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May 20, 2015 - Jos. Verbeeck reined the J-M Bazire trained Vinci de l’Abbaye (6m Otello Pierji-Kyboumette) to victory in today’s fifth leg of the harness racing Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (€90,000 purse, 2825 meters distance handicap, 15 national starters). Timed in 1.14.4kr (off slow fractions) over the 2850 handicap distance, the winner scored at 9.8/1 as he rushed to the line with authority. Bazire was second with the winner’s stablemate Ave Axis (5m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) at 2.7/1 over 2825 meters. Uvevering du Gile (7m Iton du Gite-Bauxite Docain) was third at 53/1 for P-Y Verva covering 2825 meters. Favorite Un Vert d’Ouest was fourth. This race was today’s Q+ with a €4.1 million jackpot. Total win-place handle on the event was over €917,000. The Prix d’Arras (€30,000 purse, monte, 2825 meters, 17 European starters) went to the fast closing, barefoot Paola Fks (5f Naglo-Etoile Bi) at 7.5/1 for Eric Raffin. Philippe Bengala trains this winner clocked in a quick 1.12.6kr, owned in Italy. 41/1 Holland invader Compleet Weil (6g Dream Vacation-Joan Jackson) for Alexis Garaadeau was second. Johan C. Bot trains this competitor for owner Wilderbeek. Urban de Bruyere (7g Himo Josselyn-Marylane de Fellou) was third at 6/1 for Francois Lagadeuc. Dellvann (8g Dell Ridge Image-Elusive Muse) took the Prix Henri Sion (€26,000 purse, 2825 meters, 16 European starters) for Francois Lecanu at 3.8/1 odds. Jorgen Westholm trains the winner for SWE owner Stall Stabil HB. 18/1 Soupir de Blary (9m Look de Star-Kassandre de Blary) was next for trainer/driver Antoine-Alain Barassin and owner Ecurie Franck Anne. Third was earned by Tsar de Grammont (8m Likeable River-Folies de Grammont) at 7/1 for Eric Raffin and trainer Vincent Lacroix. At Marseille-Borely the Prix de la Motte d’Aigues (€20,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, nine entrants) went to 9.4/1 Classe d’Urzy (3f Saxo de Vandel-Tessa d’Urzy) with trainer Mikael Cormy up. The winner scored in 1.16.7kr to defeat 2.2/1 Caliita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and trained by Yves Boireau. The dam, by Love You-Etta Extra-Florestan, was a winner of over US$1.8 million and at age five third in Prix d’Amerique. Previously at age three and four she won the Criterium des Jeunes, Prix de l’Etoile, Prix Roquepine, Prix de Selection, Criterium Continental and Grand Prix de UET. Favorite 1.2/1 Cocomoko (3m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) for owner/trainer Richard Westerink. This one is a full brother to Timoko, the 2014 Elitloppet victor. Thomas H. Hicks

May 13, 2015 - The Caen harness card today included the Prix Henri Balliere (Gr. II monte, €120,000 purse, 2450 meters, 11 starta cingers after one scratch) that showcased recent double winner Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato, trainer. But, this day Booster Winner had little kick after a good in-behind trip that saw him settled third and fourth throughout. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) rallied strongly off the final bend to score comfortably at 7.6/1 odds clocked in a good 1.12.4kr by two lengths over the 3/5 favorite Booster Winner. Francois Lagadeuc rode the winner for Jean-Michel Baudouin, trainer, with Best of Jets winning for the fourth career time in 25 starts. Third went to Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle-Neva du Rosier) piloted by Clement Frecelle for trainer J-L Bigeon, off at 18/1. Starters: Blooma d’Heripre, Franck Nivard Buckingham Park, Mathieu Abrivard Bingo Star, Adrien Lamy Bergame Madrik, Alexandre Abrivard Bourbon Somolli, David Thomain Brise de l’Alba, P-Y Verva Biscuit Delavera, Clement Frecelle Best of Jets, Francois Lagadeuc Bocage d’Ortige, Yoann Lebourgeois Beauty Turgot, Anthony Barrier Booster Winner, Eric Raffin The Gr. I monte Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (€150,000 purse, 2450 meters, 13 starters after one scratch) also was featured at Caen. Six were disqualified for miscues but the 4/5 favorite took victory. Che Jenilou (3m Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) scored by eight lengths for pilot Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Antonio De Sousa, clocked in 1.15.3kr. The winner recorded career win number four in nine appearances. 17.6/1 Conga (3f Goetmals Wood-See You Soon) was second for Damien Bonne, also trainer, ahead of 22/1 Cargese de Blary (3f Prince d’Espace-Ines de Blary) with Mathieu Abrivard up. Starters Camerone, Wilfried Jehanne Copernic, Antoine Wiels Caline de Faco, Julien Raffestin Cosette, P-Y Verva Concorde, Franck Nivard Caennaise, Camille Levesque Conga, Damien Bonne Cash Phil, Yoann Lebourgeois Cobra, David Thomain Captain Lyl, Elisabeth Allaire Cargese de Blary, Mathieu Abrivard Colibri Madrik, Adrien Lamy Corsica, Anne Barthelemy Che Jenilou, Eric Raffin This day at Marseille-Borely the Prix de Marignane (€32,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to Truman Dairpet (8g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) at 5/2 odds for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. The 2.7/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) was second for trainer/driver Mikael Cormy ahead of 7/2 Tonight Cam (8m Orlando Vici-Nouba Vinoir) with trainer Yannick A. Briand aboard. The winner was clocked in 1.13.3kr. The Prix de Septemes Les Vallons (€19,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, eight starters) was clocked in 1.15.9kr by the winner Cloane du Vivier (3f Repeat Love-Royale du Vivier) at 2.8/1 for Nicolas Ensch. This one is trainer by Y-A Briand for well-respected breeder/owner Jean Yves Lecuyer. Second at 1.8/1 was very well-bred Calita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) that is owned/bred by Jean Pierre Dubois and reined by trainer Yves Boireau. Trainer Briand drove the third place horse, Cirrus de Banville (3m Rieussec-Perle de Vonnas), off at 5/2 odds. Thomas H. Hicks

May 9, 2015 - Villeroi (6m Oiseau de Faux-Pocahontas) took today’s co-featured Prix du Gatinais (€85,000 purse, 14 European starters, 2700 meters) timed in 1.12.6kr for harness racing driver Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastian Guarato. Ecurie Pierre Pilarski owns the winner that scored at odds of 4.7/1. Tornado Bello (8m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade), the half-brother to Offshore Dream, was a game pacesetting second for Thomas Levesque and trainer Mike Lenders as 2.3/1 favorite and third went to Triskell Pacha (8g Elio Josselyn-Derose de la Butte) and teamster Franck Nivard. Sometime pressed the lead during much of the contest but tired and went offstride late. Fractions were solid with a quick final 500 meters (1.13.1kr at 1500; 1.13.5kr at 1000; 1.13.2kr at 500 and 1.12.6kr finish). This race was today’s Quinte+ with a jackpot of €3.55 million. The Gr. III Prix Guillaume de Bellaigue (monte, €120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 7 International starters) went to rallying Nene’Degli Ulivi (8g Uconn Roc-Maureen Lobell) and Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Vincent Lacroix. Off at 7.7/1 the winner recorded career victory 17 in 40 outings, scoring in 1.14.4kr off slow fractions (1.13.5kr at 1500; 1.15kr at 1000; 1.15.7kr at 500, 1.14.4kr finish) set by second place 25/1 odds Vision Intense (6f Prodigious-Intense Action) ridden by Nathalie Henry for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Rarely a pacesetter Vision Intense raced very well. Great mare Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise) rallied valiantly late to be a close third for Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato and Ecurie Griff. She was off at 4.7/1 and raced fifth on the pegs until late in the lane. The Prix du Perreux (European, €80,000 purse, 13 starters) for upper class campaigners went to Rember Mail (5m Toss Out-E Mail Spin) and reinsman Christophe Martens for trainer Victor Martens at 3.1/1 odds. He rushed to the front with 1000 meters to go and led to the line scoring in 1.14.8kr for owner Ecurie GIGA Srl of Italy. Perkins Grif (6m Classic Photo-Radiant Victory) was second at 7.5/1 after making a strong push of the last turn and sustaining that run throughout the stretch for Roberto Andreghetti. Fabrice Souloy trains this one for Scuderia Future 2004 Srl. Rooibus (6m Rotation-Miss Tessani) was third along the pegs for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop and owner BS Stables AB at 8.5/1.  Fractions were pedestrian that set up a quick and wild finish (1.14.7kr at 1500; 1.15.5kr at 1000; 1.16.2kr at 500; 1.14.8kr finish). Thomas H. Hicks

Harness racing trainer/driver Richard Westerink showcased lightly raced Cocomoko (3m, Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) today at Le Cepiere and it produced a comfortable win clocked in 1.17.3kr in the Prix Aerocons Tellation (€22,000 purse, seven starters) as the 9/10 favorite. 2.8/1 Cristal des Baux was second ahead of 11.7/1 Carl des Penguen. The winner is worth tracking for the future. At Vincennes the Prix Regulus (€55,000 purse, 2850 meters, 13 starters) went to As Dore (5m Coktail Jet-Dragee d’On) for teamster Dominik Locqueneux and trainer Franck Leblanc. Timed in a sharp 1.12.7kr the 10.1/1 odds winner handled Arpont d’Ostal (5m Meaulnes du Corta-Quina Perrine) and J-Ph Mary ahead of third finishing Valmayor (5g Le Retour-Kornnaya du Bac) for Joseph Verbeeck at 4.7/1. The card also featured the Prix Leo (€55,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) resulted in a 1.11.6kr victory for 9.1/1 odds Toopie du Hetre (8g Jasmin de Flore-Ixla de Perthos) and Eric Raffin. Favorite at 1.3/1 odds Universal Rider (7m Nahar de Beval-Hanska) ended second for Mathieu Mottier with Ucapata third at 14/1. Thomas H. Hicks

April 28, 2015 - The afternoon harness racing card at Saint Galmier this day featured the Quinte+ and the Grand Prix du Centre Est. Ubanji (7g Jag de Bellouet-Perle d’Aunou) took the Quinte+ Prix de la Chorale de Roanne (€35,000, 2650 meters, 15 European starters) in 1.15.5kr for teamster Franck Nivard at 6/1. Tantale de Fol (8g Impact du Rib-Ivorine Folle) landed second for Serge Peltier at 12/1 with 5.2/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) home third for Mikael Cormy. The card at Saint Galmier featured the Grand Prix du Centre Est. (€100,000, 2650 meters, international 10 starters) and 34/1 Scarlet Turgot (9f Dahir de Prelong-Noelle de Massy) took the win in 1.15.1kr for Y-A Briand. 40/1 Ulk Medoc (7m Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet) rallied for second for Franck Corbineau with third to 1.6/1 favorite Swedishman (9g Gogo-Volganc) and trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. The Vincennes featured Prix Rene Palyart (€120,000, Gr. II monte, 8 starters, 2175 meters) went to Eric Raffin teamed Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), victorious as 3/5 favorite. Clocked in 1.12.2kr the winner handled Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) at 8/1 with third to 23/1 Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castille-Neus du Rosier) with L.C. Frecelle up. On the Vincennes evening undercard Cottie Cash (3f Sam Bourbon-Kidea) took the Prix Arachne (€37,000, 10 starters, 2200 meters) with Mathieu Abrivard up, clocked in 1.16.7kr for trainer Philippe Allaire. Off at 1.2/1 odds the winner defeated 135/1 Chance des Douits (3f Power Jet-Pony Girl) and 88/1 Cahora Fonciere (3f Severino-Quietude Fonciere). The winner is from Kidea a 1998 foal and dam of Ready Cash and six winners from nine foals, three with earnings in excess of €100,000. KIdea is by Extreme Dream and has Workaholic, Star’s Pride and Kimberland (Nevele Pride) represented in the pedigree. Thomas H. Hicks

April 26. 2015 - Aladin d’Ecajeul (5m Quaker Jet-Nona d’Ecajeul) took Sunday’s feature at Argentan with Eric Raffin up.  Sebastian Guarato trains the winner for owner Philippe Dewulf. The even-money favorite recorded career win 12 in 27 starts for earnings in excess of €857,000. The Criterium de Vitesse (€100,000, International with 13 starters, 1609 meters autostart) winner was clocked in a rapid 1:52.3 (1.09.8kr). Italy’s Pascia’Lest (6m Varenne-Superiors Sun) was second for Andrea Guzzinati at 11/1 with 10/1 Univers de Pan home third for Philippe Daugeard. Beckman finished fifth. The winner is a future European star for years ahead, in our opinion. Thomas H. Hicks

February 16, 2015 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Ovide Moulinet (€120,000, 2700 meters, 7 starters) was an expected victory for 0.5/1 favorite Aladin d’Ecajeul (5m Quaker Jet  -Nancy d’Ecajeul) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. The winner, clocked in 1.13.2kr, now has 12 wins in 25 career starts for €818,740 earned for owner Ph. Dewulf. 5/1 Africaine (5f Oiseau de Feux - Italienne) was second for teamster Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Jean-Etienne Dubois. 34/1 Alesia d’Atout (5f Defo d’Aunou - New York Jet) landed third for Mathieu Mottier. Monday’s Quinte+ was the Prix de Cahors (€60,000, 18 European five year-olds, 2700 meters) and the 1.14.7kr winner was Italy’s Roxanne Bar (5f Exploit Caf - Guendalina Bar) at 13/1 for Roberto Andreghetti up for trainer Catello Savarese. She rallied off the final bend to gain the lead and sustained her drive to the line. Favorite 1.7/1 odds Action Package (5f Opium - Loumana Flor) was second for Pierre Levesque and trainer Mike Lenders. Italy’s 24/1 Rosemary Gar (5f Donato Hanover - Allstar FC) was third for Mario Minopoli and trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The Prix de Bracieux (€56,000, 18 European starters) ended with victory by 3/1 Falcon Haleryd (6g Varenne - Falnos Ballona) teamed by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Johan Untersteiner. Timed in 1.14.5kr the winner defeated a driving 8/1 King of the World (6m Magnificent Rodney - Queen of Hearts) with Michael Nimczyk up and third place 28/1 Viking du Pilet (6g Kuadro Wild - Indra du Pilet) handled by Franck Ouvrie. The initial engagement for Sunday’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Grand Pris de Paris includes 26 and leading performers Timoko, Up And Quick and Roxane Griff. It looks to be a competitive group. UET Masters Series - Groupe I - International - Attelé - 400.000 € - 4.150 mètres (2.58 miles) - Grande piste Primes : 22 500 €, 12 500 €, 7 000 €, 4 000 €, 2 500 €, 1 000 €, 500 € Prix : 180 000 €, 100 000 €, 56 000 €, 32 000 €, 20 000 €, 8 000 €, 4 000 € Separately the excellent mare Prussia (6f Ken Warkentin - Elvezia-Pine Chip) was named Italy’s Trotter of the Year at ceremonies Sunday at Naples. The Pietro Gubellini trainee won the L’Etain Royal in Finland, the Gran Premio Turilli at Rome and the Gran Premio delle Nazioni at Naples. Thomas H. Hicks

February 8, 2015 - The Gr. I Prix des Centaures (€240,000, 2200 meters distance handicap, monte, nine starters) resulted in a decisive win clocked in 1.12.5kr for Booster Winner (4m Love You - Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin up for harness racing trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 2/1 favorite handled, by four lengths, 3.9/1 Bali du Leard (4f Gazouillis-Irman Williams) with Franck Nivard in the irons for Franck Leblanc. Beauty Turgot (4m Hand du Vivier-Quouragane) ended third for Anthony Barrier and trainer Fabrice Souloy. The Gr. III Prix de Luneville (€78,000, 2700 meters, seven starters, monte) went to 1.7/1 odds Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle - Neva du Rosier) in an easy score clocked in 1.16kr after slow fractions (1.17.9kr at 1500; 1.17kr at 1000; 1.16.2kr at 500). Clement Frecelle reined the winner for trainer Jean Luc Bigeon. 11/1 Buckingham Park (4m Coktail Jet - North American) was second for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux ahead of Bilooka du Boscail (4f Look de Star  -Mirza du Vivier) with Nathalie Henry in the irons. Yves Hurel trains this one. In other upper class races Agrippine (5f Hasting - Moquevse) took today’s Prix Salam (€95,000 purse, monte, 10 five year-old starters, 2850 meters) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard at 3.8/1. The winner was clocked in 1.14kr in defeat of Attentionally (5m Jasmin de Flore - Intentionally) at 7/1 for David Thomain with third to Astre Blanc (5m Memphis du Rib - Java Blanche) at 11.1 for Mathieu Mottier and conditioner Sebastien Guarato. Norway’s Lionel (5m Look de Star - Aurora Sign) captured the Prix Application Parieurs (€75,000, 18 European five year-old males) for Franck Nivard. The 7/2 odds winner is trained by Fabrice Souloy and owned by Goran Antonsen. Aubrion du Gers (5g Memphis du Rib - J’Arrive du Gers) was second at 2.7/1 for owner, trainer, pilot J-M Bazire ahead of Italy’s third place Raul Breed (5m Yankee Slide - Flamma d’Asolo) at 124/1 for reinsman Mario Minopoli Jr. and trainer Salvatore Minopoli. The Prix Janval (€60,000, 2700 meters, nine three year-old starters) produced a win by Cirrus du Chene (3m Milford du Chene - Oasis du Chene) teamed by Franck Nivard. The 2.7/1 odds winner scored in 1.16.6kr as he defeated Cobra (3m The Best Madrik - Phuket Island) at 8/1 for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and third finisher Christo (3m Rieussec - Panacee) at 32/1 for Michel Lenoir, trainer/driver. Today at Le Bouscat the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duren (€35,000 purse, 2650 meters, 17 European starters) went to Jean-Pierre Dubois driven and owned Tast Of Bourbon (5f Donato Hanover - Qualita Bourbon). Jean Baudron trains this winner that was the 2/1 favorite.  Second was 2.8/1 Berry’s Boy (7g Love You - Realy Furniture) trained by Sebastien Guarto and driven by Glenny Delaune. Third was 16/1 Twist des Pleignes (8g Gazouillis - Ibiza des Plaignes) for owner/driver Denis Broussard. The earlier reported Prix de France summary is shown below with the winner Timoko. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BjejaDIwSvk What a racing day this was, in this second leg of the French Triple Crown. Two weeks from now will be the Grand Prix de Paris over the marathon distance of 4150 meters. The Gr. I UET Masters Series event for €400,000 was won a year ago by Up And Quick with J-M Bazire up as he defeated Tiego d’Etang and Roxane Griff. Thomas H. Hicks

February 7, 2015 - The excellent Saturday Paris-Vincennes harness racing program began with the Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel (€120,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) went to Bardane du Houel  (4f Jet Fortuna - Hague du Houlbet) with David Thomain the pilot for R-Ch. Larue trainer. The 7.6/1 winner was clocked in 1.14.3kr with a quick last panel off modest fractions (1.15.4kr at 1500; 1.15kr at 1000; 1.14.7kr at 500) to score easily over Briac Dark (4m Prince Gede - Queen des Charmes) the 9/10 favorite handled by trainer Franck Anne. Black d’Avril (4m Oceano Nox - Olivia d’Avril) was third for teamster Frack Ouvrie and trainer Frederic Prat at 9.1/. The winner recorded her third career win now for €203,340 earned. The Quinte+ Prix de Munich (€95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) went to 6/1 Scarlet Turgot (9f Dahir de Prelong - Noella de Massy) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Y-A Briand. Favorite Chelsea Boko made a misque at the start. The winner was clocked in a sharp 1.11.7kr off even fractions (1.09.8kr at 1500; 1.11.2kr at 1000; 1.11.9kr at 500). Italy’s Princess Griff (6f Varenne - Fauve Griff) was second at 9/1 for trainer Fabrice Souloy and pilot Roberto Andreghetti. 31/1 Septour (9g Love You - Kenitra) was third for Julien Dubois.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.350.000 € - Numéro plus : 0897   Ordre :       35.712,00€   Désordre :       297,60€   Bonus 4 :       66,20€   Bonus 4sur5 :       11,40€   Bonus 3 :       7,60€   Nonant le Pin (8f Goetmals Wood - Blazing Janice-Pine Chip) took the Prix de Lisieux (€88,000, 2700 meters, 12 European monte starters) took this test in her first ridden start for David Thomain, trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro and owner Scuderia le Pradine. The Italian invader scored at 14.3/1 odds timed in 1.14kr (mile rate 1:59) after even fractions (1.15.1kr at 1500; 1.14.2kr at 1000; 1.14.1kr at 500), during which she took an early lead, yielded and raced third until around the final bend when she rallied to the front and edged away for a two-length victory over 3/2 favorite Valleroi (6m Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato and 3/1 Veloce du Banney (6g Quaro - Jeus du Banney) handled by Joan Lebourgeois for trainer Franck Leblanc. Nonant le Pin now has 20 wins for €316,656 earned. The five year-old mare Prix de Verneuil (€75,000, 2700 meters, European 13 starters)) went to Aupiquaria (5f Goetmals Wood - Illys Way) with trainer/driver J-M Bazire up as 1.6/1 favorite. She scored in 1.15kr with a good closing effort from soft fractions (1.16.8kr at 1500; 1.15.2kr at 1000; 1.15.9kr at 500) to defeat 10/1 Alpine du Rib (5f Opium - Rockeuse du Rib) reined by J.L. C. Dersoir for trainer Joel Hallais. The Divine Miss F (5f Kiss Francis - Fast Wise As) was a 20/1 third for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Halena Burman for Folkbolagen AB from Sweden. Tomorrow is Grand Prix de France day and what a racing program it promises to be. Thomas H. Hicks

February 4, 2015 - Harness racing trainer driver Jean-Michel Bazire piloted 1.8/1 favorite Val Royal (6m Capricio - Buardu du Rib) to victory in the Wednesday Quinte+  Prix de L’lle-et-Vilaine (€50,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters, Q+ jackpot €5.2 million).  Bazire also trains Val Royal, timed in 1.13.6kr, as the pair defeated Ultra d’Asnois (7m Jasmin de Flore-Hotesse de Feu) with Christian Bigeon up at 7/2. Ustou (7g Niky-Oh Manor) was third at 9/1 for David Thomain. Sweden’s  Photo Princess (10f Super Photo Kosmos-Milady Hornline) ended the contest fourth for Michael Lonborg, also trainer. The relatively low odds top five produced an unusually modest exact order payoff.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.200.000 € - Numéro plus : 0802   Ordre :       2.260,00€   Désordre :       45,20€   Bonus 4 :       9,60€   Bonus 4sur5 :       4,80€   Bonus 3 :       2,60€   The Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (€58,000, 2700 meters, European females, 15 starters) went to Sweden’s Monas Invercore (6f Viking Kronos - Moras Speranza) for teamster Eric Raffin and trainer Svante Bath.   Clocked in 1.14.6kr the 8/1 winner defeated Va Vole de Lys (6f Oiseau de Feux-Nostalgie du Lys) at 7.5/1 reined by Franck Nivard with third to Vitesse la Ravelle (6f Lontzac-Ma d’Ylea at 67/1 for Tony Le Beller. Italy’s Petra Axe (6f Daguet Rapide-Image Delmar) was fourth with J-M Bazire at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks

The featured Gr. I UET Masters Series Prix de L’lle de France (€200,000 purse, 2175 meters, International, 12 starters) produced what appeared to be a  wide rally by the “Grande-Dame” of French trotting Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune - Julia Mesloise-Sancho Panca) as she scored narrowly across the line for Eric Raffin, harness racing trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie Griff.  The 3/5 favorite was, however, disqualified after steward investigation and this denied her from achieving the €3 million mark in career earnings. Roxane again drifted very wide in the stretch as she did in the Prix de Cornulier on January 18th (Eric Raffin commented post-race that the great champion used her heart to overcome pain).  Placed first was Udayama (7f Echo - Lancia du Pont) trained by Lois Groussard and handled by Gaetan Prat and race pacesetter Talicia Bella (8f General du Pommeau -Illicia Bella), ridden by Anthony Barrier, was placed second ahead of Seduisant Fouteau. The undercard this day was exceptional, with several group (graded) events. The Gr. III monte Prix de l’Amite (€95,000 purse, 2175 meters, 8 participants) went to the Camille Levesque teamed Valse de Reve (6f Mister President-Nouba Houba) that was off at 1.3/1 for trainer Nicolas Roussel. The good performing mare swept to the lead in the last turn and held off two challengers in deep stretch, second placed Virgious du Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) at 2.5/1 for Damien Bonne and trainer Sebastian Ernault, followed by Vrai Voyou (6g Gazouillis-Oranginette). The winner was clocked in 1.12.5kr after even fractions (1.11.4kr at 1500; 1.12kr at 1000; 1.12.8kr at 500). The Grand Prix d’Afrique (€60,000 purse, 2850 meters, 18 European starters, Quinte+ €5.05 million jackpot) went to Vico du Petit Odon (6g Otello Pierji-Mine Éclair) at 2.4/1 odds,  driven by Franck Nivard. Franck Leblanc trains the winner that scored in 1.14.8kr with a sharp closing kick (fractions 1.16.5kr at 1500; 1.16.1kr at 1000; 1.16.1kr at 500). Theo d’Erah (8g Baccarat du Pont-Linda d’Erah) closed well for second, handled by David Thomain, at 90/1. By Air (8g From Above-Come Fly With Me) held third for Sweden’s trainer/driver Robert Bergh at 31/1 and Italy’s Overland Gar (7f Windsong’s Legacy-Happy Diamonds) was a 47/1 third for driver/trainer Romain Derieux. Race five on the excellent card today was the Gr. III Prix de Rouen (€100,000 purse, 2700 meters, nine European participants) and the exciting finish was changed by disqualification of the Stg H. Johansson trained  Indigious that was rough gaited shortly before the line. Thus, Anna Mix (5f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was placed first at 9/10 odds for trainer/driver Franck Nivard, over second placed Moving On (6f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie with J-M Bazire up for trainer Fabrice Souloy. 31/1 Vive Mayjc (6f Baccarat du Pont-Mammy Blue) was placed third and she was reined by Mathieu Abrivard for trainer/owner Louis Baudron. The winner was clocked in 1.13.6kr closing sharply off soft fractions (1.14.5kr at 1500; 1.14.8kr at 1000; 1.15kr at 500). The Gr. III Prix La Marne (€110,000 purse, 2700 meters, International, 13 starters) produced a victory for Une Fille d’Amour (7f Infant du Bossis-Never So Great) and teamster David Thomain. The Cyril Raimbaud trainee, off at 8/1 odds, defeated Akim du Cap Vert (5m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert) and owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne and Solea Riveliere (9f Calife des Noues-Holua Rivelliere) with Philippe Daugeard aboard at 18/1. Soleil du Fosse finished fourth with Beckman fifth. Favorite Viking de Val ended eighth and Rapide de Digeon was unplaced in this fast-class event. The winner was clocked in 1.13.4kr on honest fractions (1.12.9ker at 1500; 1.13kr at 1000; 1.13.4 at 500).  Thomas H. Hicks  

Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia  Mesloise), at 2.6/1 odds, with jubilant Eric Raffin in the irons for Ecurie Griff and conditioner Sebastian Guarato, made a powerful move around the final bend from third over in the outer flow and surged to the front in winning the €700,000 Prix de Cornulier (monte) at Vincennes, France. They held off the favorite 1.8/1 Tiego d’Etang (8m Chaillot-Harolena) and Charles J. Bigeon up in the drive, overcoming a drift out to the fans fence by Roxane Griff that perhaps cost her four lengths and nearly the victory as she won by just a head. Nevertheless she held on with Raffin saluting the crowd without reins in hand. Roxane Griff scored her 21st victory in 105 starts, now for €2,891,818 earned. The “grande-dame” of trotting raced without shoes. This was the world's richest monte race for trotters. Pacesetter Vittel de Brevol and David Thomain was third on the line but disqualified causing Talicia Bella (8g General du Pommeau-Illicia Bella) to be placed third for Anthony Barrier and trainer J-P Marmion, ahead of Udayama and Ugo de Nieil. The winner became the first ten year-old to win this classique. The pace was even (1.13.6kr at 1500; 1.13.6kr at 1000; 1.13.8kr at 500: 1.13.3kr finish) but the top two picked it up impressively in the drive to the line. The Cornulier was today’s Quinte+ race of the day (jackpot €4.35 million) and over €1.85 million was bet on the race on win/place alone. On a sunny, well-attended winter day at Paris-Vincennes, the Gr. II monte Prix Camille de Wazieres (€120,000 purse, monte, 2175 meters) went to 7/1 Bocage d’Ortize (4m Mirage du Goutier-Providence d’Ortize) with Mathieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Sebastian Guarato. The winner rallied steadily in the lane to defeat 4/5 favorite Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute) with Eric Raffin up, also for top trainer Guarato. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) was a good third for Franck Lagadeuc at the lines for Jean-Michel Baudouin. The winner scored in a sharp 1.12.3kr after solid early fractions (1.09.9kr at 1500; 1.11.1kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500). The Gr. III Prix de Dinan (€110,000 purse, 2850 meters, 17 starters) went to fast finishing 6/1 Volare de Lou (6g Korean-Pareastern de Lou) with Christophe Martens driving for trainer Vincent Martens. The winner scored in 1.14.4kr after modest fractions. Vodka du Wallon (6f Onlyx du Goutier-Neige des Harneaux) was second at 8/1 for Eric Raffin ahead of 41/1 Val Royal with Alexandre Abrivard teaming for trainer J-M Bazire. The Gr. III Prix de Valence (€95,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Buffalo de Beylev (4m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis) with Mathieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Hubert Hardy. 67/1 outsider Bardane du Houlbet was second for David Thomain with third to 10/1 Brasil de Bailly and teamster Franck Ouvrie. The winner scored in 1.15.5kr. Today’s Prix Bellino II (€85,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) produced victory for 2/1 Virgious du Maza (6g Prodigious-Pocket Edition), with David Thomain up for trainer Sebastian Ernault. The winner scored in 1.14.4kr, closing stoutly off modest fractions (1.15.3kr at 1500; 1.14.4kr at 1000; 1.14.9kr at 500). 25/1 Varoum Boy (6m Baccarat du Pont-Hawai Girl) ended second for Eric Raffin and trainer Yves Dreux. Anthony Barrier teamed third place finisher Vivier de l;Oison (6g Prince de Montfort-Punaise) at 6/1. Lightly raced three year-olds contested the Prix de Maisons-Lafitte (€42,000 purse, 2200 meters, nine starters) and the winner was undefeated (now in three starts) Comtesse du Chene (3f Quaker Jet-Imperiola du Chene) with Pierre Vercruysse up at 9/10 odds. Cana de Bailly and Carla Bilou trailed the winner across the line. Young sire Quaker Jet looks to be an emerging stallion. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

For the first time since 1979, one of the last preparatory race prior to the Prix D’Amerique, the Prix de Belgique , has only ten trotters entered for this Sunday at Paris-Vincennes. The purse is at $145,000 (US). Since 1990, the last of the "B" race has at least twelve starters. This edition promises to be very special, and will not be supporting the quinté + bet. The morning line favorite for the race is Vabellino (2 - Eric Raffin), who races barefoot and can win his ticket to the big race if successful as the winner of the race gets an automatic entry into the Prix D’Amerique . Another favorite in the field is Up And Quick ( 10 - Jean- Michel Bazire ) who will be handicapped twenty-five meters, and will wear shoes with Jean -Michel Bazire driving . Texas Charm (9 - Julien Dubois), will race with shoes too. Elles W Phedo (1 - Johanna Lindqvist ), better known in the European races, tries his luck against the elite, racing without shoes. Here is the field for the Prix de Belgique 1. Elles W Phedo–Johanna Lindqvist 2. Vabellino–Eric Raffin 3. Very Nice Marceaux–Pierre Vercruysse 4. Solea Rivelliere–Philippe Daugeard 5. Kadett CD–Robert Bergh 6. Uhlan du Val–Cedric Megissier 7. Roxana de Barbray–Gabriele Gelormini 8. Severino–Christian Bigeon 9. Texas Charm–Julien Dubois Trailing the field by 25 meters 10. Up and Quick–Jean Michel Bazire Maven also races on the same program and headlines the Prix Tenor de Baune, a race for 6-year-old trotters over the 1-11/16 mile distance, also for a purse of $145,000. There are ten entered in the race and Maven drew the far outside post 10 as she is the highest money earner in the field. She will again face Solvato (Orjan Kihlstrom), who two weeks back captured the Prix de Bourgogne at Vincennes and earned an automatic entry to the Prix D’Amerique. Solvato was bred in the United States and is a full brother to world champion filly, Shake It Cerry. Here is the field for the Tenor de Baune 1. Claes Boko–Johanna Lindqvist 2. Valko Jenilat–Glenny Delaune 3. Voyage de Rêve–Jean Philippe Dubois 4. Vulcain de Vandel–Franck Nivard 5. Villeroi–Eric Raffin 6. Chelsea Boko–Bjørn Goop 7. Voltigeur de Myrt–Gabriele Gelormini 8. Solvato–Örjan Kihlström 9. Mosaique Face–Jos Verbeeck 10. Maven–Jean Michel Bazire By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com

Saturday’s co-featured events included the Gr. II Prix de Tonnan-Villeneuve (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, 11 starters, time 1.12.9kr), won by favorite Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quisma de Montfort) with Eric Raffin teaming for trainer Sebastian Guarato. The 1.4/1 choice defeated Brillantissime (4m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire) off at 3.5/1 for teamster Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Philippe Allaire. 14/1 Beauty Turgot (4f Hand du Vivier-Quouragare) ended third for Franck Nivard and trainer Fabrice Souloy. The winner recorded her 10th career victory now for earnings of €611,000. The Quinte+ (jackpot €3,650,000) was the prix des Breteuil (€54,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 18 participants, time 1.13.5kr). Pierre Levesque teamed Tagada Tagada (8f Meaulnes du Corta)-Lambada) to victory at 7.3/1 odds over Ulexa des Plans (7f Jag de Bellouet-Iola Dessuti) and Alexandre Abrivard for trainer Philippe Daugeard at 6.7/1. Third went to Trinite du Mont (8f Hugo Barbes-Ozo du Mast) and P-Y Verva at 19/1. The winner’s sire, a Prix d’Amerique winner, was trained by Levesque during his storied career. The Gr. II Prix Uon Tacquet (€120,000 purse, monte, 2175 meters, 8 starters) went to 1.1/1 favorite Astor de Quenne (5m Opus Viervil-Qualinka de Quenne) for Eric Raffin. Sebastian Guarato trains this one, timed in 1.13.1kr in defeat of Aladin des Bordes (5m Koktail de Perron-Illusion de Bonnes) and M-M David aboard at 36/1. Airport (5m Love You-Privore) was third at 3.8/1 for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Ake Kristoffersson. Second choice in the wagering, Amazone de Dollar, finished fourth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Today’s featured Prix de Bar-le-Duc (€105,000, 18 European starters, 2850 meters distance handicap) went to front-stepping Vive Majyc (5f Baccarat du Pont-Mammy Blue) handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Louis Baudron and owner SARL Ecurie de Sassy.  The 34/1 winner was timed in 1.15.1kr over the rain soaked course to defeat Voyage de Reve (5m Password-Kiocalba) with Jean-Philippe Dubois aboard for trainer Philippe Moulin. Beckman (7g Turbo Sund-Nina Palema) ended third overcoming a 25 meter handicap for reinsman Franck Nivard  and trainer Fabrice Souloy as did fourth place finisher Voltigeur de Myrt and Gabrielle Gelormini. Fifth home was Vicomte Boufarcaux with Joseph Verbeeck driving. Winner Vive Majyc scored for the ninth time in her career for earnings of €356,020. The solid undercard on this rainy Saturday afternoon in Paris included the Prix Yvonnick Boden (€105,000, monte, 2700 meters, 18 starters, apprentice jockeys) and veteran Rire Mutin (9g Bijou du BIgnon-Miss Mutine-Sancho Panca) was forwardly placed early, gained the front midway and led to the line for jockey Clara Dodard-Taiquel. The 10/1 winner held off Quartz de Vindecy and Christelle Le Coz with third to Udayama with Esther Van Petten in the irons. The winner recorded his 17th career win for €585,160 earned. Rire Mutin was timed in 1.13.7kr after even fractions. The Prix de Sainte Marie-du-Mont (€50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 entrants) was a showcase of early speed (fractions – 1.06.3kr at 1500; 1.10.2kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500, 1.12.2kr finish) and Sebastien Ernault teamed his trainee Urasi de la Valee (6g Onyx du Goutier-La Vallee) to an easy win at 17/1 over Kalle (6g Smok’n Lantern-Burning Desire) at 15/1 for Pierre Vercruysse. Orient Horse (6m Abano As-Irma del Rio) was third for Gabreille Gelormini. The Prix de Damville (€70,000, 2100 meters autostart, 16 female starters) went to the Franck Ouvrie teamed Adelia de Melodie (4f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) at 8/1 odds. Ariane du Goutier (4f Goetmals Wood-Logoden Vro) was second for Mathieu Mottier and third went to Alpine du Rib (4f Opium-Rockeuse du Rib) and J.L.Cl. Dersoir up for trainer Joel Hallais. The winner scored in 1.12.4kr off solid fractions (1.09kr at 1500; 1.11.8kr at 1000; 1.12.5kr at 500). Tomorrow’s Prix de Bourgogne shapes up as a superb third “B” leading to the Prix d’Amerique in a month. Of particular interest will be veteran Ready Cash that needs to earn €31,000 to gain Prix d’Amerique eligibility for the 2015 edition. Ready Cash overcame a 25 meter handicap to race well in the Prix du Bourbonnais, given an easy trip by Franck Nivard. He drew post eight in tomorrow’s Gr. II event. Trainer Thierry Duvaldestin stated that he is less spirited than in the past but has worked effectively each week on the beach of Deauville. Defending champion Texas Charm is a likely threat along with a host of tier one entrants plus Solvato from the second tier. This race could be a speed duel off the 2100 autostart distance and top money winners drawing post positions in the first tier. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Roxane Griff (9f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise-Sancho Panca) rallied stoutly from fourth around the final bend to decisively score in today’s Gr. II UET Masters Series Monte Prix Jules Lemonnier (€120,000 purse, 2175 meters, 8 starters) in a sharp 1.11.8kr. Eric Raffin rated the gallant mare perfectly for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner/breeder Ecurie Griff. Roxane Griff won for the 20th time in her career, now for earnings of €2,567,218, today at 3/5 odds. In her last seven outings she has a 1-3-2 slate with three mounted starts and four to sulky. Earlier this year she won the prestigious Prix de Cournulier (monte), the world’s richest monte race, a week before the the Prix d’Amerique . She then finished a solid fourth in that sulky classic. Germany’s Armando Kievitshof raced well today and held second for Philippe Masschaele and trainer Carine de Soete, in what was only his second monte start since April, at 25/1 odds. Torre Crepin (7g Capriccio-Ianaka) was third at 9/1. Well regarded veteran Singalo contested the event near the leading pack and eventually went offstride in late stretch. Today’s Gr. II Prix Une de Mai (€120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters, two year-old females) went to front-striding Classica du Ruel (2f Scipion du Goutier-Romance du Ruel-Jam Pridem) with trainer Franck Anne up for breeder/owner Annick Bazin. The victory was the second of her brief career now for €127,480 earned. She was timed in a sharp 1.13.7kr, at 4.3/1 odds, in defeating Couleur Citron (2f Coktail Jet-L’aunou du Fier) and teamster Yohan Lebourgeois for Philippe Allaire who trains for Ecurie J-P Barjon. Conception (2f Ready Cash-Soeur Winner) was third for Joseph Verbeeck, trainer Allaire and owner Ecurie Val de Moulin. The Prix de Strasbourg (€88,000 purse, 2850 meters, 12 starters) also graced the card with that win to 4/5 favorite Trophee de Jaba (7g Kesaco Phedo-Otika Vita-Gal d’Hautmoniere) trained and reined by J-M Bazire. He was up in the final stride to score in 1.14.2kr to record career victory 17 for €447,900 earned. He posted his third straight win. The de Chene (7g Blue Eyes America-Heparine) was second for J.L.Cl. Dersoir, also trainer, with third to Tornado de l’Ocean (7g Look de Star-Talvina) with Pierre Levesque teaming for trained Mike Lenders and owner Ecurie J-P Barjon. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

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