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Nice spring weather, an energetic crowd and excellent racing characterize this day annually at Bjerke racecourse and today is no exception. Action began with the three year-old elite over one-mile autostart for 150,000 krone to the winner. Favorite Juniata Hanover (3f Cantab Hall-Justgotafeeling) took a close front-ending win for trainer/driver Frode Hamre timed in 1.12.4kr. This one was exported from US following last fall at Lexington and now has three wins in five 2014 starts. Fire To The Rain (3m Yankee Glide-Adelaide Hall) just missed for Ulf Ohlsson and Chocolate Day (3m Chocolatier-Day For Night) closed third for Vidar Hop. These also were US exports last year. Next up were the two eliminations of the Energima Cup, each 1609 meters autostart with 100,000 krone to the winner. The final will go as race seven for 200,000 krone to that winner. The first elimination went to Repay Merci (6m Offshore Dream-News From Heaven) and driver/trainer Knud Monster in 1.11.7kr. This lookshot paid 29.54 for the rallying win, his second in 2014 in 10 starts, over US export I'm The Answer (6g Credit Winner-Southwind Flanders) and Vidar Hop with Bret Boko (6g Yankee Glide-Simb Capi) third for Jorma Kontio. The second elimination went to Broadway Legs (6m Broadway Hall-Classical Flirt) with trainer Frode Hamre at the lines. The half-brother to Market Share was a game, impressive winner on the front end in 1.11kr, his fifth 2014 victory in 11 starts after an eight for 21 record last year. Open (8m Sugarcane Hanover-Magna November) was second for Jeppe Juel with third to Cecena As (12m Ganymede-Rimini As) with Simen Bremseth Jessen aboard. The Kingsrod Trading Monte, a 1609 meter autostart event worth 75,000 krone to the winner, went easily to the Malin Beras teamed Hitchcock (8g Windsongs Legacy-Mystical Oaks), making his initial monte start, albeit Ms. Beras commented that he had trained exceptionally well under saddle. The Frode Hamre pupil recorded his second 2014 win in nine starts. Beras raced Hitchcock fourth in the pack until exploding around the last bend to the lead. Bullchip (8m Angus Hall-Daisy Chip) was second for Stephanie J. Werder and trainer Heidi Moen. Yesterday's action on the Grand Prix weekend produced several interesting events. I Love Paris (4f Steinlager-Maris Dulcinea) took home 200,000 krone, the winners' prize in the DNT Hoppechampionat. Lars Anvar Kolle scored in 1.16.1kr over 2600 meters to defeat Glad Hall T. (4f Boardwalk Hall-Glad Suit) and Bjorn Garberg. US-bred Peel And Stick (4g Donato Hanover-Reinvent-Malabar Man) won for Marius Hoitomt in 1.14.7kr over 2100 meters to record his second 2014 victory in seven starts. The win earned 30,000 krone for the Frode Hamre trainee. The Exclusive Designs 1609 meter autostart race went to Denmark's Sejr Gammessbaek (5m Great Challenger-Hera Gammelsbaek) in 1.12.3kr for Geir Mikkelsen. He earned 100,000 krone for the owners Stall Cognac and Bjorn Salte. This one is also a Frode Hamre trainee. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

The final Grand Slam event of the UET Masters Series,  takes place this Sunday at the Oslo track of Bjerke, with the running of the  Oslo Grand Prix, one of four UET Masters Series group races on the day. The Oslo Grand Prix, over 2100m for a purse of 340,000 euros, has an illustrious honour roll, the last two events being won by Elitloppet champions of the previous year, in Sebastian K (Korean) and Commander Crowe (Juliano Star), while US warhorse Arch Madness a two-time Elitloppet runner up was the winner over the 2011 contest. Students of European racing and breeding will recognize the names of Sugarcane Hanover (USA) , Ourasi (FRA), Giant Cat (FRA),  Zoogin (SWE), Peace Corps (USA), Victory Tilly Zoogin (SWE), and Steinlager Zoogin (SWE),  who are all past winners of the event as is a horse who has been available in Australia, Ganymede (FRA), the sire of rising NSW trotter Vincennes, the winner of 8 of his last 11 races. Norwegian star Juliano Rags (Juliano Star), who missed the Elitloppet final by one position and Raja Mirchi (Viking Kronos) who set the blistering pace in the first heat, only to be caught on the line are the only two entrants who are making back to back Grand Slam starts. But the big coup for Oslo is the appearance of genuine French heavyweights in Univers de Pan (Kenya du Pont)  and Un Mec d’Heripre (Orlando Vici), two rising stars of the French scene. Both are multiple group one  winners, Philippe Daugear’s Univers de Pan the  winner of this year’s Finlandia Ajo,  while Un Mec d’Heripre is the Criterium des 4 Ans runner up and last year’s  European five-year-old champion and comes from the barn of Fabrice Souloy. Another French horse with serious credentials is Jean Paul Marmion’s Roi du Lupin, who being a gelding is ineligible for most of the big group races in France but has still amassed a credible 1.56million euros. He is the recent winner of the 150,000 euro Prix des Ducs de Normandie in the bike but is also one of the very best under saddle trotters in France. The day also features the UET Masters Series group two Berke Cup, an Elitloppet style event with two heats and a final over a mile on the same day, for the region’s sprinters. Prominent Swedish trainer Lutfi Kolgjini has good chances in both heats with Swedish 3YO Breeders Crown winner Barracuda River (Express It), who has won on this track before in the first heat and old warhorse, with a name that does not translate well down under, Kaffir Face, entered in the second and rated a good chance. Top Norwegian trainer Frode Hamre has two in each heat, with two Credit Winner sons Winmecredit and  the strongly fancied I’m the Answer in the first, and VC Chocoholic (Chocolatier) and Broadway Legs (Broadway Hall) in the second. The favoured runners in the first heat are Herve Philippe Gautier’s French entrant Saphir de Fille (Ipsos de Montfort) and Finnish trainer Markku Nieminen’s Dutch-bred Bret Boko (Yankee Glide) while Reijo Liljendahl’s  Angelo also has some strong support. In the second heat Nieminen’s other entrant Finnish Derby winner Quite an Avenger and Swede Anders Pedersen’s US import MagicCarpet Ride are the two early favourites on the tote with the latter having the services of Bjorn Goop in the bike. There are two other UET Masters Series group two races on the day, The Summer Meeting Stayers race (3140m) and the Europamatch, a 2100m race for  four and five-year-olds. The Europamatch features some of Europe’s top younger horses headed by Swedish legend Stig Johnasson’s German star Indigious, a son of French sire Prodigious who was second in Germany’s big race last year the Grosser Preis von Deutchland. He will face stiff competition from former Dutch Derby winner Clint Boko (Abano As), former European and Norwegian Derby runner-up  Thai Broadway (Thai Thanic) and Swedish group winner Stelton (Dream Vacation). The Stayers race has attracted Pas Sans Toi a French horse who at 11-years-old has been pensioned off in France but is eligible for two more seasons in the rest of Europe. Lieven de Groote’s son of In Love With You is the winner of more than 550,000 euros but will be at long odds from a 60m handicap even with Jorma Kontio in the bike. Bjorn Goop’s Swedish bred Roobois  (Rotation) was a fast finishing second on Elitloppet weekend and will enjoy the extra distance here even with a 40m handicap, while Reijo Liljendahl’s Italian import Nescafe (Daguet Rapide) off 20m and Dutchman Hugo Langeweg Jnr’s  Capitole (Offshore Dream) off the front will also be in the mix here. by David Sanders Harness Racing Victoria

Ten solid veterans face the starter Sunday in the prestigious Oslo Grand Prix in Norway. The winner will earn 1.5 million norwegian kroners ($250,000 US) after covering the 2100 meters autostart course. The French will send three to battle with Solvato and Raja Mirchi (game performer in Elitloppet 2014). Univers de Pan and Philippe Daugeard lead the French entrants and Un Mec d'Heripre was an impressive winner in his last appearance plus he'll have Bjorn Goop at the lines. The leading money winner in the field is the old-campaigner Roi de Lupin, with over 13.8NOkr million earned for trainer Jean Paul Marmion. The lineup is summarized below and program is available at https://www.rikstoto.no/program/pdf/BJ_20140608_Baneprogram.pdf June 8, 20014 Bjerke, Oslo Grand Prix Gr. I UET Masters Series, 2100 meters autostart, 1.5NOkr million to winner, 10 starters 1.SOLVATO, Veijo Heiskanen 2.JULIANO RAGS, Noralf P. Brackken 3.B.B.S. SUGARLIGHT, Peter Untersteiner 4.ORALI, Jeppe Juel 5.ROI DU LUPIN, Anthony Barrier 6.M F.X.ROYAL, Lars Anvar Kolle 7.RAJA MIRCHI, Jorma Kontio 8.SUPPORT JUSTICE, Geir Vegard Gundersen 9. UNIVERS DE PAN, Philippe Daugeard 10.UN MEC D'HERIPRE, Bjorn Goop The Sunday undercard at Bjerke is exceptional featuring the Elite for three-year olds (race 1) with Juniata Hanover at the start; the two heat and final Energima Cup (races 2, 3 and 7) includes Winmecredit, I'm The Answer, V.C Chocoholic and Broadway Legs. The Elite for four year-olds includes Denver, Single Sock, Alizea du Kastel and Tumble Dust; and the Europamatch with Mr. Chicago, Clint W. Boko, Nothing But Class and Stelton at the start. Former Hambletonian Oaks Winner Bold And Fresh is in race 12 for open class mares. Sebastian K took the 2013 Oslo Grand Prix edition in 1.12.8kr defeating Nesta Effe and Maharajah. Past winners of the classic, which began in 1966, are listed below. Year Horse Driver Country1 Winning time 2012 Commander Crowe Christophe Martens  Sweden 1:11.5 2011 Arch Madness Björn Goop  United States 1:11.5 2010 Lisa America Jorma Kontio  United States 1:11.7 2009 Russel November Hugo Langeweg J:r  Netherlands 1:14.3 2008 L'Amiral Mauzun Tony Le Beller  France 1:11.5 2007 Super Light Jörgen Westholm  Sweden 1:12.2 2006 Mara Bourbon Erik Adielsson  France 1:13.2 2005 Steinlager Per Oleg Midtfjeld  Norway 1:12.5 2004 Gidde Palema Åke Svanstedt  Sweden 1:11.7 2003 Gidde Palema Åke Svanstedt  Sweden 1:12.2 2002 Brads Photo Wim Paal  Italy 1:13.9 2001 Giant Cat Nicolas Roussel  France 1:12.1 2000 Victory Tilly Stig H. Johansson  Sweden 1:12.0 1999 Ganymede Jean-Pierre Dubois  France 1:12.6 1998 Huxtable Hornline Joseph Verbeeck  Sweden 1:13.2 1997 Zoogin Åke Svanstedt  Sweden 1:14.6 1996 Ina Scot Helen A. Johansson  Sweden 1:12.9 1995 Copiad Erik Berglöf  Sweden 1:12.7 1994 Copiad Erik Berglöf  Sweden 1:12.7 1993 Nordin Hanover Olle Goop  Sweden 1:14.3 1992 Sea Cove Joseph Verbeeck  Germany 1:14.6 1991 Peace Corps Stig H. Johansson  Sweden 1:14.1 1990 Meadow Roland Preben Kjaersgaard  Denmark 1:13.8 1989 Ourasi Michel-M. Gougeon  France 1:13.5 1988 Sugarcane Hanover Gunnar Eggen  United States 1:12.5 1987 Rex Rodney Kjell Håkonsen  Norway 1:13.7 1986 Rex Rodney Kjell Håkonsen  Norway 1:14.7 1985 Ogorek Michel Roussel   Switzerland 1:16.0 1984 Hickory Almahurst Ulf Nordin  Denmark 1:16.3 1983 E.O. Brunn Bo W. Takter  Sweden 1:15.6 1982 Zorrino Tommy Hanné  Sweden 1:18.9 1981 Pamir Brodde Karl Erik Nilsson  Sweden 1:16.3 1980 Express Gaxe Gunnar Axelryd  Sweden 1:17.1 1979 Hillion Brillouard Philippe Allaire  France 1:19.9 1978 Grande Frances Ulf Thoresen  Sweden 1:17.0 1977 Race cancelled       1976 Grande Frances Ulf Thoresen  Sweden 1:19.7 1975 Hassan Star Kjell P. Dahlström  Sweden 1:19.1 1974 Boett Sören Norberg  Sweden 1:21.0 1973 Gaby Bulwark Sören Nordin  Sweden 1:18.6 1972 Noble Action Sören Nordin  Sweden 1:18.1 1971 Unor Lars Axelsson  Sweden 1:19.5 1970 Race cancelled       1969 Baron Gruff Gösta Nordin  Sweden 1:23.5 1968 Race cancelled       1967 Xanthe Gösta Nordin  Sweden 1:23.6 1966 Scott Protector Karsten Buer  Norway 1:23.0 by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Ten upper-level trotter have been engaged for the June 8 Oslo Grand Prix at Bjerke racecourse (Oslo, Norway). Begun in 1966 the race is a UET Masters Series event over 2100 meters and a purse of about 300,000 euros. The final field will be set on Sunday. VG OSLO GRAND PRIX 2014: Univers De Pan - France Roi Du Lupin - France Yarrah Boko - Norway Support Justice - Norway B.B.S. Sugarlight - Norway Juliano Rags - Norway Solvato - Sweden Orali - Denmark Raja Mirchi - Sweden Un Mec D'Heripre - France Univers de Pan and trainer/driver Philippe Daugaerd may also be a factor, following from his early May victory in the Finlandia AJO by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

It was announced over the weekend that American trotting star Corky will stay in Sweden for a couple of months. Today it was decided that Uncle Peter will also remain in Scandinavia. Uncle Peter has earned 7.8 million SEK during his career and is one of the top horses in the USA. In Scandinavia he hasn't showed full potential, finishing fifth place in the Copenhagen Cup and tiring in his Elitloppet elimination to fail qualifying for the final. Uncle Peter hopes to obtain a start in the Oslo Grand Prix. Uncle Peter will join Corky at Daniel Reden's Stable Zet where they will be trained by Tobias J. Gustafsson. Backfire (4f by Offshore Dream) and Poochai (4m Make It Happen) took tonight’s companion Gr. I International events at Aby. Gothenburg, the Drottning Silvias Pokal for four year-old mares and the Konung Gustaf V’s Pokal for four year-old males. Both carried a purse of €199,930 with the winners’ share being €99,970. Backfire scored in 1.12.6kr over 2140 meters autostart, driven by Johnny Takter for a two length victory from Air Frame and Bjorn Goop. Heavily supported D’One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo-Supergill) came from far back to be third. Summary and video replay link are shown below with official program that follows: http://abytravet.se/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/140528_aby_Web.pdf May 28, 2014 Aby Gothenburg Sweden, Drottning Silvia Pokal, Gr. I International, four year-old mares, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters, 1.12.6kr, purse €199,939 with €99,970 to winner 1st Backfire (4f Offshore Dream-Fashion Brodde-SJ’s Caviar), Johnny Takter, owner Linne Trav AB, 11/1 odds, her eighth win in 21 starts now for earnings of 2,384,350SEK 2nd Air Frame (4f Scarlet Knight-Sunset Kosmos-SJ’s Photo), Bjorn Goop up for trainer owner Stefan Melander and Stall TZ 3rd D’One (4f Donato Hanover-Giant Diablo-Supergill), Orjan Kihlstrom for Stall Kennys and trainer Roger Wahlman The four year-old males contest ended with 6.6/1 Poochai  scoring for Erik Adielsson in 1.11.9kr over 2140 meters autostart. The son of Make It Happen (son of Conway Hall that successfully raced in the USA) rallied in the lighting lane for the win over Sir Ratzeputz and teamster Jorma Kontio. Poochai was first to lead and then settled in the pocket behind Boys Going In with Amazing Man in the death seat. Sir Ratzeputz was first to advance three wide. Poochai waited for the inside passing lane and rallied to victory. Rolex Bigi, and reinsman Anders Svanstedt, was third over and empty in the drive, ending eighth. May 28, 2014 Aby Gothenburg Sweden, Konung Gustaf V’s Pokal, Gr. I International, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters, purse €199,939 with €99.970 to winner (six places paid), 1.11.9kr 1st Poochai (4m Make It Happen-In Vino Veritas-Express Ride), Erik Adielson for trainer Svante Bath, owner Roxy Horses KB, 6.6/1 odds, his sixth win in 19 starts for earnings of 1,911,460SEK 2nd Sir Ratzeputz (4m Love You-Celebrate-Lindy’s Crown), Jorma Kontio up for Timo Nurmos trainer and owner Thors Trading AB 3rd Boys Going In (4m Going Kronos-Namura-Buvetier d’Aunou), Fredrik Persson trainer/driver The fast class event for older trotters was the Algot Scotts Minne. Magic Tonight set the track record of 1.09.3kr for Orjan Kihlstrom, taking advantage of the early fast pace set by I’m The Answer. Favored Solvato made a miscue early. May 28, 2014 Aby Gothenburg Sweden, Algot Scotts Minne, purse €21,762, distance 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters, 1.09.3kr a track record 1st Magic Tonight (5m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed), Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Roger Wahlman, owner 2nd AB Svensk Reklamfinans, his 13th victory in 42 starts for 4,767,831SEK earned, off at 1.8/1 odds 3rd Obi Wan (8g Ganymede-Hejsa Reerstrup-Speedy Herve), Flemming Jensen trainer/driver 4th Nouvelle Pelle (11g Juliano Star-Nouvelle Isabell-Messerschmitt), Jorgen Sjunnesson up for Flemming Jensen trainer I’m The Answer was the rapid pacesetter and faded to fifth, Solvato was offstride early and was last. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com    

Richard Gutnick looked at the field for the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial at Meadowlands Racetrack and reached a conclusion that might be bad for an owner, but good for a harness racing fan. Gutnick, fortunately, is both. "It's not going to be an easy race, but it's going to be a good race," said Gutnick, who co-owns two-time Dan Patch Award-winner Market Share. "It's like a who's who of harness racing. To me, these are the (races) you're waiting for. Races like this where you're racing against the best, you can't take anything for granted. "I'm excited about the year. There are a lot of tough horses out there, especially when you add in the 4-year-olds that are coming back, and it's going to be a tough year. But that's what racing is all about. I like when we go against the best. It's how you find out how good you are." Market Share was among 15 horses entered in the Cutler, so two $40,000 eliminations will be held Saturday night at the Big M. The top five finishers from each division will return for the $180,000 estimated final on May 17. The first elim in post order is Sebastian K, Sweet Justice, DW's NY Yank, Intimidate, Archangel, Modern Family, Americash Express, and Upfront Billy. The second elim in post order is Sevruga, Market Share, Daylon Magician, Possessed Fashion, Quick Deal, Undercover Strike, and Arch Madness. Market Share, a 5-year-old who has won 21 of 39 career races and $3.11 million, is making his 2014 debut. Trained by Linda Toscano and driven by Tim Tetrick, Market Share's top wins include the 2012 Hambletonian and Canadian Trotting Classic and the 2013 Breeders Crown, Maple Leaf Trot, and TVG Free For All Series Championship. He received the 2012 Dan Patch Award for best 3-year-old male trotter and the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best older male trotter. Market Share prepped for the Cutler with two qualifiers at the Meadowlands, winning the second on May 3 in 1:52.4 with a :54.4 final half-mile. "I was very happy with his qualifiers," said Gutnick, who owns Market Share with TLP Stable and Bill Augustine. "Last week he did the second half under a hold, at least toward the end he was not being asked (to go). It's nice when you have a horse that can leave fast and close fast. He can do both." Sebastian K, an 8-year-old, will be making his North American debut with trainer-driver Ake Svanstedt. Sebastian K, who was Sweden's Horse of the Year in 2012, has won 26 of 63 career races and the equivalent of $2.29 million in U.S. dollars. He finished last season by winning the Group 1 Aby Stora Pris for the second consecutive year. Intimidate won the 2012 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old male trotters and has captured 21 of 30 career starts and $605,293. Archangel was the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner and spent 2013 in the stallion shed. He has won 14 of 32 races and $906,579 lifetime. Modern Family and Sweet Justice are among three trotters sharing this season's fastest mile to date, 1:51.1. Sevruga is the defending Cutler champion and has won 28 of 64 races and $913,566 in his career. Arch Madness, who won the Cutler in 2010, has won 34 of 108 starts and $4.14 million lifetime. Other top wins for Arch Madness include the 2007 Breeders Crown for 3-year-old males, the 2008 Maple Leaf Trot, and 2011 Oslo Grand Prix. Saturday's card also features the opening round of the TVG Free For All Series for older male pacers. The field in post order is Modern Legend, Thinking Out Loud, Foiled Again, Word Power, Sweet Lou, Bolt The Duer, Warrawee Needy, Dovuto Hanover, Bettor's Edge, and Golden Receiver. by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications

Last year's winner Neste Effe is the overwhelming favourite for this year's running of Finland's Prix d'Etain Royal one of three UET Masters Series races on Easter weekend, as the European spring-summer circuit hits the track running. The Group one event worth 110,000 euros has been brought forward a couple of weeks this year which surprisingly puts the race head to head with other big international races in France and Norway. Nesta Effe was supreme in the early part of last season, with wins in the opening two of the five Finnish international Group ones for elite aged horses. The Italian-bred stallion son of Sweden's Naglo followed up the win in the Prix d'Etain Royal, with a win in the FInlandia Ajo and a second in Norway's Oslo Grand Prix before a win in a heat of Sweden's Elitloppet highlighted a fine Spring programme. An unplaced effort when hampered for a run in the final heralded two further unplaced starts before being put aside until January when he prepared for an unsuccessful shot at the Prix d'Amerique with a warm up race in Florence Italy. Neste Effe fronted up in Turin in mid February to take out the Italian Group two Gran Premio Mario Locatelli before returning to France where he was unplaced in the Grand Criterium de Vitesse at his last start on March 9. None of the others in this field have been competing at this level and Holger Ehlert's handsome chestnut , who will be driven by usual pilot Roberto Vecchione will be at very short odds, being at less than even money in early markets. Bergsaker trainer Svante Bath's well-performed Quid Pro Quo has been a group one performer since a 2YO when he ran third in the only Group 1 for babies in Sweden, the tongue-twisting Uppfödningslöpning. He followed that up with a win in Italy's Group 1 Orise Mangelli for 3YOs and last year was the Swedish Group one Sprintermasteren final winner for 4YOs. The son of Yankee Glide has also had group one placings in Norway and Germany to prove that travel will not bother him, although just an early 5YO, it is age that might be against the rising star in an aged group one. B.W.L Champion is a veteran journeyman with 20 race wins capped off with a win in Norway's group two Radio Metro Cup last year, his only win in group company in seven seasons on the track. But the 9YO son of Pine Chip is a tough old campaigner and as followers of European trotting know, these guys can keep their speed well into their second decade. Ex-pat Finn Reijo Liljendahl who was Swedish legend Stig Johansson's right-hand man for 35 years until abruptly going out on his own last year at the age of 58 has the classy Monster Drive entered, and the son of Tap In has come in for a lot of support. Other local hopes will be on Jarno Kauhanen's Swedish Import Womanizer, a 10YO roan journeyman who is as tough as old boots And the Finns also have two other local stars in the race, including last season's Finnish TravDerby winner Quite an Avenger who has had two second this term and a former Finnish St Leger winner She Loves You who will have star Swedish driver Johnny Takter hooking up again. The group one winning mare who has won big races in Sweden and raced in France and returned to winning form last start after a long absence. PRIX D'ETAIN ROYAL Seinäjoki 19/04/14 GROUP 1 UET MASTERS SERIES Int 4-12 2100m  €110 000   1         Nesta Effe (h   Naglo - Etna Sec)  Dr:  Roberto Vecchione   Tr: Holger Ehlert     2100         2         Quite An Avenger (v   Quite Easy - Nobes Hanover)   Mika Forss  Dr:  Markku Nieminen     2100         3         Monster Drive (h   Thai Tanic - Kewpie)  Dr:  Per Lennartsson   Tr: Reijo Liljendahl     2100         4         Womanizer (v   Tap In - Sandra Nibs)   Dr: Tommi Kylliäinen  Tr:  Jarno Kauhanen     2100         5         She Loves You (s   Love You - Sj's Shad Roe)  Dr:  Johnny Takter  Tr:  Jörgen Westholm     2100         6         Surprise Lord (h   Classic Response - Beauty Bro)  Dr:  Iikka Nurmonen   Tr: Timo Hulkkonen     2100         7         Prussia (s   Ken Warkentin - Elvezia)  Dr:  Pietro Gubellini Dr:   Tr: Pietro Gubellini     2100         8         Quid Pro Quo (h   Yankee Glide - Hostage)  Dr:  Erik Adielsson   Tr: Svante Båth     2100         9         Pitch Command (v   Scarlet Knight - Magyare Turgot)  Dr:  Jorma Kontio   Tr: Mia Kjellman     2100         10         B.W.L.Champion (v   Pine Chip - Lovely )  Dr: Ville Karhulahti   Tr: Petri Salmela     2100          by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com  

Today's Laval co-featured Prix de la Societe du Cheval Francais, a European monte test for 27,000e, went to veteran Jag de Bellouet stallion Remember Jihem. Fabien Gence rode the J-M Monclon trainee to his first victory since early June 2013. He rallied along the pegs with 700 meters to go in the 2875 meter test to score easily in 1.14.4kr, his 10th career victory. Longshots Rescousse de Barb and Riquewihr finished two-three. March 12, 2014 Laval, Prix de la Societe du Cheval Francais, 27,000e, European monte, 10- starters, 2875 meters (m=male; f=female)  1.14.4kr 1st Remember Jihem (9m Jag de Bellouet-Feriana-Pietro), Fabien Gence up for Jean-Marie Monclon, 2.5/1 odds, his 10th career victory for earnings of 349,700e 2nd Rescousse de Barb (9f L'as de Vivetaute-Gaie Melodie-Quadrophenio), Mlle. Marion Lemonnier, 58/1 3rd Riquewihr (9g Tenor de Baune-Itara-Reve d'Udon), Yann Joblot up, 24/1 Last Sunday's Grand Criterium de Vitesse winner, Univers de Pan, will soon begin his initial season at stud at Haras du Prieure while also racing. Trainer Philippe Daugeard will point his pupil, a beautiful and great gaited son of Kenya du Pont, toward the April 19 Prix de l'Atlantique at Enghien and will consider Sweden's Olympiatravet, the Oslo Grand Prix and Kymi Grand Prix albeit they may represent tight scheduling difficulties. Daugeard commented that his first concern is the horse, and having him fresh and ready for the next winter meet at Paris-Vincennes. On the Sunday Cagnes sur mer card Germany's Armando Kievitshof and reinsman Rik Dupuydt took the 50,000e Prix de Rome in 1.14kr over 2925 meters. The son of Ganymede, from a Spotlite Lobell dam, scored at 9.6/1 odds for his ninth lifetime win. March 9, 2014 Cagnes sur mer, Prix de Rome Tor di Valle, 50,000e, 2925 meters, 15 starters 1.14kr 1st Armando Kievitshof (7g Ganymede-Continental Lobell-Spotlite Lobell), Rik Dupuydt up for trainer Carine de Soete, owner DVBA Campus RPF, 9.6/1 odds, his ninth career win for 293,599e 2nd Saphir de Fille (8m Ipsos de Montfort-Jelene-Ortolan), Eric Raffin aboard, 2.3/1 3rd Swing d'Eronville (8g Jag de Bellouet-Lucie d'Eronville-Workaholic), J-C Feron up at 30/1 Other European racing of interest took place Saturday at Farjestad (Sweden) as the Jag de Bellouet stallion Francois de Gull took the V-75 Gold Division in a quick 1.11.3kr over 1640 meters autostart. He defeated a well-balanced field including BAHT Launcher. On the card trainer Per Eriksson recorded a training win with the Cantab Hall mare Livacious Lindy. March 8, 2014 Farjestad Sweden, Gold, 1640 meters autostart, 150,000SEK to winner  1.11.3kr 1st Francois du Gull (7m Jag de Bellouet-Tantiem Gull-Lindy Lane), Erik Adielsson up, winners' 13th in 67 starts for 2,547,172SEK 2nd BAHT Launcher (9g Tap In-Josephine Launcher-Turbo Thrust), Orjan Kihlstrom up 3rd Dileva Kall (8f Muscles Yankee-Leva Kall-Spotlite Lobell), Daniel Reden driver/trainer March 8, 2014 Farjestad Sweden, conditioned 2640 meters turning, 100,000SEK to winner 1.15.6kr 1st Livacious Lindy (5f Cantab Hall-Luscious Hall-Pine Chip), Jorma Kontio driver for trainer Per K. Eriksson who co-owns with Per Rodert; this 2010 import from US has won four times in five 2014 starts and five of 28 lifetime by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Sebastian K (7m Korean-Gabriella K-Probe) won the prestigious Oslo Grand Prix (2100 meters, autostart, 1.5 million Norwegian krone) in start to finish fashion for Ake Svanstedt, defeating fast closing Nesta Effe (6m Naglo-Etna Sec-Viking Kronos) by a length. Maharajah (8m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill) finished fast from the back to be third for Orjan Kihlstrom.

Bjerke Racecourse hosts Saturday's Oslo Grand Prix and an exciting harness racing undercard of international trotters.

Posts were drawn this morning for the May 12 edition of the harness racing Oslo Grand Prix.

Europe's best trotter at the moment, Commander Crowe, is scheduled to race in the Nat Ray Trot at the Meadowlands Racetrack and the Maple Leaf Trot at Mohawk this summer. Commander Crowe, who won the Oslo Grand Prix Sunday afternoon at Bjerke, will race in the Elitlopp in Stockholm, and after a rest, he'll go to North America, his harness racing trainer Fabrice Souloy said.

Swedish-bred and -owned, but French-trained and Belgium-driven, Commander Crowe won the Oslo Grand Prix over 1-5/16 miles at Bjerke Sunday afternoon (May 13), while last year's winner, Arch Madness with harness racing trainer/driver Trond Smedshammer in the bike, had to settle for third.

Last month, Woodbine Entertainment Group's Communications department announced that top trotter Windsong Geant would head overseas to contest a pair of European signature events for harness racing trainer/driver Rick Zeron.

Arch Madness is preparing for another trip to Europe, where haness racing trainer Trond Smedshammer hopes his trotter can defend one stakes title and add another. Last year, Arch Madness won the $480,647 Oslo Grand Prix in Norway in mid-May. Two weeks later in Sweden, he won his $68,420 elimination for the prestigious Elitlopp before finishing sixth in the $772,485 final later that same day.

Windsong Geant, trained and driven by WEG (Woodbine Entertainment Group) regular Rick Zeron, will head to Europe in the coming weeks to compete in a pair of signature harness racing events, the Oslo Grand Prix and the prestigious Elitlopp.

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