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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  

May 14, 2017 - Lots of trotting action (14 tracks) occurred today in France at the more rural harness racing venues. 1.3/1 Black Atout (6m Prodigious-La Lagune) took the Prix AXX Assurances (purse €30,000, 2625 meters) at Cherbourg for Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Claude Guedj. Ana du Carbonel was a close second for Franck Blandin in the race timed in 1.14.9kr Avigron-Le Pontet hosted the Grand Prix d’Avignon (purse €32,000, 250 meters, 16 starters) with that one captured in 1.18.9kr by 15/1 Ut de Dompierre (9g Prince d’Espace-Magic de Dompierre). Banjamin Goetz drove his trainee that he also owns. 27/1 Upnanie was second. At Aras was the Grand Prix Espas Auto (purse €32,000, 2900 meters) and the 1.1.1kr timed winner was Buxus Calendes (6g Prodigious-Quela de Calendes). Vincent Collard trains and owns this winner and Laurent Verva was the teamster. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 14, 2017 - Cruzado Dela Noche (5m Muscle Massive-Alidada-Credit Winner) rallied from between harness racing rivals to win today’s Gr. I International UET Series Broline Copenhagen Cup 2017 (375,000DKK to the winner, 2011 meters autostart) at Charlottenlund racecourse. Race time was 1.11.1kr at driver Per Linderoth prevailed with the Stefan Melander trainee owned by Stall Courant AB. In Vain Sund was alongside the winner on the line, as shown below, but was off-stride and this disqualified. Nadal Broline (7g Yankee Glide-Aimee’s Promise-American Winner) held on after being the pacesetter and was placed second , with Ulf Ohlsson up for trainer Reijo Liljendahl. Third placed was Buzz Mearas (6g Dream Vacation-Dance of Joy-Malabar Man) with Gabriel Gelormini up for trainer Vincent Lacroix and owner Pierre Pilarski, the Bold Eagle owner. The winning Cruzado Dela Noche now has 12 wins in 40 career starts for 4,783,580DKK earned. The undercard was a dandy too. The V75 Silver (100,000DKK first money, 2000 meters autostart) went to Re Doc (7g Love You-Glenga AL-Bon Vivant) for Christoffer Eriksson, trainer Robert Bergh and Stall Robero KB. Just missing and a good second was Germany’s Cash Hanover (5m Love You-Impasse-Enjoy Lavec) with Michael Nimcyk. Third home in the 1.12kr timed event was Photo Lavec (5m SJ’s Photo-Joyful Lavec-Enjoy Lavec) for Bjorn Goop, the catch-driver.  The four year-old Fyrodringslopp (150,000DKK first money, 2000 meters autostart) went to 1.12.9kr timed Shotproof (4m Yankee Glide-Chorine Hanover-Malabar Man) with trainer Flemming Jensen driving. Earlier the Summer Meeting Mares was held for 125,000DKK to the winner and this group of ten traveled 2000 meters autostart. The 1.13.1kr timed winner was Patricia Hastrup (10f Great Challenger-Isabella Hastrup-Sugarcane Hanover). Lars Anvar Kolle teamed this mare to her 33rd career win in 129 outings; Diadora BR (5f Ken Warkentin-Bauxite-SJs Caviart) took the second spot for Christophe Martens. The day’s race program is worth a look, full of history and sponsors ads. Copenhagen Cup - Charlottenlund http://www.travbanen.dk/media/2757855/CC2017.pdf Thomas H. Hicks    

May 13, 2017 -    Veteran Tornado Bello (10m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilade) gamely surged at the line to win the Gr. III Prix Guillaume de Bellaigue (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, monte) at Paris-Vincennes. This 3.3/1 second wagering choice, shown below, was positioned comfortably in the death seat by Camille Levesque, in a well-rated effort. Thomas Levesque trains the 17 time winner in 93 career starts for breeder/owner Remi Boucret. Tornado Bello now has career earnings of €934,480 in his final year of FR competition. Fractions were well rated (1.16kr at the 1500 meters to go mark ; 1.15.4kr with 1000 remaining ; 1.15.2kr at the 500) before Tornado and his packed competition stormed home. 2/1 Texas de l’Iton (10g Cygnus d’Odyssee-Iliada de l’Iton) was second for Matthieu Mottier, trainer Hughes Levesque and Ecurie de l’Iton. Third was 24/1 Bolide Jenilou (6g Kesaco Phedo) for Damien Bonne, ahead of Veloce de Banney and Attentionally. On the undercard was the Prix du Mans (purse €65,000, four year olds, 2700 meters, 15 starters) and the 2.7/1 Dostoievski (4m Ganymede-Noor des Charmes) held on for a 1.13.8kr timed victory, driven by J-M Bazire, also trainer for Ecurie des Charmes, the owner/breeder. 6.3/1 Dalencia (4f Perlando-Olencia) rallied wide from the back and just missed for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Ch. DeGroote and owner BVBA Lieven DeGroote. Third was 6.6/1 Dunbar (4m Look de Star) for David Thomain and the Bold Eagle connections, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. Other interesting winners at Vincennes were A Mery de Chahains (7f Password-Nuit de Plainville) in the €54,000 Prix de Viry Chatillon, reined by Matthieu Abrivard and owner/trainer Cedrik Megissier, at 2.3/1 odds and timed in 1.13.4kr. 16/1 Virgious du Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) took the €85,000 Prix du Gatinais clocked in 1.12.1kr for trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. And breeder/owner Ecurie du Maza. The time was sharp over the 2850 meter distance and 17 horse field. 6/1 Tessy d’Ete (5f Ganymede-Look Me Tender) won the €80,000 Prix du Perreux timed in 1.13.1kr over 2850 meters with Franck Nivard aboard. Scuderia Eurocolor Srl owns this winner, The Prix Jean Gabon for €64,000 purse went to 3/1 Al Capone Jet (7m Jag de Bellouet-Passion de Morgane) with Jean-Michel Bazire at the lines. Jean-Etienne Dubois bred this winner. A further note from today is the maternal family of Tornado Bello, he from the prolific mare Enfilade (1992, Tarass Boulba-Tableau-Joie de Vie-Seascape Lobell-Speedy Crown-Somolli). She was winless in 16 starts but what a producer: 2002 Offshore Dream (FR) 113  0.98       1:52.4a   $ 2,595,168   48  13- 6- 8        h, by Reve d'Udon (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)     At 3, Winner of Prix Kalmia, third in Criterium des 3 ans. At 4, Winner of Criterium Continental. At 5, Winner of Prix Marcel Laurent, Europeiskt Femåringschampionat, Prix d'Amerique, second in Prix de Croix, Criterium des 5 ans, third in Prix Robert Auvray. At 6, Winner of Prix d'Amerique, second in Prix de Bourgogne. At 7, second in Grand Prix du Sud Ouest, third in Elitloppet, Criterium de Vitesse de la Côte d'Azur. Stallion available in Sweden. 2007 Tornado Bello (FR)        1:55.3   € 934,480   58  12- -         h, by Jag de Bellouet (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)       2005 Renardo Bello (FR)        1:55.4   $ 404,103   56  12- -         h, by Kiwi (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)       2009 Vivaldo Bello (FR)        1:56.5   $ 212,020   36  6- -         h, by Love You (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)       2006 Sylviana Bella (FR)        1:57.1   $ 179,493   43  6- -         m, by Love You (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)       2008 Ursula Bella (FR)        2:00   $ 104,581   24  10- -         m, by Goetmals Wood (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)       2010 Activa Bella (FR)        1:57.5   $ 85,701   24  5- -         m, by Jag de Bellouet (FR)   - Enfilade (FR)   Second dam Tableau was also winless, in three starts, and produced only three foals including Enfilade. Third dam Seascape Lobell produced Dark Secret, an 18 time winner of US$159,000, and as second dam had 1:55 winner Cosmic Man (Enjoy Lavec) and 1:58.1 winner Summertide (Dream Vacation). Somolli was another story, a very positive one like Enfilade. Bred only to Speedy Crown she produced six winners of over US$100,000 including the Hambletonian and Yonkers Trot winner Somolli, plus Cigar Store Injun, Mae Jeans Crown, Lord of All, Harvard Yard and 24 time winner Santana Lobell. Quite a family.... and Enfilade is quite inbred by FR standards. Thomas H. Hicks

May 13, 2017 - Today’s Kincsem Park feature was the Norina 189 (purse 600,000Huf, 2400 meters autostart, 12 starters) with rallying victory to Uzsorasno (4f Maximus Lindy-Hitelezo-Witsends Speedy), shown below. Trainer Balazs Juhasz did the teaming for owner Radihazi i. (breeder Kabela Menes Kft.). Pacesetter Sultana Jet (6f Igor Font-Art Deco-Diamond Way) held gamely for second driven by Gyorgy Horvath for trainer Imre Fazekas. Third was Samuel Becket AT (5m Diablo Va Bene-Simb Lorrikeet-Pearsall Hanover) for driver/trainer Tibor Hajnal. ' Race time was 1.18.3kr.  The undercard was led by the Tatai DIJ (purse 400,000Huf, 1800 meters autostart) and Celsius Evo (3m Pilgrims Taj-Daniellsine-Donerail) was victorious, by open lengths, clocked in 1.17.1kr, Viktoria Nemeth was the pilot for trainer Lajos Marton of this promising colt (pictured below). Finishing second was Urania RG (4f Racino-Sweet Pine-Pine Chip) for Balazs Juhasz, also trainer. Unika Vik (4f Cantab Hall-Nashville OM-Uronometro) landed third for Andrea Fazekas and trainer Juhasz.  Thomas H. Hicks

May 13, 2017 - Today at Aby SWE were two exceptional Gr. I events. The King Gustaf Cup (976,880SEK, 2140 meters autostart, harness racing four year old males) produced one exciting finish as Diamanten (4m Adrian Chip-Iata Kall-Ata Star L) exploded in the lane from heavy traffic, found the passing lane, and won timed in 1.12.6kr for Christoffer Eriksson. Robert Bergh trains the winner for Forspro AB. Deimos Racing (4g Quite Easy-Athena Haleryd-Pine Chip) raced bravely for Erik Adielsson and Svante Bath, but could not hold off the exploding finish of Diamanten. Third was Monark Newmen (4m Orlando Vici-Lady Value-Ald Palema) for trainer/driver Fredrik Persson. The astounding kick by Diamanten was “for the ages”. The filly division Queen Silvias Cup, same purse and distance, went to 2/1 Cash Crowe (4f Ready Cash-Giant Crowe-Gigant Neo) teamed by Johnny Taker for breeder/owner/trainer Petri Puro. This 1.12.7kr timed winner now is four of five in 2017 and six wins in seven career outings. 15/1 Inga In Heaven (4f Orlando Vici-Vasterbofromheaven-Red Xing) was home second and third was 80.1 Utrecht Rapid (4f Varenne-Eggental-Diamond Way) with Stefan Soderkvist at the lines. On the undercard was the V75 Gold, raced over 1609 meters autostart with 150,000SEK to the winner. Veteran Spring Erom (12m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) scored in 1.10.4kr for Bjorn Goop. Dan Wildegren trains the property of Stall Sten Nilsson, now with 32 career wins in 99 starts for 7,733,341SEK earned. Spring Erom was off at 3.6/1 and he defeated 7/1 Quick Fix (8g From Above-Glued-Sugarcane Hanover) and Christoffer Eriksson for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 69/1 Billy Flynn (5m Cantab Hall-Zeta Jones-Enjoy Lavec) was third for Erik Adielsson, trainer Par Hedberg and owners Bender Sweden and Roy Holth. Billy Flynn is an import from the USA where he was trained there by Staffan Lind. Canari Match and Edward Ale were fourth and fifth. Well regarded On Track Piraten was seventh and Kadett CD was a miscue dq. Spring Erom received an Elitloppet bid from this event. In the early card was the Euro Classic Next Year (75,000SEK first place, 2140 meters autostart) and 3/2 favorite Vainqueur RP (3m Infinitif-Global Affair-Broadway Hall) scored in 1.14.8kr for Bjorn Goop and trainer Frode Hamre. Van Kronos (3m Timoko-Mythical Kronos-Yankee Glide) was second for Erik Adielsson and trainer Svante Bath, ahead of Cantotis (3m Cantab Hall-Miss Otis Regrets-Muscles Yankee) reined by Johnny Takter for trainer Frode Hamre. Thomas H. Hicks

May 10, 2017 - Johan Untersteiner steered 4.9/1 Vasterbo Highflyer (9g Look de Star-Vasterbo Highclass-Pine Chip) to a gate to wire 1.10.2kr easy harness racing victory in the Beijer-Meadow Road (80,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart) at Solvalla this evening. The Daniel Reden chestnut trainee is owned by Stall Zet and he record victory 22 in 71 starts for 3,92,650SEK earned. 32/1 Sliding Home (4m Donato Hanover-Bar Slide-Yankee Glide) held second for Jennifer Tillman and trainer Per K. Eriksson. This one raced last in the US on October 2 for Jonas Czernyson before export to SWE and this was his best performance in 2017. Third was 1.2/1 Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) for Orjan Kihlstrom and owner/trainer Stefan Melander. Nuncio traveled straight and appeared sound but without threatening the top pair. Nuncio was away fourth, then moved second over early and followed until an attempted three wide move nearing the three-quarter mile mark. That move stalled and Nuncio just earned third by a long neck after failing to respond when plug pulled by Kihlstrom. Charrua Forlan and French Laundry were fourth and fifth. Elitloppet confirmed invite acceptances at this point are shown below with ten more remaining to complete the two elimination heats with eight starters: D.D.’s Hitman – Finlandia Ajo winner Resolve – Cutler Memorial winner at M1 Up and Quick Propulsion Timoko Bold Eagle   Thomas H. Hicks    

On Sunday at Malta Racing Club was held the Ladies International Championship with 19 nations represented and contested in four harness racing events, each raced over 2140 meters autostart. The top point winners were Maria Giovanna Bortolanza of Italy, followed by Ronate Aarlie of Norway and Gedvile Vinslauskaite of Lithuania. The race winners were Italy’s Maria Giovanna Bortolana (with Tirana CN, 1.19.9kr), Lithuania’s Gedvile Vinclauskaite (Coup de Vent, 1.17.7kr), Sweden’s Patricia Gordin (Jezzira, 1.16.7kr), and Camille Levesque (Enzo Nova, 1.16.3kr). Norway’s Ronate Aarlie finished second in both of her races. Countries represented were: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Republique Tcheque, Russia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.  Event replay follows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-zl0IFsuxQ Thomas H. Hicks

May 9, 2017 - Franck Nivard teamed Victoria Luis (3f Conway Hall-Danae del Ronco) to an easy harness racing victory in the featured Gr. III Prix Fama (purse €66,000, 2700 meters, nine European starters) at Paris Vincennes. Salvatire Minopoli trains the winning filly for Allenamento Team Minopoli. Race time was 1.16.6kr off rated fractions. Everglades (3f Rodrigo Jet-Penang) was second for Thomas Levesque, also trainer, for breeder/owner Pierre Levesque. Third was Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) for trainer/driver Franck Anne and breeder/owner Annick Bazin. Fourth was Elusive Feeling (3f Goetmals Wood-Quechua de Charue) for J-M Bazire. The Ready Cash daughters Elegantissime and Encore Plus were fifth and seventh. Thomas H. Hicks  

May 8, 2017 - Wednesday harness racing at Solvalla includes the Beijer-Meadow Road raced over 1640 meters autostart. The six horse field includes Nuncio, from a somewhat customary post one, as he seeks to regain form and prep for another Elitloppet try. The field is shown below: Nuncio, Orjan Kihlstrom Djali Boko, Christoffer Eriksson Vasterbo Highflyer, Johan Untersteiner Sliding Home, Jennifer Tilman French Laundry, Erik Adielsson Charrua Forlan, Hans Owe Sundberg Nuncio has been beaten in his last two outings after 15 consecutive wins. Today in FR was the Prix du PMU Manche Ocean at Vannes (purse €32,000, 3200 meters, 18 starters) with victory to 1.7/1 Authorized (7g Kaisy Dream-Joconde). Pierre Levesque drove the winner that he also owns and son Thomas was breeder and is the trainer. 13/1 Verso di Jaar was second and third went to 7.2/1 Viking Dream. At LeMans was the Prix Henri Lelievre (purse €28,000, 2950 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) and 16/1 Very Fast (8g Orlando Vici-Japonaise du Soir) was the 1.15.9kr timed winner for trainer/driver J.F. Seney. 3/1 Vaillant Zailer (8g Tresor de la Motte-Karea Luxor) was second for Franck Ouvrie and 15/1 Akir de Mail took third. Thomas H. Hicks  

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