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October 16, 2017 - 8/1 Black Atout (6m Prodigious-LaLagune), took today’s Q+ Prix des Gobelins (purse €54,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 starters) timed in 1.13.5kr for harness racing driver Mathieu Mottier. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for Cl. Guedy. 2.4/1 Blue Story (6f Opium-Loumana Flor) took second for Pierre Levesque and trainer Thomas Levesque, ahead of 14.5/1 Vivien Pro (8g Neutron du Cebe) for Anthony Barrier. 1.9/1 favorite Boccaccio (6m Carpe Dien) was fourth for trainer/driver Franck Nivard and fifth went to 29.3/1 Archangel AM (7g Going Kronos) for Dominik Locqueneux to complete the Quinte+ top five. Sunday at Trevso Italy was the featured PR Gran Premio Giuseppe Biasuzzi (purse €110,000, 1609 meters autostart) and the impressive gate to wire winner was Dijon(4m Ganymede-Sonate d’Aunou-Coktail Jet), timed in 1.12.7kr for Romain Derieux. Pocket sitter Ursa Caf (4f Exploit Caf-Crismar-Campo As) held second for Ant. Esposito and Urlo Dei Venti (4m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy-Malabar Man) held third for Enrico Bellei after taking a strong run at the leader past the 1200 meter mark. Dijon drew clear off the final bend and sustained his trot to the line. Thomas H. Hicks  

September 2, 2017 - Today’s Paris Vincennes harness racing groupe action began with the Prix Victor Regis (Gr. II for three year olds, purse  €120,000, 2700 meters, eight starters) and the even money favorite Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) scored comfortably with David Thomain aboard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe DeWulf, timed in 1.16.1kr. The trainer/owner team also took second with 4.3/1 Ecu Pierji (3m Tucson-Tosca Pierji) reined by Mathieu Mottier. 13.5/1 Euro du Chene (3m Neoh Jiel-Oseille du Chene) raced well to capture third driven by Franck Nivard. The Prix Uranie was the next Gr. II event (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) and 2/5 odds favorite Erminig d’Oliverie (3f Scipion du Goutier-Theze) recorded a close victory gamely holding on for the 1.14.9kr score driven by Franck Nivard. Franck Leblanc is the conditioner for Ecurie de l’Oliverie). Ere Nouvelle (3f Love You-Kidea) was a rallying second at 19.6/1 with Anthony Barrier up for the successful team of Philippe Allaire and owner Kevin Tebirent. 22/1 Elisione Mag (3f Quaker Jet-Perle du Ravary) was in the picture third for David Thomain and breeder/owner Michel Agostini. Next on tap was the Prix Carille Lepecq (Gr. II monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, nine starters). The always interesting performer Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) scored at 7/10, the favorite, timed in 1.11.5kr and exhibiting his speed and wide antics as he made the front at the halfway point. Philippe Allaire trains the veteran for Fredric Sauque and Yoann Lebourgeois was up. 8.8/ Attentionally (7f Jasmin de Flore-Intentionally) was six lengths back second with David Thomain in the irons for Paul Viel, the owner/breeder/trainer. The great veteran Tornado Bello (10m Jag de Bellouet-Enfilde) took third at 4.3/1 for Camille Levesque riding for trainer Thomas and owner Pierre Levesque. The featured Gr. I Criterium des 5ans (purse €240,000, 3000 meters, 13 starters) went to 3/10 favorite and 1.13kr timed Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) with David Thomain the pilot for Sebastien Guarato, training for Mme. Florence Deboudaud. Carat Williams now has 17 wins in 31 career outings for €780,240 earned. 7.5/1 Charly du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) was second for the Yoann Lebourgeois/Philippe Allaire driving/training team for owner Ecurie Normandy Spirit. 46/1 Coquin Bebe (5m Rancho Gede-Noble Nenette) was third driven by J-M Bazire for Franck Leblanc. 3.1/1 Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) took the Gr. II Prix Guy le Gonidec (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters all four year old mares) timed in 1.13.6kr and driven by Eric Raffin for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 21/1 Delia du Pommereux (4f Niky) was second for Franck Nivard driving for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. 141/1 Diamond Crown (4f Repeat Love-Ma Crown) was a close third for Yoann Lebourgeois. Sebastien Guarato trains this one for Lady O’Reilly and she was bred by Ecurie D. 3.3/1 Dawana was fourth and 1.2/1 favorite Darling de Reux was a dq. Today’s September 2nd Quinte+ was the Vincennes Prix de Neuilly (purse €65,000. 2850 meters, 18 starters) with the 1.13.5kr timed victory going to 7/10 favorite Azaro d’Eva (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Iomolly) reined by owner/trainer Jean Michel Bazire. 5.4/1 Athis Deladou (7g Islero de Bellouet) was second for R. LeVexier and 83/1 Vivien (8g Kaisy Dream) took the third spot for Franck Ouvrie in this modest payoff Quinte event. The day’s final groupe contest was the Gr. III Prix de Beaugency (purse €105.000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) and that 1.13.1kr timed score went to 1.6/1 favorite Virgious du Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) for trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. The breeder/owner is Ecurie du Maza. Finishing second was 9.5/1 Unero Montaval (9g Nem-Heroine du Loir) for Eric Raffin and 35/1 Val Royal (8m Capriccio) took the third check for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire. Great weather and superb racing made for a well-attended racing day at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes. Thomas H. Hicks

July 22, 2017 - Today’s featured Prix de Buenos-Aires (purse €120,000, 4150 meters distance handicapped, 17 starters, Quinte+) was a Gr. II International event and 9.7/1 Virgious du Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) scored for trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault and breeder/owner Ecurie du Maza. 22/1 Unero Montaval (9g Nem-Heroine du Loir) took second for Eric Raffin and third went to 8/1 Clif du Pommereux (5m Love You-Noure du Pommereux) for J-M Bazire and trainer Sylvain Roger. 125/1 Vittorio de Carly and 88/1 Venus de Bailly ended fourth and fifth. Race time was 1.15.4kr. 5.4/1 Diadora BR (6f Ken Warkentin-Bauxite) was an impressive 1.14.3kr winner of the Pris Pont de la Porte Montmartre (purse €55,000, 2150 meters autostart, 15 starters). Christophe Martens raced the Vincent Martens trainee on the front and she was unstoppable for owner Ceke Farm BVBA. 56/1 Viking Dream (8g Isero) was second for trainer/driver A.G. Maillard, ahead of 42/1 Vanetta d’Azur (8f Lejarque d’Houlbec). Euro du Chene (3m Neoh Jiel-Oseilla du Chene) took the Prix de Rome (€85,000, 2875 meters, eight starters) for Mathieu Abrivard, trainer Jerome LeMer and breeder/owner Claude Gueji. The 17.4/1 outsider was timed in 1.15.4kr. 5.2/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romaine du Ruel) held second craftily reined by trainer Franck Anne for breeder/owner Annick Bazin. Third was 7.1/ Eridan (3m Ready Cash-Topize d’Atout) for driver David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato. The 5/10 favorite Hambo Trannss R (3m Love You-Bewitched) was a non-threatening fourth for Robin Bakker/Paul Hagoort team. This one reached the front early, then was stuffed in the pocket by Elite du Ruel, and when free late showed little. The Prix du Faubourg Montmartre (purse €65,000, 2875 meters, 13 starters) went to 8.4/1 Dalixoria (4f Prince D’Espace-Java du Vaumicel) at 8.4/1 and driven by Eric Raffin for the team of trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. 16/1 Dynastie Aldo (4f Kiwi-Ocre Barbes) for J-M Bazire and 8/1 Daljamosa (4f Kaiser Soze-Jaldemosa) with David Thomain up, took the second and third positions to the line. Race time was 1.16.1kr. Thomas H. Hicks    

July 15, 2017- The Enghien harness racing feature this Saturday was the Prix de Bruxelles (purse €95,000, 2150 meters autostart, eight European starters). The 2/5 favorite Valko Jenilat (8m Kepler-Perle du Roc) was a two length winner for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and Ecurie G&F Raffre. Valko Jenilat took his 17th victory in 72 career outings, now for €859,515 earned. 15.7/1 Olmo Holz (9m Uronometro-Veuve du Kras) was second for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens, ahead of 5.1/1 Ave Avis (7m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) driven by Matthieu Abrivard for trainer J-M Bazire. 19/1 Arazi Boko (10g Varenne-Laura Kemp) was fourth with Franck Nivard up, and 36/1 Trebol (10m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait) was fifth for trainer/driver Gabriel Angel Pou Pou. Race time was 1.12.9kr. Today’s Q+ was the Prix du Palais de Chaillot (purse €68,000, 2875 meters. 18 starters) at Enghien with the 1.14.8kr timed victory going to 5/1 Azur Somolli (7m Obrillant-Ophelia Somolli) reined by trainer Sebastien Ernault. 8.8/1 All Feeling (7m Otello Pierji-Quelle Cerencaise) took second for Christophe Martens ahead of 14/1 Unero Montaval (9g Nem-Heroine du Loir) and driver Franck Nivard. 188/1 Baleyse was fourth for Alexis Garandeau and fifth was 8/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (6m Magnificent Rodney-Nymphe du Dollar) for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer Sylvain Roger. July 15 action at Enghien also included the Prix du Louvre (purse €80,000, 2875 meters, 12 European starters) with that victory earned by 12.3/1 Cantin de l’Eclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Joyeuse) timed in 1.14.2kr and driven by Tony Le Beller for Ecurie Éclair. 9/1 Coup Droit (5m Prodigious-Saint Leonard) took second for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer Paul Hagoort and Stable Why Not. 3/2 favorite Bredabliks Nubbe (5m Lindy Lane-Wildgirl Boshoeve) was a rallying third for Conrad Lugauer. Thomas H. Hicks

July 13, 2017 - Alexandre Abrivard teamed 8.6/1 Azaro d’Eva (7m Lynx de Bellouet-Iomolly) to victory in Thursday’s Quinte+ at Enghien, the Prix de l’Opera (purse €58,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 starters). This J-M Bazire owned and trained performer was clocked in 1.14kr. 6.1/1 Venicio Pommereux (8g Love You-Noune du Pommereux) was second, driven by Franck Nivard, for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. Third was 86/1 Un Satin Rose (9g Ganymede-Dentelle Rose) for driver Franck Ouvrie. Mind Your Face and Paparazzi completed the top five and the exact order payoff exceeded €45,000 for a two euro wager. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 8, 2017 - Saturday harness racing action at Vichy was highlighted by the Gr. II Grand Prix Conseil Municipal (purse €120,000, 2850 meters distance handicap). The 25 meter penalized Aubrion du Gers (7g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) rallied around the final bend for owner/trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire and held strong by two lengths plus in the rain, timed in 1.14.5kr. This classy campaigner recorded his 23rd career win and now has earnings of €1,050,372. Tallien (10g Extreme Aunou-Gyka de la Chaise) took second for driver/trainer/owner Herve Sionneau, ahead of Venus de Bailly (8f Chaillot-Oceane de Bailly) and reinsman Jean Boillereau. Finish is shown below. Also July 8 was the Prix Okwo (purse €25,000, 2700 meters distance handicap, 13 starters) at Graignes. The well regarded, 50 meter handicapped, 1.4/1 favorite, Charly du Noyer (5m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) scored timed in 1.14.5kr for driver Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner M.A. Thomas. This classy campaigner had been misque dq’d in five of his last six outings, but not today. He now has 10 wins in 31 starts for earnings in excess of €656,000. 46/1 Amarena Danover (7f Oiseau de Feux-Etoile du Cuglais) was second for P.Ch. Jean and 5/2 Citizen Kane (5g Orlando Vici-Queen of Viking) overcame a 25 meter penalty to earn third for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque. Turf action took place at Segre in the Prix Ozo (purse €25,000, 2700 meters distance handicap) and the 25 meter handicapped Chistor d’Iraty (5g Quick Wood-Irrintzina) scored for J.Ph. Monclin and owner/trainer Jacques Bodin. Equally handicapped Crepe de Satin (5f Le Retour-Ina d’Avril) was second ahead of Belicco Wild. Thomas H. Hicks  

June 24, 2017 - Franck Nivard teamed Express Bourbon (3m Ready Cash-Kamera Bourbon-Cezio Josselyn-Etta Extra) to a 1.17kr victory this day in the Prix du Green Horse Festival (purse €21,000, 2850 meters, three year-old open). Sebastien Guarato trains this winner for owner Yvette Engelke. Haras Saint Martin bred Express Bourbon that is from a US$221,000 winning mare. Second was another well-bred three year-old, this the filly Erabella Madrik (3f Ready Cash-Talina Madrik-Korean-Ketty d’Occagnes-Workaholic) driven by Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trained by Yves Boireau. Her dam won US$439,000. Third was Early Morning (3m Coktail Jet-Passion d’Amour-Joyau d’Amour) reined by Thibault Borderie. Fourth went to Expeditious (3m Prodigious-Rapide Aventure-Love You-Bahama), his dam a winner of US$244,000, and today driven by Julien Dubois for trainer Philippe Moulin and Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The quality of this race set the pace for a superb Paris-Vincennes program tomorrow, with seven groupe races and a myriad of top performers led by Bold Eagle and Belina Josselyn in the Gr. I UET Masters Prix Rene Balliere for a €200,000 purse. The other Gr. I events are the Prix d’Essai, Grand Prix du President de la Republique and Prix Albert Viel. Eiffel Tower, Django Riff and Ecu Pierji are favorites in these. Program here: The great horses and races highlight a day of family entertainment at the Temple du Trot first featuring the equine stars.  Thomas H. Hicks

June 19, 2017 - The Q+ this day was the Prix de Cognat-Lyonne at Vichy, raced for a purse of €38,000, and contested over 2850 meters by 18 starters. The 4/5 favorite Avrik de Guex (7g Joker de Rozoy-Quoumbaya de Guez) prevailed easily for harness racing driver J-M Bazire and owner/trainer J.Ph Ducher. 17/1 Anduro des Landes (7g Kesaco Phedo-Odemeraude) rallied for second reined by breeder/owner/trainer Sebastien Hardy. Third in the 1.14.3kr timed event was 16/1 Tessy du Moulin (1of Dahir de Prelong-Lune des Genets) with fourth and fifth to Victoria du Viaduc and Verso de Crennes. At Caen was the Prix de Corneville (purse €28,000, 2200 meters, 16 starters) with the 1.12.9kr victory going to 11.2/1 Reine du Zack (7f Zinzan Brooke Tur-Giulia Grif) with trainer Marco Smorgon at the lines. Scuderia Trotto Italia SAS owns the winner. 181/1 outsider Verse de Made (8g Lord du Pin-Miranda) was second for Lorenzo Donati, ahead of 9/1 Twitter (8g Offshore Dream-Face For Ever) driven by Sebastian Ernault for owner/trainer Bjorn Goop. Thomas H. Hicks

June 8, 2017 - On Tuesday (June 6) the harness racing action was at Avenches Suisse, and the featured Coupe des 5 Ans Switzerland (purse €13,976, 2350 meters nine starters) went to 1.15.1kr timed and 7/10 favorite Canoue de Bocage (5f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Ladylike). Trainer Loris Ferro was the pilot for owner Marlon Segl. 17/1 Global Spotify (5g Judge Joe-Claudia) took second for Marcel Humbert, trainer Rudolf Haller and Stall Allegra. Third was 8/1 Chopin du Martza (5m Ganymede-Polka du Martza) for trainer/driver Renaud Pujols. At Vincennes that day was the Groupe III Prix Caecilia (purse €80,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) with victory earned by 2.2/1 Dunbar (4m Look de Star-Ima du Houx). Eric Raffin teamed the Sebastien Guarato trainee for Pierre Pilarski. 9/2 Desiree (4f Ready Cash-Richesse d’Orient) was second for Alain Laurent, the driver/trainer for breeder/owner Etienne Desmet. Third was 4.4/1 Drole d’Espoir (4m Nem-Orphea de Nay) for J.Ph. Monclin. Race time was 1.13.6kr. The Prix Perseus at Paris-Vincennes (monte, purse €80,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) produced a 1.12.9kr score by 2.6/1 Alpha Saltor (7m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) with Matthieu Abrivard in the irons for trainer David Bethouart and owner P.G. David. 11/1 Bolida Jenilou (6g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) took second for jockey Damien Bonne with 61/1 outsider Vaquero du Mont (8m Kaisy Dream-Lacovia) the third pair to the line including jockey Mlle. Lolita Balayn. 7/10 favorite Arlington Dream was fourth. On Tuesday at Ebreichsdorf (AUT) was the Pferdewetten.de Coup (purse €7,000, 1640 meters autostart, 11 entrants) and the 1.12.6kr timed winner was 4.2/1 Panic Launcher (7f Thai Tanic-Alert Launcher) reined by Sweden’s Johnny Takter for trainer Wolfgang Ruth. 3/2 favorite Evita Viking (7f Love You-Cindy Viking) was second for trainer/driver Gerhard Mayr. Third was 6/1 Pocahontas Diamant (6f Look de Star-Ionia Dei) and her pilot, trainer Gerhard Biendl. At Chatelaillons FR was the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran (purse €30,000, 2625 meters, 11 starters) with the 1.15.9kr clocked verdict to 3.2/1 Cash Okay (5m Ready Cash-Tresokay). Olivier Raffin was the pilot, he also the trainer for Norway’s K.O. Molander. Second went to 17.7/1 Romanesque (7m Love You-Guantanamera) reined by Rik Dupuydt for trainer Marc De Cock. Third was the 1.1/1 favorite Gross Weight (6m Scarlet Knight-Elma Jet) with Clement  Duvaldestin at the lines for his father, trainer Thierry. The same day at Reims was presented the Prix l’Association Roseau Reims (purse €32,000, 2550 meters, 12 starters).The 4/5 favorite Dominator (7m Donato Hanover-Untra Sund) survived a close battle to score for Eric Raffin timed in 1.14.9kr.Bjorn Goop trains the winner for Stall Kennys. 24/1 Userio de Carvel (9g Isero-Ullia du Carfvel) landed second for P.Y. Verva and trainer Cristian Rizzo. 3.2/1 Romi Mms (7f Turbo Sund-Goldy LB) was third driven by Franck Nivard for trainer Philippe Billard and owner Marko Slavic of SRB. The Q+ on June 7 was at Laval that hosted the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf for a purse of €90,000 and was raced by 18 rivals over 2875 meters distance handicapped. This sixth leg of the GNT series went to 3/1 Violine Mourotaise (8f LeRetour-Mourotaise) teamed by owner/trainer Emmanuel Raulline. The winner was clocked in a sharp 1.12.9 over the distance and scored her 11th career victory in 71 starts for €328,860 earned. 5.6/1 Baladin Hongrois (6g Bon Conseil-Reladie Hongroise) was next with Arnaud Desmottes up, and third was 18/1 Virgious de Maza (8g Prodigious-Pocket Edition) for trainer/driver Sebastian Ernault. These two were penalized 25 meters as were the fourth and fifth finishers, 3.4/1 Bugsy Malone and 38/1 Tiger Danover. 110.1 Ursa Major was sixth, also penalized 25 meters in this prestigious Quinte+ event. Thomas H. Hicks  

Mickael Gilles Lemarchand, driving Be Cash Money a son of Ready Cash, took the first of two legs of the French-American Friendship Trot over the 1200 meter inner track at Hippodromo Argentan in Normany today. Alan Schwartz led team America to a second place finish driving the Ready Cash filly Bety Du Goutier. Schwartz generously survived a judge's inquiry as the first try at a start resulted in a wild and crazy array of horses that caused a recall. Bob Davis' horse was scratched for not having his paperwork in order which negated all of two days of studying the program and viewing videos. Jean Phillipe Bazire, cousin of the French very accomplished driver of the same name, did not disappoint the family name garnering a third place finissh. Peter Kleinhans recovered from an early break to finish Fourth and Tony Ciuffetelli took the nickel. I, also badly affected by the recall, was placed seventh with four horses of the twelve being disqualified. All in all not a bad showing and on Tuesday evening at Vincennes will either make us champs or goats. In reality The North American Amateur Drivers have the distinct honor of being the very first amateurs ever invited to France to compete against their counterparts. "The French Le Trot placed us in the hands of three great hosts, Damien, Marie-Anh and Emmanuelle, who chauffeured us around. We were shown every hospitality from a brasserie in Trouville to restaurants in Arromanches and Caen. Tomorrow is a free day in the City of Lights with a scheduled dinner cruise on the Siene under the watchful eye of the Tower Eiffel. Tuesday's menu includes a visit to the famed training center at Grosbois followed by an evening race, the Prix Iphigenia. The French had much more to celebrate than their amateur victory as the 10 year old French bred Timoko, who was barely bested in the return of the International Trot at Yonkers Raceway two years ago, won the Ellietlop today in Sweden. This is the last year that Timoko can race in France and hopefully the $1,000,000 International at Yonkers on October14th will temp his connections to return for revenge. by Joe Faraldo, NAADA team leader

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

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  

May 7, 2017 - At La Capelle on Sunday was the Prix Carrefour (purse €30,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) and the 1.15.8kr clocked winner was 12/1 Pantarei Ans (8m Classic Photo-Demetra Ans) with P-Y Verva aboard for harness racing trainer Bjorn Goop and Ecurie Chikh. 2.1/1 Diamond (7g Classic Photo-Gala dei Bessi) was second driven by Robin Bakker and trainer by Paul Hagoort for Ecurie Mille Fleurs. Third was another Goop trainee, 1.3/1 I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Maris Dulcinea) that Morton Gunnar owns and Pierre Vercruysse was the pilot. Trophee Vert action also continued Sunday at Bernais with the Prix du Centre le Clerc Menneval (purse €45,000, 2800 meters, 18 starters on the turf). The 3/2 favorite Tresor Wic finished eighth for Anthony Barrier, opening the way for 7.5/1 Bingo d’Attaque (6m Pomerol de Laumac-Lady de la Roche) to score for Gabriel Gelormini timed in 1.20.1kr before a good crowd. 13/1 All Feeling (7m Otello Pierji-Quelle Cerencaise) was second and 14/1 Viola Ecus (8g Korean-Iffrida) took the third spot. This day racing in Germany was at Berlin, Gelsenkirchen and Karlsruhe. At Berlin legendary Heinz Wewering teamed his trainee Impulsiv (5g Muscles Yankee-L’Amka) to victory. At Gelsenkirchen Ivy Corner (5f Love You-Indira Corner) was victorious for trainer Wolfgang Nimczyk and amateur pilot Thomas Maasen. The sister to this winner is racing competitively in the US for Jesmeral Stable. Thomas H. Hicks

April 29, 2017 - Veteran and former Prix d’Amerique winner Up And Quick (9m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) gained an impressive gate to wire harness racing victory in today’s Gr. II first speed leg of the FR summer, this one named the Criterium de Vitesse de Base Normandie and raced at Argentan. Franck Nivard teamed the Franck Leblanc trainee that is owned and was bred by Ecurie Quick Star. The winner recorded his 14th win in 58 starts for €1,988,540 earned. Today’s event carried a purse of €100,000 and was raced over 1609 meters autostart, clockwise direction. The 5.5/1 barefoot winner bested 2.8/1 and pocket placed Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) reined by David Thomain for Sebastien Guarato, trainer for owner/breeder Philippe Dauphin. Third was the 1.6/1 favorite Bird Parker (6m Ready Cash-Belisha) driven by J.Ph. Monclin for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. Target Kronos and Arazi Boko were the next two to the line.  Race time was 1.09.4kr, the mile rate a sizzling 1:51.64. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 22, 2017 - Coupe Droit (5m Prodigious-Saint Leonard) took Saturday’s Prix de la Ville de Saint Gratien at Enghien (purse €72,000, 2150 meters autostart, 10 European starters) scoring at 1.8/1 odds for driver Robin Bakker on the Bold Eagle undercard. The winner was clocked in 1.14.2kr and recorded his fourth career win in 30 starts, now for €251,110 earned. Paul Hagoort trains Coupe Droit for Stable Wby Not. 1.7/1 favorite Cirrus Atout (5g Look de Star-Ire du Ciel) held gamely for second driven by Gabriel Gelormini for trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Ecurie de Aaris. Third was 4.9/1 Capitaine France (5g Modern Jazz-Quanta Rosa Sun) in rein to owner/trainer William Bigeon. For Stable Why Not it was a superb weekend following a 1:52.1 (mile) victory in the Friday evening US$ 20,000 purse Preferred Trot at New Meadowlands (USA) by Tuonoblu Rex (5m Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex-Lindy Lane). That one was driven by Andy Miller and trained by Julie Miller in his first US appearance for a purse. Well-regarded and 3/5 favorite Crazy Wow, a career winner over US$1.5 million, was a head-beaten second after leading from the quarter mark in his first 2017 start for a purse. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 22, 2017 - “Trotteurs” were back in harness racing action Saturday on the turf at Martinique Madinina (Hippodrome de Carrere Martinique) with the Prix de Caen (purse €5,000, 2600 meters distance handicap) going to 50 meter penalized Titan Pierji (10g Jardy-Kora Pierji) timed in 3:53 over the rain drenched turf course and in a pouring rainstorm. Titan Pierji now has won four of his five 2017 starts for owner/trainer/driver Lora Duplessis-Kergomard. The 25 meter handicapped Vlatou des Salines (8g Magnificent Rodney-Griffe des Salines) rallied for second reined by Jean Luc Langeron, also the trainer. Third home was Tyran du Vautour (10g Fan Quick-Katia des Vautour) driven by Jean Pierre Loury for trainer Abdon Rene Colas. In the Prix de Cabourg (purse €5,000, 2600 meters distance handicap) the winner placed by disqualification was Tosca du Logis (10f Islero de Bellouet-Maria du Logis) driven by Alexandre Faivre for owner/trainer Edmond Langeron. 25 meter Quamalox de Guex (13g Dahir de Prelong-Esyptia de Salomon) was placed second for driver/trainer/owner Benoit Magdeleine. Trotting action occurs monthly on a mixed trot/gallop program at the Hippodrome. Thomas H. Hicks

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