lecuyer. Race time was 1.13.4kr as the winner record his 15th career win in 63 starts now for 441,280€ earned. 6.1/1 Calin de Morge (g Ozio Royal) took second for Franck Nivard ahead of 2.9/1 Vertige de Chenu (10g Lynx de Bellouet) and reinsman Eric Raffin. 5.7/1 Coach Franbleu (7g Prince d’Espace) and 19/1 Alamo du Goutier (9g Quido du Goutier) completed the top five with the Q+ exact order payoff reaching 3,437.20€ for the 145 winning ticket holders. Abydos du Vivier Nicolas Bazire Reminder that tomorrow is the Gr. I monte Prix de Cornulier where Traders will try for a repeat of his 2018 victory in this classic against rival Bilibili, with the participants listed below. PRIX DE CORNULIER 650 000€ Groupe I - Monté - 2700m - Grande piste Thomas H. Hicks

January 17, 2019 - The Quinte+ event of this day was the Prix de Douvres (purse 45,000€, 2700 meters, 17 starters) at Vincennes with victory to the 2.9/1 second choice Darling Berry (6f Prince Gede-Osaka Berry) reined by Alexandre Abrivard for harness racing owner/trainer Jean Michel Bazire. The winner was timed in 1.13kr and secured career victory seven in 28 starts now for 160,490€ earned. 7.5/1 Douceur du Chene (6f Quif de Villeneuve) with Jean Robert Declercq up on the Julien LeMer trainee that Claude Guedj owns. 18/1 Diva du Granit (6g Prodigious) was third for pilot Anthony Barrier. The exact order top five was completed by 2.2/1 favorite Dentella Bella and 16/1 Dascalia. The exact order payoff was 6,468.40€ to the 81 winning ticket holders. Darling Berry Today also trotting action was at Cagnes sur Mer with the feature being the Prix Jag de Bellouet (purse 36,000€, 2700 meters autostart, 16 starters). The 17/1 outsider American Dollar (9m Rocklyn-Netchka d’Orgeres) scored for owner Ecurie du Vieux Chene, trainer Romuald Maurice and teamster Laurent Guy Richard. Race time was 1.15.7kr by this now 13 time career winner in 98 starts for 276,060 earned. Second was 5.3/1 Brasil de Bailly (8g Baccarat du Pont) and driver Yannick Alain Briand with third to 1.9/1 favorite Beerscott (8m General du Pommeau) handled by Arnaud A. Chavatte. American Dollar On the weekend there are numerous groupe level featured events including Sunday’s 650,000€ Prix de Cornulier. 15 top monte performers will be at the start including Bilibili and Traders. January 20, 2019 C4 - PRIX DE CORNULIER 650 000€ Groupe I - Monté - 2700m - Grande piste Course Internationale There are four other Gr. II and Gr. III contests on Sunday following two on Saturday. Some of the recent exceptional performers on display in the Sunday races are Fubria, Eclipse Danica, Direct Way and Feeling Cash. Thomas H. Hicks

Afternoon trotting action at Paris-Vincennes saw the Gr. III monte Prix de Roubaix (purse 80,000€, 2175meters, 10 starters) contested with the red-hot 5/10 favorite Daytona Jet scoring clocked in 1.12kr.   The six-year old daughter of Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet won the fourth time in her last six outings, those victories all in monte events, and all with Mlle. Mathilde Collet in the irons.   Stephane Meunier trains the winner for owner Ecurie du Londel and she was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois.   Daytona Jet recorded her eighth career win in 43 starts now for 305,210€ earned. 6.1/1 Cash du Rib (7g Ready Cash-Quille Castelets) took second for Mlle. Clara Dersoir and trainer J.L.Cl. Dersoir. Third went to 11/1 Barry de Courtison (8g Quirky Jet) with Louis Jublot up. LeTrot photo   LeTrot photo   The card also included the day’s Quinte+ Prix de Brionne (purse 45,000€, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) and that produced an exact order Q+ payoff of 68,019.20€ to the four holders of winning tickets.   The winner was 1.12.7kr timed and 6.5/1 odds Calou Renardiere (7g Lets Go Along-Rosee Renardiere) handled by Eric Raffin for owner/trainer J.M. Baudouin, his 12 th career victory in 40 career trotting starts, now for 177,730€ earned. Second was the 29/1 outside Angle Of Attack (7g Scarlet Knight-Magyare Turgot) with Dominik Locqueneux at the lines for trainer Robert Bergh and owner Roland Wiksten. 7.9/1 Champion Dore (7g Prince Gede) took the third check for his owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard.   The final pair to the finish were 10/1 Canolar (7g Jet Fortuna) with Franck Nivard up and 2.4/1 Tellmeastory (7g Zola Boko) reined by Bjorn Goop.   LeTrot photo   A nice group of five-year old monte performers contested the Prix de Charbourg (purse 35,000€, 2175 meters, 16 starters). In that one the 4/1 Eole du Phenix (5m Qwerty-Velanda du Rabutin) came from nearly last to first along the pegs to win for jockey Mme. Camille Levesque, trainer Thomas Levesque and owner Ecurie Pierre Levesque timed in 1.12.9kr.   Eole du Phenix won for the third time in his career and increased life earnings to 65,340€. The 3/1 Evening Quick (5g Magnificent Rodney) finished second for Adrien Lamy and Ecurie Quick Star, with 16/1 Éclair Desbois taking the third check with jockey Benjamin Rochard aboard.   As the Prix d’Amerique is now less than two weeks away there are 11 horses that earned automatic invites from their performances in the six qualifying races. Those invitees are Bird Parker, Bahia Quesnot, Carat Williams,   Looking Superb, Eridan, Bold Eagle, Readly Express, Uza Josselyn, Delia du Pommereux, Belina Josselyn, and Davidson du Pont. Recent training news indicates that Propulsion is back to training well following an illness and Italy’s Timone EK, after a weak performance in SWE, will not seek the Amerique.   Thomas H. Hicks

January 13, 2019 - Bird Parker was placed first in today’s harness racing Quinte+ Grand Prix de Belgique (Gr. II International, 110,000€, 2850 meters, 14 starters) at Vincennes, the last of the “B” qualification races leading to the Prix d’Amerique in two weeks. After two false starts and several lead changes the 1.1/1 favorite Belina Josselyn (8f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) and pilot J-M Bazire surged past 9/1 Bird Parker (8m Ready Cash-Belisha) with J.Ph. Monclin up to be first on the line with 48/1 Bahia Quesnot (8g Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) third handled by Junior Guelpa. However, Guelpa filed an objection against Bazire for interference near top stretch as Belina Josselyn escaped the pocket. That objection with upheld by the judges and Belina was disqualified moving Bird Parker to first (his 21st victory in 79 outings for 2,079,705€ earned) for owner Elisabeth Allaire, trainer Philippe Allaire and the winning breeder was Christophe Toulorge. Bahia Quesnot was placed second and earned an auto-invite to Amerique. Carat Williams was placed third ahead of Eridan. Readly Express raced at the back before ending sixth placed fifth with Uza Josselyn and Billie de Montfort were placed sixth and seventh. Favorite Belina Josselyn was on the lead before yielding to Bird Parker and this was blocked until Bazire caused the escaping interference. The Amerique invites so far based on qualification races are: Bold Eagle, Bird Parker, Bahia Quesnot, Belina Josselyn, Carat Williams, Eridan, Readly Express, Uza Josselyn, Looking Superb, and Delia du Pommereux. Interference Belina Josselyn dq’d for interference against Bahia Quesnot Belina Josselyn Happy connections of Bird Parker Green Grass Wins Prix Gelinotte at Vincennes Green Grass (3f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) won today’s Prix Gelinotte (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 10 three year old filly starters) at Paris-Vincennes, leading throughout for Gabriele Gelormini, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Sebastien DeWulf. Bred by Frederic Brouilloux, this filly  won for the fourth time in eight career starts now for 117,400€ earned. 1.9/1 Greenpeace (3f Memphis du Rib-Quelle Aventure) stayed close on the outer all the way but could not get by in the lane, falling two lengths short with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. His Ecurie D bred this one. Third was 16/1 Graine de Crack (3f Booster Winner-Pearl Mip) that Yoann Lebourgeois handled for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Race time was 1.15.6kr off modest fractions ( at the 1500 to go mark; 1.16kr at the 1000 and 1.16.7kr with 500 meters remaining). Green Grass Fubria Wins Prix de Riberac at Vincennes Today’s Paris-Vincennes card was filled with groupe contests, this the Prix de Riberac (Gr. III, purse 70,000€, 2700 meters, 13 starters four year olds). The blanket finish victory went to head-winner and 3.9/1 Fubria (4f Password-Sanawa) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. J-P Guay bred this winner now of six in 10 career outings, for 142,000€ earned. Race time was 1.14.2kr off even fractions, with a fast final 500 meters. 9/1 Fun Quick (4m Carpe  Diem) was second for Bjorn Goop and Ecurie Quick Star, with 32/1 Fairy White (4f Ouragon de Celland) third with Anthony Barrier up for breeder/owner/trainer Christophe Gallier. Fast finishing fourth was 40/1 Fame And Fortune (4f Sam Bourbon-Ma Crown) that Matthieu Abrivard teamed for Yves Boireau, trainer for owner Jean Pierre Dubois and breeder Ecurie D. Fubria Thomas H. Hicks  

January 6, 2019 - The harness racing veteran monte specialist Bilibili (8m Niky-Quetty du Donjon), off as 2.2/1 second wagering choice), won today’s Gr. II monte Prix Calvados (purse 130,000€, 2850 meters, eight starters) timed in 1.12.4kr with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer J.Cl. Abrivard. Bilibili scored for the 11th time in a 40 race career and raised his life earnings to 1,159,600€.  Jean Pierre Barjon bred and owns Bilibili that tracked leading and 1.4/1 favorite Traders (7 m Ready Cash-Graziella) until mid-stretch, before surging past for the convincing victory. Traders was handled by Yoann Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Third went to 7/2 odds Briac Dark (8m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) reined by jockey Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin for owner Guy Barou. 26/1 Benjamine Gede and 37/1 Cassate were the next pair to the line. The top three finishers earned an auto-invite to the Prix de Cornulier that this year carries a 600,000€ purse, a week before the Prix d’Amerique. Bilibili returns Bilibili rallies past Traders to qualify for Prix Cornulier The Prix de Vic Sur Cere (purse 63,000€, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) was next and it was a field of upper lever performers led by the J-M Bazire trained Looking Superb, off as the 7/10 favorite with Alexandre Abrivard up. Races are not certain and Looking Superb was a misque dq. The field produced a thrilling finish with victory earned to the very game 5.2/1 odds Dexter Chatho (6g Un Amour d’Haufor-Okayama) reined by trainer Christian Bigeon to his eight career win in 21 starts, now for 235,360€ earned. Race time was off rated fractions (1.14.1kr at the 500 meters remaining mark). Second went to 17/1 Dollar Soyer (6g Phlegyas-Quinoa Soyer) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Gregory Thorel. 9/1 Desir Castelets (8m Quaker Jet-Ophelie Jet) took third for Franck Nivard and fourth was 12/1 Moni Viking (6m Maharajah-Jeunesse Doree) with trainer Pierre Vercruysse the pilot. Dexter Chatho Thomas H. Hicks  

December 30, 2018 - Today’s third “B” was the Grand Prix de Bourgogne at Vincennes (Gr. II, purse 120,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters, Quinte+ harness racing race of the day). The top three finishers receive an auto-invite to the Prix d’Amerique. Bold Eagle (7m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) prevailed timed in 1.11.8kr by a length after a pocket trip engineered by driver Franck Nivard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. The Eagle was off as 2.9/1 second wagering choice and he sprinted to the front from post eight, yielding to the 2.2/1 favorite Readly Express (6m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream) piloted by Bjorn Goop for trainer Timo Nurmos and BRO Byggnads AB, the owner. Ready Express led into the lane and his challengers weakened (Carat Williams) made a misque (Cash Gamble) to enable the Eagle to escape from behind Carat Williams and surge past. Bold Eagle recorded his 43rd career win in 58 starts now for 4,377,620€ earned. 11/1 Una Josselyn (7f Love You-Teza Josselyn) took third and with it a Prix d’Amerique ticket. Alexandre Abrivard teamed this Rene Aebischer trainee. 12/1 Carat Williams (6m Prodigious) and 18/1 Briac Dark (7m Prince Gede) completed the top five and the Q+ exact order payoff was 2,119€ for a 2€ wager. ' The remaining “B” race is January 13th at Vincennes, the Prix de Belgique, that may add to the invites to date that now include Bold Eagle, Readly Express, Uza Josselyn, Davidson du Pont, Delia du Pommereux, Bird Parker, Belina Josselyn, Looking Superb and Eridan. Franck Nivard and Bold Eagle Yesterday at Romme (SWE) was the V75 STL Gold raced over 2640 meters autostart for 200,000SEK to the winner. There were seven entrants in what was to be a Prix d’Am prep for the well-regarded Propulsion (7m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) that was off at 1.08/1 odds with Orjan Kihlstrom up. Not so, as veteran On Track Piraten (10g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line), scored at 5.2/1 for teamster/trainer Hans R. Stromberg clocked in 1.13.8kr. Piraten scored for the 43rd time in 141 career starts now for 17,066,005SEK earned. The veteran class-master is owned by Stall Morkermasse and he went to the lead early in the final lap. Propulsion was taken to the back early and began following cover in the final lap, then going three wide to get to the wheel of Piraten. That was it as Stromberg lightly urged his charge to an easy victory. 45/1 Rokkakudo (8m Varenne-Ikegana-Valley Victory) was third for Ulf Ohlsson. On Track Piraten holds off Propulsion It was reported post-race that Propulsion was sick and his possible challenge in the Prix d’Amerique is uncertain. Tomorrow ends the racing career in France of a host of fast-class trotters that comes to an end at age 10 (the “U” names). This group includes the excellent international performers Up And Quick (a Prix d’Amerique winner and third in the 2018 Yonkers International), Un Mec d’Heripre, Ustinof du Vivier, Unique Quick and others. They will be missed. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 29, 2018 - Saturday’s co-featured harness racing Prix Yvonnick Bodin (Gr. III, purse 105,000€, 2700 meters,16 starters) was for apprentice jockeys. The 2.2/1 favorite Beau de Grimoult (7g Pacifique Gede-Quelle Bora) scored impressively for Mlle. Oceane Briand in the irons for trainer Franck Anne and Ecurie de Grimoult, for his 17th career victory in 85 starts, now for 418,650€ earned. Race time was a quick 1.12.9kr as the winner kept increasing speed throughout (1.15.3kr with 1500 meters to go; 1.14kr at the 1000 and 1.13.3kr with 500 remaining). 4.3/1 Accord Marjacq (8g Odeisis de Vandel) was an eight length back second for jockey Victor Saussaye and 32/1 Volcan de Bellande (9g Magnificent Rodney) was third for Mlle. Noemie Hardy. Beau de Grimoult Beau de Grimoult and connections The Quinte+ Prix de Bar-le-Duc (purse 105,000€, 2850 meters, 17 European starters) saw 15/1 Tessy d’Ete (6f Ganymede-Love Me Tender) score for driver Franck Nivard, Scuderia Eurocolor Srl and trainer Philippe Billard. Rec time was 1.12.7kr. The 1.4/1 favorite Super Fez (7m Love You-Lucia FI) was second with trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard for Scuderia Cumana Group Srl. Third was 27/1 Chica de Joudes (6f Jag de Bellouet-Queschwa Love) for owner/trainer/driver Alain Laurent. 16/1 Class de Loriol and 26/1 Tinamo Jet completed the top five and the Q+ exact order payoff was 7,860€ for the 2€ ticket. Tessy d’Ete with Franck Nivard and connections Thomas H. Hicks

December 21, 2018 - Today’s monte Gr. III Prix Sans Dire Oui (purse 105,000€, 2850 meters, seven European starters) went to the game 5/2 second wagering choice Mindyourvalue WF (5g Hovding Lavec-Mind Your Manners) at Vincennes with harness racing Eric Raffin in the irons for owner Christer Englund and trainer Robert Bergh. The winner was timed in 1.14kr and recorded his seventh win in nine starts in France to raise his career earnings to 439,983€. 2/5 favorite Clegs des Champs (6g Legs du Clos-Proserpine) was second with David Thomain up for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. A distant third was the 29/1 outsider Clara du Ponseuil (6f Mich Phili-Osaka d’Occagnes) with P-Y Verva the jockey. The day’s Quinte+ race was on the card in the Prix d’Amboise (purse 55,000€, 2700 meters, 18 European starters). Longshots prevailed with victory to the 10/1 Contree d’Erable (6f Prince Gede-Soiree d’Erable) driven by David Thomain for trainer Jean Pierre Thomain and owner Ecurie du Haras d’Erable. The victory was the 13th in the career of the winner, now with 227,130€ earned. 61/1 Coumba Kuky (6f Matador de Vrie) was second for trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou, and third was 27/1 Tooltime (8f Carmody Lobell) with trainer Bjorn Goop up. 13/1 Costa Haufor and 19/1 Croix du Buisson completed the top five and paved the way for an exact order payoff of 352,674.40€ payoff for the 2€ wager. Race time was a good 1.13kr. The Prix de Pierrefonds (purse 58,000€, 2700 meters, 14 starters all four-year old mares) saw 3.4/1 odds Etonne de Carsi (4f Okapi de Fad-Ophelie du Pommeau) score with Anthony Barrier driving for trainer Franck Leblanc. This mare recorded her fifth career win in 18 starts, now for 111,140€ earned. 7/2 odds Erolina (4f Prodigious) was second with Eric Raffin piloting for breeder/owner/trainer Alphonse Vanberghen. The 3.1/1 Exciting Lady (4f Sam Bourbon) was third for owner/trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire. Action on the weekend at Vincennes features the Criterium Continental and Prix Tenor de Baune, with those winners receiving an invitation to the Prix d’Amerique 2019. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 21, 2018 - Gotland (2m Ready Cash-Sanawa) remained unbeaten in five starts winning today’s Gr. II Prix Emmanuel Margouty (purse 120,000€, 2175 meters, eight starters all two-year old colts) at Vincennes clocked in 1.14.9kr and with harness racing driver Eric Raffin up. This 7/10 favorite is owned and trained by Philippe Allaire and was bred by J-P Guay. He now has earnings of 161,100€. 5.8/1 General du Parc (2m Lajacque l’Houlbec-Amazone du Parc) was a gaining second for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Frederic Pratt. The race winner’s stablemates followed, with third to 4.9/1 Gatsby Perrine (2m Bird Parker-Unabella Perrine) with Anthony Barrier up for trainer Allaire and breeder/owner J-F Mary; and fourth to 8.8/1 Get Happy (2m Bird Parker-Rasta Perrine) that J.Ph. Monclin reined for Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. J-F Mary bred this one as well. Thomas H. Hicks

December 18, 2018 - Harness racing two-year-olds contested the Prix des Iris (purse 35,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) on Tuesday at Vincennes with victory to 14/1 Granaggiolo (2m Timoko-Manille du Lec) with Alexis Prat aboard for his second career win in four outings. Race time was 1.15.6kr for the Frederic Prat trainee that Ecueie du Liamore owns. Even-money favorite Giant Cash (2m Ready Cash-Richyly) was second for J.Ph. Monclin and trainer Philippe Allaire, with 148/1 outsider Gregorio (2m Quarlos) taking the third check. The Prix de la Tremblade (purse 65,000€, 2850 meters, 18 starters) saw 2.9/1 Archbald (8g Meaulnes du Corta) score impressively timed in 1.13.8kr with trainer Thomas Levesque driving. Pierre Levesque owns and bred this now 11 time career winner in 61 starts. 27/1 Vixel (9g Quido du Goutier) was second for Franck Ouvrie and 46/1 Orlando Beji (10g Orlando Vici) held third. Later in the program 6/1 Julio de Luxe (9g Juliano Star) took the Prix Pierre Giffard (purse 82,000€, 2850 meters, 15 European starters –monte) timed in 1.13.7kr. Alexandre Abrivard was in the irons for trainer Bjorn Goop and BS Stables AB. 3.3/1 Ange de Lube (8g Laetenter Diem) was second for owner/trainer/jockey Matthieu Abrivard and 7.5/1 Banjo del a Noemie (7g Flambeau des Pins) was with Anthony Barrier up. Stallion Coktail Jet has passed On a sad note the great racehorse and stallion Coktail Jet has passed. The 1990 son of Quouky Williams-Armbro Glamour-Super Bowl was the result of one of those few occasions when the FR stud book admitted Franco-American matings and this one help re-charge the FR bloodstock. Coktail Jet won 24 times in 62 starts for 1,896,774€ earned, taking a 1.11.2kr speed mark for trainer/driver Jean Etienne Dubois and owner Daniel Wildenstein. Coktail Jet has a sensational 1996 winning the Prix d’Amerique. Prix de France and the Elitloppet Final with a stirring stretch burst. As a sire he led the FR production for seven years, was widely used throughout Europe and left the sport with his successor Love You (a 1999 foal) along with The Best Madrik and Naglo. His racing accomplishments, pedigree and sire stats follow along with several memorable videos. Coktail Jet will appear on pedigree pages for years to come through his 1,801 FR foals so far and nearly 1,200 in other countries. Coktail Jet on the track - At 4, Winner of Gran Premio d'Europa, second in Prix de Sélection, third in Prix René Ballière. At 5, Winner of Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie, Criterium des 5 ans, Prix René Ballière, Prix Jockey, Prix de Washington, Prix de l'Etoile, second in Criterium de Vitesse de la Côte d'Azur, Prix du Plateau de Gravelle, Prix du Bois de Vincennes, Prix de la Marne, third in Prix du Luxembourg, Prix de Bourgogne, Prix Chambon P. At 6, Winner of Prix de l'Atlantique, Prix de Washington, Prix d'Europe (Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère), Prix de France, Prix d'Amerique, Elitloppet, second in Prix des Ducs de Normandie, Prix d'Eté, Prix de Bourgogne. Coktail Jet Quouky Williams (FR) 1982 Fakir du Vivier (FR) (89 0,96) 1971 At 3, Winner of Criterium des 3 ans. At 4, Winner of Criterium des 4 ans, Prix de Sélection, Gran Premio d'Europa. At 5, Winner of Prix de Sélection, third in Prix du Bourbonnais. At 7, second in Preis der Besten, Prix d'Amerique, third in Prix de France, Gran Premio Della Lotteria. At 8, third in Prix d'Amerique. Sabi Pas (FR) Carioca II (FR) Mousko Williams (FR)   Quovaria (FR)   Infante II (FR) Hernani III (FR)   Sa Bourbonnaise (FR)   Ua Uka (FR) Kerjacques (FR) Quinio (FR)   Arlette III (FR)   Flicka (FR) Ibarra (FR)   Va Sylva (FR)   Dolly Williams (FR) 1969 At 3, third in Criterium des Jeunes. Pacha Grandchamp (FR) Fandango (FR) Loudeac (FR)   Tombelaine (FR)   Atalante de Grand. (FR) Mistral (FR)   Naive Etoile (FR)   Quassia Williams (FR) Ogaden (FR) The Great McKinney (US)   Uranie (FR)   Tanagra (FR) Sam Williams (US)   Ernee (FR)   Armbro Glamour (CA) (92 0,75) 1985 Super Bowl (US) (93 0,99) 1969 At 2, Winner of International Stallion Stake, Walnut Hall Cup. At 3, Winner of American-National, Colonial Trot, Hambletonian, Horseman Futurity, Kentucky Futurity, Review Stakes, Yonkers Trot. Star's Pride (US) Worthy Boy (US) Volomite (US)   Warwell Worthy (US)   Stardrift (US) Mr McElwyn (US)   Dillcisco (US)   Pillow Talk (US) Rodney (US) Spencer Scott (US)   Earls Princ.Martha (US)   Bewitch (US) Volomite (US)   Bexley (US)   Speedy Sug (US) 1979 Speedy Count (US) Speedster (US) Rodney (US)   Mimi Hanover (US)   Countess Song (US) Victory Song (US)   The Viscountess (US)   Sug (US) Hickory Smoke (US) Titan Hanover (US)   Misty Hanover (US)   Cassin Hanover (US) Hoot Mon (US)       Replays: Elitloppet 1996 Final Prix d’Amerique 1996 Interview w Jean Etienne Dubois Prix de France 1996   Thomas H. Hicks

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