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March 12, 2020 - Bugsy Malone (9g Ready Cash-Night Captain) returned from a four month vacation to score at Caen in the harness racing Prix de Cauvicourt (purse 31,000€, 2200 meters autostart, European) with Yoann Lebourgeois up. Off at 2.5/1 the winner recorded his 29th career victory now for 885,230€ earned. Philippe Allaire owns and trains the veteran campaigner that is especially talented on the turf in summer season. Ce Bello Romain (8g Jam Pridem-Miss Echo Bella) was second and Eriden (6, Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) took third, this one with David Thomain up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Bel Avis was an unplaced starter. Thomas H. Hicks

This final day of the harness racing Winter Meet on Saturday at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes included four groupe level races and the Quinte+ race of the day. Action began with Grace de Fael (4f Sam Bourbon-Acquarella de Fael), off at 3.9/1, taking the Gr. II Prix Louis le Bourg (monte, purse 100,000€, 2850 meters) at Vincennes, racing with shoes, and with jockey Alexandre Abrivard in the irons. Thierry Duvaldestin trains the 1.13.9kr clocked mare for owner Jose Fernandes. Grace now has eight career wins for 230,000€ earned. 27/1 odds Guide Moi Forgan (4m Neutron du Cebe) was second for jockey Christopher Corbineau with third earned by 12/1 Get de Play (4m Gazouillis) handled by Adrien Lamy for owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. Grace de Fael The featured event on this last day of the Vincennes Winter Meet was the Gr. I Prix de Selection (purse 200,000€, 2200 meters, four to six year olds). The 1/10 favorite Face Time Bourbon (5m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) scored in 1.10.9kr with Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Scuderia Bivans Srl. Face Time won for the 20th time in his career that has so far yielded 1,651,050€. The 11/1 Enino du Pommereux (6m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) took second for* Matthieu Abrivard aboard for trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. 21/1 Frisbee d’Am (5m The Best Madrik) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer Richard Westerink. Face Time had a remarkable Winter Meet with four wins including the Grand Prix d’Amerique, three of those being Gr. I wins, plus a second place finish in the Grand Prix France. He also lowered his personal time badge to 1.10.6kr in the Criterium Continental. Face Time Bourbon The Gr. III Prix Henri Desmontils (purse 90,000€, 2850 meters, monte, International) was up next and saw 4.2/1 Evangelina Blue (6f Speedy Blue-Happy Blue) score, timed I 1.14.2kr, with Mathieu Mottier aboard for trainer J.P. Mary, the winners’ ninth career victory now for 662,000€ earned. 4.1/1 Etoile de Bruyere (6f Kenor de Cosse) was a game second for jockey Adrien Lamy. Third was Caban Prior (8g Sancho Panca) handled by Aurilien Desmarres. Evangelina Blue The Prix du Plateau de Gravelle (Gr. III, purse 90,000€, 2100 meters autostart, International) saw JMB on the victory stage as it went to 1.11.1kr timed Dorgos de Guez (7g Romcok de Guez-Landy Frometro) with trainer Jean Michel Bazire aboard. Dorgos won for the 21st time in a career that now shows 605,6580€ earned. He was off as the 8/10 odds favorite and he defeated 5.4/1 stablemate Colonel (8g Goetmals Wood-Royale Star) with Nicolas Bazire up for owner Ecurie des Charmes. Detroit Castelets (7m Neoh Jiel) took third for David Thomain. Dorgos de Guez The day’s Quinte+ race was the Prix de Montsoreau (purse 58,000€, 2700 meters, European) with victory to 3.9/1 Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Jeunesse Dorec) with trainer Pierre Vercruysse up for owner Jan Lyng. This was his sixth victory in France and it raised his career earnings to 267,141€. Race time was 1.12.4kr. The 9/1 Datcha (7f The Best Madrik) was second for J.Ph. Monclin and third was 33/1 Divine Mesloise. 35/1 Baron Daidou and 118/1 Altius Fortis completed the top five. The exact order Q+ payoff was 136,224€ to eight winning tickets. The Q+ pool was 4,185,945€ and 8,912,000€ was wagered on the race (all wagering pools). Moni Viking The Paris-Vincennes Winter Meet is now complete. In addition to the performance of Face Time Bourbon the top drivers, jockeys and trainers based on number of wins are shown below:   Drivers: Eric Raffin 69, Jean Michel Bazire 58, David Thomain 37 Jockeys: Eric Raffin 25, Alexandre Abrivard 19, Mathieu Mottier 15 Trainers: Jean Michel Bazire 83, Philippe Allaire 23, Laurent Claude Abrivard 23. There were three others with 22 training wins – Sebastien Guarato, Christian Bigeon and J.M. Baudouin It was quite a race meet, horses and equine. Equine also saw great victories by Davidson du Pont and the exceptional Belina Jocclyn.    Raffin and Bazire LeTrot, PMU files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The grande French Champion harness racing mare, Belina Josselyn, who won last Sunday’s Grand Prix de Paris (Gr. I, UET Masters Series, 170,000€ purse) was then retired by owner Pascal Bernard. She will enjoy a brief rest and then will be bred to champion sire Ready Cash. "Respect" as Jean-Michel Bazire will say last Sunday to conclude his interview on Equidia after his second victory in the Paris Grand Prix with Belina who concludes her career with superb performances. 2,618,970€ in life earnings  Four Group I wins  One Prix d’Amerique victory Two Grand Prix Paris wins and one Grand Prix France score Record: 1'10''2kr Recent LeTrot writings cite correctly her elegance, her gait, which has often earned her comparison to a ballerina who had made the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes her favorite racecourse. She created fond fan memories of communion with the public when Jean-Michel Bazire offered his champion to the spectators.  Belina excelled among the talented 2011 B’s that included Bold Eagle, Bird Parker, Bilibili, Billie de Montfort, and Booster Winner. Belina Josselyn emerged at the top of her game in the 2017 Prix Tenor de Baune and followed that with a victory in the 2018 Grand Prix France. The daughter of Love You then won the 2019 Grand Prix d’Amerique following that with the marathon distance 2020 Grand Prix de Paris, to complete the circle of victory of the three biggest races of the French winter meet. Belina Josselyn's pedigree (source LeTrot) embodies the quintessence of the breeding of Yvan Bernard and his son, Pascal. Her dam Lezira Josselyn is a daughter of Workaholic, and is thus  is imbued with American blood. Bélina Josselyn is thus inbred on Speedy Crown (5x3) and Speedy Count (5x4), as well as on Speedster (6x7x5x5). Great credit goes to Belina’s trainer Jean Michel Bazire who seemed always successful in pointing the fine mare for the sport’s leading races, and to her supporting breeder/owners. What a superb job by all!!! LeTrot files/photos by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

The 1.4/1 favorite Fairplay d’Urzy (5m Ready Cash-Romane d’Urzy) took the Gr. III Prix de la Mayenne at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday (purse 80,000€, 2700 meters, 15 starters) timed in 1.13.6kr. Trainer Jean Michel Bazire reined the winner for Ecurie Marechal, Fairplay won for the 10th time in 22 starts now for life earnings of 264,030€. To watch the race replay, click here.  The 6.1/1 Celle Crown (6m Great Challenger-Hillary Crown) was a game second for driver Bjorn Goop, trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owner Easy KB. 5.9/1 Vipera Killer Gar (6f Varenne-Uakland) took third with Eric Raffin up for trainer Vitale Ciotola. 10/1 Éclair du Mirel and 15/1 Freyja du Pont completed the top five. Fairplay d’Urzy LeTrot, PMU files/photo by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Vincennes, France – Following the outside cover of Davidson Du Pont, harness racing driver Bjorn Goop and Face Time Bourbon weaved their way around horses and was able to post a two-length triumph to win the 100th Grand Prix d’Amerique race at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes Sunday. It was the 19th victory in just 22 career starts for Face Time Bourbon. The five-year-old son of two-time Prix d’Amerique winner, Ready Cash, is now harness racing newest international trotting star. The race began with a Calvary charge for control of the early lead with horses racing three-wide for the first half mile of the 1.67-mile race (2,700 meters). Billie De Montfort (Gabriele Gelormini) held the early lead, then Excellent (Alexandre Abrivard) got to the front and Propulsion (Orjan Kihlstrom) was able to drop into the two-hole along the rail. And all the while there was Davidson Du Pont and driver Franck Ouvire parked out first-over and not giving up an inch. Meanwhile, Goop and Face Time Bourbon were following their cover second over. Excellent then went off-stride and that allowed Looking Superb (David Thomain) a brief time on the lead, but as they finally reached the top of the stretch, Davidson Du Pont, parked the mile, was in the lead, but Goop moved down along the rail and passed them by with Face Time Bourbon for the victory in 1’11’50. Davidson Du Pont held for the second place with the mare, Belina Josselyn (Jean-Michel Bazire), last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, finishing third. Bold Eagle was never in the hunt and finished 10th in the field of 18 starters. Ringostarr Treb, making his final start before going to the stud barn, make a break and finished last. Trained by Sebastien Guarato, Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SLR. It was his sixth straight win. He went off at odds of 4.9-1 odds. Before the Prix d’Amerique race, everyone at the track was treated to an unbelievable show on the racetrack celebrating American soldiers coming to help France in World War I. The crowds were so packed that is was impossible to try and get on the track apron to watch the show. Luckily for most, it was broadcast on all three jumbo screens in the infield. It was a presentation that left many speechless, amazed and proud to be part of this special day’s events. On the track were the following: 100 children dressed in driver colors with helmets 100 Horse costume parade and dance 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles parade, each with an American Flag 100 cheerleaders in USA outfits carrying Prix d’Amerique and American Flags Introduction of the 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique race, each driver came through the throngs of crowds, holding the hand of a child dressed in USA colors. Drivers giving Hi-Fives to fans, posing for selfies and then were escorted off the track on two-seater Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Before the Prix d’Amerique race there was an outstanding performance of horsemanship by the French Royal Lancers. They performed precision riding with both lances and sabers while their special band played. There was also a very strong undercard at Vincennes with seven Graded Stakes. Total purses for the day was over 1.6 million euros. Major sponsors of this year’s Prix d’Amerique included Case IH Agriculture, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Lalique, RMC Sports Talk Radio, Gras Savoye, Lenotre Paris, FRM (Medicale), 20 Minutes and Printemps Nation. 100,000€ Prix Harley-Davidson This Groupe II stake was monte (racing under saddle) going 2700 meters (1.67 miles). It was a standing start and once the word go was given, jockey Mathie Mottier came charging from the far outside with Fame Music to take a commanding six length lead. As the field settled down, Flicka De Blary and jockey Camille Levesque went on the outside and had to settle for a pocket trip behind Fame Music as those two held a five-length lead over the field. Then as they came around the final turn, Fame Music went off-stride and was pulled to the inside of the track. That left Flicka De Blary and Levesque all alone in the lead and they held that lead through the stretch to win by six open lengths in 1”14’10. Flicka De Blary is a five-year-old mare by Sam Bourbon. She is trained by Thomas Levesque for the Levesque Stable. Flicka De Blary was the 2-1 favorite. 100,000€ Prix Case This Groupe II stake was another monte event but longer in distance at 2,850 meters (1.77 miles). The race belonged to Emir De Robomard and jockey Julien Raffestin who took the early lead away from Aribo Mix (Guillaume Martin) and then led the field nearly the entire race. As they charged down the stretch, Canan Prior and jockey Aurelien Desmarres kept gaining ground and collared Emir De Robomard at the wire to win by a half-length in 1’13’80. It was the 21st win for the eight-year-old son of Sancho Panca, who is owned and trained by Sylvain Desmarres. He went off at odds of 4-1. 100,000€ Prix RMC Sports Talk Another Grade II stake, only this race went behind the starting gate with 14 starters. Gotland (Eric Raffin) was first to leave the cut the mile until halfway through the race when Green Grass (Mathieu Mottier) came first-over, giving live cover to Gu D’Heripre (Franck Nivard). Then in a classic stretch drive to the wire, Gu D’Heripre was able to hold off a late charge by the race favorite, Gunilla D’Atout (Bjorn Goop), to win by a neck in 1’11’60. For Gu D’Heripre, a four-year-old son of Coktail Jet, it was a lifetime mark for trainer Philippe Billard and the D’Heripre Stable. He was the second choice in the race at odds of 4-1. TRACK NOTES: John Campbell, President and CEO of the Hambletonian/Breeders Crown Society has been in Paris this week for the big race and was overheard saying that plans are in the works for Bold Eagle to come back to America and race. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Paris, France – Sunday afternoon the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes will transcend into the biggest day of harness racing around the globe. It’s the 100th anniversary of the classic trotting event, the Grand Prix d’Amerique. There will be 18 world class trotters racing from a standing start, 2,700 meters (1.67 miles), down and up a hill, completing for 900,000€ in prize money. But at Vincennes, it’s more than just a rich race. It’s a tribute week honoring America for its help in fighting World War I. The track is already decorated throughout the entire facility with the Red, White and Blue and Stars and Stripes of America. There will be more than 1.6 million euros in prize money for the afternoon. There are 11 races, 7 of them graded stakes. It is estimated that more than 30 million euros will be wagered on the afternoon to evening race program. The races start at noon (6:00 am in the USA east coast) with six races held. Then the following takes place after the sixth race. Parade of 100 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, 100 young drivers, 100 flag bearers, acrobats, dancers, stilt walkers, surprise birthday party for the 100th Grand Prix d’Amérique The 18 drivers in the Prix d’Amerique will be presented individually on the Vincennes Hippodrome de Paris track. The French Royal Lancers Show on the racetrack arena. The post parade of the 18 horses and drivers in the Prix d’Amerique. Then the Grand Prix d’Amerique race will start at 4:10 pm followed by a victory lap for the fans by the official winner of the race. That will be followed by a major winner’s circle presentation to the winning connections followed by the last four races on the program. For the Prix d’Amerique race itself. Bold Eagle is the class of the field. A career winner of 4,956,617€, Bold Eagle is a son of Ready Cash who will have the top driver Eric Raffin in the sulky. He has won the Prix d’Amerique twice, just as his sire did. If he can finish in the top four positions, he will surpass the great Timoko and become the richest French trotter in history. Back in November he came to Canada and the won the Breeders Crown for Older Trotters. The horse most people are talking about is Face Time Bourbon. Also sired by Ready Cash, Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion that was a late bloomer, but in the past two years has made just 21 starts, but has won 18 times with two second place finishes. His driver, Bjorn Goop, won the Prix d’Amerique in 2018 with Readly Express. There are six mares in the field and the top one is last year’s Prix d’Amerique winner, Belina Josselyn. This nine-year-old daughter of Love You was sidelined with an injury for the better part of the 2019 season but has made a superb comeback. She was so dominant recently in the Grand Prix de Belgique that she may very well be able to defending her title from last year. She also had the great Jean-Michel Bazire driving. Other horses that cannot be overlooked include Propulsion, Billie De Montfort, Davidson Du Pont, Uza Josselyn and Ringostarr Treb, who will be retired to stud duty as the Prix d’Amerique will be his last start as a racehorse. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Grosbois, France – As one of the top harness racing drivers in all of Europe, Bjorn Goop knows his horses and he says that his horse in Sunday’s 900,000€ Grand Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, is in prime shape. The horse heads into the Prix d'Amerique on a five-race winning streak. “The horse is good,” Goop stated. “I think it is I that will need to have a little luck.” Goop was referring to and explaining that the Prix d’Amerique is so different from any other horse race because it is done from a standing start. There is no starting gate used for this world class field of horses. “It is not easy to be ready in a standing start,” Goop explained. “You have to stay in your general area and keep on moving, waiting for the word to start. You need to time it just right and yet you need some luck too. “You do not want to be last at the start,” Goop added, “And you do not want to be in the middle of the pack on the rail and then you are trapped for the race and cannot get out.” There are 18 horses going in the Prix d’Amerique, 18 older trotters, most of whom earned their way into the race by winning other Groupe races. More than half the field have each won over 1 million euros with Bold Eagle leading way. The two-time Prix d’Amerique winner has career earnings of 4,956,617€. A win, second or third place finish will put Bold Eagle over the 5-million-euro mark. Face Time Bourbon is a five-year-old stallion by Ready Cash, the same sire as Bold Eagle, who also won the Prix d’Amerique twice. The 2019 race season was superb for Face Time Bourbon as he started just 11 times with 9 wins and two second place finishes. Every one of his starts was in a Groupe I, II or III races. Face Time Bourbon is trained by Sebastien Giuarato, who has three starters in the Prix d’Amerique, Face Time Bourbon, Valko Jenilat and the mare, Billie de Montfort. Face Time Bourbon is owned by Scuderia Bivans SRL, who also has Vivid Wise AS in the Prix d’Amerique. Bjorn Goop has his choice of whom to drive in the Prix d’Amerique and he choose Face Time Bourbon. “He is such a great horse,” Goop said. “He can race well from behind or can go on the front. I think for this race maybe we sit in the middle and see what happens. He is coming into this race in very good shape.” Goop is no stranger to the Prix d’Amerique. He won the race in 2018 with Readly Express and then raced back with him again in 2019 and was third. This past year Goop scored his 7,000th career win and has over 2,000 wins as a trainer. Track Notes: Of the 18 starters in the Prix d’Amerique, 8 are mares. All 18 horses will be not be wearing shoes in the race, which is not uncommon in European trotting. It was also reported that the Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) have posted a better-than-forecast set of provisional results for 2019, with turnover of €9.56 billion and an operating profit returned to fund racing and trotting of €760 million. That is €13 million ahead of budget and will be welcome news to both the Trotters and Thoroughbreds, both of whom have been forced to tighten their belts in terms of running costs in recent years. Saturday’s race card at Vincennes will feature the Groupe II Prix de Luxembourg with a purse of 100,000€. Thursday first day of the Arqana-Trot Prix d’Amerique Sale saw 152 lots presented with 95 sold (62.5%) for gross proceeds of 1,263,000€. Stallion shares and broodmares highlighted the offering, many of the mares being in foal. Charmeause Mayjc (8f Prince Gede) led the sale at 120,000€ to AM Bloodstock. She was bred to Love You in 2019 and is barren, but her Ganymede first dam Teza Josselyn has produced the million euro plus winner Uza Josselyn that starts in Sunday’s Prix d’Amerique. By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink

Helgafell (3m Charly du Noyer-Baaria) began groupe action this day by winning the Gr. II Prix Maurice de Gheest (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 10 three year old starters) at Paris-Vincennes. Eric Raffin teamed the 5/10 favorite for trainer Phillipe Allaire and Ecurie Normandy Spirit. He won for the sixth time in seven career starts now for 182,900€ earned. Marial Turbiaux bred this winner that scored in 1.16.1kr. 4.8/1 Heaven’s Pride (3m Brillantissime-Queenly Pride) took second for pilot David Thomain and trainer Allaire, followed by 10/1 Holzarte Vedaquais (3m Brillantissime-Chikka Vedaquaise) that Francois Lagadeuc drove for trainer/owner Allaire. Heartbreaker One was fourth for Bjorn Goop. The Quinte+ Gr II Prix de Croix (purse 100,000€, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) brought out some top five-year olds in that class and victory was earned by 9/1 Feliciano (5m Ready Cash-Ravenella). David Thomain was the pilot for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Ecurie des Charmes. The 1.13.4kr timed winner scored for the 10th time in 30 career starts now for 474,340€ earned.  The 29/1 Falco de Laurma (5m Uniclove-Rangoon) took second with Franck Nivard up for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin with third to 5.6/1 Fleche du Yucca (5f Prodigious-Vincenza) handled by Jean Philippe Dubois for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. 90/1 Florida Sport (5f Tornado Bello) and 22/1 Fashion Queen (5f Ready Cash) completed the top five. The exact order Q+ payoff was 20,833€ paid to 31 winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 4,414,116€ and over 9.304,000€ was wagered on the race (all wagering pools). The Gr. III Prix du Forez (purse 80,000€, 2700 meters, 10 European starters) is an opportiunity to impress and perhaps gain an Amerique berth, no guarantees however. J-M Bazire send out a flock of starters and he won driving his 6.7/1 trainee Valokaja Hindo (9m Great Challenger-Hindo Enghave) to the 1.11.9kr victory. Hindo, owned in Norway by Eirik Djuve, won for 11th time in 25 appearances in France to raise his life earnings to 582,920€. He stormed home from the backfield to score over five rivals also timed in 1.11.9kr. 5.5/1 Dorgoss de Guez (7g Romcok de Guez-Lady Fromentro) was second for Nicolas Bazire and trainer JMB, ahead of 5/1 Tessy d’Ete (8f Ganymede-Love Me Tender) reined by Franck Nivard. 118/1 Alamo du Goutier was fourth for owner/trainer/driver Vincent Hebert and fifth was 9/2 pacesetter Mindyourvalue WF (7g Hovding Lavec) for Yoann Lebourgeois. Dreambreaker and Chica de Joudes completed the top seven with nine horses clocked in 1.12.1kr or better. Hindo’s pedigree is 100% standardbred and the sire Great Challenger was a US$160,000 yearling. His dam was registered in Denmark and is by Victor Victor from a Buckfinder mare. Late in the card in the Prix de Bois-Guillaume (purse 33,000€, 2100 meters autostart) the great veteran horseman Pierre Levesque was in the winner’s circle after teaming 8.5/1 Furyo (5g Quaker Jet-Laliflo Gede) to a 1.13.2kr victory. He owns and bred this now four-time winner that Thomas Levesque conditions. Levesque drives sparingly now but what a career he has enjoyed as driver and trainer. As driver he won the Prix d’Amerique in 2007-2008 with trainee Offshore Dream and with trainee Meaulnes du Corta he won the 2010 Prix de France, 2009-2010 Grand Criterium de Vitesse with Meaulnes and the 2006 Criterium Continental with that horse. As trainer he also won the Prix d’Amerique with Mealunes plus the 2009 Prix de France, the 2005 Criterium 5 Ans and the 2004 Prix de Selection. Meaulnes du Corta retired with 2,786,760€ earned and Offshore Dream won 1,992,024€. With the victory today Pierre Levesque has 2,317 driving wins in 15,283 starts (and 1,511 wins as trainer). He has won over 100 races in five seasons. by Thomas H. HIcks, for Harnesslink

Face Time Bourbon (4m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) rallied off the final bend to score a decisive victory in the Gr. I Criterium Continental (purse 200,000€, 2100 meters autostart 17 starters) at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes, timed in a quick 1.10.6kr (1:53.595 mile rate over the 1-5/16 mile distance). He was stout in the lane after the 500 meter remaining clocking was 1.11.4kr. Face Time won for the 18th time in 21 career starts and raised his life earnings to 1,068,550€. Sebastien Guarato trains the winner for Scuderia Bivans Srl and Bjorn Goop was the pilot. The 60/1 Fleche du Yucca (4f Prodigious-Vincenza) rallied for second with Jean Philippe Dubois at the reins for trainer Philppe Moulin and his Ecurie Victoria Dreams. 37/1 Frisbee d’Am (4m The Best Madrik) took third for trainer Richard Westerink and driver Alexandre Abrivard. The 379/1 Flight Dynamics (4m Scarlet Knight) and 287/1 Fighter Smart (4m Uniclove) completed the top five. Face Time earned a ticket to the Prix d’Amerique in which he could face Bold Eagle and the best aged performers in the world. Today’s Gr. I monte Prix de Vincennes (purse 200,000€, 2700 meters, 16 starters) saw the 6.1/1 Gangster du Wallon (3m Let’s Go Along-Umeda du Wallon) score timed in 1.14.1kr for jockey Benjamin Rochard and trainer/owner Damien Lecrog. This was only his fourth lifetime victory and increased his earnings to 256,640€. The 1.9/1 Grace de Fael (3f Sam Bourbon-Aquarelle de Fael) was second for Maxime Tijou in the irons for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin. 27/1 Gladys des Plaines (3f Opus Viervil) took third for Anthony Barrier. 44/1 Gigi de Vaudival and 2/1 Gunilla d’Atout completed the top five. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

Helgafell Wins Gr. II Prix Emmanuel Margouty at Vincennes Two-year olds began today’s groupe action in the Gr. II Prix Emmanuel Margouty (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters) with a 1.13.5kr score by even-money favorite Helgafell (2m Charly du Noyer-Baaria) with Eric Raffin up. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for Ecurie Normandy Spirit, his fifth career victory in six starts now for 137,900€ earned. The sire is another of the Ready Cash stallions emerging in this crop.  The 4.9/1 Hooker Berry (2m Booster Winner-Osaka Berry) held second for Jean Michel Bazire and breeder/owner Michjel Aladenise. 14/1 Holzarte Vedaquais (2m Brillantissime-Chikka Vedaquaise) was third for Francois Legadeuc and owner/trainer Allaire. 4.2/1 Heartbreaker One was fourth for Bjorn Goop. Clegs des Champs (7g Legs du Clos-Prosperpine) took the monte Gr. II Prix Jules Lemonnier (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters) at 2.4/1 odds and with David Thomain the jockey. He swept past then leading Traders to score impressively in a quick 1.11.3kr. Thierry Raffegeau trains the winner for J-Y Roze and the victory was Clegs 18th in a 35-race career that is now worth 829,580€ in earnings. The 3.8/1 Vertige de Chenu (10g Lynx de Bellouet) was second for jockey Eric Raffin and 30/1 Eros du Chene (5m Un Amour d’Haufor) was third for P.Ph. Ploquin. The Quinte+ race this day was the Prix de Strasbourg (purse 80,000€, 2700 meters) and 2.2/1 Balzac de L’Iton (8g Panache de L’Iton) prevailed for pilot Franck Nivard. Balzac won for the 12th time in 70 starts now for 449,780€ earned. Race time was 1.14.2kr. 1.4/1 Be Bop Haufor (8g Notre Haufor) was second with Damien Bonne the pilot for trainer Christian Bigeon. The 51/1 Alamo du Goutier (9g Quido du Goutier) was this for Sebastien Hardy, ahead of 44/1 As Blue and 64/1 Amarilla de Rabor. There were 56 winning Q+ exact order tickets that each paid 19,542.40€. The Q+ pool was 4,507,405€ and over 9,586,000€ was wagered on the race, all pools. The Gr. III Prix Constant Hervieu (purse 80,000€, 2700 meters) completed today’s groupe action with this one going to 6.5/1 Epic Julry (5m Nice Love-Ophelie de Bas) with breeder Jean Pau Gauvin aboard for owner Ecurie Julry. Epic won for the 14th time in his 48-race career, now for 358,910€ earned. 8.2/1 Estola (5f Nectar) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois and 63/1 outsider Caly Loulou (7f Gazouillis) took third with Matthieu Abrivard up. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Today’s Criterium des 3 Ans (Gr. I, purse 200,000€, 2700 meters) at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes  saw 1.9/1 odds Gunilla d’Atout (3f Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout-Coktail Jet) the nose winner timed in 1.13.4kr with Bjorn Goop aboard. Sebastien Guarato trains the now eight-time winner in 10 starts for Ecurie Saint Martin. Gunilla now sports 287,900€ in career earnings. SCEA du Beaumanoir bred this full-sister to 661,113€ winning Eridan. The 5.2/1 Gu d’Heripre (3m Coktail Jet-Vedetta d’Heripre) was a gallant second for reinsman Franck Nivard, owner Ecurie Rolling and trainer Philippe Billard. 22/1 Galilea Money (3f Bold Eagle-Uturn Money) took third money handled by Jean-Michel Bazire for breeder/owner Yvan Bernard. The 15/1 Gallant Way (3m Ready Cash-Queen Flore) was fourth reined by David Thomain and trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Jacques Pauc. Gunilla d'Atout is surrounded by well-wishers in the winner's enclosure LeTrot’s Comte de Ballaigue and newly named LeTrot President Jean-Pierre Barjon presented the trophies to the winning connections. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The marvelous Face Time Bourbon (4m Ready Cash-Vita Bourbon) led from the start to victory in today’s Gr. II Prix Octave Douesnel (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters. 10 starters) at the Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes. He was reined by Bjorn Goop for trainer Sebastien Guarato and clocked in 1.14.6kt as the 3/10 favorite. Ecurie Bivans Srl owns the winner that SARL Haras Saint Martin owns. Face Time now sports 17 career wins in 20 starts for 978,550€ earned. The pace was a walk in the park as there were no challengers to the winning FTB (1.17.1kr with 1500 meters to go; 1.16.6kr at the1000 and 1.16.3kr with 500 remaining as then FTB jetted away). The 12/1 Fakir du Lorault (4m Vaillant Cash-Native du Lorault) was second for Francois Lecanu and trainer Mickael Charuel. Third was 44/1 Fun Quick (4m Carpe Diem-Activity Quick) for Yoann Lebourgeois, trainer Maik Esper and Ecurie Quick Star. Fighter Smart and Follow You completed the top five. Face Time is likely to appear again in two weeks in the four-year old Criterium Continental, the winner of which earns a Prix d'Amerique invitation. To watch the race replay, click here. Today’s Paris-Vincennes co-feature was the monte Gr. II Prix Raoul Balliere (purse 100,000€,  2175 meters, 11 starters) and 9/1 odds Gangster du Wallon (3m Let’s Go Along-Umeda du Wallon) scored in 1.13.4kr with Benjamin Rochard in the irons for owner/trainer Damien Lecroq. The winner scored for the third time in 18 starts now for life earnings of 166,640€. The 11/1 Gladys des Plaines (3f Opus Viervil) was second for jockey Eric Raffin and trainer Gilles Curens. 5.6/1 Gee (3f Brutus de Baily) was third for Mathieu Mottier. The 4/10 favorite Grace de Fael was a dq. A series of upper class races were also on the stage including the Quinte+ Prix d’Hautefort (purse 58,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters) and the quick 1.11.4kr timed winner was 1.4/1 Bryssel (7m Ready Cash-Spacelane) with trainer Bjorn Goop aboard. T The winner raised his life earnings to 275,980€. Second was 30/1 Big Headache (9g EL Miko) for Philippe Daugeard and third was 4/1 Canular (7g Jet Fortuna) with Yoann Lebourgeois up. 18/1 Be Cool and 3.8/1 Calyu des Bose completed the top five creating an exact order Q+ payoff of 3,166.20€to 192 winning tickets. The Q+ pool was 4,087,320€ and total of all pool on this race exceeded 8,969,000€ Gu d’Heripre (3m Coktail Jet-Vedetta d’Heripre), off at 1.4/1 odds, took the Prix de Mansle (purse 70,000€, 2100 meters autostart, 14 European three year old starters). Franck Nivard teamed the 1.12.4kr timed winner to his sixth career victory in nine starts, now for 122,750€ earned. 2.6/1 Empire (3m Vasterbo Prestige-Gossip Gal) was second for reinsman Bjorn Goop and 6.7/1 Gelati Cut (3m Coktail Jet-Variety Cut) was third for Alexandre Abrivard and trainer R.C. Larue. Calina (5f Archipelago-Caltina Hall) took the Prix Narquois (Gr. III, purse 80,000€, 2700 meters, 11 starters) for David Thomain and trainer Jean-Michel Bazire. Off at 1.4/1 odds Calina won for the first time in France for Norwegian owner C.G. Myhre. The 4/1 Ghazi BR (5m Cantab Hall-Fiery Chip) was second for trainer/driver Bazire and third was 2.5/1 Violetto Jet (5m From Above-Nocciolaia Jet) for Franck Nivard. 6.7/1 Vipera Killer Gar (5f Varenne) and 20/1 Hard Times (5m Coktail Jet) completed the top five. As a result of this race trainer/driver Bazire was suspended again, this time apparently due to the teaming up of stablemates Calina and Ghazi BR in the final turn. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

The Friday evening Vincennes card featured the Q+ Prix Hilda and the Gr. III Prix Vourasie for two-year old fillies. The former saw 24/1 Diva Beauregard (6f Otello Pierji-Realite Beauregard) score timed in 1.13.3kr in the Prix Hilda (purse 37,000€, 2850 meters for 6-7 year-old females) with J.G. Van Eeckhaute the trainer/driver for Ecurie Beauregard. Dina won for eighth time in 71 career starts to raise her life earnings to 151,280€. The 5.9/1 Desiree des Landes (6f Paisy Dream) was second and 24/1 Cool Star (7f Kid Blue) took third. 3.7/1 Dwilling Heights and 12/1 Dotka de Loiron completed the top five and that set up a 93,051.20€ exact order payoff to five winning ticketholders. The Q+ pool was 3,699,906€ and the total of all wagering pools on this race exceeded 7,559,000€ The Gr. III Prix Vourasie (purse 60,000€, 2200 meters, 14 two-year old fillies) saw the 1.7/1 favorite Beautiful Colibri (2f Ready Cash-Gilly LB) remain undefeated with this her fourth straight timed in 1.14.6kr. David Thomain was her pilot for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire as she raised career earnings to 39,880€. The 24/1 outsider Havanaise (2f Ricimer) was second for Francois Pierre Bossuet, the reinsman for Ecurie Tenor. Third was 5.3/1 Hill’s Angel (2f Muscle Hill-Gossip Gal) with Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer H.E. Bondo and Stall Panamera. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

November 23, 2019 - The Jacques de Vaulogé Prize brought together the best harness racing three year old males on the Gravelle plateau.  Eleven colts started in this Group II, played on the 2,700 meters of the big track.  Philippe Allaire's armada hit hard again, placing his residents in the top three places with Gallant Way in the lead. Gallant Way (3m Ready Cash-Queen Flore) took the Vincennes co-feature (Gr. II, purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, 11 starters) timed in 1.14.6kr. David Thomain teamed the 9/1 winner for trainer Philip Allaire and breeder/owner Jacques Pauc to his sixth career win in 14 starts, now for 166,700€ earned. 2.6/1 Golden Bridge (3m Ready Cash-Usenza) was second for trainer Allaire, pilot Yoann Lebourgeois and breeder/owner Michel Tessier. The 7/10 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa) was third with Eric Raffin up for owner/trainer Allaire. 16/1 Gatsby Perrine (3m Bird Parker-Unabella Perrine) was fourth, this one too an Allaire trainee that Anthony Barrier teamed for owner Jean Francois Mary. What a day for Allaire and sire Ready Cash. Ready Cash   Defi de Retz Wins Q+ Prix de Quimper at Vincennes Today’s Quinte+ Prix de Quimper (purse 59,000€, 2850 meters, 13 starters) saw the 9/10 favorite Defi de Retz (6m First de Retz-Nouvelle s’Atout) score timed in 1.12.5kr, his 14th career win in 40 starts. Alexandre Abrivard teamed the J-M Bazire trainee that now sports career earnings of 224,790€ for owner Mme Ottavia Roffi-Urano. 12/1 Django Bocage (6g Real de Lou) was second for Yoann Lebourgeois and 5.7/1 Dreambreaker (6g Offshore Dream) took third for Gabriele Gelormini and trainer Bazire. 16/1 Diablo du Noyer and 8.6/1 Diego Sautonne completed the top five. There were 319 exact order Q+ winning tickets that paid 1.799.60€ each. The Q+ pool was 2,719,969€ and the total of all pools on this race exceeded 5,884,000€. Defi de Retz (Le Trot Photo) On the undercard was the Prix de Meslay du Maine (purse 56,000€, 2700 meters, 16 starters) and 32/1 Capitane France (7g Modern Jazz-Quanta Rosa Sun) scored timed in 1.14.4kr. Matthieu Abrivard teamed this William Bigeon trainee to his ninth career win in 47 starts. Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s top level Paris-Vincennes action began with the Prix Annick Dreux (Gr. II, purse 110,000€, 2700 meters, three year olds) and 1.9/1 favorite Gunilla d’Atout (3f Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) was the 1.14.6kr clocked winner for Bjorn Goop, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Ecurie Saint Martin. It was her seventh career win in nine starts now for 197,900€. The 4.1/1 Green Grass (3f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) took second with Gabriele Gelormini up for trainer Guarato and owner Sebastien Dewulf. 11/1 Galilea Money (3f Bold Eagle-Uturn Money) was third with Nicolas Bazire up for trainer J-M Bazire and owner Yvan Bernard. Fourth was the 15/1 Gourmandine (3f Bold Eagle-Udine) handled by Franck Ouvrie for breeder/owner J-P Dubois and trainer Kevin Vanderschelden, Girls Talk (3f Brillantissime-Be My Girl) was fifth for Davis Thomain and trainer Philiple Allaire, The Prix Equidia (Gr. III, purse 80.000€, 2700 meters, European starters four and five year olds) saw 68/1 Fakir du Lorault (4m Vaillant Cash-Native du Lorault) score in 1.11.7kr for Benoit Robin and owner Mme Juellke Laijal. The winner recorded his seventh lifetime win now for 356,140€ earned. The 7.1/1 Calina (5f Archipelago) was second with David Thomain up for trainer Jean Michel Bazire. Third was 12/1 Fric du Chene (4m Nobody du Chene) with Francois Lagadeuc up for owner Claude Guedj and trainer Julien LeMer. 3.1/1 Violetto Jet and 22/1 Alcoy completed the top five and this Quinte+ race payoff was 157,346.20€. The Q+ pool was 3,352,086€ and the total of all pools on this race exceeded 8,496,000€. The Prix de Bagnoles de l’Orne (purse 67.000€, 2700 meters, seven to ten year olds) wrapped up the upper level contests this day and in this one 9/1 Balzac de L’Iton (8g Panache de L’iton) scored timed in 1.13.5kr. Eric Raffin was the teamster for trainer Franck Nivard as the winner scored for the 11th time in 68 lifetime starts. 1.3/1 favorite Be Bop Haufor (8g Notre Haufor) was second as Damien Bonne piloted the Christian Bigeon trainee. 5.1/1 Alinea (9g Baccarat du Pont) took third for Charles J. Bigeon and trainer Christian. Racing also took place the previous two days at Vincennes. Yesterday 4.4/1 Champion Dore (7g Prince Gede) scored for Matthieu Abrivard in the 49,000€ Prix Hermentaria timed in 1.13kr. Abrivard also owns and trains this one that picked up his 10th career win. On Thursday 7.1/1 Gross Weight (8g Scarlet Knight-Elma Jet) scored in the Prix de L’Ile de Re (purse 67,000€, monte) clocked in 1.12.9kr over the 2875 meter distance. Antoine Voisin was in the irons for Thierry Duvaldestin who trains for Johann Chembri, the owner. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink  

The Saturday Paris-Vincennes program was special..very special. It began with the monte Gr. II Prix Louis Tillaye (purse 100,000€, 2700 meters, seven starters) and a son of Bird Parker-Redemption Song names Gainsborough scored at 9/1 odds and clocked in 1.16.2kr off slow fractions. Yoann Lebourgeois was the jockey for trainer Romain Derieux and owner Jan Stins. This was his fourth win in ten outings and his life earnings increased to 174,720€. Gala Tejy (3m Atlas de Joudes) was second with P.Ph. Ploquin in the irons. 33/1 Galactique Merita (3f Boccfador de Simm) took third with J.Y. Ricard in the irons for trainer J-M Bazire. 13/1 Going Jet (3f Very Nice Mareceaux) was fourth. The next Gr II event was the Prix Reine du Corta (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, ten three year old female starters) saw the 5/2 odds Gunilla d’Atout (3f Ready Cash-Topaze d’Atout) scored in 1.13.4kr with Eric Raffin the pilot for trainer Sebastien Guarato. Ecurie Saint Martin owns the now six time winner in eight starts. The 8.6/1 Girls Talk (3f Brillantissime-Be My Girl) took second for trainer Philippe Allaire and reinsman David Thomain. 11/1 Gondole Jenilou (3f H-Goetmals Wood-Pirogue Jenilou) was third for trainer Louis Baudron and driver Lebourgeois. 7.1/1 Green Grass (3f Bold Eagle-Tootsie Smiling) was=fourth for Gabrielel Gelormini, trainer Guarato and owned Sebastien Dewulf. Aged performers contested the Prix d’Argentan (purse 75,000€, 2700 meters, 16 starters) and the 5/10 favorite Defi de Retz (6m First de Retz-Houville d’Atout) scored in 1.13.4kr for trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire, his 13th career victory in 39 starts now for 298,230€. Mme. Ottavia Roffi-Urano owns this winner. The 12/1 Be Bop Haufor (8g Notre Haufor) was next for Damien Bonne with third to 19/1 Doum Jenilou (6g Rancho Gede), ahead of 40/1 Class de Loriol (7f Ready Cash) and 13/1 Carlo de Carsi (7g Ismael du Pont) The Gr. III Prix de Languedoc (purse 80,000€, 2850 meters, nine starters) produced an impressive 1.13.3kr timed victory for 8/10 favorite Chica de Joudes (7f Jag de Bellouet-Queschua Love). Owner/trainer Alain Laurent was her teamster of her 14th career win in 44 starts. Her life earnings are now 530,770€. Look for Chica in the “B”: races. The 11/1 Coach Franbleu (7g Prince d’Espace) was second with Franc Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc. 1.9/1 second choice Valokaja Hindo(8m Great Challenger) was third with J-M Bazire up and 59/1 Blues d’Ourville (8g Password) was fourth for Pierre Houel and Jerry Mom (6m Ready Cash) was fifth for Pierre Vercruysse. The three year olds males went to battle in the Gr. II Prix Abel Bassigny (purse 100,000€, 2175 meters, ten starters) with the 1.14.3kr timed victory to the 7/10 favorite Gotland (3m Ready Cash-Sanawa). His tenth career win in 14 starts. Eric Raffin teamed the Philippe Allaire trainee that he owns and J-P. Guay bred. His career earnings advanced to 440,100€. The 8.1/1 Golden Bridge (3m Ready Cash-Usenza) took second for trainer Allaire, owner Michel Tessier and reinsman Yoann Lebourgeois. 104/1 Get Happy (3m Bird Parker-Rasta Perrine) was third for J.Ph. Monclin. 13/1 Gatsby Perrine (3m Bird Parker-Unabella Perrine), another Allaire trainee, and 36/1 Grand Art (3m Prodigious-Real Artist) trained by Paul Hagoort finished fourth and fifth. Gotland is a very nice colt with an attractive future. Aged females were on stage in the Prix Atlantic (purse 51,000€, 2850 meters, 16 starters) and 5,1.1 Douceur du Chene (6f Ouif de Villeneuve-Karling du Chene) was up in the final strides for victory timed in 1.14.5kr. Frank Nivard teamed the winner for owner Claude Huedj and trainer Julien LeMer. This were her 11th lifetime victory in 39 starts for 229,490€ in career earnings. The 5/10 favorite Darling Berry (6f Prince Gede-Osaka Berry) held second for her owner/trainer/driver Jean Michel Bazire. 25/1 Datcha (6g The Best Madrik) was third for Joann Lebourgeois. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

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