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December 26, 2015 - Today’s fabulous Vincennes harness racing program in Paris included the Gr. II Prix Une de Mai (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 13 two year-old female starters) and 44.5/1 odds Don’t Explain (2f Prodigious-Quarmen du Gite) rallied for victory driven by Mathieu Abrivard, and trainer/owner Philippe Allaire. 6.2/1 Deesse de Gueron (2f Melchior Jet-Olivia) landed second for owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne ahead of 2.6/1 favorite Demonia Roma (2f Password-Rome To Paris) trained by Allaire and reined by J-Ph Monclin. 53/1 Diana du Chatelet (2f Real de Lou-Tirade du Chatelet) was fourth for Aymeric Thomas, also trainer, with 7.5/1 Dista Love (2f Royal Dream-Usita Love) fifth for owner/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois and trained Yves Boireau. Dista Love battled alongside Demonia Roma for quite a distance and both held gamely albeit it probably cost them a higher placing. The Gr. II International Prix Jules Lemmonier (purse €120,000, 2175 meters) went to peg-side rallying, 8.3/1 odds, Texas d’Liton (8g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Iliada de l’Liton) for jockey Mathieu Mottier, trainer Hughes Levesque and Ecurie de l’Iton. 3.8/1 Roxane Griff (10f Tenor de Baune-Julia Mesloise) was a game second after setting the pace for Eric Raffin, Ecurie Griff and trainer Sebastien Guarato. Favorite 1.3/1 Moving On (6f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie) was a no-excuses third for Franck Nivard, Ecurie I.C. Equine AB and trainer Fabrice Souloy. 42.7/1 Vagabondu Mad (6g Ozio Royal-Perle du Ravary) landed the fourth spot. Aladin d’Ecajeul and Torre Crepin were disqualified. Roi du Lupin ended sixth after racing evenly with cover on the outer. Fractions were quick ans steady (1.09.4kr at 1500; 1.10.8kr at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500; 1.11.9kr finish, a mile rate of 1:55.69 over the 1.35 mile distance on the grande piste). The race signified the FR career end for Roxane Griff and Roi du Lupin that have excited trotting fans with their great performances for many years. Roxane ends her career with earnings of €3.1 million, 21 victories of which four were Gr. I classics. Roi du Lupin concluded his career with earnings of €2.1 million, 32 wins of which one was a Gr. I test. They will be missed and both were quite competitive at the highest levels to their career end. Badius de Tilou (4m Pagalor-Quetty Turgot) took today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €4.85 million) Prix de Luynes (2700 meters, 18 starters, purse €58,000) in a close photo verdict for P-Y Verva at 7.5/1. The Izaac trainee is owned by Ecurie Eric Lemaitre. 8.1/1 Be Bop Haufor (4g Notre Haufor-Ica Haufor) was second for owner/trainer/driver Christian Bigeon and third was 6.6/1 Bob (4m Overtrick-Fee du Houx) for Eric Raffin, just beaten a neck. The winners’ time was 1.14.1kr off even fractions (1.14.5kr at the 1500; 1.14.3kr at 1000; 1.14.6kr at the 500 to go post). The exact order Quinte+ payoff, without jackpot, exceeded €21,000 for a €2 wager. The €88,000 Prix Strasbourg drew a field of 13 to this 2700 meter test. 3.2/1 Shadow d’Odyssee (9m Urfist des Pres-Battante d’Odyssee) answered with a 1.15kr victory for driver Eric Raffin, Ecurie Percheronne and trainer Pierre Belloche. Second was 3.9/1 Teatro (8m Ganymede-Josette) handled by owner/trainer Christian Bigeon ahead of 23/1 Topaze Jef (8f Islero de Bellouet-Katie Gourdonnaise) and reinsman Francois Lagadeuc and trainer J-M Baudouin. Favored 2.9/1 Truman Dairpet was disqualified. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 4, 2015 - Harness racing two year-olds contested the Gr. III Prix Ourasi (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, 11 starters) last evening at Vincennes and the impressive 1.15.6kr winner was even-money favorite Django Riff (2m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) reined by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. Elisabeth Allaire. 14/1 Ducson Imperial (2m Tucson-Joie Imperiale) was second for Eric Raffin, traibner J. Le Mer and Ecurie FAC with third to 3.3/1 Derrick de Nganga (2m Tucson-Nymphe de Nganda) for driver J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Jean-Michel Baudouin, The race illustrated the offspring performances of youthful sire Tucson, a 2007 son of Coktail Jet-Iolanthe-Buvetier d’Aunou with the second dam being Questane by Florestan. Iolanthe was a winner of US$120,926. At Paris-Vincennes on the evening program, the Quinte+ (jackpot €3.75 million) Prix Hestia (purse €50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) went to the 1.13.5kr clocked winner, 19.5/1 odds Atout du Hainaut (5g Gazouillis-Pivoine Fella) handled by Romain Derieux for trainer Vincent Collard. 13.6/1 Ambre Atout (5g Coktail Jet-Maya d’Atot) was second for trainer/driver Pierre Belloche. 43/1 Ange de Lune (5g Laetenter Diem-Kera Elle) was third with trainer Mathieu Abrivard driving. Action today at Mauquenchy was held the Prix du Garage Groyer-Richeville (monte, purse €25,000, 2225 meters, 16 European starters)and the 1.14.3kr clocked winner was 112/1 outsider Single Max (9g Gazouillis-Kamaxie) driven by J. Vanmeerbeck. 26/1 Lord Photo (9g Fast Photo-Lordinia Road) was second driven by Mkke. S. Liitianen and trained by Sophia Aronsson. 51/1 Unitra Rs (7f Brandy Dei Fiori-Memori My Wife Gs) was third in a close battle. Two year-olds (12 starters) contested the Prix Meaulnes du Corta (purse €15,000, 2225 meters) and the 1.17.1kr even-money odds winner Drakkar Delo (2m Texas Charm-Utancma Didef) teamed by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. 3.9/1  Dzarof de Guez (2m Magnificent Rodney-Phelia de Guez) ended  second for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Benoit Robin with 32/1 Deux Etoiles Gede (2f Roc Meslois-Trois Etoiles Gede) third. Franck Ouvrie piloted the Jean Baudron owned and trained Canadian Love (3m Goetmals Wood-Sherry Love) to victory in the Prix du Domaine des Forges-A (purse €20,000, 2225 meters, 12 starters) at Mauquenchy timed in 1.16.4kr. This 6.9/1 winner’s dam is daughter of Love You-Harricane-Workaholic. 5/1 Locaan de Guegue (3m Nomade du Digeon-Istina) was a wide charging second for St. Meunier ahead of 3.9/1 Carla du Campdos (3f Saxo de Vandel-Loupa) reined by Gabriel Gelormini. Valto (6g Corot-Nouchka du Biwetz) at 61/1 took the €30,000 purse Prix Jean Lapierre at Mauquenchy, contested over 2850 meters by 18 starters. The 1.15.6kr photo-determined winner was reined by M. Verva for trainer Mlle.V. Chatelain. 6.2/1 Volute de Clermont (6f Let’s Go Along-Liaison Etrangere) was a close second for trainer/driver Franck Ouvrie. The Sebastien Guarato trained, Genny Delaune teamed Uccello (7g Obrillant-Moonlight Somolli) was third. Today at Wolvega the Championnat des TF Silver Challenge (purse €12,500, 2600 meters autostart, 8 starters) was taken by 5/1 As des Jacquets (5m Ready Cash-Kodessa-Cygnus d’Odyssee) and driver Robbin Bot. 1.8/1 Athos d’Urzy (5m Ganymede-Perle d’Urzy-Cygnus d’Odyssee) was second for Hugo Langeweg Jr. with third to 2.2/1 Uno Paradisio (7g Orlando Vici-Paradise’s Fella-Kaisy Dream) and reinsman Rick Ebbinge. Time for the winner was 1.15.6kr. Thomas H. Hicks

November 1, 2015 - Today’s €220,000 purse Gran Premio Mangelli over 2250 meters autostart at Milan went to FR invader Charly du Noyer (3m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet-Halimede) in gate to wire fashion for reinsman Joann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire. Timed in 1.14.2kr the winner scored by more than a length from Timone EK (3m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) handled by Federico Esposito for trainer Gennaro Castillo. The Jerry Riordan trained, Bjorn Goop driven Tango Negro (3m Infinitif-Lisetta Real-Lemon Dra) ended third ahead of Theodor Grif (3m Varenne-Eva di Jesolo-Lindy Lane) and teamster Marco Smorgon. The winner represents a legendary maternal family that has produced Loulou Jet, Quaker Jet and Coktail Jet. The €66,000 purse, 1650 meter autostart, Mangelli Filly went to rallying Talisker Horse (3f Pine Chip-Iri Horse-Varenne) clocked in 1.12.7kr for Alessandro Gocciadoro. Teorema OM (3f Uronometro-Sweet Love Story-Conway Hall-Sweet Mesquite) was second for Enrico Bellei and third went to Terra OB Sonic (3f Explot Café-Ilide-Piccardo) and reinsman Gennaro Casillo. Indira Bo (3f Revenue-Olivera-SJ’s Photo) ended fourth for Roland Hulskath. Thomas H. Hicks    

October 30, 2015 - Artiste de Joudes (5m Prodigious-Memory de Joudes) took today’s €40,000 purse Grand Prix du Nord – Five Year Olds over 2825 meters. Nine participated in this event with the photo-decided winner timed in 1.15.5kr for driver Jerome Ruaults and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. This 3.1/1 odds winner defeated 2.3/1 favorite Altesse du Mirel (5f Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) and trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse. 38/1 Atout du Hainaut (5g Gazouillis-Pivoine Folle) came to the line third for driver Yann Gerard and trainer Vincent Collard The €28,000 purse Prix de la Federation des Courses du Nord over 2700 meters drew 16 European starters. 3/2 odds Maffioso Face (6g Revenue-Nouchka), racing barefoot, took the victory timed in 1.14.1kr and driven by Mathieu Abrivard. Lutfi Kolgjini trains Maffioso Face for Ecurie Falk and Fa HB of Sweden. 15/1 Pingus Vang (8g SJ’s Photo-New Wonder) from Denmark landed second for driver Yann Lorin for Fabrice Souloy trainer ahead of 17/1 odds Swedish standout  Staro Foot Loose (7m Daguet Rapide-Ideal Lease) for Robin Bakker, trainer Arnold J. Mollema and Stable Unlimited of Holland. Today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €3.9 million) Prix Barbara (purse €48,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 entrants) went to the 1.14.4kr winner Unero Montaval (7g Nem-Heroine du Loir)  at 7.4/1 odds for David Thomain. 3.2/1 Ulula Bella (7f Jam Pridem-Nathalia Bella) ended second for driver Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer J-P Marmion. Third was 8.5/1 Tsunami (8g Defi d’Aunou-Lais de la Duchee) for Gabriel Gelormini driving for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 4 Unero Montaval D. Thomain Mme B. Chaudemanche F. Lercier 2ème 2 Ulula Bella A. Barrier Ecurie Jean-Paul Marmion J.-P. Marmion 3ème 7 Tsunami G. Gelormini A. Manzi S. Guarato 4ème 6 Une de Villetot S. Baude S. Baude S. Baude 5ème 1 Trianon E. Raffin L. Lamazière L. Lamazière  Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 3.900.000 € - Numéro plus : 0856     Ordre :       1.433,20€     Désordre :       21,00€     Bonus 4 :       8,40€     Bonus 4sur5 :       4,20€                     The monte Prix Mensa (purse €34,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) went to the 1.15.9kr clocked, 1.4/1 odds Charmeuse de Simm (3f Singalo-Poupee Charmeuse) for jockey Damien Bonne, trainer Louis Baudron and owner Pierre Pilarski. 19/1 outsider Cumbia du Derby was a distant second as was 10/1 third finishing Cama Jim. Two year-old fillies battled in the €34,000 Prix Una over 2200 meters with 14 contestants. Damien Bonne prevailed again driving his owned and trained Denebola Tege (2f Neutron du Cebe-L’Etoile de Rabut) to victory timed in 1.17.9kr. Off at 37.1/1 odds the winner defeated 14/1 Dream Filly (2f Tucson-Nectarine) driven by Eric Raffin with third to 1.2/1 favorite Divine Seven (2f Niky-Terre d’Any) for driver/trainer/owner J-M Bazire. 4/1 Dixie Madrik (2f Prince d’Espace-Sixtine du Chateau) was fourth for driver/trainer/owner Franck Anne and 4.9/1 Douce Ligneries (2f Love You-Ouragame) with fifth for Mathieu Mottier, driving for trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. Thomas H. Hicks  

October 23, 2015 - The Gr. III Prix Louis Cauchois (purse €80,000, 2200 meters, nine starters) went to the 1.16.5kr clocked Django Riff (2m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) off at 2/1 odds for driver Joseph Verbeeck, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Even-money Derrick de Nganda (2m Tuscon-Nymphe de Nganda) was a distant second for driver J-M Bazire with third to 15.4/1 Ducson Imperial (2m Tucson-Joie Imperiale) for Franck Nivard and Ecurie FAC. Django Riff is the first foal of dam Rasta Perrine 1:57.1 (US$119,759) by Look de Star from the Reve d’Udon (sire of Revenue) mare Java Perrine. The Gr. III Prix Gisella (purse €68,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters, three year-olds) went to 1.7/1 odds Chant des Sirenes (3m Opus Viervil-Nice Quenny) clocked in 1.16.2kr for driver F-P Bossuet, trainer J-B Bossuet and Ecurie Tenor. 7.5/1 Clever Lymm (3m Korean-Oquidia) handled by Franck Nivard for Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie le Tremont. 15/1 Cow Boy Griff (3m Look de Star-Sita de Boisney) was third for Pierre Vercruysse, Ecurie Griff and trainer Sebastien Guarato. Adelia (5f Ganymede-Linea Dream) scored in the Gr. III Prix Pierre Van Troyen (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters) at Vincennes timed in 1.13kr for Alexandre Abrivard. The winner as off at 84.4/1 odds and is trained by L-Cl Abrivard. 21.5/1 Alpine du Rib (5f Opium-Rockause du Rib) was a close second for J.L.-Cl Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. 8.9/1 Adelia de Melodie (5f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) was two lengths in arrears for reinsman David Thomain with 6.4/1 Altesse du Mirel (5f Ready Cash-Inc de Mirel) fourth for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse. At Son Pardo (Spain Majorca) the €6,000 Criterium des Five Year-Olds over 2650 meters autostart, 12 starters, resulted in an easy victory for 11.2/1 Amor de Font (5m SJ’s Photo-Deninet Star) driven by J-A Rivera clocked in 1.17.6kr. Aquiles Duran and Albebaran G were next to the line. Athos d’Ecajeul (5m Ready Cash-Mutine d’Ecajeul) took Son Pardo’s Premi Strasbourg (purse €6,000, 2650 meters autostart, 16 entrants) timed in 1.17.3kr for driver G. Andreu and trainer J-A Blseo. The winners was off at 3/1 odds as he defeated 19/1 Valinco de Cormon (6g Memphis du Rib-Junk River) and 2.1/1 Quatal des Ormeaux (11g Dahir de Prelong-Jamarina). Thomas H. Hicks

October 9. 2015 - Friday evening activity at Paris-Vincennes produced several interesting winners. The Prix Undina for two year-old fillies (purse €46,000, 2200 meters, 7 starters) went to the 1.18.7kr timed, 8/1 odds Dawana (2f Ready Cash-Sanawa) for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer/owner Philippe Allaire with second to 3/5 favorite Demonica Roma (2f Password-Rome To Paris) for Joseph Verbeeck and owner/trainer Allaire. 2.4/1 Dresse de Gueron (2f Melchoir Jet-Olivia) was third for trainer/owner/driver Franck Anne. The Quinte+ (jackpot €2.7 million) Prix Hera (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) went to 5.8/1 Sullighan (9g Sancho Panca-Terre de Sautreuil) for Mme. C. Hallais-Dersoir and trainer J.L. Cl. Dersoir clocked in 1.14.1kr. 13/1 Une de Villetrot (7f Canada-Oste) was second for trainer/owner/driver Sebastien Baude with third to 7.2/1 Tibere Gitan (8g Korean-France Gitane). Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 4 Sullighan Mme C. Hallais-Dersoir Ecurie Jeloca J.L.C. Dersoir 2ème 6 Une de Villetot S. Baude S. Baude S. Baude 3ème 7 Tibère Gitan F. Jamard Mme E. Revillon A. Bonnefoy 4ème 2 Uska West F. Ouvrie Ec Haras des Quatre Vents P. Forget 5ème 5 Un Fiacre G. Gelormini F. Provost F. Provost  Rapports (pour 2€)   Tirelire 2.700.000 € - Numéro plus : 0497     Ordre :       6.868,20€     Désordre :       65,60€     Bonus 4 :       19,00€     Bonus 4sur5 :       6,60€     Bonus 3 :       4,40€                     Monte performers battled in the Prix Gordonia (€82,000 purse, 2850 meters, 16 European starters) and the 1.12.9kr winner was 1.2/1 favorite Tess de Villeneuve (8f Goetmals Wood-Joie de Villeneuve) with Joann Lebourgeois aboard. 3/1 Veloce du Banney (6g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) was second for Eric Raffin and third was 25/1 Sydney du Rib (9g First de Retz-Eva du Rib). The featured Prix Bohemia (purse €85,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) went to the 1.11.8kr winner Specialess (4m Ganymede-Enna Dra) off at 5.8/1 odds for teamster Roberto Andreghetti and trainer Fabrice Souloy for Ecurie Nevi. 2.8/1 Radieux (5g Love You-Dordogne) was second for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer/owner Lutfi Kolgjini. Re Degli Dei (5m Conway Hall-Blitz) was third at 21/1 for J-M Bazire, trainer Souloy and Scuderia SKC. 76/1 Sognio d’Amore (4m Broadway Hall-Do It Wise) was fourth for Pierre Vercruysse, Mario Baroncini trainer and Scuderia DIUR. At Les Sables d’Olonne on Thursday the Prix Pierre Trichet for three year-olds (purse €22,000, 2775 meters, 15 starters) was won by 2.6/1 odds Caid Griff (3m Password-Savane Griff) with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Griff. Timed in 1.15.1kr the winner defeated 4.6/1 Concerto du Ruel (3g Prince Gede-Jacarandine) for Franck Anne, also trainer, and third finishing 2.6/1 Chateauroux (3m Sam Bourbon-Only Way) with owner Jean-Pierre Dubois up for trainer Yves Boireau. Cowboy Griff (3m Look de Star-Sita de Buisnay) was fourth at 40/1 with 94/1 Cote Quest (3m Goetmals Wood-Island Dream) fifth. Weekend highlights are largely on Sunday with Rome, La Cepiere, Gelsenkirchen and Krieau Vienne being the venues. At Rome will be the 88th Derby Italiano for €770,000, the Trotting Oaks for €220,000 and the Grand Premio Turilli for €187,000, the latter for aged performers. La Cepiere hosts the 38th Grand Prix du Sue Quest-Paris for €200,000 with Roi du Lupin, Nahar and Roxane Griff at the start. Gelsenkirchen hosts the €50,000 Grand Prix Gelsenkirchen with 15 international starters going 2600 meters, the same distance as the €30,000 Graf Kalman Hunyady at Krieau in Vienna. Romi Mms starts in that event. Thomas H. Hicks  

October 7, 2015 - Tuesday the Prix Kurse (purse €85,000, 2100 meters autostart, 13 european entrants) at Paris-Vincennes went to the 1.13.8kr clocked, 26.5/1 odds, Charly du Noyer (3m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) for Yoann Lebourgeois at the lines for trainer Philippe Allaire and Marquise de Moratalla. Favorite at .6/1was Traders (3m Ready Cash-Graziella) with Jos. Verbeeck up for trainer Allaire and Scuderia Colibri SAS. 4.2/1 Coeur Baroque (3g Offshore Dream-Joie Baroque) was third with Damien Bonne aboard for Thierry Raffegeau, trainer. The October 6 Prix Freia (purse €75,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) at Paris-Vincennes was won by 1.4/1 favorite Bolero des Vignes (4m Quai Bourbon-Poesie du Bouffey) for owner/trainer/driver Alain Laurent timed in 1.13.6kr. 49/1 Buasil de Bailly (4g Baccarat du Pont-Quokine de Chevot) was second for Franck Ouvrie with third to 13.7/1 Biwa Nectar (4m Nectar-Nika) with David Thomain up for Ecurie Comte P. de Montessan, The October 7 Quinte+ Prix du Pont des Arts (purse €44,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European entrants) at Enghien-Soisy went to 3.1/1 odds Oliver Kronos (7g Varenne-Glide About) for driver C-J Jepson, trainer Ulf Stenstromer and Swedish owner Johan Sjostrard. The rallying 1.13.3kr winner defeated 3.7/1 Pioneer Gar (6m Varenne-Follia) driven by Eric Raffin for trainer Johanna Lindqvist and Scuderia Super Chico SAS. Third was 14/1 Namale Kronos (8g Ken Warkentin-Zamia FC) for Pierre Vercruysse for Stall Courant AB. Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 1 Oliver Kronos ITY C.-J. Jepson J. Sjöstrand U. Stenströmer 2ème 2 Pioneer Gar ITY E. Raffin Scuderia Super Chico Mlle J. Lindqvist 3ème 10 Namale Kronos ITY P. Vercruysse Stall Courant AB M. Lindgren 4ème 3 You Talking To Me SWE T. Duvaldestin Stall Arvidssons AB T. Duvaldestin 5ème 16 Pingus Vang DEN C. Martens C. Benkheira F. Jensen    Rapports (pour 2€)     Tirelire 2.500.000 € - Numéro plus : 1926       Ordre :       26.670,00€       Désordre :       533,40€       Bonus 4 :       30,00€       Bonus 4sur5 :       15,00€       Bonus 3 :       4,60€                     Also at Anghien the Prix du Chateau d’Eau (purse €42,000, 2150 meters autostart, 15 starters) went to 4.2/1 Causeway Bay (3f Look de Star-Prime Rose) for Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and Ecurie M Stabkes. This 1.15.8kr winner defeated 97/1 Comtesse Flore (3f Sam Bourbon-Topize de Fael) for owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and driver G. Ligeron with third to even-money favorite Cissy du Paulois (3f Quaker Jet-Orcha de Beval) with J-M Bazire driving. Enghien’s Prix de la Porte du Chatillon (purse €38,000, 2150 meters autostart, 14 starters) went to undefeated Chianti Premium (3m Sam Bourbon-Prima Bourbon-Coktail Jet) as the 1.4/1 favorite. Teamed by Christophe Martens for trainer Vincent Martens and owner E. Sandbaek, the winner was clocked in 1.18kr for the photo finish victory over 3.9/1 Clenoby Poncelet (3m Nahar de Beval-Grilze), second for Franck Ouvrie with third to 28/1 Carl Wood (3m Goetmals Wood-Gauloise du Pont) with Joseph Verbeeck aboard. Chianti Premium was a €56,000 yearling purchase in FR. Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s Gr. I Gran Premio Continentale at Bologna Arcoveggio (purse €209,000, 2060 meters autostart) went to FR invader Brillantissime (4m Ready Cash-Ivory de Victoire-Buvetier d’Aunou) trained by Philippe Allaire and reined by Pierre Vercruysse. The pair scored impressively in gate to wire fashion clocked in 1.13kr. Two lengths in arrears was Smeralda Jet (4m Gigant Neo-Ticket To Ride-Nevele Pride) handled by Antonio Di Nardo with Santiago d’Ete (4m Daguet Rapide-Love Me Tender-Supergill) third driven by Roberto Andreghetti. US-breds Vanity Matters (Bjorn Goop up) and Hillustrious (Johnny Takter driving) finished seventh and ninth. The Continentale Filly (purse €55,000, 1660 meters autostart) at Bologna went to 1.13.1kr winner Sundance Bi (4f Equinox Bi-Fendi Bi-Sugarcane Hanover) with G.P. Minnucci up in a three-filly photo. Saikala (4f Turbo Sund-Clorinda Bi-Valley Boss Bi) was second  for Antonio Farolfi, with Sharon Gar (4f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra)  third, the latter with Pippo Gubellini aboard. Salome Bar and Sunrise Dancer finished fourth and fifth. On the undercard at Bologna was the 26th Wayne Eden Memorial (€14,300 purse, 1660 meters autostart, invitational) and its two elims each for €7,700 over the same distance. The Finale went to Oncle Photo VL (7g SJ’s Photo-Balalaica SLM-Lemon Dra) timed in 1.13.1kr for Federico Esposito driving. He won the first elim timed in 1.14.5kr over Nonant Le Pin, Rejna Inn Ronco and Rugiada SMS. Second in the Finale was Disco AE (7m Scarlet Knight-Queen As-Super Arnie ) with Roberto Andreghetti up. He  was fourth in elim two behind winner Potrenza OM clocked in 1.13.3kr, Rhythm’s Blues and Procella Marina. Third in the Finale was Potenza OM (6m Yankee Slide-Fiancee di Jesolo-Kramer Boy) and driver Pippo Gubellini ahead of Rejna Inn Ronco (5f Donato Hanover-Cynthia del Ronco-Sugarcane Hanover) and teamster Enrico Bellei with fifth to Nonant Le Pin (8f Goetmals Wood-Blazing Janice-Pine Chip) and Alessandro Gocciadoro. Thomas H. Hicks

September 5, 2015 - Today’s excellent Paris-Vincennes harness racing card began with the Prix Emile Wendling (Gr. III purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) and 6/1 Traders (3m Ready Cash-Graziella) was an impressive four length winner for Jos. Verbeeck, trainer Philippe Allaire and Italian owner Scuderia Colibri SAS. 1.1/1 Calita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) was second for owner/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois and trainer Yves Boireau. Caid Griff (3m Password-Savane Griff) was third for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Griff at 12/1 with fourth to 9/1 Cash Hanover from Germany and driven by Pierre Vercruysse. The winners’ dam Graziella (2003, Giant Cat-Working Mom-Baltic Speed) is an historic pedigree. Working Mom is dam of Express Road 1:54.4 ($1,111,635) by Passionnant and her dam Queen of Gainsway (Bonefish-Classical Way-Speedy Scot-Kerry Way) is from the great Classical Way (dam of SWE registered Gloves 1:56.2, $284,589) that scored important US wins at ages two through four (Lexington Filly, Dunroven, Kentucky Futurity, International) and at age five in Europe (Prix de France) where she was also third in Prix d’Amerique. The Gr. III Prix de Montier-en-der (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to game pacesetter Dante Boko (5g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa-Abo Volo) for driver Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Be The Best. The 1.2/1 odds favorite scored in 1.12.2kr off even fractions (1.11.5kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.11.9kr at 1000, 1.12.4kr at 500) to defeat 14.2/1 fast closing Prince di Poggio (6m Varenne-Moon Shadow) driven by Mathieu Abrivard and trainer Vincent Lacroix. 13.3/1 Atout du Lerve (5g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) was third for owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne with Italy’s 24/1 Ribot EK (5m Varenne-Gianna di Jesolo) fourth for driver Pierre Vercruysse. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 25, 2015 - Bird Parker (4m Ready Cash-Belisha) rallied mid-stretch for Joseph Verbeeck to take a three length victory in today’s Prix de Milan (Gr. III, 2150 meters autostart, purse €85,000, 14 European starters) at Enghien-Soisy. Philippe Allaire trains Bird Parker for owner Elisabeth Allaire that was off at 6.5/1 odds. Stablemate Brillantissime (4m Ready Cash-Invre de Victoire) with Pierre Vercruysse up, off at 7.3/1 odds, was away for the early lead and then enjoyed a pocket journey until early stretch when he slipped through on the pegs and looked like a winner until late. Philippe Allaire also trains Brillantissime, for owner Frederic Sauque. The 1.2/1 favorite Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) started from post three and traveled close up on the outer throughout until moving to a short lead at top of stretch. She appeared to take a bad step, faltered and was settled by teamster Eric Raffin and then rejoined the fight to finish third beaten four lengths. Billie is trained by Fabrice Souloy and is owned by Philippe Dauphin. 25/1 Beauty Turgot (4f Hand du Vivier-Quourgame) was fourth for Franck Nivard and trainer Souloy with fifth to 11/1 Black d’Avril (4m Oceano Nox-Olivia d’Avril) with Franck Ouvrie the pilot for trainer Frederic Prat. This race was the day’s Quinte+ with a jackpot of €5,050,000. Bird Parker was clocked in 1.13.1kr off steady fractions (1.13.2kr at 1000; 1.13.4kr at 500). Win and place handle only on this race exceeded €1,143,000. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 2, 2015 - Athena de Vandel (5f Prince Gede-Maelia de Vandel) took Saturday’s first graded event at Vincennes on an exceptional harness racing card by winning the Gr. II Prix Jean Gaureau (monte, €120,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters). Timed in 1.12.4kr the Mathieu Abrivard teamed winner, trained by Cedrik Megissier, was off at 14/1 in defeat of Agrippine (5f Hasting-Moqueuse) and Alexandre Abrivard with third to 1.2/1 favorite Astor du Quenne for Eric Raffin. The prestigious Criterium des 4 Ans (€240,000, Gr. I, 15 starters, 2850 meters) resulted in an impressive 1.13.2kr score for Bird Parker (4m Ready Cash-Belusha) for Joseph Verbeeck at the lines for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Off at 7/1 the winner defeated 18/1 Briac Dark (4m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) for trainer/driver Franck Anne with third to the Sebastian Guarato trained Bolero Love (4m Love You-Orelady) and teamster Gabrielle Gelormini at 21/1. 2/1 favorite Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) ended fourth with Eric Raffin up for trainer Guarato. Another graded event on the card was the Gr. II Prix Albert DeMarcq (€120,000, 2850 meters, 9 starters) and it went to 1.6/1 favorite Arlington Dream (5m Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) for Yoann Lebourgeois at the lines for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Fredrick Sauque. The big striding winner (shown below) was timed in 1.13kr and defeated 16/1 Anette du Mirel (5f Laetender Diem-Lisa du Mirel) with Eric Raffin teaming for trainer Anders Lindqvist. Third went to 3.3/1 Ave Avis with trainer/driver J-M Bazire up. The Prix du Rouergue (€75,000, 2150 meters autostart, European) went to fast closing Orione Degli Dei (7g Conway Hall-Elisa DeiI) at 9/1 with Franck Nivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy. Clocked in a quick 1.11.6kr the winner stopped Nuage En Ciel (8m Daguet Rapide-Pretty Perle) at 3/1, also trained by Souloy and reined by J-M Bazire. Global Midnight (8f Ganymede-Global Business) took third at 8/1 for Christophe Martens with 2.4/1 favorite Trebol fourth for G-A Pou Pou. Thomas H. Hicks

Arlington Dream (5m Ready Cash - Ialla Clairchamp) took Saturday’s Gr. II Prix Robert Auvray (€120,000 purse, 2850 meters, 10 starters) for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Phillipe Allaire. The Fredric Sauque owned high-stepper was off at 16/1 in the defeat of Aloa de la Mortrie (5f Drag-Queen d’Acanthe) with Anthony Barrier up for trainer/owner S.G. Dupont at 7/1 odds. 7/1 Ave Avis (5m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) was third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire. 22/1 outsider Anette de Miral (5f Laetenter Diem-Lisa du Mirel) was fourth for trainer Anders Lindqvist and jockey Eric Raffin. Amiral Sacha was disqualified for a miscue. The winner scored in 1.12.8kr off solid, even fractions. The Gr. II monte Prix Louis Forcinal (€120,000 purse, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 9/10 favorite Villeroi (6m Oiseau de Feux - Pocahontas) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastian Guarato. Stablemate Astor du Quenne (5m Opus Viervil-Qualinn des Quenne) was second at 3.1/1 for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer Guarato with 7/1 Agrippinne (5f Hasting-Moquese) third for Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. The winner was clocked in 1.13.8kr. The Gr. III Prix du Bois de Vincennes (€115,000, International, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to veteran Beckman (8g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema) clocked in 1.14kr for Franck Nivard aboard for Fabrice Souloy, training this 38.4/1 outsider. 56/1 Talicia Bella (8g General du Pommeau-Illicia Bella) was second for Mathieu Abrivard on the lines for J-P Marmion trainer. 4.2/1 Akim du Cap Vert (5m First de Retz-Prima du Cap Vert took third for driver/trainer/owner Franck Anne. Aladin d’Ecajeul (5m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul was fourth at 9/10 odds for teamster Eric Raffin and trainer Guarato. Well regarded Uprince was disqualified as offstride. The €2.1 million jackpot Quinte+ Prix Jean Cabrol (€72,000, 2700 meters, 17 European starters) went to Sweden’s Moving On (6f Quite Easy-Kings Blondie) at 9/10 odds for Franck Nivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy. The winner romped home in 1.13.1kr after a solid finish for owner Ecurie LC Equine AB. Second was Triskell Pasha (8g Clio Josselyn-Decose de la Butte) at 6/1 for Anthony Barrier. Spain’s consistent Trebol (8m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait) was third at 15/1 for trainer/driver Gabriel-Angel Pou Pou. The Prix de Gueugnon (€65,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) on the excellent undercard went to 8/1 Beau Gamin (4m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) for Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato and owner Ecurie J.M. Rancoule. Blues d’Ourville (4g Password-Pursuit of Charm) was second at 127/1 for Mathieu Mottier in the bike, ahead of Bon Copain (4m Love You-Haie) for Damien Bonne and trained by Thierry Raffegeau at 6/1. Thomas H. Hicks

January 27, 2015 - The Monday January 26 Vincennes card continued the excellent Prix d’Amerique weekend of harness racing. The Prix D’Issoice (€37,000 purse, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) went to the Jerry Riordan trained, Lisa Riordan owned Sylvester America (4m Varenne-Armbro Voice) clocked in 1.14.9kr and reined by Bjorn Goop. The even-money,  Chuck Sylvester namesake, favorite defeated Suerte’s Cage (Igor Font - Fuanziska’s Cage) for Roberto Vecchione for trainer H.K. Ehlert at 48/1 with third to 10/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (4m Magnificent Rodney - Nymphe du Dollar) with trainer Sylvain Roger at the lines. Winner’s dam Armbro Voice by Garland Lobell is also dam of Laurel America (US$341,000), Michael America (US$113,000) and Red Rose America (US$261,000), each developed by Riordan. Une de Villetot (7f Canada-Oste) took the Prix de Rethal (€48,000, 2700 meters, 18 European starters) at 38/1 for owner, trainer, driver Sebastian Baude timed in 1.14.9kr. 45/1 Una Fix (7f Kiwi-J’y Pense) ended second for trainer/driver Franck Ouvrie ahead of 63/1 Uka Pellois (7f Coktail Jet-Lady Square) with Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Rony Kuiper in this Quinte+ event. The Prix de Fleurance A (€33,000 purse, 2200 meters, 13 starters) produced a 1.18.4kr victory for well-bred Cottie Cash (3f Sam Bourbon -Kidea) for Jerome Ruaults up for trainer Philippe Allaire. This 1.8/1 favorite handled Crista Maris (3f Kiwi-Prima Maris) for trainer, driver Sylvain Roger at 9/1 with third to Crazy Queen (3f Let’s Go Along-Rydding Star) and Julien Dubois. Philippe Moulin trains this one for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The winner is from the Extreme Dream mare Kidea (from a Workaholic dam), dam of double Prix d’Amerique winner Ready Cash plus Suricate (US$169,000) and Upper Class (US$398,000). The lightly raced three year-olds also contested the Prix de Fleurance B (€33,000, 2200 meters, 12 starters) and Julien Dubois teamed Café Rossa (3f Let’s Go Along -Lee Nova) to the win clocked in 1.16.6kr. The 2.7/1 winner is trained by Philippe Moulin for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 36/1 Chapella Phedo (3f Little Crack-Romanaisa Phedo) was second for Franck Nivard ahead of 2.9/1 odds Carla Love (3f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnas) with trainer J-M Bazire aboard. Tuesday at Vincennes continued with a card that included European eligible events and first-time training win for Julien Dubois. Summaries follow: The Prix de Vittel A (€50,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 European starters) went to Primula Brazza (6f Oiseau de Feux -Erbanoza Brazza) trained by Fabrice Souloy and reined by Roberto Andreghetti. The 2.3/1 favorite was clocked in 1.15.5kr in defeat of Voila Marine (6f Infant du Bossis-Lady Danae) with David Thomain up for trainer/owner Franck Harel. 9/1 Vany des Loyaux (6f Vivaldi de Chanu-Morie des Loyaux) was third for owner/trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard. The Prix de Laval (€70,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 16 European starters) went to 3/2 odds Aupiquaria (5f Goetmals Wood -Illys Way) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire, clocked in a sharp 1.12.5kr. This Quinte+ event saw 9/1 Ardente du Clos (5f Reve des Vallees-Lumiere du Clos) end second for owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard. 50/1 Roxanne Bar (5f Explot Caf-Guendalina Bar) was third for Roberto Andrghetti and trainer Catello Savarese. The Divine Miss F (5f Kiss Francis-Fast Wise As) was a 25/1 fourth for Pierre Vercruysse with fifth to 19/1 Ruguaida Dei Rex (5f Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex) for reinsman Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort and owner Arnold W. Mollema. The Prix de Laval was the Quinte+ race of the day. The Prix de Sarlat (€44,000 purse, 2700 meters. 18 European starters) went to owner/trainer/driver Julien Dubois and his 28/1 Always Perfect (5m Prodigious-Oh Butterfly), his first training win. Scoring in 1.16.1kr the winner defeated Atout de Montbrun (5g Otello Pierji-Dame Montbrun) with trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard and American Charm (5m Password-Question de Charme) at 45/1 for reinsman Jean-Philippe Dubois for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Thomas Hicks

Bird Parker (3m Ready Cash-Belisha-Fakir du Vivier)) scored a decisive six length victory in today’s Gr. I Prix de Vincennes (€240,000, 2700 meters monte, 13 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. This winner was off at 6.3/1 odds while favored Booster Winner finished a fading eighth at 1.3/1. Yohan Lebourgeois rode Bird Parker as the pair drew clear from the field starting at head-stretch. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for owner Elisabeth Allaire. Brutus de Bailly (3m Niky-Ninon de Bailly) was second for Mathieu Mottier at 13/1 with Best of Jets (3m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) and Bilibili (3m Niky-Quetty du Digeon) next across the line. The winner was timed in 1.13.7 in modest fractions (1.12.7kr at 1500; 1.12.8kr at 1000; 1.13.3kr at 500; 1.13.7kr at finish). Bird Parker recorded his fifth career win for €525,430 earned. Thomas H. Hicks

Paris-Turf reported today that Ready Cash could return to the races as early as the December 6th Prix du Bourbonnais at Paris-Vincennes, the second "B" leading to the 2015 Prix d'Amerique. The classy veteran retired from competition February 9 and subsequently completed a successful breeding season. Owner Philippe Allaire has been working Ready Cash on his sand fibre strip. More to follow as the exciting story develops along with the Maharajah comeback. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Today's Quinte+, with a special jackpot of E10 million, went to 1.4/1 favored Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette) with Christian J. Bigeon aboard in 1.13.1kr over 13 rivals in this 2700 meter test named the Prix RMC. The exact order payoff excluding jackpot was €2,570 for a €2 wager. Q+ Prix RMC, European, E58,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 starters, 1.13.1kr Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette), Ch.J. Bigeon up at 1.4/1 odds for owner/trainer Christian Bigeon, 10th win in 40 starts for E294,800 earned Noir d'Ete (7m Ganymede-Essenza d'Ete), Eric Raffin aboard, 5.1/1 Tina Jolie (7f Jasmin de Flore-Minea des Picanes), Antonio Wiels up, 7.8/1 Bugsy Malone also won on the Vincennes card, taking the E62,000 Prix de Montelimar for three year-olds over 2700 meters with nine starters. The consistent colt recorded his sixth win in nine starts for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The victory, by open lengths, raised his career earnings to over E101,000. Prix de Montelimar, purse E62,000, 2700 meters, 9 starters Fractions: 1.16.1kr at 1500; 1.16.2kr at 1000; 1.15.5kr at 500, 1.15.2kr finish Bugsy Malone (3m Ready Cash-Night Captain), Yohan Lebourgeois for trainer/owner Philippe Allaire, 3/5 favorite, sixth win in nine starts for E101,460 earned Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois), Franck Ouvrie, 10.8/1 Bajazet (3m Qwerty-Perkine), Jacques Bruneau owner/trainer/driver, 6.2/1 odds V75 action took place today at Farjestad SWE. The Gold Division with 150,000SEK to the winner, over 2140 meters autostart, went to On Track Piraten in 1.13.3kr in an easy score for Johnny Takter. Porthos Amok was second for Bjorn Goop (trained by Stefan Melander) ahead of another Melander trainee, Tidied Accelerator handled by Ulf Ohlsson. The winning six year-old gelded son of Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line took his 13th victory in 58 tries, increasing career earnings to over 5.8SEK million. The Silver Division, over 1640 meters autostart, went to the US bred Magiccarpetride and Jorma Kontio timed in 1.10.9kr. Another US-bred, Mr. Chicago, was second for Carl-Erik Lindblom. The winner earned 125,000SEK and the eight year-old son of Angus Hall-Meadowbranch Magic-Valley Victory now has 13 wins and earnings in excess of 1.6SEK million. The Bronze Division, for 110,000SEK to the winner, contested over 2140 meters autostart, resulted in a 1.11.8kr win for Jeppas Maxi and Torbjorn Jansson. He narrowly defeated Riff Kronos and Viejo Heiskanen with Pedro Bi a distant third. Jeppas Maxi is a five year-old gelded son of Varenne-Absolutely Perfect-Balanced Image that now has nine wins in 11 starts lifetime. This one looks to have a fine future. Thomas H. Hicks

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