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October 21, 2017 - Today’s marathon Gr. III International Grand Prix de la Ville de Caen (purse €80,000, 4400 meters distance handicap, 18 International starters), also the Q+ race of the day, went to 10/1 Uniflosa Bella (9f Jag de Bellouet-Koctiflosa Bella) that overcame a 25 meter handicap to win for Eric Raffin. Timed in 1.15.1kr the J.P. Marmion owned trainee, bred by Remi Boucret, recorded her 23rd career win in 83 outings for €640,440 earned. Second finishing Val Royal (8m Capriccio-Quar du Rib), also penalized 25 meters at the start, set the pace throughout for owner/trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and gamely held on at 6.4/1. The 3/2 favorite Cantin de l’éclair and 2.1/1 Traders were misque dq’s. 22.4/1Alienor de Godrel (7f Orlando Vici-Julietta) was third this day for trainer/driver Franck Anne and Ecurie AB Trot. 19/1 Visconti (8g Magnificent Rodney) was fourth for trainer/driver Franck Nivard, this one also 25 meter handicapped. 50 meter handicapped and 131/1 Athena de Vandel (7f Prince Gede-Maclia de Vandel) landed the fifth sport for Mathieu Mottier. Longshots continued in the Prix de Champcerie (purse €46,000, 2200 meters autostart, 18 starters) at Caen with victory earned by 48.4/1 Valea MIP (8f Ganymede-Javotte Ducale) reined by Alexandre Ramage for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie MIP, The 1.12.4kr timed winner defeated 182/1 Blooma d’Heripre (6f Rolling d’Heripre-Quenta Por Favor) and teamster Anthony Menager and trainer Gregory Horel. Third went to 13.8/1 Athos des Volos (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Penelope des Volos) handled by Eric Raffin, 3/1 Bolt was a misque dq. At Orebro SWE today was the Express Gaxe raced over 2100 meters autostart for 150,000SEK first money. What was billed as a FR prep for Nuncio turned into a stunning defeat. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America-Buvetier d’Aunou) scored in gate to wire fashion from post six, driven by trainer Johan Untersteiner for Invexbro AB, breeder/owner. The 12.5/1 shot bested pocket sitter Spring Erom (12m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) with Christoffer Eriksson up and 10.5/1 I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Marie Dulcinea-Egyptian Gentleman) rallied three wide in the last quarter and earned third for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Nuncio has post one and was away fourth on the pegs before moving first over after 400 meters. He stayed second on the outer thereafter for Stefan Melander before stalling in the final bend and through the lane, ending fifth. Race time was 1.12.3kr off even fractions, the 1500 meter mark time was 1.12.2kr and the 1000 was 1.12.9kr. 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 1.7/1 favorite, Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis), rallied late for Matthieu Abrivard to win today’s Prix de Cauvicourt (purse €40,000, 2200 meters autostart at Caen, 18 European starters) clocked in 1.12.4kr. The now 12-time winner has career earnings of €758,680. The 4.7/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) held gamely for second driven by David Thomain, trainer Sebastien Guarato and breeder/owner Philippe Dauphin after a pacesetting journey. Her career earnings are now €1,271,516. 6.8/1 Ulk Medoc was third for Tony LeBeller ahead of Tiger Dancer and Tiego d’Etang in this Quinte+ contest. Today’s Prix Canapville (purse €50,000, 2459 meters, 18 European starters) went to the Anthony Dollion teamed Class Thourjan (5f Rolling d’Heripre-Kiss Sissi) at 11.2/1 odds. Dollion owns and trains the winner, timed in a quick 1.11.9kr. 1.8/1 favorite Ceasar Sisu (5g Cantab Hall-Chynatown) was second for Eric Raffin, trainer Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski (the Bold Eagle connections). Third was 8.9/1 Tentation Ans (5f Muscles Yankee-Coronation Ans) reined by Pietro Gubellini for trainer H.E. Bondo and Scuderia Phenomena Srl. Yesterday at Lyon-Parilly was the Criterium de Trot de Lyon (purse €35,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) and the 1.14.3kr clocked victory went to 9.1/1 Buffalo de Beylev (6m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis). Trainer Nicolas Ensch teamed the winner for breeder/owner Haras d’Epinay. The 1/2 odds favorite Bad Boy du Dollar (6m Magnificent Rodney-Nymphe du Dollar) was second for Franck Nivard and trainer Sylvain Roger. Third was 15.2/1 Vespa de Bourgogne (8f Echo-Gym du Bons Morin) for breeder/owner/trainer/driver Pierre Callier. By Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The long 1,950-metre harness racing track at Caen, Normandy, was the theatre for the very first qualifying session for the 2-yo. crop, on Friday 20th May. 57 colts and fillies qualified out of 78 presented (73%) on the 2,000-metre course which they had to trot in 1'21''5 k/r minimum. The fastest of the session was an incredible Esko de Rebomard (Extreme Aunou) who trotted 1'16''5 k/r-- an all-time record at this age and at this time of the year! Sebastien Guarato qualified two impressive colts: Eturn Money (1'16''9), a nephew of Return Money and of the good Cristal Money; and Eridan (1'17''1) by Ready Cash and a mare by Coktail Jet. Next session will be on Friday, May 27, at Caen. Mark Kentell

Today’s Caen harness racing monte feature was the Saint Leger des Trotteurs (Gr. I monte, purse €150,000, 2450 meters, 13 starters) and another impressive victory it was for 3/2 odds favorite Dhikti Vedaquais (3m Thorens Vedaquais-Marie Blanque) for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and jockey Joann Lebourgeois, timed in 1.14.2kr. 8.6/1 Diva Charentaise (3f Prince Gede-Jessie Charentaise) took second for Francois Lagadeuc ahead of 12/1 Dragon du Fresne (3m Saphir Castelets-Rosee des Bois) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Replay: Allaire posted another owner/trainer victory late in the Caen card as an impressive winner was Direct Way (3m Quaker Jet-Queen Flore), off at 1.9/1 odds for driver David Thomain. This Allaire trainee (he developed Ready Cash) scored in 1.15.9kr in the Prix de la Touques (purse €38,000, 2200 meters autostart, 10 entrants) Another monte contest was the Prix Henri Balliere, a Gr. II event. The Prix Henri Balliere (purse €120,000, 2450 meters, 15 starters) went to an easy winner, as owner-Pierre Barjon’s Chanceliere Citrus (4f Goetmals Wood-Noblesse du Corta) scored for Alexandre Abrivard timed in 1.12.7kr at 5.1/1 odds. This L.Cl. Abrivard trainee bested 1.6/1 Clegs des Champs (4m Legs du Clas-Proserpine) with Damien Bonne up for Thierry Raffegeau. Third went to 5.9/1 Cocktail Meslois (4m Roc Meslois-Ocarina Meslpoise) with Franck Nivard up for Pierre Belloche. Thomas H. Hicks

Tuesday's qualifying session at Caen (Normandy) was the fastest since the beginning of the year for harness racing 3-yo. French trotters. Sebastien Guarato's Dear Lover (Love You) passed the test in 1'16''4 kr (2:03.0 mr) which is the record of the year co-held with Delicatessen (The Best Madrik). The colt was imitated later during the morning by Dis Moi Tout (Prince Gede) who passed the test in 1'16''5 kr (2:03.1 mr). The colt is trained by Vincent Renault. Further down the list, Destin de l'Oree (Nuage de Lait) took advantage of following a 4-yo. candidate and passed the exam in 1'16''8 kr (2:03.3 mr). All three qualifiers figure among the top-10 fastest 3-year-olds of the year. A total of 104 colts and fillies gathered at Caen on Tuesday morning and 37 qualified. Qualification sessions are held over 2,000 metres. Minimum time is 1'20''5 kr (2:09.3 mr) for 3-year-olds, but will change to 1'20 kr (2:08.4 mr) from April onwards.  

Princess Grif (7f Varenne-Faune Grif) took this day’s Quinte+ (jackpot €3.4 million) Prix de Cauvicourt (purse €40,000, 2200 meters autostart, 18 european starters) at Caen, covering the distance in 1.12.3kr for harness racing driver Franck Nivard. The 5.5/1 odds winner is trained by Fabrice Souloy for Azienda Agricola Biasuzzi. 11/1 Amazon AM (6f Gigant Neo-Eclat de Bais) was second for Tony Le Beller, trained Robert Bergh and In The Zone AB. 4/1 Aladin d’Ecajeul (6m Quaker Jet-Nancy d’Ecajeul) was third for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf. Favorite Swedishman at 2.7/1 was fourth for Thierry Duvaldestin with 69/1 Ausone du Kastel fifth. Gold For Gold ZAZ was a miscue disqualification. On the Caen card the €50,000 purse Prix de Canapville (distance 2450 meters, 17 european starters) went to the 1.14.4kr timed, 1.7/1 odds favorite Bakchich (5g Quopeck-Paix de Villeneuve) for driver Tony Le Beller and trainer J-M Legros. 9/1 Baronne de Bapre was second for Eric Raffin and 3.7/1 Shiraz Roc landed the third spot for Alexandre Abrivard. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Prix du Parigny (purse €40,000, 2450 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.13.8kr timed and 3/2 odds favorite Amiral du Bisson (6g Jeanbay du Vivier-Melodie du Bisson) for harness racing driver Anthony Barrier and trainer Jean Morice. This team defeated 17/1 Univers Solaire (8g Lutin Malin-Interaction) with driver Damien Lecroq and the Tony Le Beller teamed third finishing 9/1 Vignia la Ravelle (7f Diamant Gede-Jirania la Ravelle). The Prix de Bieville (purse €28,000, 2450 meters, 16 starters with apprentice lad drivers) went to 3.9/1 Bardane Turgot (5f Rieussec-Milday Turgot) for driver Jeremy Merer and owner Mme. Th. Hoste. 2.7/1 Cotesse Flore (4f Sam Bourbon-Topaze de Fael) was second for Benjamin Bonne, trainer Gaetan Ligeron and owner Jean-Pierre Dubois). 5.8/1 Crepe de Satin (4f Le Retour-Ina d’Avril) for driver Charley Mottier and trainer Bruno Marie. At Laval the Prix Ambroise Pare (purse €35,000, 2875 meters, 18 starters) went to 1.15.2kr timed and 33/1 Ultra des Landes (8f Baccarart du Pont-Justice d’Or) for trainer/driver Sebastien Hardy. 9/1 Valentino Crepin (7g Notre Haufor-Lanaka) was second for trainer/driver Bruno Marie with 96/1 outsider A Paiori (6f Capriccio-Loctudy) getting home third  for Jacques Bruneau in a blanket finish. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s trotting action in France moved to Caen this day. At Caen the €28,000 purse Prix Nonant le Pin (2450 meters) went to 13/1 outsider Cipango(4m Defi d’Aunou-Spacia Dien) for Nils Pacha timed in 1.15.7kr. 8/1 Choomy Delddou (4m Love You-Romy de Chaumiere) was second for M.D. Lecroc with 36/1 Be Bop Meslois (5g Rocklyn-Roma Trenniere) home third. The €38,000 Prix de Saint-Etienne over 2475 meters (distance handicap) went to 1.14.2kr timed Venose de Mirel  Tony Le Beller that went off the 1.6/1 favorite and overcame a 25 meter handicap earn the victory. 3.3/1 Ah Quel Micha (6m Rocklyn-Oceane du Phere) was second traveling the race standard distance for Jean-Philippe Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 21/1 Topaze de Landerie also overcame a 25 meter penalty to be third for reinsman Anthony Barrier. Today (March 7) at Eskilstuna SWE a conditioned event for 35,000SEK to the winner of the 2140 meter autostart test went to Let’s Dance America for Jorma Kontio at 3.9/1. The six year old daughter of Deweycheatumnhowe-Dance Of Joy-Malabar Man recorded her first 2016 win in four starts. On Sunday (March 6) at Chartres was the €29,000 Prix du Conseil Departemental d’Eure-et-Loir over 2800 meters. 1.2/1 favorite Apollo de Souvigne (6g Lontzac-Fluer de Souvigne) scored in 1.14.5kr for Gabby Gelormini over 18/1 Authentice with Mathieu Mottier driving and 12/1 Very Happy Jihem and teamster Loic Guinoiseau. The same day Agen hosted the featured Prix Jag de Bellouet for €35,000 over 2625 meters. 1.2/1 favorite Bolero des Vignes (5m Quai Bourbon-Poesie de Bouffey) scored victory timed in 1.14.7kr for Alain Laurent. Ulf Nordin teamed 9/1 Victoria Empress (7f Magnificent Rodney-Pat The Bill) to a second place result with third to 10/1 Buffalo de Baylev (5m Memphis du Rib-Rafale du Plessis) and Nicolas Ensch. On the weekend elsewhere On Track Piraten (8g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) took the Gosta Bergengrens V75 Gold (2140 meters autostart) at Bergsaker SWE on Saturday. The 1.28/1 favorite handled by Johnny Takter earned the 150,000SEK winners share of the purse defeating Ed You (9g Love You-Lancia Brick-Super Arnie) with Robert Bergh up and Blended Scotch (7f Super Photo Kosmos-Hopscotch-Zoot Suit) with Per Linderoth aboard. The winner now has 23 wins in 81 starts for 9,879,000SEK earned. The veteran has a 2016 slate of 2-1-1 in four starts. The same day the V75 Silver (125,000SEK to the winner) over1640 meters autostart went to Scellino Luis (5g Andover Hall-Susy Trio-Indro Park) at 2.6/1 for Erik Adielsson. Windy Ways (f Conway Hall-Southwind Flanders) and Wariner (9g Cromwell-Winnie Way-Mustard) were next to the line. Quality Questioned (7g Andover Hall-Jalopy-Donerail) was in the beaten field. On March 6 in Italy, at Firenze, the Prix Etruria (purse €45,100, 1600 meters autostart) for three year-olds was won by Unno del Duomo (3m Ganymede-Irma dei Duomo-Lemon Dra) timed in 1.14.8kr for Andrea Farolfi. This winner recorded his fifth career victory in ten starts for earnings now in excess of €38,000. Second was Utopia Luis (3f Ganymede-Elite Fox Diete-Supergill) for driver Roberto Vecchione. Urgania was third for Roberto Andreghetti. In the days ahead the GNT (Grand National du Trot) begins its 35th edition starting March 9 at Amiens. It’s a great series that takes solid trotting action to the rural tracks in France. Be here for results of the important GNT races: March 9 : Amiens March 30 : Marseille-Borély April 13 : Lyon-la-Soie April 27: Bordeaux-le-Bouscat May 25: La Capelle June 8: Laval June 22: Reims August 10: Saint-Malo September 7: Les Sables-d’Olonne September 28 Le Mont-Saint-Michel Octiober 19: Salon-de-Provence November 9: Nantes November 23: Mauquenchy December 5: Paris-Vincennes Thomas H. Hicks  

October 17, 2015 - 52/1 odds outsider Tom Rush (8g L’As de Viretaute-Itanemo de Beval) took today’s Gr. III €80,000 purse Prix de la Ville de Caen clocked in 1.17.4kr over the marathon 4400 meter distance handicapped course. Time of race was 5:40.51 by the winner that had been disqualified or unplaced in his last six starts. Gildas Donio drove the Tom Rush for trainer Michel Donio as he increased career earnings to over €287,000. 11/1 Ulf Medoc (7m Karikal-Organza Haut Gilet) was second for Franck Corbineau and trainer Lionel Cesar with third to the Sylvain Roger driven Sirocco Jibace (9g Jolmeto-Jallia du Chesnay). Tony Le Beller steered Anders Lindqvist trainee Anette du Mirel to fourth at 19/1 with fifth to favorite Tornado Bello at 1.3/1 for Pierre Levesque. Ulk Medoc, Sirocco Jibace  and Tornado Bello overcame 25 meter handicaps. Second choice Nahar at 3.2/1 odds ended unplaced. Also on the Caen card was the €30,000 purse Prix de Nehou over 2450 meters with 15 monte starters. The 1.15kr winner was 3/2 favorite Bohemian Rhapsody (4f Angus Hall-Bahama) ridden by Camille Levesque for Ecurie Pierre Levesque and trainer Philippe Moulin. Belle Eclaircie was second at 75/1 for Antoine Lherte ahead of Baraka de Lou and jockey/trainer Anthony Dollion at 4/1. Tomorrow is the Grand Prix de L’UET at Wolvega and the €350,000 purse has drawn a powerful lineup for the 2100 meter autostart contest. Bold Eagle heads the 12 horse field: Flex Lane, C. Eriksson/Nilsson Al’s Winnermede, Kontio/Ericsson Bold Eagle, Nivard/Guarato Cash Gamble, Lennartsson/Lennartsson Billie de Montfort, E. Raffin/Guarato From Dust To Dawn, Kolgjini, Nilsson Bocage d’Ortige, Delaune/Guarato Emmett Brown, Adielsson. S-H Johansson Sorbet, Reden/Reden Errol Boko, R. Bakker/Nurmos Gross Weight, Kihlstrom/Melander Black d’Avril, Ouvrie/Prat The Wolvega card also has the Faber Audiovisuals Elite Trophy event with Aladin d’Ecajeul at the start for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato. Thomas H. Hicks  

Caen’s harness racing feature today was the Prix de Saint-Martin (monte, €38,000 purse, 2450 meters, 13 starters) and jockey Eric Raffin rode Tamerlan(8g Capriccio-Hematite) to a 1.14kr victory, his seventh in 66 career starts. The 6/1 winner is owned by Ecurie Danover and trained by St. Provoost. Salieri (9g Hermes des Pericard-Lysanxia) was second for David Thomain at 4/1 with third to 12/1 Ulpia des Jipes (7f Mon Bellouet-Obiga des Jipes) for trainer/jockey Franck Nivard. At Solvalla, their Elitloppet weekend began with a series of ASVT Trottex Auktionsloop events each with a winner’s reward of 110,000SEK. The three year-old females battled over 2140 meters autostart and Bjorn Goop teamed Tunika (3f Zola Boko-Verona du Ling-Super Arnie) to an easy 1.14.3kr victory. Tomas Malmqvist trains for owner Stall Tumble Boys-Easy and Tunika was bred by Menhammer Stuteri AB. The winner is 5-2-1 in nine career starts. Magnesia (3f Magnetic Power-Mertensia-Super Arnie) with Oskar J. Andersson up was second for trainer Jorgen Westholm. Second dam is by Speedy Spin. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed Teeter Totter (3f Jaded-Marelle-VikingKronos) home third. This one was also a Menhammer Stuteri AB bred. The three-year old males also fought over 2140 meters autostart for 110,000SEK first money with Poet Broline (3m Quite Easy-Candelia-Armbro Goal) victorious for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner clocked in 1.14.1kr by open lengths. Broline International AB bred the winner that is owned by Sven-Goran Sjostrom. Another colt division (same distance and purse) went to Bjorn Goop reined Pacific Broline clocked in 1.14.3kr. Goop is also trainer of the Franck Leblanc owned, Broline International AB bred winner, now 4-1-0 in six starts lifetime, all in 2015. Another filly division (same distance, purse) went to Facile Boko (3f Virgill Boko-Zacile Boko-Muscles Yankee) with Erik Adielsson up timed in 1.14.1kr. She was an easy winner for owner Easy KB and trainer Svante Bath. Boko Stables Holland BV bred this one, now 5-5-1 in 13 career appearances. Also on the Solvalla card was the Gotlandssnus for mares (2140 meters autostart, 50,000SEK first money) and Ulf Ohlsson teamed Faith Hill (4f Muscle Hill-A Girl Named Sugar-Pine Chip) to a close there horse finish timed in 1.14.8kr. Stefan Melander trains the winner for his Stall TZ. Lebanon, Kentucky’s Jim Avritt bred Faith Hill. The mares also contested the E-trafik (1640 meters autostart, 60,000SEK first money) and Orjan Kihlstrom piloted Denmark’s Speed Hill (6f Goetmals Wood-Funny Hall-Mr. Vic) to a 1.11.6kr win. Roger Walmann trains the winner for Stuteri Sun Hill, also breeder. Speed Hill is 10-3-4 in 28 career starts. Thomas H. Hicks

May 18, 2015 - Black (4g Islero de Bellouet-Okita) took today’s featured Prix de Fleury dur Orne (€25,000 purse, 2200 meters autostart, 13 starters) for harness racing driver/trainer Franck Nivard and owner Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson, clocked in 1.13.1kr. The two length winner was off at 9/10 odds and defeated 12/1 Brooklyn Bond (4g Defi d’Aunou-Joliette d’Atout) with Gabrielle Gelormini up. 4/1 Brooks (4m Sam Bourbon-Rabelle) was third for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Ronny Kuiper. Tomorrow nights’ Vincennes card features three graded events, races one through three: Prix Heraclite €80,000 purse Gr. III Prix Camilla, €80,000. Gr. III Prix Kalmia, €120,000, Gr. II Thomas H. Hicks

Today sported the UET Masters Series Gr. II Prix des Ducs de Normandie (€150,000 purse, 2450 meters, 14 entrants) that was also a special €10 million Quinte+ jackpot. A packed harness racing  audience was on-hand on a sunny, warm day at Caen. Last year’s winner Roi du Lupin (10g Fleuron Perrine-Helia de Saint Pol) again was the feature race winner clocked in 1.12.8kr, at 3.4/1 odds, for driver J-P Bazire and owner trainer J-P Marmion. Bazire had the Roi du Lupin, now with 29 career wins in 91 outings for €2,031,645, away alertly and took over from early pacemaker Africaine that secured the pocket. Aladin d’Ecajeul was parked with cover fourth and made a move on the leader off the last bend and faded to finish 12th. Africaine also yielded to end 10th and Swedishman showed little to finish 13th. Uprince was a dq for a miscue. In the late going 39/1 Ramsey du Ham (10g Indy de Vive-Ufania du Buisson) closed stoutly to be second for Mathieu Abrivard with 26/1 Une Fille d’Amour (7f Infgant du Bossis-Never So Great) third for David Thomain. Uhlan du Val at 48/1 and Beckman at 33/1 were fourth and fifth. Starters: Uranie Lorraine, P-A Rynwalt-Boulard Satin d’Avril, Guillaume Lizee Saphir de Fille, Anthony Barrier Africaine, Pierre Vercruysse Uprince, Franck Nivard Ramsey du Ham, Mathieu Abrivard Texas de l’Iton, Tristan de Genouillac Beckman (SWE), Roberto Andreghetti Une Fille d’Amour, David Thomain Aladin d’Ecajeul, Eric Raffin – Elitloppet invitee Swedishman, Thierry Duvaldestin Uhlan du Val, Cedrik Megissier Reve de Beylev, Gabrielle Gelormini Roi du Lupin, J-M Bazire Thomas H. Hicks

May 13, 2015 - The Caen harness card today included the Prix Henri Balliere (Gr. II monte, €120,000 purse, 2450 meters, 11 starta cingers after one scratch) that showcased recent double winner Booster Winner (4m Love You-Quille Viretaute), with Eric Raffin up for Sebastien Guarato, trainer. But, this day Booster Winner had little kick after a good in-behind trip that saw him settled third and fourth throughout. Best of Jets (4m Magnificent Rodney-Plume Jets) rallied strongly off the final bend to score comfortably at 7.6/1 odds clocked in a good 1.12.4kr by two lengths over the 3/5 favorite Booster Winner. Francois Lagadeuc rode the winner for Jean-Michel Baudouin, trainer, with Best of Jets winning for the fourth career time in 25 starts. Third went to Biscuit Delavera (4m Ludo de Castelle-Neva du Rosier) piloted by Clement Frecelle for trainer J-L Bigeon, off at 18/1. Starters: Blooma d’Heripre, Franck Nivard Buckingham Park, Mathieu Abrivard Bingo Star, Adrien Lamy Bergame Madrik, Alexandre Abrivard Bourbon Somolli, David Thomain Brise de l’Alba, P-Y Verva Biscuit Delavera, Clement Frecelle Best of Jets, Francois Lagadeuc Bocage d’Ortige, Yoann Lebourgeois Beauty Turgot, Anthony Barrier Booster Winner, Eric Raffin The Gr. I monte Saint-Leger des Trotteurs (€150,000 purse, 2450 meters, 13 starters after one scratch) also was featured at Caen. Six were disqualified for miscues but the 4/5 favorite took victory. Che Jenilou (3m Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) scored by eight lengths for pilot Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Antonio De Sousa, clocked in 1.15.3kr. The winner recorded career win number four in nine appearances. 17.6/1 Conga (3f Goetmals Wood-See You Soon) was second for Damien Bonne, also trainer, ahead of 22/1 Cargese de Blary (3f Prince d’Espace-Ines de Blary) with Mathieu Abrivard up. Starters Camerone, Wilfried Jehanne Copernic, Antoine Wiels Caline de Faco, Julien Raffestin Cosette, P-Y Verva Concorde, Franck Nivard Caennaise, Camille Levesque Conga, Damien Bonne Cash Phil, Yoann Lebourgeois Cobra, David Thomain Captain Lyl, Elisabeth Allaire Cargese de Blary, Mathieu Abrivard Colibri Madrik, Adrien Lamy Corsica, Anne Barthelemy Che Jenilou, Eric Raffin This day at Marseille-Borely the Prix de Marignane (€32,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to Truman Dairpet (8g Biesolo-Heloise Poterie) at 5/2 odds for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. The 2.7/1 Univers Love (7m Love You-Harazina) was second for trainer/driver Mikael Cormy ahead of 7/2 Tonight Cam (8m Orlando Vici-Nouba Vinoir) with trainer Yannick A. Briand aboard. The winner was clocked in 1.13.3kr. The Prix de Septemes Les Vallons (€19,000 purse, 2300 meters autostart, eight starters) was clocked in 1.15.9kr by the winner Cloane du Vivier (3f Repeat Love-Royale du Vivier) at 2.8/1 for Nicolas Ensch. This one is trainer by Y-A Briand for well-respected breeder/owner Jean Yves Lecuyer. Second at 1.8/1 was very well-bred Calita Wood (3f Goetmals Wood-Qualita Bourbon) that is owned/bred by Jean Pierre Dubois and reined by trainer Yves Boireau. Trainer Briand drove the third place horse, Cirrus de Banville (3m Rieussec-Perle de Vonnas), off at 5/2 odds. Thomas H. Hicks

March 5, 2015 - Thierry Duvaldestin reined his trainee Swedishman (9g Gogo - Volgana - Myoto Barbes) to victory Thursday in the Prix de Parigny (€40,000, 18 starters, 2450 meters distance handicap) at Caen as he overcame a 25 meter handicap to score in 1.13.2kr.   The 1.4/1 favorite recorded his first 2015 victory in his first appearance after ending 2014 with three straight win in Gr. II and Gr. III events.   The winner recorded victory 27 for career earnings of €905,330 for owner Gaylor Chaudemanche.   Sire de la Creuse was second for trainer/driver Jean-Francois Senet over third placed Urse Major at 23/1 for teamster Francois Lecanu and trainer Stephane Provoost.   Swedishman is worth watching during summer 2015 in fast class events that allow geldings.   Thomas H. Hicks

International trotters headlined today’s card at Les Sables d’Olonne with their Grand Prix for €50,000 going to Uhlan de Val reined by trainer Cedric Megissier. The six year-old son of Islero de Bellouet-Indiana Beautiful-Beautiful Somolli scored narrowly for his eighth career win, now for €815,390. The 1.7/1 favorite, a winner in 1.14.8kr over 2775 meters, held off veteran Roi du Lupin (9g Fleuron Perrine-Helia de Saint-Pol) with J-M Bazire at the lines for trainer/owner J-P Marmion. He’s a 27 time winner of almost €1.7 million. The day’s Quinte+ race of the day had a jackpot of €5.4 million. That race was the Gran Prix de Pontorson atHippodrome de la Mont-Saint Michel. 18 starters battled for the €35,000 purse over 2675 meters, and Sullighan scored in 1.14.4kr as the 1.7/1 favorite for Mme. C. Hallais-Dersoir. JLC Dersoir trains the winner for Ecurie Jeloca. He’s an eight year-old gelded son of Sancho Panca-Terre de Sauoreuil and he defeated the Damien Bonne teamed Samourai Purple. Good racing has also taken place at various European venues this week. Today at Skelleftea, Juliano Rags (6m Juliano Star-Julia Rags-Super Arnie) took the 3140 meters feature worth 100,000SEK to the winner. Noralf Braekken teamed this winner to his 13th career victory now for earnings of 1,833,026SEK. The Norwegian entrant was timed in 1.14kr over the extended distance as he defeated Mellby Vargtass and Bo Eklof, with third to Denmark’s Bradley reined by Robert Bergh. On the same card Valnes Chilly took the co-feature, also with 100,000SEK first prize, as the six year-old mare by Fill V-Chilly Creek-Giant Chill scored over 2140 meters (turning start) in a good 1.12.9kr, her third 2014 victory. Yesterday at Jagersro (SWE) the featured Elitserien Final (100,000SEK to the winner) over 2140 meters autostart went o favored From Dust To Dawn (3m From Above-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall) with Johnny Takter at the lines for Dusty Stables. He scored in 1.15kr for his fourth career win in just seven starts. His dam Emotional Dust was a good one (1:56, US$195,683) and is from Web Dust (Sugarcane Hanover-US Sushi). On that card the co-featured mile autostart event for older trotters went to I Won’t Dance (8g Angus Hall-Do Si Do Hanover-Valley Victory). He scored in 1.11.4kr for Joakim Lofgren to record his 23rd career win in 78 starts for earnings of 6,435,387SEK. Obi Wan was second for Flemming Jensen. Lofgren also scored with lightly raced Bella Bourbon (3f Ready Cash-Stella Pride-Love You) in 1.15.7kr over 2140 meters from the turning start. On July 14 at Beaumont de Lomagne (FR) trainer Vincent Martens won both of the top races. Ouch (7g Viking Kronos-Hot Enough-Malabar Man) took the €35,000 purse Gran Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duren in 1.14.8kr over 2550 meters. Christophe Martens reined the winner to his 13th career win as the 2.8/1 choice. The Menhammer Stuteri -bred winner defeated 61/1 longshot Renato Alstare. The monte Prix de Caen went to Martens conditioned United Face (6g Viking Kronos-Pretty I-Sharif di Jesolo) as the even-money choice with Damien Bonne aboard  in 1.15.2kr over 2550 meters for a purse of €25,000. On July 13 at Amiens (FR) the Prix Vismie for €35,000 drew 16 European starters. Sweden’s Head Line (7g Rite On Line-Farapoli IT-Napoletano) scored for Anthony Duperche, driving for trainer Antonio Ripoll-Rigo. This pair overcame a 25 meter handicap to win timed in 1.16kr. The same day grass-turf experts (16 starters) contested the Saint Jean de Monts for €25,000 over 2625 meters. Super Berry Chenou (8g Jardy-Finaline-Quel Soro) scored at 4.4/1 for J-P Monclin driving for trainer Jean Baudron and owner Ecurie Etoile NV  to earn his 11th win for €193,960 career earnings. Ulk Blue (6m Love You-Just Blue-Cygnus d’Odysse) ended second for Eric Raffin. At L’isle/Sorgue the Gran Pris de Trot de la Ville sur la Sorgue for €32,000, over 2650 meters, went to 3/1 odds Uppercut du Gui (6g Opus Viervil-Altesse du Maroif) reined by Stephane Cingland for Ecurie Franck Anne. He scored in 1.17.2kr for victory eight in his career. At Francheville (FR) J-P Dubois won with homebred Bella Flore (3f Sam Bourbon-Queen Flore-Vikings Way) in the Prix Vanika du Ruel over 2475 meters. Patrick Chevrier trains this one as she recorded the maiden win. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

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