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December 31, 2017 - Today’s solid Vincennes New Year’s Eve harness racing undercard began with the Prix de Cresserons (purse €70,000, 2100 meters autostart, eight starters-four year olds) and 16/1 Dellaro Vedaquais (4g Ready Cash-Spandelle) rallied up for J.Ph. Monclin to score timed in a fast 1.11.5kr. Philippe Allaire is owner/trainer and J-P Guay bred the winner. 4/5 favorite Dexter Chatho (4g Un Amour d’Haufor-Okoyama) held second for owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. 108/1 Danseur du Houlbet (4g Rodrigo Jet-Rosa du Houlbet) was third for Alexis Pratt and driver Frederic Pratt. The monte Prix de l’Etrier d’Or 2017 (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed and 5.3/1 Chalimar de Guez (5g Nahar de Beval-Phebe de Guez) with J-Y Ricart in the irons for trainer J-M Bazire and Ecurie Vautors. 16/1 Cash du Rib (5g Ready Cash-Quille Castelets) ended second for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, also trainer. 20/1 Creation (5f Rieussec-Ovation) was third for Camille Levesque and trainer J.G. Eeckhaute. The Prix de Limours (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) went to quick 1.12.6kr timed and 19/1 Altesse du Banney (7f Niky-Diva d’Isques) with trainer P-Y Verva up for breeder/owner Michel Gabillot. 26/1 Auro Normande (7f Ready Cash-Normandia) was second for owner/trainer/driver Eric Lambertz. Third was 9/1 Aldo d’Argentre (7m Qualmio de Vandel) for Adrien Lamy. El Santo Haufor (3g Paris Haufor-Santa Haufor) took the Prix du Sulky d’Or 2017 (purse €44,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) at 1.1/1 odds for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. Race time was 1.15.4kr. 18/1 Espoir Fou (3m Love You-Rebelle) was second for David Thomain, trainer Sebastien Guarato, owner Pierre Pilarski and Scuderia Bolgheri Srl was the breeder. 15/1 Estaban Jiel (3m Coktail Jet-Nirkonia Jiel) was third for Franck Ouvrie. Two year olds contested the Prix de Chatellerault (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, eight starters) and 5/1 Fantastic Life (2f Prodigious-True Life) scored for breeder/driver Jean Philippe Dubois as the rain and light snow occurred at Vincennes. Timed in 1.18.9kr the winner recorded her second win along with four placings in six 2017 starts for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Two year olds also were in action at Cagnes-sur-Mer in the Prix de Rimplas (purse €18,000, 2150 meters autostart, 14 entrants) with victory to 1.1/1 favorite Funky Girl (2f Uhlan du Val-My Lovely Girl) timed in 1.17.9kr for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Louis Baudron. This filly now has two wins and a placing in three career appearances. My Lovely Girl (Coktail Jet-Guilty Of Love) is a well-bred full sister to Love You, Nice Love and Repeat Love. Baudron (owner/trainer/driver) returned to win the Prix des Lutins (purse €18,000, 2925 meters, 14 starters) with the 12/1 and 1.17.5kr timed Enigme Jenilou (3f Royal Dream-Pirogue Jenilou), her third career victory in 11 outings. Pirogue Jenilou (by Blue Eyes America) won €601,567 and was a major performer (At 3, third in Criterium des Jeunes, Prix Roquépine. at 4, Winner of Criterium des 4 ans, second in Prix Ariste Hémard, Prix de Sélection). Thomas H. Hicks  

December 30, 2017 - Today’s Gr. III Prix Yvonnick Boden (monte, purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) went to noteable front stepping harness racing monte specialist 2.6/1 Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) and jockey Mlle. Delphine Besse, who won her first in 2017. Philippe Allaire trains the property of Frederic Sauque. 29/1 Vrai Voyou (8g Gazouillis-Oranginette) was second for Romain Marty, in the irons for trainer P. Emmanuel Marty. 19/1 Americaine  (7f Chef de Chatelet-Marine Raudiciere) was third with Alexandre Angot up.  Race time was 1.12.4kr for the six length winner. Today’s Quinte + was the Prix de Bar le Doc (purse €105.000, 2850 meters distance handicap. 15 European starters) went to 1.13.7kr timed and 11/1 Ungaro d’Eva (9g Ipsom de Mormal-Iomolly) driven by Eric Raffin for J-M Baudouin. 8.9/1 Alfor de Mire (7g Notre Haufor-Hilda Dix) was second for Charles J. Bigeon and trainer Christian Bigeon, ahead of 22/1 and 25 meter handicapped Totem d’Azur (10m Joao Panca) and Junior Guelpa, also trainer. 23/1 Arthuro Boy and 5.2/1 A Nice Biy completed the top five. 3/1 Atlas da Vinci with Bjorn Goop and 7/2 Call Me Keeper and Pierre Vercruysse were dnf’s when Atlas fell at top of stretch and following Call Me Keeper went into his rival and also went down. Both pilots were unseated. The Prix de Tence (purse €40,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) went to 6.6/1 Capella de Vrie (5f Prince d’Espace-Pandore Vrie) for driver Franck Nivard and breeder/owner/trainer Roger Baudron. 9/1 Carte Secrete (5f Prodigious-Libre Allure) was second for driver Julien Dubois, Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 2.2/1 favorite Cadence des Fre (5f Panache de l’Iton) and driver Eric Raffin took third. Race time was 1.14.9kr. Other good winners on the card were 1.4/1 Dubai D’essarts (4f Kaisy Dream-Ode des Essarts) timed in 1.12.4kr for Francois Lagadeuc  in the Prix de Damville (purse €70,000, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters). Two year olds contested the Prix des Eglantiers (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) and the winner was 17/1 Fighter Smart (2m Uniclove-Vicky Cash) with Matthieu Abrivard up. 7.9/1 Fargo (2m Atlas de Joudes) was second for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 4/1 French Man (2m Voyage de Reve-Oh Butterfly) held third for Julien Dubois, the breeder/owner/trainer. Fleuron d’Iroise (2m Kaisy Dream) with William Bigeon and 1.3/1 favorite Faithful (2m Village Mystic) for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron were fourth and fifth. J-M Bazire remains the FR dash winning driver for 2017 with 231 wins for €6.2million purse won. Bazire had 255 wins in 2016 and has held the title since 2010 with Franck Nivard second in each year except one. Thomas H. Hicks

December 10, 2017 - Today’s Prix Octave Douesnel (Gr. II, four year olds, purse €120,000, 2700 meters) resulted in a blanket finish with victory to the 1/2 harness racing favorite Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine). Away at the end driver Yoann Lebourgeois moved the winner to the outside at the halfway point and he reached the death seat at head of the lane. But, his inner leading adversary 6.9/1 Delfino (4m Speedy Blue-Miss Volo) would not yield easily and just missed as he battled back for Mathieu Mottier and breeder/owner/trainer Dominique Mottier. Third was 13/1 Doberman (4m Prodigious-Quietude Mesloise) for Franck Nivard and fourth was 8.5/1 Discours Joyeux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelle Copine) for Eric Raffin. Race time was 1.15.2kr off modest even fractions. Django Riff now has 16 career wins in 34 starts for €1,139,500 earned. Earlier on the card was the Prix des Jacinthes (purse €40,000, 2700 meters, two year olds) and the 1.18.2kr timed and 4.8/1 odds winner was the unchecked impressive Faithful (2m Village Mystic-Horsaca) handled by breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. Faithful now has two wins in three career starts. 4/5 favorite Fleuron d’Ironise (2m Kaisy Dream-Star des Charmes) was second for J-M Bazire and owner/trainer William Bigeon. 5.3/1 Fifty Kalouma (2m Ready Cash-Sadaya de Cerisy) was third for Thierry Duvaldestin. Thomas H. Hicks

December 7, 2017 - Today’s Quinte+ Prix de Blois (purse 95,000 euro, 2100 meters, 18 European starters) went to 3.4/1 Une Serenade (9f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) driven by Eric Raffin for harness racing trainer Serge Peltier. Race time was a sharp 1.11kr. Une Serenade recorded her 17th career win in 75 starts now for 553,180 euro earned. 5/1 Vulcain de Vandel (8m Jag de Bellouet) was second for Franck Nivard and trainer Benjamin Goetz. Third was 2.3/1 Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America) for trainer/driver Johan Untersteiner. 51/1 Caduceus des Baux and 39/1 Romanesque were fourth and fifth.The Prix de Murat (purse 54,000 euro, 2850 meters, 18 European starters) at Vincennes went to 1.1/1 Bauloise Haufor (6f Kool du Caux-Hutesse des Pres) for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon, continuing a stream of Bigeon victories. Race time was 1.13.9kr. 12/1 Babylone Seven (6f Oiseau de Feux) was second for J-M Bazire, also trainer. 10/1 Easytowin (6f Offshore Dream-Victory My Way) took third for Dion P. Tesselaar, the trainer/driver. The Prix de Saint-Aubin les Elbeuf (purse 85,000 euro, 2850 meters, 11 starters) went to 2.1/1 Cash Maker (5g Coktail Jet-Salt Lake City) timed in 1.15.2kr for trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. NV Hicewa is breeder/owner of the winner. 19/1 Candidat d’Ortige (5m Giant Cat) was second for Franck Nivard and trainer Franck Leblanc. 5.4/1 Cerenzo Turbo (5m Ganymede) was third for J-M Bazire. Sunday’s Prix du Bourbonnais field is now complete with the following lineup: December 10 Course 6 - Paris-Vincennes, Gr. II International, purse 120,000 euro, 2850 meters Starter/Driver/Trainer Spartan Kronos, Conrad Lugauer driver/trainer Uza Josselyn, Alexandre Abrivard, R. Aebischer Briac Dark, Matthieu Abrivard, Thierry Duvaldestin Charly du Noyer, Yoann Lebourgeois, Philippe Allaire Carat Williams, David Thomain, Sebastien Guarato Ringostarr Treb, Gabriele Gelormini, Jerry Riordan Bilibili, L.Cl. Abrivard trainer/driver Booster Winner, Mathieu Mottier, Sebastien Guarato Valko Jenilat, Eric Raffin, Sebastien Guarato Propulsion, Orjan Kihlstrom, David Reden Belina Josselyn, J-M Bazire trainer/driver Akim du Cap Vert, Franck Anne trainer/driver Lionel, Bjorn Goop, David Reden Votigeur de Myrt, Lorenzo Donati, Roberto Donati Wild Honey, Franck Ouvrie, Daniel Reden Bird Parker, J.Ph. Monclin, Philippe Allaire Bold Eagle, Franck Nivard, Sebastien Guarato   The upcoming weekend Paris-Vincennes program includes six groupe events: December 9 Prix Raoul Balliere, Gr. II, 120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters Criterium des 3 Ans, Gr. I, 240,000 euro purse, 2700 meters Prix Ariste Hemard, Gr. II, 120,000 euro purse, 2700 meters Prix Narquois, Gr. III, purse 95,000 euro, 2700 meters December 10 Prix Octave Douesnel, Gr. II, 120,000 euro purse, 2700 meters Grand Prix du Bourbonnais, Gr. II, purse 120,000 euro, 2850 meters Today’s top action in Italy was at Milano for two year olds. The Gran Criterium Filly (purse 77,000 euro, 1650 meters autostart) went to pacesetting Ziva EK (2f Varenne-Gianna di Jesolo-Diamond Way) timed in 1.15.4kr for a four length victory. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the winner. Zarina Roc (2f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc-Crowning Classic) and Zenobia Font (2f Ganymede-Dionea-Park Avenue Joe) were second and third, The companion Gran Criterium Open (purse 187,000 euro, 1650 meters autostart) went to Zarenne FAS (2m Varenne-Muscle FAS-Muscles Yankee)  with Federico Minopoli up. Zazza’Del Pino (2f Nad Al Sheba-Galaxy del Pino-Lemon Dra) and Zekante EK (2m Saxo de Vandel-Freedom EK-Bon Vivant)  finished second and third. On December 6 the Q+ Prix de Saint-Jean de Monts (purse 42,000 euro, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to 1.14.6kr clocked and 9/1 Daisy Team (4f Timoko-Daisy Chain) reined by owner/trainer/driver Julien Dubois. 15/1 Donostia de Lou (4f Real de Lou) was second for trainer/driver Anthony Dollion. 40/1 Dune de L’Aunay (4f Loulou Jet) took third for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Vincent Raimboult.  Daytona Dodville and Drajanie were fourth and fifth.The Prix de la Ville de Royan (purse 50,000 euro, 2850 meters) on this card went to 1.4/1 Bahamas Quick (6f Pim Quick-Koorla Kine) teamed by Franck Nivard for trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Quick Star, the breeder/owner. 3.2/1 Siebella Park (6f Varenne-Grandera Park) took second for J-M Bazire and Team Minopoli. 78/1 Bodega Chenevie was third. On December 5 at Paris-Vincennes was the Prix des Gardenias (two year olds, purse 33,000 euro, 2100 meters autostart) produced victory for Future Darling (2f Goetmals Wood-Romance Darling), her second straight, for driver Matthieu Abrivard. The 1.16.1kr timed winner is trained by Yves Boireau for owner Jean Pierre Dubois. The Q+ this day was the Prix des Pyrenees (purse 50,000 euro, 2850 meters) and the 1.14kr timed winner was Be Bop Haufor for the red hot Bigeon stable, this one handled by owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 24, 2017 - The Prix de l’ile (purse €95,000, 2859 meters, European monte starters), Thursday’s featured harness racing event, went to 16/1 Tout Va Bien (10g Inen-LaLolita) with P.Ph. Ploquin in the irons for breeder/owner/trainer Bertrand Kernivinen. Timed in 1.14.3kr the winner was placed first due to dq of Bruyere du Rib. Placed second was 15.9/1 Vivaldi d’Ambroise (8m Kid Blue-Oceane d’Ambroise) with Oceane Briand aboard. Placed third was 83/1 Taj Mahal d’Ombree (10g Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Maharani d’Ombree) with Romain Marty up. Tout Va Bene pl1 Today’s Q+ was at Paris-Vincennes as the Prix de Sille le Guillaume (purse €70,000. 2850 meters, European starters) and victory went to 61.2/1 Ultra du Gade (9g Memphis du Rib-Bayonne). Eric Raffin teamed this J.P. Lecourt trainee for owner D.J. Julien. 27.3/1 Amarilla de Rabut (7f Ideal de lIton-Delux Pommes) was second ahead of 13.9/1 Athos des Volos (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Penelope des Volos). The next two were off at 9.3/1 and 9.2/1 setting up a large exact order Q+ payoff shown below. The program also included a victory in the Prix de Dunkerque (purse €60,000, 2850 meters) by 1.14.4kr timed and 3/5 favored Dorgos de Guez (4g Roncok du Guez-Lady Fromentro) with trainer Jean Michel Bazire up. 27/1 Doum Jenilou (4g Rancho Gede) and 4.6/1 Dark Mencourt (4m Tucson) were the next pair to the line. On Friday at Vincennes was the Q+ Prix Triton (purse €46,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) and 26.4/1 Bachar (6m Prodigious-Princesse Victoire) prevailed for driver Gabriele Gelormini and Ecurie Augustin-Normand. 17/1 Bolide du Guet (6g Fortuna Fant-Oliva du Guet) and 4.2/1 Bois de Baudrai (6m Rocklyn) were second and third. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 20, 2017 - The featured harness racing Prix Edmond Henry (monte, Gr, II, purse €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) went to even-money odds Traders (5m Ready Cash-Graziella) and his jockey Yoann Lebourgeois. This horse, that once bested Bold Eagle, is owned and trainer by Philippe Allaire. 8/1 Bilibili (6g Niky-Quetty du Donjon) was second ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for breeder/owner Jean Pierre Barjon and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Third was 20.6/1 Bohemian Rhapsody (6f Niky-Kuela Lumpur) and Camille Levesque for owner/breeder Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque. Traders, by this win, claims a bid to the lucrative Grand Prix de Cornulier the Sunday before the Prix d’Amerique, that carries a purse of €700,000 and is the richest monte event in the world. The Prix de Cornulier began in 1931 and has showcased legendary winners such as three time victors Jag de Bellouet. Kaiser Trot, Bellino II and well known double winners such as Roxane Grif. Tidalium Pelo, Tabriz, Dream With Me and others. The last five winners are shown below (Wikipedia file): Year Winner S/A Time Sire Jockey Trainer Owner Second Third 2017 Bellissima France F.6 1'13" Blue Dream Matthieu Abrivard Matthieu Abrivard Écurie Abrivard Tornade du Digeon Bilibili 2016 Scarlet Turgot F.10 1'12"9 Dahir de Prélong Alexandre Abrivard Yannick-Alain Briand Thérèse Hoste Astor du Quenne Attentionally 2015 Roxane Griff F.10 1'13"3 Ténor de Baune Éric Raffin Sébastien Guarato Écurie Griff Tiégo d'Étang Talicia Bella 2014 Roxane Griff F.9 1'12"3 Ténor de Baune Éric Raffin Sébastien Guarato Écurie Griff Tiégo d'Étang Saphir de Morge 2013 Singalo M.7 1'12"4 Goetmals Wood David Thomain Louis Baudron Louis Baudron Quarry Bay Scolie de Bassière   On the November 20 card at Vincennes was the Q+ Prix de Montignac-Chorente (purse €88,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) and 5/1 Balbir (6g Ganymede-Manzir) scored timed in 1.13.9kr for trainer/driver Mickael Cormy and owner Ecurie de Vieux Chene. 58.2/1 Quick Fix (8g From Above-Glued) was a close second for Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 2.3/1 Bakchich (6g Quopeck-Paux de Villeneuve) was third for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer J.M. Legros. 32.1/1 Tell Me No Lies and 20.1/1 Anette du Mirel were fourth and fifth to the line. Also on the PV program was the Prix de Loudun (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 13 strarters) and the 1.16.5kr timed victory went to 1.3/1 Dark Night Love (4f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnas) with trainer Jean Michel Bazire up. Thomas H. Hicks

November 19, 2017 - Harness racing Groupe action began this day with the Gr. II Prix Jacques de Vauloge (purse €120,000. 2700 meters) and 16/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) scored timed in 1.14.4kr for driver J.Ph. Monclin. 3/5 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was second for pilot Mathieu Mottier, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf. 3.6/1 Express Jet (3m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) rallied to gain third for driver/trainer Pierre Vercruysse and Ecurie Opale. The Gr. II Prix Annick Dreux (purse €130,000, 2700 meters) and the 1.14kr timed winner was 3/10 favorite Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) with Mathieu Mottier up. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 27.3/1 Exotic Destination (3f Love You-Quiromantica) was a fast rallying second for Matthieu Abrivard. Yves Boireau trains this one for breeder/owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. 28.7/1 Estelada de Font (3f Orateur-Quibala Street) and trainer/driver Emmanuelle Allard finished third. Fractions were even. The Prix de Cosse le Vivien (purse €75,000, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters), a solid conditioned event, went to 1.12.3kr timed and 7/10 favorite Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Marie) with J-M Bazire up for legendary Wildenstein Stables Ltd Ireland. 12.5/1 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit of Charm) and 10.8/1 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) were second and third. The Gr. III Prix de Bossy Saint Leger (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, European), the last of the day’s groupe events, went to 51.9/1 Delia du Pommereux (4f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) reined by trainer Sylvain Roger for breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Race time was 1.12kr off quick and steady fractions. 4.7/1 Tessy d’Ete (5f Ganymede-Love me Tender) held second closely for J-M Bazire, trainer Philippe Billard and Scuderia Eurocolor Srl. Third was 6.5/1 Comtesse du Chene (5f Quaker Jet-Imperiale du Chene) with David Thomain up for trainer Julien LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 10, 2017 - 6.9/1 Defides Pistes (4g Neutron du Cebe-Ombre des Pistes) held on for victory in Friday evening’s harness racing Prix Titan (monte, purse €50,000, 14 starters) clocked in 1.14.1kr and with Adrien Lamy in the irons. Andre Melosi is breeder/owner. 5.7/1 Diktat du Start (4g Quaker Jet) rallied strongly for second with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Philippe Daugeard and third went to 28.2/1 Diego de Retz (4g First de Retz) for P.Ph. Ploquin. The day’s Quinte+ event was at Vincennes and that result lit up the payoff board. 8.6/1 Bahamas Quick (6f Pim Quick-Kouriakine) scored for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Quick Star, the breeder/owner. 33.1/1 Bahia Somolli (6f Millenium Wood-Italia Somolli) was second and 20.2/1 Balla du Vivier (6f Korean-Naa du Vivier) took third. 46.7/1 Brihana and 58/1 Bridget Landemer completed and top five and complete a big time score for exact order ticket pickers. Next week starts the Epiqe Series that leads to the Prix d’Amerique. The kickoff is the Grand Prix de Bretagne that typically draws many of the best Amerique potential participants. Thomas H. Hicks                    

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II monte Prix Olry-Roederer (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine European starters) drew a superb harness racing field and victory went to Dexter Fromentro (4m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) and jockey Camille Levesque. Thomas Levesque trains and Pierre Levesque owns the 1.16.3kr timed winner that was off at 9/2 odds. 6.3/1 Dragon d’Avril (4m Thorens Vedaquais) was second with Adrien Lamy up for Sebastien Houyvet, the owner/trainer. Third was 6/1 Dreamer Delo (4m Ready Cash-Reverie d’Ar) and jocket Damien Bonne. The 1.4/1 favorite Darlhey du Rib was a misque dq. The day’s Q+ was also at Vincennes this day and the Prix de Cognac (purse €55,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) went to 2.1/1 Viking Fromentro (8g Capriccio-Ormindia) for driver Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque, quite a fine day for the Levesque team.  4.3/1 Balando was second for Dominik Locqueneux and third was 44/1 As de Godisson and driver Laurent Verva. Q+ payoffs follow. Thomas H. Hicks    

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Marcel Laurent (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 10 four and five year old European starters) kicked off for some a path to the harness racing Prix d’Amerique. This field may be the best in the age class in Europe and what a victory it was for 1.11.3kr timed front striding Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) teamed with David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Francoise Deboudaud. This win was the sixth in succession for Carat Williams and increased his career earnings to €794,240. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America) rallied for second driven by trainer Johan Untersteiner. Third was Urlo Dei Venti (4m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy) with Enrico Bellei up for trainer Gennaro Casillo. Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) and Diabo du Noyer (4m Jasmin de Flore-Une et Indivisible) were fourth and fifth, ahead of Treasure Kronos that traveled comfortably in the death seat but could not sustain her stretch bid. Fractions were steady (1.09.2kr with 1500 remaining; 1.11.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.9kr with 500 meters to go). The winning Carat Williams was the 2/5 favorite while the next pair were off at 11/1 and 45/1 respectively. Thomas H. Hicks

November 6, 2017 - The three Gr. II harness racing events this day at Paris-Vincennes began with the monte Prix Reynolds (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters) with victory timed in 1.11.7kr to 4.7/1 Ulka des Champs (9f Offshore Dream-Melissa des Champs). Matthieu Abrivard teamed the winner. 24.7/1 Veloce du Banney (g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) and driver Franck Nivard took second ahead of 6.4/1 Tornado Bello (10m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade) and jockey Camille Levesque for trainer Thomas Levesque. The Prix Reynolds kicks off the path during the Winter Meet toward the Prix de Cornulier contested the Sunday prior to the Prix d’Amerique 2018. The Gr. II Prix Reine du Corta (purse €120,000, 12 starters) went to 1.12.9kr clocked 2/5 odds Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) with Franck Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc. 12.3/1 Elegantissime (3f Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire) took second for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. 36.3/1 Estola (3f Nectar-Nika) was next for J.Ph. Monclin. The Prix Abel Bassigny (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) was timed in 1.14.4kr by the winner 6.8/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) handled by David Thomain for trainer/owner team of Sebastien Guarato and Philippe Dewulf, shown below. The same team’s 2/5 favorite Ecu Pieji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was home second with Mathieu Mottier driving. 5.7/1 Express Jet (3m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) was third for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie Opale. Jean Etienne Dubois bred this one. The Prix de Lesparre (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Cash And Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), the Dubois bred brother to champion Bold Eagle, reined by Franck Nivard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Race time was 1.13.1kr. 19.2/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star-Ire du Ciel) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Guarato and Ecurie des Amis. 49.9/1 Drole d’Espoir (4m Nem-Orphea de Nay) took third for J.Ph. Monclin.  Prix d’Arcachon (Quinte +, purse €82,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) went to 1.1/1 Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) timed in 1.10.7kr for Ch. J. Bigeon, and trainer Christian Bigeon. 12.6/1 Venkatesh (8g Varenne-Honey Face) was second driven by Adrian Kolgjini for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini, with third to 5.1/1 Azaro d’Eva (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Iomolly) handled by Jean Michel Bazire. Q+ payoffs are shown below. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 2, 2017 - Today’s Gr. III Prix de Cevennes (purse €110,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) drew a super quality harness racing field and victory went to 1/2 favorite Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) teamed by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. 6.8/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) took second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire ahead of 7.6/1 Virginie du Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) with trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. Uppercut du Manche, Booster Winner and Amiral Sacha were fourth through sixth. The beaten field also included monte stars Bilibili and Bellissima France. Race time was 1.13.8kr. The Vincennes program also included the Q+ Prix de Soulac (purse €70,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) with victory to 1.13kr timed 24.9/1 Aero King (7h Hooper-Quarmina du Hour) for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer Vincent Lecroq. 98.4/1 Vasco Flower (8g Niky-Nimea) was second for Damien Bonne and owner/trainer Christian Bigeon with third to 8.6/1 Arius du Douet (7g Oyonnax) with Franck Nivard the trainer/driver. The Prix du Durat (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) also was a day’s highlight and 5/2 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) scored for Pierre Levesque, and trainer Thomas Levesque. Timed in 1.14.2kr the winner bested 6.7/1 Black Atout (6m Prodigious-La Laqune) and Mathieu Mottier for trainer Franck Leblanc. 9.4/1 Brune des Forges (6f Rolling d’heripe) was third for David Thomain. Other Vincennes action took place earlier in the week. On Tuesday the Prix Lameia (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters three year old fillies) went to 1.15.6kr timed and 12.4/1 Estancia Love (3f Repeat Love-Quelle Aventure) with Matthieu Abrivard driving for Yves Boireau who trains for owner Jean Pierre Dubois. His Ecurie D was the breeder. 16.2/1 Esquisse Royale (3f Prodigious-Royale Flower) was next for Emilien Roulline driving for Philippe Moulin, trainer for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and this one was bred by Jean Philippe Dubois. Leo Abrivard teamed the third finishing 27.3/1 Escalade (3f Love You-Uranie du Corta). On Tuesday the Prix Marcel Dejean (Gr. III, purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 10 two year old starters) went to 1/2 favorite Fly With Us (2f Ready Cash-Nariane Marceaux) teamed with Eric Raffin for trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. 5/1 Fontaleza (2f Prince d’Espace-Houlba du Pouline) and Jean Michel Bazire took second for owner/trainer Jean Michel Beaudouin. 13.4/1 Fend l Bise (2f Prince Gede-Una Prima Steel) rallied for third with trainer Franck Anne up, for Ecurie AB Trot, the breeder/owner. Wednesday at Laval was the Prix Albert et Raymond Poiteven (purse €30,000, 2875 meters, 15 three year olds) and the 1.15.6kr timed victory went to 6.9/1 Exotic Destination (3f Love You-Quiromantica) with Matthieu Abrivard up. Yves Boireau trains the winner for owner Jean Pierre Dubois. 9/10 favorite Exit  Money (3m Coktail Jet-Making Money) took second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire while 18.1/1 Energy Victory (3f Prodigious-Queens Victory) secured third for Mathieu Mottier, Philippe Moulin (trainer) and Ecurie Victoria Dreams (Jean Philippe Dubois breeder). Also at Laval was the Grand Prix de la Ville de Laval (purse €60,000, 2875 meters, 18 European starters) and the 1.14.7kr timed winner was 3.4/1 Univaldi d’Aval (9g Vivaldi de Chenu-Miss Me d’Aval) for J-M Bazire and owner/trainer Denis Bethouart. 2.2/1 Une Serenade (9f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) rallied for second driven by Eric Raffin and 4/1 Cash Okay (5m Ready Cash-Tresokay) was third for Olivier Raffin. Thomas H. Hicks  

October 20, 2017 - This evening showcased the Friday harness racing action before a good after work crowd and showcasing the day’s Quinte+ event. The program began with an upper class sprinters contest that went to favorite Comtesse du Chene and driver Franck Nivard. Summary follows: Prix Klymene (purse €75,000, 2100 meters autostart, nine European starters) Race time 1.14.2kr 3/5 Comtesse du Chene (5f Quaker Jet-Imperiele du Chene), Franck Nivard, J. LeMer trainer, Cl. Guedj owner 3.9/1 Tentation Ans (5f Muscles Yankee-Coronation Ans), J-M Bazire driver, Scuderia Phenomenia Srl, Philippe Billard trainer 15.7/1 Calencia (5f Quaker Jet-Olencia), Eric Raffin driver, owner/breeder/trainer Alphonse Vanderghen Next the Q+ was contested by 18 upper class trotters with Bakchich victorious for driver Tony LeBeller. See the summary below: Quinte+ Prix Themis (purse €65,000, 2850 meters distance handicap, 18 European starters) Racer time  1.12.4kr 2.2/1 Bakchich (6g Quopeck-Paix de Villeneuve), Tony LeBeller, J.M. Legros trainer 15.1/1 Rocket Zet (8g Muscles Yankee-Hefty Zet), Franck Nivard,  Mme. Kaisa Torvonen trainer 5/2 Beppe Am (6g Enjoy Lavec-Via di Jesolo), Matthieu Abrivard up, Bjorn Goop trainer 13.6/1 Bel Air (6g Ganymede-Kaldeira), Alexandre Abrivard, owner/trainer Franck Boismartel 21.9/1 Spirit Real (6g Supergill-Civetta Real), Francois Lagadeuc, Thomas Levesque trainer Monte performers were on display. The Prix Athamantis (monte, purse €75,000, 2850 meters, 12 european starters) produced a close finish with front running 2.7/1 Corames (5f Speedy Bliue-Reine Magic) holding on for the 1.12.8kr timed victory with Mathieu Mottier in the irons. Dominique Mottier is trainer/owner/breeder of the winner that bested hard finishing 1.1/1 favorite Dreole Verderie (4g Kalusphenio) with David Thomain up for Emilie LeBeller, the trainer. Next was 12.6/1 Caid de Bangale (5g Lou Lou Jet). Tomorrow is the Q+ is the Prix de la Ville de Caen (purse €80,000, 4400 meters distance handicap, 18 international starters) with the entrants led by Val Royal and Uniflosa Bella, both handicapped 25 meters, and Alienor de Godrel that starts 50 meters back. At Orebro SWE is the day’s V75 and the Gold Division is named the Express Gaxe (150,000SEK to winner) and that field is led by Nuncio from post one with trainer Stefan Melander listed to drive. He will face rivals that include Poochai, Spring Erom, Charrua Forlan and Tobin Kronos. Thomas H. Hicks

June 25, 2017 - Besides Bold Eagle, monte groupe contests, food and entertainment, what else could there be. How about three more groupe events and the day’s important harness racing Quinte+. The Gr. I Prix Albert Viel (purse €200,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went as it was supposed to be…..except….the 8/10 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was a dq for being rough gaited in the lane while on a comfortable lead. Therefore, this Sebastien Guarato trainee faced a rare defeat and the…winner was….8/1 Eros du Chene (3m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanova de Lou) with Matthieu Abrivard driving for trainer Julien Le Mer and breeder/owner Claude Geudj timed in 1.14.4kr. 50/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) was placed third with J.Ph. Monclin aboard and 59/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) was awarded third, this one trained and driven by Franck Anne and bred/owned by Annick Bazin. The Gr. III Prix de Grasse (purse €80,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) produced a rallying 1.13.8kr timed score for 9/1 Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Maris). Jean-Michel Bazire teamed his trainee to victory for Wildenstein Stables Ltd. 21/1 Flex Lane (6m Federal Flex-Margo Hall) tool second for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer L.I. Nilsson in a blanket covering photo over 92/1 Tano Fohle SM (5g Ganymede-Fohle BSM) reined by Antonio Di Nardo. The finale this day was another groupe contest, the Prix Raymond Fouard (Gr. III, purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters. The 4.3/1 Orlando Jet (4m Orlando Vici-Chicolina) rallied from back to sweep past the field in the late stages for the 1.15kr timed score. Trainer Rudolf Haller was at the lines for Team Neuhof (AUT), the owner. The second place horse, also 4.3/1, was Dragon des Racques (4m Love You-Quinte des Racques) driven by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Third went to 57/1 United Love (4m Conway Hall-Dolly Kronos) in rein to Eric Raffin. Unika Steed was unplaced at 52/1 for J-M Bazire. Rudy Haller was one happy teamster. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix Bertrand Deloison at Vincennes (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) and the 1.4/1 favorite Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) scored timed in 1.13.7kr for Ch. J. Bigeon, driving for trainer Christian Bigeon and breeder/owner Andre Francis Bigeon. 1.9/1 Uza Josselyn (6f Love You-Teza Josselyn) took second for J-M Bazire, ahead of 22/1 Opitergium (9m Pine Chip-Jovelinotte) reined by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Courant AB. Violine Mourotaise and Best Buissonay completed the top five. The Bigeon stable continue their excellent streak from the Vincennes Winter Meet. Thomas H. Hicks

June 23, 2017 - Friday evening harness racing action at Paris-Vincennes included the Quinte+ Prix le Parisien (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) with victory to Sweden’s Bison Spiro (6m Sinou Madrik-Juliana Z) driven by Pierre Vercruysse at 9.3/1 odds. Stall Spiritos owns the Mme. Anna-Karin Rundqvist trainee. 4.2/1 Schubert (6m Abano As-Glide Be Nimble) was second with Franck Nivard up for Ecurie Gerrits Recycling and Philippe Billard, trainer. 36/1 Suricato Jet (6m Ideal Luis-Zoy Ami) took the third spot for reinsman Franck Ouvrie. Race time was 1.14.1kr. The undercard this evening was led off by the Prix Lydia (purse €54,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) and 5.9/1 Crepe de Satin (5f Le Retour-Ina d’Avril) was victorious timed in 1.14.9kr and was driven by Bjorn Goop. Bruno Marie trains this property of Ecurie BKM. 10/1 Chocolat du Bourg (5m Nahar de Beval-Malouvia) was second for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Joel Van Eeckhaute. Third was 9/1 Chtiot de Bellande (5m Defi d’Aunou-Joyeuse Coulonces). On the same program the €52,000 purse Prix Sappho was raced over 2700 meters by 13 contestants and the 1.14.6kr timed winner was 10/1 Daisy Jenilou (4f Singalo-Rosee Jenilou), handled by Francois Lecanu and trained by P.A. Rynwalt-Boulard. 6/1 Daljemosa (4f Kaiser Soze-Jaldemosa) was next for David Thomain. Later was the Prix Hygica (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) and the 1.13.8kr timed winner was 1.7/1 favorite Sir Ratzeputz (7m Love You-Celebrate) driven by Bjorn Goop. Timo Nurmos trains this one for Guldsvarten AB. 16/1 Rodin (7m Love You-Eva Kant Gianfi) was second for driver G.P. Minnucci, ahead of 65/1 Ungaro d’Eva (9g Ipson de Mormal-Lomolly) and Tony Le Beller. Thomas H. Hicks

June 17, 2017 - The June 16 Quinte+ Paris-Vincennes Prix Eudora (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters European) went to 1.13.8kr timed and 1.7/1 favorite Attaque Parisienne (7f Hulk des Champs-Pecadille de Mai) with Sebastien Ernault at the lines for owner/trainer Franck Harel. Holding second was 18/1 Minas Invercote (8f Viking Kronos-Monas Speranza) handled by trainer Bjorn Goop. Third to the line was 42/1 Olimpus Caf (9m Varenne-Eviola’ Caf) with Franck Ouvrie in the sulky for J.Et. Le Bec. Also on June 16 at Vincennes was the Prix Tolosa (purse €56,000. 2100 meters, 15 starters). 2.4/1 Calencia (5f Quaker Jet-Olenclaj) was victorious timed in 1.12.6kr and was driven by Gabriele Gelormini for breeder/owner/trainer Alphonse Vanberghen. 3.7/1 Schubert (6m Abano As-Glide Be Nimble) was the second place horse for driver Franck Nivard, owner Gerrits Recycling BV (Holland) and trainer Philippe Billard. 28/1 Crepe de Satin (5f Le Retour-Ina d’Avril) finished third for Pierre Sorais, with fourth to 10/1 Butler (6m Ready Cash-Odyssee d’Isques) for Eric Raffin and Anders Lindqvist, breeder/owner/trainer. The June 17 Quinte+ was at Enghien in the form of the Prix des Invalides (purse €52,000, 2875 meters, 18 starters). 5.6/1 Brune des Forges (6f Rolling d’Heripre-Salsa d’Orgeres) was victorious in the time of 1.14.2kr for pilot David Thomain. Sebastian Guarato trains the winner of Louis d’Aur. 7/1 Angel d’Or (7g Ganymede-Gloria de l’Iton) took second for Francois Lecanu and 4/1 Black Jack From (6g Scipion du Goutier-Off Key) was third or Eric Raffin. Athos des Volos and Astral Viretaute were the fourth and fifth place finishers. Also that day at Enghien Soisy was the Gr. II Prix de New York (purse €110,000, 2150 meters, eight starters). The 5/10 odds favorite Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) prevailed, timed in 1.13.1kr and teamed by Eric Raffin. Sebastien Guarato conditions this winner for G&F Raffre, the owners. 3.9/1 Cash Gamble (6m Ready Cash-No Way Back) was second for Franck Nivard, Stall T.J. Gamble of Norway and conditioner Philippe Billard. 16/1 Ulk Medoc (9m Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet) was home third for Anthony Barrier. Tony Gio and Truman Dairpet were the fourth and fifth to the line in this good field. Thomas H. Hicks

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