Day At The Track

June 6, 2020 - A super harness racing card today was raced at Laval (transferred there from Vincennes) that included three groupe level contests. The Gr. II Prix Chambon P (purse 85,000€, 2875 meters voltstart, International five year olds and up) produced a 1.12.4kr victory for 5.1/1 Enino du Pommereux (6m Coktail Jet - Noune du Pommereux) with Matthieu Abrivard up. Sylvain Roger trains this Noel Lolic campaigner. This was his 10th career score now for 821,030€ earned. Heavily favored 4/10 odds Cleangame (8g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) was second for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and owner J.M. Rancoule, although he was flat in the lane. 8.1/1 Delia du Pommereux (7f Niky-Noune de Pommereux) rallied for third with Franck Nivard up for the Roger/Lolic team. 81/1 Vipera Killer G (6f Varenne-Uakland) was fourth for J.G. Van Eechhoute and trainer Vitale Ciotola. Fifth was 11/1 Bahia Quesnot (9f Scipion du Goutier-Queen Ines) took fifth for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa. Enino du Pommereux Five-year olds battled in the Prix Louis Jariel (Gr. II, purse 85,000€, 2225 meters) and 4.3/1 Feliciano (5m Ready Cash-Ravenella) rallied to win in 1.12.3kr for pilot David Thomain. Philippe Allaire trains this now 11 time lifetime winner for Ecurie des Charmes. His career earnings reached 517,590€.  Second was the 2.5/1 favorite Fleche du Yucca (5f Prodigious-Vincenza) handled by Jean Philippe Dubois for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Third went to 3.4/1 Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik-Miska des Rondes) that Alexandre Abrivard teamed for trainer Richard Westerink. This race was the Q+ event of the day and the exact order payoff was 55,522.20€. Feliciano The Gr. III Prix d’Istres (three year old fillies, purse 60,000€, 2875 meters voltstart, European eligibles) saw the impressive Headline (3f Brillantissime-Mara Bourbon) rally from fifth to win in 1.15.9kr under no urging. This was third straight victory and fifth win in her last seven. Her life earnings reached 81,200€ for owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois and trainer Kevin Vanderschelden. She was off at 3.3/1 odds and bested 53/1Hermine Girl (3f Atlas de Joudes-Salut Beaute) handled by Ch. Lebissonnais for Ecurie Danover with third to 2.7/1 Hirondelle Sibey (3f Gazouillis-Celina du Chatele) for Eric Raffin. The start was delayed when Hatha Josselyn unseated reinsman Jean Michel Bazire and ran off. Headline w JPD The winning Headline was bred by JPD’s Ecurie Dream With Me and is from one of his great mares, Mara Bourbon, a winner of 1,657,405€ from 18 career victories and a 1.10.7kr record. She won the Osloi GP, GP du Bourbonnais and the European Championship 5 Ans among others. For Dubois as driver, he now has seven 2020 wins from 23 starts and 1,394 career driving wins in 6,854 starts. As an owner he has 25 wins in 2020 from 121 starts. Quite a story orchestrated by a legendary horseman and he is only 79. Below is a list of his groupe I and II victories so far that illustrate his Franco-American trotting mastery. Groupe 1[   France Prix d'Amérique – 2 – High Echelon (1979), Hymour (1982) Prix de France – 2 – Hymour (1982) Grand Critérium de vitesse de la Côte d'Azur – 2 – High Echelon (1979), Hymour (1982) Prix de l'Atlantique – 2 – Défi d'Aunou (1998), Ganymède (1999) Critérium des Jeunes – 4 – Fortuna Fant (1996), Juliano Star (2000), Mahana (2003), Qualita Bourbon (2007) Critérium des 3 ans – 3 – Rainbow Runner (1986), Vasquez (1990), Buvetier d'Aunou (1992) Critérium des 4 ans – 2 – Buvetier d'Aunou (1993), Extreme Dream (1996) Critérium Continental – 5 – Rangone (1987), Bahama (1993), Extreme Dream (1996), Hermès du Buisson (1999), Love You (2003) Critérium des 5 ans – 1 – High Echelon (1978) Prix Albert Viel – 5 – Bahama (1992), Esotico Star (1995), Island Dream (1999), Juliano Star (2000), Mahana (2003) Prix de l'Étoile – 4 – Rainbow Runner (1988), Bahama (1993, 1994), Qualita Bourbon (2007) Prix de Sélection – 4 – High Echelon (1979), Buvetier d'Aunou (1993), Kaisy Dream (2002), Qualita Bourbon (2008) Prix des Élites -1- Mara Bourbon (2003) Prix d'Essai – 1 – Fly Mourotaise (1996)  Denmark  Copenhague Cup – 1 – Mara Bourbon (2006) Italy  Gran premio d'Europa – 3 – Rainbow Runner (1987), Bahama (1993), Kaisy Dream (2002) Grand Prix Continental – 3 – Esquirol (1974), Bahama (1993), Camino (1994) Palio des Communes – 1 – Bahama (1994) Grand Prix Freccia d'Europe – 1 – Bahama (1994) Norway  Grand Prix d'Oslo – 2 – Ganymède (1999), Mara Bourbon (2006) Netherlands  Prix des Géants – 1 – Promising Catch (1995)  Europe Championnat Européen des 3 ans – 1 – Mahana (2003) Championnat Européen des 5 ans – 2 – Camino (1995), Mara Bourbon (2005) Grand Prix de l'UET – 2 – Rangone (1987), Daguet Rapide (2004) Groupe 2[   France Prix Pierre Plazen – 7 – Bon Conseil (1992), Cézio Josselyn (1993), Ever Jet (1995), Juliano Star (2000), Love You (2002), Not Disturb (2004), Quatre Juillet (2007) Prix Kalmia – 7 – Radjah de Talonay (1986), Une de Rio (1989), Bon Conseil (1992), Esotico Star (1995), Juliano Star (2000), Kaisy Dream (2001), Love You (2002) Prix Jacques de Vaulogé – 6 – Une de Rio (1989), Vasquez (1990), Buvetier d'Aunou (1992), Cézio Josselyn (1993), In Love With You (1999), Love You (2002) Prix Masina – 6 – Bahama (1992), Island Dream (1999), Let's Go Darling (2002), Mahana (2003), Orelady (2005), Rapide Aventure (2008) Prix Guy Le Gonidec – 6 – Buvetier d'Aunou (1993), Ganymède (1998), Hermès du Buisson (1999), Love You (2003), Mara Bourbon (2004), Royal Crown (2009) Prix Ozo – 5 – Bahama (1992), Danse avec le Feu (1994), Island Dream (1999), Just Like That (2000), Mahana (2003) Prix Victor Régis – 5 – Ker Seddouk (1979), Fébrile (1996), Kaisy Dream (2001), Love You (2002), Not Disturb (2004) Prix Gélinotte – 5 – Une de Rio (1989), Bahama (1992), Island Dream (1999), Mahana (2003), Qualita Bourbon (2007) Prix Guy Deloison – 5 – Island Dream (1999), Let's Go Darling (2002), Mahana (2003), Nina Madrik (2004), Qualita Bourbon (2007) Prix Maurice de Gheest – 4 – Bon Conseil (1992), Cézio Josselyn (1993), Ever Jet (1995), Kaisy Dream (2001) Prix Phaeton – 4 – Camino (1994), Extreme Dream (1996), Goetmals Wood (1998), Daguet Rapide (2004) Prix Jockey – 4 – High Echelon (1978), Vizir de Retz (1992), Bahama (1994), Love You (2004) Prix Ovide Moulinet – 4 – Unnamed (1991), Camino (1995), Love You (2004), Mara Bourbon (2005) Prix des Ducs de Normandie – 4 – Bahama (1994), Goetmals Wood (1999), Love You (2004, 2005) Prix Paul Viel – 4 – Cézio Josselyn (1993), Fortuna Fant (1996), Juliano Star (2000), Quick Wood (2007) Prix Annick Dreux – 4 – Bahama (1992), Coda Josselyn (1993), Do Wind (1994), Mahana (2003), Qualita Bourbon (2007) Prix Charles Tiercelin – 4 – Rainbow Runner (1987), Extreme Dream (1996), Goetmals Wood (1998), Quatre Juillet (2008) Prix Gaston de Wazières – 4 – Rangone (1987), Vasquez (1992), Bon Vivant (1993), Qualita Bourbon (2008) Prix Jules Thibault – 4 – Vasquez (1991), Buvetier d'Aunou (1993), Repeat Love (2009), Sam Bourbon (2010) Prix Paul Karle – 3 – Une de Rio (1989), Cézio Josselyn (1993), Esotico Star (1995) Prix de Tonnac-Villeneuve – 3 – Bon Vivant (1993), Extreme Dream (1996), Goetmals Wood (1998) Prix Abel Bassigny – 3 – Cézio Josselyn (1993), Daholic (1994), Kaisy Dream (2001) Prix Éphrem Houel – 3 – Bahama (1993), Goetmals Wood (1998), Kaisy Dream (2002) Prix Henri Levesque – 3 – Rainbow Runner (1988), Bahama (1994), Love You (2002) Prix Robert Auvray – 3 – Rainbow Runner (1988), Love You (2004), Mara Bourbon (2005) Prix Emmanuel Margouty – 3 – Quarisso (1984), Radiant du Val (1985), Quick Wood (2006) Prix Une de Mai – 3 – Orelady (2004), Pretence (2005), Qualita Bourbon (2006) Prix Roquépine – 3 – Bambina (1992), Island Dream (1999), Qualita Bourbon (2007) Prix Gaston de Wazières – 3 – Camino (1994), Hermès du Buisson (1999), Qualita Bourbon (2008) Prix de Washington – 2 – Ker Seddouk (1981), Bahama (1994) Prix de la Côte d'Azur – 2 – Hymour (1982), Promising Catch (1995) Prix de Croix – 2 – Vasquez (1992), Love You (2004) Prix Louis Jariel – 2 – Love You (2004), Mara Bourbon (2005) Prix du Bourbonnais – 2 – High Echelon (1979), Mara Bourbon (2005) Prix Gaston Brunet – 2 – Bon Vivant (1993), Repeat Love (2009) Prix Uranie – 2 – Qualita Bourbon (2006), Calita Wood (2015) Prix Reine du Corta – 2 – Bahama (1992), Douce Rebelle (2016) Prix Ariste Hémard – 1 – Rangone (1987) Prix de l'Union Européenne – 1 – Défi d'Aunou (1999) Prix Marcel Laurent – 1 – Love You (2004) Prix Albert Demarcq – 1 – Mara Bourbon (2005) Prix Doynel de Saint-Quentin – 1 – Mara Bourbon (2005) Critérium de Vitesse de Basse-Normandie – 1 – Love You (2005) Prix Octave Douesnel – 1 – Olitro (2006) Grand Prix du Conseil Général des Alpes-Maritimes – 1 – Mara Bourbon (2006) Jean Pierre Dubois Thomas H. Hicks  

June 6, 2020 - A good V75 harness racing program was presented today under clouds and periodic rain at Ostersund. The V76-6 (purse to winner 125,000SEK, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) saw Only One Winner (10g Scarlet Knight-Electra Bac-Indian Silver) record a 1.11.6kr nifty score at 5.98/1 odds. Bjorn Goop trains and reined the now 15-time career winner in 54 starts for 1,427,928SEK earned. Highspirit (12g Super Arnie-Spirituell-Sugarcane Hanover) was second from post 12 with trainer Troels Andersen aboard. Third home was From The Mine (8g From Above-Kalmans Tap Girl-Tap In) with Magnus A. Djuse at the lines. Only One Winner The day’s feature was the Gr. II V75 Gold named the Jamtlands Stora Prix (500,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters). The veteran classmaster Handsome Brad (7m Brad de Veluwe-Ukrica M-Red Xing) rallied to score for Carl Johan Jepson clocked in 1.12.3kr. Off at 8.9/1 odds Brad recorded his 13th career victory in 52 starts now for 5,069,036SEK earned. Italy’s Velvet Gio (6g Nad Al Sheba=Mind Wise As-Lemon Dra) was second for Ulf Ohlsson with third to Very Kronos (6m Ready Cash-Glide About-Yankee Glide) handled by Erik Adielsson for trainer Svante Bath. Rains poured heavily midway during this affair. Handsome Brad Thomas H. Hicks

June 3, 2020 - Calou Renardiere (8g Lets Go Along-Rosee Renardiere), off at 4.7/1 odds, took this sixth leg of the harness racing Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris Turf (purse 75,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap, 16 starters) raced at Laval. Eric Raffin teamed this J.M. Baudouin trainee that was timed in 1.13.6kr. The 5.6/1 Dollar Soyer (7g Phlegyas-Quinoa Soyer) was second for pilot Anthony Barrier and trainer Gregory Thorel. Defi Pierji (7g Roc Meslois) was third for Leo Abrivard. Divine Mesloise (7f The Best Madrik) and 25 meter handicapped Drole de Jet (7m Coktail Jet) completed the top five. Calou Renardiere   Thomas H. Hicks  

It has been discovered that Sunday’s €600,000 Elitloppet winner, Propulsion, may be disqualified from the victory because the horse was nerved in both front legs before coming to Europe. This has been reported by Truls Pederson on the harness racing website Trav og Galopp-Nytt in Norway. Nerving is in violation of Europe’s horse racing doping regulations. Propulsion’s earnings from winning the final of the Elitloppet was $321,261 US. Nerving is considered a “last resort” procedure performed on horses with caudal heel lameness syndrome or navicular syndrome that have not responded to therapeutic shoeing and medication. This is a temporary procedure that, in most cases, can relieve the horse of pain for two to seven years, and has helped thousands of horses to continue on in their careers, without the pain that had plagued them before. Nerving is allowed on racehorses in North American and once completed, a certificate is issued by the veterinarian to that breeds governing organization. Propulsion, who is sired by Muscle Hill from the Andover Hall mare, Danae, was bred by Fredericka Caldwell and Bluestone Farms in the USA. He is owned by the Brixton Medical Ab of New Jersey. Unraced at age two for former trainer Tony Alagna, Propulsion made a total of 21 starts in North America during his three and four-year-old career with eight wins and earnings of $86,178 before shipping to race in Europe. Propulsion is now age nine and while in Europe has made 79 starts with 39 wins and earnings of $3.677 million US. It has been listed on Propulsion's USTA information data also on Trackit the Standardbred Canada website that the horse was nerved. Copy of USTA data Copy of Trackit data Now in question will be if not only the purse money and the victory in the Elitloppet will be taken away from Propulsion, but whether all of his victories in Europe will be disqualified and all purse earning returned. This story will continue to be further updated. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Propulsion (9m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) took the 2020 Elite Race (purse of finale 573,000€, 3,000,000SEK to the harness racing winner, 1609 meters autostart, eight starters) finale clocked in 1.10.2kr. Orjan Kihlstrom engineered a perfect from behind journey on the outer and rolled past seemingly tires rivals for Stall Zet and trainer Daniel Reden. He was off at 4.6/1 odds and bested 2.8/1 Cokstile (7m Quite Easy-Joystile) and pilot Christoffer Eriksson with 48/1 Attraversiamo (5m Kiss Francis-Rhythm Kronos) handled by Erick Adielsson. 41/1 Sorbet (9m Super Photo Kosmos-Altar Bound) and reinsman Per Linderoth earned fourth money. The 9/10 favorite Earl Simon finished second but was disqualified for interference in the upper stretch. Propulsion finished third in the second elimination parked three wide much of the way, in his first start since late January when unplaced in the Prix d’Amerique. Imported to Sweden in 2015 the great veteran now has a 39-15-9 slate in 79 career starts for earnings of 34,343,693SEK. He was bred in the USA by F.V. Caldwell and Bluestone Farms LLC. Propulsion The two elimination (each for purses of 47,750€, raced over 1609 meters autostart, eight starters) produced exciting action. Earl Simon (6m Prodigious-Tindrana) impressively took elim one timed in 1.09.5kr at 2.7/1 odds. Franck Ouvrie teamed the winner for Stall Skytten and trainer Jarmo Niskanen. 2.2/1 Missle Hill (5m Muscle Hill-India Hall) was second for Johan Untersteiner and the Reden/Stall Zet team. 20/1 Reden stablemate Sorbet was third ahead of 28/1 Milliondollarrhyme (6g Ready Cash-Nursery Rhyme) and F.B. Larsson. Earl Simon Elim two went to 1.09.4kr timed Cokstile that was off at 4.3/1 for Christoffer Eriksson, trainer Rocco Spagnulo and Santese Srl. 37/1 Racing Mange (7m Orlando Vici-Kara Kickan) was second for trainer/driver Joakim Lovgren ahead of 1.8/1 Propulsion that was super game. 7/1 Attraversiamo was fourth for Eric Adielsson. Cokstile Elitloppet 2020 program produced good online handle as no fans were present. In US$ the ATG handle exceeded $5,981,300 and the PMU network handle was over $337,000 with about 30% wagered on the Elite race finale The career stats of Propulsion are shown below, race summery, pedigree and siring results. Inbreeding Coefficient Breedly 14.08% Siring results to date, 71, with none at racing age. Many good mares have been bred to Propulsion. ATG, PMU, Breedly, Solvalla files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

Golden Tricks, Hell Bent For AM, Ecurie D, Hambo Transs R, Stepping Spaceboy all won on the harness racing Elite Race Undercard. The Gr. II Delicious Granges (purse 300,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters all female four year olds) began the top trotting action on Elitloppet Day at Solvalla undervard. Golden Tricks (4f Trixton-Golden Goose-SJs Photo) scored in a close verdict timed in 1.11.0kr for pilot Orjan Kihlstrom. Daniel Reden trains this Stall Zet owned mare that won for the eighth time in 30 starts, now for 2,819,493SEK. Dontlooseallmoney (4f Bold Eagle-Victory Dancer-Chocolatier) was second for Jim Oscarsson and third was Tonique (4f Love You-Revenique-Revenue) for Ake Lindblom. Golden Tricks Hell Bent For AM (3m Muscle Hill-Naida Nof-Supergill) was next and he took the Hakan Wallner Memorial (Breeders Course Three Year Olds, 1,000,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) with an impressive score in 1.11.9kt. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed this Stefan Melander trainee that Stall Courant AB owns. The winner is unbeaten in three 2020 starts and he now has earnings of 1,580,442SEK. Off at 1.7/1 odds, he bested Bolero Gar (3m Varenne-Nike Gar-Windsongs Legacy) with Jorma Kontio aboard for trainer Timo Nurmos. Natorp Bo (3m Andover Hall-Ocean Dream-Dream Vacation) was third with Kim Eriksson up. Hell Bent AM The four-year old males contested the Manhammars Elitloppshinngstar (purse 91,203€ with 500,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) and Ecurie D (4m Infinitif-To Soon-Muscles Yankee) recorded his tenth consecutive win to remain undefeated. He scored in wire to wire fashion timed in a record 1.09.2kr. Erik Adielsson teamed the Frode Hamre trainee that was bred by J.P. Dubois, in the best Franco-American manner, and is owned by Global Glide AB and Smart Repair AM. Ecurie D now has earned 2,095,625SEK in his brief and brilliant career. Click Bait (4m Cantab Hall-Fun At Parties-Lindy Lane) was second for Per Lennartsson and trainer Stefan Melander and his Stall TZ. Ultion Face (4m Joke Face-Crois d’Am-Love You) took third for Adrian Kolgjini. Ecurie D The Monteeliten Gr. II International (200,000 SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, monte, 10 starters) produced a solid 1.10.5kr victory for Hambo Transs R (10g Love You-Bewitched-Cantab Hall) with Michelle Monster in the irons for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stal Mille Fleurs BVC of Holland. The winner recorded his tenth career win in 33 starts. Galactica (8f Super Photo Kosmos) was second for jockey Anna Erixon with third to Rajesh Face (7g Raja Mirchi) for Sofia Adolfsson. Hambo Transs R The Thermia (100,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) lead up to the Elite Trace Finale. This one saw Stepping Spaceboy (7m Dream Vacation-Stepping Space-Fast Photo) win in gate to wire fashion for trainer/driver Wim Paal and owner Santese SRL. This was the 15th career win in 65 starts for the Spaceboy that was clocked in 1.10.4kr. Dreammoko (7f Timoko) was second for Bjorn Goop and Forfantone AM (5m Muscle Hill-Tamla Celeber-Cantab Hall) was third with Torbjorn Jansson up. Stepping Spaceboy   ATG, PMU, Solvalla Trav files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

This year's Elitloppet at Sweden's Solvalla race track took place without harness racing fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner was the brilliant son of Muscle Hill, Propulsion, coming from well back in the field to score an incredible victory over Earl Simon (who was disqualified). Cokstile was second with Attraversiamo finishing third.. 2020 Elitloppet Final 1 - Racing Mange - Joakim Lövgren 2 - Earl Simon - Franck Ouvrie 3 - Cokstile - Christoffer Eriksson 4 - Missle Hill - Johan Untersteiner 5 - Sorbet - Per Linderoth 6 - Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström 7 - Milliondollarrhyme - Fredrik Larsson 8 - Attraversiamo - Erik Adielsson First Heat Earl Simon overcame the outside starting post for a solid closing victory for driver Franck Ouvrie. For the replay click here. Second Heat The Christoffer Eriksson-driven Cokstile raced first up for the majority of the mile before hitting the wire first. For the replay click here.

May 30, 2020 - The 1.3/1 favorite Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Juenesse Dures) circle the field from post 15 in the last lap and drew off for a 1.11.9kr times score in the harness racing features Harper Hanovers (purse 95,023€, 3140 meters distance handicap, 15 starters). This was the fifth consecutive victory for Moni Viking that is owned by Jan Lyng and now trained and reined by Bjorn Goop. 8.5/1 Ivory di Quattro (5m Love You-Outlook Kronos) was a game second with Par Lennartsson up for trainer Robert Bergh. 2.4/1 Ble du Gers (9g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) followed the winner from post 13 but lost contact in the lane. Jos Verbeeck handled this one for owner J.M. Rancoule and trainer Frode Hamre. Moni Viking Other top flight Solvalla action saw 4/10 favorite Double Exposure (7f Donato Hanover-KD Girl) take the Lady Snarts (purse 48,275€, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.09.9kr, a three length winner for reinsman Orjan Kihlstom and the Daniel Reden/Stall Zet team. 10/1 Mellby Free (6f Muscle Hill-Mellby Ticket) was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Third home was 26/1 Unique Juni (7f Uptown Yankee-Staro Unique) for trainer/driver Jorgen Westholm. The V75 Silver Finale (purse 48,275€, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) brought a 1.11.0kr clocked victory for 14/1 Man At Work (7g Ken Warkentin-Illustre November) with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Timo Nurmos and Stall Syrehn. 4/1 Vincero Gar (6g SJs Photo-Lady Killer Gar) took second for Bjorn Goop, with third to 13/1 Island Life (9g Pine Chip-Gossip) with Per Lennartsson up for trainer Robert Bergh. This program set the stage for Elitloppet 2020 on Sunday with a local 3:00pm start time. A record online audience is expected as at least 18 nations are taking the race signal. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 30, 2020 - The harness racing Dubois family won three times on Saturday in France. At Argentan the Prix des Glaievls (purse 18,000€, 2150 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.3/1 Hede Darling (3m Password-Queen Darling) timed in 1.14.7kr for owner/driver Jean Pierre Dubois. Joelle Laroche bred this Kevin Vanderschelden trainee. The Prix Ibiscus (purse 18,000€, 2800 meters autostart, 12 starters) at the same venue saw 5/10 favorite Follow Dream (5m Royal Dream-Vita Dream) score in 1.17.5kr for his seventh victory in 14 career starts. Jean Philippe Dubois was the pilot for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. Follow Dream At Salon de Provence the Prix Rene Laffont (purse 15,000€, 2200 meters autostart, 13 entrants) went to 1.18.1kr timed and 3.3/1 Horchestro (3g Sam Bourbon-Alisma du Corta) in his first career victory, this one with trainer Kevin Vanderschelden aboard. The owner/breeder is Jean Pierre Dubois. Horchestro   Thomas H. Hicks

May 30, 2020 - 17/1 Unika Vik (7f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro) rallied late for Andor Angyal to win the Rothschild Hajgard DIJ (purse 500,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) at Kincsem Park, clocked in 1.16.7kr. Longines (6f Conway Hall-Kentucky Love Song-Valley Victor) set the pace and held for second with Andrea Fazekas aboard. This mare was beaten for only the second time in her career and now has a 15-2-0 slate in 17 starts, this race being her first 2020 appearance. She was off as the 1.8/1 second choice. Third home was the 1.5/1 and previously unbeaten Pan Globe Jayce (6f Muscles Yankee-Impala Jaycee-Othello Vivant) with Goran Zolnaji up. The featured Viragos DIJ (purse 522.000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) saw Vital RG (6m SJs Photo-Vitesse OR-Indro Park) score in 1.17.7kr for trainer/driver Tibor Hajnal in a race marred by several breakers. Thomas H. Hicks

May 29, 2020 - Janis Joplin Sisi (f 2019, Trixton-Siren Hall), pictured below, topped the annual ASVT Elitauktion (yearlings) with a 200,000SEK bid. The Sisyfos Breeders AB product is a half-sister to the NYSS and Grand Circuit winning Evil Urges (US$485,824), bred by this writer, and Breedlove (US$119,645). The second dam, Sweet Cindy, produced stakes winning Shaman Hall (US$342,784). Other top sellers included the filly One Moment In Time (Maharajah-LongTallSally) at 190,000SEK, and Gazelle Ima (f, 2019 Bold Eagle-American Tribute) ay 161,000SEK. Elitauktion catalog link here Thomas H. Hicks  

The French stallion Orlando Vici, a winner of nine Group races and now a leading sire in France and Sweden, has the joint highest entry with three harness racing runners in this year’s Elitloppet, to be contested at Solvalla, Sweden on Sunday night (May 31). Orlando Vici’s three contestants in the ‘Sprint World Championship of Trotting’ are Chief Orlando, a seven-year-old Norwegian bred gelding, the brilliant Norwegian bred, Danish owned seven-year-old gelding Looking Superb, and the fast Swedish seven-year-old entire Racing Mange. Chief Orlando (barrier 5) and Looking Superb (7) will contest the first heat, while Racing Mange will start from the No. 6 gate in the second elimination. The three are all expected to be well in line for a Grand Final berth. Looking Superb captured the Prix Tenor de Baune in 2018 and the Prix de L’Atlantique in 2019 and finished runner-up to Belina Josselyn in the 2019 Grand Prix d’Amerique; Racing Mange has won Group races in Sweden, Denmark and Finland and is the fastest trotter in Sweden this year, while Chief Orlando has won at Group level in Finland and was narrowly beaten in last year’s Sweden Cup. Racing Mange is the fastest trotter in Sweden this year Besides his successes at the stud in Europe, Orlando Vici has made a spectacular start as a sire in Australia. In his first season he left 11 foals – now four-year-olds - and all 11 have raced, and 10 are winners.  They include the NSW Trotters Derby winner Xebec (Tr 1:58), Beau Garcon, winner of the Breeders Crown 2YO Silver), Deneuve Star (Tr 1:56.6), Just Believe Tr 1:59 (Vicbred 3YO Silver), Belltopperboy (Tr 1:59.2), the Melton winners Montpellier (Tr 1:59.8) and Brandlo Prince, and Orlando Storm (Maryborough Oaks). Orlando Vici’s frozen semen is available to breeders in Australia and New Zealand from Haras Des Trotteurs, where Love You, Quaker Jet and Volstead head a select sire list. By Peter Wharton

May 26, 2020 - Fleche Bourbon (5f Saxo de Vandel-Uzara Josselyn) won today’s Prix Victor Cavey (Gr. II harness racing monte, purse 85,000€, 2950 meters, five-year olds) held at La Mans in France.  Race time was 1.13.8kr and Alexandre Abrivard was the jockey for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie du Haras des Saint Martin.  The winner, off as the 6/10 odds favorite and racing barefoot, recorded her 14th career victory now for 587,300€ earned and this was her second straight monte victory.  25/1 Fille Vauloger (5g Vaillant Cash-Onda Vauloger) was a fast closing second for Adrien Lamy, ahead of third finishing 59/1 Fable du Plessis (5f Neutron du Cebe) with P.Ph.  Ploquin in the irons. Fleche Bourbon The top weekend action in FR begins Friday at Laval that hosts the Prix Lavater (Gr. II monte, 85,000€ purse, 2875 meters, four-year olds) and the Prix Pythia (purse 56,000€, 2850 meters, European eligibles). Thomas H. Hicks  

26 May 2020 - The Elitloppet at Solvalla racecourse - the largest event on the Swedish harness racing calendar - is set to attract betting interest from a record 18 countries, former racing monopoly AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) has said. In addition to Sweden, bets will be taken from Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, the UK, Malta, South Africa, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Bets from eleven of these countries will go towards the Swedish pari-mutuel pool, while the remaining countries’ bets will be part of their own racing pools. However, ATG did not say exactly which countries would be commingling, and which would be operating their own pools. “It is truly inspiring that the Elitloppet is attracting so much international interest,” Ylva Svensson, head of international at ATG, said. With sports and racing in many other countries suspended, ATG noted an increased level of international interest in Swedish harness racing, which has continued through the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. “We have taken our mission, to maintain interest in racing in Europe and the rest of the world during this crisis, as seriously as possible,” Svensson added. “The Elitloppet is one of the few sporting events that can be carried out this spring and so it’s receiving extra focus from many international gaming companies.” The race will take place on Sunday 31 May. Yesterday, Sweden’s Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi put forward an amended set of temporary restrictions on gambling in which he aims to make horse and sports betting exempt from an SEK5,000 (£401/€459/$495) weekly deposit limit. The exemption had previously been recommended by ATG in a consultation held on the original controls.

May 23, 2020 - Trotting action returned on May 23 (Saturday) at Kincsem Park with a competitive 12 race harness racing program. The featured Lajos Matucza Memorial (600,000Huf purse, 1960 meters distance handicap) went to the 1.1/1 odds favorite Zeal di Girifalco (5m Igor Font-Inviata d’Italia-Varenne) clocked in 1.17.2kr for his pilot amd trainer Veljko Mazsity. This was his 17th career win in 20 starts and his first in 2020 following an eight for 10 slate last year. He overcame a 20-meter handicap as he rallied to victory over another 20 meter handicapped performer, Milady Amok (7f Scarlet Knight) with Csaba Lakatos up. Third to the line was Unika Vik (7f Cantab Hall) for Goran Zolnaji. Zeal di Girifalco Earlier in the program were two events for three-year olds each raced over 1800 meters autostart and each for a 400,000Huf purse. The first went to 3/2 favorite Bolide Lakamy (3m Conway Hall-Nina di Jesolo-Supergill) with trainer Veljko Mazsity at the lines, his first 2020 victory in two outings. Race time was 1.19.9kr with the Berill Lady (3f Maximus Lindy) and Bombay (3m Vanito) next home. The second division saw 5.9/1 Borutica (3f Illetmeny-Night Lady-Tony Oaks) score for Hico and trainer/driver Tibor Hajnal clocked in 1.20.9kr. This was her first career victory and results from a fine pedigree. Bonaparte Boss (3g Napoleon) and Beautiful Yankee BD (3f Yankee Mustang) trailed the winner. The schedule has been released for major races in June and July. June 13 will be the date for the Janos Brody Memorial and Laszlo Ferge Memorial, both usually high class races. Thomas H. Hicks    

May 22, 2020 - Two Groupe level events graced the Vincennes at Mauquenchy harness racing program on Friday. The Prix du Crepuscule (Gr. III, purse 70,000€, 2150 meters autostart, European eligibles) saw Dorgos de Guez (7g Romcok de Guez-Landy Fromentro) score in 1.11.8kr with Alexandre Abrivard at the lines. Jean Michel Bazire trains this winner for Ecurie Vautors. Dorgos recorded his 22nd career victory now for 605,680€ earned. The classy mare Chica de Joudes (8f Jag de Bellouet-Queschua Love) was second for owner/trainer/driver Alain Laurent. Third went to Detroit Castelets (7m Neoh Jiel) handled by David Thomain for trainer J.L. Dersoir. Dorgos de Guez The Gr. II Prix Ozo (purse 85,000€, 2850 meters, 10 starters all three year olds) went to a game 5/10 favorite Havana d’Aurcy (3f Royal Dream-Avila) timed in 1.17.5kr with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Jean Michel Bazire and breeder/owner Cyril Lelarge. 9/2 odds Havanaise (3f Ricimer-Version Philo) took second with F.P. Bossuet the trainer/driver. Third was 15/1 Hirondelle Sibey (3f Gazouillis) for Eric Raffin. Havana d’Aurcy The day before turf action for the trotteurs was at Avignon-Le Pontet at Nimes. There, the Prix de la Ville du Pontet (purse 11,000€, 2850 meters distance handicap, three-year olds on the turf) went to Hede Wood (3f Niky-Care Mia Wood) in her first career victory, with David Bekaert aboard. She was timed in 1.24.3kr for breeder/owner Jean Pierre Dubois. Stablemate and 25 meter handicapped Horchestro (3g Sam Bourbon-Alismada Corta) was second for trainer Kevin Vanderschelden and of course breeder/owner JPD. The 25-meter penalized High Machine (3f Goetmals Wood) was third for Y.A. Briand and breeder/owner Ecurie des Charmes. Hede Wood (inside) Thomas H. Hicks