Day At The Track

February 12, 2018 - Monday’s Quinte+ was the Prix de Senlis (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters seven and eight year old harness racing females) at Paris-Vincennes. 70/1 Royal Roc (8f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc) scored the upset timed in 1.12.2kr for driver Filippo Rocca that started from post 17. Lucio Becchetti trains the winner for Scuderia Saint Eusebio. 11/1 Arrival de Genai (8f Jag de Bellouet-Nymphe de Genai) was second for trainer/driver Patrice Pacaud and breeder/owner Pascal Plassais. Third was 3.1/1 Olympia Gold (7f Olimede-Shelle Gold) handled by David Thomain for trainer Per Linderoth and Team Gold. 13/1 Black Rain (5f Niky) was fourth for Alexandre Abrivard and fifth was 34/1 Bela du Vivier (7f Korean) for Matthieu Verva and trainer Guy Verva. The top four finishers raced barefoot. There were no Q+ exact order winning tickets on this event. The Prix de Blain-Bouvron-le Gavre (purse €52,000, 2175 meters, 10 starters) produced an impressive 1.12.7kr timed victory for 1.9/1 Exit Money (4m Coktail Jet-Making Money) with trainer J-M Bazire the pilot for Ecurie Yvan Bernard. This youngster now has four wins in 10 career starts. 4.8/1 Etonnart (4m Timoko-Migraine) was second with Bjorn Goop driving for owner/trainer Richard Westerink. 26/1 Esteban Jiel ) 4m Coktail Jet-Dirkonia Jiel) took third money for driver Matthieu Abrivard and trainer J.L. Dersoir. Freegate Island (3f Timoko-Agneska) was an easy 1.17kr winner of the Prix d’Olouom (purse €46,000, 2700 meters, seven starters) with trainer Bjorn Goop aboard. Jean Etienne Dubois bred this filly that is now owned by P&D Bronsman AB. The 9/1 winner bested 4.7/1 Fa de Bellouet (3f Quinoa du Gers) with trainer J-M Bazire up for owner Jean Claude Montwean. 3.1/1 Famille Royale (3f Village Mystic-New York) was third for driver Eric Raffin and Louis Baudron, the breeder / trainer / owner. The Prix de Juan les Pins (purse €46,000, 2800 meters, 18 starters) this day went to 11/1 Freeway Fortuna (6f Conway Hall-Saratoga Yankee) timed in 115.5kr and driven by Matthieu Abrivard. ACEM Schoonderwoerd trains and owns this fast closing mare. 2.4/1 Kash Brodde (6f Ready Cash-Kismet la Marc) was second for driver Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Peter Untersteiner and Full Moon Stable. 4.9/1 Capella de Vrie (6f Prince d’Espace) was third for driver Franck Nivard and breeder/owner/trainer Roger Baudron. Thomas H. Hicks    

Elite du Royal (4f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) at 12/1 ran off to a huge lead in the Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) for trainer/driver Franck Anne and held it for a 1.18.9kr harness racing score. Mme. Annick Bazin bred and owns the winner. 3.7/1 Enino du Pommereux (4m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) and J-M Bazire was second for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. 1.1/1 favorite Erming d’Oliverie (4f Scipion du Goutier) was third with Franck Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc. The day’s featured Q+ Prix de Munich (purse €95,000, 2100 meters, 15 European starters) went to Bigeon stalwart 1.8/1 favorite Afghan Barbes (8g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) with Charles J. Bigeon up for trainer Christian Bigeon and owner Andre Francis Bigeon. The 1.17.=2kr timed winner now has 16 victories in 45 career outings for €523,260 earned. 3.1/1 Bel Avis (7g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) was second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire, owner Wildenstein Stables and the breeder was Comte de Belaigue. 18/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (7m Magnificent Rodney) with Matthieu Abrivard up took third ahead of 81/1 Coquin Bebe (6m Rancho Gede) and 20/1 Unbridled Charm (10m Password) that completed the top five. Treasure Kronos was 1th and Rod Stewart was a dq in this event. The Prix de Verneuil (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) went to 3/1 Deesse des Landes (5f Millenium Wood-Tifosa) with owner/trainer L.M. David at the lines. Race time was 1.21.9kr over the heavy surface. 12/1 Decennie (5f Love You-Parabola) was second for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Dominique Mottier. Third was Danseuse du Citrus (5f Otello Pierji) with David Thomain up for trainer Bjorn Goop, and Gilda Newport landed the fourth spot. The monte Prix de Lisieux (purse €88,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters) produced a 23/1 odds victory for Vinci Pierji (9g Meaulnes du Corta-Intaille) with trainer Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. Race time was 1.17.3kr. 17/1 Tell Me No Lies (9g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious was next for pilot David Thomain, KLV Holding AB and trainer Philippe Billard. Third was 1.9/1 Shadow Gar (7f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) for jockey Alexandre Abrivard and trainer/owner Pietro Gubellini. The Prix de Selestat (purse €33,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) began the Saturday racing action over a heavy, thawing, snow melting day at Vincennes. The winner was 7/2 odds Famous Quality (3f Rocklyn-Union Quality) with Jean Philippe Dubois up for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin.  Time was 1.22.1kr. 1.9/1 favorite Flora du Pommereux (3f Up And Quick-Salsa du Pommereux) took second for Franck Nivard, trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. Third went to 7.3/1 Ficite de Baille (3f Neutron du Cebe-Korella)  for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Dominique Mottier and breeder/owner Ecurie Mathieu Mottier. Later in the program the Prix du Bouscat (purse €37,000, 2700 meters) went to 1.19.3kr timed Ducal Vrie (5g Kesaco Phedo-Shalima Vrie) with Franck Nivard up for legendary breeder/owner/trainer Roger Baudron (now with 1,104 training victories). Thomas H. Hicks  

February 10, 2018 - Unique Vil (5m Conway Hall-Deborah Bi-Park Avenue Joe) again took the Saturday feature at Kincsem Park, this one the Laszlo Tolnay Memorial (purse 600,000Huf, 2560 meters distance handicap). The winner overrcame a 20 meter penalty to score timed in 1.19.9kr for driver Imre Dome and trainer Jozsef Rutkai. The 20 meter handicapped Bimbo de Chenu (7f Scipion du Goutier-Orice du Chenu-Casino des Sports) was a close second and Gigant Wings (4m Quick Wood-Winning Winds-Gidde Palema) finished third. The undercard was highlighted by a 1.19.7kr victory by Une Dame (5f Vioxx SR-Ionyos-Supergill) driven by Lajos Marton and a 1.22.7kr score in the 400,000Huf purse Cinema DIF by Urzulina (5f Maximus Lindy-Cicciolina Fling-Supergill) driven by Andor Angyal for trainer Sandor Varadi. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 10, 2018 - Madinina Martinique conducted its monthly harness racing / gallop program Saturday. The Prix  des Tulipes (purse €6,000, 3800 meters distance handicap on turf) went to 25 meter penalized Vlatou des Salines (9g Magnificant Rodney-Griffe des Salines) driven by J.L. Langeron, also the trainer. Race time was 1.29.1kr on the off surface. Typhon du Plantis (11g Loulou Jet-Light Turgot) was second for J.P.Loury ahead of Rivage du Layon (13g Chaillot-Deesse du Lagon) for teamster Christophe Moise. The Prix des Begonias (purse €6,000, 3800 meters distance handicap on turf) for trotteurs went to 1.27.5kr timed Ussein Royal (10g Lilium Madrik-Heloire)  handled by Jean Francois Gate for owner/trainer Christine Lebreton. 25 meter penalized Bavarois du Varket (7g Laetenter Diem) took the two spot for J.L. Langeron and third was Argan de Vandel for driver J.Ch. Villetrie. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 11, 2018 - The co-featured harness racing Prix des Centaures (Gr. I monte, purse €240,000, 2200 meters) this day at Paris-Vincennes was contested in heavy rain, but 2/5 favorite Draft Life (5f Unbriaco-Maflymede) still prevailed for Eric Raffin, and breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. The victory for Draft Life was her 10th in 26 starts, now for €881,570 earned. She raced on the pegs third and fourth throughout before surging between rivals at top stretch to score easily albeit moving wide to the fans as the line approached. Race time was 1.11.5kr (fractions 1.10.4kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.11.3kr at the 1000; 1.11.7kr with 500 to go). 6/1 Cyprien des Bordes (6m Ouragon de Celland-Perle des Bordes) was second for jockey J.L.Cl. Dersoir, Ecurie Rib and trainer Joel Hallais. Third was 8.3/1 Dragon du Fresne (5m Saphir Castelets) and Alexandre Abrivard finished ahead of Elladora de For at 15/1 for jockey Franck Nivard. Today’s action began with the Prix Michel Potiez (purse €46,000, 2700 meters , ten starters – lightly raced three year olds) with victory to strong rallying 4.8/1 French Man (3m Voyage de Reve-Oh Butterfly) timed in 1.16.2kr over the still slow (early afternoon) Vincennes course for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Julien Dubois. 1.4/1 favorite Feliciano (3m Ready Cash-Ravanella) held second for Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie des Charmes. 18/1 For You Madrik (3m Up And Quick-Quella Madrik) took third with David Thomain up for trainer J.L. Bigeon. Thomas H. Hicks

VINCENNES, FR - The great mare Belina Josselyn (7f Love You-Lezira Joselyn), off at 5.2/1, with trainer J-M Bazire up, won the Grand Prix de France today, the second leg of the 2018 France Triple Crown, with a powerful stretch drive to nip the game pacesetter Bold Eagle on the line. Timed in 1.10.2kr (fractions 1.06.5kr at 1500 to go; 1.08.9kr at the 1000; 1.10.3kr with 500 remaining), a new race record having lowered the 1.10.3kr of Ready Cash in 2011. Belina rallied late and five wide after being shuffled back from post three to record her 18th career win in 46 starts now for €1,442,230 earned for breeder/owner Yvan Bernard. Timone EK led early and then 1.2/1 favorite Bold Eagle (7m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet) moved three wide to the lead for Franck Nivard on a quick front 600 meters.  The Eagle continued on the lead with 46/1 Wild Honey, Timone EK and then 2.1/1 Propulsion in pursuit, with 54/1 Ringostarr Treb working closer from post 15.  Belina then got loose for Bazire and mounted her relentless wide charge in the lane for the narrow score over Bold Eagle. Between these two horses going to the wire was Propulsion (7m Muscle Hill-Danae) for the Orjan Kihlstom, Daniel Reden and Stall Zet team to grab third place by just a half length. The 31/1 Briac Dark (7m Prince Gede-Queen des Charmes) took fourth for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Thierry Duvaldestin and owner Guy Barou. Ringostarr Treb (8m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral) flattened to be fifth for Gabriele Gelormini, Jerry Riordan and EVAM Racing. The 39/1 Uza Josselyn (7f Love You-Teza Josselyn) and 46./1 Wild Honey (6f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy) completed the top seven. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

February 10, 2018 - 6.4/1 Big Boss (7g Yaar-Boylene) took the Friday Q+ harness racing featured Prix d;Olargues (purse €32,000, 2925 meters, 18 starters) at Cagnes sur Mer, with Matthieu Abrivard up for owner/trainer Herve Chauve-Laffay. Race time was 1.13.7kr. 3/1 Coyotte Sly (6g Singalo) was second for Nicolas Ensch, also trainer for Scuderia Winner. 3.7/1 Beautiful Elfe (7g Quirky Jet) ended third for Y-S Briand who also trains for Ecurie Dominique Lemetayer, the breeder/owner. 4.1/1 Dulcine Vrie (5f Royal Dream) and Loris Garcia was fourth ahead of 12/1 Davina du Capre (5f Magnificent Rodney) and David Behaert to complete the top five. Thomas H. Hicks

February 8, 2018 - Fifteen top level international trotters drew in for Sunday’s harness racing Grand Prix de France (Gr. I, purse €400,000, 2100 meters autostart) led by Bold Eagle (post position 8), Propulsion (pp4), Belina Josselyn (pp3) and the recent monte titan Traders (pp1). Post positions are drawn with the top career earners vying for the nine positions in tier one. Bold Eagle has been second in his last five outings. Blue Story Wins Q+ at Vincennes Today’s Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix Guy Lux (purse €75,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters).  2.8/1 Blue Story (7g Opium-Loumana Flor) scored for driver/breeder Pierre Levesque, and trainer Thomas Levesque, timed in 1.16.5kr. 69/1 Jet Set (9f Juliano Star-Superlet) and driver Mathieu Mottier was second for trainer Jorgen Westholm and Swedish owner Lars Melin. Third was 6.3/1 Seibella Park (7f Varenne-Grandera Park) took third for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Vincent Lacroix and Scuderia Allemento Team Minopoli. 18/1 Agora du Goutier (8f Jardy) and 12/1 Beaute de Bailly completed the top five. The undercard included the Prix de Luneville (Gr. III, purse €82,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) and 38/1 Elusive Feeling (4f Goetmals Wood-Quechya de Charve) scored for J-Y Ricart and trainer Philippe Billard. 3/1 Elino Bilou (4g Uniclove) was second for Matthieu Abrivard and owner/trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Third was 16/1 Etoile de Bruyere for Adrien Lamy. Yesterday the Q+, at Vincennes, was the Prix de l’Ille-et-Vilaine (purse €50,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters). The ten length 1.11.6kr timed winner was 3/2 favorite Abydos du Vivier (8g Diamant Gede-Osmie du Vivier) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Mlle. Cl. Minier. Jean Yves Lucuyer bred the winner now with 10 wins in 43 starts for €216,620 earned. 6.5/1 This Is It (7f Ballingary-Traicy) was second with Alexandre Abrivard up. Bjorn Goop trains this one for Stall Panamera Racing of Denmark. 15/1 Ahrima Turgot (8f Prodigious) was third ahead of 16/1 Super Fez (7m Love You) and 8.1/1 Seattle ( Bi (7f Equinox Bi) completed the top five. The Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to 1.3/1 favorite Calaska de Guez (6f Pomerol du Laumac-Miss de Geuz) for trainer/driver J-M Bazire for Ecurie Vautors, timed in 1.15.2kr. 4.1/1 Costa Haufor (6f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor) took second for Charles J. Bigeon and breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 5.7/1 Calizza Boko (6f Qwerty-Trancosa Boko) was third for driver Franck Nivard, owner Camilla Vikstrom and trainer Philippe Billard. The lineup is shown below for race four on the fine Paris-Vincennes program Sunday’s Grand Prix de France. N° Cheval Père Mère Père de mère Tps qualif. Date Site Spéc Éleveur 000011 TRADERS READY CASH GRAZIELLA (ITY) GIANT CAT           000022 ANNA MIX LUDO DE CASTELLE IRES TENOR DE BAUNE 1'21"0 06/11/2012 MESLAY-DU-MAINE A Indivision Félix DEBROIZEIndivision Félix DEBROIZE 000033 BELINA JOSSELYN LOVE YOU LEZIRA JOSSELYN WORKAHOLIC 1'20"2 11/07/2013 CAEN A Ecurie Yvan BERNARDEcurie Yvan BERNARD 000044 PROPULSION MUSCLE HILL DANAE ANDOVER HALL           000055 TIMONE EK MR VIC GEMONA             000066 WILD HONEY CANTAB HALL U WANNA LINDY             000077 BILLIE DE MONTFORT JASMIN DE FLORE QUISMY DE MONTFORT AND ARIFANT 1'17"3 28/08/2013 CAEN A Philippe DAUPHINPhilippe DAUPHIN 000088 BOLD EAGLE READY CASH REETHI RAH JET LOVE YOU 1'18"8 05/09/2013 CAEN A Jean Etienne DUBOISJean Etienne DUBOIS 000099 BOOSTER WINNER LOVE YOU QUILLE VIRETAUTE ELVIS DE ROSSIGNOL 1'20"8 13/09/2013 GROSBOIS A Ecurie WINNEREcurie WINNER 0001010 VAL ROYAL CAPRICCIO QUARDA DU RIB GOBERNADOR 1'20"2 26/08/2011 GROSBOIS A Ecurie des CHARMESEcurie des CHARMES 0001111 CALL ME KEEPER PINE CHIP ELIZA KEEPER             0001212 BRIAC DARK PRINCE GEDE QUEEN DES CHARMES LOOK DE STAR 1'20"5 16/08/2013 CAEN A Mathieu CATHERINEMathieu CATHERINE 0001313 UZA JOSSELYN LOVE YOU TEZA JOSSELYN GANYMEDE           0001414 VIVID WISE AS YANKEE GLIDE TEMPLE BLUE CHIP             0001515 RINGOSTARR TREB CLASSIC PHOTO FARSALO EGRAL               The Grand Prix de France is the second leg of the FR Triple Crown and race speed record is 1.09.8kr set by Kool de Caux in 2007. Ourasi was a triple winner in 1986-88 and Jamin preceded him with three straight in 1958-60.   Année Cheval S/A Pays Temps Père Driver Entraîneur 2017 Bold Eagle M.6  France 1'10"9 Ready Cash Franck Nivard Sébastien Guarato 2016 Bold Eagle M.5  France 1'10"7 Ready Cash Franck Nivard Sébastien Guarato 2015 Timoko M.8  France 1'11"4 Imoko Björn Goop Richard Westerink 2014 Noras Bean M.9  Suède 1'12"1 Super Arnie Björn Goop Ulf Stenströmer 2013 Ready Cash M.8  France 1'11"4 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Th. Duvaldestin 2012 Royal Dream M.7  France 1'11"6 Love You Jean-Philippe Dubois Philippe Moulin 2011 Ready Cash M.6  France 1'10"3 Indy de Vive Franck Nivard Th. Duvaldestin 2010 Meaulnes du Corta M.10  France 1'11"7 Voici du Niel Pierre Levesque Pierre Levesque 2009 Meaulnes du Corta M.9  France 1'11"6 Voici du Niel Pierre Vercruysse Pierre Levesque 2008 Exploit Caf M.7  Italie 1'10"7 Toss Out Jean-Michel Bazire Fabrice Souloy 2007 Kool du Caux M.9  France 1'09"8 Bijou du Bignon Franck Nivard Fabrice Souloy 2006 Jag de Bellouet M.9  France 1'11"6 Viking's Way Christophe Gallier Christophe Gallier 2005 Naglo M.6  Suède 1'12"2 Coktail Jet Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 2004 Naglo M.5  Suède 1'10"7 Coktail Jet Örjan Kihlström Stefan Hultman 2003 Hilda Zonett F.6  Suède 1'12" Spotlite Lobell D. Locqueneux Robert Bergh 2002 Fan Idole F.9  France 1'13" Le Ham R-W. Denéchère R-W. Denéchère 2001 Gobernador M.7  France 1'12"2 Buvetier d'Aunou D. Locqueneux P.-D. Allaire 2000 Giant Cat M.6  France 1'13"1 Quito de Talonay Nicolas Roussel Nicolas Roussel 1999 Moni Maker F.6  États-Unis 1'13" Speedy Crown J-M. Bazire Jimmy Takter 1998 Balou Boy M.9  France 1'13"6 Moscantido Yves Dreux Yves Dreux   The Grand Prix de France weekend festivities also include seven other top level events: Saturday February 10 Prix de Munich €95,000 Prix de Lisieux €88,000 Prix Ephrem Houel €120,000 Gr. II Sunday February 11: Prix Jean le Donidec €120,000, Gr. II Prix Salem €90,000 Prix de Chambord €90,000 Gr. III Prix des Centaures €240,000, Gr. I monte four to six year olds Thomas H. Hicks  

February 6, 2018 - Today the Q+ was at Cagnes sur Mer in the Prix des Boutons  d’Or (purse €32,000, 2925 meters, 15  starters) and the 1.15.3kr timed winner was 6.6/1 Australia Zen (8f Prodigious-Just Love) with trainer David Bekaert aboard. 7.8/1 Barbotine (7f Prodigious-Gissi James) took second for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch, with third to 8/1 Ulysse d’Havane (10g Kitko) handled by J.Ch Sorel. The Q+exact order payoff was €7,505. The Prix Grace Ducal (purse €58,000, 2925 meters, 13 European starters) went to 3/10 favorite Global Response (7g Credit Winner-Com Mimmi) timed in 1.15.5kr for Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens, and owner J.A.C. Vanduffel. The veteran trotter now has career earnings of €224,217. 5.8/1 odds Apoollon de Kacy (8m Prince Gede-Nefertiti Kids) was second for Dominik Locqueneux driving for Jorgen Westholm. Third was 28/1 Akido (8g Love You-Isba) for Benjamin Goetz and Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 5, 2018 - Monday on a snowy day at Paris-Vincennes was the Q+ Prix des Charentes (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 starters) and harness racing outsiders took over as 35/1 Darling Franbleu (5f Quaro-Olydra) scored in a photo for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie du Grand Buisson. Race time was 1.12.4kr. 32/1 Deeva Devol (5f Vivaldi de Chenu) was a just beaten second for Yves Dreux, also owner/trainer. 19/1 Deesse des Noes (5f Nahar de Beval) was third for Stephane Rouxel and Ecurie des Plaines. 39/1 Diana des Lucas (5f Magnificent Rodney) with Bruno Marie and 20/1 Dalabama (5f Lets Go Along) with driver Alexandre Abrivard completed the top five and these longshots resulted in no Q+ exact order winning tickets. Bjorn Goop was a winner in the Prix de la Chartre sur le Loir (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 17 European starters) driving 9/1 Say That Again (7g Viking Kronos-Kiss Me Again) to a 1.14.4kr victory for owner Stall Kennys. Goop trains the winner that defeated 34/1 Bachar (7m Prodigious-Princesse Victoire) for trainer/trainer Emmanuel Allard. Third was 4/5 favorite MT Joinville (7f Meaulnes du Corta-Ivy LB) for Jorma Kontio and fourth was 31/1 Shatar Club (7m Love Yiu-Iana Club) with trainer Alessandro Gocciador aboard. 7/10 favorite Forgaria (3f Sam Bourbon-Udine) took the Prix de Coulommiers (purse €36,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) clocked in 1.17.9kr and reined by Matthieu Abrivard. Yves Boireau trains this filly for Jean-Pierre Dubois. 14/1 Fabuleuse Adema (3f Kets Go Along-Samira) was a fast closing second for Gilles Gillot. Goop returned a winner in the Prix de Larra (purse €37,000, 2100 meters autostart, 12 starters) with 1.14.7kr timed and 4.1/1 Esquire (4m Qwerty-Regate du Berre). Hans Depypere is the breeder/owner/trainer. 2/1 Espoir du Langis (4m Severino-Pepite de Vigne) took second for Charles J Bigeon and owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. Italy’s Alessandro Gocciadoro reached the winners circle in the Prix des Rouges Terres (€44,000 purse, 2700 meters, 15 European starters)  driving his trainee 5.3/1 odds Virginia Grif (4f Varenne-Francy Capar). The winner was timed in 1.16kr for Scuderia Our Passion Srl. Thomas H. Hicks  

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February 3, 2018 - Unique Vil (5m Conway Hall-Deborah Bi-Park Avenue Joe) took Saturday’s featured Imike DIJ (purse 600000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) with harness racing owner/trainer Jozsef Rutkai aboard clocked in 1.21.1kr over a sloppy racetrack at Kincsem Park. 20 meter handicapped Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue-Up Front Lisa-Lindy Lane) rallied for second with Imre Fazekas up for the same owner/trainer Rutkai and another 20 meter penalized performer Milliondollar Lux (12m Ganymede-Dadaumpa Jet-Supergill)  was third for Emese Vezer and trainer Emil Csordas. The race honored the well-regarded  and well-bred open class trotter Imike (Valley Guardian-Astalavista-Gus Lobell-Speedy Crown-Asta-Naturally Nevele), now retired, that was successfully campaigned by Dora Kovacs. The undercard included the Bettolakodo DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) with that victory earned by Timoko RL (5m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina-Golden Goal) with Andrea Nagyvary up. Imre Fazekas trains the repeat winner, also last week. Race time was 1.22.9kr over the off going. Kelvin AT (5m Even Better Odds-Keystone Bluejay-Sierra Kosmos) took second for Csaba Laskatos and third was Unigena Sun (5f Sholty Boko-Jeanne Sun-Grundy’s Ebony) for Tamas Tanczer. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 3, 2018 - Today’s harness racing groupe action at Vincennes began with the Gr. II Prix Roquepine (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, seven starters-three year old fillies) and the 1/5 favorite and previously unbeaten Fly With Us was a dq paving the way for 28/1 Fanina des Racques (3f Ready Cash-Nina des Racques) to score timed in 1.15.3kr with J.Ph. Monclin up. Alexandre Buisson owns and trains this filly now with two wins in 10 outings for €96,090 earned. Mme. Josette Warin bred this one. 8/1 Folelli (3f Timoko-Andrea d’Ecajeul) was second for Alexandre Abrivard for breeder/trainer Frederic Prat and owner Flavien Prat. 11/1 Fortaleza (3f Prince d’Espace-Houlba de Pouline) took third for driver J-M Bazire and owner/trainer J-M Baudouin. The Gr. III Prix d’Avignon (purse €80,000, 2100 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.12.2kr timed Elsa du Pommereux (4f Coktail Jet-Salsa du Pommereux) for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. This 28/1 odds winner defeated 6.3/1 Espella Vedaquais (4f Thorens Vedaquais-Marie Blasque) and 11/1Everglades (4f Rodrigo Jet-Penang) for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque and owner Pierre Levesque. Eagle Lignerie and Extasy d’Ourville were fourth and fifth, the latter after two straight wins. The day’s co-featured Prix Paul Viel (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 11 starters – three year old colts) produced an impressive winner in 6.8/1 Fastissime (3m Ready Cash-Ivre de Victoire). Yoann Lebourgeois teamed the Philippe Allaire bred and trained performer that Frederic Sauque owns. Race time was 1.14.8kr. 5/1 File Gin (3m Repeat Love-Toscara Pellois) was second for Guillermo Roig-Baliguer and breeder/owner Philippe Levy. 38/1 Fakir du Lorault (3m Vaillant Cash-Native du Lorault) was home third for Francois Lecanu. 22/1 Fabriz du Gite was fourth. The 2.1/1 favorite Feeling Cash was ninth after being first up and then weakened in the lane. The Q+ Prix de la Gironde (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters, distance handicapped) went to 23/1 Vicomte de Corveil (9g Orlando Vici-Miss de Corveil), shown below, timed in 1.14.1kr with a quick final 500 meters for driver J.Ph. Monclin and owner/trainer David Cherbonnel. The 25 meter handicapped and 1.7/1 favorite Ble du Gers (7g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) was second with trainer J-M Bazire up for owner J,M, Rancoule. Third was 10/1 Vixel (9g Quido du Goutier-Madrine) and trainer/driver Franck Ouvrie. 8.3/1 Bora Bora Jiel and 12/1 Bocsi de Lespi completed the top five. In the mid-card Prix de Barfleur (purse €54,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 starters) 7.8/1 Dorus Well (5g Gogo-Parama) scored in a quick 1.11.7kr (1:55.36 mile rate) for Franck Nivard. Antonius Wilderbeek bred, owns and trains this impressive winner, shown below. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 1, 2018 - Today’s Quinte+ was at Paris-Vincennes in the Prix de Langeais (purse €88,000, 2850 meters, 17 starters) with victory to 4/5 favorite Be Bop Haufor (7g Notre Haufor-Ica Haufor) with breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon at the lines. Race timed was 1.12.92. 6.4/1 Venosa de Minel (9g Laetenter Diem) with Tony LeBeller up took second and third was 7.8/1 Viking Fromentro (9g Capriccio) for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque. 25/1 Bob and 59/1 As des Jacquets completed the top five. The undercard included the Prix de Verdun (purse €105,000, 2850 meters, eight European starters) and the 1.14.17kr timed winner was 1.4/1 Goofy Greenwood (5g Russel November-Chatooga River)  that Stal Amsterdam owns and this day Franck Nivard teamed for trainer Hugo Langeweg Jr,. 7/10 favorite Davidson du Pont (5m Oacha du Pont) was a close second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire for owner Ecurie Albert Rayon. 16/1 Diable de Vauve (5m Prince d’Espace) with driver David Thomain took third for trainer Emilie LeBeller. The monte Prix de Dozule (purse €68,000, 2850 meters, nine European starters) produced an easy 1.14kr win for Dream Cash (5g Ready Cash-Susy Love) at 1.1/1 odds. J-Y Ricard was in the irons for Ecurie des Charmes and trainer J-M Bazire. Another open lengths victory was in the Prix de Feucherolles (purse €36,000, 2175 meters, 16 starters). The 1.12.5kr timed winner was 2/1 Dubai Dream (5f Love You-Ocely de la Merite) for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie des As. The €50,000 purse Prix de Chambery was contested by 15 European performers over 2850 meters. 1.1/1 Classic Haufor (6m Jag de Bellouet-Glamour d’Haufor) scored for double winner Christian Bigeon, the breeder/owner/trainer and driver. 44/1 Choriste du Trio (6g Roc Meslois) with J-F Senet gained second in a photo with third to 17/1 Cactus d’Yvel(6g Jasmin de Flore) handled by Damien Bonne for owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. Thomas H. Hicks

January 28, 2018 - Harness Racing resumed Sunday after a four week break and the featured Evnyito DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) went to 1.18.1kr timed Timoko RL (5m Doctor Sugar RL-Triestina-Golden Goal) with talented female amateur driver Andrea Fazekas aboard. Imre Fazekas trains the winner. Rafael Bit (8g Prime Prospect-Becky Ami-Keyser Lobell) and Urzulina (5f Maximus Lindy-Cicciolina Fling-Supergill) took the next two spots. Earlier in the card Andrea’s partner Gyorgy Horvath won the Megnyito DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) with undefeated Longines (5f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victory) that Imre Fazekas trains for Pimri and Horvath. This young mare, bred by Kornelius Holman in Munster, was acquired from Germany after a May 2017 qualifier and now has posted fourth straight victories at Kincsem Park for Horvath and Fazekas. Victoria Top Secret (4f Vioxx SR) and Vitya (4m Racino) trailed Longines. Race time was 1.17.4kr The Saturday card also included the Kezmoves Handicap (400,000Huf purse, 1800 meters autostart) and Serafina Ketti (7f Fanicotti-Ioz) driven by Adil Srennovitz and timed in 1.19/7kr. Kelvin AT (5m Even Better Odds-Keystone Bluejay-Sierra Kosmos) was second for Csaba Lakatos, ahead of Tengelic (6f Incredible Cole) with Sandor Hegedus up. Thomas H. Hicks  

Legislation proposing a ban on “sulky” racing on Irish public roads, and tighter regulation on use of horses where races are regulated is due to be introduced in the Dáil this week by Independent TD Mattie McGrath. A sulky is an unprotected, lightweight cart, which is usually drawn by a horse. Unofficial sulky harness races on public roads are popular among the Travelling community. Mr McGrath said he move was in response to evidence of increasing number of collisions on Irish roads involving sulkies and associated injuries to members of the public; the number of horses being killed or having to be destroyed as a consequence, and related animal welfare issues. The Bill would strengthen existing Garda and local authority powers, while those found in breach of the law could face a €5,000 fine or imprisonment. “My main concern is public safety,” Mr McGrath told The Irish Times. “I’m inundated by calls from constituents who are concerned after meeting sulkies on the roads every day.” There were particularly prevalent on the main Cork-Limerick road and on the “old N8” in Co Tipperary which was quieter because of traffic using the motorway network, he said, while he was aware of regular racing every fortnight with betting in his constituency. He has written to the Turf Club calling on it to establish proper tracks for regulated racing. In October, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten agreed there was a need for tighter control of illegal sulky racing on public roads. He favoured the introduction of new bye-laws. Mr McGrath said he was mindful of the circumstances leading to the death of 12-year-old boy who was killed in February 2016 when thrown under a truck in a sulky accident. At an inquest into the boy’s death this month a jury recommended the introduction of laws to regulate sulky use, specifically their use on public roads. The family of Sean Doyle, who was killed in Clondalkin, Co Dublin, said they hoped new regulations could prevent further loss of life. At the inquest, PSV inspector Garda David O’Brien described the sulky as a man-made cart on a tubular steel axle with no seatbelts or side-guards. “It’s not a vehicle that should be used on a public highway,” he said. Mr McGrath acknowledged some people will claim he is being anti-Traveller in seeking a ban, but his motivation was from “a public safety and animal welfare point of view”. Racing horses on hard surfaces was a form of cruelty, he said. While his Prohibition of Sulky Racing Bill 2017 was due before the Dáil, there was little indication of the extent of cross-party support for it, he added. The Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals last year called for a ban on sulky racing on Irish roads. It acknowledged races in some cases were being staged at official tracks. “However, many illegal races take place on public roads. Sulky racing is regulated in other countries and carried out on safe off-road tracks, which does happen in Dundalk occasionally. We would like to see sulky racing banned from the roads, and the gardaí have sufficient powers to do that under road traffic legislation,” an ISPCA spokesman said. “Another element we want to see is ‘licence and registration’ taken more seriously. If sulkies are going to be on the roads then a way must be found to have some registration,” he added. “In other countries sulky racing can be carried out in a more controlled environment. It only seems to be here in Ireland that we have this problem. Our main concern with sulky racing is the training of the younger horses, they are training them far too young and the horse’s muscles and joints have not fully developed,” he said. Two serious accidents occurred in Co Kilkenny last August where the horses had to be destroyed. Members of the Traveller community in July 2017 began a drive to promote the mental health benefits of horse ownership and underlined its importance within their culture. Up to 20 sulkies assembled on Cahir bypass in Co Tipperary for the “Drive for Hope and Change”, which was also organised to highlight the problem of suicide among Travellers. Martin Collins, a co-director with the Traveller rights group Pavee Point, said there was need for “greater regulation” in the area of sulky racing. “Many Travelling organisations at a local level have been endeavouring for this for years,” he said. “The fundamental point I want to make here is that there is a gross inequity in terms of Government policy on what sports get funded,” he added. “I think it’s unfair that about €64 million per year is pumped into Horse Racing Irelandand a sport Travellers are interested in doesn’t get a look in.” Galway Co Council has banned sulky racing at Ballinalsloe October Fair because of “health and safety issues allied to insurance liability concerns, and the views of animal rights groups”. By Kevin O'Sullivan Reprinted with permission of The Irish Times