Day At The Track

May 26, 2017 - The Friday Q+ was at Vincennes in the Prix Sirrah (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) with victory to 10.9/1 Attaque Parisienne (7f Hulk de Champs-Peccadille de Mai) timed in 1.13.2kr for driver Sebastian Ernault and trainer/owner Franck Harel.  Now a 13 time winner in 47 career starts for €255,820 earned, is the Attaque. 3/2 favorite Aufor de Mire (7g Notre Haufor-Hilda Dix) was second for Charles J. Bigeon, trainer Christian Bigeon and owner Andre F. Bigeon. Third went to 7/1 Venicio Pommereux (8g Love You-Noure du Pommereux) for Franck Nivard, trainer Sylvain Roger and Noel Lolic, the owner. 21/1 Africain was fourth with fifth to Ardente du Clos. The Gr. III Prix du Creposcule (purse €90,000, 2100 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.10.9kr quick stepping 3/5 favorite Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) for driver Eric Raffin. Sebastien Guarato trains for G&F Raffu. The winner now has 15 wins in 69 starts for €721,540 earned. 7.8/1 Beau Gamin (6m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) was second for David Thomain, trainer Guarato and owner J.M. Rancoule. 8.7/1 Best of Jets (6m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) was next for Tony LeBeller. The Gr II Prix Ozo (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 15 entrants) went to 1.13.7kr timed and 4.3/1 odds Erminig d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie). Franck Nivard piloted the Franck Leblanc trainee for Ecurie de l’Oliverie. This filly has now five wins in eight career starts for €169,290 earned. 10/1 Elisione Mag (3f Quaker Jet-Perle du Ravary) was second for David Thomain, while third went to 3.3/1 Elea Madrik (3f Goetmals Wood-Quelea Madrik) for trainer/driver William Bigeon. 2.1/ Estella Love (3f Love You-Shucca) was fourth for Franck Ouvrie, trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. This three year-old filly crop is well-matched. Also at Solvalla on Friday there was an interesting winner of a conditioned event raced over 1640 meters autostart for 30,000SEK to the winner. That winner was  Vuelta Ta Mas Rapida (3f Angus Hall-Danes Ruibca-Defo d’Aunou) driven by Alessandro Gocciador and timed in 1.12kr. The filly has a 3-3-2 slate in nine starts for the emerging career. Thomas H. Hicks

May 25, 2017 - Elitloppet weekend is something special, highlighted by the May 26 Elitauktion, May 27 Sweden Cup and May 28 Elitloppet, surrounded by partying, networking and exploring in a superb harness racing environment. Below you will find catalog and program links. The yearling sale is interesting to me as it includes offspring of Bold Eagle, Ready Cash, Timoko, Bird Parker, Muscle Hill and the memorable Googoo Gaagaa. Click here for the Catalog. Click here for the Auction Company site that will have live feed. Example catalog page follows. There are 94 head in the book and six outs so far. The race program links follow. Enjoy!!! Click here for the Sweden Cup Day May 27 Click here for the Elitloppet Day May 28 Thomas H. Hicks

May 24, 2017 - Charles J. Bigeon teamed 1.4/1 favorite Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance) to victory in today’s fifth leg of Gr. III Grand National du Trot Pars-Turf, this day held at Le Croise Laroche. 17 upper level trotters battled over the 2800 meter distance handicapped distance for a total purse of €90,000. The winner recorded his 12th career victory in 37 starts now for €313.660 earned. The 1.13.9kr timed winner, trained by Christian Bigeon for owner Andre Francis Bigeon, bested 78/1 Violine Mourotaise (8f LeRetour-Mourotaise) driven by Julien Dubois for trainer Emmanuel Rauulline. Third was 58/1 Voeland (8m Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Oquita d’Harcourt) with Rik Dupuydt aboard for trainer Marc De Cock and Stall Campus. The 25 meter penalized Ursa Major was fourth at 56/1 and Vanae des Voirons ended fifth at 63/1. This event was the Quinte+ race of the day, with a nice payoff (below). Replay: Thomas H. Hicks  

May 23, 2017 - Superb harness racing, festivities and partying await those attending the 2017 Elitloppet at Solvalla Racecourse. 16 Elite Race entrants include some of world’s best – Bold Eagle, Timoko, Resolve, Up and Quick among them. Of interest to me is the breadth of pedigree and variance in earnings. However, anything can happen in a horse race and even recent form can be reversed, up or down. Bold Eagle has been lightly raced since the Vincennes Winter Meet and has been standing stud, Nuncio has seemingly been off form in his last three starts. Resolve has raced once and qualified once off a long layoff. Delicious has been undefeated over two years, albeit racing few times against generally less than top competition. Timoko has be grinding on in his ten year old campaign, racing consistently but perhaps not in his past peak form. It’s anybody’s guess – make your wagers and enjoy. Elimination 1 Horse – Driver – (Trainer) – Country – Pedigree – Career Earnings in SEK (conversion to USD .115) 1. Spring Erom – Christoffer Eriksson (Dan Widegren) – SWE Gentle Star - Springflickan - Prince Mystic; 7,583,341 2. D.D.’s Hitman – Ulf Ohlsson (Petri Puro) – FI -Donato Hanover - Deedee's Destiny - Muscles Yankee; 2,724,569 3. Delicious U.S. – Örjan Kihlström (Daniel Redén) – SWE - Cantab Hall - Ipsara LB - Lemon Dra; 6,481,572 4. Tjacko Zaz – John Campbell (Timo Nurmos) – SWE - Crazed - Kinoras Zaz - Angus Hall; 970,381 5. Bold Eagle – Franck Nivard (Sébastien Guarato) – FR - Ready Cash - Reethi Rah Jet – Love You; 31,194,709 6. Cruzado Dela Noche – Björn Goop (Stefan Melander) – SWE - Muscle Massive - Alidade - Credit Winner; 4,900,971 7. Takethem – Steen Juul (Steen Juul) – DE - From Above - D'Cherie - New Quick; 2,430,668 8. Resolve – Åke Svanstedt (Åke Svanstedt) – USA - Muscle Hill - Anikawiesahalee - Credit Winner; 20,837,506 Elimination 2 Horse – Driver – (Trainer) – Country 1. Up and Quick – Franck Nivard (Franck Leblanc) – FR - Buvetier d'Aunou - Fichtre - Quiton du Coral; 19,425,650 2. Twister Bi – Christoffer Eriksson (Jerry Riordan) – IT - Varenne - Lorraine Bi - Lemon Dra; 2,872,055 3. Propulsion – Johan Untersteiner (Daniel Redén) – SWE - Muscle Hill - Danae - Andover Hall; 7,282,195 4. Nuncio – Örjan Kihlström (Stefan Melander) – SWE - Andover Hall - Nicole Isabelle - Lindy Lane; 27,948,230 5. In Vain Sund – Erik Adielsson (Daniel Redén) – SWE - Revenue - Staro Yasmine – Supergill; 3,243,197 6. Timoko – Björn Goop (Richard Westerink) – FR - Imoko - Kiss Me Coulonces - And Arifant; 44,173,058 7. Dante Boko – Adrian Kolgjini (Lutfi Kolgjini) – SWE - Going Kronos - Margherita Rose - Abo Volo; 5,672,776 8. Elian Web – Janne Soronen (Katja Melkko) – FI - Like A Prayer - EL Dolly - Conway Hall; 3,551,213   Saturday’s Sweden Cup, often referred to as the junior Elitloppet, presents three eliminations each worth 100,000SEK to the winner and a final for 600,000SEK first prize. Notables in this group include BBS Sugarlight, Charrua Forlan, Vasterbo Highflyer (two straight wins in fast-class company), Harry Haythrow, Cool Keeper, Ringostarr Treb, Volstead, Thai Broadway and Buzz Mearas. The excellent Saturday program also includes the Lady Snarts for mares worth 200,000SEK first money. Patricia Hastrup, Wild Honey, Treasure Kronos and Shadow Gar face the starter in this 1640 meter autostart event. The Solvalla racing weekend also features the Gr. II International UET Masters Harper Hanovers, worth 500,000SEK to the winner, and raced over 3140 meters voltstart. The top entrants, all handicapped 40 meters, are Sauveur, Rod Stewart (Jerry Riordan trainee and racing well of late) and El Mago Pellini. Legendary trainer Anders Lindqvist starts Butler (by Ready Cash) with a 20 meter penalty. To make the weekend more enjoyable is the appearance of legendary reinsman John Campbell, down on seven mounts Elitloppet day including the Elite Race. Participants Elitloppet 2017 Thomas H. Hicks

May 20, 2017 - Saturday’s Kincsem Park harness racing action featured the Kali DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) with the 1.17.7kr timed score going to Spartakus Ans (6g Cantab Hall-Valganna OK) reined by Csaba Lakatos for Antioch Arani SRO and trainer Laszlo Toth. Sanger MS was second for Balasz Juhasz with third to Speedy Boy and pilot Veljko Mazsity. Winning Spartakus Ans is shown below. On the undercard was the Fokos DIJ (purse 400,000Hufm 1800 meters autostart) with 2.4/1 Utodlo (4m Maximus Lindy-Joss) winning for Balazs Juhasz, also trainer, clocked in 1.17.2kr. Urilary R with Veljko Maszity up was second ahead of Walking John M and driver Sandor Kolozsi. Thomas H Hicks

May 20, 2017 - Top level youngsters led the harness racing action Saturday evening at Wolvega with the Criterium des 4 Ans (purse €13,200, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters) going to 1.8/1 Gaz Occagnes (4m Gazouillis-Rosy Pierre) for Joseph Verbeeck and trainer H.A.J. Grift. Grift Jr. (4m Zola Boko-Memory Boko) was second for Robin Bakker driving for trainer Paul Hagoort. Third was Bringo Boko (4g From Above-Staro Almighty) for Jaap Van Rign. Race time was 1.15kr. The Breeders Course (purse €11,000, 2100 meters autostart, eight starters) went to 1.14.3kr timed and 5/2 favored Hambo Transs R (3m Love You-Bewitched) reined by Hugo Langeweg Jr, for Paul Hagoort training for Stal Fleurs BV.. The well-bred 6.4/1 Classic Connection (3m Love You-Crys Dream) was second in his first start for owner Jean Pierre Dubois, the pilot too. Yves Boireau trains for owner Dubois. This one is a son for US$840,000 winner Crys Dream (Taurus Dream-Crystas Image-Balanced Image), she third in the Hambletonian Oaks. The dam Crystas Image also produced US$639,000 winner Brigham Dream, a Breeders Crown winner at age four in the US. Third this day was Vincent (3m Classic Photo-Olga LP) reined by Rick Ebbinge for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not. Thomas H. Hicks

May 21.2017 - Vintou des Salines (8g Magnificent Rodney-Griffe des Salines) overcame a 25 meter handicap for J.L. Langeron, the owner/trainer/driver, to win today’s Prix des Bananiers (purse €5,000, 2800 meters distance handicap, turf course), shown below, at Madinina, Le Diamant, Martinique. Aulady Tartifume (7f Jeanbat du Vivier-Lady de Tartifume) was second for owner/trainer/driver Edmond Langeron while third was earned by Sergent Chef (11g General du Pommereux-Madelon) reined by Williams Desmurs. Winning time was not reported. On the mixed trot/gallop card was also the Prix des Mangurers (purse €5,000, 3800 meters, turf course) with the 1.21.7kr timed victory taken by 25 meter handicapped Usly de Visais (9g Defi d’Aunou-Pristine Jet) reined by owner/trainer J.L. Langeron, The winner recorded his 14th career victory now for €127,210 earned. 50 meter handicapped Titan Pierji (10g Jardy-Pierre Julienne) took second for Lora Duplessis-Keugomard. Third was Quicky du Drac (13g Echo-Helle d’Urzy) for Christine Lebreton, also owner/trainer. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 21, 2017 - Uniflosa Bella (9f Jag de Ballouet-Koctiflosa Gede) took Sunday’s 5th Leg of the Trophee Vert, this one at Niort, in France in the form of the Prix du Credit Mutuel (purse €45,000, 3575 meters distance handicap, turf course). The 1.17.9kr timed winner was reined by Antoine Wiels and overcame a 50 meter penalty for owner/trainer J-P Marmion. The winning mare secured her 22nd career win now for €545,690 earned. 50 meter handicapped Tresor Wic (10m Jag de Bellouet-Epona Vinn) was second for pilot Florian Joseph and trainer Laurent Simon. 25 meter penalized Bingo d’Attacques (6m Pomerol de Lauman-Lady de la Roche) was home third for reinsman Gabriel Gelormini. The Trophee Vert series brings quality trotting to more rural communities and is well attended by enthusiastic race-goers. Thomas H. Hicks  

He started out his career racing in the New York Sire Stakes Fair Circuit and now J A T O has received and accepted the biggest invitation of his life. He is going to race in Sweden at Solvalla Racetrack the day before the Elitlopp Day this coming Saturday, May 27. He will be competing in what is called the "Little Elitlopp" for horses that nearly were invited for the big event. The Little Elitlopp is also raced in two heats.  The five-year-old gelding by Big Apple Deli from the Credit Winner mare, Highwaytoheaven, is currently being trained and will be driven by the world renowned Swedish horseman, Ake Svandstedt. J, A T O is co-owned by the Our Horse Cents Stable of Melville, NY with Rossie Smith of Greenville, NY. Longtime owner, Eugene Kurzrok, of The Horse Cents Stable, confirmed this morning that J A T O is leaving today for Sweden. “He (J A T O) will be racing in an undercard event for a purse of $180,000,” Kurzrok said. “and this is the first time I have ever had a horse race in Sweden. This is very exciting; the whole sport of harness racing is exciting. Unfortunately, I will not be going over to watch him race.” A career winner of $157,808 and a record of 1:54 at age four, J A T O has come a long way since the NYSS Fair Circuit. This year he already has two wins, three second place and two third place finishes in just seven starts. He recently won at the Meadowlands, beating Melady’s Monet in 1:54.1 and the week prior, won at Yonkers Raceway in 1:56.3. Growing up, J A T O was the stablemate with the top trotter, Dayson, and now travels to Sweden with the great Resolve as his new stablemate. At age two and three, J A T O was a terror on the New York Sire Stakes Fair Circuit, winning 25 of his 27 starts. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

May 20, 2017 - US harness racing export Workout Wonder (5m Conway Hall-Dear Abs-Muscles Yankee) captured the HKH Prins Daniels (400,000SEK to winner, 1609 meters autostart, 10 starters) in a rousing finish for driver Tommi Kylliainen, trainer Jarno Kauhanen and owner Workout Club-Finland. The Wonder was timed in 1.10kr and recorded his eighth career win in 37 starts for 2,779,556SEK earned. Off at 12/1 the happy winner(s) bested Wild Honey (5f Cantab Hall-U Wanna Lindy-SJ’s Photo) at 4/1 and 43/1 Rod Stewart (7m Love You-Valley Lane-Lindy Lane), the latter trained by Jerry Riordan. The winning Workout Wonder last raced in the USA in April 2016 when then trained by Noel Daley. He’ll likely have earned an Elitloppet start. Workout Wonder The confirmed Elite starters per Elitloppet 2017 website are: Bold Eagle, Timoko, Propulsion, Up and Quick, Resolve, DD’s Hitman, Dante Boko, Elian Web, Spring Erom, Cruzado Dela Noche  Takethem. Thomas H. Hicks

May 19, 2017 - 116/1 Totem d’Azur (10m Jogo Panca-Heidi l’Indienne) held gamely for a huge harness racing upset in the Quinte+ Prix de la Ville de Nogent sur Marne at Paris-Vincennes. Junior Guelpa teamed his trainee for owner J.P.X Vales. 5/1 Clif du Pommereux (5m Love You-Noure des Pommereux) was second for J-M Bazire, trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Third was 6/1 Vinochka (8f Milord du Chene-Miss di Chene) for Franck Ouvrie. Bad Boy du Dollar and favorite Specialess were home fourth and fifth. Thomas H. Hicks

May 20, 2017 - Harness racing 2.3/1 favorite Brelan du Vivier (6m Joker de Rozoy-Queline du Vivier) took today’s €40,000 purse, 2550 meter distance Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri-Duran held at Beaumont de Lomagne, France and contested by 12 starters. Jerome Chavatte teamed the Christophe Eckland trainee that is owned by Ecurie Eric Lemaitre and was bred by legendary horseman Jean-Yves Lucuyer. 5.2/1 Azela des Pleignes (7f Lilium Madrik-Ibiza des Pleignes) was second for trainer/driver Denis Brossard. Third was 10.2/1 Univers d’Enfer (9m Coktail Jet-Hermine d’Enfer) driven by trainer Manuel Craido. Thomas H. Hicks

May 17, 2017 - The superb Caen harness racing card this day began with the Q+ Prix Georges Dreux (purse €43,000, 2450 meters, 16 European starters) and the 1.13.2kr victory belonged to 1.7/1 Azaro d’Eva (7m Lynx de Bellouet) reined by owner/trainer J-M Bazire. 20/1 Apprenti Sorcier (7m Love You-Queen of Viking) was a close second for owner/pilot Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque. 15/1 Bon Copain (6m Love You-Haie) was third for Franck Nivard. The next in line were Twins Fairytale,  Arlequine d’Em, Berry Felin and Paparazzi in the good quality field. The classique Gr. II UET Masters Series Prix des Ducs de Normandie (purse €150,000, 2450 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.10.5kr timed and 5.3/1 odds Amiral Sacha (7m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) reined by Gabriel Gelormini for Ecurie Sidre and trainer Franck Lemare. Sacha now has 15 wins in 40 career starts for €1,013,430 earned. 4/5 favorite Aubrion du Gers (7g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) was second for driver/trainer/owner J-M Bazire, after four straight 2017 victories. 9/1 Traders (m Ready Cash-Graziella) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Bird Parker, Billie de Montfort and Timone EK were next to the line and veteran Univers de Pan was scratched. The Prix Calvados (monte, purse €60,000, 2450 meters, 16 European starters) wen t to 1.12.8kr timed Vervein du Mont (6f Orlando Vioci-Douala) for Mlle. Audrey Laroche, off at 3.2/1. Franck Blandin trains the winner for Ecurie AB Trot. Ultra des Landes (9f Baccarat du Pont-Justive d’Or) rallied for second with Mlle. Noemie Hardy at 21/1 and 28/1 Aventurier Cehere (7g Niky-Il Oa de l’Orne) was home third for Antoine Wiels. The Gr. I monte Saint Leger des Trotteurs (purse €150,000, 2450 meters, 19 starters) went to 1.14.3kr clocked and 39.3/1 Eiffel Tower (3f Ready Cash-Nouvelle d’Atout) with David Thomain in the irons for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O.Raffi-Urani. 39.2/1 Emilius de Play (3m Hulk des Chjamps-Orielie des Play) took second for Matthieu Abrivard ahead of 8.3/1 Elegante du Mont (3f Saxo de Vandel-Lacovia) for Eric Raffin. Favored Eye Of The Storm was a miscue dq, his second straight dg but the first of his monte career. The Gr. II monte Prix Henri Balliere (purse €120,000, 2450 meters, eight starters, four year-olds) went to 1.13.4kr timed and 1.1/1 odds Dragon du Fresne (4m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) handled by Matthieu Abrivard for L.Cl. Abrivard, the trainer. 1.7/1 Dawana (4f Ready Cash-Sanawa) was a rallying second for Yoann Lebourgeois, and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Third was 5.2/1 Darlhey du Rib (4f Ganymede-Quille Castelets), that legendary Joel Hallis trains. On May 16 at Eskilstuna was the Reeb Kungofs Elektriska Mares (35,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) and Delicious US (8f Cantab Hall-Ipsara LB-Lemon Dra) was victorious for driver Orjan Kihlstrom and the David Reden/Stall Zet team. The quick ,mare was timed in 1.11kr and recorded her fourth  win in four 2017 outings after a five for five 2016. She was 26 scores in 53 career starts for 6,481,572SEK earned. The even-money favorite bested 14/1 Spoil Me (5f Going Kronos) for Kenneth Haugstad and 13/1 Galactica (5f Super Photo Kosmos) driven by Lares Ake Soderholm. Delicious is expected to receive an Elite Race invite. As of today there are ten Elitloppet accepted invites albeit Delicious. Nuncio amd perhaps Amiral Sacha could join them. The ten are Bold Eagle, Timoko, Propulsion, Up and Quick, Resolve, DD’s Hitman, Dante Boko, Elian Web, Spring Erom and Cruzado dela Noche. Thomas H. Hicks  

The North American Amateur Drivers Association is anxiously awaiting for the rematch of the harness racing French/ American Amateur Friendship Challenge in late May over the appropriate Memorial Day weekend holiday. Appropriate because the first race will be in Normandy on French soil not far from the famed beaches of World War ll. The competition, which begins on May 26 in Nomandy, will then move over to the fabled Vincennes racetrack outside the City of Lights home of the Prix d' Amerique. That event commemorates America's aid to France in World War I. At the time of the offer NAADA president Joe Faraldo responded positively telling his French counterparts that Americans would field a team of members who participated in NAADA 's Spring Trotting Series currently nearing its completion. That series began in mid-March at Monticello Raceway and will culminate with the Series finale slated for May 18 at Yonkers Raceway. After reviewing possible candidates NAADA canvassed for available drivers willing to make the trip and named six American amateur harness drivers who will travel to Paris and represent the USA in races with some real talented French drivers, perhaps amateurs in name only. Slated to join Faraldo for the upcoming USA-France Friendship Competition are Alan Schwartz, Tony Verruso, Tony Ciufettelli, Bob Davis and Peter Kleinhans. On May 26 the visiting Americans are scheduled to arrive in Paris and then leave directly to Normandy for a night in Caen, the city severely ravaged in WWII but today a beautiful metropolis. Then the next day they will visit the Memorial de Caen and Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. On May28 the visitors will don their colors for a race in Argentin with the next day free for visiting the wonders of Paris. A tour of the fabulous Grosbois Training Center on the outskirts of Paris is slated on May 30 and then it'll be off to the races in Vincennes where the Americans will get a chance to drive against their French counterparts over the famed race course. On May 31 the Americans are scheduled to return home "We will have a tough row to hoe to avenge the terrible loss we sustained at the hands of the French when they visited the USA two years ago, nevertheless we look forward to the challenge, and win or lose, we will definitely enjoy all the locales, wine, food, the comradery and the sincere hospitality shown us while in France". by John Manzi for NAADA

Pompano Beach, FL...May 15, 2017...What was supposed to be the Italian-American Amateur Friendship Driving Challenge featuring the American harness racing drivers Dein Spriggs, Steve Oldford, Joe Pennacchio and Dr. Scott Woogan quickly became a European-American event as the Italian contingent of Elena Villani, Ciro Ciccarelli, Antonio Simioli and Luigi Farina were joined by Frenchman Jean Phillip Bazaire. The competition began at the famed Hippodromo di Agnano in Napoli, Italy with the Italian amateur drivers dominating the competition by winning three of the first four events and Frenchman Jean Phillip Bazaire annexing the other. The first two races were won by the only women driver in the field, Elena Villani, who competed at Pompano Park when the same quartet from Italy came to South Florida earlier this year. The second day of the competition, the American amateurs could only muster a single second place finish by Steve Oldford, who was a photo finish away from winning the event won by Frenchman Bazaire, prompting Oldford to remark, "Yes, I got 'snapped' at the wire." Dein Spriggs did manage a pair of fourth place finishes and kiddingly remarked, "My old warrior horse, A Crown For Lindy, won the amateur event at Pompano Park on Sunday night for Tommy Eichas. Maybe I should have shipped that horse overseas for this competition. In fact, maybe I should have shipped Tommy (driver Eichas) over here, too." After the event, host Pier Luigi deAngelo provided an exquisite reception with American team caption Joe Pennacchio saying, "We couldn't be more pleased with the grand hospitality received and the camaraderie during our stay in Naples." The competition now moves north to the magnificent Tuscany region of Italy where the final phase of the completion will take at tracks in Follonica and Montecatini. "We always enjoy the grand food, wine and friendships here and maybe--just maybe--we can get a bit of revenge, in a friendly way, of course, in the next legs of the competition," said Pennacchio. Those final four races will be on May 19 and 20. by John Berry for the Florida Amateur Driving Club

May 14, 2017 - Superb trotting action this afternoon at Modena Ghirlandina produced “speed” led by 1.10kr victory of Superbo Capar (6m Calypso Capar-Dark Degli Ulivi-Indro Park) in the Pr. Renjo Orlandi (purse €33,000, 1600 meters autostart). Giusseppe Lombardo Jr. teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee and the winner crushed the 1.11.1kr record of Zorro Photo in 2017. Two lengths back was Pancottina Bar (8f Varenne-Valuta Lavec-Sugarcane Hanover) for Enrico Bellei with third to Sharon Gar (6f Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra). A big audience was on-hand for today’s great harness racing, filling the stands and circling the 1000 meter oval. The Pr. Carlo Cacciari Filly (purse €66,000, 1600 meters autostart), went to 1.12.4kr timed Valchiria OP (3f Ideale Luis-Maya del Ronco-Toss Out) reined on the front end by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Villa Santina Jet (3f Igor Font-Lunigiana Jet-Supgergill) closed gamely for second, ahead of Vanity Spritz (3f Igor Font-Nebraska Jet-Supergill). The time eclipsed the 1.12.6kr record of Unicka. The big one was the Pr. T. Giovanardi-Tr. G. Ghittoni (purse €187,000, 2080 meters autostart, three year old open) and the 1.12.4kr winner was Vivid Wise As (3m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) reined by Enrico Bellei for trainer Marco Smorgon and Scuderia Bivans. Allevamento Bella Serenissima bred this winner, as well as third place colt in this event. The previous best time in this one was 1.12.9kr in 2016 by Unno del Duomo. Second in the far distance today, some seven lengths back, was Varieta’ Luis (3m Ideale Luis-Griffin Baby-Sugarcane Hanover) driven by Gocciadoro. Third was Vessillo As (3m Mondiale OK-Yankee Dapple-Donerail). Vivid Wise As, shown accelerating on the back side, now has nine wins in 11 career endeavors. Thomas H. Hicks