Day At The Track
Villám Ville, harness racing

Villam Ville takes feature at Kincsem Park

November 18, 2017 - Saturday’s Kincsem Park harness racing featured Menesek DIJ (purse 2,000,000Huf, 3160 meters distance handicap) went to 10.3/1 Villam Ville (3g Beissinger Hanover-Izaville-Endless Sands) for trainer/driver Imre Fazekas. Zsalek  Zsolt owns the winner. Vital RG (3m SJs Photo-Vitesse OR-Indro Park) was second for Tibor Hajnal, ahead of 40 meter handicapped Urilany R (4f Maximus Lindy-Elegant Lady-Mill H) with Veljko Mazsity driving. Race time over the extended distance was 4:32.7, or 1.26.3kr. The solid card also included the Laszlo Torok Memorial (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) with victory to the 1.3/1 favorite Victory Knick (5g Cantab Hall-Lapponia Knick-Lindy’s Crown. The recent import from Sweden is now trained and was reined by Emil Csordas. Race time was 1.20.1kr. Sultana Jet (6f Igor Font-Art Deco-Diamond Way) was second for Gyorgy Horvath and trainer Imre Fazekas. Oldtimer Diamant (7g Arc de Triomphe-Primadonnas Lady-Titan Way) was third for Emese Vezer. Other winners were 4.3/1 Unika Vik (4f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro) in the Jozsef Radoki Memorial (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). Andras Gasper teamed the Balasz Juhasz trainee to a 1.19.7kr timed score over Unreal Boss (4f Maximus Lindy) and Livi Kickoff (5f Sand Vic). T wo year olds contested the Ketevesek Versenye (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) and 3.4/1 Zseneroz (2f SJs Photo-Hitelezo-Witsends Speedy) scored for Gyorgy Horvath, driving for trainer Balazs Juhasz, timed in 1.26.1kr. This Kabala Menes Kft. bred filly bested Veritable Yankee (2m Yankee Mustang) and Zeffiri (2f Naglo). Plans continue for the exceptional annual Kincsem Park December 31 affair that featured a great racing, music, food and entertainment, before a gathering that usually numbers 10,000 irrespective of the winter weather. Thomas H. Hicks  

Valko Jenilat, harness racing

Valko Jenilat wins Grand Prix de Bretagne

November 19, 2017 - Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) held gamely and scored in today’s harness racing Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, International) timed in 1.13.2kr and reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. The 1.1/1 favorite defeated peg hugging stablemate 12.6/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) with David Thomain driving for owner Philippe Dauphin and trainer Guarato. 21.9/1 Charly du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) was third for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. These top three earned qualification for the Prix d’Amerique in late January. 5.3/1 second choice Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) was fourth for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire, ahead for fifth finishing 66.1/1 outsider Shadow Gar (5f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with owner/trainer Pietro Gubellini up. Belina Josselyn finished ninth racing with shoes and UIza Josselyn was tenth. Bold Eagle was a late scratch. Fractions were conservative (1.14.1kr with 1500 meters remaining, 1.14.4kr at the 1000, 1.13.8kr with 500 to go). A sizeable crowd was on hand at Paris-Vincennes this day for a superb racing program. Thomas H. Hicks

Easy des Racques, harness racing

Big money Groupe tests at Vincennes

November 19, 2017 - Harness racing Groupe action began this day with the Gr. II Prix Jacques de Vauloge (purse €120,000. 2700 meters) and 16/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) scored timed in 1.14.4kr for driver J.Ph. Monclin. 3/5 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was second for pilot Mathieu Mottier, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf. 3.6/1 Express Jet (3m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) rallied to gain third for driver/trainer Pierre Vercruysse and Ecurie Opale. The Gr. II Prix Annick Dreux (purse €130,000, 2700 meters) and the 1.14kr timed winner was 3/10 favorite Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) with Mathieu Mottier up. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 27.3/1 Exotic Destination (3f Love You-Quiromantica) was a fast rallying second for Matthieu Abrivard. Yves Boireau trains this one for breeder/owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. 28.7/1 Estelada de Font (3f Orateur-Quibala Street) and trainer/driver Emmanuelle Allard finished third. Fractions were even. The Prix de Cosse le Vivien (purse €75,000, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters), a solid conditioned event, went to 1.12.3kr timed and 7/10 favorite Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Marie) with J-M Bazire up for legendary Wildenstein Stables Ltd Ireland. 12.5/1 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit of Charm) and 10.8/1 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) were second and third. The Gr. III Prix de Bossy Saint Leger (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, European), the last of the day’s groupe events, went to 51.9/1 Delia du Pommereux (4f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) reined by trainer Sylvain Roger for breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Race time was 1.12kr off quick and steady fractions. 4.7/1 Tessy d’Ete (5f Ganymede-Love me Tender) held second closely for J-M Bazire, trainer Philippe Billard and Scuderia Eurocolor Srl. Third was 6.5/1 Comtesse du Chene (5f Quaker Jet-Imperiale du Chene) with David Thomain up for trainer Julien LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. Thomas H. Hicks  

Global Response, harness racing

Thursday and Friday action at Vincennes

November 17, 2017 - Friday’s Paris-Vincennes’ featured  Q+ Prix du Salon du Chaval (purse €52,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) went to 1.13.4kr timed and 5.5/1 odds Global Response (6g Credit Winner-Com Mimm) with Christophe Martens up.  Vincent Martens trains this property of J.A.C. Vanduffel. 31.5/1 Siebella Park (6f Varenne-Grandera Park) was next for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Vincent Lacroix. 26.8/1 Bariane James (6f Goetmals Wood-Ma Sissi James) landed third for J-M Bazire, who won three on the card. 13.8/1 Emmett Brown (6g Muscle Hill) and 18.5/1 Bomina (6f Quick Wood) were fourth and fifth.  Thursday Paris-Vincennes featured Prix de l’Ile d’Oleron (Gr. III, purse €110,000, 2850 meters, 19 monte starters) went to 1.14kr timed and 3.3/1 odds Caduceus des Baux (5g Mark Speed-Festina des Baux) with jockey Damien Bonne in the irons. Jack Dowie is the owner/breeder. 2.1/1 Cassate (5f Neoh Jiel-Quiva du Rib) was second for Adrien Lamy and 7.2/1 Valoe du Banney (8g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) Also on Thursday was the Prix de Belfort (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) and Cash Maker (5g Quaker Jet-Salt Lake City) scored timed in 1.13.5kr for trainer/driver Sebastien Ernault. Global Response Thomas H. Hicks

November 15, 2017 - Bold Eagle takes on 15 harness racing rivals Sunday at Paris-Vincennes as the path to the 2018 Prix d’Amerique really begins. There were 31 originally engaged that included Nuncio and other Swedish stalwarts, but these are not in the final draw. However, well-regarded Belina Joselyn, Billie de Montfort and Bird Parker will give it a go against the Eagle. Recent winners are Vincennes were (on November 14) 18/1 Dayana Berry (4f Scipion du Goutier-Idee du Corta) in the €70,000 Prix Laetita raced over 2850 meters by 11 starters. Alexandre Abrivard teamed the 1.15.1kr timed J-M Bazire owned and trained mare. 5/1 Diamond Crown (4f Repeat Love-Ma Crown) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer Sebastien Guarato. Lady O’Reilly owns this Ecurie D bred product. Also on the card was the €70,000 Prix de France de Football that went to 2.4/1 Desir Castelets (4m Quaker Jet-Ophelie Jet) with Franck Ouvrie up for trainer Luc Roelens, Race time was 1.14.1kr over the 2850 meter voltstart distance with 11 contestants. Prix de Bretagne Thomas Hicks

November 12, 2017 - 7.7/1 BBS Sugarlight (8g Super Light-Sugarsweet Sid) won Sunday’s Gr. II Prix de Giganten, sponsored by HODIJ Holdings, for driver Vidar Hop, at Victoria Park, Wolvega. The winner scored narrowly over 9/10 favorite Anna Mix (7f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) reined by Franck Nivard for owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. 20.6/1 Totem d’Azur (10g Joao Panca-Heidi d’Indienne) was third. Each of these achieved their result by placing as dominant wire to wire winner 3.6/1 Ringostarr Treb (7g Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral), driven by Wim Paal, was disqualified for going inside pylons on the final bend. Race time for the placed winner was 1.12.4kr. BBS Sugarlight is trained by Fredrik Solberg for owners Stall Sugarlight and Gunnar Sen and has been a Yonkers International contestant. Replay:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93C7onpz_J0 Thomas H. Hicks

November 13, 2017 - Today’s Paris-Vincennes harness racing program was a good one and included the Quinte+ Prix du Languedoc (purse €95,000, 2850 meters, 15 European starters). 1.7/1 Cash Gamble (6m Ready Cash-No Way Back) scored timed in 1.14kr for driver Franck Nivard and owner Stall T.J. Gamble. Philippe Billard trains this one. 8.6/1 Une Serenade (9f Gazouillis-Moonlight Serenade) took second for Eric Raffin and third was 3.1/1 Bakchich (6g Quopeck-Paix de Villeneuve) with Tony LeBeller up. Alfas du Vinci and Unbridled Charm were fourth and fifth. Favorites at top of exact order ticket caused a €1,450 payoff for a two euro play. The Gr. II Prix Louis Tillaye (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, seven three year-olds, monte) went to 1.15.3kr timed and 1.4/1 Evidence Roc (3f Paris-Haufor-Nisfase du Boulay) with jockey/trainer Emilie LeBeller up for Ecurie d’Embeli. 6.3/1 Elladora de For (3f Gazouillis-Hamina) rallied to be second for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck LeBlanc and owner S.J. Dupont. 6/1 Eureka Vrie (3m First de Retz-Intrigue de Vrie) was third for Mathieu Mottier. The 2.6/1 second favorite, Eye Of The Storm, was a dq. Three year-old fillies contested the Prix de Bacqueville (purse €48,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) and victory went to 19.2/1 Effigie Madrik (3f Un Mec d’Heripre-Fidji du Buisson) with Leo Abrivard up for Ecurie Augustin-Normand and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. 5.2/1 Elusive Feeling (3f Goetmals Wood-Quechua de Charlie) was a narrowly earned second for Franck Nivard, ahead of 10.2/1 Erabella Madrik (3f Ready Cash-Talina Madrik) driven by legendary Jean-Pierre Dubois. He owns this filly and Yves Boireau trains. Electra Green (3f Texas Charm-Hioka du Gault) was fourth for Jean Philippe Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Favorite Electra Bourbon (3f Ready Cash) at 1.2/1 was a dq as was 5.6/1 Estancia Love (3f Repeat Love). Race time was 1.15kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 12. 2017 - The three year old filly Breeders Crown (purse €163,840, 2140 meters autostart) at Eskilstuna, Sweden, went to 8.6/1 Candy La Marc (3f Scarlet Knight-Oiseau-Andover Hall) reined by Johan Untersteiner for harness racing trainer/owner/breeder Lars Marcussen. She scored for the ninth time in 12 career starts, now for 2,530,992SEK earned, and has recorded four wins in her last five outings. The pacesetter easily bested 3.4/1 Dibaba (3f Ready Cash-Moonlight Kronos-Viking Kronos) and driver Orjan Kihlstrom. Roger Walmann trains this SRF Stable owned filly. 7/10 favorite Vamp Kronos (3f Ready Cash-Only Kronos-Viking Kronos) was fourth placed third after being passed in the lane by a miscue dq rival. Bjorn Goop teamed Vamp Kronos for trainer Jerry Riordan and Renato Bruni of United Emeritus. Race time was 1.14.7kr. Viking Kronos raced in the death seat but weakened late against the dominant winner. The Breeders Crown for four year old mares (purse €163,840, 2140 meters autostart) went to 11.4/1 odds, 1.15.2kr timed, Unrestricted (4f Muscles Yankee-Drive Through-Quito de Talonay) handled by trainer Johan Untersteiner for owner Bob Berglund. She recorded her seventh win in 21 career starts now for 1,739,500SEK earned. 3.2/1 Caddie Lisieux (4f Ready Cash-Caddie Dream-Viking Kronos) was second for driver Kenneth Haugstad, trainer Roger Walmann and SRF Stable. 11/1 Dream Lane (4f Pastor Stephen-Tango Gold-Good As Gold) took third for Erik Adielsson and trainer Stig H. Johansson. Well regarded Ultra Bright was scratched. The Breeders Crowns for males highlighted the back half of today’s Eskilstuna Card. The Breeders Crown for three year old males went to 7.8/1 Lucifer Lane (3m Infinitif-Montreal Lane-Lindy Lane) reined by Johan A. Nilsson for trainer Thomas Nilsson and owner Christine Larsson. The winner scored for the 10th time in 16 outings for 1,805,000SEK earned. Norway’s 8.4/1 Vainqueur R.P. (3m Infinitif-Global Affair-Broadway Hall) was second for driver Bjorn Goop and trainer Frode Hamre. Third went to favorite Selmer IH (3g Love You-Magalloway-Andover Hall) for Mika Forss and trainer Ingemar Huttqvist for Stall Ratu. Race time was 1.14.6kr in this Menhammar Stuteri sponsored event raced over 2140 meters autostart for the €163,840 purse. Great performance for J-P Dubois’ stallion Infinitif (Pine Chip-Island Dream-Coktail Jet) that was also a successful limited crop sire in North America. The four year old male Breeders Crown  (purse €163,840, 2140 meters autostart) resulted in an easy front stepping victory for Johan Untersteiner reined, 3.9/1 odds Cyber Lane timed in 1.14.7kr.. This Untersteiner trainee is owned by Levaux AB and he recorded career victory number 15 in 18 starts, now for 5,955,500SEK earned. Race time was 1.14.7kr in the cold light snow environment and the winner won his fifth straight. Makethemark (4m Maharajah-Global Naughty-Conway Hall) rallied mightily at 22.4/1 for second driven by Ulf Ohlsson for Petri Salmela and Stall Nian. Bruno Bagheera (4m Joke Face-Poppy Lavec-Lindy Lane) at 60.8/1 took third for driver Per Lennartsson, trainer Stefan Melander and Stall TZ. This event completed a great Breeders Crown program for Johan Untersteiner who won three as driver and two as trainer. Yesterday at Eskilstuna Bjorn Goop trainee, the veteran Reckless (7m Ready Cash-Haver-Supergill), took the featured monte event worth 40,000SEK to the winner. This 1.8/1 favorite was timed in 1.12.1kr over the 1640 meter autostart course for jockey Sofia Adolfsson. Thomas H. Hicks

November 11, 2017 - Today’s Kincsem Park harness racing action was highlighted by the Szabadkai DIJ (purse 1,200,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) and the impressive 1.15.8kr timed winner was Early Stardust (6f Orlando Vici-Timely Stardust-Super Arnie). The first time KP starter, after import from Netherlands, was driven by Andrea Fazekas for SRB bases trainer Damir Karin. Veteran Bronsvlinder (9m Castleton Bass-Jasmee Dene-Maza Buitenzorg) was second and Donato Luca (8m Donerail-High Weeds-Tagliabue) was third for Miodrag Pantic and SRB trainer Petrov Srbivoj. The undercard included the Adai DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) and the 1.17.8kr timed winner was Timoteo (5m Abano As-Ghirlanda Aas-Diamond Way) for trainer/driver Veljko Mazsity, a two time winner in six 2017 outings. Rafael Bit (7g Prime Prospect-Becky Ami-Keyser Lobell) took second for Vereb Zsolt and third was Samuel Becket AT (5m Diablo Va Bene-Simb Lorikeet-Pearsall Hanover). Earlier was the Csantaveri DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) and Traffic Lux (5g Self Possessed-Buena di Jesolo-Supergill) scored timed in 1.18.1kr. Milan Kovacevic was the pilot for trainer Goran Zolneji. The winner posted his sixth win in eight 2017 starts plus two placings. Iago d’Amore (3m Mago d’Amore-Indyran-Uronometro) was second for Branislav Mukity and third was Syria AT (3f Tony Oaks-Silent Yankee-Yankee Glide) for Josup Gadric for SRB trainer Laszlo Berenyl. Last Saturday’s featured winner of the Oszi Kiserleti Verseny (purse 1,500,000Huf, 1960 meters voltstart) resulted in a good 1.18.3kr timed victory for Veronica Fling (3f Racino-Cicciolina Fling) reined by trainer Veljko Mazsity. Vital RG and 40 meter handicapped Time To Say Goodbye (by Maximus Lindy) were the next two on the line. Kabala Menes bred and owns the winner.   The breeder Kabala Menes had a good day as Zanebono (2m Frullino Jet-Corolla Jet) scored for Branislav Mukity in the 500,000Huf purse Nyaetlen. Their Utodlo (4f Maximus Lindy-Juss) took the Forest Sun for 400,000Huf. Veteran Conway Boko (8m Castleton Bass) later won the 1900 meter autostart Illetmeny DIJ timed in 1.18.2kr to earn the winners’ share of the 522,000Huf purse. Tibor Hajnal was his driver. Thomas H. Hicks

November 11, 2017 - Ulf Ohlsson teamed Reijo Liljendahl harness racing trainee Nadal Broline (7g Yankee Glide-Aimee’s Promise-American Winner) to a 1.10.8kr timed victory at Eskilstuna in the V75 Gold, with 150,000SEK to the winner. The distance was 1640 meters autostart and Cruzado dela Noche (5m Muscle Massive-Alidade-Credit Winner) ended second for Magnus Jakobsson and trainer Stefan Melander for Courant AB. Third in the field of 12 was On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) driven by Johnny Takter. The winner recorded his19th career win in 37 outings for 3,533,915SEK earned. The undercard included the V75 Silver Division for 125,000SEK (2140 meters voltstart) to the winner, Cab Hornline (6g San Pellegrino-Perle Mauritius-Hermes de Pericard), reined by trainer Per Lennartsson. Race time was 1.14.4kr and Super Nice (4m Orlando Vici-Flax Avenue-Daguet Rapide) and Thaiger Exclusive (6g Adrian Chip-Lady Exclusive-Spotlite Lobell) were the next two home. The Sparbanken (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to impressive Very Kronos (3m Ready Cash-Glide About-Yankee Glide) timed in 1.15kr for Erik Adielsson, driver for trainer Svante Bath. The now five time winner in eight career starts, all in 2017, is owned by Kjell Johansson. Neelix (3g Raja Mirchi-Yankee Bash-Self Possessed) was second for Adrian Kolgjini and third went to Evazan AM (3g Ready Cash-Queen Silas-Pine Chip) for the Ohlsson/Liljendahl combination. Tomorrow at the same venue will be four Breeders Crown SWE finals, each for 800,000SEW to the race winners. These events are for colts and fillies, one each for three and four year olds. A few to watch include Ultra Bright (4f Zola Boko), Candy La Marc (3f Scarlet Knight), Vamp Kronos (3f Ready Cash), Lucifer Lane (3m Infinitif), Cyber Lane (4g Raja Mirchi) and Diamanten (4m Adrian Chip). Thomas H. Hicks

November 10, 2017 - 6.9/1 Defides Pistes (4g Neutron du Cebe-Ombre des Pistes) held on for victory in Friday evening’s harness racing Prix Titan (monte, purse €50,000, 14 starters) clocked in 1.14.1kr and with Adrien Lamy in the irons. Andre Melosi is breeder/owner. 5.7/1 Diktat du Start (4g Quaker Jet) rallied strongly for second with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Philippe Daugeard and third went to 28.2/1 Diego de Retz (4g First de Retz) for P.Ph. Ploquin. The day’s Quinte+ event was at Vincennes and that result lit up the payoff board. 8.6/1 Bahamas Quick (6f Pim Quick-Kouriakine) scored for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Quick Star, the breeder/owner. 33.1/1 Bahia Somolli (6f Millenium Wood-Italia Somolli) was second and 20.2/1 Balla du Vivier (6f Korean-Naa du Vivier) took third. 46.7/1 Brihana and 58/1 Bridget Landemer completed and top five and complete a big time score for exact order ticket pickers. Next week starts the Epiqe Series that leads to the Prix d’Amerique. The kickoff is the Grand Prix de Bretagne that typically draws many of the best Amerique potential participants. Thomas H. Hicks                    

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II monte Prix Olry-Roederer (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine European starters) drew a superb harness racing field and victory went to Dexter Fromentro (4m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) and jockey Camille Levesque. Thomas Levesque trains and Pierre Levesque owns the 1.16.3kr timed winner that was off at 9/2 odds. 6.3/1 Dragon d’Avril (4m Thorens Vedaquais) was second with Adrien Lamy up for Sebastien Houyvet, the owner/trainer. Third was 6/1 Dreamer Delo (4m Ready Cash-Reverie d’Ar) and jocket Damien Bonne. The 1.4/1 favorite Darlhey du Rib was a misque dq. The day’s Q+ was also at Vincennes this day and the Prix de Cognac (purse €55,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) went to 2.1/1 Viking Fromentro (8g Capriccio-Ormindia) for driver Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque, quite a fine day for the Levesque team.  4.3/1 Balando was second for Dominik Locqueneux and third was 44/1 As de Godisson and driver Laurent Verva. Q+ payoffs follow. Thomas H. Hicks    

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Marcel Laurent (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 10 four and five year old European starters) kicked off for some a path to the harness racing Prix d’Amerique. This field may be the best in the age class in Europe and what a victory it was for 1.11.3kr timed front striding Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) teamed with David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Francoise Deboudaud. This win was the sixth in succession for Carat Williams and increased his career earnings to €794,240. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America) rallied for second driven by trainer Johan Untersteiner. Third was Urlo Dei Venti (4m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy) with Enrico Bellei up for trainer Gennaro Casillo. Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) and Diabo du Noyer (4m Jasmin de Flore-Une et Indivisible) were fourth and fifth, ahead of Treasure Kronos that traveled comfortably in the death seat but could not sustain her stretch bid. Fractions were steady (1.09.2kr with 1500 remaining; 1.11.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.9kr with 500 meters to go). The winning Carat Williams was the 2/5 favorite while the next pair were off at 11/1 and 45/1 respectively. Thomas H. Hicks

November 8, 2017 - Today’s Gran National du Trot Paris-Turf (Gr. III, 12th leg, purse €90,000, 3000 meters distance handicap, 18 starters, Quinte+ race of the day) went to 1.13.8kr timed and 6.6/1 Barrio Josselyn (6m Scipion du Goutier-Pika Josselyn) with Jean Michel Bazire the harness racing trainer/driver. Mme. Ottavia Raffi-Urano owns the winner, that defeated 6.1/1 Vulcania de Godrel (8f Memphis du Rib-Julietta) and driver Franck Nivard. Third was 12.6/1 Tiger Danover (10g Ipsos de Pitz-Nelly du Bouguet) driven by Matthieu Abrivard. The second and third finishers were handicapped 25 meters at the start. The fastest winner of GNT Nantes is legendary Rapide Lebel at 1.12.9kr in 2010. Thomas H. Hicks  

November 6, 2017 - The three Gr. II harness racing events this day at Paris-Vincennes began with the monte Prix Reynolds (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters) with victory timed in 1.11.7kr to 4.7/1 Ulka des Champs (9f Offshore Dream-Melissa des Champs). Matthieu Abrivard teamed the winner. 24.7/1 Veloce du Banney (g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) and driver Franck Nivard took second ahead of 6.4/1 Tornado Bello (10m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade) and jockey Camille Levesque for trainer Thomas Levesque. The Prix Reynolds kicks off the path during the Winter Meet toward the Prix de Cornulier contested the Sunday prior to the Prix d’Amerique 2018. The Gr. II Prix Reine du Corta (purse €120,000, 12 starters) went to 1.12.9kr clocked 2/5 odds Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) with Franck Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc. 12.3/1 Elegantissime (3f Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire) took second for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. 36.3/1 Estola (3f Nectar-Nika) was next for J.Ph. Monclin. The Prix Abel Bassigny (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters) was timed in 1.14.4kr by the winner 6.8/1 Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) handled by David Thomain for trainer/owner team of Sebastien Guarato and Philippe Dewulf, shown below. The same team’s 2/5 favorite Ecu Pieji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was home second with Mathieu Mottier driving. 5.7/1 Express Jet (3m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) was third for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie Opale. Jean Etienne Dubois bred this one. The Prix de Lesparre (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Cash And Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), the Dubois bred brother to champion Bold Eagle, reined by Franck Nivard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Race time was 1.13.1kr. 19.2/1 Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star-Ire du Ciel) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Guarato and Ecurie des Amis. 49.9/1 Drole d’Espoir (4m Nem-Orphea de Nay) took third for J.Ph. Monclin.  Prix d’Arcachon (Quinte +, purse €82,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) went to 1.1/1 Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) timed in 1.10.7kr for Ch. J. Bigeon, and trainer Christian Bigeon. 12.6/1 Venkatesh (8g Varenne-Honey Face) was second driven by Adrian Kolgjini for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini, with third to 5.1/1 Azaro d’Eva (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Iomolly) handled by Jean Michel Bazire. Q+ payoffs are shown below. Thomas H. Hicks  

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November 18, 2017 - Saturday’s Kincsem Park harness racing featured Menesek DIJ (purse 2,000,000Huf, 3160 meters distance handicap) went to 10.3/1 Villam Ville (3g Beissinger Hanover-Izaville-Endless Sands) for trainer/driver Imre Fazekas. Zsalek  Zsolt owns the winner. Vital RG (3m SJs Photo-Vitesse OR-Indro Park) was second for Tibor Hajnal, ahead of 40 meter handicapped Urilany R (4f Maximus Lindy-Elegant Lady-Mill H) with Veljko Mazsity driving. Race time over the extended distance was 4:32.7, or 1.26.3kr. The solid card also included the Laszlo Torok Memorial (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) with victory to the 1.3/1 favorite Victory Knick (5g Cantab Hall-Lapponia Knick-Lindy’s Crown. The recent import from Sweden is now trained and was reined by Emil Csordas. Race time was 1.20.1kr. Sultana Jet (6f Igor Font-Art Deco-Diamond Way) was second for Gyorgy Horvath and trainer Imre Fazekas. Oldtimer Diamant (7g Arc de Triomphe-Primadonnas Lady-Titan Way) was third for Emese Vezer. Other winners were 4.3/1 Unika Vik (4f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro) in the Jozsef Radoki Memorial (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart). Andras Gasper teamed the Balasz Juhasz trainee to a 1.19.7kr timed score over Unreal Boss (4f Maximus Lindy) and Livi Kickoff (5f Sand Vic). T wo year olds contested the Ketevesek Versenye (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) and 3.4/1 Zseneroz (2f SJs Photo-Hitelezo-Witsends Speedy) scored for Gyorgy Horvath, driving for trainer Balazs Juhasz, timed in 1.26.1kr. This Kabala Menes Kft. bred filly bested Veritable Yankee (2m Yankee Mustang) and Zeffiri (2f Naglo). Plans continue for the exceptional annual Kincsem Park December 31 affair that featured a great racing, music, food and entertainment, before a gathering that usually numbers 10,000 irrespective of the winter weather. Thomas H. Hicks  
November 19, 2017 - Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) held gamely and scored in today’s harness racing Gr. II Grand Prix de Bretagne (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, International) timed in 1.13.2kr and reined by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. The 1.1/1 favorite defeated peg hugging stablemate 12.6/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) with David Thomain driving for owner Philippe Dauphin and trainer Guarato. 21.9/1 Charly du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) was third for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. These top three earned qualification for the Prix d’Amerique in late January. 5.3/1 second choice Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) was fourth for J.Ph. Monclin, trainer Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire, ahead for fifth finishing 66.1/1 outsider Shadow Gar (5f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with owner/trainer Pietro Gubellini up. Belina Josselyn finished ninth racing with shoes and UIza Josselyn was tenth. Bold Eagle was a late scratch. Fractions were conservative (1.14.1kr with 1500 meters remaining, 1.14.4kr at the 1000, 1.13.8kr with 500 to go). A sizeable crowd was on hand at Paris-Vincennes this day for a superb racing program. Thomas H. Hicks
November 19, 2017 - Harness racing Groupe action began this day with the Gr. II Prix Jacques de Vauloge (purse €120,000. 2700 meters) and 16/1 Easy des Racques (3m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) scored timed in 1.14.4kr for driver J.Ph. Monclin. 3/5 favorite Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) was second for pilot Mathieu Mottier, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf. 3.6/1 Express Jet (3m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) rallied to gain third for driver/trainer Pierre Vercruysse and Ecurie Opale. The Gr. II Prix Annick Dreux (purse €130,000, 2700 meters) and the 1.14kr timed winner was 3/10 favorite Erming d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) with Mathieu Mottier up. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Ecurie de l’Oliverie. 27.3/1 Exotic Destination (3f Love You-Quiromantica) was a fast rallying second for Matthieu Abrivard. Yves Boireau trains this one for breeder/owner Jean-Pierre Dubois. 28.7/1 Estelada de Font (3f Orateur-Quibala Street) and trainer/driver Emmanuelle Allard finished third. Fractions were even. The Prix de Cosse le Vivien (purse €75,000, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters), a solid conditioned event, went to 1.12.3kr timed and 7/10 favorite Bel Avis (6g Ganymede-Gloria Marie) with J-M Bazire up for legendary Wildenstein Stables Ltd Ireland. 12.5/1 Blues d’Ourville (6g Password-Pursuit of Charm) and 10.8/1 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) were second and third. The Gr. III Prix de Bossy Saint Leger (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, European), the last of the day’s groupe events, went to 51.9/1 Delia du Pommereux (4f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) reined by trainer Sylvain Roger for breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Race time was 1.12kr off quick and steady fractions. 4.7/1 Tessy d’Ete (5f Ganymede-Love me Tender) held second closely for J-M Bazire, trainer Philippe Billard and Scuderia Eurocolor Srl. Third was 6.5/1 Comtesse du Chene (5f Quaker Jet-Imperiale du Chene) with David Thomain up for trainer Julien LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. Thomas H. Hicks  
November 17, 2017 - Friday’s Paris-Vincennes’ featured  Q+ Prix du Salon du Chaval (purse €52,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) went to 1.13.4kr timed and 5.5/1 odds Global Response (6g Credit Winner-Com Mimm) with Christophe Martens up.  Vincent Martens trains this property of J.A.C. Vanduffel. 31.5/1 Siebella Park (6f Varenne-Grandera Park) was next for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Vincent Lacroix. 26.8/1 Bariane James (6f Goetmals Wood-Ma Sissi James) landed third for J-M Bazire, who won three on the card. 13.8/1 Emmett Brown (6g Muscle Hill) and 18.5/1 Bomina (6f Quick Wood) were fourth and fifth.  Thursday Paris-Vincennes featured Prix de l’Ile d’Oleron (Gr. III, purse €110,000, 2850 meters, 19 monte starters) went to 1.14kr timed and 3.3/1 odds Caduceus des Baux (5g Mark Speed-Festina des Baux) with jockey Damien Bonne in the irons. Jack Dowie is the owner/breeder. 2.1/1 Cassate (5f Neoh Jiel-Quiva du Rib) was second for Adrien Lamy and 7.2/1 Valoe du Banney (8g Quaro-Jiva du Banney) Also on Thursday was the Prix de Belfort (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) and Cash Maker (5g Quaker Jet-Salt Lake City) scored timed in 1.13.5kr for trainer/driver Sebastien Ernault. Global Response Thomas H. Hicks

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