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The 37-year-old harness racing stallion Waikiki Beach has died in Italy. He is best known as the sire of the top trotter Varenne. In Italy, Waikiki Beach sired 1.219 foals between 1990-2010. Waikiki Beach was bred by Wilrose Farms Inc. and Lana Lobell Farms of New Jersey Inc. He was sired by Speedy Somolli and was the first foal from Hula Lobell, she by Super Bowl. Under the name Hawaii Lobell, he sold for $16,000 as a yearling. Chuck Sylvester campaigned Waikiki Beach in the United States and as a 2-year-old he won the American-National and a division of the Matron Stake. As a 3-year-old, he finished third in the Kentucky Futurity and later that year was sold to Italian owners. Waikiki Beach took a mark of 1:56.1 and had earnings of $344,004. by Karsten Bønsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent

Vernissage Grif (6m Varenne-Dalis Grif-Park Avenue Joe) took the final and his elimination of the Grand Premio Citta di Montecatini in Italy(purse 154,000€ for the final and 13,080€ in each of two elims, 1640 meters autostart) with harness racing trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard. He is owned by Gennaro Riccio and was timed in 1.10.6kr in the final and 1.10.2kr in his elim. Second in both was Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide) handled by Roberto Vecchione for trainer Holger Ehlert. Third in the final was Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp) handled by Andrea Farolfi in the final for trainer Gocciadoro, five lengths back of the winner. Arazi Boko took the second elim timed in 1.12.2kr defeating Chief Orlando (7m Orlando Vici-Muto Bonita-Felix Santana) and Zlatan (5m Napoleon Bar-Nastassia Bi) that has teamed by G.P. Minnucci. Finale replay Vernissage Grif (6) elim one Elim one replay Arazi Boko (5) second elim Elim two replay On the fine card was also the PR Criterium Toscano (purse 22,000€, 1640 meters autostart, two year olds) that went to 1.17.1kr timed Callisto (2m Nad Al Sheba-Medley d’Italia) with Antonio Greppi up for Ettore Vairano. Caffe Time Bi (2m Manofmanymissions-The Starlet Lux) took second for trainer/driver Riccardo Pezzatini. Third home was Clooney Grad (2m Napoleon Bar-Grevola Grad) with Roberto Vecchione up. Gaet, Ippodromo Sesana Montecatini files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) continued his storied career with a victory in the Gran Premio Riccardo Grassi (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart, 12 starters) on the Cesena 800 meter oval in Italy. He was timed in 1.11.9kr and reined by trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. His fifth dam is the legendary Stenographer. Three lengths back second was Vesna (6f Libeccio Grif-Immagine Lunare-Toss Out) with third to Ua Huka (7f Muscle Yankee-Fancy Bi-Toss Out). Arazi Boko Gaet, Blodbanken files by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The GP Royal Mares (purse 88,000€, 1600 meters autostart) at Napoli Agnano saw Sharon Gar (8f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) score in record time 1.10.7kr with Roberto Vecchione aboard for trainer Holger Ehlert. The previous record was 1.11.1kr set by Trendy OK. A half-length off Sharon Gar was second finishing Ua Huka (6f Muscles Yankee-Fancy Bi) with Andrea Farolfi up with third to Tersa OB Sonic reined by Antonio Di Nardo. A day earlier at Siracusa was the PR Mediterrareo (Gr. III, purse 40,040€) and victory went to Aramis EK (3m Nad Al Sheba-Freedom EK-Bon Vivant) timed in 1.13.1kr with Alessandro Gocciadoro up. Anthony Leone (3m Lebessio Grif-Gasping Ferm) was second and third went to Akela Pal Ferm (3f Maharajah-Remilla di Palle). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Alessandro Gocciodoro piloted his trainee Arazi Boko (12g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) to a wire to wire victory in the 110,000€ purse Grand Premio Duomo 2019 held at Firenze, Italy. It was the 73rd edition of this classic race contested over 1600 meters autostart.  The winning campaigner was clocked in 1.16.9kr to defeat Ula Pisaia Trgf (6f Ghibellinoi-Estasivi-American Winner) reined by Antonio Greppi. Third home was the Antonio DiNardo teamed Pocohontas-Diamant (8f Look de Star-Lanira Dei). Two day’s later at Milano La Maura, in the Jef’s Spice (purse 14,300€, 1650 meters autostart), Buffon ZS (2m Conway Hall-Nuvella Grif-Varenne) recorded his third career victory in record time 1.13.2kr. He rallied for Andrea Farolfi and trainer Mauro Baroncini to score by three over the Gocciadoro teamed Boltigeur Erre (2m Voltigeur de Myrt-Lilli Degi Ulivi-Sugarcane Hanover). Third was Bardo di Poggio (2m Trixton-Nuvolo di Poggio-Varenne) with Pietro Gubellini aboard Ahead on December 7 is the 88,000€ purse GP Royal Mares at Napoli. Raced over 1600 meters autostart this group of 11 includes Sharon Gar, Zaniah Bi and Ursa Caf. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The heavy favorite Zarenne FAS (4m Varenne-Miss Muscle FAS-Muscles Yankee), off at .15/1 odds, took this day’s Axel Jensens Minnelop (purse 565,000Nok, 1609 meters autostart) at Bjerke in Oslo, Norway.. Rikard N. Skoglund teamed the Jerry Riordan trainee to the 1:56.5 mile rate victory. The 7.7/1 Patent Leather (4m Broadway Hall-Designable-Earl) was second with Frode Hamre his pilot. 27.8/1 Noble Superb (4m Mahjarajah-Oh Superb-Orlando Vici) was third with Magnus Teien Gundersen aboard. The USA import Classichap was a dq.  by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

CHESTER, PA - The Credit Winner gelding Ooh Rah didn't have to move out of third until the ¾ for driver Pat Lachance in the $18,000 featured trot Thursday afternoon at Harrah's Philadelphia, and then he was able to sustain a rally to catch favored Mississippi Storm in 1:55.1. Ooh Rah was able to get to the lead early, with millionaire DW's NY Yank going wide early and surging to the lead before a :27.2 quarter. Mississippi Storm had been looped in the early action, but he stayed on and went to the lead in front of the stands, getting a bit of a breather with middle fractions of :57 and 1:26.2. But it was nearing the latter station that Ooh Rah made his move, and he closed determinedly to get past the pacesetting chalk by a neck, raising his lifetime earnings to $210,055 for trainer Kathleen La Montagne, co-owner with Donald La Montagne. In a co-featured $14,500 trotting contest, driver Pat Lachance also reported home first, here with the Italian import Sylvesteramericait, who never looked back from the rail in putting up a winning clocking of 1:54.3 Bob Baggitt Jr. trains the Varenne gelding, now a winner of $297,007 on both sides of the Atlantic, for owner Christine Baggitt. Lachance and George Napolitano Jr. tied for the day's honors with three driving victories apiece. From the PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

The gallant mare Billie de Montfort (8f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort), off at 1.1/1 odds as the favorite, took today’s Grand Prix de la Toussaint (purse 120,000€, 2300 meters autostart, 13 starters) which was the Tour Europeen Trotteur Francais Finale, held at Hippodrome Wallonmie (Mons Ghlin). Race time was 1.12.3kr as Billie recorded her 18th career victory in 96 starts, now for 2,010,221€ earned. Gabriele Gelormini teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee that is owned by breeder Philippe Dauphin. The 40/1 Blues d’Ourville (8g Password-Pursuit of Charm) took second for Benjamin Rochard, trainer Virginie Moquet and owner Damiel Marcon. Third was another Guarato trainee, the 7.9/1 Eridan (5m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout), with Hugo W. Langeweg Jr. at the lines for owner Philippe Dewulf. It was a fine racing weekend for trainer Guarato following last evening’s Breeders Crown victory with Bold Eagle in Canada.                On the undercard was the  Grand Prix des Geniteurs (purse 35,000€, 2300 meters autostart, 16 three year olds) and 2.2/1 Miss Moneypenney (3f Varenne-Cecile du Caillou) scored timed in 1.15.6kr for trainer/driver J.P. Van Den Putte for the Triumph Stable. The 9/1 Mateo de Reve (3m Silver Pierji)  was second for Luc Roelens and 11/1 Mya du Calvaire (3f Sugar Trader) took third for Hanna Huygens. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The 6.8/1 outsider Tony Gio (7m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) rallied to win today’s Gr. III Grand Prix de la Federation Regionale du Nord (purse 90,000€, 2700 meters autostart, eight starters) held at La Croise Laroche in France. He was clocked in 1.10.8kr. Eric Raffin teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee for Scuderia Bivans Srl to his seventh career victory in 51 starts now for life earnings of 867,815€. The winner exploded past early pocket sitter, 1.6/1 Bold Eagle (8m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) reined by Bjorn Goop for trainer Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski, that had followed 47/1 leader Express Jet (5m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) until top of the stretch. Bold Eagle was second beaten two lengths. The 8/10 favorite Looking Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Classical Pine) with J-M Bazire aboard was away last before making a halfway point move to the death seat alongside Express Jet. But his effort was futile and he finished a tired fourth with Express Jet fifth for Pierre Vercruysse. Bazire’s stablemate, 18/1 Bel Avis (8g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) rallied late to be third for Alexandre Abrivard. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The 5/2 odds Zarenne FAS (3m Varenne-Miss Muscle FAS-Muscles Yankee) took today’s Gr. I Gran Premio Paolo E Orsino Orsi Mangelli (purse 396,000€, 1600 meters autostart) at Ippodromo Torino Vinovo. The winner was clocked in 1.12.7kr and was piloted by Antonio Di Nardo for trainer Michele DiMaro. The winner led early, yielded, retook the front and lasted to the line. He was second in his elimination heat. The 1.6/1 favnd orite Mister F Daag (3m Conway Hall-Miss Love) was second for Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort and owner Joseph Vanduffel. Third went to 4.3/1 Zefir Gar (3m Varenne-Georgette Gar-Lemon Dra). Overall it was fine day for the offspring of champion sire Varenne. Race replay: This event, began in 1994, ais a great classic for open three year olds and annually produces outstanding winners. Year Winner Tid Driver Tränare 2017 Vitruvio 1.11,8 Alessandro Gocciadoro Alessandro Gocciadoro 2016 Unicka 1.12,2 Pietro Gubellini Erik Bondo 2015 Charly du Noyer 1.14,2 Yoann Lebourgeois Philippe Allaire 2014 Jontte Boy 1.13,9 Tuomas Korvenoja Tuomas Korvenoja 2013 Robert Bi 1.13,3 Robin Bakker Paul Hagoort 2012 Quid Pro Quo 1.12,8 Erik Adielsson Svante Båth 2011 Brad de Veluwe 1.11,6 Tuomas Korvenoja Tuomas Korvenoja 2010 Nesta Effe 1.12,8 Roberto Vecchione Holger Ehlert 2009 Mago d'Amore 1.12,7 Pietro Gubellini Edoardo Gubellini 2007 Adrian Chip 1.12,7 Robert Bergh Robert Bergh 2006 Giulia Grif 1.11,9 Marco Smorgon Marco Smorgon 2005 Fairbank Gi 1.12,3 Giuseppe Pietro Maisto Holger Ehlert   Here is their promo video - Now for the eliminations. The first (purse 22,000€, 1600 meters autostart)  went to 48.6/1 outsider Zippy Freedom LF (3m Ideale Luis-Over The Pain LF-Ganymede) timed in 1.13.9kr for driver Ferdinano Minopoli, trained by Team Minopoli SRL and owner Scuderia Rean. 10.5/1 Zarenne FAS (3m Varenne-Miss Muscle FAS-Muscles Yankee) for Antonio Di Nardo and third went to 3.6/1 Zefir Gar (3m Varenne-Georgette Gar-Lemon Dra), a trained stablemate of the winner. Reined by Mario Minopoli Jr. Elimination two (same purse and distance) went to 3.8/1 Mister F Daag (3m Conway Hall-Miss Love) handled by Robin Bakker for Paul Hagoort and Jos. Vanduffel, timed in 1.12.4kr. 12.1/1 Zelig Kronos (3m Muscle Hill-Laika ER-Atlas Fighter L) was second for Pietro Gubellini, trainer Cristian Rizzo, and Scuderia Union Perfect. Third was 24.6/1 Zeus Bi (3m Donato Hanover-La Brisas Bi-Toss Out) for driver Santo Mollo, trainer Erik Bondo and owner Stall Courant AB. While we waited for the Mangelli Finale we saw the Orsi Mangelli Filly (Gr. II, purse 88,000€, 1600 meters autostart) and it produced a 1.12.6kr timed victory by 12.2/1 Zona Da (3f Varenne-Feredhil Baba-Windsong’s Legacy) for driver Roberto Andreghetti, trainer Erik Bondo and Scuderia Incoliny. The 4.7/1 Zante Laser (3f Maharajah-India di Jesolo-Toss Out) took second with Antonio Di Nardo up for trainer Gennaro Casillo and owner Adolf Gokesch. The 5.2/1 Zona OK (3f Varenne-Ereuno OK-Supergill) earned the third check for trainer/driver Alessandro. Her second dam is Babe Kosmos. Top flight aged performers then battled in the Gr. I Delle Nazioni (purse 154,000€, 2100 meters autostart) with the 1.13.2kr timed victory earned by 6.7/1 Urgano Trebi’ (6m Nad Al Sheba-Istria Bi). Roberto Vecchione teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee for Scuderia Super Fantastic. The 28.5/1 Tamure Ric (6f Explot Caf-Ema Roc-Lemon Dra) was a narrowly beaten second for driver Filippo Rocu, trainer Fausto Barelli and Scuderia Sant Eusebio. Third was 3.1/1 Timone EK (6m Mr, Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) with Marcello Vecchione driving for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro and owner Luigi Lettieri. This one attached at the halfway mark, took the lead from a host of battling leaders (Dijon, Super Star Reef, Peace Of Mind and Tamure Roc) and nearly headed off the late challengers. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

July 9, 2017 - Today’s Jarlsberg feature event was the Gr. I Ulf Thoresen Grand International (2100 meters autostart, 750,000NOk to the winner). Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi) was placed directly on the lead from post two by driver Christoffer Eriksson, rated comfortably, and drew off with 500 meters remaining to secure a five length victory for trainer Jerry Riordan, timed in 1.10.4kr. Twister Bi recorded his fourth win in eight 2017 starts, now for 4,907,005NOk earned in a successful and emerging career. An elated Riordan stated on post race interview that his charge is a happy horse that was just rolling along in the final 400. Oasis Bi (9m Toss Out-Up Front JM) sat the pocket for driver Erik Adielsson but lost the second spot to fast closing Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) and driver/owner Goran Antonsen for trainer Daniel Reden. The secondary feature this day was the Anders Jahres (2100 meters autostart, 200,000SEK to the winner) and the 1.11.2kr timed winner was Djali Boko (7m Ready Cash-Lucky Lavec) that moved decisively in the final bend and jetted off to an easy score for reinsman Adrian Kolgjini and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Nappa Scar (5m Scarlet Knight-Butterfly Player) was the second horse home for trainer/driver Per Lennartson. Bjorn Goop piloted the Jerry Riordan trainee Tango Negro (5m Infinitif-Lisetta Real) to a third place finish. Also on the undercard was the Felleokjopets (2100 meters autostart, 75,000NOk to winner) with victory going to Ferrari BR (4m Muscles Yankee-Bauxite) timed in 1.13.2kr for trainer/driver Per Oleg Midtfjeld, who campaigned Cromwell (sire of Phantasm SOA) throughout most of his European racing career. Second in this event was the Jerry Riordan trainee Umberto Axe (4m Love You-Ira Furiosa Spin) driven by Tom Eric Solberg. Defy Anything (5f Cantab Hall-Flirtin Victory) took third for driver Erik Adielsson and trainer Flemming Jensen. Thomas H. Hicks

April 22, 2017 - Jerry Riordan’s trainee Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) took today’s harness racing Gr. I Seinajoku Race (Finland) (purse €108,000, first prize €60,000, 2100 meters autostart) timed in 1.13kr. The Italian bred campaigner is owned there by Pasquale Ciccarelli and now has a 2-1-0 slate in just three 2017 appearances and 18-6-1 in 41 career starts for €274,072 earned. Twister Bi led from the quarter post and drew off easily after a challenger went offstride in the final bend. Christoffer Eriksson piloted the winner, that bested Vasterboonthenews (9g Credit Winner-Sandra Dime-Alf Palema) reined by Peter Ingves. Third was fast-closing Anna Mix (7f Ludo de Castelle-Ires-Tenor de Baune) teamed by Jorma Kontio for owner Franck Leblanc. Twister Bi is next to race in Helsinki in two weeks. Twister Bi Jerry Riordan Thomas H. Hicks

April 2, 2017 - Weekend Italian harness racing action began Saturday at Torino where the Gr.  II Premio Societa’Campo di Mirafiori was contested over 1600 meters autostart for a total purse of €66,000. Timed in 1.11.9kr, the winner was Super Star Reaf (6f Varenne-Fantastica Star-Lemon Dra) with two-length score for driver David Di Stefano. Renella Pasquale bred the winner that defeated Scuderia Bolgheri bred Rue du Bac (7m Infinitif-Lci-Diamond Way) reined by Federico Esposito. Third was Yano Fohle SM (5m Ganymede-Fohle BSM-Sugarcane Hanover driven by Antonio Di Nardo. On the same card in the Premio Lana del Rio (purse 12,100, 1600 meters autostart) another Scuderia Bolgheri was victorious, as Nuage En Ciel (10m Daguet Rapide-Pretty Perle-Extreme Dream) scored timed in 1.12.3kr for Mass. Costaldo. At Roma the Premio Entella As (purse €15,400, 1640 meters autostart) went to 1.12.6kr timed Specialess (6m Ganymede-Enna Dra-Indro Park) driven by Roberto Vecchione. Sonny Club (6m Rolling d’Heripre-Entracte Blue-Lurabo Blue) took second for Enrico Bellei and third was Real Mede SM (7m Ganymede-Gil Ast SM-Supergill). Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Cagnes-sur-Mer action ended their winter meet and featured the Gr. III Grand Prix de Vincennes (purse €90,000, 2925 meters, 16 starters). Victory went to the 3/2 favorite Tony Gio (5m Varenne-Ilaria Jet) reined by Christophe Martens for Scuderia Bivans Srl and trainer Vincent Martens. The €323,447 career winner was timed in 1.14.3kr. The 40.9/1 Bocage d’Ortige (6m Mirage du Goutier-Providence d’Ortige) was second for Regis Levexier and trainer Nicolas Ensch. Third was 9.8/1 Viking Blue (8g Prodigious-Idole Blue) reined by Yvan Lacombe. The Prix de Vichy (purse €56,000, 2925 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.15.7kr timed and 2/5 odds favorite Earl Simon (3m Prodigious-Tindrana). Franck Nivard teamed the Jarma Niskanen trainee that Ecurie Skytten owns. The 89.6/1 Eternella (3f Prodigious-Sirella) took the distant second spot for Stephane Cingland that Romuald Mourice trains. Third was 35.7/1 Evidence Destinee (3f Saxo de Vandel-Linda Somolli), driven and trained by owner Romuald Mourice. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

February 26, 2017 - Jerry Riordan’s trainee Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi) at 3.5/1 odds took today’s Prix de l’Association National des Turfistes (Gr. III, purse €105,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) at Vincennes. Harness racing driver Bjorn Goop teamed Twister Bi to an impressive win coming from dead last and circling the field with a sustained bold move. Riordan’s other trainee in this field, 19.8/1 Tango Negro (5f Infinitif-Lisetta Real) was a narrowly beaten second for driver Alexandre Abrivard, escaping late on the inside after being shuffled on the pegs. Graziano Ceccaroni owns this one and Pasquale Ciccarelli owns Twister Bi. 23/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star-Ire du Ciel) was third for Gabriel Gelormini. Race time was 1.14.4kr. The Pris Gras Savote (purse €76,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.13.7kr timed and 7/10 odds Alphea Barbes (7f Look de Star-Lova Barbes) reined by Charles J.Bigeon. Christian Bigeon is the trainer and A.F. Bigeon is breeder/owner of Alphea Barbes. 45/1 Ulysse Maria (9g Nuage de Lait-Kemetcha Maria) was second for Romain Derieux and third was 9/1 Agora du Goutier (7f Jardy-Olyarpe Pierji) for reinsman Franck Nivard. The monte Prix Paris-Turf/Vivier de Montfort (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to loose on the lead 7/10 favorite Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Lalla Clairchamp) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. Phillippe Allaire trains and Frederic Sauque owns the winner. 7.2/1 Uno Dancer (9g Offshore Dream-Laura Dancer) was second for Honorin Guerot and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 20/1 Vrai Voyou (8g Gazouillis-Organginette) ended third for Adrien Lamy and owner/trainer P. Emmanuel Mary. Race time was 1.12.8kr. Thomas H. Hicks

November 20, 2016 - Pietro Gubellini teamed Pascia’Lest (7m Varenne-Superiors Sun-Diamond Way) to victory timed in 1.11.4kr over 1600 meters autostart to win the €105,600 purse 28th Palio Commun Matti over the half mile harness racing track at Montegiorgio. The career winner of over €1.23m scored gate to wire in the fog in the Gr. I event, coming close to the 1.11.2kr record held by legendary Mack Grace SM. Positano d’Ete (7m Ganymede-Essenza d’Ete-Indro Park) finished second with Enrico Bellei driving. Totoo del Ronco (4m Ganymede-Magic Vision LF-Uronometro) was third to the line. The undercard included the Gr. II Gran Prmio San Paolo (purse €45,100, 1600 meters) and the 1.11.7kr three length winner was Trinity Lux (4m Love You-Eternidad-Extreme Dream) teamed by Alessando Gocciadoro. Terra Dell’Est (4f SJ’s Photo-For Fathality-Uronometro) was second for driver Gubellini in this event with third to Tulum (4m Algiers Hall-Image OM-Lemon Dra). Thomas H. Hicks

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