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Today’s excellent groupe action at Paris-Vincennes saw Earl Simon (4m Prodigious-Tindrana) take the Gr. II Prix Octave Douesnel (purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, four year olds) as the 2/5 favorite. Franck Ouvrie teamed the winner for trainer Jarmo Niskanen and Ecurie Skytten that was clocked in 1.13kr off even fractions. The 7.1/1 Eridan (4m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) was second, handled by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dewulf. Third went to the 5.9/1 Express Jet (4m Goetmals Wood-Run For Jet) that was reined by trainer Pierre Vercruysse and owner Ecurie des As. The winning Earl Simon is a model of consistency, now with 10 career victories in 17 starts, for 498,950€ earned. Three year olds were on stage in the Prix de Mansle (Gr. III, purse 76,000€, 2100 meters autostart). The early fractions were quick and it led to a 1.12.5kr timed victory for 9/1 Fuego de Houelle (3g Rieussec-Pin Up de Houelle) teamed with Adrien Lamy. Franck Leblanc trains the winner for owner Andre Carree. The 6.3/1 Flambeau Royal (3m Look de Star-Rodea Josselyn) was second with Jean Michel Bazire up and the 2/1 favorite Falco d’Heripre (3m Goetmals Wood-Vedeltad d’Heripre) held third for Franck Nivard. The day’s Quinte+ event was the Prix Chinon (purse 50,000€, 2175 meters, 16 starters) and long odds top five finishers created a 149,528€ exact order payoff for the 2€ wager. The race winner was 7.7/1 Erolina (4f Prodigious-Keralda) clocked in 1.12.4kr. Eric Raffin teamed the mare that was bred and is owner/trained by Alphonse Vanberghen. 6.3/1 Etones de Carsi (4f Okepi de Fael) was a good second with Yoann Lebourgeois teaming for trainer Franck Leblanc. The 5.6/1 Eclipse d’Orient (4f Un Mec d’Heripre) was third with J.Ph. Monclin up for trainer Jarmo Niskanen. 49/1 Elite du Lys and 40/1 Endiablee completed the top five to the line. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Great Monday action at Paris-Vincennes included groupe action for top level younger trotteurs. It all started with the monte Prix Louis Tillaye (Gr. II, purse 120,000€, 2700 meters, nine starters). Even-money favorite Feeling Cash (3m Ready Cash-Royale Star) scored easily timed in 1.14.5kr with Yoann Lebourgeois in the irons for owner Carlos Lerner and trainer Philippe Allaire. Ecurie des Charmes bred this winner that defeated 27/1 Fiore de Janeiro (3f Vanishing Point) with Anthony Barrier up for owner/trainer Franck Blandin. 1.9/1 Ferreteria (3f Goetmals Wood-Avenue Victoria) was third for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Yves Boireau and owner Jean Pierre Dubois. 5.4/1 Full Of Charm (3m Texas Charm) was fourth for Eric Raffin and trainer/owner Julien Dubois. The Gr. III Prix du Langueduc (purse 95,000€, 2850 meters, 13 starters) saw 14/1 Cavalleria (6f Prodigious-Janga) score for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch timed in 1.13.2kr. Ecurie Castagniccia owns the winner that now has 14 career wins in 51 starts for 570,820€ earned. 3/5 favorite Ble du Gers (7g Quinoa du Gers) was second for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and 4.1/1 Carabinieri (7m Wellino Boko) landed third for Franck Nivard, ahead of Bolide Jenilou and Sharon Gar. The Gr. II Prix Abel Bassigny (purse 120,000€, 2175 meters, 11 starters) saw the 3/10 favored Face Time Bourbon (3m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) score impressively in 1.13.5kr with Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and Scuderia Bivans SRL. SARL Haras Saint Martin bred this now eight-time winner in nine career starts, for 219,150€ earned. 12/1 Feliciano (3m Ready Cash-Ravenella) took second for Eric Raffin, trainer Philippe Allaire and Ecurie des Charmes. Fric du Chene (3m Nobody du Chene) took third for Gabriele Gelormini and Faithful (3, Village Mystic) was fourth for Alexandre Abrivard, The Prix du Corta (Gr. II, purse 120,000€, 2175 meters, 10 starters) saw 3/1 odds Fly With Us (3f Ready Cash-Nariane Marceaux) score timed in 1.12.9kr with Yoann Lebourgeois driving for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Ecurie Normandy Spirit. The Olivier Henri Thomas bred filly recorded her eighth career win in 15 starts for 286,200€ earned. 13/1 Fanina des Racques (3f Ready Cash-Nina des Racques) was second for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Alexandre Buisson. The 3.6/1 Fend la Bise (3f Prince Gede) finished third for trainer/driver Franck Anne and breeder/owner Ecurie AB Trot, ahead of the 3/2 favorite Fashion Queen (3f Ready Cash-Usenze) that Ericne Raffin teamed for trainer Allaire and owner J.M. Tessier. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Tuesday evening at Vincennes showcased two divisions of the four year- old Grand Prix de L’UET (both raced over 2100 meters autostart and each with a 60,000€ purse). Division A drew nine starters with victory to the 4/5 odds favorite Earl Simon (4m Prodigious-Tindrana) that Franck Nivard teamed for Ecurie Skytten and trainer Jorma Niskanen. The winner was timed in 1.12.7kr as he posted career win nine in 14 starts now for 354.950€ earned. 58/1 Esmondo (4m Un Mec d’Heripre-Uourga) was a game second for Jerome Chavatte and owner/trainer Richard Westerink and 32/1 Easy des Racques (4m Rodrigo Jet-Ombre des Racques) took third for J. Ph. Monclin.9 Éclair du Mirel (4m Orlando Vici-Tentation du Mirel) closed well for fourth driven by Anthony Barrier for Anette Holmgren (owner/breeder) and trainer Anders Lindqvist. Victor Gio was sixth and Classic Connection were dq’s. Division B saw 4.3/1 odds Broadwell (4m Conway Hall-Boria) score for Robin Bakker, trainer Paul Hagoort and Ecurie Gerrits Recycling BV. Race timed was 1.12.1kr as the winning team bested 18/1 Eridan (4m Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) with David Thomain up. Sebastien Guarato trains this one for owner Philippe Dewulf. 38/1 Hooters USA (4m Armbro Embellish-Keetje Tippel) took the third check for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer A.J. Mollema. Even-money favorite Vivid Wise As finished sixth and 2.3/1 Express Jet was a dq. On Wednesday at Vire was the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris Turf (purse 90,000€, 2800 meters, 17 starters) that was also the Quinte+ race of the day. Even-money favorite Ceylan Dairpet (6g Ouragon de Celland-Rosy MIP) scored for trainer/driver Tony LeBeller and Ecurie Daidou. Race time by the winner was 1.13.7kr. 1.8/1 second choice Ble du Gers (7g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) was second for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire and Ecurie J-M Rancoule. A string of outsiders were next and they drove the Q+ exact order payoff to 8,745.80€. Third went to 40/1 Abydos du Vivier (8g Diamant Gede); 30/1 Artiste de Joudes (8m Prodigious) took fourth; and 127/1 Virgious du Maza (9g Prodigious) completed the top five. On Wednesday at Solvalla was a conditioned event for six year-olds and up (1640 meters autostart, 40,000SEK to the winner). The 1.11.9kr timed winner was 2.7/1 Canari Match (6m Extreme Aunou-Ruelle d’Ostal) with Orjan Kihlstrom up for Stall Zet and trainer Daniel Reden. The winner recorded his seventh career victory in 54 outiings. 32/1 Spitcam Jubb (7g Campbell Hall-Lola Spit) was second for Jorma Kontio and 61/1 Explosive de Vie (7g Explosive Matter-Ava) was third for Kevin Oscarsson. 16/1 Maori Time and 1.36/1 favorite (and Elitloppet winner) Ringostarr Treb both made breaks in the later going. The latter is slated for an early October USA trip to compete in the Yonkers International. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The 5/2 odds Cavalleria (6f Prodigious-Jange) took tonight’s’ Prix de Rome Tor di Valle Memorial at Cagnes sir Mer. Nicolas Ensch teamed the winner that he owns and trains.  She was timed in 1.12.3kr, a track record for the distance. 3.2/1 Boss du Meleuc (7g Lucky Blue) held second for Christophe Martens and owner/trainer Y.A. Briand. 17/1 Viking d’Hermes was third ahead of even money favorite Colonel Bond and 38/1 Uranium. The Prix Ready Cash (purse 32,000 euro, 2700 meters autostart, 10 entrants) at CSM went to 5/1 Dauphin Royal (5m Kesaco Phedo)  with trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch up. Race time was 1.13.7kr. 72/1 Da Vinci Bond (5g Quaker Jet) was second for J.P. Ensch, also trainer. 3.7/1 Dusty Wood (5m Goetmals Wood-Orangette) took third with Pierre Vercruysse up for owner/trainer Louis Baudron. At Mariendorf (Berlin) the featured Garantiebrief (purse 7,500 euro, 1900 meters autostart, eight starters) went to 9/10 favorite Hector Boko (4g Going Kronos-Yucca Boko) timed in 1.12.5kr and driven by Dennis Spangenberg for trainer Thorsten Tietz. 3.1/1 Kentucky Bo (4g Dream Vacation-Classic Bo) was second for trainer Rudolf Haller driving and 55/1 Holly Star (4f Classic Grand Cru) was third for Jaap Van Rijn. At Cabourg was the Friday Q+ Prix du Conseil Departmental du Calando (purse 38,000 euro, 2750 meters, 16 European starters). 2.3/1 Ce Bello Romain (6g Jam Pridem-Miss Echo Bello) scored in 1.14.2kr for driver Anthony Barrier and owner/trainer S.G.Dupont. This winner recorded his 10th career win in 34 starts now for 203,260 euro earned. 8/1 Digital Collection (7g Super Photo Kosmos-Full Authority) was second for David Thomain with third to 5/2 Colt des Essarts (6m Olitro) reined by Francois Lagadeuc. 95/1 Amour Orageux and 25/1 Cronis d’Hameline completed the top five and the Q+ exact order ticket paid 13,111 euro. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

November 9, 2017 - Today’s Gr. II Prix Marcel Laurent (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 10 four and five year old European starters) kicked off for some a path to the harness racing Prix d’Amerique. This field may be the best in the age class in Europe and what a victory it was for 1.11.3kr timed front striding Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) teamed with David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Francoise Deboudaud. This win was the sixth in succession for Carat Williams and increased his career earnings to €794,240. Day Or Night In (5m Muscle Hill-Ellie America) rallied for second driven by trainer Johan Untersteiner. Third was Urlo Dei Venti (4m Mago d’Amore-Armbro Wealthy) with Enrico Bellei up for trainer Gennaro Casillo. Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) and Diabo du Noyer (4m Jasmin de Flore-Une et Indivisible) were fourth and fifth, ahead of Treasure Kronos that traveled comfortably in the death seat but could not sustain her stretch bid. Fractions were steady (1.09.2kr with 1500 remaining; 1.11.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.9kr with 500 meters to go). The winning Carat Williams was the 2/5 favorite while the next pair were off at 11/1 and 45/1 respectively. 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    

June 10, 2017 - The Saturday sunny harness racing card at Paris-Vincennes included top flight trots led by the Gr. II Prix Louis Jarel (purse €120,000, 2175 meters, nine five year-old starters). The 5/10 favorite Carat Williams (5m Prodigious-Miss Williams) scored on dq timed in 1.11.1kr for driver David Thomain. Sebastien Guarato trains the winner for Mme. Francoise Deboudaud. 9.7/1 odds  Clif du Pommereux (5m Love You-Noune du Pommereux) was placed second for driver J-M Bazire, trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. Placed third was 18/1 Caid Griff (5m Password-Savane Griff) reined by Mathieu Mottier for trainer Guarato and Ecurie Griff. The cause of the placings was dq’d Cash and Go (5m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet), a full brother to Bold Eagle. On the program was the E-Q+ Prix de Villeneuve Sur Lot (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters). 54/1 Picone (8m Credit Winner-Fabiaz) scored, timed in 1.13.2kr for trainer/driver Santo Mollo and Ecurie Don Miguel. 38/1 All Feeling (7m Otello Pierji-Quelle Cerencaise) was second for Christophe Martens, ahead of 97/1 outsider Vie de la Ferme (8g Quatre Juillet-Erika de Vilzy) reined by J.Ph. Monclin for Axel Wend, the breeder/owner. Another  interesting winner this day was in the Prix de Gien (purse €68,000, 2700 meters, 11 European starters), as 15/1 Hambo Transs R (3m Love You-Bewitched) scored for the excellent team of driver Robin Bakker and trainer Paul Hagoort. Mille Fleurs from Holland is the winning owner. Romain Derieux teamed the 2/5 favorite Anzida Liards (7m Look de Star-Nausicaa du Sud) to victory in the Prix du Quercy (purse €85,000, 2850 meters, 10 European entrants), timed in 1.13.5kr. David Bekaert trains the winner for breeder/owner Richard Padovani. 9/1 Orient Horse (9m Abano As-Irma del Rio) was second for Pierre Levesque and Glen Ord Superb (6m Orlando Vici-Onions Hilda) took third for Christophe Martens. Later in the program the Prix de Fecamp (purse €50,000, 2700 meters, 17 starters) went to 1.13.5kr timed and 11/1 odds Cicero Noa (5g Mandarino Blu-Ma Belle Reine). Pierre Vercruysse teamed the winner for breeder/owner/trainer Jan Vanhoucke. Then, three year-old fillies took to the track for the Prix d’Istres (purse €8,000, 2700 meters, 11 European starters) with the 31/1 odds Estola (3f Nectar-Nika) prevailing for pilot David Thomain, trainer Emmanuel Ruault and Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson. 14/1 Elite du Ruel (3f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) was second for trainer/driver Franck Anne. Third home was Electra Jet (3f Ready Cash-Olivia Jet) that was bred by Jean Etienne Dubois and now owned by Ecurie de As and trained/driven by Pierre Vercruysse. Primula Brazza’ Wins Q+ at Vincennes June 9, 2017 - 19/1 Primula Brazza’ (8f Oiseau de Feux-Erlarosa Brazza’) took the Friday evening Quinte+  Prix Titania (purse €48,000, 2850 meters, 16 starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Franck Nivard was the pilot for Scuderia Dell’Acquario and trainer Salvatore Carro. 11/1 Auro Normande (7f Ready Cash-Normandia) took second for owner/trainer/driver Eric Lambertz. Third home was 39/1 Baraka de Bellou (6f Prodigious-Olifina) and pilot Mathieu Mottier and Denis Elhalk, the trainer/owner/breeder. Race time was 1.14.5kr. On the same card was the Prix Adalberta (purse €56,000, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) and that 1.14.7kr clocked victory was earned by 9/10 favorite Cerenzo Turbo (5m Ganymede-Poesie de Vigne) from among a close pack at the finish. Franck Nivard teamed the Philippe Billard trainee that Ecurie Turbo owns and bred. 4.3/1 Tesauro (5g Flipp Roc-Iniziale) was second for pilot Alexandre Abrivard, ahead of 7.5/1 Titty Jepson (5f Varenne-Lama di Costa) reined by David Thomain for Vincent Lacroix, the trainer for Scuderia Nininni. Thomas H. Hicks

May 6, 2017 - David Thomain piloted 15.3/1 Darling de Reux (4f Prodigious-Queen Jet) through the heavy rain to a 1.12.2kr timed harness racing victory in the Gr. I Prix Criterium 4Ans at Vincennes (purse €240,000, 2850 meters, 18 starters, Quinte+ event). The winning mare, now with eight career victories in 14 starts for €316,210 earned, was three lengths up on 19/1 Draft Life (4f Ubriacio-Maflymede) reined by Eric Raffin for breeder/owner/trainer Louis Baudron. 131/1 Dragon des Racques (4m Love You-Quinete des Racques) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. 12/1 Dawana was fourth ahead of 74/1 Drole d’Espoir. 3.4/1 Django Riff was sixth and Dijon was seventh.  This classic test for FR four year olds illustrated the pageantry, competitiveness and audience enthusiasm, despite weather conditions, of the Groupe I action at Vincennes. 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  

March 4, 2017 - The Prix d’Alencon (purse €85,000, 2700 meters, nine European monte starters) began the Saturday Paris-Vincennes harness racing program and it went to 1.13.6kr timed and 10.4/1 odds Shadow Gar (6f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) with jockey Franck Nivard up, for trainer H.E. Bondo and Scuderia Erodi di Gubellini of Italy. 2.2/1 Catalogne (6f Cygnus d’Odyssee-Jabadie) was second for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Dominique Mottier. Third was 17.1/1 Belle Louise Mabon (6f Derby du Gite-Nefertiti Mabon) for Eric Raffin and breeder/owner/trainer Yves Dreux. The Gr. II Prix Louisle Bourg (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, ten monte starters) produced a rallying victory for 3/2 favorite Durzie (5f Jag de Bellouet-Shall We) for Alexandre Abrivard, trainer L.Cl. Abrivard and Ecurie Augustin-Normand. 6.1/1 Dominator Blond (4m Kenor de Cosse-Orchidee Blonde) was second for Damien Bonne and third was 11.6/1 Dahlia du Rib (4m Oyonnax-Passiflore du Rib) for jockey Alexis Collette, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib, the breeder/owner. The Q+ Prix Maurepas (purse €65,000, 2700 meters, 16 starters) went to 1.14.8kr timed and 2.8/1 Carla Love (5f Royal Lover-Querida de Vonnas) for trainer/driver Jean-Michel Bazire. 14.6/1 Calencia (5f Quaker Jet-Olencia) was second for Gabriel Gelormini and breeder/owner/trainer Alphonse Vanberghen. 6.8/1 Clea Madrik (5f Prince d’Espace-Paisy Tivoli) took third for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Benoit Robin. The next two finishers were off at 19/1 and 50/1 odds respectively. The Gr. III Prix Henri Desmontils (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, nine starters) went to a game front-ending 2/5 favorite Arlington Dream (7g Ready Cash-Ialla Clairchamp) for jockey Yoann Lebourgeois. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for owner Frederic Sauque. Arlington now has 12 wins in 48 starts for €464,650 earned. 14.1/1 Alpha Saltor (7m Paris Haufor-Glory d’Ariane) rallied for second ridden by Matthieu Abrivard and third was 10.9/1 Texas de l’Iton (10g Cygnus d’Odyssee) for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Hughes Levesque. 10.3/1 odds Venezia de Mai (8f Prodigious-Iomoe de Tesse) took the Prix de Montsoreau (purse €66,000, 2100 meters autostart, 15 European starters) timed in 1.12.9kr. The barefoot winner was reined by Nicolas Mortagne. 3.2/1 Monas Invercote (8f Vikings Kronos-Monas Speranza) was second, beaten a neck for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Third was 14/1 Un Cher Ami (9g Jag de Bellouet-Olygarchy) for Mathieu Daougabel. The featured Prix de Selection (Gr. I, purse €240.000, 2200 meters distance handicap, nine starters) went to 1.11.4kr timed and 47.4/1 odds Discours Joyeaux (4m Goetmals Wood-Quelle Copine). Racing barefoot for Damien Bonne, the winner is trained by Thierry Raffegeau for owner J.Y. Roze. 25.6/1 Dreammoko (4m Timoko-Uranie d’Atout) was second for Gabriel Gelormini, and trainer Richard Westerink, also trainer/owner of the champion Timoko. 20.4/1 Black d’Avril (6m Oceano Nox-Olivia d’Avril) took third reined by J-M Bazire for trainer Frederic Prat. 2/1 favorite Carat Williams was fourth ahead of fifth finishing Doberman. Thomas H. Hicks

January 8, 2017 - 17.1/1 Doberman (4m Prodigious-Quietude Mesloise) trained and reined by Franck Nivard, for owner Richard Cohen, won the €120,000, 2175 meters, Prix Crack Series 2016 for harness racing three-year-olds in a blanket finish. The winner now has €254,230 in career earnings. 5.3/1 Diego du Guelier (4m Kepler-Ophelie la Garenne) was a head back in second for Mathieu Mottier driving for owner/trainer Denise Mottier. Third was Draft Life (4f Ubriaco-Maflymede) at 6.6/1 for Eric Raffin and owner/trainer Louis Baudron. The most favored Django Riff (4m Ready Cash) was fifth at 1.1/1 odds and Dollar Macker (4m Saxo de Vandel) ended fourth at 4.3/1, both of these trainer by Philippe Allaire. Today’s Quinte+ was the Prix-Cracks des Cracks 2016 for a purse of €88,000 over 2100 meters autostart. The impressive winner was 1.2/1 Call Me Keeper (7m Pine Chip-Eliza Keeper), trained by Daniel Reden for Stall Zet, and reined by Pierre Vercruysse. Fractions were steady with the finish in 1.11.5kr (1.09.1kr at 1500 to go; 1.10.1kr at the 1000; 1.11.7kr with 500 remaining). The winning pair reached the front at the halfway point and easily handled this field to score for the 10th time, now with career earnings of €476,890. Arazi Boko (10g Varenne-Laura Kemp) at 5.1/1 was second for driver J-M Bazire and 9/1 Beau Gamin (6m Quinoa du Gers-Cadette) landed third for Eric Raffin. Akido (7g Love You) and Orient Horse (9m Abano As) took the fourth and fifth spots. Thomas H. Hicks

December 29, 2016 - 5.3/1 Akayama (6f Prodigious-Hirosaka) was a three length winner of today’s harness racing Quinte+ Prix de Salvanhac (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 16 European starters) clocked in 1.14.4kr. David Thomain reined Akayama for trainer Alain Roussel and breeder/owner Mme. Nicole Roussel. 3.1/1 Aupiquarta (6f Goetmals Wood-Illys Way) and trainer/driver J-M Bazire was second ahead of 9.9/1 Xea Venus (8f Charmy Skeeter-Xea Lobell) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer Bjorn Goop. The Pick5 Prix de Compiegne (purse €64,000, 2700 meters, 13 starters) was won by 2.1/1 Baxter du Klau (5g Oiseau de Feux-Iklia Josselyn) reined by trainer J-M Bazire for owner J.M. Baudouin. And timed in 1.14.7kr. 8.2/1 Bourbon Somolli (5m Sam Bourbon-Jamaica Somolli) was second for David Thomain and trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 10.9/1 odds Black Atout (5m Prodigious-La Lagune) landed the third spot for Franck Nivard and trainer Franck Leblanc. Today’s featured Gr. III Prix de Chaleau Chinon (purse €95,000, 2700 meters, 12 starters) went to 1.6/1 Dream de Nilrem (3g Jet Foruna-Naoari de Chamant). Frederic Prat trains this favorite and Eric Raffin did the driving. Norway’s 6/1 Phantasm SOA (3m Cromwell-Ulver H) was second by half-length for Matthieu Abrivard, trainer Olivier Raffin and owner Gudbrand ALM Skiaken. Third was fast finishing 9.4/1 Dragon des Racques (3m Love You-Quinte des Racques) with Alexandre Abrivard up for trainer L.Cl. Abrivard. Jerry Mom (3m Ready Cash-Graziella) was fourth for Nicolas Roussel, owner Alain Roussel and trainer Philippe Allaire. Fifth was the Allaire owned and trained Dokha Vedaquaise (3f Prodigious-Sestriere) with Yoann Lebourgeois aboard. Race time was 1.16.6kr. Post positions are now set for Sunday’s next “B” (Prix de Bourgogne) leading to the Prix d’Amerique. See below, as the favorites appear well-positioned. Thomas H. Hicks

Today’s Gr. II Prix Octave Douesnel (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 11 starters) went to 1.3/1 Carat Williams (4m Prodigious-Miss Williams) with David Thomain up for harness racing trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Mme. Francoise Deboudaud, clocked in 1.13.1kr with a rallying finish (fractions 1.17.3kr with 1500 to go; 1.14.9kr at the 1000, 1.13.9kr with 500 remaining). The winner raced in the death seat and wore down 1.4/1 Charly du Noyer (4m Ready Cash-Ornella Jet) in the drive. The latter was reined by Yoann Lebourgeois for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Olivier Henri Thomas. Third was 42/1 Clif du Pommereux (4m Love You-Noune du Pommereux) took third for trainer/driver Sylvain Roger. Cad Griff and Cupidon du Vivier were fourth and fifth. The Gr. I Criterium des 3 Ans (purse €240,000, 2700 meters, 15 starters) went to 26.3/1 Diego du Guelier (3m Kepler-Ophelie la Garenne) with Mathieu Mottier up for owner/trainer Denise Mottier. He was timed in 1.14.1kr (fractions 1.13.6kr at 1500 to go; 1.15.1kr at 1000; 1.15.1kr with 500 remaining) in a gritty performance defeating 7/10 favorite Django Riff (3m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine) that Philippe Allaire trains for breeder/owner Elisabeth Allaire. Third was 31/1 Allaire trainee Dawana (3f Ready Cash-Sanawa) that he owns and that Gabriel Gelormini teamed. Draft Life and Dijon were fourth and fifth for Eric Raffin and Romain Derieux, their drivers Thomas H. Hicks  

October 25, 2015 - Agora (6f Prodigious-Ibiza des Brisants) won tonight’s Prix Isara (purse €82,000. 2850 meters, 14 starters aged six-ten) for harness racing driver Eric Raffin and breeder/owner Francis Tardieu at 7.6/1 odds. Second was 13/1 Thoury le King (9g Melchior Jet-Karina de Thoury) for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer/owner J.Ph. Raffegeau. Third was 4.2/1 Vignia la Ravelle (7f Diamant Gede-Jirania la Ravelle) with Jean-Michel Bazire at the lines. The winner was clocked in 1.14.1kr over the petite piste at Paris-Vincennes. The Gr. III Prix California (purse €80,000, 2850 meters, eight starters) resuled in a 1.13.9kr score for the 0.5/1 favorite Brissac (5m Ni Ho Ped d’Ombree-Jannibelle). J-M Bazire piloted the Jean-Alain Eliphe trainee that he also owns. This one now has 17 wins in 42 outings for over €305,000 earned. 35/1 Boide Jenilou (5g Kesaco Phedo-Melodie Jenilou) was second with Anthony Barrier driving and third was 6.5/1 Coup Droit (4m Prodigious-Saint Leonard) with Robin Bakker up for Paul Hagoort, trainer for Stable Why Not. The Gr. III Prix Timocharis (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters – three year-old fillies) went to 2.7/1 favorite Delia du Pommereux (3f Niky-Neune du Pommereux) with Franck Nivard at the lines, timed in 1.15.6kr. Second was 15/1 Diamond Crown (3f Repeat Love-Ma Crown) for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Lady O’Reilly. Ecurie D was the breeder. Third went to 4.2/1 Desiree (3f Ready Cash-Richesse d’Orient) for trainer/driver Alain Laurent and breeder/owner Etienne Desmet. Thomas H. Hicks  

The August 11 monte headliner at Enghien was the Gr. II Prix de Landres (purse €120,000, 2875 meters, 16 starters). The 1.14kr impressive harness racing winner was 18.4/1 odds Astor du Quenne (6m Opus Viervil-Qualinka du Quenne) with Alexandre Abrivard in the irons. Sebastian Guarato trains this Ecurie Haras de la Coquenne property. 4.4/1 Amour Fou (6g Meaulnes du Corta-Nice Star) was a distant second for Franck Nivard, trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. 60/1 Valse de Reve (7f Mister President-Nouba Houba) lasted for third handled by Camille Levesque for owner/trainer Allain Roussel. The Enghien feature was the Quinte+ Prix de la Concorde (purse €70,000, 2875 meters, 17 starters). Even-money favorite Utinka Selloise (8f Qjipsey Vinoir-Mercedes Tebe) scored in 1.14.kr with veteran reinsman J-M Bazire driving the J-M Baudouin trainee. 8.3/1 Ursule du Bouffey (8f Indy de Vive-Illusion du Coq) was next for P-Y Verva with third to 7.3/1 Vikishima (7f Magnificent Rodney-Fleur du Perche) driven by A.A. Chavatte. Bazire also won the Q+ on August 10 with Aubrion de Gers in the Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf. Enghien’s Prix de Nouzonville (purse €60,000, 2875 meters, 15 entrants) this day went to 2.6/1 favorite Chicago Blues (4m Prodigious-Orleans) timed in 1.14.9kr. Cl. Duvaldestin teamed the Thierry Duvaldestin trainee that Ecurie Bresil owns. 9.4/1 Bellino d’Auvrecy (5m Ganymede-Lady d’Auvrecy) took second with Gabriel Gelormini up for the Sebastian Guarato/Ecurie Lucky Star team. 7.7/1 Class Petteviniere (4m Repeat Love-Noce Petteviniere) landed third driven by Dominik Locqueneux for trainer Ch. De Groote. Also on the Enghien program was the Prix de la Porte d’Italie (purse €70,000, 2875 meters, 16 entrants). 2.7/1 Barrio Josselyn (5m Scipion du Goutier-Pike Josselyn) scored in 1.15kr for J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O. Roffi-Urano. 60/1 Bon Copain (5m Love You-Haie) was next for Francois Lecanu, and the Raffegeau/Roze trainer and owner team. 1/1 Blues d’Ourville (5g Password-Pursuit of Charm) took third for Mathieu Mottier. The Quinte+ August 10 feature in France was the Gr. III Grand National du Trot Paris-Turf (purse €90,000, 2950 meters distance handicap, 18 starters) at Saint Malo. The 1.15kr timed winner was 3/5 favorite Aubrion du Gers (6g Memohis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers) with Jean Michel Bazire up. He owns and trains this one. 23.2/1 Boeing du Bocage (5m Scipion du Goutier-Lora du Cap Vert) landed second for Loic Guinoiseau with the fine rally. 168/1 Vignia la Ravelle (7f Diamant Gede-Jirania Le Ravelle) took third for owner/trainer/driver E.G. Blot. At Avenches (Suisse) on August 10 the Coupe des 4 Ans (purse €13,850. 3000 meters autostart, seven starters) went to 1.23kr timed and 3.3/1 odds Fast And Furious (4m Main Wise As-You’ve Got Mail). Owner/trainer Andre Humbert was the teamster. 7.3/1 Global Spotify (4g Judge Joe-Claudia) took a close second over the off going with trainer Marcel Humbert up. The 1.3/1 favorite Chopin du Martza (4m Ganymede-Polka du Martza), trained by Renaud Pujols and driven by Fra Quatreuil was third. Thomas H. Hicks

Top trotting highlighted the Saturday harness racing card at Enghien that began with the Prix de l’Ardeche (purse €39,000, 2875 meters, eight starters) that was won by 3/10 favorite Dubai Union (3f Love You-Irina du Bourg) timed in 1.19.4kr for driver Gabriel Gelormini. Philippe Allaire trains this one for Marquise de Moratella. 4.8/1 Dolce Vita Griff (3f Goetmals Wood-Phania Griff) took second for P-Y Verva, trainer Sebastian Guarato and Ecurie Griff. 9.6/1 Dunyasha (3f Sam Bourbon-Troika du Corta) held third for owner/driver Jean-Pierre Dubois and trainer Yves Boireau. The Quinte+Gr. III  Prix de la Marche (purse €85,000, 2875 meters distance handicap, 15 European starters) went to the 1.14.2kr winning Artiste de Jourdes (6m Prodigious-Memory de Joudes). The 8.3/1 odds winner was reined by David Thomain for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, ahead of 14.5/1 second finishing Ulula Bella (8f Jam Pridem-Nathalie Bella) that was handled by Alexandre Abrivard for trainer/owner J-P Marmion. 54/1 Tom Ruch (9g L;As de Viretaute-Itanema de Beval) was third and Briac Dark was fourth. In the good field Viking Va Bene was fifth ahead of the next three Romanesque, Olympic Kronos and El Mago Pellini. The featured Groupe III Prix de Berlin (purse €85,000, 2150 meters autostart, 16 European participants) was taken  by 1.14.9kr timed and even-money odds Dawana (3f Ready Cash-Sanawa) with Gabriel Gelormini aboard. The owner/trainer is Philippe Allaire and Jean Pierre Guay was the breeder of this good filly. 35/1 Deesse de Gueron (3f Melchior Jet-Olivia) captured second for trainer/driver/owner Franck Anne ahead of 50/1 Dream Darling (3m Sam Bourbon-Lets Go Darling) driven by owner Jean-Pierre Dubois for trainer Yves Boireau. Fourth was 8./1 Ducato Bourbon (3m Love You-Kamera Bourbon) driven by Pierre Vercruysse for trainer Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Sray. Thomas H. Hicks  

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