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Agnano Italy hosted two classic trots Sunday afternoon. The Gran Premio Unione Europa Filly (purse €88,000, 1600 meters autostart) was highlighted by the rallying victory by Vanatta (4f Pascia’Lest-Classic Toy-Malabar Man-Nina Toy Eden-Arnie Almahurst) timed in 1.12.6kr and reined by Roberto Vecchione. Holger Ehlert trains this winner now of eight victories in 22 career starts for €113,739 earned. Viscanda Jet (4f Pine Chip-Nives Jet-Naglo) held second ahead of Venariareale Font (4f Conway Hall-Blitz-Sugarcane Hanover) and Pietro Gubellini. Vale Capar (4f Conway Hall-Madame Capar-Supergill) and Victoria Luis (4f Conway Hall-Danae del Ronco-Lemon Dra) completed the top five. The companion Grand Premio Unione Europa (Open, purse €440,000, 2100 meters autostart) was won by 1.11.7kr timed Vitruvio (4m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu-Noccalula OM) with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard for the winner’s ninth career victory in 25 starts now for €496,937 earned. Va’Pensiero Gar (4m Varenne-Gala’By Pass-Lemon Dra) was a game second for Ant. DiNardo and Valchiria OP (4f Ideale Luis-Mayadel Ronco-Toss Out) was third for Roberto Andreghetti. Victor Chuc SM (4m CC’s Chuckie T-Conversa SM-Lemon Dra) and Valdivia (4f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail-Long Term Goal-Armbro Goal-Sunbeam Hanover) completed the top five to the line. Last Saturday at Ostersund was the V75 day and the Gr. II Jamtlands Stora Pris, a UET Masters event, raced over 2140 meters autostart, with 700,000SWK to the winner. The 1.10kr victory was earned by 1.7/1 Readly Express (6m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream-Viking Kronos) and driven by Jorma Kontio. The winner has two wins in three starts in 2018 and has 22 wins in 26 career outings for €1,573,709n earned. 15.1/1 Diamanten (5m Adrian Chip-Iata Kill-Ata Star L) was second for Erik Adielsson and trainer Stig H. Johansson. 27.9/1 Trendy OK (6f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) was third for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro and fourth was Love Matters. Gocciadoro also won the V75 Bronze (125,000SEK to the winner, 2640 meters autostart) with 1.12.5kr timed and 1.9/1 odds Volnik du Kras (4m Varenne-Oljka du Kros-Park Avenue Joe) that is owned by Anne Maria Ragau’. Next up for the International trotters is June 16 in the Kymi Grand Prix at Kouvola Finland. The lineup is a good one led by Elitloppet 2018 winner Ringostarr Treb. He will face the iron tough FR veteran Aubrion du Gers that Jos, Verbeeck is named to drive for trainer J-M Bazire. Romain Derieux’ s Dijon is an emerging top level performer too. The Kymi Grand Prix began in 1998 and past winners include Jag de Bellouet (timed 1.11.1kr), L’Amiral Mauzun, Commander Crowe, Rapide Lebel, Timoko, Trebol (two time winner), and Carbinieri (1.11kr race record holder). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink      

May 13, 2018 - At Modena on Sunday were several high level harness racing events including the Premio Carlo Cacciari Filly (purse €88,000, 1600 meters autostart, three year old fillies) with victory to 1.13.4kr timed Zarina Roc (3f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc-Crowning Classic) handled by VP Dell’Annunziata. Iva EK (3f Varenne-Gianna di Jesolo-Diamond Way) took the second spot with Roberto Vecchione up, ahead of Zona DA (3f Varenne-Peredhal Baba-Windsongs Legacy) and reinsman Pietro Gubellini. Vin Wise As was fourth for Alessandro Gocciadoro. The Premio Tito Giovanardi (purse €154,000, 2080 meters autostart) for three year old males went to 1.14.2kr timed Zabul FI (3m Ganymede-Sale del Rio-Varenne) with Andrea Farolfi driving. Zirkuss (3m Varenne-Giuliass-Toss Out) took second a length back with Roberto Andreghetti up. Zilath (3m Maharajah-Only LB-Conway Hall) and driver Andrea Guzzinati took third ahead of  Zlatan and driver Gocciadoro. The Grand Pemio Renzo Orlandi (purse €33,000, 1600 meters autostart) went to 1.11.7kr timed Tamure Roc (6f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc-Kemon Dra) with Santo Mollo up. Uno Italia (5m Conway Hall-Italia Uno-Varenne) took second for Lorenzo Baldi, ahead of Super Star Reaf (7f Varenne-Fantastica Star-Lemon Dra) with Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard. Fourth was Suerte’s Cage and driver Enrico Bellei. Thomas H. Hicks

May 1. 2018 - Urlo dei Venti (5m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy) timed in 1.10.8kr and driven by Enrico Bellei won the finale and first batteria of the 69th GP Lotteria at Napoli. Purse for the finale was €704,000 and the three batterias raced for €27,500 each, all events over 1600 meters autostart. In the finale, the winner defeated determined, and parked throughout, Dreammoko (5m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout-Kaisy Dream) with Bjorn Goop up for Richard Westerink, beaten less than a length. Arazi Boko (11g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) was third for Alessandro Gocciadoro. This veteran campaigner is from the maternal family of legendary Stenographer. The winner’s pedigree is shown below.   MAGO D'AMORE     LEMON DRA    SHARIF DI IESOLO    QUICK SONG  ODILE DE SASSY  DANEA    ACERO  BABELE  DO IT WISE    DONERAIL    VALLEY VICTORY  BEDELL  AGILITA    GIANT VICTORY  AUGUSTA  ARMBRO WEALTHY    MALABAR MAN    SUPERGILL    SUPER BOWL  WINKY'S GILL  LADY LOVE MCBUR    MEADOW ROAD  FICKLE YANKEE  STARLET CROWN    SPEEDY CROWN    SPEEDY SCOT  MISSILE TOE  VICTORY STARLET    NOBLE VICTORY  NATIVE STARLET  The results of the batterias and the consolation (purse €38,500, 1600 meters autostart) are shown below. Quite a program before a huge crown. Batteria 1 Urlo dei Venti (5m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy), Enrico Bellei, 1.10.8kr Dreammoko (5m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout-Kaisy Dream), Bjorn Goop Tamure Roc (6f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc), Santo Mollo   Batteria 2 Arazi Boko (11g Varenne-Kaura Kemp-Express Ride), Alessandro Gocciadoro, 1.11.1kr Uragano Trebi’ (5g Nad Al Sheba), Roberto Vecchione Vivid Wise As (4m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip), Alessandro Gocciadoro   Batteria 3 Trendy OK (6f Varenne-Annette Hanover), Alessandro Gocciadoro, 1.10.8kr Turno diAzzurra (6m Love You-Figa de Azzurra), Fed Esposito Dante Boko (8g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa-Abo Volo), G.P. Minnucci   Consolation Tango Negro (6m Infinitif-Lisetta Real), Roberto Vecchione, 1.12.4kr Rumbo di Cannone (8m Varenne-Cannoniera), Enrico Bellei Uno Italia (5m Conway Hall-Italia Uno), Lorenzo Baldi Thomas H. Hicks  

April 25, 2018 - Top trotting was Wednesday at Milano headed by the Gran Premio Nazionale (purse €154,000, 2250 meters autostart, 14 three year old colts). Victory in a close brush at the line was post 12 Zaccaria Bar (3m Ready Cash-Finlanda-Lindy Lane) reined by Federico Esposito and timed in 1.13.6kr. This colt recorded his second victory in three 2018 starts and now has five wins in eight career appearances. Zilath (3m Maharajah-Only LB-Conway Hall) was a close second driven by Andrea Guzinatti. His third dam is Winky’s Goal. Third was Ze Doca (3m Self Possessed-Pandora Degli Dei-Varenne with Roberto Vecchione up. Second dam of this one is Donnina that is the maternal family of Lisa America The Gran Premio Nazionale Filly (purse €88,000, 1650 meters autostart, 12 three year old filly starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed and first time 2018 starter Ziva EK (3f Varenne-Gianna di Jesolo-Diamond Way) with Roberto Vecchione up. This filly, that started from post 11, now has three career wins in seven outings. Ziman (3f Nad Al Shaba-Iman Bi-Ganymede) was second for Fr. Facci, ahead of Zelda Zack (3f Libeccio Grif-Lagacy Grif) Earlier in the program was the Pr. Giula Grif (purse €7,700, 1650 meters autostart) and the winner Zabriskie OK (3f Conway Hall-Georgia Pines-Pine Chip) scored, reaching the line in an impressive1.12.8kr. Alessandro Gocciadoro teamed the winner, now two for two in 2018, and four wins in six career starts). Second dam of this filly is Dasooner Dabettor and third dam is Armbro Brilliance. Two quick life speed records occurred on the card. Victor Ferm (4m Nad Al Sheba-Gavina di Casei-Uronometro) scored for Andrea Guzzinati clocked in 1.11.5kr, his eighth career win in 28 starts. Tano Fohle SM (6m Ganymede-Fohle BSM-Sugarcane Hanover) took a 1.11.1kr victory driven by Enrico Bellei, the winner’s 20th victory in 35 career starts. Gran Premio Nazionale-Mem. G. Ferraris 2018 - Milan / Zaccaria Bar Thomas H. Hicks

April 15, 2018 - Sunday’s top harness racing action was at Torino, Italy on their 1004 meter oval. The PR Costa Azzurra (purse €154,000, 1600 meters autostart, ten starters) went to Tamure Roc (6f Explot Caf-Ema Roc-Lemon Dra) timed in 1.14.1kr and reined by Santo Mollo. This one gained the advantage mid-stretch when leading Dijon went off stride and was taken off course by driver Romain Derieux.  Tamure Roc now has 16 wins in 59 starts in Italy good for €311,726 earned. Timone EK (6m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) gained the second spot for Roberto Andreghetti. Third was Turno di Azzurra (6m Love You-Foga di Azzurra-Lemon Dra) with Fed Esposito at the lines. All three top finishing dams were sired by the exceptional Lemon Dra (1986 male by Sharif di Iesolo-Danea-Acero-Babele-Winter Park) that produced registered foals from 1993-2007 (kidnapped) and from 1997-2006 those foals numbered from 111-150 each year.  The other top Torino event was the PR Citta’ di Torino (purse €88,000, 2060 meters, 12 starters) with the 1.12.6kr timed score earned by Vitruvio (4m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro, who also campaigned the dam. This one now has eight wins in 23 starts in Italy for €332,377 earned. Second was Vivid Wise As (4m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) with Ed. Loccisano up, ahead of Vaprio (4m Adrian Chip-Namibia-Cantab Hall). Jean Pierre Dubois’ Classic Connection was eighth after being parked three wide past the quarter mile mark and then parked in the death seat until tiring. Thomas H. Hicks

April 8, 2018 - A host of harness racing venues hosted today’s trotting across Europe (ten tracks open in FR alone). Below we’ll recap interesting races in France and Italy, where their three year old colts were showcased. Sunday’s Prix de la Ville de Challans (purse €32,000, 2925 meters, 16 starters) at Challans resulted in a 1.14.8kr timed score for 1.9/1 favorite Aldo d’Argentre (8m Qualmio de Vandel-Isabelle de Yolsa) and driver Adrien Lamy. 2.9/1 Be Good (7g Halimede) held second for J.Ph. Monclin and third was 20/1 Air (8g Lilium Madrik). At Mauquenchy was the Prix des Etablissements Frelet (purse €35,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) and that victory was earned by 9/1 Alf de Melandre (8g Panache de l’Iton-Luciole de Bisoir) for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer P.L. Legavre. 7.1/1 Boogie Boy (7g Saxo de Vandel) and driver Franck Ouvrie rallied for second with 143/1 Up And Go (10g Fripon Rose) home third. At Bologna Italy today was the Grand Premio Italia (purse €33,000, 1660 meters autostart, three year old males) went to front running Zen Bi (3m Toss Out-Iside Bi-Lemon Dra) timed in 1.12.8kr for driver Enrico Bellei. He recorded victory four in seven career starts now for earnings in excess of €46,000. Zippy Freedom LF (3m Ideale Luis-Over The Pain LF-Ganymede) was second and third went to Zar Dei Baba (3m Zola Boko-Fiiriel-Supergill). This upcoming week includes the 3rd leg of the GNT Series, this one at Lyon la Soie on Wednesday. Evening racing at Paris-Vincennes takes place Tuesday. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 26, 2017 - Tuesday top trotting action in Italy was at Roma Capannelle and featured three harness racing events headed by the Premio Allevatori (purse €187,000, 2100 meters autostart, two year old males). Zlatan (2m Napoleon Bar-Nastassia Bi-Toss Out) scored timed in 1.15.1kr driven by Giampaolo Minnucci.  Ziosauro Jet (2m Maharaja-Liberte-Buvetier d’Aunou) was second and Zen Bi (2m Toss Out-Iside Bi-Lemon Dra) took third for Enrico Bellei. The Allevatori Filly (purse €77,000, 1640 meters autostart, two year olds) went to 1.16.2kr timed Ziman (2f Nad Al Sheba-Iman Bi-Ganymede) handled by Francesco Facci. Rallying late to be second was Zoe Degli Dei (2f Mago d’Amore-Unda Degli Dei-Windsong’s Legacy-Donnina-Super Bowl) teamed with Pietro Gubellini and third went to Zoe Grif Italia (2f Ready Cash-One Dream Grif-Varenne). Donnina is the grand dam of champion mare Lisa America. The Premio Finale Campianato Masters (purse €110,000, 2100 meters autostart) went to 1.13.4kr timed Trendy OK (5f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Suerte’s Cage (6m Igor Font-Franziska’s Cage-Indro Park) was second for Enrico Bellei and Sonia (6f Donato Hanover-Ele Code-Uronometro) was third for Roberto Vecchione. Trendy OK has emerged as a top aged Italian campaigner this year and now posts 22 career wins in 38 starts for over €221,000 earned. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 10, 2017 - Trendy OK (5f Varenne-Annette Hanover-Sierra Kosmos-Anders Favorite) won Sunday’s GP Royal Mares (purse €88,000, 1600 meters autostart) driven by Alessandro Gocciadoro timed in 1.11.8kr. Trendy OK now has 21 wins in 37 starts for €182,360 earned for her career (post race photo below). Super Star Reaf (6f Varenne-Fantastica Star-Lemon Dra) was second and third went to Tina Turner (5f Daguet Rapide-Gloria Gainor-Cezio Josselyn). 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  

October 1, 2017 - A super harness racing program was held Wednesday at Milano, including the Orsi Mangelli Open and Filly, the Gran Premio Delle Nazioni and the Coppa de Milano. Recaps of those events follow. The Orsi Mangelli Filly (Gr. I, purse €77,000, 1650 meters autostart) went to 1.11.9kr Vallecchia DR (3f Adrian Chip-Fiammetta DX-Uronometro)  with an easy front end score for Alessandro Gocciadoro,  Villa Santina Jet (3f Igor Font-Lunigianna Jet-Supergill) was second for Santo Mollo and third was Vanatta (3f Pascia’Lest-Classic Toy-Malabar Man) driven by Roberto Vecchione. The Gr. I Gran Premio Delle Nazioni (purse €308,000, 2250 meters autostart) went to 1.12.2kr timed Uze Josselyn (6m Love You-Teza Josselyn-Ganymede-Ezira Josselyn-Royal Prestige) with Alexandre Abrivard up. He race fourth on the inner throughout and was seventh in the final bend, before escaping blockage and he surged late to victory. Pacesetter Timone EK (5m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) and Enrico Bellei held second and Tony Gio (6m Varenne-Ilaria Jet-Pine Chip) was third for Edourard Loccisano. Toseland Kyu and Trendy OK were fourth and fifth. Replay: The Gr. I Grand Premio Orsi Mangelli (purse €308,000, 1650 meters autostart) went to 1.11.8kr timed Vitruvio (3m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro that scored narrowly on the front. Vanesia EK (3f Explot Caf-Nike EK-Varenne) was a rallying second for Pietro Gubellini and third was Valdivia (3f Adrian Chip-Love On The Rocks-Donerail). The two eliminations went first to 1.11.9kr timed Venesia EK with Pietro Gubellini up as they defeated Valdivia and Von Wise As. The second elim went  to 1.12.1kr timed Vitruvio with Alessandro Gocciadoro up, as they bested Voltare Gifant and Voyager Grif. Later the Orsi Mangelli Consolation (purse €22,000, 1650 meters autostart) went to 1.12.4kr timed Vessillo As (3m Mondiale OK-Yankee Dapple-Donerail) for Enrico Baldi. Vicino Mec (3m Chiaccio del Nord-Dance Speed-Lagerfeld OM) was second  and Vienvia Font (3m Conway Hall-Issima OK-Pine Chip) was third for Andrea Guzzinati. Also on the card was the Premio Coppa de Milano raced in two elim and a finale (purse €40,040, 1650 meters autostart). Arazi Boko (10g  Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride-Keystone Sheena), fifth dam Stenographer, took the finale timed in 1.11.5kr for Enrico Bellei. Terra del Rio (5f Varenne-Urbem d’Asolo-Ata Star L) was second for Santo Mollo and Shatar Club (6m Love You-Iana Club-Uronometro) was third for Alessandro Gocciadoro. The eliminations went to 1.12.2kr timed ShatarClub with Gocciadoro up, over Troja d’Asolo and Terra del Rio; and the second elim went to 1.12.2kr timed Arazi Boko  for Bellei, over Sugar Rey and Sonia, the resulting finale winner. Thomas H. Hicks  

October 29, 2017 - Today’s top trotting in Italy (Treviso 1014 meter oval) were the filly and colt divisions of the Gran Premio Anact Finale, each raced over 1609 meters autostart, each harness racing Gr.I events with purses of €110,000. The filly division went to 1.14.1kr timed Zarina Roc (2f Filipp Roc-Grassy Roc) with V.P. Dell-Annunziata aboard. This one now sports four wins and two seconds in six outings. Roca Ernesto was the breeder. Zanzara FAS (2f Ganymede-Favorite Lindy) was second for Mario Minopoli Jr. and Zuffle Wise As (2f Chapter Seven-Winky’s Truffle) was third for driver Enrico Bellei. Note the dams – Favorite Lindy is a daughter of Muscles Yankee-Wonders Image-Balanced Image; Winky’s Truffle is a Chocolatier mare from Winky’s Trophy, she by Super Bowl from legendary Winky’s Gill. The colt division went to 1.14.5kr timed Zelante EK (2m Saxo de Vandel-Freedom EK) driven by Roberto Vecchione for trainer Holger Ehlert. This colt now has won four times in five starts and he was bred by Edy Graziano. Zefir Gar (2m  Varenne-Georgette Gar) was second for Minopoli Jr., ahead of Zarenne FAS (2m Varenne-Miss Muscle FAS). Thomas H. Hicks

October 16, 2017 - 8/1 Black Atout (6m Prodigious-LaLagune), took today’s Q+ Prix des Gobelins (purse €54,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 starters) timed in 1.13.5kr for harness racing driver Mathieu Mottier. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Cl. Guedy. 2.4/1 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) took second for Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque, ahead of 14.5/1 Vivien Pro (8g Neutron du Cebe) for Anthony Barrier. 1.9/1 favorite Boccaccio (6m Carpe Dien) was fourth for trainer/driver Franck Nivard and fifth went to 29.3/1 Archangel AM (7g Going Kronos) for Dominik Locqueneux to complete the Quinte+ top five. Sunday at Trevso Italy was the featured PR Gran Premio Giuseppe Biasuzzi (purse €110,000, 1609 meters autostart) and the impressive gate to wire winner was Dijon(4m Ganymede-Sonate d’Aunou-Coktail Jet), timed in 1.12.7kr for Romain Derieux. Pocket sitter Ursa Caf (4f Exploit Caf-Crismar-Campo As) held second for Ant. Esposito and Urlo Dei Venti (4m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy-Malabar Man) held third for Enrico Bellei after taking a strong run at the leader past the 1200 meter mark. Dijon drew clear off the final bend and sustained his trot to the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

October 8, 2017 - Sunday harness racing trotting action of note took place throughout Europe, at Roma Capannelle, Charlottenlund DE and in Finland. The top race was the Italiano del Trotto for a purse of €1,001,000, a Gr. I event contested at a 2100 meter distance autostart. The Ideale Luis filly Vanchiria OP was victorious driven by Roberto Andreghetti timed in 1.14.8kr by two lengths. Vertigo Spin and Villa Santina Jet were the next two on the line. Roma Capannelle – Pr. Derby Italiano del Trotto (purse €1,001,000, 2100 meters autostart) Race time 1.14.8kr Valchiria OP (3f Ideale Luis-Maya del Ronco-Toss Out), Roberto Andreghetti up Vertigo Spin (3m Nad al Sheba-Gail Lindy-Donerail), V.P. Dell’Annunziata driver Villa Santina Jet (3f Igor Font-Lunigiana Jet-Supergill), Santo Mollo aboard Note- Vivid Wise As finished seventh The undercard featured the Oaks del Trotto Finale for a purse of €253,000 and raced over 1640 meters autostart. Venesia EL scored for Pietro Gubellini in the three horse photo timed in 1.12.6kr from between horses, after sitting third on the pegs during the race. Viscardra Jet and Vale Capare were second and third respectively. Roma Capannelle – Premio Oaks del Trotto (purse €253,000, 1640 meters autostart) Race time 1.12.6kr Vanesia EK (3f Exploit Caf-Nike EK-Varenne), Pietro Gubellini up Viscardra Jet (3f Pine Chip-Nives Jet-Naglo), F. Piscane driving Vale Capare (3f Conway Hall-Madame Capar-Supergill), Enrico Bellei up Note: winner closed from third on the pegs to defeat leader Vale Capare Older trotters battled in the Gran Premio Torilli for a purse of €110,000. The impressive 1.12.4kr timed winner over 2100 meters autostart, Timone OK,  was reined by Enrico Bellei and increased his career earnings past the €950,000 level with his 24th victory. Peace Of Mind and Tamure Roc were next. Roma Capannelle - Pr Gran Premio Torilli (purse €110,000, 2100 meters autostart) Race time 1.12.4kr Timone EK (5m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra), Enrico Bellei up Peace Of Mind (8f Uronometro-Erica d’Alfa-Sugarcane Hanover), Pietro Gubellini driving Tamure Roc (5f Explot Caf-Ema Roc-Lemon Dra), Santo Mollo up Note: winner scored gate to wire by two lengths, his 24th win in 34 starts now for earnings in excess of €950,000; Roma Capannelle is a 1000 meter track In Finland was the Kriterium raced at Teivo for a purse of €247,875 (the winner earned €112,500). Run For Royalty scored timed in 1.17.4kr driven by Hannu Torvinen, as the son of NY based RC Royalty, bested Builders Caviar and another RC Royalty sired performer, the third finishing Piece Of Rock. This race was a Gr. I UET contest. Teivo FI – Finland Kriterium (purse €247,875 with €112,500 to the winner, 2600 meters autostart, three year olds) October 8, 2017 Race time 1.17.4kr Run For Royalty (3m RC Royalty-Run For The Bank-Conway Hall), Hannu Torvinen up Builders Caviar (3m SJs Caviar-Ranch Keep On Ice-Love You), Erik Adielsson driver Piece Of Rock (3m RC Royalty-Piece By Piece-Rite On Line), Juha Utala up At historic Charlottenlund Denmark was the Menhammer Stuteri Kriterium raced for a purse of 300,000Dkr. The 1.14.3kr timed winner was 19/10 odds Cuba Libre Ice, a three year old gelded son of Great Challenger, that Johan Untersteiner teamed. Another Great Challenger gelding, Confidence, earned second ahead of the Andover Hall colt Cocky. Summary follows. Charlottenlund DE – Menhammar Danish Kriterium (purse 300,000Kr, 2500 meters autostart, three year olds) Race time 1.14.3kr 19/10 odds Cuba Libre Ice (3g Great Challenger-Global Acceptance-Giant Chill), Johan Untersteiner up Confidence (3g Great Challenger-Uni Haleryd-Alf Palema), Ken Ecce driver Cocky (3m Andover Hall-Perilous-Pine Chip), Erik Adielsson up Note: Cuba Libre Ice was bred by Stutteri Ice on Bornholm. Driver Untersteiner commented post race that longer distances are an advantage to his mount. On the same card the Masters was raced over 2000 meters for a purse of 100,000Kr and veteran Oni Wan scored timed in 1.12.5kr for driver Flemming Jensen. Thomas H. Hicks

The night of July 27th in northern Italy started off with the Italian team once again besting the Americans, scoring yet another victory. It came in the first event over Padova's half mile oval when Ortello Zorzetto piloted Urgara wire to wire which dashed hopes of any chance for team America. Aided by a teammate riding shotgun the Americans have yet to forego the individual sacrifice for a team effort, which is frowned upon by US regulators and bettors alike but seemingly acceptable on this side of the pond. Tony Ciuffetelli, the most consistent of the American team thus far, picked up a fourth place the first race. But depression was fast setting in. Then came the second chance in the next event and the least likely to emerge a winner after two horrible experiences the night before was the so called team leader, Joe Faraldo, who racketed a fractious Tieppo Mrs to the lead from her outside post at 21-1 and she never yielded and went on to win in 2:01:4.What was especially pleasing for Faraldo was that the fractious mare had made breaks in half of her previous 15 starts. According to Faraldo, " it was a long time since my first ever win with my P license which came here at this track, Padovanelle, 25 years ago with the horse Aggonismo from the stable of Mr. Valpo". Mario Greco the trainer and regular reinsman for Tieppo Mrs was shocked at Faraldo's win but very, very happy with the share of the win from his mare's most often unpredictability and her difficulty to drive, especially for an amateur. After his recent driving victory at Vincennes it was a little bit disquieting for Joe who claimed to get only wins across the pond . Alan Schwartz, got a taste of the Italian team racing as he was charging for second but got the tarantella from Team Italia pushing him so wide to rest second from his grasp and forcing him to to a third place finish. The evening ended with a visit from Walter Destro, the 15 year president of the Veneto club who started the friendship competition with The North American Amateur Drivers Association 25 years ago. That special treat and a super dinner at Villa D' Italia with Team Italia topped off a night when previously the US team was just treading water. Hopefully, Ciuffetelli,the most consistent point getter,will be picked up by Tony Verruso, Schwartz and Faraldo to pull the preverbal rabbit out of the hat. Tomorrow the American team meets the former Italian Champion Michele Canali and another team of Italian super amateurs at the beautiful Cesena racetrack by the sea. Frequented by large crowds, the Americans will need to be at their best and will need some bocca lupo for sure. by Joe Faraldo with assistance from John Manzi

Preface: This report, prior to tonight's harness racing in Traviso Italy, is from Joe .Faraldo, USA team leader in the USA-Italian Friendship Competition currently underway this week on Italian soil. Prior to tonight's race the USA contingent made a visit to Scudieri Biasuzzi.   AMERICANS VISIT SCUDIERI BIASUZZI PRIOR TO USA-ITALY AMATEUR CHALLENGE   Mauro and Fabio Biasuzzi, twin brothers, are and have been central figures in racing in Italy for sure but as well in the United States. Their father, Bepi, started the dynasty in the 1960s and while he never drove himself both boys became accomplished reinsmen. In fact, Mauro won the World Cup of amateur racing in Australia in 1966. Scudieri Biasuzzi has a presence in America in the form of all those "Bi" (pronounced Bee) horses popping up all over the place from mates bred to American sires. A top horse right now on the European scene is Twister Bi trained by Jerry Riordan, who is sure to be invited to the International Trot on October 14 at Yonkers Raceway. Surely there will be other Bi horses invited ensuring the Scudieri's presence. Tonight the USA-Italian challenge is hosted at the Hippodromo Treviso owned by Fabio Biasuzzi. You can always see a Biasuzzi at the major racing events from the Prix d'Amerique to the Hambletonian and the big sales in the US. Some evidence of their success is seen here on one of their many trophy display tables at the Scuderia in Merano. With Fabio and Mauro at the helm Pepi's legacy has spawned a worldwide dynasty in international harness racing. by Joe Faraldo, leader of the US team competing in Italy

June 23, 2017 - Uno Italia (4m Conway Hall-Italia Uno-Varenne) scored an easy harness racing victory in the Prix Ubatuba Oaks (purse €13,200, 1650 meters autostart) at Milano on Friday. Lorenzo Baldi teamed the winner of this four year old event that was timed in a sharp 1.10.9kr (mile rate 1:54.08) as Uno Italia was victorious by open lengths. Uisconsis Vol (4m Napoleon-Georgia EK-Bon Vivant) was second ahead of Ulberto (4m Broadway Hall-Depuis Blue-Esotico Prad). Thomas H. Hicks

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