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Boss du Meleuc (8g Lucky Blue-Rafale du Meleuc), off at 3/2 odds, rallied for Alexandre Abrivard to win the featured Prix Auguste Francois (Gr. III, purse 90,000€, monte, 2175 meters, European eligibles) at the Hippodrone Paris-Vincennes timed in a quick 1.10..6kr. Yannick A. Briand trains and owns this 18 time winner for 707,100€ earned. 8.1/1 Carla du Chatelet (7f Jag de Bellouet-Jalna du Chatelet) was next with Adrien Lamy in the irons for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 2.3/1 Carly (7g Rolling d’Heripre) was third for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. The Prix de Blanquefort (purse 58,000€, 2100 meters autostart, European eligibles) went to the 6.6/1 Class Action (7f Scipion du Goutier-Nepeta) reined by her owner/trainer/driver Charles Dreux. Race time was 1.12kr. The 3.2/1 odds Crescendis (7f Querido de Blary) was second for J.F. Senet and 8.7/1 Coumba Kuky (7f Matador de Vrie) held third for Gabriel Angel Pou Pou. This race was the Quinte+ race of the day with the exact order top five payoff being 4,128.40€. The Q+ pool was 3,153,720€ and total wagered on the race exceeded 6,991,000€. By comparison last Sunday’s Q+ in the Prix du Bourbonnais saw 11,958,000€ wagered on that race with 6,058,379€ in the Bourbonnais pool. The Prix Poitou-Cherentes (purse 67,000€, 2850 meters) this day went to 1.14.4kr timed and 4.3/1 odds Ce Retour d’Oscar (7g Le Retour-Perle Castelets) handled by J.Ph. Monclin ffor breeder/owner/trainer Ludovic Guitton. 3.9/1 Balzac de l’Iton (8g Ranache de L’Iton) took second with Franck Nivard up. 44/1 Brosses Troubadour (8g Showtime Bourbon) was third. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The 5/10 favorite Cleangame (7g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) took today’s Gr. III Prix des Cevennes (purse 90,000€, 2850 meters, 13 starters) at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes in France. It was also the start of the winter race season at Vincennes.  Trainer Jean Michel Bazire teamed the winner to his 29th career win in 46 starts, now for 1,091,970€ earned. J-M Rancoule owns the winner that was timed in 1.12kr. Second was 23/1 Balbir (8g Ganymede-Manzir) reined by Mickael Cormy for Ecurie du Vieux Chene. 30/1 Bahia Quesnot (8f Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) rallied for third teamed by her trainer Junior Guelpa. 5.2/1 Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet), 42/1 Looking Superb, 12/1 Bugsy Malone and 75/1 Clarck Sotho trailed the top three in this good field that saw Davidson du Pont finish ninth, Carat Williams 12th and Dreambreaker 13th. The race was the Quinte+ race of the day and the exact order payoff was 6,910.20€ for a 2€ wager with 116 winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 3,388,282€ and the total of all pool on this race exceeded 7,109,000€. On the program six year olds contested the Prix du Dorat (purse 59,000€, 2700 meters, eight starters). J-M Bazire scored again with 3.1/1 Dayana Berry (6f Scipion du Goutier-Idee du Corta) timed in 1.14.7kr. The Bazire owned and trained winning mare now has eight career victories in 36 starts. 6/1 Diego Sautonne was second for Matthieu Abrivard and 8.6/1 Bazire trainee Dostoievski was third with Nicolas Bazire the pilot. The favorite Defi de Retz, another Bazire trainee, was a dq. Jean Michel Bazire returned again to win the Prix des Clematites (two year olds, purse 32,000€, 2200 meters, 12 starters) with 1.4/1 Hoffenbach (2m Cristal Money-Angelica). Clocked in 1.17.5kr this was Hoffenbach’s maiden win in four starts. His sire is a son of Coktail Jet-Making Money-Himo Josselyn and his offspring are showing up in the winners’ circle with some regularity. This day was the kickoff of the Winter Meet at Vincennes that continues through February 29. The exceptional racing program of course includes the Prix d’Amerique (January 26) and the lead-up “B” races leading to the big one.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

YONKERS, N.Y. - Junior Guelpa has traveled New York City in the past, but his next trip to the Big Apple will be nothing like his previous visits. The French trainer and driver will bring trotting mare Bahia Quesnot across the Atlantic to compete in the Yonkers International Trot. The $1 million stakes, slated for Saturday, Oct. 12, will be Guelpa’s first time competing in the United States. “I want to see the Statue of Liberty again,” Guelpa said with a laugh last Saturday (Sept. 7) at Hippodrome de Vincennes. “No, seriously, it's a privilege to be able to participate in such a big race in the United States. “I have never had a chance to drive there and I do not know Yonkers, but I went to the United States and to New York City on holidays, to take some rest,” Guelpa continued. “There, it will not be the same. But I can't wait.” Guelpa’s excitement about the trip ahead was bolstered by Bahia Quesnot’s second-place finish in the Group 2 European Trotting Masters Series Final. Guelpa sent the 8-year-old straight to the lead at the start of the 2,700-meter stakes, beating Bold Eagle and Queer Fish to the top as the field exited the chute and joined the big track at the Paris racecourse. Racing into the stretch the first time, Bold Eagle and Björn Goop glided up on the outside and took the lead, crossing over to the pylons in front of Bahia Quesnot. However, Mindyourvalue W.F. and Bel Avis ranged up on the outside and peeled away in a speed duel. Soon, Bahia Quesnot found herself four back along the pylons and pinned in. Racing up the backstretch, Bahia Quesnot kept her nose pressed to Goop’s helmet and raced just to Propulsion’s inside. When the Swedish star tipped three-wide nearing the final turn, Guelpa yanked on the right line and slid out, looking to keep Bold Eagle jailed. However, as Queer Fish back peddled on the rim, Guelpa dove back to the pylons. With Queer Fish fading, Bold Eagle slid out and Bahia Quesnot followed the champion’s move. Guelpa angled Bahia Quesnot four-wide into the lane outside of Propulsion and for the first time in the race, the driver became animated. He leaned forward in the bike, prodding and swiping at his mare with the whip in his right hand and hitting the sulky shaft. While rival Cleangame made a break in the final 200 meters, Propulsion inherited the lead, but Bahia Quesnot kept coming as her driver kept asking. Although Propulsion’s nose hit the finish first, Bahia Quesnot was just a head behind. She trotted out past the post well ahead of the field. “Fantastic,” Guelpa exclaimed after the race. “Once again, she was great. She was the fastest horse in the race over three sections so it's fantastic. She recovered so easily too. I turned around after the post, I went back to the clubhouse and by the time she headed to the stables, she was breathing normally. She’s amazing.” By multiple Group 1 winner Scipion du Goutier out of the Install mare Queen Ines, Bahia Quesnot was bred by Alain Léon Lefebvre and is owned by Tahar Ait-Hamouda. Bahia Quesnot began her career in Cédric Herserant’s stable, winning six races including the Group 3 Grand National du Trot in 2016. However, after a 35-race losing streak, the mare found her way to Guelpa. “I had befriended her owner during a trip to Norway, where we each had a horse to run. We met there and got along pretty well,” Guelpa said. “A few years later, the mare needed a change of scenery. That's when she was sent to me.” Bahia Quesnot made her first start for Guelpa in the Group 3 Grand Prix de Noel at Cagnes-sur-Mer December 23, 2018. She won at first asking with her new conditioner in the sulky. “I knew she was already very good because she had achieved great performances. At work, she quickly became very good too,” Guelpa said. “She won straight out at Cagnes-sur-Mer. She’s not that good in the winter, but I was lucky that she’s still improving. “She has got her ways; she is a lady you know,” Guelpa said. “But she is kind and endearing. The people who care for her are in love with her. My sister Paola and Christophe Ceccareli take care of her on a daily basis.” Although Bahia Quesnot finished ninth second time out for Guelpa in the Prix Ourasi at Cagnes-sur-Mer January 3, Guelpa entered the mare back in the Group 2 Grand Prix de Belgique at Vincennes 10 days later. She finished second in the “B” race, punching her ticket to the Grand Prix d’Amérique in the process. Bahia Quesnot finished 10th in France’s biggest trotting race and after thirds in Group 1 company in the Grand Criterium de Vitesse Nice-Matin and Olympiatravet and a win in a Gold Division leg this spring, took a shot in the Elitloppet. Although she finished sixth in her Elitloppet elimination and didn’t advance to the final, Guelpa, who has 239 training victories since launching his career in 2012, was thankful to compete on such big stages. “It is fantastic to already have a horse of her class in your stable for a little trainer like me,” he said. “It's a privilege. She has allowed me to take part in the most beautiful races.” Since the Elitloppet, Bahia Quesnot has been the runner up in five grouped stakes: the Oslo Grand Prix, the Grand Prix de la Ville de Cagnes-sur-Mer, the Prix Maharajah, the Grand Prix du Département des Alpes-Maritimes, and the European Trotting Masters Final. Although her earnings swelled to 878,346€ from 84 starts, making her the richest horse Guelpa has trained, the defeats can be disappointing. “It's frustrating, that's for sure. But you know, the most important thing is that she continues to progress and repeat her best form,” Guelpa said. “I would prefer to be second six times rather than win once and not see her again. Sometimes, she didn’t miss by much, like the last time in Vincennes.” Guelpa will bring Bahia Quesnot to New York to represent France in the World Cup of trotting, the 10-furlong Yonkers International Trot. After she endured long land-based travel across Europe, Guelpa is confident about the trans-Atlantic flight. He is also confident about Bahia Quesnot adapting to the half-mile track at Yonkers based on her performance on the five-eighths ovals in Sweden. “The trip does not worry me because it will take less time to go to the United States than to go to Sweden. To race in Scandinavia, she had to stand 26 hours in a truck,” Guelpa said. “(The half-mile track) will not be a problem because she has shown that she is able to cope in Sweden. In addition, (the race) will be over a mile-and-a-quarter, so it will be perfect for her.” Once extended an official invitation by the race office, Bahia Quesnot will join defending Yonkers International Trot winner and Swedish representative Cruzado Dela Noche and Hambletonian winner Atlanta, who will race for the United States, as confirmed starters for the storied stakes. The remaining invitees will be announced over the coming weeks. Both Atlanta and Bahia Quesnot will vie to become the ninth mare to win the International. Bahia Quesnot looks to join 13 previous French winners of the International. “It's a great opportunity, a challenge and a reward,” Guelpa said. “There are many ways to look at things, but one thing is certain: it's fantastic, especially since I just settled with my horses on the training center of Grosbois to try to improve my career again and this race could also help me to reach new heights.” The $1 million Yonkers International Trot is slated for Saturday, October 12 at Yonkers Raceway. The card will also feature a pair of $250,000 invitationals, the Harry Harvey Trot and Dan Rooney Pace. For more information on the event and its participants, click here. Yonkers Raceway features live harness racing Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. by Brandon Valvo, for the SOA of NY

Friday evening Vincennes harness racing action saw Dreambreaker (5g Offshore Dream-Brooke Boko) win the Prix Atropos (purse 55,000€, 2850 meters, 10 European starters) clocked in 1.12.9kr for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire. Stall Oberkrecher of Germany own the winner that now has three wins in six FR outings. This 2/5 favorite defeated 13/1 Desperado (5m Kesaco Phedo) that Bazire also trains and today Matthieu Abrivard was the pilot. The 23/1 Donuts Deladou (5g Baccarat du Pont) was a rallying third ahead of 42/1 Jerry Mom (5m Ready Cash) and 6.7/1 Desir Castelets (5m Quaker Jet). The Q+ on the card was the Prix Charley Mills (purse 65,000€, 2850 meters, 14 European starters) that had 2.2/1 Balfour (7g Scipion du Goutier-Pay The Bill) hold on by a nose for teamster Gabriele Gelormini and trainer/owner Robert Bergh. This one now sports 20 wins in 44 starts for 298,201€ earned. 7.2/1 Tripolini VP (8g Archduke Kemp-Lady Magic) was a just missed second for pilot Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Jeppe Juel and Team Juel of Denmark. The 36/1 Pave The Way (10g Pearsall Hanover-Hot Pants) took third for Matthieu Abrivard, ahead of 7/2 Lover Face (10g Love You) and 53/1 Un Cher Ami (10g Jag de Bellouet). Race timed was 1.14.3kr and the Quinte+ exact order payoff was 8,327.40€ for a 2€ wager. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Stark Bi (7m Toss Out-No Reason Bi) narrowly took Tuesday’s Prix Paris-Vincennes at Baden-Vienna (purse 14,000€, 1609 meters autostart, 10 participants) with trainer Rudolf Haller at the lines for Team Neuhof. Race time was 1.13.6kr and the winner was off at 7/2 odds. Stark Bi raised his life earnings to 132,788€. Woten Casel (7m Alesi OM) was second for trainer/driver Gerhard Mayr at 9/1 and third went to 3/5 favorite Celestial Light (7f Love You) handled by her trainer Gerhard Biendl. Earlier in the card was the Prix Le Croise Laroche (purse 10,000€, 2600 meters autostart, nine starters) and the 3/5 favorite Offroader (5g Orlando Vici-Yasminia) prevailed for Rudy Haller who trains for Stall Wieserhof. 9/1 Narcis Pesci (7g Nimitz Hanover) was second for trainer/driver Marco Gorenc and 4.9/1 odds Stravinski Bigi (9g Self Possessed) was third for Thomas Royer. Race time was 1.16.5kr. The same day at Le Cepiere was the Quinte+ Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran (purse 32,000€, 2950 meters, 14 European starters). Cayenne de Houelle (6f Scipion du Goutier-Irina de la Frette) scored at 3/1 odds for Kevin Leblanc, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Gerard Leblanc timed in 1.16.4kr. The 21/1 Bingo d’Attaque (7m Pomerol de Laumac) was second for Robert Lacroix ahead of 53/1 outside Clever Lymm (6m Korean) and trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. 10/1 Uvinto and 12/1 Tooltime completed the Quinte+ exact order top five that paid 5,846€ for a 2€ wager. Upcoming on the weekend are several top-flight racing events. On September 15 at Paris-Vincennes will be the Gr. I Prix de l’Etoile (purse 240,000€, 2150 meters distance handicap, 10 starters) with the five year-olds facing a 50 meter penalty. Davidson du Pont is the likely favorite with trainer Jean Michel Bazire driving. The same day is the Gr. I Prix de Normandie (240,000€ purse, 3000 meters, 12 starters, monte). Look for Dexter Fromentro to be the likely favorite with Camille Levesque in the irons. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

February 11, 2017 - Recent FR import Bimbo de Chenu (6f Scipion du Goutier-Orive de Chenu) overcame a 20 meter handicap and won today’s featured Laszlo Tolnay Memorial (purse 600,000Huf, 2560 meters distance handicap) at Kincsem Park in this her second HU appearance.Harness racing trainer/driver Tibor Hajnal teamed the winner for Illetmeny Kft and Csaba Dinnyes, Hajnal also the trainer. Off at 7.9/1 the winner was clocked in 1.25.9kr over a wet muddy surface. 1.6/1 favorite Editor Rapide (6f Explot Cagf-Sierra Rapide-Express Ride) was a distant second for trainer/driver Sandor Varga and 7.9/1 No Fear (10m Crown Sweep-Naughty Lobell-Reado) was third for trainer/driver Laszlo Kolozsi. The undercard included the Betolakodo DIJ (purse 360,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) with the 1.23.3kr win going to 23.4/1 Tiara Boss (5f Wall Street Banker-Peace Force Pro-Kosar). Zoltan Ozvar reined and trains the winner for Arizona doo of Szerbia. Tiara Boss defeated 1.3/1 favorite Timoko RL (4m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina-Golden Goal) that Imre Fazekas trains and drove today for owner Ozvar L and breeder was Stable Sport Line of Belgrad, Szerbia. 11.7/1 Tutanhamon (4m Tamesways Sweet L-Super Arnie) took third with Laszlo Kolozsi at the lines.   Thomas H. Hicks

December 24, 2016 - The Gr. II Prix Une de Mai (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, ten two year-olds) was won by 1.13.3kr timed and 6.4/1 odds Erming d’Oliverie (2f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) reined by Franck Nivard for harness racing trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 1.7/1 Epice Turgot (2f Orlando Vici-Kippa Turgot) finished second for J-M Bazire, trainer Fabrice Souloy and breeder/owner Mme. Th. Hoste, owner of Scarlet Turgot. 6.8/1 Ecume de Reville (2f Hand du Vivier-Perle Villetrot) was third best with Eric Raffin up for trainer/owner Frederic Prat, ahead of good gaited 21.2/1 Ere Nouvelle (2f Love You-Kidea) driven by Gabriel Gelormini for trainer Philippe Allaire and breeder/owner Kevin Tebirent. Kidea is a daughter of Extreme Dream from a Workaholic mare that is quite a producer (nine foals, seven money winners including US$4.768mm Ready Cash and US$300k plus winner Upper Class, both by Indy de Vive. The Gr. II Prix Jules Lemonnier (monte, Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) was the feature of the day and last career start of legendary mare Scarlet Turgot (10f Dahir de Prelong-Noella de Massy) the was 9/10 favorite and ridden by Alexandre Abrivard for Mme Th. Hoste, breeder Christian Hoste and trainer Yannick Alain Briand. She was game on the lead and nipped at the line by winning 3/1 Bellisima France (5f Blue Dream-Quanta Rosa Sun)  handled by trainer/owner Matthieu Abrivard clocked in 1.11.6kr (mile race 1:55.04) off quick fractions (1.09.4kr at 1500 to go; 1.10.9kr at the 1000; 1.12.2kr with 500 remaining), the closing 500 was lightning fast. 25/1 Texas de l’Iton (9g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Iladia de l’Iton) was a game third for trainer Hughes Levesque and jockey Mathieu Mottier. The event was “exceptionnalle” on this Christmas weekend. The Gr. III Prix Constant Herview (purse €105,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) went to rallying Blue Grass (5f Ready Cash-Princesse Natacha). Racing barefoot, the Gabriel Gelormini reined winner is trained by Philippe Allaire for breeder/owner Christophe Toulonge and was timed in 1.13.7kr off even fractions. This 19.6/1 odds winner defeated 6.4/1 Baladin Hongrois (5g Bon Conseil-Relodie Hongroise) handed by trainer Arnaud Desmottes. Third was 19/1 Arlington Dream (f Ready Cash-Ialla Chairchamp) with Yoann Lebourgeois driving for trainer Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. Fourth was 8.4/1 Archangel AM (6g Going Kronos-No More Time) with Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Behall. The Prix Strasbourg (purse €88,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to 14/1 Ustie Haufor(8f Niky-Lara du Houlbet) clocked in 1.14.4kr for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 3.8/1 Une Serenade (8f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) was next for Eric Raffin and 8.4/1 Univers de Daidou was third for trainer/driver Thierry Duvaldestin. Today’s opening round of a superb holiday Paris-Vincennes program was the Prix de Luynes (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) and the 1.13.2kr winner was 15/1 Carlo de Carsi (4g Ismael du Pont-Orence de Carsi) for owner/trainer Jean Michel Baudouin and driven by Jean-Michel Bazire. 30.1/1 Cristal River (4m Quaker Jet-Olga de la Grenne) took second for Gabriel Gelorminim trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Gerard Manzi. Third was 5.1/1 Carenza Turbo (4m Ganymede-Poesie de Vigne) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie Turbo. Thomas H. Hicks

December 22, 2016 - On Thursday at Cabourg (the harness racing undercard) there were several interesting winners. The Prix du Buis (monte, two year-olds, purse €13,000, 2200 meters, 14 fillies) went to 2.6/1 odds quick-stepping (time 1.15.8kr) Effrontee (2f Scipion du Goutier-Queasy Way) with Adrien Lamy in the irons for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Jacques Seror. The two year olds monte colts battled in the Prix des Noyers (purse €13,000, 2200 meters, 10 starters) and the 1.17.8kr winner was 1.4/1 Etna Dairpet (2g Rombaldi-Regate de Celland) with Matthieu Abrivard up. J.L. Dersoir is the trainer for Ecurie Luck.  Three year-olds contested the Prix des Ormes B (purse €22,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) with the 1.18.4kr timed winner being 1.4/1 Divine Action (3f Ready Cash-Serious Action) with Jean-Philippe Dubois, also breeder, at the lines for trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Divine Action At Meslay du Maine was the Prix des Guirlandes (A and B divisions each for a purse of €20,000, 2875 meters, 16 starters). The A groupe went to 1.17.9kr timed and 5.5/1 odds Dayan Winner (3g Offshore Dream-Tempete Winner). Sebastian Guarato trains this Ecurie Winner property. The B groupe was won by 1.3/1 favorite Distingua Bella (3f Goetmals Wood-Prestancia Bella) timed in 1.16.7kr for Antoine Wiels. Thomas H. Hicks  

September 7th at Les Sables d’Olonne was the latest leg of the prestigious Gr. III Grand National du Tror Paris Turf, conducted by 18 starters over 2750 meters distance handicapped for a purse of €90,000. This was the harness racing Quinte+ race of the day in France. The 1.13.8kr timed winner (not penalized) was 4.4/1 Boeing du Bocage (5m Scipion du Goutier-Lova du Cap Vert) racing shoeless for driver Luc Guinoiseau, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Mme. Boisnaud. 93.3/1 Tiger Danover (9g Ipsos du Ptitz-Kelly du Bouquet) nearly overcame a 50 meter penalty to earn second timed in 1.13.2kr for Francois Lecanu, trainer Stephane Provoost and Ecurie Danover. 28/1 Topaze Jef (9f Islero de Bellouet-Katie Gourdonnaise) landed third for Pierre Vercruysse ahead of 11/1 Alienor de Godrel and Franck Anne with fifth to 10/1 Amiral du Bisson with Anthony Barrier driving. On September 6 at Marseille Borely was the Prix du Mugel (purse €23,000, 3000 meters, 12 European starters) with the 1.15.7kr timed victory to 5.5/1 odds Angelo AM (6g Gigant Neo-Armbro Deity). Christophe Martens teamed the Ecurie du Domaine du Parc owned trainee of Vincent Martens. 14/1 Vampire Fromento (7g Jag de Bellouet-Quena Fromento) was second ahead of 9/1 Verdelet (7g Notre Haufor-Ebene de Saures). September 6th at Paris-Vincennes included the Prix Amalia (purse €38,000, 2200 meters, six starters, two year-olds) with 3/5 favorite Everest Vedaquais (2m Ready Cash-Spandelle) prevailing for Yoann Lebourgeois. This Philippe Allaire owned and trained colt was bred by Jean Pierre Guay, and could be still another Allaire champion performer. 5/2 Eros de Chene (2m Un Amour d’Haufor-Oulanover de Lou) took second for driver Franck Nivard and 29/1 Edison Perrine (2m Tucson-Pretty Perrine) was third with Jerome Rualts up, also for owner/trainer Allaire. September 5th at Feurs was the Prix de la Ville de Feurs (purse €35,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) went to 1.13.7kr timed and 1.6/1 odds Balbir (5g Ganymede-Manzir) with trainer Mickael Cormy driving for Ecurie di Vieux Chene. 11/1 Uranus du Corta (8g Meaulnes du Corta-Hydre de Lorne) took second ahead of 10/1 Uzo Josselyn (8m Love You-Lezira Josselyn) that Dominik Locqueneux teamed for Ecurie des Charmes and trainer Robert Bergh. The Trophee Verte final was September 4th at Craon in the Prix Seche Environment, a Gr. II turf event for a purse of €80,000 over 2775 meters. There were 18 starters in this Q+ wagering contest. Veteran 4/1 second choice Tagada Tagada (9f Meaulnes du Corta-Lambada Blue) scored in 1.18.7kr for Mathieu Abrivard and trainer/owner Emanuel Varin. 2.2/1 Unifloisa Bella (8f Jag de Bellouet-Koctiflosa Gede) was second for Antoine Wiels and owner/trainer Jean Paul Marmion, with third to 9.8/1 Univers de Daidou (8g Jag de Bellouet-L’Absinthe) with Mathieu Mottier up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and Ecurie Daidou. Ulk Medoc and Twiggy were next home. The Craon program featured trots, steeplechase and cross country races. Wolvega hosted the September 4th Grand Prix de Victoria Park (purse €50,000, 2600 meters autostart, 11 entrants) that continued the traveling showcase of the Trotteur Francias. This day the 1.14.9kr timed winner was 10.3/1 Sierra Leone (10f John Arifant-Une d’Havetot) with owner/breeder J.Cl. Hallais driving. J.W. Hallais trains the 14 time winner in 108 starts, now for €817,350 earned. 9/10 favorite Billie de Montfort (5f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) was second for David Thomain, trainer Sebastian Guarato and breeder/owner Philippe Dauphin. 7.2/1 Swedishman (10g Gogo-Volgana) was third for Rik Ebbinge, trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and breeder/owner Gaylor Chaudemanche. Solea Rivelliere, Sthieric and Booster Winner were next home. Also at Wolvega the Grand Prix Paris-Turf (purse €8,800, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters) went to 1.14.7kr timed and 3/10 favorite Tuonoblu Rex (4m Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex) with Robin Bakker aboard. Paul Hagoort trains the winner for Stable Why Not. Jaguar Broline and Zenyatta were next to the line. A great program is ahead for Saturday September 10 at Paris-Vincennes, with six top flight events. Be there for superb trotting action. Gr. II monte Prix de Basly, eight three year-olds, purse €120,000, 2175 meters Prix RMC, 18 European starters, purse €75,000, 2700 meters Gr. III Prix Joseph Aveline, 14 four year-olds, purse €80,000, 2850 meters Gr. I International Prix d’Ete, 10 starters, purse €200,000, 2700 meters (field includes Your Highness, Bird Parker, Beline Josselyn) Prix de Mont Saint Michel, 14 European starters, purse €65,000, 2700 meters Gr. III Prix Emile Wendling, 12 European starters, purse €80,000, 2700 meters Thomas H. Hicks

Marie Bacsich teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee Be Mine de Houelle to victory in the harness racing Monte Elite at Solvalla (May 29) for 150,000SEK first money. The veteran FR monte campaigner was timed in 1.10.2kr (mile rate 1:52.95f) over the mile (1609 meters autostart) distance, the second fastest timed victory over that course. The mile race record was set a year ago in the same event on Elitloppet Day by Torre Crepin, timed in 1.10kr (1:52.63), handled by Adrian Lamy. Be Mine de Houelle is co-owned by Pauline Corty and trainer Leblanc. The five year-old daughter of Scipion du Goutier-Olita de Kettauso-Full Account posted her sixth career victory in 37 starts, now for 2,812,120SEK earned (US$341,138). Nantucket was second for Sofia Adolfsson with another Leblanc trainee Tsar de Houelle home third with Sofia Aronsson aboard. Thomas H. Hicks

This day’s Quinte+ event was the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (leg 4, purse €90,000, 2650 meters, 18 starters) at Le Bouscat, France and it went to 7/2 odds favorite Bahia Quesnot (5f Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) for driver Eric Raffin, owner Mlle. Florence Scalici and trainer Cedrik Herserant. Co-favorite Unero Montaval (8g Nem-Heroine du Lar) earned second for Franck Nivard, ahead of 10/1 Buffalo de  Beylev (5m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis) and trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. 76/1 Tui de Narmont and 7.5/1 Ulster Perrine were fourth and fifth. Race time was a good 1.13.9kr over the extended distance. The same card at Le Bouscat included the Grand Prix Baron d’Ardeuil (purse €25,000, 2550 meters autostart, 16 European starters) and victory went to 3.2/1 LoverFace (8g Love You-Ambra OK) for driver Franck Nivard, trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Bengt Olsson, timed in 1.15.1kr. The 2/1 Geisha Sund (6f Love You-Kanadia) landed second for Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and Etoile Sweden HB. Third home was 5.5/1 Orient Horse (8m Abano As-Irma del Rio) with Thomas Levesque up, ahead of fourth finishing 11.6/1 odds Only One Glory (8m Ganymede-Eva Kany Gar), that one also from the Souloy training stable. Another weekend race worth watching is in Finland (Seinajoki) on April 30 where ten classy rivals will battle in the €60,000 Seinajoki Race. 2100 meters autostart – The Seinajoki Race, purse €60,000   PP Horse/Driver   Record   Earnings             1 Jeppas Maxi*  /  Torbjörn Jansson   11,8ake   119 548 €             2 Ringostarr Treb*  /  Wilhelm Paal   10,4aly   272 553 €             3 Bret Boko  /  Ari Moilanen   10,3aly   349 210 €             4 Edward Ale  /  Peter Ingves   10,5aly   340 488 €             5 Jontte Boy  /  Tuomas Korvenoja   11,1aly   312 934 €             6 El Mago Pellini*  /  Adrian Kolgjini   10,8aly   564 914 €             7 Quid Pro Quo*  /  Erik Adielsson   10,2aly   731 096 €             8 Twigs Voici*  /  Pekka Korpi   10,6aly   199 725 €             9 Donna di Quattro*  /  Christoffer Eriksson   10,9aly   340 324 €             10 Ed You*  /  Mika Forss   10,1aly   678 575 € by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

January 31, 2016 - The opener this day was the Gr. II Prix Camille Blaisot/Prix Lenotre (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 7 starters) and the impressive 3/10 winner was Bilibili (5m Niky-Quetty du Donjon) reined by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and owner Ecurie Jean-Pierre Barjon. The winner was clocked in 1.14.6kr off slow fractions (1.16.5kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.15.4kr at 1000; 1.14.9kr at 500 mark). Biscuit Delavera (5m Ludo de Castelle-Neva du Rosier) was second at 5.8/1 odds for jockey Clement Frecelle and trainer J.L. Bigeon, ahead of third finishing Boldena (5f Qwerty-Jessie Jet) with Cedric Terry aboard for Franck Terry, trainer, at 56.6/1odds. 11.6/1 Baron du Chene (5m Goetmals Wood-Imperiale du Chene) was fourth for Franck Nivard, jockey for trainer Franck Leblanc. Watch for Bilibili as his career moves forward. The €70,000 purse Prix de Montreal/Prix Lalique (2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) went to barefoot Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier- Pika Josselyn) timed in 1.11.4kr for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O-Roffi-Urano. The winner rallied late, off fast fractions (1.08.5kr at 1500; 1.109kr at 1000; 1.11.3kr at 500 meters to go). Second was game Black Atout (5m Prodigious-La Caqure) at 109/1 odds for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc, also racing without shoes, Black Charm (5m Prodigious-Podana) was a shoeless third for Eric Raffin and trainer/owner team of Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Fourth was Sharz Roc (by Gigant Neo) for Mathieu Abrivard, fifth was Scellino Luis (by Andover Hall) for Orjan Kihlstrom and sixth home was Suerte’s Cage (by Igor Font) for Gabby Gelormini and trainer Holger K. Ehlert. The Gr II Prix Kusmi Tea/Prix Jacques Andrieu (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 12 monte starters) went the impressive Ukerlza du Benjo (8f Blizzard Poterie-Julie Abbevilloise) for Mathieu Mottier and a happy owner/trainer Philippe Rouer, clocked in 1.13.6kr off a modest pace (1.14.1kr at 1500 to go, 1.13.5kr at 1000; at 500 meters to go).The winner took the lead at the halfway point. Texas de l’Iton was second at 4.3/1 odds for Franck Nivard and trainer Hughes Levesque. 9/1 Teatro (9m Ganymede-Josette) landed third for Ch.J. Bigeon and owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. Vrai Voya and Satin d’Avril were next to the line. Vaillant Cash was unplaced after a monte win on January 17. The Gr III Prix RMC/Prix Jean-Rene Gougeon (purse €105,000. 2100 meters autostart, 16 European entrants) went to quick timed 1.11.2kr, 7/10 odds, Aubrion du Gers (5g Memphis du Rib-J’arrive du Gers) for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire. The pace was fast from the start (1.09.1 at 1500 to go; 1.10.5kr at 1000, 1.11.3kr at 500) with Lutfi Kojgini’s Dante Boko setting the pace. 4.6/1 Viking Va Bene (6m Rite On Line-Iriana du Mont) was second  for Orjan Kihlstrom, trainer Fabrice Souloy and P. Hauger the owner. Third was the game 7.2/1 Dante Boko (6g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa) for trainer/driver Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Be The Best. Ten finishers were clocked in 1.11.8kr or better in the competitive contest. Alpha Saltor (Mathieu Abrivard aboard), Quite An Avenger (Finland’s Mike Forss up), Increased Workload (Bjorn Goop for trainer Bergh and owner Melander) and Germany’s Dream Magic BE (Jozef Franzl trained, Vercruysse driven) were next to the line.Udo’s Oiler was scratched. The Gr. II Prix Charles Tiercelin/Prix Harley-Davidson (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 12 four year-olds European starters excluding geldings) went to Traders (4m Ready Cash-Graziella) with Nicolas Roussel up for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Scuderia Colibri SAS, off at 2.6/1 odds. Second at 13/1 was Caid Griff (4m Password-Savane Griff) with Mathieu Abrivard up for trainer Sebastian Guarato and Ecurie Griff. Third was 9/10 favorite Charly du Noyer (4m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Allaire and owner Olivier Henri Thomas with fourth to 16.1 odds stablemate Cahal du Rioults (4m Password-Plesse Des Rioults) also owned by Olivier Henri Thomas and trained by Allaire. The top six to the line were timed in 1.11.9kr with fifth to 65/1 Talisker Horse (4f Pine Chip-Iri Horse) handled by trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. Sixth was Calita Wood (4f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) for Bernard Piton, trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. Fractions were fast from the start and the winner was on top or second after the 1000 meter to go mark (1.06.2kr at 1500 to go; 1.09.6 at 1000; 1.12.2kr at 500 remaining). Traders replay: The day’s  10th race closer was the Prix Tidalium Pelo (purse €62,000, 2850 meters, 18 monte starters with apprentice jockeys) with victory to the barefoot Up Julry (8m Ludo de Castelle-Jatcha) with Leo Abrivard up for trainer Jean-Pail Gavin and Ecurie Julry at 1.1/1 odds. 12.7/1 Speed Pacha (10g Kuadro-Heline de la Butte) was second for Mlle. Alexiane Lepage and owner/trainer David Cherbonnel and third to 51.9/1 Toto du Minon (9g In Love With You-Kaline du Minon) with Valentine Pateau aboard for trainer Sylvain Roger. Videos of Le Trot’s highlights of the full week at Paris-Vincennes: Prix d’Amerique replay - Prix d'Amérique Opodo 2016 - Bold Eagle triomphe !: Last week’s Prix de Cornulier – Scarlet Turgot Victory: Other Vincennes Racing from Prix d’Amerique-Opodo Week; Trebol Wins Gr.III Prix du Luxembourg 4.2/1 odds Trebol (9m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait) found his winning  ways again with a stunning come from behind victory in the January 30 featured Prix du Luxembourg (purse €110,000, 2100 meters autostart, 11 international starters) clocked in 1.12.1kr. Trainer Gabriel-Angel Pou Pou teamed the Spanish bred veteran owned by Cuadro Oivia-Crespia Perez. 1.9/1 favorite Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was second for Pierre Vercruysse and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. 5.4/1 Orione Degi Dei (8g Conway Hall-Elissa Dei) landed third for Roberto Andreghetti, trainer Fabrice Souloy andowner Scuderia Bologna 2011. 92.7/ odds Orient Horse (driver Alessando Gocciadoro) and 14.9/1 El Mago Pellini (Adrian Kolgjini up) were fourth and fifth. In the beaten field were well-regarded Ave Avis (sixth), Rocky Winner (seventh), Beckman (eighth), Vagabondu Mag (ninth) and Brutus de Bailly (tenth) Tentation Ans (4f Muscles Yankee-Coronation Ans) took the day’s Quinte+ (jackpot €3.45 million) Prix Moni Maker (purse 37,000, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) timed in 1.15.2kr for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini at 8/1 odds. Far back in second was 17.2/1 Tamure Roc (4f Exploit Caf-Emc Roc) for Mathieu Abrivard, trainer Tomas Cecere and owner Scuderia Sant Eusebio and third was 38.3/1 Conga du Buret for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer P.Y. Rochard The same day at Vincennes was the Prix de Paray-le-Moniel (purse €2175 meters, 11 monte European starters) went to 1,4/1 odds barefoot Alto du Lys (6g Magnificent Rodney-Hi Fi d’Eronville) piloted by Clement Frecelle for trainer J.L. Bigeon. 6.4/1 Artist Kelao (6g by Quido du Gautier) was second for jockey Th. Dromigny and 8.5/1 Adorable (6g by Prince Gede) was third with Antoine Wiels aboard. The Quinte +(jackpot 3.35 million euro) from January 28 at Vincennes went to Italy’s Pleasure Kronos (7f Varenne-Speaks Volume) for driver Pietro Gubellini and owner Scuderia Cristian SAS at 49.1/1 odds, timed in 1.13.5kr. UIlulu Bella (8f Jam Pridem-Nathalia Bella) was second for Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer J-P Marmion at 12.8/1 with third to Tell Me No Lies (7g Offshore Dream-B. Glorious), at 3.1/1 odds, and pilot Franck Nivard for trainer Fabrice Souloy. The 2.1/1 favorite Pioneer Gar (7m Varenne-Follia) ended fourth for Eric Raffin and trainer Johanna Lindqvist and Scuderia Super Chico SAS. This Prix de la Semaine Internationale carried a 65.000 euro purse over the 2700 meter grande piste for 18 European starters. The January 28th Quinte+ event was the Prix de Yonkers Raceway (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 15 European starters) at Paris-Vincennes. The 1.13.7kr timed winner was 15.7/1 Geisha Sund (6f Love You-Kanadia) driven by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Robert Bergh and owner Etoile Sweden HB. 8/1 Amie d’Andy (6f Coktail Jet-Nanyotiere) was piloted by P-Y Verva, also the trainer. 31/1 odds Reine du Zack (6f Zinzan Brooke Tur-Giulia Grif) took third for trainer/driver Marco Smorgon and owner Scuderia Della Stelle of Italy. On January 26 the  Paris-Vincennes featured €90,000 purse Prix de Mirande (2700 meters, 14 European starters) went to 3/5 odds favorite Bugsy Malone (5g Ready Cash-Night Captain) driven by Yoann Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and clocked in 1.14kr. This one is consigned to the Arqana Trot sale later this week at Paris-Vincennes. 7.9/1 odds Bolide Jenilou (5g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) landed second for pilot Anthony Barrier, ahead for 4.4/1 Boeing du Bocage (5m Scipion du Goutier-Louada du Cap Vert) for J-M Bazire aboard for trainer Franck Leblanc. Thomas H. Hicks

Orjan Kihlstrom piloted 1.6/1 odds Red Rose America (6f Varenne-Armbro Voice) to a 1.12.5kr victory in the Gr. III Prix Helen Johansson/Px Association Petits Princes (Gr. III purse €105,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters). Kihlstom recovered from a dq with Lionel in the Prix d’Amerique but this Fabrice Souloy trained, Stall Panamera Racing owned and Lou Guida bred raced superbly. The winner was developed in Italy by Jerry Riordan for Guida. Air France (6f Scarlet Knight-Sunset Kosmos) was second at 9.9/1 for Mathieu Abrivard driving for Rony Kuiper, the trainer for owner Stefan Melander. Third home was 36/1 Adeliua de Melodie (6f Lilium Madrik-Piccola Stella) for David Thomain. 20/1 Ninepoints Lucy was fourth for owner Bengt Johansson with 6.2/1 Ustie Haufor finishing fifth for owner/trainer Christian Bigeon and driver Ch.J. Bigeon. Cayenne de Houelle Wins Prix de Meadowlands Today’s Prix de Meadowlands (purse €52,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters) at Paris-Vincennes went to 14.8/1 odds, 1.14.3kr timed Cayenne de Houelle (4f Scipion du Goutier-Irina de la Frette) for Pierre Vercruysse driving for Franck Leblanc trainer. This mare has posted three straight wins for the Leblanc/Vercuysse team since December 29th. Caly Loulou (4f Gazouillis-Neige de Genetine) was second at 82/1 odds for Mathieu Abrivard. Chelsea de Champs (4f Look de Star-Toscane des Champs) took third for Eric Raffin at 6/1. Favorite Cedea Josselyn (4f Love You-Dea Josselyn) was fourth today at even-money after five wins and a second in her last six outings. 43/1 odds Calencia (4f Quaker Jet-Olencia) was fifth for  Domink Locqueneux at the lines. Later in the Prix d’Amerique program, three year olds battled in the €80,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 13 starters) Prix Leopold Verroken with the 9/10 favorite, 1.14.7kr clocked Doberman (3m Prodigious-Ouietude Mesloise) to the line first for trainer/driver Franck Nivard. The winner now sports four wins the six starts. Dragueur (3m Speedy Blue-Tilda) was second for Mathieu Mottier at 10.7/1 odds. Ducato Bourbon (3m Love You-Kamera Bourbon) was a 3.1/1 odds third for J-M Bazire and trainer Franck Leblanc. Drop was fourth for Mathieu Abrivard with fifth to Ulisse LL for Roberto Andreghetti up. Thomas H. Hicks

January 7, 2016 - Today’s Quinte+ (jackpot €3 million) was at Paris-Vincennes, the Prix Hersilie (Gr. III, purse €90,000, 2100 meters autostart, European eligibles), and 2/1 Aubrion du Gers (6g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers-Baccarat du Pont) took victory with ease timed in 1.11.1kr for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire. The eight length winner bested 13/1 Air Frame (6f Scarlet Knight-Sunset Kosmos-SJ’s Photo) handled by Bjorn Goop. Ronny Kuiper trains Air Frame for Stefan Melander. Third was 3/1 Akido (6g Love You-Isha-Big Prestige) for trainer/driver Franck Nivard and owner Comte P de Montesson. Fourth went to 70/1 Alto de Viette (6m Ready Cash-Mini Ceinture-Dahir de Prelong) with Gabriel Gelormini up for trainer Peter Berycke and Ecurie Masus with fifth to 16/1 Sahara Fairytale (7f Viking Kronos-Sahara Shadow-Graduate Student) for Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and Manocap AB. A winning €2 ticket, excluding jackpot, returned €9,700. Cayenne de Houelle (4f Scipion du Goutier-Imina de la Frette-Carpe Diem) took the Prix de Douai (purse €38,000, 2700 meters, four year-old female starters) timed in 1.15.8kr at 12/1 odds. Pierre Vercruysse teamed the winner for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Gerard Leblanc. Even-money favorite Charmeuse Royale (4f Duc de Jiel-Lea Royale-Capitole) finished second for Mathieu Abrivard, also trainer, for owner L-D-M Abrivard. 18/1 Clef de Fa (4f Fleuron Perrine-Rivendell) was third for Alexandre Abrivard driving for trainer Mathieu Abrivard. At Berlin-Mariendorf this day was the Prix d’Oberstdorf (purse €5,000, 1900 meters autostart, 11 starters) and the 1.17.9kr winner in the snow was 4/5 favorite Replay Diamant (4f SJ’s Photo-Jeansandatshirt) for driver/trainer Michael Nimczyk and owner St.MS Diamanten. 6.2/1 Herbie Dot (4g Here Comes Joey-Happy Go Lucky) was a close second for trainer/driver Manfred Zwiener with third to 6.4/1 Otti (6f Diamond Way-Victory Serenade). Michael Nimczyk scored a driving double later in the card teaming 2.2/1 Skyfall (4g Kings Best-Snow Lady-Vision) to victory in the €5,000 Prix Richard Freitag over 1900 meters autostart. Timed in 1.16.9kr this Nimczyk driven winner is owned by Ulrich Mommert. Thomas H. Hicks

December 29, 2015 - Tuesday’s Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes and the €64,000 Prix de Craon (2700 meters, 16 European starters) went to 14/1 Italian invader Only One Glory (7m Ganymede-Eva Kant Gar) handled by Roberto Andreghetti for trainer Fabrice Souloy and owner Scuderia RPR. Clocked in 1.14kr the winner defeated Pioneer Gar (m Varenne-Follia) with Eric Raffin up for Scuderia Super Chico SAS and trainer Johanna Lindqvist. Another invader the 4.7/1 Tell Me No Lies (g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious) landed third in a photo for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Fabrice Souloy and KLV Holding AB. Franck Nivard steered 11.3/1 Unero Montaval (7g Nem-Heroine du Loir) to fourth ahead of 73/1 Plutonio (6m Self Possessed-Indra Bi) with Damien Bonne up for Vincent Martens (trainer). This day the top monte event was the €70,000 Prix de Gambais (2175 meters, 8 monter starters) and 2.4/1 Bolide Jenilou (4g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) took victory with ease for Damien Bonne. The 2.6/1 second choice Brut de la Cote (4g Kepler-Ombra Mai Fu) landed second for Antoine Lamy and trainer Sebastien Guarato with the Franck Leblanc trained, Franck Nivard ridden, 7.8/1 odds, Baron du Chene (4m Goetmals Wood-Imperiale du Chene) on the line third. The race time was a quick 1.12.9kr. Two year-olds contested the Prix des Freesias (purse €35,000, 2175 meters, 14 entrants) and this 1.1.7kr winner was 1.7/1 favorite Difa Girl (2f Love You-Rifa Rainbow) reined by J.Ph Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner G.Poulsen-Allaire. 144/1 longshot Dunka de Perthuis (2f So Lovely Girl-Pepita Ra) finished second for J-F Senet with third to 21/1 Dolga du Pommereux (2f Coktail Jet-Salsa du Pommereux). There are large number of productive FR two year-olds in this crop led by the offspring of Ready Cash and Love You. The dam of winner Difa Girl is a daughter of Kaisy Dream-Ica du Pas-Workaholic and Difa Girl is her third foal. The Prix de Limay (purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) was a victory for 52/1 Cayenne de Houelle (3f Scipion du Goutier-Irinade la Frette)) timed in 1.16.4kr for driver Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc. 7/2 Clef de Fe (3f Fleuron Perrine-Rivendell) took second for trainer/driver Mathieu Abrivard with 43/1 Cible du Bouffey (3f Password-Illusion du Coq) earning third for P-Y Verva. Thomas H. Hicks  

December 12, 2015 - Top harness racing action took place today at Paris-Vincennes as the card included three Groupe races and several other upper class events. Belina Josselyn (4f Love You-Lezia Josselyn) and J-M Bazire was the upset (odds 6/1) winner of the Gr. II Prix Ariste Hemard (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 11 four year-old female starters) rallying to defeat 7/10 favorite Billie de Montfort (4f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 53/1 Bambina Magic (4f Nuage de Lait-Rive Magic) was third for Mathieu Mottier. Billie was away to an early lead and then relinquished to 3.6/1 odds Blue Grass that led until making a disqualifying miscue in mid-stretch. Billie was boxed on the pegs until driver Raffin vacated the pocket in early stretch, could not find an opening, and then darted back inside but could not out close the winner. As Billie moved back inside Blue Grass went off-stride. The race time was 1.14.2kr off lazy fractions (1.15.2kr at 1500, 1.14.5kr at 1000, 1.15.1kr at 500 meters to go) The €85,000 purse Prix de Seiches-sur-le-Loir (distance 2175 meters, 12 monte starters) went to 3.1/1 Vincent des Obeaux (6g Derby du Gite-Leila) ridden by Julien Raffestan for the training/owning pair of Alain and Arnard Chavatte. The winner was timed in 1.12.5kr off quick fractions (1.08.6kr at 1500; 1.09.9kr at 1000, 1.12.9kr with 500 to go). 68/1 Viking de Tremahou (6g Flash de Cosse-Lia Fortuna) was second with third to Vailant Cash (6m Offshore Dream-Kara du Redan) at 57/1. 11/1 And Gibus (5g Diamant Gede-Ok Lady) finished fourth. The €60,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart Prix d’Hautefort with 18 European contestants went to 5.2/1 Ultra de Vindecy (7g Jasmin de Flore-Nora The Best)  racing barefoot for Eric Raffin and trainer Serge Peltier. This one scored career victory 13 in 46 starts, now for earnings in excess of €240,000. 5.7/1 Urus (7g Kiwi-Troika de Mai), also shoeless, was next for J-M Bazire while 5.2/1 Ustou (7g Niky-Oh Manon) landed third for David Thomain. Race time was a quick 1.11.8kr after a sharp pace. The Gr. II Prix Raoul Balliere (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, seven starters after one scratch) went to 5.8/1 Caline des Plages (3f Scipion du Goutier-Nuit de la Marfee) with Franck Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie de l’Empereur. The winner, a reluctant starter, was timed in 1.13.8kr with a front-end score off even-fractions (1.13kr at 1500, 1.13.2kr at 1000, 1.14kr at 500). This one held strongly despite a washed-out nervous beginning. 1/1 favorite Che Jenilou (3m Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) was second for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastien Guarato and Antonio De Sousa. 4.6/1 Chiricahua (3f Pomerol de Laumac-Phoenix Arizona) landed the third spot in this event for three year-olds. The €75,000 purse Prix de Crecy la Chapelle (2850 meters, 18 starters, Quinte+ with jackpot €4.15 million) went to the 2.1/1 favorite Universal Rider (7m Nahar de Breval-Hanska) racing barefoot for driver Mathieu Mottier. 4/1 Venue de Bailly (6f Chaillot-Oceane de Bailly) was solid second for J-M Bazire ahead of 29/1 outsider Vulcania de Godrel (6f Memphis du Rib-Julietta) with Franck Nivard up. Time of the winner was 1.13.4kr off even fractions (1.14.8 at 1500 meters to go; 1.14.2kr at 1000, 1.13.5kr at 500 mark as the pace quickened). The Gr. III Pri Narquois (purse €95,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) was underway after two false-starts and 2.2/1 Alderman (5g Phlegyas-Initia) raced out to 15 length lead for Eric Raffin after surging ahead of early leader Altesse du Mirel (5g Ready Cash-Ina de Mirel) and trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse. 4.3/1 Altesse then raced third on the pegs before escaping top stretch to begin narrowing the leader’s advantage but Alderman held strong for a two-length victory clocked in 1.12.5kr (1.11.5kr at 1500, 1.11.6kr at 1000, 1.12.7kr at 500 to go). 4.7/1 Aubrion de Melodie (5g Memphis du Rib-J;Arrive du Gers) was third for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire, seven lengths in arrears Thomas H. Hicks  

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