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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

April 19, 2017 - 4.8/1 Barry Felin (6m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois) won today’s Quinte+ harness racing featured Prix de la Ville de Cordemais (purse €40,000, 2825 meters, 18 starters) timed in 1.13.7kr for reinsman Dwight Pieters. Gilles Delacour trains the wines that defeated 2/1 Bronnus Seven (6g Scipion du Goutier-Melie Dhaumoniere), owned/bred/trained/reined by Jean-Michel Bazire. 3.8/1 Baladin Hongrois (6g Bon Conseil-Relodie Hongrise) took third for trainer/driver Arnaud Desmottes. At Paris-Vincennes yesterday was the Prix Henrietta (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 10 starters) that produced a dead-heat victory shared by 1.7/1 Dandy de Godrel (4m Timoko-Nigelle Witt) for trainer/owner/driver Bjorn Goop and 6.5/1 Davidson du Pont (4m Pacha du Pont-Laguna du Pont) with Franck Ouvrie driving for owner/trainer J-Y Rayon. Third went to 5/2 Driver Cadence (4m Saxo de Vandel-Rose Pourpre) driven by trainer Emmanuel Allard. Fourth was 10.9/1 Derby d’Auvrecy (4m Texas Charm-Meliana Bella) driven by Dominik Locqueneux and trainer M-J Ruault. Race timed was 1.14.5kr. Also at Vincennes was the Gr. III Prix Cornelia (monte, purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 European starters) that resulted in a 1.13.4kr resounding victory for 1.6/1 Alpha Saltor (7m Paris-Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) with jockey Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. Daniel Bethouart trains the winner for P.G. David. 7/1 Valse de Reve (8f Mister President-Noubu Itouba) took second for Mlle. Camille Levesque and trainer/owner Alain Roussel. 16.1/1 Vrai Voyou (8g Gazouillis-Oranginette) was third for Adrian Lamy and owner/trainer P.E. Mary. Thomas H. Hicks  

April 19, 2017 - Bold Eagle leads a classy harness racing field of 11 in Saturday’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Prix de l’Atlantique at Enghien. The recent Triple Crown winner, first in 41 years, drew post one in the 2150 meters autostart affair for a purse of €200,000. The lineup follows:   Thomas H. Hicks

March 30, 2017 - Alinea won today’s Grand Prix de l’Hippodrome de Reims (purse €32,000, 2600 meters, 14 starters) at Reims, with Damien Bonne aboard. The 3/5 favorite is a six year-old gelded son of Baccarat du Pont-Pavive)  trained by Bonne for owner Christian Georges Labbe and timed in 1.13.8kr. 40/1 Tenor du Passage (10g Gazouillis) was second ahead of 84/1 Tino de Tortiere (10g Baccarat du Pont) reined by P-Y-Verva At Lyon la Soie this day the Prix des Colombus (purse €26,000, 2700 meters, 18 starters) went to 6.3/1 Amiral de Carsi (7g Nuage de Lait-Heenlike de Carst) reined by trainer/owner J.P. Ensch. The 1.15.9kr timed impressive winner defeated 4.2/1 Berry Felin (6m Nahar de Beval) and 40.3/1 Ugo des Jacquots (9g Mood West) Thomas H. Hicks

March 22, 2017 - The 7/10 favorite Brissac (6m Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Jannibelle) scored an easy and impressive harness racing victory in today’s Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran (purse €45,000, 2625 meters, 17 European starters) at Agen le Passage, timed in 1.12.9kr for owner/trainer/driver Jean Alain Eliphe. 40.6/1 Univers Solaire (9g Lutin Malin-Intertaction) was second for Pierre Houel and third went to 7.1/1 Bon Copain (6m Love You-Haie) for Eric Raffin, trainer Thierry Raffegeau and J-Y Roze. 14/1 Victoria du Viaduc and Matthieu Abrivard and 20/1 Victoria de Marzy with Gabriel Gelormini up finished fourth and fifth in this contest. Thomas H. Hicks

March 11, 2017 - The pre-Criterium de Vitesse speed evening was Friday and included several one-mile harness racing tests at Cagnes-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean Sea. The first such contest was the Prix Sophia Metropole Mag (purse €32,000, 1609 meters autostart, 14 European starters). The 1.11.7kr (1:55.36) timed winner was I Love Paris (7f Steinlager-Marie Dulcinea) reined by trainer Bjorn Goop for owner Martin Gunnar Sem. This 9/10 favorite easily bested 57.5/1 Vertige de Vauvert (8g Memphis du Rib-Dolly de Vauvert) driven by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Henk Grift and Holland’s Patrick Davidson, the owner. This was 3.8/1 Reine du Zack (7f Zinzan Brooke Tur-Giulia Grif) for Edoardo Loccisano, trainer Marco Smorgan and Scuderia Trotto Italia SAS. The Prix de Pise (purse €25,000, 1609 meters autostart, 12 European starters) went to 1.12.9kr (1:57.26) timed and 2.2/1 favorite Sonia (6f Donato Hanover-Ele Code) driven this evening by Rene Legati for trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. Scuderia Indal SRL owns the winner, that defeated 6.7/1 Badiane du Pont (6f Baccarat du Pont-Ophelic la Garenne) in rein to Stephane Cingland. Third was 5/2 second choice Sirena d’Asolo (6f Conway Hall-Berta d’Asolo) for G.P. Minnucci, trainer Gaetano Giannelavigna and owner Mme. Caterina Citarella. Beatles (10g Love You-Shesellsseashells) took the speed evenings Prix de Naples (purse €16,000, 1609 meters autostart, 14 starters) timed in 1.12kr (1:55.78 mile rate) at 5.1/1 for  driver Dominik Locqueneux, trainer Robert Bergh and owner Etoile Sweden HB. 2.6/1 Tip Top Nelliere(10g Go Lucky-Novely Blue) was second for Gabriel Gelormini and 19/1 Udson de Rerz (9g And Arifant-Osima) held third for trainer/driver Yannick A. Briand. The mile distance contests continued with the Prix de Bologne (purse €25,000, distance 1609 meters autostart, 14 European starters) and the 1.11.7kr (1:55.34) timed winner was 7.5/1 Burano (6g Mon Premier Cehere-Nazoulene) for trainer/driver Junior Guelpa and owner Leomy SARL. 40/1 Balou d’Angis (6g Hermes de Pericard-History Jet) was second for trainer/driver Romuald Mourice with 23.7/1 Sogno d’Amore (6m Broadway Hall-Do It Wise) third for driver Pietro Gubellini and trainer H.E. Bondo. Fourth was the 1.4/1 favorite Severno (6m Domma Tore d’Oro-Ujane du Basse) reined by G.P. Minnucci for trainer Gaetano Giannelavigna. The Prix de Modene (purse €8,000, 1609 meters autostart, 12 starters with amateur drivers) went to 3.8/1 Bleu Blanc Bleu (6g Jag de Bellouet-Georgia) with Mme. Viginie Baudier-Cormy aboard. Mikael Cormy trains the gelding for breeder/owner Michel Gallier. Time was 1.12.1kr (mile 1:55.97). 3/5 favorite Bonnie Star (6f Echo-Lenny des Beilles) was second for Mlle. Sophie Blanchetiere and trainer Yannick A. Briand. On March 11 at Bollnas (SWE) the V75 Gold (150,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to 1.1/1 odds On Track Piraten (9g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) reined by Johnny Takter. The 1.12.7kr clocked winner is trained by Hans R. Stromberg for Stall Monrovia and recorded his ninth consecutive victories after being fourth at Yonkers in their 2016 International. 18/1 Pochai (7m Make It Happen-In Vino Veritas-Express Ride) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Svante Bath. Third was 10.55/1 Claes Boko (8m Varenne-Salma Boko-Express Ride) driven by Erik Adielsson for trainer Stig H. Johansson and owner Lekeryd Interior & Design AB. Thomas H. Hicks

March 2, 2017 - A superb afternoon harness racing program at Paris-Vincennes featured three groupe contests and began with the Quinte+ Prix Emile Allis Courboy (purse €82,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters)  and 62.1/1 Tallien (10g Extreme Aunou-Gykadelia) scored for owner/trainer/driver Herve Sionneau, clocked in 1.13.8kr. The winner surged home quickly after the 500 meters remaining time was 1.14.8kr. 16/1 Bolide Jenilou (6g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) was second for Anthony Barrier, and third went to 12/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (6m Magnificent Rodney-Nymphe du Dollar) for driver/trainer Sylvain Roger. Vacate Money (8f Prodigious) was fourth for Jean-Philippe Dubois and 133/1 Romanesque (7m Love You) was fifth for Christophe Martens. Heavily backed 7/10 odds Cash Gamble was a miscue dq when on the lead entering the lane.  The Gr. II monte Prix Ali Hawas (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to 1.16kr timed and 2.9/1 odds Evidence Roc (3f Paris Haufor-Misface du Boulay) for Mme. Emilie LeBeller. Bertrand LeBeller trains the winner for Ecurie d’Embeli. 1.7/1 favorite Elegante de Mont (3f Saxo de Vandel-Locovia) was second for jockey David Thomain and trainer Th. Gauchet, and third was earned by 7.4/1 Epatante (3f Village Mystic-Suricate) ridden by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire.  The Gr. III Prix Vindex (purse €95,000, 2700 meters, nine starters) went to 1.14.4kr clocked and 8/1 odds Diablo du Noyer (4m Jasmin de Flore-Une et Indivisible), with William Bigeon driving for owner Cl. Guedj. Second was 16/1 Doria Desbois (4f In Love With You-Ivariez) for Matthieu Abrivard and trainer/owner Ch. Feyete. Third was 3.6/1 Dream Life (4f Royal Dream-Union Of My Life) for Jean-Philippe Dubois and Philippe Moulin trainer for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. The Gr. II monte Prix Felcien Gavreau (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to the impressive ten length winner, and 1/5 favorite, Eye Of The Storm (3m Village Mystic-La Dolce Vita) with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons. Philippe Allaire is owner/trainer of the undefeated colt, a five time winner for €158,850 in the brief career. 8.4/1 Eclat du Thure (3m Paris Haufor-Quintussue) was second for Matthieu Abrivard and 39/1 Electro Cadence (3m Kaisy Dream-Potuna Saint Andre) was home third for jockey Franck Nivard.   The Prix de Lorient (purse €65,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Cleangame (6g Ouragon de Celland-Red Bell) reined by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner J.M. Rancoule. 29/1 Candidat d’Ortage (5m Giant Cat-Rare d’Ortige) was next for trainer Franck Leblanc and Matthieu Abrivard driving. Third was 9/1 Coffee Look d’Eam (5g Look de Star-Nidra Pierji) for Anthony Barrier.  Yesterday action was at Enghien, and the Q+ was the Prix de Sedan (purse €55,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European starters). The quick 1.12.7kr timed winner, at the beginning of heavy rain, was 4/5 favorite Afghan Barbes (7g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) with Charles J. Bigeon up. The Christian Bigeon trainee is owned and was bred by Andrew Francis Bigeon and now has ten wins in 34 career starts for €239,660 earned. 25/1 Azaro D’eva (7f Lynx de Belouet-Lomolly) was second for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire and third was 28/1 Uranie du Glay (9f Hermes Pericard-Karine Picarde) with trainer Junior Guelpa the driver. The Enghien card also included the Prix de Lure (purse €80,000, 2875 meters, 12 European starters) and 16/1 Black d’Arjeanc (6g Prince d’Espace-Perle de Riviere) scored in 1.15.5kr over the sloppy surface with Mathieu Mottier driving for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Breizh d’Espace). 3/1 Ble du Gers (6g Quinda du Gers-Moorea) was next for trainer Guarato and reinsman Franck Nivard. Third was 63/1 Staro Italy (6m Make It Happen-Irene Bi) trained by Vincent Martens and reined by Roberto Andreghetti. Thomas H. Hicks

January 29, 2017 - The exceptional, extraordinaire Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethu Rah Jet) scored a convincing harness racing victory in the 2017 Prix d’Amerique Opodo clocked in 1.11.2kr for Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski, Jean-Etienne Dubois bred Bold Eagle, now with €2,743,300 earned. Belina Josselyn (6f Love You-Lezira Josselyn) was a game second after gaining the lead late in the final bend for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and owner Yvan Bernard. Lionel (7m Look de Star-Aurora Sign) rallied for third for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Daniel Reden and owner Goran Antonsen of Norway. Propulsion, Briac Dark, Call Me Keeper and Booster Winner were next to the line. Fractions were steady and quick over the 2700 meter distance for a purse of €1,000,000 (1.11.8kr at 1500 to go; 1.12kr at the 1000; 1.11.4kr with 500 meters remaining). Princess Grif, Timoko and Univers de Pan contested the early pace. The 1.11.2kr clocking today was a race record, lowering the 1.11.4kr record set by Bold Eagle last year, with only three winning times better than 1.12kr (the third Royal Dream 1.11.9kr when defeating Ready Cash) Opodo America Awards 2017: And two for Bold Eagle! Thomas H. Hicks

January 25, 2017 - Solid trotting action took place this day at Cagnes sur Mer and Hambourg. At Cagnes siur Mer the Prix Houston Laukko (purse €31,000, 2150 meters autostart, 13 starters) went to 1.13.3kr timed and 1.6/1 odds Bea Ecus (6f Quick Wood-Iffrida) with Markku Vartainen up, he is also the harness racing breeder/owner/trainer. 6.4/1 Calicot du Vivier (5g Repeat Love-Kalika du Viver) was second for owner/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois and Yves Boireau, trainer. Jean-Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 48.2/1 Bolide de la Cote (5g Quatre Juillet-Scarlet Pride) held third. 1.3/1 Douce Aventure (4f Sam Bourbon-New York) took the Prix Dollar de Meslay (purse €24,000, 2150 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.14.5kr. Breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron reined the winner. Another Sam Bourbon offspring won the Prix Tigre Royal (purse €24,000, 2150 meters autostart). The 1.13.3kr timed winner was 4/5 favorite Dixon Dark (4m Sam Bourbon-Queen des Charmes) owned byStall Rita and driven by Jorma Niskanen. The Quinte+ was at Cagnes sur Mer in the Prix Une de Mai (purse €55,000, 2925 meters, 14 starters). 3/5 favorite Baby Lou Max (6g Gazouillis-Kamaxie) scored victorious for Nicolas Mortagne ahead of 103.7/1 outsider Boss du Meleuc (6g Lucky Blue-Rafale du Meleuc) with owner/trainer Y-A Briand driving. Third was 117.2/1 Undici (9g Kaiser Soze-Jobeth) for trainer/driver David Bekaert. Race time was 1.13.8kr. Well respected Cash Hanover (5m Love You-Impasse) took the Preis de Hamburger 2016 Champions at Hambourg, Germany. Michael Nimczyk is trainer/driver for owner Ulrich Mommert and the winner was timed in 1.15.9kr over 2200 meters for a €7,000 purse. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 25, 2017 - The 2017 Prix d’Amerique Opodo (purse €1 million, 2700 meters) is fast approaching with 22 harness racing horses engaged, that will be narrowed to 18 tomorrow. It is expected that four (Orient Horse, Ursa Major, Trebol and Amiral Sacha) will not be in the final field and if true the following will be at the start: Treasure Kronos  Christoffer Eriksson Briac Dark - David Thomain Call Me Keeper - Pierre Vercruysse Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström Bélina Josselyn - Jean-Michel Bazire Lionel - Matthieu Abrivard Booster Winner - Eric Raffin Princess Grif - Roberto Andreghetti Anna Mix - Mathieu Mottier Bird Parker - Jean-Philippe Monclin Akim du Cap Vert - Franck Anne Wild Honey - Gabriele Gelormini Voltigeur de Myrt - Lorenzo Donati Oasis Bi - Johnny Takter Univers de Pan - Philippe Daugeard Tiégo d’Étang - Christian Bigeon Bold Eagle - Franck Nivard Timoko - Björn Goop Thursday (January 26) begins the Arqana Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale at Paris-Vincennes and Friday is the exceptional “Etalons Expo” that showcases breeding farms, stallion syndicates, equipment, feed products and even wine. The mixed sale smart catalog link follows and includes stallion shares, in foal mares, racing prospects and racehorses. http://www.arqana-trot.com/template/img/vente/smartcat/v143/3225ccdca6a5408f657eb80d32332a9bce0aebdc.jpg Be there for what is a fantastic weekend for worldwide trotting fans.  Thomas H. Hicks  

January 22, 2017 - Today’s Cornulier program was excellent and included top flight harness racing events supporting the great monte classic. Today’s opener was the Prix Roxane Griff (monte, purse €85,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) and victory was earned by 6.4/1 Billy de la Calade (6g Quick Wood-Mania Danover) ridden by Antoine Dabouis for breeder/owner/trainer Serge Yana. Clocked in 1.14.9kr, off modest fractions, the winner defeated 5.5/1 Baladin Hongrois (6g Bon Conseil-Relodie Hongroise) with Guillaume Martin in the irons for trainer SArnaud Desmottes. Third was 9/2 Brut de la Cote (g Kepler-Ombria Maifu) for jockey David Thomain and trainer Sebastien Guarato. Delia du Pommereux (4f Niky-Noune du Pommereux) took the Gr. III Prix Bellino II/Prix Southys (purse €95,000, 2100 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.12.9kr for Franck Nivard. She raced barefoot for Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. She was off at 9/2 odds and prevailed over 1.2/1 Detroit Castelets (4m Neoh Jiel-Rosanna Bonheur) reined by Matthieu Abrivard for Ecurie Luck and owner J.L. Dersoir. 3.2/1 Darling de Reux (4f Prodigious-Queen Jet) took third for Eric Raffin, Ecurie Winner and trainer Sebastien Guarato. The record over this distance for four year-olds was not threatened, that being 1.10.1kr by Traders. Agora du Goutier (7f Jardy-Olympe Pierji) took the Grand Prix Ereel Programme Souffle de Violet (purse €55,000, 2100 meters autostart) timed in 1.12.9kr for teamster Franck Nivard and trainer David Cherbonnel. 13.2/1 Ventura Jiel (8f Neoh Jiel-Oceane Jiel) was second for Matthieu Abrivard, Ecurie Luck and trainer J.L. Dersoir. Third was 6.2/1 Altesse de Chloee (7f Niky-Diva d’Isques) for trainer/driver P-Y Verva. The Gr. III Prix Michel Marcel Gougeon (purse €110,000, 2850 meters, 13 starters) was timed in 1.14.4kr by winner, 45.4/1 odds, Best du Hardy (6g Roc Meslois-Madrema), for owner/trainer/driver Olivier Bizoux. The even-money favorite Brissac (6m Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Jannibelle) was second for J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Jean Elgin Eliphe. Third was 52.6/1 Banjo de la Noemie (6g Flambeau des Pins-Prima de la Noemie) for Matthieu Mottier. Today’s Gr. II Prix Camille de Wazieres (monte, purse €120,000, 2175 meters, seven starters) went to 1.12.7kr timed and 3/5 odds Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel-Salt Lake City) reined by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. Marie Anne Thomas. 18.4/1 Dominator Blond (4m Kenor de Cosse-Orchidee Blonde) was next for Damien Bonne and third was 7.4/1 Dahlia du Rib (4m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) for J.L.Cl.Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. Citizen Kane (5g Orlando Vici-Queen Of Viking) took the Prix Agencie Cosmo/Prix de Mirande (purse €90,000, 2700 meters, 13 European starters) for trainer/driver Thomas Levesque. Pierre Levesque is the owner/breeder of this 8.9/1 odds winner. Race time was 1.14kr off even fractions by the barefoot Citizen Kane. 9.6/1 Clarck Sotho (5g Oiseau de Feux-Mosanda) and Anthony Barrier was second and third was 173/1 Chant des Sirenes (5m Opus Viervil-Nice Quenny) for F.P. Bossuet. The 4/5 favorite Cash Maker finished seventh. The Prix Ecole Esthetique Catherine Sertin (purse €46,000, 250 meters, 16 starters) continued the impressive winter meet at Vincennes for Charles J. Bigeon and that teamster won again with 2/1 odds Costa Haufor (5f Saphir d’Haufor-Santa Haufor), racing barefoot, for breeder/owner/trainer Christian Bigeon. 69/1 Callas du Bouffey (5f Look de Star-Polka du Bouffey) was second for trainer/driver Michel Lenoir, ahead of 6.2/1 Cantate (5f Oiseau de Feux-Petite Fortune) for driver Franck Nivard, trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Mme. Mauricette DeSousa. Yesterday in Sweden the V75 action was at Farjestad. The Gold Division (150,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) went to 1.10.7kr timed On Track Piraten for driver Johnny Takter at 1.11/1. The Hans R. Stromberg trainee now has 33 wins in 101 starts for 13,799,710SEK earned. The winner, a nine year-old gelded son of Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line, now has two 2017 wins in as many starts. Second was 8.7/1 Royal Fighter (9m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) for Jennifer Tillman and trainer Per Eriksson. Third was 50/1 Highspeed Call (9h From Above-Love Call-Alf Palema) driven by Daniel Ohlsson for trainer Nicklas Pettersson. The V75 Silver (125,000SEK to the winner, 2640 meters autostart) went to 1.14.2kr timed and 3.8/1 Thai Navigator from Norway. The six year-old gelded son of Ganymede-Role Model-Angus Hall) was reined by Bjorn Goop for trainer Anette Skarnes. The lightly raced winner scored in his first 2017 start after only three outings in 2016. He now has 10 wins in 20 career starts for 1,281,058SEK earned. Thomas H. Hicks

January 19, 2017 - The final harness racing lineup was set today for Sunday’s Prix de Cornulier. This group is down to 16 with the prospective leaders remaining in those that seek to succeed Scarlet Turgot’s 2016 crown. C4 – Vincennes 1/22/17 Prix de Cornulier (Gr. I monte, purse €700,000, 2700 meters, 19 starters) Horse, Jockey, Trainer, Career Earnings €000 Brainstorn, Julien Raffestin, F. Boismartel, €204,000 Vaillant Cash,Clement Frecelle,  Y. Letellier, 402,000 Boeing du Bocage, Franck Nivard, F. Leblanc, 405,000 Ursa Major, Pierre Christian Jean, S. Provoost, 406,000 Ulka des Champs, Pierre Yves Versa, G. Curens, 451,000 Ulster Perrine, Yoann Lebourgeois, J.M. Baudouin, 466,000 Alienor de Godrel, Damien Bonne, F. Anne, 482,000 Bilibili, Alexandre Abrivard, L.Cl. Abrivard, 590,000 Bellisima France, Matthieu Abrivard, M. Abrivard, 643,000 Best Of Jets, Francois Lagadeuc, J.M. Baudouin, 644,000 Udayama, Guillaume Martin, L. Groussard, 703,000 Attentionally, David Thomain, P. Viel, 738,130 Tornade du Digeon, Eric Raffin, J-M Bazire, 797,000 Astor du Quenne, Adrien Lamy, S. Guarato, 1,108,000 Bird Parker, Anthiny Barrier, Ph. Allaire, 1,167,000 Tiego d’Etang, Charles, Bigeon, Ch. Bigeon, 1,819,000 Be there for one of the world’s greatest races.  Prix Jean Paul Bertrand at Vincennes Eric Raffin teamed 11.5/1 Barbarella (6f Prince d’Espace-Quatie d’Espace) to a 1.14.3kr timed victory in today’s Prix Jean Paul Bertrand (purse €55,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. The Sebastien Guarato trainee is owned by Ecurie Briezh d’Espace. 5.2/1 Bora Bora Jiel (6f Rombaldi-Houba Houba Jiel) was second for Franck Nivard, trainer J.L. Dersoir and Ecurie Luck. 1.7/1 Bauloise Haufor (6f Kool du Caux-Hostesse des Pres) held third for Charles J. Bigeon. The Quinte+ exact order payoff was €15,260 for a €2 wager. The Prix Jean Pierre Reynaldo (purse €60,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) went to 1.14.1kr clocked Cantin de L’éclair (5g Jet Fortuna-Noce Joyeuse). Tony LeBeller teamed the winner that defeated 2.9/1 Cho Oyu Vedaquais (5g Saxo de Vandel-Rotonde) reined by Franck Nivard for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. Third was 12.3/1 Cochise Griff (5m Lets Go Along-Jipsie du Breucq) handled by Eric Raffin for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Ecurie Griff. At Cagnes sur Mer the Prix Christian Allilaire (purse €30,000, 2925 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.6/1 Cote Ouest (5g Goetmals Wood-Island Dream) timed in 1.15.3kr. Ch.A. Mary reined the winner that was bred by J-P Dubois’ Scuderia Bolgheri. Ironically, 4.7/1 Calicot du Vivier (5g Repeat Love-Kalika du Vivier) was a length beaten second for driver Jean-Pierre Dubois, also owner, and trainer Yves Boireau. Jean Yves Lucuyer bred this one. 19.3/1 Carina Beji (5f Rolling d’Heripre-Salsa Beji) was third for trainer/driver Yannick A. Briand. Thomas H. Hicks  

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