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Alrajah One (4m Maharajah-Martu’-Varenne) captured the 2020 edition of the Prix Unione Europea (purse 407,000€, 2080 meters autostart) at Ippodromo Modena Ghirlandina. Race time was 1.12.8kr by the winner that was reined by Orjan Kilstrom to his 10th victory in 22 starts for 644,374€. Axl Roxe (4m Love You-Linda si Casei-Uronometro) was second for driver/trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro, who also conditions the winner. Third home was Gelati Cut (4m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut-Mambo King) with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer R.C. Larue. Grand Art (4m Prodigious-Real Artist-Love You) with Santo Mollo up and Amon You SM (4m Love You-Emon Sartie Fe FM-Lemon Dra-Keystone Santa Fe) reined by Roberto Vecchonie completed the top five. Alrajah One Gaet, Modena Ghirlandina files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Today’s Gran Premio Anact Filly (purse 154,000€, 1600 meters autostart) went to 1.14.2kr timed Caramel Club (2f The Bank-Neomi Sidoli-Uronometro) with reinsman Vincenzo Pigruaglio Dell’Annunziata up. Tiberio Cecere trains the winner. Some eight lengths back second was Crystal Pan (2f Ideale Luis-Rayla-Conway Hall) handled by Edoardo Bacalini, with third to Chris Evert Treb (2f Ringostarr Treb-Letter Bomb Treb-Enjoy Lavec) with Andrea Guzzinati aboard. Caramel Club The male division of Premio Anact Finale (purse 154,000€, 1600 meters autostart) went to 1.14.7kr timed Cris Mail (2m Varenne-Pjuara d’Amore-Faliero As) with Gabriele Quarneti at the lines. A length back was Chuky Roc (2m Nad Al Sheba-Shimpony Roc-Daguet Rapide) handled by Santo Mollo. Another two back was Charmant de Zack (2m Vivid Wise As-Martina Grif-Varenne) with reinsman Marco Smorgon. Cris Mail On October 31 at Jagersro was the Gr. II International C.I. Mullers Memorial (STL Gold, purse 74,627€, 2640 meters) and great veteran Cyber Lane (7g Raja Mirchi-Sybaris Hanover) prevailed in 1.12.3kr with trainer Johan Untersteiner up. He was a narrow winner from Very Kronos (6m Ready Cash-Glide About) handled by Erik Adielsson for conditioner Svante Bath. Third home was Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Jeunesse Doree) reined by Bjorn Goop for owner Jan Lyng. Antonio Trot and Wild Love took the fourth and fifth places. Gaet files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

After winning his batteria (elimination division), Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM) took the GP Lotteria 71 st edition in Italy.   The Finale (purse 600,000€, 1600 meters autostart) this day, clocked in 1.10.5kr (equals Timone EKs 2017 mark) with Roberto Vecchine up for trainer Holger Ehlert. He started from post one after his 1.10.6kr score in the third elimination.   A length back second in the finale was Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) handled by Bjorn Goop, the first elim winner in 1.11.8kr. Third was Vivid Wise As (6m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip) for Alessandro Gocciadoro, ahead of fourth finishing Billie de Montfort (9f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) with Gabriele Gelormini at the lines.   Zacon Gio had won the Yonkers International a year ago and accomplished trainer Ehlert, who just recently recovered from heart surgery. A great story this is.   This classic race has been won three times by Tornese, Une de Mail, Varenne and Birbone and trainer/driver Vivaldi Baldi is a five time winner of the Lotteria.   In the first elimination division Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) recovered from a miscue to score in 1.11.8kr for reinsman Bjorn Goop, trainer Sebastien Guarato and Scuderia Bivans. He finished a length up on Vitruvio (6m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro and third finishing Zefiro Gual (5m Algiers Hall-Delmatica Gual) with Antonio Greppi up. Face Time raced with shoes on. Face Time Bourbon The second elim saw Vernissage Grif (6m Varenne-Dalia Grif) score in 1.11.7kr for reinsman Gocciadoro. He defeated Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik-Des Rondes) and driver Anthony Barrier by four lengths with veteran Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp) another length back third for Santo Mollo. Batteria three went to 1.10.6kr clocked Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM) and pilot Roberto Vecchione. This Holger Ehlert trainee narrowly bested Billie de Montfort (9f Jasmin de Flore-Quismyh de Montfort) reined by Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Guarato. Five lengths back third was Vivid Wise As (6m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip) with Gocciadoro his trainer/driver. Each elim was raced over 1600 meter autostart for30,800€ purses.  Gaet. Ippodromo Agnano files by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The lineup for the October 25th GP Lotteria is quite superb, with this 71st edition of the classic having Vitruvio, Face Time Bourbon, Vernissage Grif, Arazi Boko, Zacon Gio, Vivid Wise As and Vanesia EK among the entrants. There will be three eliminations and a finale competing for the winning share of the 785,400€ total purse. See the batterias participants below in post-position order.     Gaet, Ippodromo di Agano Napoli files by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Bleff Dipa (3m Mister JP-Preziosa JW-Lets Go) took this 66th Derby Italiani del Trotto (purse 847,000€, 2100 meters autostart) at Roma Capannelle, with Roberto Vecchione aboard for trainer Holger Ehlert. The harness racing winner is owned by Jean Pierre Barjon, the current President of LeTrot and was bred by Arcangelo di Pasquale. Race time was 1.13.5kr by the now five-time winner in 11 appearances. Bleff Dipa narrowly bested Blackflash Bar (3f Oropuro Bar-Masasque) handled by Santo Mollo and third finishing Bepi Bi (3m Donato Hanover-Lorraine Bi) and pilot Alessandro Gocciadoro. Fourth was Bubble Effe (3m Nesta Effe-New York Effe) with Orjan Kihlstrom at the lines. Mister JP pedigree, the product of Jean Pierre Dubois. Below is a photo grouping of the Ehlert family. Great work of their team. The companion Oaks del Trotto (purse 253,000€, 1640 meters autostart) saw Betta Zack (3f Rotary OK-Martina Griff-Varenne) score in 1.12.6kr with Andrea Guzzinati the teamster. Betta won for the ninth time in 14 appearances. Two lengths back second was Bonneville Gifont (3f Varenne-Fedora Caf) with Ant. Velotti up and third was Bolen Hall FAS (3f Conway Hall-Show Grif Italia) handled by Roberto Vecchione at the lines. The winner’s pedigree follows. The day before at Follonica Del Pini was the GP Citta’ di Follonica (purse 50,050€, 2200 meter autostart) and the 1.13.7kr timed winner was Allegra Gifont (4f Maharajah-Realm of Fancy) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Two back second was Aura (4f Yankee Slide-Dora d’Alfa) for Antonio DiNardo and third home was Akela Pal Ferm (4f Maharajah). Gaet, Ehlert, Ippodrome Roma Capannelle files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

September 20, 2020 Cokstile (7m Quite Easy-Joystile-Coktail Jet) easily took the 220,000€ purse PR Costa Azzurra at Torino raced over the 1600 meter autostart sprint distance. Race time was 1.11.2kr for the Antonio Di Nardo harness racing reined performer. Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide) was two lengths back second for Roberto Vecchione with Vitruvio (6m Adrian Chip-Tigre OM-Zebu) five lengths further back third handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro. The winning pedigree follows Gaet, Ippodromo Torino files/photos   Thomas H. Hicks

Vernissage Grif (6m Varenne-Dalis Grif-Park Avenue Joe) took the final and his elimination of the Grand Premio Citta di Montecatini in Italy(purse 154,000€ for the final and 13,080€ in each of two elims, 1640 meters autostart) with harness racing trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro aboard. He is owned by Gennaro Riccio and was timed in 1.10.6kr in the final and 1.10.2kr in his elim. Second in both was Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide) handled by Roberto Vecchione for trainer Holger Ehlert. Third in the final was Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp) handled by Andrea Farolfi in the final for trainer Gocciadoro, five lengths back of the winner. Arazi Boko took the second elim timed in 1.12.2kr defeating Chief Orlando (7m Orlando Vici-Muto Bonita-Felix Santana) and Zlatan (5m Napoleon Bar-Nastassia Bi) that has teamed by G.P. Minnucci. Finale replay Vernissage Grif (6) elim one Elim one replay Arazi Boko (5) second elim Elim two replay On the fine card was also the PR Criterium Toscano (purse 22,000€, 1640 meters autostart, two year olds) that went to 1.17.1kr timed Callisto (2m Nad Al Sheba-Medley d’Italia) with Antonio Greppi up for Ettore Vairano. Caffe Time Bi (2m Manofmanymissions-The Starlet Lux) took second for trainer/driver Riccardo Pezzatini. Third home was Clooney Grad (2m Napoleon Bar-Grevola Grad) with Roberto Vecchione up. Gaet, Ippodromo Sesana Montecatini files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Apple Wise As (4f Royalty For Life-Desert Flower K-Sierra Kosmos) took the Premio Citta’ di Torino Filly (purse 80,080€, 2100 meters autostart) at Ippodromo di Vinovo in Italy, timed in 1.14.8kr. Fed Esposito teamed the harness racing winner for Alessandro Gocciadoro. This team defeated stablemate Amber Prad (4f Timoko-Sinead Prad) with Gocciadoro up and third finishing Allegra WF (4f Varenne-Formose Jet) handled by Mario Minopoli Jr. Apple Wise As The companion event, the Pr Citta’ di Torino Male (purse 80,080€, 2100 meters autostart), saw Ari Lest (4m Pascia’ Lest-Natalina Wise) score in 1.12.9kr with Massimiliamo Castaldo the pilot for trainer Gocciadoro. Two Gocciadoro stablemates were second and third, A length back second was Juan Bros (4m Muscle Mass-Ziezo Buitenzorg) with Giuseppe Lombardo driving. Third was Aman You Sm (4m Love You-Emon Santa Fe’ Sm) handled by Fed Espositio. Gaet, Ippodromo di Vinovo files/photo by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Trotting action returned to Montecatini Snai Sesana this day in Italy with two GP events. The Grand Prix Societa Terme Filly – Memorial Vivaldo Baldi (purse 50,050€, 2040 meters autostart, three year old females) saw Banirussa Jet (3f Pine Chip-Nagasaki Jet) scored in 1.14.3kr for trainer/driver Alessandro Gocciadoro. She defeated stablemate Bahamia (3f Maharajah-Nambia) with Federico Esposito teaming for Gocciadoro some three lengths back second. Buena Sverte Bi (3f Yankee Glide-No Its Here) was third with V.P. Dell’Annunziata the pilot for trainer Tiberio Cecere. Babirussa Jet The male division of the GP Societa Terme Mem. Vivaldo Baldi (purse 50,050€, 2040 meters autostart) went to Belzebu’ Jet (3m Wishing Stone-Otero Jet) timed in 1.14.8kr and handled by Vincenzo Luongo for trainer/owner Massimo Firetti. Bengurion Jet (3m Maharajah-Love Me Tender) was two lemgths back second with Marco Smorgon the trainer/driver for Scuderia Bruni Racing Team. Third was Baccani (3m Ideale Luis=Butler’s Choice) with Antonio Di Nardo agt the lines for conditioner Gennaro Casillo. Belzebu’ Jet Gaet, Montecatini Snai Secsana files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) continued his storied career with a victory in the Gran Premio Riccardo Grassi (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart, 12 starters) on the Cesena 800 meter oval in Italy. He was timed in 1.11.9kr and reined by trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro. His fifth dam is the legendary Stenographer. Three lengths back second was Vesna (6f Libeccio Grif-Immagine Lunare-Toss Out) with third to Ua Huka (7f Muscle Yankee-Fancy Bi-Toss Out). Arazi Boko Gaet, Blodbanken files by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Enrico Bellei teamed Barbaresco Grif (3m Conway Hall-Maura Grif-Varenne) to a 1.12.8kr victory in the GP Citta’di Napoli (purse 200,200€, 2100 meters autostart, three-year olds) at Agnano’s 1000 meter racetrack in Italy. Bonjovi MMG (3m Ganymede-Ethel Blak-Indro Park) was second ahead of Bengurion Jet (3m Maharajah-Love Me Tender-Supergill). Barbaresco Grif On the same card was the GP Freccia d’Europa (purse 180,180€, 1600 meters autostart) and Vivid Wise As (6m Yankee Glide-Temple Blue Chip-Cantab Hall) scored in record time 1.10.4kt with Alessandro Gocciadoro at the lines. Zefiro d’Ete (5m Mago d’Amore-Isotta Fraschini-Angus Hall) was second for Gaetano DiNardo. Third went to Deimos Racing (7g Quite Easy-Athena Haleryd-Pine Chip) with Antonio DiNardo aboard. Vivid Wise As The GP Regione Campanio Males (purse 80,080€, 2100 meters autostart, four year old males) went to the 1.12.5kr timed Antony Leone (4m Libeccio Grif-Gasping Ferm-Lemon Dra) with Gaetano Di Nardo the pilot. This pair prevailed over Always EK (4m Filipp Roc-Nike EK-Varenne) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro and third finishing Aramis EK (4m Nad Al Sheba-Freedom EK-Bon Vivant) with Pietro Gubellini at the lines. Antony Leone tingOn the same program was the GP Regione Campania Filly (purse 80,080€, 2100 meters autostart, four- year old females) and the 1.13.0kr clocked winner was Allegra Gifont (4f Maharajah-Realm of Fancy-Ginger Somolli) reined by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Arnas Cam (4f Ready Cash-Nadia Cam-Varenne) took a close second for Santo Mollo, ahead of third finishing Allegra WF (4f Varenne-Formosa Jet-Pine Chip) with Mario Minopoli Jr. aboard. Allegra Gifont   Gaet files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The Gr. III GP Riccardo Grassi (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart) is set for August 1 at Cesena in Italy with 11 horses to be at the start including Arazi Boko, the gallant 13 year old war horse, and Timone EK. It shapes up as a competitive event among leading aged campaigners in Italy. Stay tuned for the great trotting action. Gaet, Cesena files by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Alessandro Gocciadoro has returned home to Italy and he and his team is hot. From July 5-14 his trainees won seven major races, all but one being three and four year olds. The run started on July 5 at Ippodromo San Paolo Montegiorgio with the Gr. III GP Marche Femine Livia (purse 50,050€, 1600 meters autostart, three year old females) and Bahamia (3f Maharajah-Nimibia-Cantab Hall) scored for trainer/driver Gocciadoro timed in 1.12.3kr. She easily defeated Bica DL (3f Zola Boko) and Bananaramc Jet (3f Ken Warkentin). The male division called the GP Marche Maschi Martini (Gr. III, purse 50,050€, 1600 meters autostart, three year old males) saw Boys Stecca (3m Napoleon Bar-Ambretta Bar-Ganymede) score in 1.12.9kr with Gocciadoro at the lines. Belzebu’ Jet (3m Wishing Stone) and Bleff Dipa (3m Mister JP) took the second and third checks. On July 11 the streak continued at Ippodromo di Cesena in the Citta di Cesena Filly (Gr. III, purse 50,050€, 2060 meters autostart) and Babirussa Jet (3f Pine Chip-Nagasaki Jet-Supergill) scored in 1.13.4kr for pilot Gocciadoro. Betta Zack (3f Rotary OK) and Borboletta (3f Love You) were the closest rivals. In the Citta’ di Cesena Maschi (Gr. III, purse 50,050€, three year old males) the Gocciadoro winner was 1.13.7kr timed Big Business ARC (3m Varenne-Grazie Italia-Pine Chip). He bested Bonjovi MMG (3m Ganymede-Ethel Black-Indro Park) and Bruccione FAS (3m Gruccione Jet). Babirussa Jet   Bigbusiness ARC     On July 12 the action moved to Trieste and first the PR Citta’di Trieste Filly (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart, four year old females) saw Apple Wise As (4f Royalty For Life-Desert Flower K-Sierra Kosmos) win in 1.15.2kr for Gocciadoro.   Alaska Gams (4f Maharajah) and Amour Petit (4f Look de Star) took the next two checks. The featured PR Giorgio Jegher (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart) went to the gallant veteran Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) timed in 1.13.9kr for Gocciadoro. Viscarda Jet (6f Pine Chip-Nives Jet-Naglo) was second and Timone EK (8m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) took third money. Then the four year old males contested the PR Citta’diu Trieste Maschi (purse 50,050€, 1660 meters autostart) and again AG was in command with 1.14.5kr timed Al Capone Stecca (4m Napoleon Bar-Ombretta Bar-Ganymede). Adamo Dipa (4m Chirone Dei) was a length back followed by third finishing Americio Jet (4m Trixton). Gaet, Trieste, Cesena, Montegiorgio Ippodromo files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

June 14, 2020 - High class trotting action took place yesterday on the harness racing half mile track at Padova Italy. There were five Groupe level contests. The Gr. II Gran Premio Padovanelle (purse 80,080€, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) was the headliner and it received the most attention due to the appearance of Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glade Font SM-Yankee Glide-Kim’s Diamond Chip), the 2019 winner of the Yonkers NY International. He did not disappoint as he scored gate to wire in a world record 1.09.3kr (half mile track race record, mile rate 1:51.5). Roberto Vecchione teamed the Holger Ehlert trainee that is owned by Giuseppe Franco. Stablemate Sharon Gar (9g Varenne-Geneve Gar-Lemon Dra) tracked the winner but could not keep up in the final quarter finishing second, timed in 1.09.8kr. V.P. Dell’Annunziata teamed her for trainer Ehlert. Third was Virginia Grif (6f Varenne-Fancy Capar-Supergill) for Fed Esposito. Veteran Arazi Boko (13g Varenne-Laura Kemp-Supergill) was fourth. Zacon Gio’s pedigree and the race replay are shown below. For the Zacon Gio video replay click here There were two divisions of the Gr. III Gran Premio Elwood Medium on the fine Padova card, each for a purse of 50,050€ and raced over 2040 meters autostart. In the filly division for three year olds the 1.15.0kr winner was Bonneville Gifont (3f Varenne-Fedora Caf-Toss Out) for Roberto Vecchione. She defeated Bernadette Jet (3f Maharajah-First Lady Jet-Supergill) handled by Roberto Andreghetti. Her third dam was the down under champion trotter Petite Evander. Third in this race was Bica DL (3f Zola Boko-Cindy America-Supergill) for Antonio Di Nardo. Cindy America also comes from an important internatiomal pedigree as shown below.     The three year old colt division went to 1.15.5kr clocked Bonjovi MMG (3m Ganymede-Ethel Blak-Indro Park) reined by V.P. Dell’Annunziata. Baccani (3, Ideale Luis-Butlers Choice-Harmonious) was next with Antonio DiNardo aboard and third was Bigbusiness ARC (3m Varenne-Crazie Italia-Pine Chip for Alessandro Gocciadoro. The four year olds contested two divisions of the Gr. III Gran Premio Citta’ di Padova (each for a purse of 50,050€, distance 2040 meters). The filly division went to 1.12.5kr timed and Roberto Vecchione reined Ambra Grif (4f Varenne-Novella di Jesolo-Lindy Lane). She bested equal timed Alaska Gams (4f Maharajah-Edwige Blak-Supergill) with Andrea Guzzinati aboard with third to Alouette handled by Enrico Baldo. In the colt division the 1.11.6kr clocked victory was earned by Alrajah One (4m Maharajah-Mariu’-Varenne) with Enrico Bellei the pilot. Second was Always EK (4m Filipp Roc-Nike EK-Varenne) and reinsman Alessandro Gocciadoro and third went to Aguacate (4m Iglesias-Laguna As-Lemon Dra). In other European notices, the great Zoogin, shown below with Ake Svanstedt, passed away this week at age 31. Quite a horse he was on the track and as a stallion Zoogin and Svanstedt Another name from the past emerged today in the Breedlopp at Solvalla. Stig H. Johansson was the pilot for third finishing Fixi Mearas (5f Muscle Hill-Trinity Starlight-SJs Photo) that was off as the 1.8/1 favorite. Stig H. also trains this well-bred mare.   Thomas H. Hicks

Zacon Gio (5m Ruty Grif-May Glide Font SM-Yankee Glide) returned to competitive action today at Napoli to win the PR fon Telethons Invitational (purse 12, 100€, 2060 meters distance handicap), He scored from a 40 meter handicap timed in 1.11.6kr with Roberto Vecchione aboard for trainer Holger Ehlert.  Vedette del Ronco (6f Julius del Ronco-Bum Bum Fortuna) rallied nicely to be less than two lengths back second. Virtuoso Luis (6m Self Possessed-Mandralogo PL) took third. Zacon Gio, the 2019 Yonkers International winner, who also bested Face Time Bourbon in Italy, made his return off several impressive public training appearances with his trainer aboard, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7LQge0SDrM&feature=emb_logo Zacon Gio Zacon Gio’s pedigree is shown below. Gaet, Ippodromo di Agnano files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Ursa Caf (7f Explot Caf-Crismar-Campo Ass) took today’s Pr. Encat (purse 55,000€, 2250 meters autostart) at Milano La Maura. Timed in 1.13.2kr the winner had Antonio DiNardo as her pilot, she a winner of over 338,000€. Deimos Racing S (7g Quite Easy-Athena Haleryd-Pine Chip) was a game second for reinsman Roberto Andreghetti, ahead of Sonia (9g Donato Hanover-Ele Code-Uronometro) with Rebe Legati up. Toscarella (8f Varenne-Day Love Blue-Ganymede) took fourth for Mas Castaldo. Ursa Caf  The Ursa Caf pedigree is shown below. . Gaet, Blodbanken files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

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