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News from Italy and Hungary highlights this report of  weekend activity. Italy staged several graded events at Montegiorgio on Saturday and Modena on Sunday. Four-year-olds battled Saturday with Roger Prav (by Daguet Rapide) winning in a quick 1.12.5kr for Antonio Greppi in the €45,100 Grand Prix San Paolo. On Sunday the three year-olds took center stage with the €154,000 Tito Giovanardi Open going to the Holger Ehlert trained Sing Hallelujah (by SJs Caviar). The €55,000 Carlo Carriari for fillies  went to the Dream Vacation sired Sweat OK with Tommaso Di Lorenzo at the lines. May 10, 2014 Montegiorgio, Premio Grand Prix San Paolo, €45,100, 1600 meters, 1.12.5kr 1st Roger Prav (4m Daguet Rapide-Fancy Prav-Sugarcane Hanover), Antonio Greppi up, eighth win in 42 starts 2nd Rosemary Gar (4f Donato Hanover-ASllstar FC-Indro Park), M. Minopoli Jr. up 3rd Ribot EK (4m Varenne-Gianna di Jesolo-Diamond Way), G.L. Cicognani driving May 11, 2014 Modena, Gran Prix Tito Giovanardi, €154,000, 2060 meters, 1.14.5kr 1st Sing Hallelujah (3m SJs Caviar-Mystic Hanover-Donerail), Roberto Vecchione up for Holger Ehlert trainer and breeder, and owner Walther Larsen, his fifth win in 10 career starts; victorious in a close photo 2nd Satchmo As (3m Daguet Rapide-Gelosia dei Fiori-Waikki Beach), Enrico Bellei aboard 3rd Swan Wise As (3f Varenne-Garden Variety-Tagliabue), A. Buzzitta up May 11, 2014 Modena, Grand Prix Carlo Cacciari, €55,000, 1600 meters, 1.15.6kr 1st Sweat OK (3f Dream Vacation-Zinbgara OK-Crowning Point), Tommaso Di Lorenzo up in a tight finish 2nd Saba del Ronco (3f Adrian Chip-Didone Gas-Sugarcane Hanover), Enrico Bellei up 3rd Smeralda Jet (3f Gigant Neo-Ticket To Ride-Nevele Pride), V.P. Dell’Annunziata aboard At Kincsem Park (Budapest) the featured Speedy Foster Handicap went to Tibor Hajnal’s Italian import Orifiamma Jet, an easy winner in 1.15.4kr over 1800 meters autostart. She is a half-sister to third place Smeralda Jet on Sunday at Modena in the Carlo Cacciari for fillies. May 10, 2014 Kincsem Park, Speedy Foster Handicap, 1800 meters autostart, 1.15.4kr, purse 500,000HUf 1st Orifiamma Jet (6f Supergill-Ticket To Ride-Nevele  Pride), Tibor Hajnal up for Illetmeny Kft., 3.7/1 2nd Orinoco (6f P.S. Dimo-Uxor), L. Veres trainer/driver 3rd Alverna Quickly (7f Victory Party-Gypsy Garland), Csaba Lakatos trainer/driver Interesting winners on the Saturday card also included those sired by SJs Caviar and Wall Street Banker. May 10, 2014 Kincsem Park, Half Pint Handicap, 1800 meters autostart, 1.15.8kr, purse 330,000HUf 1st Stone Capes Judy (7f SJ’s Caviar-Kallasy), Csaba Lakatos trainer/driver, Csabika & Adrienn owners, 2.3/1 May 10, 2014 Kincsem Park, UBUL DIJ, 1800 meters autostart, 1.16.2kr, purse 380,000HUf 1st Royal Flesh (4m Wall Street Banker-Tameways Sweet L), L. Marton trainer/driver for AMMA Loverseny, Kft., 7.8/1 odds The prior weekend (May 3) a classic heat race, the Majusi Nagydij over 1960 meters distance handicap, went to the Wall Street Banker mare Orangyal in consecutive heats for trainer/driver Pal Vicen. Purse was 1.8HUf million. Nick Nolte took second placing with his 3-2 finish in the heats. May 3, 2013 Kincsem Park, Majusi Nagydij heat 1, 1960 meters distance handicap, total purse 1.8HUf million, 1.17.9kr 1st Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo-Endless Sands), Pal Vicen trainer/driver, Bakonyko Kft. owner, 1960 meters, 7/1 2nd  Pretty Paper (6m Credit Winner-Anticipation-Donwerail, Dora Kovacs up, 1980 meters, her third dam Les Celestes is the dam of Backstreet Guy 3rd Nick Nolte (7m Tony Oaks-Szines Zno-Mill H), Sandor Varadi, 1960 meters May 3, 2014 Kincsem Park, Majusi Nagydij heat 2, 1960 meters distance handicap, 1.17.6kr 1st  Orangyal (6f Wall Street Banker-Derengo- Endless Sands), Pal Vicen trainer/driver, Bakonyko Kft., owner, 1960 meters, 4.4/1 2nd Nick Nolte (7m Tony Oaks-Szines Zno-Mill H), Sandor Varadi, 1960 meters 3rd Ollyan Nincs (6m Pickaflick-C’est la Guerre-Kalle Pil), Imre Fazekas, 1980 meters Final placings in two heat format – Orangyal, Nick Nolte, Ollyan nincs, Pretty Paper, Jackpot Star The companion feature that day, the 1.8HUf million Laszlo Fergy Memorial for three year-olds, went to Salt Lake City with veteran trainer/driver Imre Fazekas up for owner/breeder Pimri Bt. Fazekas has represented his country in past driver’s world championship competition. Two Wall Street Banker offspring, bred by legendary commercial breeder Kabela Menes Kft., took the next two spots. May 3, 2014 Kincsem Park, Laszlo Fergy Memorial, purse 1.8HUf million, 1960 meters distance handicap, 1.20.1kr 1st Salt Lake City (3m Detroit-Jolly Beauty-Valley Guardian), Imre Fazekas trainer up, Pimri Bt. owner, 2.9/1 2nd Silver Lady (3f Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady-Endless Sands), V. Mazsity up, breeder Kabela Menes Kft. 3rd Sebes (3m Wall Street Banker-Franciska-Witsend’s Speedy), L. Kolozsi up, breeder Kabela Menes Kft. Witsend’s Speedy is a son of Green Speed-Linda Lobell. by Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com  

Italy's top trotting campaigner, Mack Grace SM (8m CC's Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal), won the prestigious 65th edition of the Gran Premio Lotteria at Naples Italy. It was the third straight year that Mack Grace has won the premier harness race as he becomes only the fourth horse ever to have won the race three times since it started in 1951. Handled by Roberto Andreghetti the veteran was at his best and dominated the competition winning the final in 1.11.06kr and his elimination in 1.11.25kr. Mack Grace SM now has 48 victories for earnings of 1,496,431 euros for owner Stall Royal Horse Srl. The eliminations (each with a purse of 20,900e), final (400,400e) and consolation (42,900e) were raced over the 1600 meter autostart distance. Mack Grace led the final start to finish, defeating Napoleon Bar (7m Varenne-Dalmazie) reined by Enrico Bellei and third place finisher No Man's Land (7f Coktail Jet-AJ's Babydoll) with Roberto Vecchione up for trainer Pietro Gubellini. No Man's Land had won the third elimination in 1.12.18kr with Gubellini aboard. First elimination winner Monster Drive (8m Thai Tanic-Kewpie), for Jorma Kontio and trainer Reijo Liljendahl, finished sixth in the final. His elimination win was timed in 1.11.62kr with heavily favored Pascia'Lest ending sixth. April 14, 2014, Naples, Gran Premio Lotteria Final, 400,400e, 1600 meters autostart, Gr. I International, 1.11.06kr 1st Mack Grace SM (8m CC's Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM), Roberto Andreghetti up, M. Di Nicola trainer, 0.5/1 favorite 2nd Napoleon Bar (7m Varenne-Dalmazie), Enrico Bellei, 7.7/1 3rd No Man's Land (7f Coktail Jet-AJ's Babydoll), Pietro Gubellini trainer/driver, 18.5/1 May 4, 2014, Naples, Gran Premio Lotteria elimination 1, 20,900e, 1600 meters autostart, 1.11.62kr 1st Monster Drive (8m Thai Tanic-Kewpie-Pearsall Hanover), Jorma Kontio up, trainer Reijo Liljendahl, 7.5/1 2nd Owen CR (6m Cantab Hall-Boemia CR-Lemon Dra), Pietro Gubellini up, 12.7/1 3rd Nonant Le Pin (7f Goetmals Wood-Blazing Janice-Pine Chip), Alessando Gocciadoro trainer/driver, 56.1/1 May 4, 2014, Naples, Gran Premio Lotteria elimination 2, 20,900e, 1600 meters autostart, 1.11.25kr 1st Mack Grace SM (8m CC's Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal), Roberto Andreghetti up for trainer Antonino Porzi, 1/10 favorite 2nd Mineiro As (8m Lemon Dra-Bandeira As-Lindy Lane), Andrea Guzzinati driving, 21.4/1 3rd Oneghin del Ronco (6m Love You-Talia del Ronco-Park Avenue Joe), Enrico Bellei up, 16.7/1 May 4, 2014, Naples, Gran Premio Lotteria elimination 3, 20,900e, 1600 meters autostart, 1.12.18kr 1st No Man's Land (7f Coktail Jet-AJ's Babydoll-Donerail), Pietro Gubellini aboard, 9.3/1 2nd Probo OP (5m From Above-Elimara-Lemon Dra), Eddy Moni up, 18.7/1 3rd Napoleon Bar (7m Varenne-Dalmazia-Coktail Jet), Enrico Bellei up, 0.5/1 favorite The Angus Hall mare Orsia took the consolation for Roberto Vecchione and trainer Holger Ehlert. She scored in 1.12.1kr. Pascia'Lest was scratched after a disappointing first elimination loss. May 4, 2014, Naples, Gran Premio Lotteria Consolation, 42,900e, 1600 meters autostart, 1.12.1kr 1st Orsia (6f Angus Hall-Tigre OM-Zebu), Roberto Vecchione up for trainer Holger Ehlert, her 14th career win for 406,314e in lifetime earnings 2nd Papandreu (5m Abano As-Capucine-Sugarcane Hanover), Enrico Bellei driving for trainer Ehlert 3rd Newyork Newyork (7m Supergill-Viola d'Amore-Indro Park), Lorenzo Baldi trainer/driver A good crowd was on hand for the day's festivities including an appearance by legendary Varenne. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslin.com

Olympiatravet, or the Olympia Trot is the first Group One of the new season for harness racing in Sweden and befitting its history it has drawn a stellar field of Scandinavian trotters. The UET Masters Series race, which has been a fixture at Aby since 1984 is worth 1.5 million SEK (330 000 euros) and is raced over two laps, or 2140m. This is a race whose alumni present a creme de la creme of European racing. Last year's winner was none other than Prix d'Amerique winner Maharajah, while the two previous winners were both Elitloppet winners, Commander Crowe and Brioni. The greatest trotter of all time Varenne won the race twice (2000 and 2002), while US champions who have had a marked impact on the breed in Europe such as Pershing (1979) and Sugarcane Hanover (1988) have etched the name on the honour roll. And a Swedish horse who has repaid some of that debt and influenced modern North American breeding, Meadow Road (the sire of Kadabra), also won the race, back in 1985. A US stallion Texas, is joint top sire with three individual winners in Grades Singing (1987), Karate Chop (1991) and dual winner Copiad (1996-7). Italian-bred but of pure US bloodlines, and the most influential sire of the millennium in Sweden, Viking Kronos also has three winners including Maharajah (who holds the record with 1.11.0 (1.54.1MR)), with stallion sons Triton Sund (2009) and Thai Thanic (2006). Swedish star Gidde Palema with 3 wins in a row from 2003 has won the race more times than any other although four horses have won it twice. Leading the trainers and drivers' honours are legendary horseman Stig Johansson and an addition to US ranks, champion mentor Ake Svanstedt, who have both trained four winners of the race, who by virtue of driving their charges each time, both also top the drivers honours with four. Stig Johansson is back again this year with Kash's Cantab (by Cantab Hall), although he leaves the driving these days to Erik Adielson. Svanstedt of course is busy with Sebastien K, who ran third in this race last year, and the rest of his team ready for a campaign in the States at his Florida base. But there is certainly plenty of stars left in Europe to provide a stellar lineup. How about last year's Elitloppet winner Sanity? Check. This year's Prix de France winner (the biggest race in France over the same distance) Noras Bean? Check. The best horses in Norway (Yarrah Boko ) and Finland (Brad de Veluwe)? Check. Raja Mirchi, who won the top races in Sweden for both 2YO and 3YO and also won this year's Prix Tenor de Baune in France, is also in the lineup. Throw in the in form V75 stalwarts Mr Picolet, Harry Haythrow and Ed You, and the stage is set for a super showdown. OLYMPIATRAVET Abby 26/04/14 SE UET Masters Series Group I Int 2 140 All 330,000 euros 1         Kash's Cantab h   Cantab Hall - O'cala Kash   Erik Adielsson   Stig H Johansson      2         Ed You v   Love You - Lancia Brick   Robert Bergh   Robert Bergh            3         Mr Picolit h   Scarlet Knight - Good Enough   Jorma Kontio   Raoul Engblom            4         Brad de Veluwe h   Andover Hall - Amazing Ride   Tuomas Korvenoja   Tuomas Korvenoja      5         Raja Mirchi h   Viking Kronos - Dame Lavec   Lutfi Kolgjini   Lutfi Kolgjini          6         Solvato h   Donato Hanover - Solveig   Veijo Heiskanen   Veijo Heiskanen     7         Sanity v   Love You - Flash Light   Örjan Kihlström   Malin Löfgren     8         Yarrah Boko h   Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten   Ulf Ohlsson   Trond Anderssen        9         Harry Haythrow v   Rite On Line - Speedy Tilda   Peter Untersteiner   Johnny Johansson     10         Noras Bean h   Super Arnie - Easy Bean   Stefan Söderkvist   Ulf Stenströmer   by David Sanders, for Harnesslink.com

Italy's top trotter Mack Grace SM (8m CC's Chuckie T-Ambro Grace SM-Armbro Goal) took today's £110,000 Gr. I Gran Premio Societa Campo di Mirafiori at Torino Vinovo, Italy. Reinsman Roberto Andreghetti rated the front-end pace and held off onrushing Pascia'Lest and Enrico Bellei to secure the 1.11.8kr win over 1600 meters autostart. Owen CR took third for Pietro Gubellini after a pocket perfect journey. Next in line in the nine horse field were Oibambam Effe, Pace Del Rio and Marielles. The victory was the 22nd graded win for Mack Grace SM and 13th Group I score in his outstanding career. The excellent undercard saw victories recorded by Re Degli Dei (4m Conway Hall-Blitz-Sugarcane Hanover) in the Premio Le Mage Del Maes (£13,200, 2060 meters) for T. Di Lorenzo in 1.13.5kr and Prussia (5f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) in the Premio Le Delizie di Caffarel (£13,200, 1600 meters). She scored in 1.12.1kr for trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini, the winners' 12th career win and seventh in the past year in eight starts in Italy. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Omas NP (6g Brandy Dei Fiori-Franciosa Fgf-Sugarcane Hanover) was a surprising winner of today's £45,100, 1660 meter, Premio Giorgio Jegher over the half-mile track Ippodromo di Montebello at Trieste Italy, that opened in 1892. Fernandoi Pisacane teamed the winner in a well-rated 1.14.8kr to defeat traffic affected favorite Linda di Casei (9f Uronometro-Comtesse Ferm-Diamond Way) handled by Alessandro Gocciadoro. Parinaz (5m Ganymede-Carmagnole Mb-Lemon Dra) ended a fast finishing third. Italian registered trotters also did well today at Halmstad Sweden and Rosso Pomodoro, a son of Donato Hanover), remained undefeated in 2014 with an impressive win engineered by teamster Johnny Takter. This one is owned by Falkbolagen AB and he scored today in 1.13.8kr over 2140 meters. Paramount, a son of Angus Hall, also won at Halmstad for reinsman Peter Ingves in 1.12.9kr over 2140 meters autostart. Trotting fans were treated to interesting events this weekend. On Saturday, at Solvalla, Sanity and Orjan Kihlstrom took the Gold Final Gr. II UET Maters Series. Timed in 1.12.1kr over 2140 meters autostart, the eight-year-old gelded son of Love You recorded his third 2014 win in four starts, increasing his career earnings to over nine million SEK. The race winner earned 250,000SEK. Recent hot-trotting veteran Harry Haythrow was second ahead of Raja Mirchi handled by Lutfi Kolgjini. Other Solvalla winners included B.B.S Starlight in the Klass I final over 2140 meters. Peter Untersteiner teamed the son of Super Light, from a Sugarcane Hanover mare, to the 1.11.5kr win to earn 200,000SEK. Claes Boko, a son of Varenne, took the Silver Final to earn 220,000SEK. Erik Adielsson teamed this event winner in 1.12.1kr over 2140 meters as they defeated Nothing But Class (Andover Hall-Bold Dreamer-Donerail). Canaka B.F, a daughter of Jobie Tempest, scored in a sharp 1.10.5kr over 1640 meters to earn 200,000SEK in the Pixies Trot. Satisfied La Marc, a son of Andover Hall, won a Klass II event in 1.11.2kr over 1640 meters for reinsman Svante Ericsson. The winner prevailed in a close battle with Rose Hill Dream handled by Bjorn Goop. The day's monte feature at Solvalla went to Muskelmann G.T. and jockey Emilie Lovvold. The winner recorded his fourth straight in 2014, the last three under saddle. He's a son of Muscles Yankee, from a Dallas Lobell mare, and he scored in 1.13.9kr. At Kincsem Park in Hungary, the featured Cyrano DIJ (3160 meters distance handicap. 500,000Huf purse) went to Ollyan nincs, a six year-old gelded son of Pickaflick from the exceptional producing mare C'est la guerre. Andrea Fazekas teamed the winner to a rallying win (with 20 meter handicap) over Racerstina and Csaba Lakatos who almost overcame a 40 meter penalty to hold on after leading most of the way in this marathon-like test. Oguz took third for trainer Imre Fazekas, also trainer of Ollyan nincs. Replay can be viewed using the link below. US pedigreed sires Tony Oaks and Pickaflick produced two wins each on the card. Veteran Off Road also won on the program, the fifth straight for the gelded son of P.S. Dimo. http://82.131.211.99/video/ugeto/2014/2014_03_29/6_futam.wmv Next week in Italy (April 6) the Premio Societa Campo di Mirafiori (Gr. I, £110,000, 1600 meters) at Torino promises to be a great race as Mack Grace SM has been engaged along with Pascia'Lest, Marielles, Owen CR and Napoleon Bar, this group recently contesting top-class races in France and Italy. Owen Cr Marielles Napoleon Bar Mack Grace Sm Pascia’ Lest Moses Rob Oropuro Bar Orione Degli Dei Probo Op Oibambam Effe Newyork Newyork Pace Del Rio Solid action also took place on March 28 at Paris-Vincennes. Tornado l'Ocean took the Prix RMC before a great evening crowd. This event was the Quinte+ race of the day with a jackpot that had grown to £6.4 million. Pierre Levesque teamed the 8/1 odds winner home in 1.13.3kr over 2100 meters autostart, for owner J-P Barjon and trainer Mike Lenders. US owned (Jesmeral Stable) Quid du Vivier finished sixth in this field of 18. The Ready Cash three year-old filly Blanche Mencourt took the Prix de Quartier Carnot for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire and veteran teamster Joseph Verbeeck. This even-money favorite scored for the second time in her young career, with this 1.16.7kr victory over 2850 meters. The monte featured Prix Monoceros (£55,000 purse, 2200 meters, lad jockeys) went to veteran campaigner Strogoff and jockey Aurelien Desmarres. Strogoff recorded his 11th career victory with this 1.14.2kr win that increased his career earnings to £267,980. J-E David trains the winner as he defeated favored Surlando de Viette. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Jean-Etienne Dubois reined 21/1 outsider Villeroi to victory in today's Gr. II 120,000e Prix Ovide Moulinet at Paris-Vincennes. The five-year old son of Oiseau des Feux scored, in 1.13.9kr over 2700 meters, his sixth career win, now for earnings of 309,590e. Dubois trains the winner that defeated the Louis Baudron trained and driven Village Mystic, a fine Love You stallion that was second choice in the wagering, and looked like a winner after he surged to the front at top-stretch. Viking de Val and notorious pacesetter Vanika du Ruel ended third and fourth respectively. Rarely do we see, in an age of specialization, a graded event in which the top four finishers were driven by their trainers. Congrats to Dubois, Baudron, Eric Lambertz and Franck Anne for excellent horsemanship. February 17, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Gr. II Prix Ovide Moulinet, 120,000€, 2700 meters, 9 starters 1.13.9kr 1st Villeroi (5m Oiseau des Feux-Pocahontas-Defi d'Aunou), Jean-Etienne Dubois trainer/driver, 21/1, his sixth career win 2nd Village Mystic (5m Love You-Netchka d'Orgeres-Full Account), Louis Baudron trainer/driver, 2.5/1 3rd Viking de Val (5m Baccarat du Pont-La Ferge de Val-Quadrophenio), Eric Lambertz trainer/driver, 7.5/1 4th Vanika du Ruel (5f Jardy-Jacarandine-Vroum d'Or), Franck Anne trainer/driver, 1.5/1 The Quinte+ race of the day was the opener on the Vincennes card. Vodka du Wallon took the Prix de Cahors for European females, a 55,000e test over 2700 meters, in 1.14.4kr. The five year-old daughter of Onyx du Goutier won for J-M Bazire, driving for trainer Jean-M Baudouin, as she gained her sixth lifetime victory in 1.14.4kr. Pancottina Bar was a 65/1 longshot for second with Pierre Vercruysse up and that set off an exact order payoff of over 118,000e for a 2e play. February 17, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Cahors, European females, 56,000e, 2700 meters, 18 starters, Quinte + race of the day with jackpot at 4,450,000 euros  1.14.4kr 1st Vodka du Wallon (5f Onyx du Goutier-Neige des Haueaux-Blason Clayettois), J-M Bazire for Jean-M Baudouin, 2.8/1, her sixth victory now for earnings of 120,230€ 2nd Pancottina Bar (5f Varenne-Valuta Lavec-Sugarcane Hanover), Pierre Vercruysse for trainer Claus-Ernst Hullmann, 65/1, Italy 3rd Vendetta (5f Quaro-Oland-Hand du Vivier), driver Anthony Barrier at 42/1 On the same program, Italian invader Olympic Kronos took the 55,000e Prix de Bracieux for European males over 2700 meters. The Lutfi Kolgjini trainee scored easily in 1.14.3kr for reinaman Dominik Locqueneux. The six year-old son of Viking Kronos-Ebony Kronos-Pine Chip won the the 13th time in his career, now with increased earnings to 128,784e. Undici and favored Berry's Boy fromn Holland were next to the line February 17, 2014, Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Bracieux, European males, 55,000e, 2700 meters, 14 starters 1st Olympic Kronos (6m Viking Kronos-Ebony Kronos-Pine Chip), Dominik Locqueneux up for Lutfi Kolgjini, 5.4/1 (Italy), now 13 career wins for 128,784€ 2nd Undici (6g Kaiser Soze-Jubeth-Corot), J-M Bazire up for trainer Nicolas Roussel, 6.8/1 3rd Berry's Boy (6g Love You-Realy Furniture-Incredible Crafts), Pierre Vercruysse driving for trainer Jan-F Van Dooyeweerd (Holland) by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Yesterday historic Pompano Park celebrated its 50th birthday. The harness racing dream of Frederick Van Lennep became reality in 1964, when it developed, opened, flourished and following his death in 1987, was managed by the late John A. Cashman, Jr. for the Van Lennep estate. They had many other assets including Lexington's famous Castleton Farm, Wolverine Raceway, the Red Mile in Lexington and multiple tracks in Italy, until sold in 1994 to Casino America, Inc. (now Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc.). The selling amount was subject to upward adjustment in the event a constitutional amendment was passed permitting casino gambling. The buyers agreed to continue standardbred racing at the facility. The sale followed failed negotiations to sell to the then owners of Hollywood Greyhound Track and Hazel Park near Detroit. The real story, however, takes place many years before, when in 1926, another racetrack was located on the site. It proved to have an interesting history with government intervention, not unlike today's equine industry. In that in 1926, the $1.25 million construction of the original Pompano Park, with grandstands that could seat 7,000 fans, was completed. The mile track, made of clay and sand, was 100 feet wide and many years later served as the hub of the famous training center at Atlantic Blvd and Powerline Road. The grand opening was celebrated on Christmas Day 1926 and huge crowds of spectators reportedly poured into Pompano on chartered buses from around Florida. The track might have been an immense success but there was a barrier (in Florida, at that time, pari-mutuel betting was illegal).  It said, racing was to start Christmas Day until Governor John Martin branded Pompano Park "a center of law breakers" and threatened to send the military to plow up the track and "plant it in cowpeas" unless racing ceased, and it did. The original Pompano Park was then used for automobile races, Polo and boxing matches, without lasting success. In 1928, two years after the track opened, a hurricane ravaged South Florida with 2,000 fatalities and many injuries. Pompano Park became a savior as it was used as a Red Cross station to aid more than 1,000 hurricane victims. Subsequently, the track became dormant until 1953, when Fred Van Lennep, then a prominent Kentucky horseman and former advertising executive, spotted the old track from an airplane. Van Lennep saw great potential for a future racetrack. He purchased the land and immediately began plans to construct a new facility. After lobbying for many years, Van Lennep was able to get pari-mutuel legislation on the ballot and in 1962 it was overwhelmingly voted into law. Van Lennep fulfilled his dream, and his promise, and built what was the well-designed state leader of horse racing tracks. The new Pompano Park opened on February 4, 1964 to a crowd of nearly 6,600 people. The track featured a "state of the art" grandstand, clubhouse and restaurant facility and for the many owners (who also had access to an owners' club), trainers, drivers and caretakers, three racetracks, two being one mile and half mile training tracks and a five-eighths mile main race track. Once completed, there were stalls for 2,000 horses, living quarters for more than 500 caretakers, a swimming pool for horses, a nine-hole golf course and driving range. The main facility featured one of the largest dining rooms in South Florida with seating for more than 800 people. Van Lennep's wife, the renowned horsewoman, Francis Dodge Van Lennep, loved pink flamingos and much of the track was painted in that color. Named the "Winter Capital of Harness Racing", Pompano Park grew in popularity among people in the sport, plus leading celebrities enjoyed their nights at the races. Notables Ed Sullivan, Minnie Pearl, Jackie Gleason, Mickey Rooney, Frank Sinatra, Walter Matthau, Sammy Davis Jr., Rodney Dangerfield, and many others came to Pompano Park regularly along with leading sports figures Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, George Steinbrenner, Arnold Palmer, Charlie Keller and Lee Elder. They were regulars during the season and Ford, Steinbrenner, Palmer and Keller became horse, farm and track owners. Years later, celebs still came out for a night at the races including Pulitzer prize-winning author and columnist Dave Barry, baseball's Dennis Martinez, Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler, UK and NBA basketball's Sam Bowie, also a prominent standardbred horse owner and breeder. During the 1980 and 90's Pompano Park bloomed at its 331 acre site (including the 180 acre training center that was sold years later for industrial development), hosting the prestigious Breeders Crown numerous times as the world's top Standardbreds, owners, trainers and drivers trained and raced during the winter for some of the sports' richest purses. Records fell annually with the sports' greatest reinsman, the "Gold Dust Twins" Stanley Dancer and Billy Haughton, calling Pompano Park their winter home. The tracks biggest night was on December 27, 1980 when the great pacer Niatross arrived at Pompano Park There were 18,451 fans on-site to see the remarkable pacer, barred from the betting, team with trainer and Hall of Famer Clint Galbraith to a 1.54.3f win by open lengths. Reportedly another 5,000 fans had to be turned away, as cars were parked on the median divider of Powerline Road and across the street in Palm Aire after all racetrack parking areas had been filled to capacity. Every mutuel pool record was rewritten by the fifth race that evening. Pompano continued to play a leading role in the Standardbred sport during the early Breeders' Crown years with its Van Lennep Trotting Series that attracted many of the best US aged performers and some Europeans. John Cashman was a great supporter of international racing and the Van Lennep was his and Pompano Park's trotting showcase during that era. One such event I remember best occurred in 1987. Re-live it below with Dave Joseph's memorable stories. European Flavor Adds Spice to Van Lennep Invitational By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 4, 1987 Pompano Harness Track`s $150,000 Frederick Van Lennep Invitational Trotting Series has lured five of the six European trotters that were extended invitations to compete in the two-race series. The Van Lennep, run over a mile track Oct. 24 and a 1 1/4-mile track Oct. 30, will have Germany`s Reado, Norway`s Scott Iran, Finland`s Black Laukko, France`s Quito du Couronne and Big Spender, who has campaigned throughout Europe. The only trotter who declined the invitation was Sweden`s Emile, second twice this year to two-time Breeders Crown winner Grades Singing. Van Lennep Trot Lures Three of the Best By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 18, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- For the past four months they have crossed paths. First New Jersey, then New York, finally Illinois. In pursuit of being named Aged Trotter of the Year, Sugarcane Hanover, Tabor Lobell and Express Ride have battled on three tracks. But after the three meet tonight in a $10,000 invitational trot at Pompano Park, the trio will have only two more chances to lay claim to seasonal honors. World record holder Express Ride, two-time Breeders Crown winner Sugarcane Hanover, and Invitational Challenge Cup winner Tabor Lobell will use tonight`s invitational as a prep for Pompano`s upcoming $150,000 Frederick Van Lennep Invitational Trot. Express Ride Sets Pompano Mile Record By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 19, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- It was supposed to be a leisurely prep race; a chance for some of the trotters racing in the upcoming Frederick Van Lennep Invitational to get a feel for Pompano Harness Track. Ah, but it was so much more. World record holder Express Ride, driven by Berndt Lindstedt, trotted the fastest mile in Pompano`s 24-year history Sunday night, clocking 1:56 2/5 in the sixth race, a $10,000 invitational trot. It broke Grade`s Singing`s record set in last year`s Van Lennep by 3/5 of a second. Hey, Big Spender Spent A Little Time with Malaise By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 24, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- The travel plans, Berth Johansson thought, were firm. Big Spender, his 6-year-old horse, would trot in West Germany Oct. 11, then be shipped to Paris the next night and prepare for his trip to Pompano Park and the Frederick Van Lennep Trotting Series. How much easier could that be, Johansson thought. "We would race Sunday," the Swedish trainer-driver said. "Then he would sleep, wait 24 hours, and then go to Paris Monday night." Simple, right? But four hours after trotting two heats in West Germany, Big Spender was loaded on a train and spent the next 20 hours riding to Paris. Express Ride Gets Leg Up In Van Lennep By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 25, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- The opposition put it this way: "He`s a monster," trainer Jim Gluhm said. "What else can you say?" Gluhm, trainer of Tabor Lobell, was speaking for all of the estimated 6,000 here who witnessed the performance of Express Ride. The 4-year-old world-record holder won his fifth consecutive race Saturday night when he led throughout the $50,000 Frederick Van Lennep International Challenge over a mile distance at Pompano Park in 1:56 4/5. Reado, an 80-1 long shot from West Germany, finished second by 1/2 lengths. Tabor Lobell`s Finale To Be In Van Lennep By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 29, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- There was really nothing distinctive about that morning, trainer Jim Gluhm said. It was just like any other May morning at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "It was cool," Gluhm said. "And there wasn`t much sunshine." That morning, in fact, probably would have slipped from Gluhm`s mind if it wasn`t for one of his workers running out to the track and saying, bluntly, `What the hell are you doing?` "I was starting to train Tabor Lobell to go a 1 1/4 miles and 1 1/2 miles when the horse`s groom came running out asking me that question," Gluhm said. Tabor could handle the distance as on August 30, 1987 he upset many of the best in the sport to win the 1-1/2 mile $100,000 Challenge Cup at Roosevelt. Tabor Lobell Wins Challenge Cup: Tabor Lobell, a 25-1 shot driven by Buddy Gilmour, held off Callit of Sweden last night to capture the $100,000 Challenge Cup, a mile-and-a-half invitational trot at Roosevelt Raceway. The 4-year-old son of Speedy Crown-The-Pro raced third over most of the event, but caught Callit, winner of the International Trot last week, at the head of the stretch. The two went neck and neck to the finish, and Tabor Lobell won by a head, covering the course in 3:03 3/5. Whip It Wood, driven by John Patterson Jr., took third. Tabor Lobell's victory, only his second in 12 races, was worth $50,000 and pushed his career earnings to $199,095. Tabor Lobell was third in the International Trot behind Sweden's Callit and Potin d'Amour from France. (NY Times archives) Record Falls in Van Lennep Sugarcane Hanover Upsets Express Ride By DAVE JOSEPH, Racing Writer, October 31, 1987 POMPANO BEACH -- There was silence on the other end of the line for several seconds before trainer Jim Simpson could express his feeling. "I`m ecstatic," said Simpson. He paused. "I got a tear in my eye." Simpson`s tear came courtesy of Sugarcane Hanover, who came out of hiding at Pompano Harness Track Friday night in world record fashion. After finishing second and ninth to Express Ride in his last two races across Pompano, John Simpson`s Sugarcane Hanover returned to form here when he trotted past 4-5 favorite Express Ride in the final yards to win the $100,000 Frederick Van Lennep International Championship by three-quarters of a length. Sugarcane Hanover with Gunnar Eggen up winning 1988 March of Dimes at Garden State over Ourasi, Mack Lobell and Napoletano by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com    

Turbo Jet (7m Joyau d'Amour-Elite d'Atout-Sugarcane Hanover) took today's Gr. III Prix du Luxembourg, the feature event at Paris-Vincennes. Owner/trainer Jean-Etienne Dubois teamed the winner to a rallying victory at 52/1 in a race dominated at the finish by outsiders. Turbo Jet was hip 256 in last night's Arqana Trot sale and was hammered down at 100,000 euro but did not sell. He captured the winner's share of today's 110,000 euro purse covering 2100 meters autostart in 1.11.8kr defeating Unabella Perrine and reinsman Franck Ouvrie and Talicia Bella third for Anthony Barrier up for owner/trainer J-P Marmion. Turbo Jet now has 13 career wins for earnings of 434,100 euro. Favored Beckman, off at even money, ended unplaced with On Track Piraten sixth after leading the pack much of the way. On Track Piraten easily defeated Maharajah two weeks ago in Sweden. Other contenders Maxwell Mayday was tenth today and Caballion ended ninth. The top five finishers in this race were off at odds 52, 30, 12, 89, and 64/1, respectively. January 25, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix du Luxembourg, Gr. III International, 110,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart 1.11.8kr 1st Fractions: 1.06.2kr at 1500, 1.11kr at 1000, 1.11.4kr at 500, 1.11.8kr finish 2nd Turbo Jet (7m Joyau d'Amour-Elite d'Atout-Sugarcane Hanover), Jean-Etienne Dubois at 52/1 3rd Unabella Perrine (6f Diamant Gede-Minnie Perrine-Viking Sun), Anthony Barrier at 12/1 4th Rubis Darpet (9g Kaiser Soze-Betty de la Noe-Kimberland), Eric Raffin at 89/1 5th Oropura Bar (6m Love You-Ubatuba Oaks-Armbro Goal), Marco Smorgon up, 64/1 (Italy) 6th On Track Piraten (6g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line), Jos. Verbeeck, 2/1 odds (Sweden) by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

The Winter harness racing Meet at Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes continued New Year’s Eve and Day before good crowds and rain-free weather. Starter du Rib captured the New year’s Eve featured Prix de Poitiers for trainer Joel Hallais and owner Ecurie Rib for his 18th career victory. Jean Loic Claude Dersoir steered the winner home in 1.13.7kr over 2700 meters. Highly regarded Sam Gibus ended second with Renardo Bello, a half-brother to double Prix d’Amerique winner Offshore Dream, fourth. Starter du Rib (8) Vincennes – Prix de Poitiers, 78,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 17 starters Q+ 1.13.7kr Starter du Rib (7g Ganymede-Jiviga-Sancho Panca), J.L.C. Dersoir, 10/1 odds, trainer Joel Hallais for Ecurie Rib, 18th win lifetime for 392,280 euro Sam Gibus (7g Jet Fortuna-Harmonie Gibus-Viking Sun), Sebastien Baude up, 5/1 odds Roller Quick (8m Derby du Gite-Arquebuse-Florestan), Anthony Barrier, 29/1 odds Renardo Bello (8m Kiki-Enfilade-Tarass Boulba), Damien Bonne Racing Charm (8m Love You-Feraine d’Occagnes-Workaholic), Julien Dubois The January 1 feature ended with sons of Conway Hall finishing one-two in the 2100 meter autostart Prix d’Angouleme carrying a 95,000 euro purse. Conway Fortuna rallied for a convincing win in 1.12.4kr for Pierre Vercruysse. The winner is trained in Holland by Hugo Langeweg, Jr. for Gerrits Recycling Group and is from Saratoga Yankee by Yankee Glide. Conway Fortuna Vincennes – Prix d’Angouleme, European, 95,000 euro purse, 2100 meters autostart, 14 starters, 1.12.4kr Conway Fortuna (Holland) (5m Conway Hall-Saratoga Yankee-Yankee Glide), Pierre Vercruysse up for Hugo Langeweg Jr. and Gerrits Recycling Group, his 10th career win for earnings of 116,975 euro Paper Caf (Italy) (5g Conway Hall-Enda Caf-Supergill), Mathieu Abrivard up for trainer Fabrice Souloy and Scuderia Bimag Srl Vive Magic (5f Baccarat du Pont0Manny Blue-Coktail Jet), Eric Raffin aboard for owner/trainer Louis Baudron, 18/1 odds The undercard revealed several other interesting winners. The Quinte+ Prix du Croise-Laroche for 72,000 euro went to Ulk du Las Vegas in a photo with Italy’s Olimpus Caf (by Varenne). Dominik Locqueneux steered the winner to the 1.14.8kr victory, his eighth career success, at odds of 17/1. Ulk du Las Vegas (12 inside) Vincennes – Prix du Croise-Laroche, 72,000 euro purse, European, 2850 meters, 19 starters, Q+ 1.14.8kr Ulk du Las Vegas (5g Hulk des Champs-Elite du Las Vegas-Quiton du Coral), Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer/owner Jacques Fernandes, 8th career win for earnings of 153,060 euro, 17/1 odds Olimpus Caf (Italy) (5m Varenne-Eviola Caf-Supergill), David Thomain up, 9/1 odds Sammarco (Swe) (7g Enjoy Lavec-Tropic Heat-Sugarcane Hanover), Eric Raffin up, 3/1 odds The year’s first three year-old event of the year went to another Philippe Allaire trained/owned daughter of Ready Cash from the Love You dam Quick Nevele. The Jerome Ruaults teamed winner just got up in the late stages to beat Bambina Magic and the pacesetter Brave Story with Jean-Pierre Dubois up. Bliss Nevele (10) Vincennes - Prix de Mezieres, 34,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 13 starters, three year-old females1.19.6kr Bliss Nevele (3f Ready Cash-Quick Nevele-Love You), Jerome Ruaults up for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire, 2nd lifetime win Bambina Magic (3f Nuage de Lait-Rive Magic-Jasmin de Flore), Franck Nivard up Brave Story (3f Repeat Love-Heaven d’Hilly-Buvetier d’Aunou), Jean-Pierre Dubois driver/owner for trainer Patrick Chevrier 2014’s first monte contest went to a three year-old son of Niky named Baggio du Chatelet. P-Y Verva was in the irons for this 13/1 upsetter that scored easily to earn the winners share of the 33,000 euro purse. Nicolas Raimbeaux trains the winner. Baggio du Chatelet Vincennes – Prix de Nimes, 33,000 euro, 2200 meters, 15 starters, monte three year-olds 1.17.6kr Baggio du Chatelet (3m Niky-Paola du Chatelet-Gobernador), P-Y Verva for trainer Nicolas Raimbeaux, odds 13/1 Brooklyn Bridge (3m Quatre Juillet-Mysterious Valley-Goetmals Wood), Mlle Celine Leclercq, 23/1 odds, Patrick Chevrier trainer for J-P Dubois, breeder Ecurie D Bikini des Molands (3m Gai Brillant-Quiche des Molands-Carpe Diem), Anthony Dollion jockey, trainer, owner, 6/1 odds Another outsider, Aslak, took the Prix de Conde with its 35,000 euro purse at 8/1 odds. The four year-old son of Lilium Madrik is trained by Ronny Kuiper and was driven today by Pierre Vercruysse, his second driving victory of the day. Aslak 1/1/14 Vincennes – Prix de Conde, 35,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, 12 starters 1.17.3kr Aslac (4g Lilium Madrik-L’Atlante-Quarsenis), Pierre Vercruysse up for trainer Ronny Kuiper, 8/1 odds Amiral de Virmont (4m Sancho Panca-Perie de Virmont), J.L.C., Dersoir driver/trainer, 2/1 favorite Almarok (4m Norman Jet-Malice Morane-Elmon), Mathieu Mottier driving the 52/1 outsider. (Paris-Turf photos) Thomas H. Hicks  

Enrico Bellei steered the game two year-old filly Saba Del Ronco (2f Adrian Chip-Didone Gas-Sugarcane Hanover) to a rain soaked victory in today’s 66,000 euro, 1600 meter autostart Gran Premio Allevatori Filly at Napoli. She overcame a long journey on the outer behind both Swami Gams and then second place finisher Savannah Bi before prevailing by a length. He juvenile slate is now eight starts with four wins and four placings, good for earnings in excess of 55,000 euro. The winners’ sire Adrian Chip (9m Andover Hall-My Favorite Chip-Pine Chip-Spinning Reel) earned over US$1.57 million and scored 23 wins in 45 lifetime starts, winning the Orsi Mangelli, Ulf Thorsens Minneslopp, Solvalla Grand Prix and Axel Jensens Minneslopp. In the US he was an impressive second in the Hambletonian, World Trotting Derby and Matron Final (age two) and third in the Yonkers Trot and Breeders Crown (age two). He was handled during his racing career by Sweden’s Robert Bergh. For driver Bellei, the win with Saba Del Ronco capped a solid day in which he also won with the Riordan/Guida filly Red Rose America and had two second place finishes with Rod Stewart and Napoleon Bar. Napoli, Gran Premio Allevatori Filly, 66,000 euro purse, 1600 meters autostart 1.14.6kr Saba Del Ronco (2f Adrian Chip-Didone Gas-Sugarcane Hanover), Enrico Bellei up for trainer Gennaro Casillo Savannah Bi (2f Ganymede-Dakota Bi-Toss Out –Personal Banner), Federico Esposito driving Swami Gams (2f Uronometro-Dada Bieffe-Toss Out), Roberto Vecchione at the lines Replay http://se-mi2-6.se.unirevod.alice.cdn.interbusiness.it/market/unire/video/NAT-07-T-261213.wmv At Kincsem Park today the featured 500,000Huf Paulovitz Janos Memorial, over 1960 meters, went to Lady Luna (8f Sierra Ranger-Luna) for Josef Sagaj in 1.18.4kr. Ollyan Nincs was second for Andrea Fazekas overcoming a 20 meter handicap and Orangyal ended third for Pal Vicsen. The Fazekas stable had a productive day as Platina Lady (4f Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady) won for  trainer Imre Fazekas and Andrea Fazekas earned two wins on the card with Jegyzono (10f Valley Guardian-Atletano) and Pretty Dancer (4f Daguet Rapide-Croatass). Thomas H. Hicks

Maharajah showed that he is back in good form and perhaps very competitive in the late January Prix d'Amerique. Today he was away fourth before moving decisively to the lead after 400 meters and he raced comfortably on the lead before drawing away from the competition for a seven length win in 1.13.1kr over pocket sitter Harry Haythrow that was making his 56th start in V75 action. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the Stefan Hultman trainee for owner public company Travkompaniets Stall AB. The winner scored for the 30th time in 56 career starts, now for earnings of 19,407,453SEK. Maharajah sports a 4-1-1 slate in 11 starts this year, earning 2,836,656SEK. His next start is planned for January 11th. Solvalla Gold Final UET Master Series, 2140 meters autostart, Gr. II, 300,000SEK to winner 1.13.1kr Maharajah (8m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill), Orjan Kihlstrom Harry Haythrow (7g Rote On Line-Speedy Tilda-Spotlite Lobell), Peter Untersteiner Francois du Gull (6m Jag de Bellouet-Tantiem Gull-Lindy Lane), Eric Lindegren The co-featured Krafft Winterfavoritem for two year-olds went to longshot Snowflake Goj with Torbjorn Jansson up. She rallied late along the pylons to defeat well-bred Global Reality and How Amazing Tooma in a close finish. Solvalla Krafft Winterfavoritem Two Year-Olds, 2140 meters autostart, 200,000SEK to winner.17.2kr Snowflake Goj (2f Goetmals Wood-Mrs Meyer Landsky-Sugarcane Hanover), Torbjorn Jansson Global Reality (2m Federal Flex-Lookout Victory-Valley Victory), Bjorn Goop aboard How Amazing Tooma (2f Banker Hall-Amazing As-Enjoy Lavec), Ulf Nordin up Thomas H. Hicks           Renaissance Partners LLC   Thomas H. Hicks, Managing Partner   3508 Sahara Springs Blvd.   Pompano Beach, FL 33069   www.renaissancelc.com   renparlc@gate.net   954-971-3555 Tel FL Office   704-844-0600 Tel NC Office   954-415-6369 Cel   704-845-1176 Fax           Experience > Value, Integrity, Performance       The information above and attached, if any, may contain privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution and duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you.        

On a sensational card at Napoli's Ippodromo di Agnano, pacesetter Princess Grif (4f Varenne-Fauvre Grif-Viking Kronos) captured the prestigious Gr. I Gran Premio Tino Triossi (2100 meters autostart, 209,000 euro purse) for reinsman Roberto Andreghetti and owner Allevamento IL Grifone SRL. She scored over Papadreu (4f Abano As-Capucine-Sugarcane Hanover) handled by Enrico Bellei. One of the favorites, 2/1 Prussia (4f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) battled the pacesetter mid-race until top of stretch when she gave way after an aggressive drive by Pietro Gubellini. Pioneer Gar (4f Varenne-Follia-Pine Chip) ended fourth for Roberto Vecchione after getting a perfect two-hole journey. Princess Grif was the 3/2 favorite in the contest that was widely carried on simulcast wagering networks throughout Europe as she recorded a sharp 1.12.4kr score over the 1-5/16 mile course. The Gr. II Royal Mares (1600 meters autostart, 45,100 euro purse) went to the superb mare Orsia (5f Angus Hall-Tigre OM-Zebu) in 1.12.6kr for Roberto Vecchione. The Scuderia Sant Andrea SRL owned stalwart increased her career earnings to 391,000 euro as she defeated Oibambam Effe (5f Classic Photo-Etna Sec-Viking Kronos) and Andrea Guzzanati at the reins. Mururoa As (7f Lemon Dra-Jade's Tiara-Crysta's Crown) ended third for G-P Maisto. The winner's time was only two-tenths off the race record held by Linda di Casei. Elimination #2 of the Derby (2100 meters autostart, 22,000 euro purse) ended in a comfortable 1.12.9kr score for highly favored Robert Bi (3m Toss Out-Up Front JM-Self Possessed) with Robin Bakker aboard for trainer Paul Hagoout. The "awesome" trotting winner is owned by Allevamento G. Biasuzzi and may be the favorite for the Derby Final on December 26. Rotary OK (3m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) was second for Marco Smorgon and third went to Royal Blessed (3m Varenne-Ivory Kronos-Viking Kronos) with teamster Lorenzo Baldi. The Lou Guida owned, Jerry Riordan trained Raise Wise As (by Donato Hanover) was fifth reined by Enrico Bellei. Italian Derby Elimination #3 (2100 meters autostart, 22,000 euro purse) went to Red Baron (3m Majestic Son-Check and Balance-Balanced Image) in 1.13.5kr for owner Pella Matteo and reinsman Federico Esposito. He received the benefit of a Riordan stable battle. Rod Stewart (3m Love You-Valley Lane-Lindy Lane), parked by stablemate and filly Rossella Ross, was a game second for trainer Jerry Riordan with Enrico Bellei up. The second dam of this one is Desdemona Hanover (Super Bowl-Descent). Ruty Grif (3m Varenne-Correr By Pass-Donerail) finished third for G-P Maisto ahead of the other Riordan trainee Rossella Ross (3f Self Possessed-Northern Jewel-Balanced Image) in rein to Roberto Andreghetti. She set the pace and weakened late after taking a toll on Rod Stewart. Along with first batteria winner Re Degli Dei (pictured below) the Derby looks to be a competitive affair where racing luck might be a factor in the end result. The final graded event on the outstanding card today was the Gr. II Gran Premio Carena (1600 meters autostart, 55,000 euro purse, four year-old mares) and it went to Peace of Mind (4f Uronometro-Efrica d'Alfa-Sugarcane Hanover) in 1.12.8kr for Andrea Guzzinati and owner Cecchi Leonardo. Close second went to Priscilla Zak (4f Varenne-Flute Grif-SJs Photo) with third to Petra Inn Ronco (4f Cantab Hall-Cynthia del Ronco-Sugarcane Hanover) in a blanket finish in which the top five were clocked in 1.12.9kr or better. Petra Axe (4f Daguet Rapide-Image Deimar-Indro Park) finished fourth ahead of Panthea Club (4f Revenue-Alidora-Probe). by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com            Renaissance Partners LLC   Thomas H. Hicks, Managing Partner   3508 Sahara Springs Blvd.   Pompano Beach, FL 33069   www.renaissancelc.com   renparlc@gate.net   954-971-3555 Tel FL Office   704-844-0600 Tel NC Office   954-415-6369 Cel   704-845-1176 Fax           Experience > Value, Integrity, Performance       The information above and attached, if any, may contain privileged and confidential information intended only for the use of the person(s) named above. If you are not the intended recipient you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution and duplication of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify the sender by email and destroy all copies of the original message. Thank you.        

Maharajah (8m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill), reunited with teamster Orjan Kihlstrom, won todays V75 Gold at Aby over 2140 meters autostart. He earned 150,000SEK for the win, his 29th in 55 appearances, now for career earnings over 19.1 million SEK. Kihlstrom moved the veteran to the front after the first quarter and he led thereafter, beating off a challenge from US import Solvato that faded to fifth in late going. Maharajah won by ¾ length under no apparent urging as he defeated Oasis Bi (5m Toss Out-Upo Front JM-Self Possessed) and Claes Svensson with late charging Politiken (6g ENS Snapshot-Goldie Hawn-Earthquake) third for Morten Friis. The winner was timed in 1.12.8kr over a sloppy racetrack on a rainy, foggy afternoon and keeps Sweden's trotting icon in the hunt for the prestigious Prix d'Amerique in late January. Italian Derby to Re Degli Dei At Napoli, Italy,  Re Degli Dei (3m Conway Hall-Bliz-Sugarcane Hanover) won the Italian Derby (Gr. I, 2100 meters, 22,000 euro purse) first elimination in 1.13.6kr for teamster T. DiLorenzo. He defated Remo Gas (3m Varenne-Isotta Gas-Toss Out) and Roberto Vecchione and Roi de Coeur (3m Love You-Copacabana DK-Record OK) ending third for Enrico Baldi. At Paris-Vincennes the Quinte + Gr. II Prix Oscar Collard (2100 meters autostart, 95,000 euro purse) went to Ultimate du Rib (5g Dahir de Prelong-Kara Pellois) for teamster J. L. Cl. Dersoir, trainer Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib. He nailed Orione Degli Dei (5g Conway Hall-Elissa Dei) driven by Pierre Vercruysse, on the line in 1.12.9kr. This one is owned by Ecurie Bologna and trained by Mario Baroncini. Another Conway sired offspring, Conway Fortuna (4m Conway Hall-Saratoga Yankee), was third for Hugo Langeweg Jr and owner Gerrits Recycling Group. The Vincennes co-feature was the Gr. III Prix de Pithiviers over 2700 meters for a purse of 76,000 euro. The Dubois clan was one-two as Ecurie Victoria Dreams' Ah Quel Micha (3m Rocklyn-Oceane du Phare) scored easily for Julien Dubois in 1.16.3kr. Philippe Moulin trains the winner. American Eagle (3m Offshore Dream-Paradise's Key) was second for owner, trainer, driver Jean-Etienne Dubois. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

Today's exceptional card at Paris-Vincennes drew a fine crowd of trotting enthusiasts and children for the Journal of Mickey entertainment. The trotting featured Criterium 3 Ans (Gr. I, 2700 meters, 240,000 euro purse) was won by 18/1 upsetter Aladin d'Ecajeul (3m Quaker Jet-Nancy d'Ecajuel-Halimede) driven by Eric Raffin for owner Philippe Dewulf and his trainer Sebastien Guarato. Raffin had the winner close to the leaders throughout and sprang loose in the lane for a 1-1/2 length victory over Ausone du Kastel (3m Gros Grain-Lancee-Courlis du Pont), a 13/1 shot handled by J-M Bazire. Alesia d'Atout (3f Defi d'Aunou-New York Jet-Halimede-Elite d'Atout-Sugarcane Hanover) at 81/1 was placed third after a disqualification of Aldo des Champs. The winner scored in 1.14kr. Sire of dam of two of the top three finishers, Halimede, is a son of Buvetier d'Aunou from Udames by Quioco. Seven of the 15 starters, including the favorites, were disqualified for breaks (Axelle Dark, Alizea du Kastel, Avenir de Blay, Atlas des Joudes, Akim du Cap Vert, Avila and Aldo des Champs). The co-featured Prix Octave Douesnel (Gr. II, males age four, 2700 meters, 120,000 euro purse) went to 5/1 odds Village Mystic (4m Love You-Netchka d'Orgeres-Full Account) and driver, trainer, owner, breeder Louis Baudron. He led much of the way to score in 1.14.3kr, his 10th career win for earnings of 521,000 euro. The 23/1 Voyage de Reve (4m Password-Kiocalba-Coktail Jet) was second for driver Julien Dubois, trainer Philippe Moulin and owner Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Vigove (4m Gazouillis-Govive-Hetra Vert)) was a challenging third at 10/1 for teamster Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc. Today's opener at the Temple of Trot, on a bright, sunny afternoon, was the Prix de Parthenay (monte, three year-old females, 2700 meters, 46,000 euro purse) and Ms. Nathalie Henry won it with A Nous Deux (3f Goetmals Wood-Nina Madrik-In Love With You). Ms. Henry rode the winner perfectly and steadily, rallying to win in 1.16.2kr for trainer Ronny Kuiper, owner Jean-Pierre Dubois and breeder Ecurie D. Altesse du Surf (3f Chaillot-Lady du Surf-Boy du Pre) was placed second for jockey Martial Viel and Altair des Brouets (3f Quiz des Brouets-Luanda des Brouets-Quadrophenio) landed third for Jonathan Vanmeerbeck. The Prix Jacinthe (2700 meters, two year-olds, 38,000 euro purse), contested during a gorgeous sunset, proved a bit of redemption for Ready Cash as sire, after his favored foals went offstride in today's feature. In this one, Bird Parker (2m Ready Cash-Belisha-Fakir du Vivier) scored at 12/1 for patient reinsman Pierre Vercruysse as the pair circled nearly all of the field to win in 1.16.3kr. Philippe Allaire trains the winner for owner Mme. Elisabeth Allaire. Brutus de Bailly (2m Niky-Nino de Bailly-Carnac) was second for reinsman J-M Bazire with Borjal (2m Memphis du Rib-Jaldemosa-Vrai Lutin) landing third for trainer/driver Franck Anne. The winner's name Bird Parker relives my memory of legendary jazz musician Charlie "Bird' Parker who performed and recorded in Paris during his short but accomplished life as developer of "Bebop" and an icon of the hipster sub-culture. Parker was described as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, not just an entertainer, as illustrated by his recording "Bird in Paris - The Complete French Tour Recordings". Perhaps the name will live on with the trotting namesake Bird Parker. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com   

Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes today hosted three graded events on a well-rounded top-class card. The Prix Joseph LeFosse (Gr. II monte, 120,000 euro purse, 2700 meters) went to the 2/1 second-favorite Ulysse (5m Love You-Loctudy-Extreme Dream) with Thomas Levesque aboard. He covered the classic distance in 1.13.9kr to win for owner Ecurie des Pommiers and trainer Mike Lenders, scoring his ninth career victory for earnings of 444,530 euro. Un Team de Nacre (5m First de Retz-Laqune de Nacre-Dream With Me) was second with Damien Bonne up with 3/2 favorite Utoky (5m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Epopee-Kimberland) third for Franck Nivard. Denmark invader New Line(8g King Conch-Pa'En Igan Frokjaer-PayDirt) took the Prix des Landes (Gr. III European, 110,000 euro purse, 2850 meters) for Pierre Levesque, catch driving the Anders Svanstedt trainee. New Line, the 1.3/1 favorite, won for the 18th time to increase his bankroll to 361,356 euro. He scored easily in 1.14.4kr to defeat Turbo Jet (6m Joyau d'Amour-Elite d'Atout-Sugarcane Hanover) handled by Jean-Etienne Dubois with Quebir de Leau (9g Elcir de Leau-Defensive Gede-Sancho Panca) home third for Franck Nivard. The chestnut trotter led most of the way before drawing clear down the lane. The Prix Urgent (Gr. III Monte, 90,000 euro purse, 2700 meters) went to 1.4/1 favorite Atlessima (3f Rocklyn-Noblessima-Goetmals Wood) with Eric Raffin in the irons for Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Phillipe Moulin trains the winner who scored in 1.15.9kr. Atlessima now sports four lifetime wins for earnings of 135,540 euro. Air de Marine (3g Caroy-Hydre de Marne-Verdict Gede) took second for Alexandre Abrivard, off at 5/2 odds. with Al Capone Jet (3m Jag de Bellouet-Passion de Morgagne-Coktail Jet) third for Matthieu Abrivard. Several other races caught our attention. The Prix de Saint-Aubin-Les Elbeuf (males, 85,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 13 starters) went to the Matthieu Abrivard driven, 23/1 outsider, Ut Viniere (5m Jasmin de Flore-Oasis Viniere-Quarsenis). He was timed in 1.14kr in what was his sixth win for 224,180 euro career earnings. Up The Green (5m Espeyrac Sun-Neimenine-Cezio Josselyn) ended second for J-M Bazire. The Prix de la Comarque (european, 60,000 euro purse, 2700 meters) produced a victory for Teatro (6m Ganymede-Josette-Arnaquer) handled by Christian Bigeon. Off at 2.6/1 Taetro won for the eighth time good now for 201,410 euro as he scored in 1.13.2kr. Favored Ed You broke stride and was disqualified. Tiva de la Frette (6f Indy de Vive-Kiva de la France-Turquetil) was second for Franck Nivard driving for trainer Franck Leblanc. Trinity Jiel (6f Goetmals Wood-Flaya de Jiel-Ourasi) was third for Joseph Verbeeck at 79/1. The Prix de Beauvoir (females, 44,000 euro purse, 2850 meters) wen t to 19/1 outsider Vicky Love (4f Love You-Oeuvre Choisie-Quadrophenio) with Jean-Etienne Dubois aboard. Jean Baudron owns and trains the winner that defeated 13 rivals in 1.15.4kr for her first win. Venus de Fromental (4f Joker de Rozoy-Quinne du Vivier-Cedre du Vivier) was second at 13/1 for Franck Anne with 82/1 longshot Verona du Chep (4f Ganymede-Kira Pride-Bolide d'Odyssee) third for reinsman Sylvain Roger. The Prix de Mirecourt (female three year-olds, 35,000 euro purse, 2200 meters) was taken by Anais d'Olaine (3f Gogo-Melodie d'Olaine-Vivaldi de Chenu) with Alexandre Dessartre up. The 11/1 outside scored in 1.15.8kr over 43/1 Alma Dream (Lets Go Along-Orneria-Cygnus d'Odyssee) with Julien Dubois aboard for trainer Phillipe Moulin and owner Ecurie Victoria Dreams. Anoella des Landes (3f Paisy Dream-Janoela des Landes) was third for teamster Sebastien Hardy. She was off at 22/1 to complete the list of high-odds placings. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com  

Another trotting superstar surfaced on Addington’s biggest day today (Tuesday) when the former Danish Derby winner Peak maintained his unbeaten record after two New Zealand starts. The Tim Butt trained 7-year-old was simply too tough for his 15 rivals in the $80,000 Seelite Windows & Doors NZ Trotting Free-For-All – a race won last year by I Can Doosit. Just as he did on his New Zealand debut on October 28, Peak (Anthony Butt) dug deep and fought back to win after being headed in the straight. “He’s a good horse alright. Very tough. He will only get better,” said driver Butt after the Group One event. The former Scandinavian squaregaiter has now won 10 races and more than $300,000 in stakes. The chestnut entire is by Ganymede out of the Sugarcane Hanover (USA) mare, Elegant Lady. Peak will now start one of the favourite’s in the feature event on Friday – The Group One $200,000 Dominion Trot. Winning time for the 2000m mobile: 2:26.4. Mile rate: 1:57.8. Last 800m: 58.7. Last 400m: 29.4. Placings: The Fiery Ginga 2, Quality Invasion 3, Jag’s Invasion 4. Margins: Long head, nose, half a head. Winning dividend: $2.30 (favourite). Winning owner: Cheval Rapide Syndicate. Winning breeder: H. Mortensen. By Duane Ranger (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)

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