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December 16, 2018 - The Prix de Briare (purse 55,000€, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) kept the winning streak going for 1.1/1 favorite Valokaja Hindo (7m Great Challenger-Jindo Enghave) and harness racing trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire. Eirik Djuve (Norway) owns the winner now of five straight in seven starts in France. His career earnings increased to 231,504€. Race time was 1.13.9kr. 14/1 Casting de Chenu (6m Baccarat du Pont) was second for Tony Le Beller and trainer/owner J-M Baudouin. The Prix de Cancale (purse 48,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters) saw the excellent performance of Florence Bourbon (3f Ready Cash-Urgentissime-Coktail Jet-Ivre de Victoire) continue. Off at 3.7/1 Bjorn Goop piloted the winner for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. Race time was 1.15.5kr for the nose winner that now has five career wins in six starts, for 77,260€ earned. 6.4/1 Feen du Goutier (3f Un Mec d’Heripre-Queen Bourbon-Love You-Urika Speed) was an almost dead-heat second with Yoann Lebourgeois up for trainer Guarato and Ecurie Saint Martin. Fairy White (3f Ouragon de Celland) was third for Anthony Barrier. Monte specialists battled in the Prix de Limeil (purse 70,000€, 2850 meters, eight European starters) with 6.8/1 Crepe de Satin (6f Le Retour-Ina d’Avril) prevailing for jockey Mlle. Mathilde Collet and trainer Bruno Marie. Race time was 1.15.2kr. The 2/5 favorite Carla du Chatelets (6f Jag de Bellouet) held second for Mlle. Oceane Briand and third was 8.1/1 Brainstorm (7m Polerol de Laumac) with Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. At Milano le Maura (Italy) was the Palio dei Proprietari (purse 36,300€, 2700 meters, 12 starters) with the 1.16.5kr timed victory to Tornado del Vento (6m Light Kronos-Gara del Vento-Toss Out) reined by Giuseppe de Filippis. Seleniost (7m Varenne-LeFirst-Indro Park) was second ahead of Umberto Axe (5m Love You-La Furiosa Spin-Angus Hall). Well regarded Severino raced at or near the front early before fading badly. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 7, 2018 - The 1.3/1 odds favorite Dorado Bello (5g Pad d’Urzy-Jora de du Fruituies) took the Friday evening harness racing featured Quinte+ Prix Hestia (purse 50,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters) timed in 1.12.4kr. The now seven time winner in 27 career starts, Dorado Bello was teamed with Eric Raffin for trainer J.M. Baudouin and owner Ecurie le Rivage. Dreamer de Chenu (5g Timoko) at 11/1 was second for driver J-M Bazire and breeder/owner/trainer Franck Pellerot. 21/1 Dandy Gede (5g Rancho Gede) took third for driver Damien Bonne. 12/1 Devil Or Angel and 11/1 Dad du Cedre completed the top five, and the exact order 2€ ticket Q+ payoff was 8,556.40€. On Saturday there are a host of groupe contests worth the watch: Prix Albert Rayon (Gr. III, 76,000€, 2100 meters autostart, three year olds) led by Fabria; Prix Raoul Balliere (Gr. II monte, 120,000€, 2175 meters) with Ferreteria, Feeling Cash and Flamme Speed among the starters; Prix Ariste Hearard (Gr. II, purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, four year olds) with Elladora de Forgan and Electra Jet in the field; Prix Narquois (Gr. III, purse 95,000€, 2700 meters, European eligibles) with J-M Bazire’s Dreambreaker at the start The Sunday menu includes three more groupe events: Prix Octave Douesnel (Gr. II, purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, four year olds) led by Earl Simon Prix de Mansle (Gr. III, purse 76,000€, 2100 meters autostart, three year olds) with Fun Quick and Fuego de Houelle at the start; Grand Prix du Bourbonnais (Gr. II International, 120,000€ purse, 2850 meters) with the now barefoot Bold Eagle in the field – he previously raced with shoes on behind). Bold Eagle was last year second in the Bourbonnais, Bourgogne, Belgique, Amerique and de France before winning the Criterium de Vitesse at Cagnes sur Mer in March. Thomas H. Hicks    

December 2, 2018 - Today’s featured harness racing Gran National du Trot Paris-Turf Finale at Vincennes, Gr.II, purse 150,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap, 18 starters, followed 13 legs in regional venues throughout the summer-fall racing season. The 7.4/1 odds and 25 meter handicapped Ble du Gers (7g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) scored in a quick 1.12.2kr. Alexandre Abrivard teamed the winner of trainer J-M Bazire and owner J-M Rancoule. He recorded victory 17 in a 50 brace career that has now earned 634,860€. 1 0/1 odds Ceylan Dairpet (6g Ouragon de Celland-Rosy MIP), also penalized 25 meters, took second for trainer/driver Tony LeBeller. The 3/5 favorite and 25 meter handicapped Cleangame (6g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) landed third for trainer/driver Bazire and owner Rancoule. 57/1 Utile Lebel (10g Biesolo) was fourth for Eric Raffin and fifth was 62/1 Best du Hauty (7g Roc Meslois) for owner/trainer/driver Olivier Bizoux. The GNT Paris-Turf was the day’s Quinte+ event and a 2€ exact order ticket returned 62,737.20€. Total handle on the race exceeded 10.6€ million. Monte performers contested the Gr. II Prix Philippe du Rozier (monte, purse 120,000€, eight starters) and in a close finish the victory went to 5.1/1 Exotica de Retz (4f Prodigious-Quayaya) ridden by jocket Mme. Delphine Beaufils-Ernault for trainer Sebastien Ernault and owner Ecurie des Charmes. Race time was a quick 1.11.8kr, and the win was career victory four in 19 starts for the winner now of 318,950€. Even-money favorite Elladora de Forges (4f Gazouillis-Hamina) was second with jockey Franck Nivard in the irons for traiuner Frabck Leblanc and owner S.J. Dupont. 9/1 Etoile de Bruyere (4f Kenor de Cosse) was third for Adrien Lamy and owner/trainer Ch. Dreux. The 2.2/1 odds and well-respected Etonnant was a dq. The Gr. III LeTGrot Open des Regions 4Ans (purse 85,000€, 2850 meters, 12 starters) saw the 1.14.1kr timed ans 7/10 favorite Evrik de Guez (4g Un Mec d’Heripre-Quoumbaya de Guez) score for trainer J-M Bazire for Ecurie Vautors. The winner earned his 10th career win in 15 starts nie for 171,000€ earned. 4.9/1 Eden de Banville (4m Look de Star) was second for DSavid Thomain and 8.4/1 Elixir du Bocage (4g Un Mec d’Heripre) was third for driver Franck Nivard and trainer Erno Szirmany. The Gr. III LeTrot Open des Regions 3Ans (purse 85,000€, 2850 meters, eight starters) produced victory for 37/1odds Favorite Fligny (3f Rockefeller Center-Africa Fligny) timed in 1.14.4kr and reined by Sylvain Dieudonne for trainer Gregory Thorel and Ecurie de Pinsonniere. This winner for the fifth time in a 20 start career now for 128,670€ earned. 19/1 Free Rider (3m Love You-Sardaigne) was second with Benoit Robin up for trainer J.L. Bigeon. 5.6/1 Fakir du Lorault (3m Vaillant Cash) was third. The Gr. III LeTrot Open des Regions 5Ans (purse 85,000€, 2850 meters, 12 starters) had Diablu d’Herfraie (5g Jasmin de Flore-Slice d’Herfraie) score timed in 1.13.5kr for David Thomain. Off at 8/1 odds the winner is trained by J.P. Thomain for Ecurie du Haras d’Erable. Diablo scored for the eighth time in 22 career starts for 136,160€ earned. 3.9/1 Doux Parfum (5g Singalo-Lambada Jet) was second for Eric Raffin and third went to 2.6/1 Diamant du Lupin (5g Jasmin de Flore) reined by Adrien Lamy. The Prix Miss Hippodrome (purse 54,000€, 2850 meters) produced an impressive 1.13.5kr timed victory by 3.7/1 Cocktail Fortuna (9g Love You-Dalloah NO) reined by Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Robert Bergh and Sandra Racing Stable. The win increased the career earnings of the winner to 230,296€. 32/1 Casting de Chenu (6m Baccarat du Pont) took second money for Tony LeBeller and third was 8/1Black Jack From (7g Scipion du Goutier) with Eric Raffin up. Thomas H. Hicks

December 1, 2018 - Harness racing Groupe tests at Vincennes on Saturday included the Gr. II Prix Doynel de Saint-Quentin, purse 120,000€, 2850 meters, 11 European starters, harness racing five year olds) that saw 4.2/1 Dark Night Love (5f Royal Lover-Qucrida de Vonnas) score timed in 1.14.3kr with trainer J-M Bazire aboard. 14/1 Desir Castelets (5m Quaker Jet-Ophelie Jet) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Luc Roelens. 6.2/1 Django Riff (5m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) rallied for third with Yoann Lebourgeois up for trainer Philippe Allaire 18/1 Dreamer Boy (5m Gazouillis) and 69/1 Dragon des Racques (5m Love You) completed the top five and 7/10 favorite Detroit Castelets was a dq and last year’s Grand Prix d’UET winner Drole de Jet was unplaced, this being his second appearance since September 2017. The Prix de Rencontres Internationales (purse 20,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) drew a good collection of international drivers. Two were scratched including a horse drawn to USA’s Hunter Oakes. The winner was 3/1 Amigo Turgot (8g Prince d’Espace-Paloma de Collerie) with Mykola Volf up for trainer Franck Blandin. Second was 5.3/1 Up Ans Go (10g Fripon Rose) with Alexandre Abrivard up and third was 35/1 Viking Dream (9g Iserio) with Clint Vassallo up for trainer A.G. Maillard. Ultimo du Douet with Mme. Renate Aarle aboard and Vif d’Or du Poli with driver Niels Jongejans at the lines completed the top five. Race time was 1.13.9kr by the winner. The Prix Vourasie (Gr. III, 80,000€, 2200 meters, 10 European starters, two year olds) completed the groupe events and this one went to 8.3/1 odds Green Grass (2f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Sebastien Dewulf. This filly now has three wins in five career appearances for 72,400€ earned. Race time was 116.4kr. The 5.7/1 Gloria Berry (2f Quaker Jet-Tequila Berry) was a close second for owner/trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire, and 3.8/1 Grainer de Craere (2f Booster Winner-Pearl MIP) was third with Yoann Lebourgeois driving for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The 1.1/1 favorite and previously unbeaten in four starts, Girls Talk (2f Brillantissime-Be My Girl), was a miscue dq. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 22, 2018 - Thursday’s harness racing Quinte+ was at Vincennes in the Prix de Sille le Guillaume (purse 70,000€, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) with the 1.143.7kr timed victory earned by the 1.9/1 favorite Super Fez (7m Love You-Luria FI). Trainer J-M Bazire teamed the winner for Scuderia Cumana Group as Super Fez recorded his sixth career win in France now for 313,324€ earned, 3.4/1 Be Bop Haufor (7g Notre Haufor-Ica Haufor) was second for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. 113/1 Valseme (9g Bijou du Bignon) was third for Th. Dromigny and the top five finishers was completed by 17/1 Bauloise Haufor (7f Kool du Caux) and 14/1 Utino de l’Ormerie (8g Qualimo de Vandel). The exact order winning tickets paid 7,264.60€ for a 2€ wager. The day’s featured event was the monte Prix de L’Ile de Re (purse 95,000€, 2850 meters, 13 European starters). The 3.1/1 Caban Prior (6g Sancho Panca-Fita Prior) was victorious timed in 1.14.3kr with Aurelian Desmarres in the irons. He scored for the 16th time in a 51 start career. 10/1 Buster de Baufour (7g Rolling d’Heripre-Pignata) was a close second for owner/trainer/jockey Damien Bonne, and third was 6.2/1 Accord Marjang (8g Odeisis de Vandel) with Arthur Rebeche up. Thomas H. Hicks

Vincennes, FR - The even-money Bold Eagle (7m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) was an almost gate to wire harness racing winner for driver Franck Nivard of today’s Gr. I Prix Rene Balliere at Vincennes (200,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters). He was timed in an evenly rated 1.10.3kr. At top stretch the Eagle fought off when seemed liked apparent challengers and then drew off for an easy victory over 33/1 Uza Josselyn (7f Love You-Teza Josselyn) driven by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Rene Aebischer and Ecurie Rhythm & Blues. Third was 1.6/1 Belina Josselyn (7f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) with trainer J-M Bazire up for breeder/owner Yvan Bernard. 8/1 Bird Parker (7m Ready Cash-Belisha) held fourth with J.Ph. Monclin at the lines for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. The winning Eagle now shows 40 career wins in 53 starts for 4,221,670 euro earned. Race fractions were 1.08.9kr with 1500 remaining, 1.10.1kr at the 1000 and 1.10.2kr with 500 meters to go. by Thomas H. Hocks, for Harnesslink

The 9/1 As des Jacquets (8m Ready Cash-Kodessa) took the Friday Q+ Prix Hygica (48,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) clocked in 1.13.4kr and reined by Robbin Bot, also trainer, for Stall Cortina. The 3.6/1 Balzac de Souvigne (7g Lontzac-Jalna de Souvigne) was second for trainer/driver Michel Lenoir and 5.2/1 Bad July (7g Prince Gede) was home third for trainer/driver J.P. Gauvin. 7.2/1 Vixel and 15/1 Angel d’Or completed the top five. Titanium Gar (6g Daguet Rapide-Lady Killer Gar) opened the Friday evening card by winning the Prix Clementina (purse 48,000 euro, 28750 meters, 14 European starters). Trainer Hugo Langeweg Jr. piloted the winner to a 1.13.5kr score for owner Stall Arend (Holland) at 9/10 odds. 32/1 Caresse (6f Ready Cash-Stefani Hanover) was second for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Bjorn Goop and owner Lars Erik Aulin. 20/1 Capella de Vrie (6f Prince d’Espace-Pandore Vrie) was third driven by Franck Nivard for the legendary breeder/owner/trainer Roger Baudron. Grand Chelem (2m Love You-Kidea), a half brother to Ready Cash) led the sale at 100,000 euro going to Jack G.H. DeJong amnd sold by Pierre Tebirent. This youngster qualified at Caen on May 24 timed in 1.18kr. Sale results in total were up significantly from prior year.  Sunday action at Vincennes is quite a card featuring the reappearance in France of Bold Eagle and he will face Belina Josselyn and a host of solid international trotteurs. ​by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Vincennes, FR - The 1.2/1 favorite Valse de Reve (9f Mister President-Nouba Houba) took Tuesday evening’s Gr. III Prix Jean Paul Fairand (apprentice jockeys, monte, purse €90,000, 2175 meters, 13 starters) clocked in 1.12.6kr and ridden by apprentice Julien Balu, his 47th victory. Valse de Reve, trained by Alain Roussel, also owner, recorded his ninth career victory in 79 starts now for €687,170 earned. The 35/1 Arena del Phedo (8f Magnificent Rodney-Feria de Vrie) was second with Pierre Thieulent in the irons and third was 128/1 Vulcan de Bellande (9g Magnificent Rodney-Etoile de Bellande) for jockey Dylan Dulong. Valse de Reve is head number 13 on the pegs in the photos below. Quite a monte finish!!! Also on the card was the Prix Loma (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 12 European starters) and the 1.13.5kr timed winner was 3.9/1 Dede Au Chalet (5g Quito Kebir-Mammy Noce) with Alexandre Angot in the irons. This winner scored for the eighth time in 24 career appearances now for €140,300 earned. 4.7/1 Dame de Bellouet (5f Mon Bellouet-Odra de Bellouet) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up and third home was 1.1/1 favorite Derby Show (5g Reflet Gede) handled by trainer P-Y Verva. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

A terrific trotting card Saturday at Paris-Vincennes was highlighted by four groupe contests, the first being the Prix de la Ville de Plouescat (Gr. III, purse €68,000, 2700 meters, European).  The Gr. II co-featured Prix Louis Jariel (purse €120,000, 2175 meters) produced an easy score timed in 1.10.6kr for 1.1/1 Detroit Castelets (5m Neoh Jiel-Rosanna Bonheur). Matthieu Abrivard was the pilot for Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. The 2.2/1 Draft Life (5f Ubriaco-Maflymede) rallied for second reined by Eric Raffin for Louis Baudron, the breeder/owner/trainer. 3.9/1 Delia du Pommereux (5f Niky-Naume du Pommereux) was third driven by trainer Sylvain Roger and owner/breeder Noel Lolic. Well-regarded Davidson du Pont was scratched. The Prix du Quercy (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) resulted in an easy 1.13.9kr victory for 3.2/1 Unbridled Charm (10m Password-Intense Action).Breeder Jean Philippe Dubois teamed the winner for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. The 1.6/1 favorite Bel Avis (7g Ganymede) was second for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and Wildenstein Stables Ltd. Comte de Bellaigue bred this one. 4.8/1Cicero Noa (6gMandarino Blue) was third for Pierre Vercruysse and breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. The day’s Q+ was the Prix de Villeneuve-Sur-Lot (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) and the 1.13.2kr timed winner was 8.5/1 Super Fez (7m Love You-Lucia FI) with Franck Nivard up for Scuderia Cumana Group SRL and its trainer Gennaro Casillo. 2.4/1 Cobra Ar Carac (6g Kaiser Soze) was a game second for Anthony Barrier and third went to 11/1 Boccador (7g Prince Gede) for Matthieu Abrivard. 70/1 As des Jacquets and 43/1 Quincy Frontline completed the top five, Fleche Bourbon kept her win streak intact (six straight in an undefeated career to date) scoring in 1.14.3kr in the Gr. III Prix d’Istres (purse €68,000, 2700 meters, European) with J-Ph Monclin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. The three year old daughter of Saxo de Vandel-Uzara Josselyn) now has earnings of €110,250 in her brief career. She was off as the even-money favorite and bested 8/1 Fashion Queen (3f Pablo As) with Eric Raffin up, for trainer Philippe Allaire, and 86.1 Isabella Boshoeve (3f Ready Cash) reined by her trainer Dion P. Tesselaar. 53/1 Full Option (3f Fast Photo) was fourth for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Allaire. The Gr. II featured Prix Chambon P (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, International) went to the great mare and 1.3/1 favorite Belina Josselyn (7f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) that was bred and is owned by Ecurie Yvan Bernard and handled by trainer Jean Michel Bazire. Race time was 1.12.3kr and Belina recorded her 19th victory in 56 career starts for €1,660,430 earned. The 2.7/1 Bird Parker (7m Ready Cash-Belisha) was a good second for J-Ph Monclin and trainer Philippe Allaire. Third was 20/1 Amiral Sacha (8m Ganymede0Nostalgique Sacha) with Gabriele Gelormini up. 76/1 Akim du Cap Vert was fourth. The June 8 Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix Titania (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 15 European starters) went to 1.14.2kr timed and 9/1 Caline de Fleur (6f Mago de la Merite-Maika du Maninay) handled by Matthieu Abrivard for owner/trainer Thierry Raffegeau. The 4.3/1 Class Action (6f Scipion du Goutier) was second for driver/trainer/owner Charles Dreux, and 3.2/1 Brisbane du Bourg (7f Jasmin de Flore) was third with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 51.1 Venus du Rosay and 7.4/1 Romi Mms were fourth and fifth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

May 11, 2018 - Post work week harness racing fans observed tonight’s Prix Pegulus (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed and 28/1 Crazy Dream (6g Repeat Love-Daisy Chain). Julien Dubois teamed the Yves Boireau trainee that Pierre Schmidt owns and Ecurie D bred. 11/1 Copernic de Play (6g Giant Cat-Orelie de Play) held second for owner/trainer/driver Franck Blandin. 41/1 Chtiot de Bella (6g Defi d’Aunou-Joyeuse Coulonces) rallied for third with trainer Pascal Danet the driver. The winning Crazy Dream is a big rugged horse from the sire Repeat Love (Coktail Jet-Guilty Of Love-And Arifant), a full brother to Love You) from the Speedy Somolli mare Daisy Chain (Kravotte-Caprior), dam of Kaisy Dream, Orsy Dream and Paisy Dream. Kaisy Dream won over one million euro and sired Brigham Dream, a major US stakes winning filly, The Quinte+ Prix Leo (purse €55,000, 2100 meters, 16 European starters) resulted in a blanket finish with 9/1 Ardente du Clos (8f Reve des Vallees-Lumiere duClos) emerging victorious. The quick 1.11.2kr timed winner has handled by owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard as he increased career earnings past the €260,000 mark. 2.8/1 King Sir Kir (7m Make It Happen-Kings Blondie) took second for Alexandre Abrrivard, ahead of 4.7/1 Lover Face (10g Love You-Ambra OK) with Franck Nivard up. 20/1 Verrazano Bridge (9g Offshore Dream) and 15/1 Vafleury (9g Memphis du Rib). Friday’s Prix Burgunda (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, eight starters) went to 1.15kr timed and 2,8/1 Free Man (3m Ready Cash-Olly Star). Mathieu Mottier teamed the Dominique Mottier trained colt that Jean Pierre Barjon owns. 4.4/1 Faithful (3m Village Mystic-Horsaca) was half-length beaten second with Alexandre Abrivard up for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 2.1/1 favorite Falcao de Laurma (3m Uniclove-Rangoon) was third for the driver/trainer  team of Clement and Thierry Duvaldestin. Thomas H. Hicks

May 9, 2018 - Tuesday’s Prix Fama (Gr. III, purse €66,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to undefeated (five of five) and 2/5 harness racing favorite Fleche Bourbon (3f Saxo de Vandel-Uzara Josselyn) driven by J.Ph.Monclin. Sebastien Guarato trains the fine filly that is owned and was bred by Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. Race time was 1.16.5kr for the now winner of €79,650. 7.2/1 Avalon Mists (3f Pastor Stephen-Sunshine Bi) took second for Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not of Holland. 8.2/1 Freegate Island (3f Timoko-Ahneska) was third for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Bjorn Goop and owners P&D Bronsman AB. 13/1 Firefly (3f Ready Cash) and 10/1 Full Option (3f Fast Photo) were next to the line. On Wednesday at Marseille Borely was the Prix du Departement (purse €30,000, 3000 meters, 14 starters) with 1.4/1 Defi The Best (5m Timoko-Pamia) the winner driven by Y-A Briand. He trains for Ecurie des Charmes. 12/1 Crazy Horse (6m Saphir d’Haufor) was second for Jonathan Asselie and third was 15/1 Boccador (7g Prince Gede) for Herve Chauve-Laffay. In France, J-P Dubois’ Echauffour farm burned and caused extensive damage, loss of memories and documents. No damage occurred to human and equine inhabitants. In Sweden, Johnny Takter announced his driving retirement but not before winning two at Solvalla on Tuesday. He scored with A Sweet Dance (3fMaharajah-Sugar Step-Sugarcane Hanover) for trainer Helena Burman, the fourth straight win in 2018 for the winner that now has five wins in eight career outings. Race time was 1.14.5kr and 300,000SEK was earned by the winner of this Wallenius-Kleberg Juvenile contest raced over 2140 meters autostart. Earlier, Takter won with Hevin Boko (4f Going Kronos-Welat Boko-Garland Lobell) in a 2140 meters autostart event worth 300,000SEK to the Timo Nurmos trainee. Race time was 1.12.9kr. On Friday the Paris-Vincennes program includes three groupe events including the Prix Guillaune de Bellaigue, a monte international Gr. III test for a purse of €120,000 and raced over 2700 meters. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 24, 2018 - The Prix Masina (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 three year old females) began the top harness racing action this evening and it went to 26/1 Fiorella de Ted (3f Up and Quick-Ravissante Jo) timed in 1.14.2kr for driver Franck Nivard. Franck Leblanc trains this one for owner Emmanuel Baziller, and Ted now has three wins in 13 starts for €147,380 earned. 11/1 Fantastic Life (3f Prodigious-True Life) took second driven by breeder Jean Philippe Dubois for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 78/1 Fipsie de Guez (3f Tango Quick-Utsie de Guez) has third for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. 3/5 favorite Fly With Us was a dq. The co-feature Tuesday evening at Vincennes was the Prix Paule Karle (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 11 three year old colts) and 2/1 Follow You (3m Ready Cash-Mara Bourbon) scored in 1.15kr for driver Franck Niavrd. This Sebastien Guarato trainee is owned by Scuderia Bivans Srl, was bred by Ecurie Dream With Me, and now has five wins in eight career starts for €146,950. 1.9/1 Fajor du Lorault (3m Vaillant Cash-Native du Lorault) was a close second for Francois Lecanu and trainerFrederic Heon. with 6.4/1 Fantissime (3m Ready Cash-Invre de Victoire) took third with Yoann Lebourgeois up for breeder/trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. The Gr. I International Olympiatravet takes place at Aby on Saturday with a nice field at the start. Thomas H. Hicks

April 13, 2018 - The Friday evening program at Paris-Vincennes included the Q+ Prix Eukrate (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) and the Gr. II Prix Jean Riaud (purse €115,000, 3535 meters distance handicap, 13 starters). The former went to 12/1 Vanillette (9f Lord du Pin-Etoile de Rivray) reined by Adrien Lamy for trainer Jean Morice. The winner recorded her 10th career victory now for €226,170 earned. 8/1 Ahrima Turgot (8f Prodigious-Night Turgot) was a close second for Mathieu Daougabel driving for trainer Herve Dauougabel. 1.9/1 favorite  Andiamo de Monchel (8g Kiwi) was third for J-M Bazire ahead of 5.5/1 Biniou de Connee (7g Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree) and 12/1 Bettina de Tillard (7f Ouragon de Cellard). Race time was 1.12.7kr. The Prix Jean Riaud went to 12/1 Beau Gamin (7m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) timed in 1.13.6kr for J-M Bazire the trainer/driver. Ecurie Jean Michel Rancoule owns this 11 time career winner now for €631,110 earned. 15/1 Cash Gamble (7m Ready Cash-No Way Back) was second for J.Ph. Monclin teaming for Norway’s Stall T.J. Gamble. 2.8/1 Valko Jenilat (9f Kepler) overcame a 25 meter penalty to capture third with Aric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 25 meter handicapped Traders (6m Ready Cash) at 8.4/1 took fourth for Joann Lebourgeois and 43/1 Tony Gio (6m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) was fifth with Matthieu Abrivard driving. The 25 meter handicapped Uniflosa Bella at 9/1 and 50 meter penalized Up And Quick (10m Buvetier d’Aunou) at 80/1, a winner of €2,046,040, raced well with the latter clocked in 1/12/9kr Thomas H. Hicks  

April 7, 2018 - Saturday’s excellent Paris-Vincennes harness racing program showcased four groupe tests led off by the Prix de Plovescat (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) and won by the 1.12.1kr timed  and 2/5 favorite Arlington Dream (8g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp). Jockey Yoann Lebourgeois was in the irons for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Fredric Sauque as Arlington Dream recorded his 19th career victory in 64 outings, now for €865,800 earned, with this 1.12.1klr timed score. 9/2 Vrai Voyou (9g Gazouillis) was second for Adrien Lamy ahead of 6.4/1 Alpha Saltor (8m Paris Haufor) with Matthieu Abrivard up. Between the groupe races was the Prix des Federation Quest at Basse-Normandie (purse €55,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters). The impressive 1.11.1kr timed winner was 4.2/1 Diamond (8g Classic Photo-Gala dei Bessi) reined by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Paul Hagoort and Ecurie Mille Fleurs. 5.6/1 Class de Loriol (6f Ready Cash) was a good second for Eric Raffin and 46/1 Lover Face (10g Love You) was third for driver Franck Nivard. The Prix de Saint Brieve(Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 15 starters four year old females) went to 1.12.4kr timed and 5/10 favorite Erming d’Oliverie (4f Scipion du Goutier-Thesa d’Oliverie) with Franck Nivard up. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 63/1 Elisione Mag (4f Quaker Jet) was next for Alexandre Abrivard and 14/1 Elite du Ruel (4f Timoko) was third for Franck Anne. Four year old males competed in the Gr. II Prix Phaeton (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 11 four year old male starters) with 14/1 Ever Pride (4m Prodigious-Queenly Pride) scoring timed in 1.12.2kr. Gabriele Gelormini teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee that Philippe Dewulf owns. 6.2/1 Earl Simon (4m Prodigious-Tindrana) was second for driver Franck Nivard and trainer Jarmo Niskanen. 59/1 Easy des Racques (4m Rodrigo Jet) was third for J.Ph. Monclin and 7.1/1 Express Jet (4m Goetmals Wood), Pierre Vercruysse up, was placed fourth in the blanket finish when 2.4/1 Eridan was a dq nearing the line. The Prix de Santes (Gr. III, purse €60,000, 2100 meters, 11 three year old filly starters) went to 1.13.1kr timed and 9/2 odds Fantastic Life (3f Prodigious-True Life) scored for Jean Philippe Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 7.8/1 Freegate Island (3f Timoko-Agresica) rallied for second for driver Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Bjorn Goop and owners P&D Bronsman. 15/1 French Darling (3f Love You-Native Darling) was third for Matthieu Abrivard, her second start after being acquired at the January Prix d’Amerique sale. Offspring of the successful sire Prodigious (Goetmals Wood-Imagine d’Odyssee-Buvetier d’Aunou) were evident in this program and the €644,130 has been a consistent successful sire including Vision Intense, Valse Darling, Carat Williams and others. Sharon Gar Takes Q+ at Vincennes April 7, 2018 - Saturday’s Q+ Prix du Treport (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 1 European starters) went to 11/1 Sharon Gar (7f Varenne-Geneve Gar) timed in 1.13.5kr for reinsman J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Philippe Billard, and owner Scuderia Rory’s Horses. The winner now has career earnings of €441,714. 5.8/1 Venose de Minel (9g Laetenter Diem) took second for Tony LeBeller ahead of 21.1 Unbridled Charm (10m Password) driven by Jean Philippe Dubois. Completing the quinte top five were 16/1 Blooma d’Heripre (7f Rolling d’Heripre) for Eric Raffin and even money favorite Bel Avis (7g Ganymede) reined by J-M Bazire for Ireland’s legendary Wildenstein Stables Ltd. Thomas H. Hicks

April 6, 2018 - Cicero Noa (6g Mandarino Blue-Ma Belle Reine) was an impressive winner of Friday evening’s Q+ Prix Gratia (purse €47,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) scoring in a quick 1.12.3kr for harness racing driver Pierre Vercruysse and breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke.  This 4.7/1 second choice bested 2.6/1 Cocktai Julino (6g Pagalor) with Matthieu Abrivard up for owner/trainer L.B. Martin. 9/1 Cyriel d’Atom (6g Otello Pierji) was third for P.Y. Verva. Completing the top five were 83/1 Arrival de Ginai and 12/1 Bambino du Pre. The Saturday Vincennes program is highlighted by the Q+ and four groupe level contests. Thomas H. Hicks

March 23, 2018 - Trotting action returned to Vincennes on Friday evening with the Quinte+ Prix Maia (purse €52,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) being the featured contest. The 1.14.6kr timed winner was 3.9/1 Baraka (7f Love You-Polanska) handled by trainer Franck Nivard for Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson. 80/1 Amaya Djob (8f Mambo King-Kismie Djob) was home second driven by Mme. Sophie Larduinat-Descout for trainer Dominik Cordeau. 16/1 Ahrima Turgot (8f Prodigious-Night Turgot) took third for Mathieu Daougabel and trainer Herve Daougabel. 16/1 Crepe de Satin (6f LeRetour) and 3.2/1 Celeste Dry (6f Goetmals Wood) completed the top five. The Q+N exact order payoff exceeded €190,000. The program included several events for lightly raced females such as the Prix Clorinda A (purse €33,000, 2200 meters, 12 starters – four year old mares).10/1 Egerie Quesnot (4f Sam Bourbon-Urania Bourbon) scored for driver Bjorn Goop clocked in 1.15.4kr/ Romain Jajolet owns and trains the winner that defeated 5.8/1 Elevation (4f Sam Bourbon-Queen Scarlet) reined by Valentin Royer. 32/1 Eclaircie (4f Rombaldi-Ire du Ciel) took the third check for driver Sylvain Direaudonne. The Prix Alcyone (purse €36,000, 2200 meters, 11 three year old filly starters) went to the favored 9/10 odds Freche Bourbon (3f Saxo de Vandel-Uzara Josselyn) clocked in 1.15.7kr. She race on the lead with a rival alongside before drawing away in the lane for J.Ph. Monclin. Sebastien Guarato trains this winner for Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. 7.4/1 Filoe de Jary (3f Timoko-Sierra d’Albert) took second money for Quentin Machet and trainer Richard Westerink, developer and trainer/owner of Timoko. Third home was 6.2/1 Fierte d’Aunou (3f Quaker Jet-Tempete d’Aunou) for owner/trainer/driver Etienne Dubois. Thomas H. Hicks  

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