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May 12, 2018 - Today’s co-featured harness racing Konung Gustaf Gr.I International for 1,000,000SEK first money went to 2.2/1 Perfect Spirit (4m Andover Hall-Good Common Cents-Kadabra) with Orjan Kihlstrom up. The winner, trained by Daniel Reden for SRF Stable, is unbeaten in three 2018 starts after winning the Hambletonian in 2017 on a dq. 84/1 Super War Horse (4m Super Photo Kosmos-Poison Valley-Lindy Lane) was second for driver Kevin Oscarsson, trainer Jerry Riordan and owner Martina Vincenzo. 12/1 Enterprise (4m Chapter Seven-She’s Gone Again-SJs Caviar) held third on the pegs for Per Linderoth, trainer Stefan Melander and Courant AB. Perfect Spirit raced on the lead and faced limited threat in the late lane, scoring in 1.11.1kr with a strong kick (1.08.5kr after first 500; 1.10.9hkr at the 1000 from the start; 1.11.4kr at the 1500 out – 600 remaining). The Drottning Silvias Gr. I International (purse to winner 1,000,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.3/1 Dibaba (4f Ready Cash-Moonlight Kronos-Viking Kronos) with Kihlstrom teaming for trainer Roger Walmann. She is three for three in 2018 with this 1.11.4kr victory. 41/1 Global Upper Style (4f SJs Caviar) was next for Peter Untersteiner and 4.7/1 Vanquish Kronos (4f Raja Mirchi) took third for driver Christoffer Eriksson and trainer Jerry Riordan. The Breeders Course (three year olds, Gr. II International, 1640 meters autostart, 400,000SEK to the winner) went to 2.3/1 Northern Charm (3m Muscle Hill-Clothie-Coktail Jet) timed in 1.12.3kr. This colt is three for three in 2018 and was driven by Peter Ingves for trainer Christian Lindhardt and owner Herz Gunter of Germany/ Feeling Way (3, Ouragon de Celland) was second for Tomas Malmqvist and third went to Smokin Joe (3m Lavec Kronos) with Lutfi Kolgjini up. Also on the card was the Lyon Grand Prix (Gr. II International 20187, 2640 meters autostart, 300,000SEK first money) with 18/1 Handsome Brad (5m Brad de Veluwe-Ulrica M-Red Xing) victorious clocked in 1.11.7kr. He is four for five in 2018 and was driven by Carl Johan Jepson for trainer Ulf Stenstomer. Milligan’s School was second for Ulf Eriksson, ahead of Rajesh Face and Lutfi Kolgjini. 2.8/1 Diamanten was sixth with Erik Adielsson up. The Algot Scotts V75 Gold (1609 meters autostart, 200,000SEK first prize) went to 5.7/1 Nadal Broline (8g Yankee Glide-Aimee’s Promise-American Winner) for driver Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Reijo Liljendahl in his first 2018 appearance. Race time was 1.10.4kr. Giveutgasandgo was second for Erik Adielsson ahead of Double Exposure with pilot Kihlstrom. BBS Sugarlight and Vasterboonthenews completed the top five. The V75 Silver (2140 meters autostart for 150,000SEK to the winner) produced a 1.12.1kr victory for the Robert Bergh teamed 2.4/1 Coktail Fortuna (9g Love You-Dallosh No-Diamond Way).Dragster and Roger Malmqvist was second with third to Bryssel and reinsman Bjorn Goop. Thursday at Jagersro put a nice cap on the driving career of Johnny Takter, as he left with three solid victories: Procalafe (3f Prodigious)traine by Lars Nilsson; Liui Magic (4f SJs Caviar) also trainer by Nilsson; and Miss Marbel (5f Brioni) for trainer Christian Lindhardt. Quite a career for the veteran reinsman and superb horseman. Sunday is the Gr. I Copenhagen Cup raced over 2011 meters by nine starts for a total purse of €100,727.  Totoo del Ronco has been scratched from post 10 Thomas H. Hicks  

May 12, 2018 - A day of superb harness racing took place Saturday at Paris-Vincennes starting with the Q+ Prix du Gatinais (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters European). This event for veteran high class campaigners went to 20/1 Unbridled Charm (10m Password-Intense Action-Cezio Josselyn) timed in 1.12.4kr for driver Jean Philippe Dubois. Philippe Moulin trains this Ecurie Victoria Dreams. This was the 17th career win in 71 starts for the winner, now with €510,670 earned. 6.2/1 Venosc de Minel (9g Laetenter Diem) with Yoann Lebourgeois up finished second with 4.2/1 Bel Avis (7h Ganymede) third for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Wildenstein Stable Ltd. Comte de Bellaigue bred this one/ The fourth and fifth horses to the line were Tony Gio (6m Varenne) and 7.9/1 and 2.3/1 favorite Cash Gamble (7m Ready Cash-No Way Back). This Q+ paid €1,642 for a €2 play and the exact order selection. The Prix du Perreux (purse €80,000, 2850 meters, 17 starters European) was a blowout win for the 1.4/1 favorite Caprice du Lupin (6g Chaillot-Nadge Francarie) that took this six year old contest timed in 1.12.4kr and reined by Antoine Wiels for owner/trainer J-P Marmion. He recorded victory number 13 in 23 starts now for €285,240 earned. 14/1 Class du Loriol (6f Ready Cash) was second for Eric Raffin, ahead of 5.5/1 Titanium Gar (6g Daguet Rapide-Lady Killer Gar) reined by Hugo Langeweg Jr. Titanium Gar was five for five in 2018 entering this event. The Prix Jean Gabin (purse €64,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) was a well matched event went to 6.9/1 Baron du Goutier (7g Scipion du Goutier) at 6.9/1 and reined by Emmanuel Allard. Race time was 1.13.8kr. 9/1 Arizona de l’Oze (8g Prince d’Espace) held for second with J.Ph. Monclin up.6/1 Aufor de Mire (8g Notre Haufor) with Charles J. Bigeon up finished third. The featured Prix Guillaume de Bellaigue (Gr. III, monte, purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to 6/1 upsetter Cyprien de Bordes (6m Ouregon de Celland-Perle des Bordes) timed in 1.12.4kr for jockey J.L.Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and owner Ecurie Luck.7/10 favorite Arlington Dream (8g Ready Cash) worked his way to the front after 600 meters, rolled out to a five length advantage before weakening mid-stretch. He held for second with Joann Lebourgeois up for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Frederic Sauque. 8.5/1 Alpha Saltor (8m Paris Haufor) was a close rallying third for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer David Bethouart. As rains appeared so did the Prix de Fecamp (purse €70,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) 3.6/1 Estelada de Font (4f Orateur-Quibala Street) scored for Emmanuel Allard, also trainer, clocked in 1.15.4kr to defeat 10/1 Epson des Brousses (4m Saxo de Vandel) and pilot J.Ph. Monclin. Third was 2.1/1 Erode Ludois (4m Rodrigo Jet) reined by J-M Bazire for trainer Stephane Bourlier. Tomorrow watch for the Trophee Vert action in France as many rural tracks are showcasing the trotteurs. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 11, 2018 - Post work week harness racing fans observed tonight’s Prix Pegulus (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.13.6kr timed and 28/1 Crazy Dream (6g Repeat Love-Daisy Chain). Julien Dubois teamed the Yves Boireau trainee that Pierre Schmidt owns and Ecurie D bred. 11/1 Copernic de Play (6g Giant Cat-Orelie de Play) held second for owner/trainer/driver Franck Blandin. 41/1 Chtiot de Bella (6g Defi d’Aunou-Joyeuse Coulonces) rallied for third with trainer Pascal Danet the driver. The winning Crazy Dream is a big rugged horse from the sire Repeat Love (Coktail Jet-Guilty Of Love-And Arifant), a full brother to Love You) from the Speedy Somolli mare Daisy Chain (Kravotte-Caprior), dam of Kaisy Dream, Orsy Dream and Paisy Dream. Kaisy Dream won over one million euro and sired Brigham Dream, a major US stakes winning filly, The Quinte+ Prix Leo (purse €55,000, 2100 meters, 16 European starters) resulted in a blanket finish with 9/1 Ardente du Clos (8f Reve des Vallees-Lumiere duClos) emerging victorious. The quick 1.11.2kr timed winner has handled by owner/trainer/driver Matthieu Abrivard as he increased career earnings past the €260,000 mark. 2.8/1 King Sir Kir (7m Make It Happen-Kings Blondie) took second for Alexandre Abrrivard, ahead of 4.7/1 Lover Face (10g Love You-Ambra OK) with Franck Nivard up. 20/1 Verrazano Bridge (9g Offshore Dream) and 15/1 Vafleury (9g Memphis du Rib). Friday’s Prix Burgunda (purse €42,000, 2850 meters, eight starters) went to 1.15kr timed and 2,8/1 Free Man (3m Ready Cash-Olly Star). Mathieu Mottier teamed the Dominique Mottier trained colt that Jean Pierre Barjon owns. 4.4/1 Faithful (3m Village Mystic-Horsaca) was half-length beaten second with Alexandre Abrivard up for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 2.1/1 favorite Falcao de Laurma (3m Uniclove-Rangoon) was third for the driver/trainer  team of Clement and Thierry Duvaldestin. Thomas H. Hicks

A tribute to Lazarus has been put together and shown on New Zealand's premier harness racing television weekly show 'The Box Seat' May the 9th 2018. You can watch the video below; Here is a behind the scenes feature video taken on Lazarus on the morning of the 22nd of February 2017 the day that Lazarus won the Victorian Cup. Harness Racing New Zealand produced this Good Luck Lazarus video;  

May 9, 2018 - Tuesday’s Prix Fama (Gr. III, purse €66,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to undefeated (five of five) and 2/5 harness racing favorite Fleche Bourbon (3f Saxo de Vandel-Uzara Josselyn) driven by J.Ph.Monclin. Sebastien Guarato trains the fine filly that is owned and was bred by Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. Race time was 1.16.5kr for the now winner of €79,650. 7.2/1 Avalon Mists (3f Pastor Stephen-Sunshine Bi) took second for Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not of Holland. 8.2/1 Freegate Island (3f Timoko-Ahneska) was third for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Bjorn Goop and owners P&D Bronsman AB. 13/1 Firefly (3f Ready Cash) and 10/1 Full Option (3f Fast Photo) were next to the line. On Wednesday at Marseille Borely was the Prix du Departement (purse €30,000, 3000 meters, 14 starters) with 1.4/1 Defi The Best (5m Timoko-Pamia) the winner driven by Y-A Briand. He trains for Ecurie des Charmes. 12/1 Crazy Horse (6m Saphir d’Haufor) was second for Jonathan Asselie and third was 15/1 Boccador (7g Prince Gede) for Herve Chauve-Laffay. In France, J-P Dubois’ Echauffour farm burned and caused extensive damage, loss of memories and documents. No damage occurred to human and equine inhabitants. In Sweden, Johnny Takter announced his driving retirement but not before winning two at Solvalla on Tuesday. He scored with A Sweet Dance (3fMaharajah-Sugar Step-Sugarcane Hanover) for trainer Helena Burman, the fourth straight win in 2018 for the winner that now has five wins in eight career outings. Race time was 1.14.5kr and 300,000SEK was earned by the winner of this Wallenius-Kleberg Juvenile contest raced over 2140 meters autostart. Earlier, Takter won with Hevin Boko (4f Going Kronos-Welat Boko-Garland Lobell) in a 2140 meters autostart event worth 300,000SEK to the Timo Nurmos trainee. Race time was 1.12.9kr. On Friday the Paris-Vincennes program includes three groupe events including the Prix Guillaune de Bellaigue, a monte international Gr. III test for a purse of €120,000 and raced over 2700 meters. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 7, 2018 - The 2018 Elitloppet harness racing lineup now includes Pastore Bob, Urlo dei Venti, Ringostarr Treb, Maori Time, Propulsion, Uza Josselyn, Bold Eagle and Readly Express On Saturday the V75 Gold at Orebro went to 4.7/1 Volstead (7m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) with owner Stefan Melander up, and quick timed in 1.10kr over the 1609 meters autostart distance. Purse to the winner was 200,000SEK and this USA bred, by Arden Homestead and A.J. Skoglund, now has 21 wins in 62 career outings.  Volstead might get an Elite race invite. He defeated 3.9/1 Charrua Forlan (8g Up Front Larry) reined by Hans Owe Sundberg and 37/1 Deuxieme Picsous (11m In Love With You) handled by Bjorn Goop On the undercard was a Silver V75 victory by 2.8/1 Michelangelo As (7g Allstar Hall-Harmonic As-Mack Lobell) driven by Orjan Kihlstrom to a 1.12.6kr score worth 150,000SEK to the winner and raced over 2100 meters autostart. Aged mares battled in the Enoch Karlssons (purse to winner 125,000SEK) and the 1.11.7kr timed winner over 2100 meters autostart was 3.9/1 Anna Mix (8f Ludo du Castelle-Ires-Tenor de Baune) with Kim Eriksson up. Franck Leblanc owns the Sophia Aronsson trainee. In Toto Sund and Darling Mearas trailed Anna Mix. Thomas H. Hicks

May 5, 2018 - Superb harness racing, weather and Food Truck Festival Weekend made for an excellent Saturday afternoon at Kincsem Park. Timoteo (6m Abano As) and driver Veljko Mazsity took the two heat Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial with decisive wins in both heats. Three year olds battled in the Laszlo Ferge Memorial with an easy victory earned by Zapato (3m Frullino Jet) driven by Tibor Hajnal. Finally, the fast class campaigners contested the Lajos Matucza Memorial with quick closing Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue) the winner for driver Imre Fazekas and trainer Jozsef Rutkai. Summaries of the major races. Race 3 Heat #1 Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial (total purse 1,800,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap, heat placing determine race results) Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi), Imre Fazekas driver for trainer Jozsef Rutkai, 20 meter handicapped Kings Call (5g SJs Photo-Marina Eme-Adams Hall), Emese Vezer up for trainer Emil Csordas Race 6  Lajos Matucza Memorial (purse 1,000,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) Underpaid Hanover (9m Revenue-Up Front Lisa-Lindy Lane), Imre Fazekas driver for owner Prolongo and trainer Jozsef Rutkai, 3.8/1 odds, race time 1.15.8kr Part Two (9f Offshore Dream-Bel Ditto-Wired Pine), Csaba Lakatos Milliondollar Lux (12m Ganymede-Dadaumpa Jet-Supergill), Emese Vezer up for trainer Emil Csordas Race 8  Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial Heat #2 (total purse 1,800,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap, heat placing determine race results) Timoteo (6m Abano As-Ghirlanda Aas-Diamond Way), Veljko Mazsity at 1.3/1, time 1.17.9kr Henrik Ibsen AT (5m Worship-Her Own Child-Imposant Sund), Tibor Hajnal Vortice Bi (4m Toss Out-Rhode Island Bi-Equinox Bi), Imre Fazekas, 20 meter handicapped   Final Dr. Tamas Borostyankoy Memorial Placings Timoteo. Vellko Mazsity Vortice Bi, Imre Fazekas Henrik Ibsen AT, Tibor Hajnal   Race 10 Laszlo Ferge Memorial (purse 1,800,000Huf, 1960 meters distance handicap) Zapato (3m Frullino Jet-Oklahoma PT-Friendly Face), Tibor Hajnal, owner Napsugar at 1.6/1, time 1.18.8kr Zsozsoka (3f Yankee Mustang-Intelligent Star-Oaklea Bluejay), Laszlo Kolozsi Zanebono(3m Frullino Jet-Corolla Jet-Park Avenue Joe), Branislav Mukity, from 20 meter handicap In pre-program action, veteran Time To Say Goodbye (6m Maximus Lindy-Jungfrau) won a qualifier timed in 1.18.8kr for Lajos Marton. The two year old ArunChupa (2m Calypso Capar-Norah Jones) won his first qualifying effort for Imre Fazekas clocked in 1.26.3kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

New Zealand's greatest racehorse Lazarus has been sold to a North American syndicate in a record deal and will not race here again. The $3.8million earner will leave for the US on May 24 where he will be aimed at a possible four-race mini career in an attempt to secure a major win there to help his dual hemisphere stallion credentials. While the exact price is confidential the Herald estimates it must be close to $4 million when the other public offer for the five-year-old stallion is taken into account. Lazarus has been purchase by US thoroughbred breeding giant Taylor Made Stallions, a Kentucky-based operation run by the Taylor brothers, who started their racing lives in harness racing but have concentrated on thoroughbred breeding and yearling preparation for the last three decades. It is believed they have recently reignited their interest in standardbred breeding by purchasing at least part of champion US trotter What The Hill but the Lazarus deal, put together by South Auckland agent John Curtin, breaks new ground. While North America's best horses shuttling here to stand at stud in their off-season is common, trying to turn an Australasian standardbred into a dual hemisphere stallion is extremely rare. Christian Cullen stood one season at stud in the US but without having raced there was never going to be hugely commercial. Lazarus will be given his chance with two races at the famous Red Mile track in October targeted as well as the Breeders Crown at Pocono, a series his new connections would need to pay a supplementary payment to make him eligible for. But he will head to the US without his champion trainer Mark Purdon, with two of North America's leading trainers apparently in the frame to take over his training. If, and it is a big if, Lazarus could win a serious race in the US and pace a super fast mile he has the attributes to become that rare dual hemisphere stallion. In his 45 start career he has proven to be one of the greatest stayer bred in this part of the world, with some remarkable wins in two New Zealand Cups, an Inter Dominion, Hunter and Victoria Cups. But just as importantly from a stallion appeal point of view he was a sensational two and three-year-old, suggesting his stock will have the natural speed to run early. And he is bred on Australasia's golden cross, being by breed-defining stallion Bettors Delight out of a Christian Cullen mare. The one down side to that he is obviously can't serve Bettors Delight mares, who could be the dominant broodmare bunch in Australasia over the next decade. Details on where he will stand and for which studs in either hemisphere are yet to be decided. His departure will sadden many local harness racing fans as it means Lazarus will not get the chance to attempt a third New Zealand Cup win at Addington in November. And with several other high profile retirements or exports in the last year - Smolda, Heaven Rocks, Vincent being the biggest - next season's open class pacing ranks looks the most open in a decade. LAZARUS Breeding: 5h Bettors Delight-Bethany Trainers: Mark Purdon and Natalie Rasmussen. Record: 45 starts, 35 wins, nine placings. Earnings: $3,821,066. Highlights: New Zealand Cup (twice), Inter Dominion, Hunter Cup, Victoria Cup, Chariots Of Fire, Messenger, Taylor Mile, New Zealand, Northern and Victoria Derbys, Harness Jewels 2-yo, Sires' Stakes Final 3-y-o. By Michael Guerin Courtesy of The New Zealand Herald New Zealand Cup 2016 New Zealand Cup 2017 2017 Inter Dominion Grand Final Hunter Cup Victoria Cup

May 5, 2018 - Below recaps superb harness racing this day at Paris-Vincennes and Vermo. Prix Faulquemont (purse €66,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters-three year old males) This contest for three year old colts went to 1.4/1 Flocki d’Aurcy (3m Ready Cash-Idee Lara) timed in 1.13.3kr and driven by Yoann Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. Cyril Lelange bred the winner that now has five career wins in six starts for €96,250 earned. 9/1 Feliciano (3m Ready Cash-Ravenella) was second with Eric Raffin up, again for trainer Allaire and this one owned by Ecurie des Charmes. 24/1 Fric du Chene (3m Nobody du Chene) took third for driver Gabriele Gelormini, trainer Julien LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Guedj. Although back in the field owner Jean Pierre Dubois sent out two well- bred colts that before today were non-starters in France. These were City Guide (3m Love You-Crys Dream) that finished seventh and the unplaced Laurel Park (3m Love You-Le Reve) that was registered in Germany. Gr. II Prix Jean Gauvreau (monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, eight starters-five year olds) 3/10 favorite Draft Life (5f Ubriaco-Maflymede), with Eric Raffin in the irons, easily scored a quick 1.10.5kr timed victory in this Gr. II event. Louis Baudron bred and trains the winner this his stable owns. Draft Life’s career earnings are now €576,900. 9/2 Dexter Fromentro (5m Qwerty-Princesse d’Ombree) was second for Camille Levesque, trainer Thomas and owner Pierre Levesque. 11/1 Dragon du Fresne (5m Saphir Castelets) was third for jockey Matthieu Abrivard. Fractions were steady and fast (1.09.7kr at 1500 to go; 1.09,4kr at the 1000; 1.10.2kr at 500 meters remaining). Criterium 4 Ans (Gr. I, purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 15 starters-four year old males) 6.5/1 Enino du Pommereux (4m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) rallied from sixth in the final bend for J-M Bazire to just nail leading 2.6/1 Erming d’Oliverie (4m Scipion du Goutier-Theze d’Oliverie) and Franck Nivard on the line, timed in 1.11.7kr. Sylvain Roger trains the now seven time career winner and €346,680 earned, for owner/breeder Noel Lolic. Franck Leblanc trains the second place horse that was off at 2.6/1. 4.8/1 Express Jet (4m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) held gamely third after setting the pace until late in final turn for trainer/driver Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie Opale. 3.9/1 Earl Simon (4m Prodigious-Tindrana) was fourth for Franck Ouvrie and 20/1 Esperanza (4m Speedy Blue-Quitida) took the fifth check for Matthieu Mottier. Fractions were steady (1.12.7kr at 1500 to go; 1.11.4kr at the 1000; 1.11.7kr at 500; finish 1.11.7kr). Prix Combree (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) Classic Way (6m Prodigious-Pole Position) gamely gained a 1.12.5kr timed victory at 3.3/1 inn this event, for J.Ph. Monclin, driving for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Jean Philippe Dubois bred this campaigner that defeated 11/1 Cathy A Quira (6f Password) with Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer Jarmo Niskanen and breeder/owner Etienne Desmet. 2.7/1 and leader into the stretch, Cicero Noa (6g Mandarino Blue), held gamely for third with Pierre Vercruysse up for breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. Prix Kerjacques (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 13 entrants) 15/1 Traders (6m Ready Cash-Graziella) took this Gr. II event in record time 1.10.8kr driven by Yoann Lebourgeois for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The three length winner, now with 13 victories in 34 appearances good for €1,007,160 in career earnings. 11/1 Valko Jenilat (9m Kepler) was second for Eric Raffin and trainer Sebastien Guarato with 13/1 Carat Williams (6m Prodigious) driven by David Thomain in a dead heat fourth with even money favorite Belina Josselyn (7f Love You) reined by trainer J-M Bazire. Fifth was 22/1 Cash Gamble (7m Ready Cash) with Frnack Nivard aboard. Prix du Rouergue (purse €72,000, 2100 meters, 12 starters) A group of fast class veterans battled with victory to 2.7/1 Diamond (8g Classic Photo-Gala dei Bessi) driven by Matthieu Abrivard, trained by Paul Hagoort and owned by Ecurie Mlle Fleurs of Holland. Race time was 1.11.9 with a quick final 500 (field at 500 to go post in 1.12.9kr). 13/1 Azaro d’Eva (8m Lynx de Bellouet) was a narrowly beaten second for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer J-M Bazire, ahead of stablemate and Bazire teamed 4.4/1 Barrio Josselyn (7m Scipion du Goutier). 2.1/1 favorite Blue d’Ourville and 24/1 Buzz Mearas ended fourth and fifth. Prix Albert Demarcq (Gr. II, purse €120,000, 2850 meters, eight starters-five year old males) 7/2 Detroit Castelets (5m Neoh Jiel-Rosama Bonheur) easily won this Gr. II event for five year old males, timed in a sharp 1.12.2kr off rated fractions, and reined by Matthieu Abrivard up for trainer J.L. Dersoir and owner Ecurie Luck. The victory raised the winner’s career earnings to €271,550. 4/1 Davidson du Pont (5m Pacha du Pont) rallied for second driven by Franck Ouvrie for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Albert Rayon. 23/1 Desir de Bannes (5m No Ho Ped d’Ombree) was third for owner/trainer/driver Herve Soinneau. 6.8/1 Dragon des Racques (5m Love You) was home fourth for driver Alexandre Abrivard. Prix de Concarneau (apprentice jockeys, monte, purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) The 9/10 favorite Caduceus des Baux (6g Mark Speed-Festina des Baux) prevailed in this monte apprentice contest, clocked in 1.13.1kr, and ridden by Jean Yann Ricard. Jack Dowie bred and owns the winner that Marion Hue trains. 70/1 Atout du Hainaut (8g Gazouillis) was second for Mlle Charlotte Lefebvre and trainer Vincent Collard. Third was Batata (7f Mood West) with Arthur Rebeche in the irons.  Vermo FI  Gr. I UET Finlandia AJO (purse €190,000, 1609 meters, 10 starters) 7.2/1 Pastore Bob (5g From Above-Estrada OR) took today’s Gr. I Finlandia AJO at Vermo, Helsinki. Trainer Johan Untersteiner teamed the winner, now with career earnings of €211,709. 8.5/1 Peace of Mind (9f Uronometro-Erica d’Alfa) was second for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro and third was 5.6/1 Billie de Montfort (7f Jasmin de Flore) from France, with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Sebastien  Guarato. 48/1 Midnight Hour (7g Diesel Don) captured fourth. The 2.4/1 favorite Heavy Sound was unplaced. Race time was quick 1.11kr over this traditionally fast racecourse. Azur des Caillons, Friendly Bourbon and Suricato Jet Win in France Friday evening festivities at Vincennes included the Quinte+ Prix Bettina (purse €48,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 European starters) with post 18, 31/1 outsider Azur des Caillons (8m Quaker Jet-Douce Nuit) rallying for a decisive score timed in 1.11.7kr. Matthieu Abrivard is the driver/trainer/owner of the now 10 time career winner in 50 starts. Abrivard, just back from Martinique, bested another island visitor, Alexandre Abrivard, who teamed second finishing 3/1 Tesauro (6g Filipp Roc) that L.Cl. Abrivard trains. 17/1 Angel d’Or (8g Ganymede) was third for P-Y Verva ahead of 19/1 J-M Bazire piloted Bresil de Bailly and 29/1 Vixel with trainer Franck Ouvrie up. 2.3/1 favorite Danne Edel was 15th for driver Bjorn Goop. The Prix Belinda (purse €52,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) this night went to 1.2/1 favorite Cobra Ar Carac (6m Kaiser Soze-Pearl Ar Carac) clocked in 1.13.8kr and reined by Eric Raffinb. The winner now has 11 career wins in 43 appearances. The monte Prix Zosma (purse €55,000, 2200 meters seven starters) capped off the Friday night “After Work Celebration” at Paris-Vincennes, with this 4.8/1 victory to France Bresil (3f Vaillant Cash-Joyeause du Val) handled by jockey Eric Raffin in the close 1.15.3kr timed score. Narrowly nipped 2.9/1 Flying Dream (3m Coktail Jet-Princesse Baraka) was next for this Philippe Allaire trained and owned colt. Wednesday at Mauquenchy showcased the Prix de la Ville de Rouen (purse €35,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) with the 2.9/1 victory earned by Belle Emotion (4f Prodigious-Marine du Hauzey). Yoann Lebourgeois teamed the 1.14.7kr timed mare that Mlle. Aude Lemoine trains. On Wednesday at LeBouscat was the Prix Phaeton (purse €20,000, 2550 meters autostart, eight starters) and trainer Sebastien Guarato was the driver of victorious 2/5 favorite Friendly Bourbon (3m Ready Cash-Une Belle Bourbon) that was bred and is owned by Ecurie du Haras de Saint Martin. Race time was 1.17.5kr. The winner’s dam is a 2008 version of Love You-Etta Extra, she by Florestan-Une Crown-Speedy Crown. Etta Extra has produced champions – Mara Bourbon (€1,657,405) along with the exceptional Qualita Bourbon, Sam Bourbon and Racer Bourbon. The Tuesday version of Q+ was at Saint Galmier in the Prix de la Ville de Saint-Etienne (purse €32,000, 2650 meters, 16 European starters) and 3.1/1 Italy invader Suricato Jet (7m Ideale Luis-Zoy Ami) scored for driver Nicolas Roussel, trainer Vincent Lacroix and owner Scuderia Dante SM. 17/1 Athos du Manolet (8g Jet Fortuna) took second for Yannick Alain Briand. Race time was 1.14.8kr. On Tuesday the action was at Avenches with the Trophee Vert Suisse (purse €17,140, 2750 meters autostart, 10 starters). The 1.20.1kr timed winner was 4/5 favorite Tobrouk de Oayre (11g Meaulnes du Corta-Orca de Payre) with trainer Marc Andre Bovay up. The winner recorded his 18th career win in 96 starts, now for €396,880. 4.4/1 Attenarco (8g Ready Cash-Mattarara) held second for breeder/owner/driver Henri Turrettini and trainer Nunes de Oliverira V. This one had 45 wins in 76 career starts going into the race. On Monday at Vincennes was the Gr. II monte Prix Rene Palyart (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, 12 starters) with victory earned by 5.1/1 Exotica de Retz (4f Prodigious-Quayaya). Mme. D. Beaufils Ernault was in the irons for trainer Sebastian Ernault and owner Ecurie des Charmes, as they bested 42/1 Espwerance du Mont (4f Tornado Bello) ridden by P.Ph. Ploquin and 19/1 Elusive Feeling (4f Goetmals Wood) with Eric Raffin aboard. The 2.3/1 favorite Everly was a dq. Race time was 1.12.3kr. Thomas H Hicks

Right on the heels of hosting the Hungarian amateurs the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) is preparing for a visit from the Spanish harness racing amateur drivers beginning next week. "The Spaniards, from Palma de Mallorca, will be with us from Monday, May 7 through Sunday, May13 and we are preparing to entertain them with races, sightseeing and good food and we'll continue the great camaraderie started many years ago," noted Alicia Schwartz, NAADA's event planner. During the week races are planned at Yonkers Raceway, Monticello Raceway and Tioga Downs as well as a visit to "Trot Town USA" ,better known nowadays as Goshen, NY, where the visitors will tour both Historic Track and the Harness Racing Museum. Along the way the Spaniards will be treated to good food and wine and will spend a couple of nights enjoying "the Big Apple" (New York City) before returning home. During the competitions drivers for the visiting Spaniards will remain the same at each venue. They include club president Jaume Bassa Riera, Guillermo Busquets Liull, Francisco Liabres Ramis, Pau Roig Moll and Santi Roig Moll. However, at each event the hometowners will field a different team. Tentatively slated to drive for NAADA at Yonkers on Tuesday (May8) are Alan Schwartz, Joe Lee, Peter Kleinhans and Monica Banca. At Monticello on Thursday (May 10) the USA team will consist of Bob Davis, Tony Ciuffitelli, Paul Minore nd Alan Schwartz. The NAADA team at Tioga Downs on Saturday (May 12) is yet to be announced. "It's a lot of work putting these competitions together and we're always happy to host our foreign friends. Everyone knows that winning is not the primary reason for the international events... and that's a good thing because it seems that everybody wins against us,"Mrs. Schwartz added with a chuckle. Just a couple of weeks ago, at the end of April, amateur drivers from Hungary were here for an international competition and after the Spaniards contests are completed NAADA will entertain amateurs from Italy and France later this year. by John Manzi, for NAADA        

May 1. 2018 - Urlo dei Venti (5m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy) timed in 1.10.8kr and driven by Enrico Bellei won the finale and first batteria of the 69th GP Lotteria at Napoli. Purse for the finale was €704,000 and the three batterias raced for €27,500 each, all events over 1600 meters autostart. In the finale, the winner defeated determined, and parked throughout, Dreammoko (5m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout-Kaisy Dream) with Bjorn Goop up for Richard Westerink, beaten less than a length. Arazi Boko (11g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) was third for Alessandro Gocciadoro. This veteran campaigner is from the maternal family of legendary Stenographer. The winner’s pedigree is shown below.   MAGO D'AMORE     LEMON DRA    SHARIF DI IESOLO    QUICK SONG  ODILE DE SASSY  DANEA    ACERO  BABELE  DO IT WISE    DONERAIL    VALLEY VICTORY  BEDELL  AGILITA    GIANT VICTORY  AUGUSTA  ARMBRO WEALTHY    MALABAR MAN    SUPERGILL    SUPER BOWL  WINKY'S GILL  LADY LOVE MCBUR    MEADOW ROAD  FICKLE YANKEE  STARLET CROWN    SPEEDY CROWN    SPEEDY SCOT  MISSILE TOE  VICTORY STARLET    NOBLE VICTORY  NATIVE STARLET  The results of the batterias and the consolation (purse €38,500, 1600 meters autostart) are shown below. Quite a program before a huge crown. Batteria 1 Urlo dei Venti (5m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy), Enrico Bellei, 1.10.8kr Dreammoko (5m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout-Kaisy Dream), Bjorn Goop Tamure Roc (6f Exploit Caf-Ema Roc), Santo Mollo   Batteria 2 Arazi Boko (11g Varenne-Kaura Kemp-Express Ride), Alessandro Gocciadoro, 1.11.1kr Uragano Trebi’ (5g Nad Al Sheba), Roberto Vecchione Vivid Wise As (4m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip), Alessandro Gocciadoro   Batteria 3 Trendy OK (6f Varenne-Annette Hanover), Alessandro Gocciadoro, 1.10.8kr Turno diAzzurra (6m Love You-Figa de Azzurra), Fed Esposito Dante Boko (8g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa-Abo Volo), G.P. Minnucci   Consolation Tango Negro (6m Infinitif-Lisetta Real), Roberto Vecchione, 1.12.4kr Rumbo di Cannone (8m Varenne-Cannoniera), Enrico Bellei Uno Italia (5m Conway Hall-Italia Uno), Lorenzo Baldi Thomas H. Hicks  

April 30, 2018 - Harness racing around Europe and beyond took us to Aby (SWE), Martinique, Budapest and France for the latest Trophee Vert leg. Here are the summaries: Aby April 28 Breeders Course (purse 100,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) went to 2.1/1 Betting Gangster (3m Going Kronos-Viola Silas-Lindy Lane) timed in 1.14.2kr for driver Christoffer Eriksson and trainer Jerry Riordan. This lightly raced colt has three wins in five career outings. Madinina Martinique April 29 Three top ranked FR drivers were on the island for Sunday’s Grand Prix de la SECF events. The SECF Consolation (purse €6,000, 2600 meters, voltstart, turf) went to 50 meters handicapped Ubbi Kay (10g Jam Pridem-La Davina) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Corrine Gleize and clocked in 1.27.2kr. Biscoto Star (7m My Happy Jet) was next for Alexandra Abrivard and trainer H.R. Colas. The main event was the Grand Prix de la SECF Finale (purse €10,000, 2600 meters voltstart, turf) and it went to 1.18.7kr timed Bavarois du Valet (7g Laetenter Diem - Hera du Varlet) in rein to Matthieu Abrivard for trainer Gleize, the winner’s second straight score. Avis Contraire (8g Infant du Bossis) was next for Edmond Langeron and third was Usly de Visais (10f Defi d’Aunou) for Jean Luc Langeron. April 29 Rambouillet – Trophee Vert The Trophee Vert this Sunday was the Prix Ville de Rambouillet et de sa Reine (purse €45,000, 2800 meters distance handicap) with victory o 9/10 favorite and 50 meter handicapped Bugsy Malone (7g Ready Cash-Night Captain) with Yoann Lebourgeois up for Philippe Allaire. Bugsy now has 20 career wins in 38 starts for €595,910 earned. 25 meter handicapped Ulhior du Beziau (10m Orsy Dream) held second for Guillaiume Youvre and another 25 meter penalized starter, Ustang Ludois (10m Joyau d’Amour), was third for Dominik Locqueneux. The 50 meters handicapped Anette du Mirel (8f Laetenter Diem) was fourth for Thierry Duvaldestin and trainer Anders Lindqvist. April 29 - Kincsem Park (Budapest) The weekend featured Grand DIJ (purse 600,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) at Kincsem Park went to Uran Lady (5f Maximus Lindy-Vas Lady) timed in 1.16.8kr and reined by Veljko Mazsity, also trainer, for breeder Kabela Menes Kft of Radihaza. Rosemundi and Oldtimer Diamant trailed the winner. Other winners on the card were first in the Lofty Sun DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1900 meters autostart) where the 1.17.2kr timed Rocky HR (6m Roc de Montfort-Times) prevailed for Balasz Juhasz. The other notable winners were Sunny (7g Oncoming Hush-Vivian King) for Andrea Fazekas timed in 1.20.7kr and Zafira (3f Belami-Jude) in 1.22kr for trainer/driver Branislav Mukity. April 30 – Enghien The Sunday Enghien card included the Prix de Millau (purse €54,000, 2875 meters) with the 1.17.2kr timed verdict earned by 3.6/1 Deesse des Noes (5f Nahar de Beval) with Stephane Rouxel the trainer/driver. 11/1 Dynastie Aldo (5f Kiwi) was next for Anthony Barrier, ahead of Demoiselle Mika (5f Royal Dream) for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger The Prix du Pont Charles de Gaulle (purse €54,000, 2850 meters) yielded a runaway victory for 8.5/1 United Love (5m Conway Hall-Dolly Kronos) by six lengths for driver Bjorn Goop and trainer Hans Bot. Race time was 1.16.7kr and the winner defeated 6.5/1 Dimo d’Occagnes (5g Timoko) with Franck Ouvrie up and 39/1 Dream du Chatavet (5m Ganymede) with Geert Lanoo aboard. Thomas Hicks

April 28, 2018 - The Olympia Stayer race (purse €30,773, 3140 meters, 14 starters) went to 2/5 favorite and Bjorn Goop trained and driven Heartbreaker VF (8m, Super Photo Kosmos-Staying Alive), clocked in a respectable 1.13.8kr over the extended distance. Monte performers contested the Olympia Monte (125,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) and the 1.9/1 odds Anna Mix (8f Ludo de Castelle-Tres-Tenor de Baune) prevailed with Josefine Ivehog in the irons for trainer Sofia Aronsson and owner Franck Leblanc. This great mare Anna Mix has raced in the best international races over her career, was clocked in 1.13kr and now has 18 wins in 69 starts for lifetime earnings of 12,505,013SEK. The V75 Silver Division on this great card (purse €30773, 1640 meters autostart) produced a sharp 1.10.4kr victory for 16/1 Coktail Fortuna (9g Love You) handled by trainer Robert Bergh. The Lady Godivas Minne (purse €59,136), the second featured of the day, went to 9/1 Ultra Bright (5f Zola Boko-Patina) reined by Frederik Persson and clocked in 1.12.2kr. 5.2/1 Double Exposure (5f Donato Hanover-KD Girl) was a rallying second for Orjan Kihlstrom and the Daniel Reden/Stall Zet team. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 28, 2018  -  Ringostarr Treb (8m Classic Photo-Farsalo Egral-Supergill) scored a gate to wire impressive 1.10lr harness racing victory today at Aby. This Gr. I International UET Masters event carried a purse of €279,112 and was raced over 2140 meters autostart by 10 starters. Wilhelm Paal teamed the Jerry Riordan trainee for owner EVA Racing Trotter Srls. This fine horse, who bred mares in Italy after the Vincennes winter meet, now has 28 wins in 83 career starts. Off at 3.6/1 Ringostarr Treb bested 42/1 Giveitgasandgo (4m Yankee Glide-Mazda Hanover-Andover Hall) driven by Erik Adielsson and 16/1 Titty Jepson (6f Varenne-Loma di Costa-Uromnometro) with Orjan Kihlstrom up 5/1 Lionel was fourth after a last turn bid failed. 1.3/1 favorite Day Or Night In made a dq miscue before the gate opened from post one. Thomas H. Hicks

April 28, 2018 - Veteran Up And Quick (10m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre), a former Prix d’Amerique winner, driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Antoine Lherte and Ecurie Quick Star, won today’s Gr. II Criterium de Vitesse de Basse Normandie (purse €100,000, 1609 meters  autostart, 13 starters) clocked in 1.10.7kr at Argentan. He earned this score through miscue dq of Romanesque that got up first on the outside, only to be placed out. 2/1 Up And Quick bested 11/1 Un Mec d’Heripre (10m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) with Yann Lorin up and third placed was 4.6/1 Ave Avis (8m Kesaco Phedo=Magna Avis) with trainer J-M Bazire up. 1.9/1 favorite Bille de Montfort was fourth for David Thomain. The winner is now 16 for 65 yielding €2,089,040 earned for the career. Thomas H. Hicks

April 27, 2018 - The Friday harness racing action at Paris-Vincennes began with a 4/1 victory by Etoile de Houelle (4f Goetmals Wood-Sawasde de Houelle) in the Prix Maginus (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) and riven this day by Franck Nivard for trainer Franck Leblanc. 2.3/1 Everest Vedaquais (4g Ready Cash-Spandelle) held second for driver Yoann Lebourgeois and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 13/1 Eureka du Fosse (4f Soleil du Fosse) with Anthony Barrier the pilot, took third among a group at the line together. Race time was 1.14.3kr for this three-time career winner. The day’s Q+ was the Prix Huberta (purse €54,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters) and the 1.13.6kr timed victory was earned by even money Caprice du Lupin (6g Chaillot-Nadega Fencerie) with Antoine Wiels up  for breeder/owner/trainer J-P Marmion. 20/1 Cerenzo Turbo (6m Ganymede) took second for Franck Ouvrie and 57/1 Chocolat du Bourg (6m Nahar de Beval) was third for Gabriele Gelormini, ahead of 11/1 Aldo d’Argentre and 24/1 Bambou Tahiti. The winner now has 11 wins in 22 career starts. The Gr. III Prix Antigone (purse €110,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters monte starters) went to 13/1 Ungaro d’Eva (10g Ipson de Mormal-Iomolly) with David Thomain in the irons for owner/trainer Jean Michel Beaudouin. The victory increased his earnings to €330,110 for this 11 time winner. 6/1 Gross Weight (7g Scarlet Knight-Elman Jet) was second and 2.3/1 Vrai Voyou (9g Gazouillis) was home third. On April 26 (Thursday) at Gavle SWE the well-regarded Propulsion (7m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom, pictured below, won an event raced over 2140 meters autostart for 40,000SEK first prize. Race time was 1.12.1kr as this Daniel Reden trainee, bred in the USA by Caldwell/Bluestone Farr, recorded his 25th victory in 54 outings now for 5,935,545SEK earned. Off at even money, Propulsion bested 21/1 French Laundry, Ulf Ohlsson up, and Final Oak at 85/1 reined by Claes Sjostrom. 76/1 From Dusk To Dawn landed fourth for Ulf Eriksson.   On that card the USA Windsong Stable bred Stand Bayou, off at 1.6/1, scored in 1.12.9kr, with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Daniel Reden. First prize was 35,000SEK for the seven-year old stallion son of Donato Hanover-Roux Hanover-Mr. Lavec. Stand Bayou was won three of his last four and now has 12 career wins in 36 starts. On Friday night (April27), the 2017 Hambletonian winner Perfect Spirit was back in action for his second straight win, this at Aby, in a division of the Konung Gustaf each for 100,000SEK first money and raced over 2140 meters autostart. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the four-year old stallion by Andover Hall-Good Common Cents-Kadabra that Daniel Reden trains for SRF Stable and Hanover Shoe Farms bred. The winners’ slate shows nine wins in 20 career starts for 6,291,079SEK earned. He was off at 1.52/1 and bested 24/1 Vikens High Yield (4g Love You) reined by Magnus Jakobsson and 4/1 Enterprise (4m Chapter Seven) that Johnny Takter teamed for trainer Stefan Melander and owner Stall Courant AB. Lucifer Lane and Velvet Gio won other divisions of this race. Fillies contested the Drottning Silvias Pokal divisions (each for 100,000SEK first money and raced over 2140 meters autostart) with victory to Diabra (4f Ready Cash-Moonlight Kronos-Viking Kronos) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Roger Walmann. She was clocked in 1.13.1kr for her ninth career victory in 14 starts. Tropicanna As (4f Manofmanymissions-Tropical Breeze As-Striking Sahbra) also won a division for trainer Jerry Riordan, driver Johnny Takter and owners Henrik Eriksson and Tordis Svensson. ACL Stuteri AB bred this filly that was timed in 1.14.3kr. Electrical (4f Dream Vacation) won another division of this race. On Saturday is the Olympiatravet Final at Aby. Thomas H. Hicks

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