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June 14, 2020 - High class trotting action took place yesterday on the harness racing half mile track at Padova Italy. There were five Groupe level contests. The Gr. II Gran Premio Padovanelle (purse 80,080€, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) was the headliner and it received the most attention due to the appearance of Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide-Kim’s Diamond Chip), the 2019 winner of the Yonkers NY International. He did not disappoint as he scored gate to wire in a world record 1.09.3kr (half mile track race record, mile rate 1:51.5). Roberto Vecchione teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee that is owned by Giuseppe Franco. Stablemate Sharon Gar (9g Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) tracked the winner but could not keep up in the final quarter finishing second, timed in 1.09.8kr. V.P. Dell’Annunziata teamed her for trainer Ehlert. Third was Virginia Grif (6f Varenne-Fancy Capar-Supergill) for Fed Esposito. Veteran Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Supergill) was fourth. Zacon Gio’s pedigree and the race replay are shown below. For the Zacon Gio video replay click here There were two divisions of the Gr. III Gran Premio Elwood Medium on the fine Padova card, each for a purse of 50,050€ and raced over 2040 meters autostart. In the filly division for three year olds the 1.15.0kr winner was Bonneville Gifont (3f Varenne-Fedora Caf-Toss Out) for Roberto Vecchione. She defeated Bernadette Jet (3f Maharajah-First Lady Jet-Supergill) handled by Roberto Andreghetti. Her third dam was the down under champion trotter Petite Evander. Third in this race was Bica DL (3f Zola Boko-Cindy America-Supergill) for Antonio Di Nardo. Cindy America also comes from an important internatiomal pedigree as shown below.     The three year old colt division went to 1.15.5kr clocked Bonjovi MMG (3m Ganymede-Ethel Blak-Indro Park) reined by V.P. Dell’Annunziata. Baccani (3, Ideale Luis-Butlers Choice-Harmonious) was next with Antonio DiNardo aboard and third was Bigbusiness ARC (3m Varenne-Crazie Italia-Pine Chip for Alessandro Gocciadoro. The four year olds contested two divisions of the Gr. III Gran Premio Citta’ di Padova (each for a purse of 50,050€, distance 2040 meters). The filly division went to 1.12.5kr timed and Roberto Vecchione reined Ambra Grif (4f Varenne-Novella di Jesolo-Lindy Lane). She bested equal timed Alaska Gams (4f Maharajah-Edwige Blak-Supergill) with Andrea Guzzinati aboard with third to Alouette handled by Enrico Baldo. In the colt division the 1.11.6kr clocked victory was earned by Alrajah One (4m Maharajah-Mariu’-Varenne) with Enrico Bellei the pilot. Second was Always EK (4m Filipp Roc-Nike EK-Varenne) and reinsman Alessandro Gocciadoro and third went to Aguacate (4m Iglesias-Laguna As-Lemon Dra). In other European notices, the great Zoogin, shown below with Ake Svanstedt, passed away this week at age 31. Quite a horse he was on the track and as a stallion Zoogin and Svanstedt Another name from the past emerged today in the Breedlopp at Solvalla. Stig H. Johansson was the pilot for third finishing Fixi Mearas (5f Muscle Hill-Trinity Starlight-SJs Photo) that was off as the 1.8/1 favorite. Stig H. also trains this well-bred mare.   Thomas H. Hicks

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

Roberto Vecchone teamed the Salvatore Carre trained pacesetter Moses Rob (9m Ganymede-Etoile Rob-Friendly Face), pictured below, to a narrow victory in the €308,000 purse Gr. I Gran Premio Della Nazioni at Ippodromo Milano, Italy today. Owned by Scuderia Sole Che Sorgi the winner now has 18 wins in 73 career starts with this 1.13.2kr victory. Pocket sitter Nephenta Lux (8f Pine Chip-Miss Camelia OM) rallied late to make it close for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro with Pascia’Lest (6m Varenne-Superiors Sun) a length off in third for Roberto Andreghetti and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Napoleon Bar (8m Varenne-Dalmazio) was fourth for Enrico Bellei and trainer Catello Savarese. The undercard also showcased top level performers in the Premio Coppa di Milano Invitational contested in two eliminations, each with a purse of €13,200 over 1650 meters, followed by a €55,000 final over the same distance. The Final went to the 1.11.5kr easy winner Radio Wise (5m Turbo Sund-Mathers Grincheuse) and driver Roberto Andreghetti over Potenza OM (6f Yankee Slide-Fiancee di Jesolo) with Pietro Gubellini up. Third went to Ranymede FAS (5m Ganymede-Alias di Jesolo) with teamster M. Minopli Jr. Radio Wise won the first elimination clocked in 1.12.4kr over Romanza Font (5f Classic Photo-Distance Runner) for Alessandro Gocciadoro. Severino (4m Dominatore d’Orio-Ujane di Basse) won the second elimination timed in 1.12.2kr over Rue Varenne Dany (5m Varenne-Celeste PL). Severino was seventh in the final. by Thomas H.Hicks, for Harnesslink

September 27, 2015 - Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed his hot-trotting trainee mare Nephenta Lux (8f Pine Chip-Camelia OM-Mr. Vic) to a start-to-finish victory in today’s classic Gr. II €45,000 purse Gran Premio Ivone Grassetto over the half-mile track at Padova Italy. The 1640 meter autostart test was timed in 1.12.6kr by the winner. Reine du Zack (5f Zinzan Brooke Tur-Giulia Griff-Viking Kronos) was second after a pocket trip with third to fast closing Newyork Newyork (8m Supergill-Viola d’Amore-Indro Park) and Lorenzo Baldi. Rossella Ross (5f Self Possessed-Northern Jewel-Garland Lobell) was fourth for Andrea Guzzinati. Thomas H. Hicks

March 15, 2015 - Group II action at Ippodromo Padova resulted in victory by Santiago D’ete (4m Daguet Rapide - Love Me Tender) in the Gr. II Prix Citta di Padova for four year-olds on Sunday. The winner, reined by Roberto Andreghetti, scored in a record 1.11.5kr to record career victory seven in 24 starts for earnings of €118,529. The purse was €45,100 for this 1640 meter autostart test over the half-mile track. Sharon Gar (4f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) was second for Pietro Gubellini with third to Superbo Capar (4m Calpso Capar-Dark Degli Ulivi-Indro Park). The card also included the Gr. II Prix le Padovanelle (purse €45,100, 1640 meters autostart) that went to Re Italiano Ur (5m Ganymede - Dark Lux SM) clocked in 1.12.4kr for Enrico Bellei. The 11 time winner in 35 starts has earned €272,641. Royal Blessed (5m Varenne - Ivory Kronos) was second for Wim Paal ahead of Per Amour Gual and teamster Roberto Andreghetti. While conducted at Halmstad (SWE) Italy’s Rossella Ross (5f Self Possessed - Northern Jewel-Garland Lobell), trained by Jerry Riordan and driven by Johnny Takter, took the 40,000SEK first money Lars B Persson Foto for five year-old mares. The winner is owned by breeder Francesco Rosselli and she recorded her ninth career win in 25 outings. Donna di Quattro (5f Love You-Whoopie As-SJ’s Photo was second for Christoffer Eriksson. Whoopie As is a daughter of Why Indeed by Speedy Crown. Fascination ended third for Johan Untersteiner. Thomas H. Hicks

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