Day At The Track
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Sunday’s top-flight Grand Prix Anact divisions were contested at Bologna, Italy over its 804 meter oval. The males raced over 1660 meters autostart for a purse of 154,000€. Victory went to the 1.13.4kr timed Banderas Bi (2m Ganymede-Ida Grandi) with Roberto Vecchione at the lines. He was an impressive six length winner over Bigbusiness Arc (2m Varenne-Arzie Italia) and reinsman Alessandro Gocciadoro. Third was Barolo Roc (2m Filippo Roc-Prestige Roc). The filly division was raced over the same distance for the same 154,000€ purse. What a battle it was. The narrow 1.15.3kr timed victory went to Belen Hall FAS (2f Conway Hall-Show Grif Italia) with Vincent Luongo aboard. She defeated Buena Sverte Bi (2f Yankee Glide-L Dee Hot Shop) handled by V.P. Dell’Annunziata with third to Babirussa Jet (2f Pine Chip-Nagasaki Jet).   by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Nicolas Bazire piloted 19/1 outsider Bel Avis (8g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) to a 1.12.3kr timed victory in today’s Gr. III Grand Prix du Centre-Est (purse 90,000€, 2650 meters distance handicap, 11 starters) held at Saint Galmier. Trained by Jean Michel Bazire for New Blue I LLC (USA), Bel Avis, handicapped 25 meters, recorded his 22nd career victory in 64 starts now for 1,109,533€ in lifetime earnings. Comte de Bellaigue bred the winner. Another long shot, 32/1 Aron The Baron (7g Vasterbo Prestige-Gossip) took second for Pierre Callier and trainer Tomas Malmqvist, with 20/1 Gross Weight (8g Scarlet Knight-Elma Jet) home third with Clement Duvaldestin up. The 12/1 Blooka du Boscail and 39/1 Valokaja Hindo completed the top five. Ble du Gers and Chica de Joudes were dq’s. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Hanesslink

Velten von Flevo (3m Ganymede-Babette Flevo) took Sunday’s 124th edition of the Deutsches Traber Derby (purse 188,325€, 1900 meters autostart, 12 starters) at Berlin-Mariendorf in Germany. Rick Ebbinge was the winning pilot for trainer Jeroen Engwerda and owner Pine Point Equine. Off at 5.5/1 Velten von Flevo was clocked in 1.13kr as he won his third consecutive race. Juan Bros (3m Muscle Mass-Ziezo Buitenzorg) was second with trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard for Scuderia Tramontom Srl. Third went to Rancoon (3m Orlando Vici-Night Club) for trainer/driver Rudi Haller and Stall Wieserhof. Velten von Flevo  On the superb undercard, the IDEE Kaffee Derby (four-year olds, purse 25,000€, 1900 meters autostart, eight starters) saw 15.2/1 Free Bird (4m Ready Cash-Zandra Sib) score in 1.13.7kr for Robbin Bot in a terrific race. Wolfgang Nimczyk trains this one for Hans Brocker as he won his third straight. Cahaya (4f Love You-C’est la Vie) took second for Jeffrey Mieras and trainer Dion Tesselaar. Officer Stephen (4m Pastor Stephen-Gondolin) was third for trainer/driver Dion Tesselar. Free Bird The Deutsches Traber-Derby Consolation (purse 20,000€, 1900 meters autostart, 10 starters) saw 1.53/1 Otero (3m Muscle Hill-Sparkling) score for Josef Franzl timed in 1.14.2kr, Gladiatuer (3m Bird Parker-Esperance) was second for Robbin Bot, the pilot for trainer Wolfgang Nimczyk. Third in a dead heat were JFK (3m Expo Bi-Excepotionell) for Jaap van Rijn and Man U (3m Manofmanymissions-Yes I Can) handled by Michael Nimczyk. Otero The ASKANIA-Record mile (purse 15,000€, 1609 meters autostart, seven aged starters) went to local favorite Orlando Jet (6m Orlando Vici-Chicolina) clocked in 1.11.1kr with trainer Rudi Haller aboard for Stall Team Neuhof. This veteran has faced many of the best in Europe in his most recent four appearances in France where he was second, third and twice fourth against Bold Eagle and others. He was off as the 1.19/1 favorite here and defeated Halva von Haithabu (7m Here Comes Joey-Ada) with Roland Hulskath aboard and Out Of The Slums (7m Muscles Yankee-Sugar) reined by Michael Nimczyk. Orlando Jet Two-year olds faced the starter in the Gerhard Kruger Memorial (12,000€ purse, 1900 meters autostart, eight starters) and 7/2 Baltic Star (2m Revenue-Baltica de Bellouet) prevailed timed in 1.19kr with Thomas Panschow aboard for trainer Holger Neumann in his first start for money. The Gino Lutz owned colt defeated Fraulein Trixie (2f Trixton-Fraulein Wunder) handled by Kornelius Kluth and Emoji (2f Wishing Stone-Indoo) piloted by Hannu Voutilainen.  Quite a day and weekend of trotting conducted in front of a great audience. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Week number 33 of 2012 will go down in Swedish harness racing history as the week of Stefan Melander. The trainer, driver and world renowned photographer dominated three of the biggest stakes races of the season during the week.

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