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Elite du Royal (4f Timoko-Romance du Ruel) at 12/1 ran off to a huge lead in the Gr. II Prix Ephrem Houel (purse €120,000, 2850 meters, 11 starters) for trainer/driver Franck Anne and held it for a 1.18.9kr harness racing score. Mme. Annick Bazin bred and owns the winner. 3.7/1 Enino du Pommereux (4m Coktail Jet-Noune du Pommereux) and J-M Bazire was second for trainer Sylvain Roger and breeder/owner Noel Lolic. 1.1/1 favorite Erming d’Oliverie (4f Scipion du Goutier) was third with Franck Nivard up for trainer Franck Leblanc. The day’s featured Q+ Prix de Munich (purse €95,000, 2100 meters, 15 European starters) went to Bigeon stalwart 1.8/1 favorite Afghan Barbes (8g Meaulnes du Corta-Nuance Barbes) with Charles J. Bigeon up for trainer Christian Bigeon and owner Andre Francis Bigeon. The 1.17.=2kr timed winner now has 16 victories in 45 career outings for €523,260 earned. 3.1/1 Bel Avis (7g Ganymede-Gloria Maris) was second for trainer/driver J-M Bazire, owner Wildenstein Stables and the breeder was Comte de Belaigue. 18/1 Bad Boy du Dollar (7m Magnificent Rodney) with Matthieu Abrivard up took third ahead of 81/1 Coquin Bebe (6m Rancho Gede) and 20/1 Unbridled Charm (10m Password) that completed the top five. Treasure Kronos was 1th and Rod Stewart was a dq in this event. The Prix de Verneuil (purse €72,000, 2850 meters, 13 European starters) went to 3/1 Deesse des Landes (5f Millenium Wood-Tifosa) with owner/trainer L.M. David at the lines. Race time was 1.21.9kr over the heavy surface. 12/1 Decennie (5f Love You-Parabola) was second for Mathieu Mottier and trainer Dominique Mottier. Third was Danseuse du Citrus (5f Otello Pierji) with David Thomain up for trainer Bjorn Goop, and Gilda Newport landed the fourth spot. The monte Prix de Lisieux (purse €88,000, 2850 meters, 12 starters) produced a 23/1 odds victory for Vinci Pierji (9g Meaulnes du Corta-Intaille) with trainer Matthieu Abrivard in the irons. Race time was 1.17.3kr. 17/1 Tell Me No Lies (9g Offshore Dream-B.Glorious was next for pilot David Thomain, KLV Holding AB and trainer Philippe Billard. Third was 1.9/1 Shadow Gar (7f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) for jockey Alexandre Abrivard and trainer/owner Pietro Gubellini. The Prix de Selestat (purse €33,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) began the Saturday racing action over a heavy, thawing, snow melting day at Vincennes. The winner was 7/2 odds Famous Quality (3f Rocklyn-Union Quality) with Jean Philippe Dubois up for his Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin.  Time was 1.22.1kr. 1.9/1 favorite Flora du Pommereux (3f Up And Quick-Salsa du Pommereux) took second for Franck Nivard, trainer Sylvain Roger and owner Noel Lolic. Third went to 7.3/1 Ficite de Baille (3f Neutron du Cebe-Korella)  for Mathieu Mottier, trainer Dominique Mottier and breeder/owner Ecurie Mathieu Mottier. Later in the program the Prix du Bouscat (purse €37,000, 2700 meters) went to 1.19.3kr timed Ducal Vrie (5g Kesaco Phedo-Shalima Vrie) with Franck Nivard up for legendary breeder/owner/trainer Roger Baudron (now with 1,104 training victories). Thomas H. Hicks  

August 26, 2017 - The gallant veteran Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) was parked every step from post seven (by Dante Boko) but inched to the front in mid-stretch for Bjorn Goop to win the Gr. II Grand Prix Departement Alphes-Martimes (purse €180,000, 1609 meters autostart – one mile, 11 starters). This was the Cagnes-sur-Mer featured race and Timoko attracted a huge crowd as he recorded victory 36 in 101 starts now for €5,006,731 in career earnings. Richard Westerink trains and owns Timoko that Paul Van Klavern bred. Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) rallied for second driven by David Thomain for trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Philippe Dauphin. Bocage d’Ortige (6m Mirage de Goutier-Providence D’Ortige) was third for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. Dante Boko and Diadora BR were fourth and fifth respectively.  Earlier in the week Timoko was on-hand to meet the racing fans at Cagnes-sur-Mer and promote today’s superb program. http://www.pmu.fr/turf/live-et-replay/?num-reunion=5&num-course=5&date-fr=26082017 Thomas H. Hicks

August 15, 2017 - It’s just 25 days away from the September 9th Gr. II harness racing feature The Prix d’Ete at Paris-Vincennes. This classic event is also the Trotting Masters Final and the 2017 version likely will bring about the last contest at Vincennes matching perhaps the world’s best trotter Bold Eagle against the veteran class-master Timoko. They have faced off eight times before with Bold Eagle winning seven in which Timoko was second in four of those. Their last battle was in the 2017 Elitloppet Final where Timoko scored decisively with Bold Eagle fourth. Bold Eagle, conditioned by Sebastien Guarato for owner Pierre Pilarski, has already posted two wins in the Grand Prix d’Amerique and has 15 Gr. I victories. Timoko, now age 10, is the wealthiest French trotter of all time and a two-time Elitloppet winner for trainer Richard Westerink. The Prix d’Ete is always quite a race but, this, year, it simply cannot be missed. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 1, 2017 - The grand Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) recorded a gate to wire harness racing victory in the Gr. II Prix de Washington (purse €120,000, 1609 meters, eight European starters) today at Enghien. Driver Bjorn Goop hustled the front stepping winning trainee of owner Richard Westerink to the lead off the gate and he was never challenged, permitting soft fractions, and setting up a blistering finishing kick (fractions 1.12.3kr at 1000 to go; 1.13.5kr at the 500 remaining mark; and 1.12.1 finish). The time was well off the 1.09.4kr race record held by Rapide Lebel. Timoko won the Washington for the second time and now has a 35-15-13 slate in 100 career starts, now for €4,925,731 earned in the stellar career. Paul Van Klaveren bred the winner that this day was off at 3/10 odds and bested 66/1 Venkatesh (8g Varenne-Honey Face) that Dominik Locqueneux drove for trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. 6/1 Cash Gamble (6m Ready Cash-No Way Back) was third for Franck Nivard and 9/1 Billie de Montfort (6f Jasmin de Flore-Quismy de Montfort) rallied late for David Thomain to be fourth. On the undercard was the Prix de la Porte Saint-Martin (purse €52,000, 2875 meters, nine three year-old filly starters) and 4,4/1 Eureka du Chene (3f Rieussec-Mityzvu du Chene) held gamely for the 1.18.3kr timed win driven by Franck Nivard for the Julien Le Mer/Claude Guedj trainer/owner team. 3/1 Evolution (3f Love You-Upper Class) was second in rein to Eric Raffin for Philippe Allaire/Kevin Tebirent (also breeder). Third was 5/1 Valentina Wind (3f Muscle Hill-Norah Wind) driven by Bjorn Goop for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stall Why Not. The day’s Quinte+ was the Prix du Roussillon (purse €48,000, 2150 meters, 16 starters). 7/10 favorite Sir Ratzeputz (7m Love You-Celebrate) scored easily for Bjorn Goop, trainer Timo Nurmos and Guldsvarten AB. The winning time was 1.14.1kr. 88/1 Auch (7g Niky-Migraine) was second for Ch.J. Bigeon, ahead of 20/1 Mind Your Face (8g Offshore Dream-Mind Your Manners) driven by Franck Nivard. Later in the program the Prix de l’Observatoire (purse €55,000, 2150 meters autostart) went to 3.1/1 Global Respons (6g Credit Winner-Com Mission) handled by the red hot Bjorn Goop for owner/trainer Stefan Persson. 6/1 Tesauro (5g Filipp Roc-Imziale) was next for Alexandre Abrivard and third went to 16/1 Titty Jepson (5f Varenne-Laura di Costa) piloted by Jean-Philippe Monclin. Thomas H. Hicks

Veteran Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) blasted to the front from post five and scored easily by three lengths for Bjorn Goop and trainer/owner Richard Westerink in today’s Benders Elitloppet Final (3SEK million to the winner, 1609 meters autostart, eight starters). He was clocked in 1.09kr (1:51.02) at 31/1 to pin a stunning defeat on Propulsion and Resolve at 16/1 and 11/1 respectively. Heavily backed Bold Eagle was fourth and Nuncio was fifth. Neither had anything left and had no excuses. Timoko was simply the best this day as he recorded career victory 34 in 98 starts for 47,248,058SEK (that is US$5,432,318 at today’s conversion rate). Quite a feat for quite a horse!!! Timoko Elimination 1 Bold Eagle (6m Ready Cash-Reethi Rah Jet-Love You) easily took the first Benders Elitloppet 2017 elimination by six lengths timed in 1.08.4kr (mile rate 1:50.05) for driver Franck Nivard, trainer Sebastien Guarato and owner Pierre Pilarski. The winner sat alongside pacesetter Delicious, in the death seat, with Resolve second over until top of stretch when the Eagle motored away under little urging. Bred by Jean Etienne Dubois the Eagle was off at 3/2 odds and bested 9/1 Resolve (6m Muscle Hill-Anikawiesahalee-Credit Winner) handled by Ake Svanstedt with third to 13/1 DD’s Hitman (6m Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny-Muscles Yankee). Veteran Spring Erom (12m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic) landed fourth for Christopher Eriksson. Bold Eagle Elimination 2 Elimination #$2 went to home town favorite Nuncio (6m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Propulsion was a game second for Johan Untersteiner, beaten half-length in the 1.10.1 clocked event (1:52.79). Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) held third after traveling wide all the way for Bjorn Goop. The fourth spot to the final went to In Vain Sund (5m Revenue-Staro Yasmine-Supergill) for Erik Adielsson. Nuncio Bold Eagle will get first choice in the final post position by virtue of the fastest elim time. The big crowd of over 30,000 is enjoying the action on this warm day. Thomas H. Hicks

Timoko (10m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) and harness racing driver Bjorn Goop left alertly and raced forwardly place as he, Oasis Bi (Johnny Takter) and Brillantissime (Pierre Vercruysse) tussled for the front throughout, until Timoko took the lead in the final bend. Timoko led during the long Cagnes-sur-Mer stretch to prevail by a length in this Gr. I UET Masters Series Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d’Azur (purse €200,000, 1609 meters autostart, 13 starters). Timoko has now won this prestigious event four times and today set the race record 1.09.5kr (1:51.76) at the mile distance, unusual in France. Off as 9/10 favorite the Richard Westerink owned/trained pupil was bred by Paul Van Klaveren and now has career earnings of €4,491,098 from 32 victories in 84 starts. 2.6/1 Un Mec d’Heripre (9m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) rallied to be second for J-M Bazire ahead of 90/1 Red Rose America (7f Varenne-Armbro Voice) reined by Pietro Gubellini.. The Lou Guida bred mare held off North American owned and Jerry Riordan trained Treasure Kronos (5f Raja Mirchi-Glide About) driven by Christoffer Eriksson from post 13, and fifth finishing Up And Quick (9m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) with Mathieu Mottier up. Next to the line were Timone EK, Oasis Bi, Rod Stewart, Anna Mix and Brillantissime. A full-house was on-hand for the classic event and a fine trotting card. Thomas H. Hicks

March 11, 2017 - Gallant harness racing trotter, the ten year-old Timoko seeks his fourth Grand Criterium de Vitesse on Sunday afternoon at Cagnes-sur-Mer. The career winner of €4,401,098 will be reined by Bjorn Goop for trainer Richard Westerink. The 1609 meter autostart  Gr. I European Trotting Masters 2017 test drew 13 starters after one scratch. Anna Mix, Oasis Bi and Un Mec d’Heripre are likely threats. Trainer Jerry Riordan sends Treasure Kronos and Rod Stewart to the start from second tier starting positions. Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d’Azur (purse €200,000, 1609 meters autostart) March 12, Cagner-sur-Mer – race 6 PP/Horse/Driver Anna Mix, Lebourgeois Up And Quick, Mottier Rocky Winner, Gelormini Timoko, Goop Brillantissime, Vercruysse Oasis Bi, Takter Voltigeur de Myst, Donati Un Mec d’Heripre, J-M Bazire Timone EK, J.Ph. Monclin Red Rose America, Gubellini SCRATCHED – Call Me Keeper, Nivard Vicomte Boufarcaux, Ch.A. Mary Treasure Kronos, Eriksson Rod Stewart, Bekaert Thomas H. Hicks

A total of 34 upper level trotters have been engaged for Sunday’s Gr. I Prix de Paris, the third leg of the France Triple Crown, and raced over 4150 meters (just over 2.5 miles) for a purse of €400,000. The group, which will be finalized and narrowed on Thursday, includes Bold Eagle, Timoko, Up And Quick, Tiego d’Etang and Voltigeur de Myrt among the largest career money winners. J-M Bazire has named Belina Josselyn and Tornade du Digeon; Philippe Allaire entered Bird Parker and Traders; Daniel Reden named Wild Honey, Lionel, Propulsion, Call Me Keeper and Bold Eagle’s conditioner Sebastien Guarato also entered Valko Jenilat and Beau Gamin. The February 26 Paris-Vincennes program also includes the Gr. II Prix Paul Bastard (monte, purse €120,000, 2700 meters) and the Gr. III Prix de la Mayenne (purse €105,000, 2700 meters). On February 23 will be the Gr. III International Prix du Plateau de Gravelle (purse €110,000, 2100 meters) and the Prix du Cantal (purse €90,000, 2850 meters, European eligibles). Trotting action on February 24-25 is at Enghien. More to follow. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Session one at Arqana Trot Prix d’Amerique Mixed Sales aw 46 sold from 76 numbers catalogued (60.53%) with the average €16,557. The topper was hip 49, the broodmare Cyrene Griff (Coktail Jet-Gissi James), in foal to top sire Prodigious. Elevage Delo signed the €95.000 ticket. Hip 61, broodmare Casual Destinee (Ready Cash-Linda Somolli), in foal to Cristal Money, brought €56,000 from Frederic Brouilloux.  The top selling stallion share was hip 21 Saxo de Vandel for €25,000, with the buyer being Christian LeBarbey.  LeBarbey also acquired the broodmare Trinite des Vals (Carpe Diem-Luieur Gede) in foal to Uniclove. Session 1 of the Arqana Trot Sale share of Timoko sold for €25,000. Amarilla de Rabut wins Prix de la Semaine Internationale Today’s Paris-Vincennes action began with the Prix de la Semaine Internationale (purse €65,000, 2850 meters, 18 European starters). The 1.6/1 favorite Amarilla de Rabut (7f Ideal de l’Iton-Deux Pommes) scored timed in 1.14.8kr for Yoann Lebourgeois and trainer/owner Ph. Declos. 12.4/1 Attarus (7g Hand du Vivier-Nelocata) was a close second for Genny Delaune and trainer Sebastien Guarato, ahead of 49.8/1 Ah Quel Nicha (7m Rocklyn-Oceane du Phare) reined by Pierre Vercruysse for Ecurie Victoria Dreams and trainer Philippe Moulin. The Prix Yonkers Raceway (purse €60,000, 2850 meters, 10 European starters) was won by 7.6/1 Bonne Copine (6f Love You-Joie Baroque) timed in 1.15.8kr, J-M Bazire was the pilot for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J-Y Roze. 5.5/1 Shadow Gar 6(f Pine Chip-Lady Killer Gar) was second for owner/trainer/driver Pietro Gubellini, with third to 15.4/1 Bellaya (6f First de Retz-Kelaya) handled by owner/driver Franck Anne. YR/SBOANY representative Joe Faraldo predicted a Propulsion Prix d’Amerique victory. 31.4/1 Baraka Gede (6f Repeat Love-Gagnante Gede) took the Prix Vienne Krieau (purse €55,000, 2175 meters, 12 monte starters) timed in 1.13.5kr for Mathieu Mottier and owner/trainer M. Sassier. Second was 14.5/1 Bella Dolce Serata (f Prince Gede-Pamelana) was second for H.  Guerot and third was 32.8/1 Brise des Noels for S.E. Pasquier. The actual finish was a close photo but Belle Katie with jockey J-Y Ricard was a dq after being on the line with the official winner. The Prix Gelsenkirchen/Hambourg (purse €50,000, 2700 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.14.2kr timed and 4.4/1 odds Candor de l’Auine (5g Kalusphenio-Ojestva) in rein to Franck Nivard for trainer Jerome Dubreil. 10/1 Cocktail d’Auvrecy (5g Kaiser Soze-Meliana Besla) and trainer/driver J.L.Cl. Dersoir took second and third was 22/1 Chef de Play (5g Meaulnes du Corta-Quarla West). by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) returned from stallion duty to win today’s harness racing Gr. II Grand Prix du Sud Quest (purse €200,000, 2575 meters autostart, 11 starters) at Agen La Garenne. Bjorn Goop reined the winner for trainer/owner Richard Westerink. The Paul Van Klaveren bred veteran recorded his 31st victory in 88 career starts now for €4,236,538 earned. Timed in 1.11.6kr, Timoko was quick to the lead with Dante Boko in the pocket. Brissac, from post 11, came alongside and raced much of the way in the death seat before giving way as Bird Parker (5m Ready Cash-Belisha) rushed forward in the final turn for J-Ph Monclin, trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Elisabeth Allaire. This Christophe Toulorge bred speedster took the lead and held it to the line under heavy urging albeit Timoko re-rallied to a just-beaten second. But, as Timoko closed on the pegs, Bird Parker moved right despite his teamster leaning to the outside, with his right wheel placed under Timoko’s left, impeding his progress and forcing driver Goop inside the pylons. Thus, Bird Parker was a dq placed second. 20.3/1 Ave Avis (6m Kesaco Phedo-Magna Avis) was third for driver/trainer J-M Bazire and owner Mme. O. Roffi-Urano. Comte de Bellaige bred this one. Dante Boko (6g Going Kronos-Margherita Rosa) was an all out fourth for Pierre Vercruysse, trainer Lutfi Kolgjini and Stall Be The Best. Anna Mix (6f Ludo de Castelle-Ires) was a fast closing fifth for Franck Nivard and owner/trainer Franck Leblanc. The third through fifth finishers were together timed in 1.11.9kr. Replays follow. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdXZ-MHbhvE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLl8VAvZHAE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRo_y3aSWW8 The fine Agen program also included the Grand Prix Baron d’Ardeuil (purse €21,000, 2575 meters autostart, 14 European starters) with the 1.15.2kr timed victory to 35.7/1 Royal Roc (5f Filipp Roc-Gressy Roc) with Mathieu Abrivard the trainer/driver for Scuderia Sant Eusebio. 32/1 New Approach was second for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Lutfi Kolgjini. Bel Avis (5g Ganymede-Alorca Maris) took the €19,000 Prix de l’Agglomeration over the 2625 meters distance, besting nine rivals timed in 1.13.9kr. Bel Avis was off as 2/5 favorite for trainer/driver J-M Bazire and Wildenstein Stables Ltd. Comte de Bellaigue bred the winner that defeated 9.6/1 Bolero d’Houlbec. The Prix President Dominique de Bellaigue (purse €23,000, 2625 meters, 11 European starters) went to 1.14.9kr timed and 4/1 odds Pioneer Gar (7m Varenne-Follia). Dominik Locqueneux reined this winner for trainer Johanna Lindqvist and Scuderia Super Chico SAS. 9.4/1 Unetelle d’Artease (8g Capriccio-Escapade) was second for Franck Nivard and third was 57/1 Univers d’Enfer. On Friday evening at Enghien two year-olds (11) contested the Prix du Pont de la Tournelle (purse €32,000, 2150 meters autostart). The 1.20.5kr timed winner was 1.1/1 Envieux (2m Kaisy Dream-Vista Wood) with owner Jean-Pierre Dubois driving for trainer Yves Boireau. Ecurie D bred this one. 7/1 Evariste du Bourg (2m Jasmin de Flore-Saratoga du Bourg) was second for owner/trainer Sebastian Guarato and driver Ch. Thierry. 42/1 Etendard Majuro was third. Thomas H. Hicks

Columbus, OH --- As the 2017 International Trot approaches, the SOA of NY and Yonkers Raceway would like the harness racing fans to get to know the competitors that make up this year’s talented field, as well as some of the history that makes the International Trot a coveted prize worldwide. In the first video installment, get to know Sweden’s 8-year-old gelding On Track Piraten as he prepares to compete in the International Trot for the second year in a row. Trainer Hans Strömberg discusses his star pupil’s importance to the community and his unique training routine. Check out the complete 2016 International Trot Playlist on YouTube for more videos and updates, including an inside look at France’s most popular trotter and second place finisher in the 2015 International Trot, Timoko, and his connections as they wish the 2016 competitors good luck and remember their experience racing in the U.S. Unfortunately, Timoko will miss the 2016 International Trot as he returns from a break. Videos produced by Kristin Riise Ødegård. from the USTA Communications Department 

Veteran Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulounces) took today’s Gr. II Prix Kerjacques (purse €120,000, 2700 meters, 10 starters) at Paris Vincennes to increase his harness racing career earnings to €4,037,993 with his 29th victory in 84 outings. Note that Ready Cash retired with earnings of €4,282,300. The Richard Westerink trained and owner international superstar was off at 2.6/1 and raced on or near the lead throughout and took the field into the legendary Vincennes lane. The 3/5 favorite hotly contested with Timoko in the stretch and eventually made a miscue under heavy urging when he began traveling in less than a straight line. His disqualification along with the same for Ustinof du Vivier (5.4/1) and Olmo Holz enabled outsiders to garner good shares of the purse. 17.6/1 Africaine (6f Oiseau de Feux-Italienne) rallied for second driven by Pierre Vercruysse for owner/trainer Jean-Etienne Dubois. 50.6/1 Univers de Pan (8m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore) and trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard raced well to land third (he appears to be regaining good form) and 50/1 Sierra Leone (10f John Arifant-Une d’Havetot) was fourth for trainer/driver J.W. Hallais with fifth to 70/1 Anette du Mirel (6f Laetenter Diem-Lisa du Mirel) for reinsman Eric Raffin and trainer Anders Lindqvist. The sixth and seventh checks went to Treskool du Caux and Beckman. Fractions during today’s Prix Kerjacques were modest with the final time 1.12.3kr (1.13.6kr at 1500 meters to go; 1.12.8ikr at 1000 mark and with 500 remaining) being a new race record nevertheless. Now its three weeks for Timoko until the Elitloppet. Race replay follows: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sy1b4GUIqN8 Timoko had previously earned and accepted an Elitloppet invitation. Thomas H. Hicks  

Today’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Grand Criterium de Vitesse at Cagnes-sur-Mer went to veteran Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) with harness racing driver Bjorn Goop aboard for trainer/owner Richard Westerink. The purse was €200,000 with 45% to the winner of the 1609 meters autostart sprinter contest, the last major trotting race of the winter season in France. Timoko was away quickly from post seven in the 13 horse field, following scratch of Un Mec d’Heripre, as was first to lead Oasis Bi (8m Toss Out-Up Front JM) with Johnny Takter up for trainer Stefan Pettersson. Takter parked Timoko for about three-eighths mile before yielding to the winner. Goop then rated the pace craftily and kept Oasis Bui boxed in the pocket until into the stretch when Timoko pulled away for two lengths plus victory. Off as 4/5 favorite, Timoko and 6.8/1 second finishing Oasis Bi bested 159/1 Luckycharm Hanover (8m Andover Hall-Lady Luck Hanover) that closed strongly along the pegs for Yannick Alain Briand. Spain’s Trebol (9m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait-Prince Mystic) rallied from far back to nab fourth at 13/1 for trainer/driver Gabriel-Angel Pou Pou. The 162/1 outsider Vicomte Boufarcaux was fifth. Kadett CD and Going For Gold Zaz were disqualified for breaks and Anna Mix was unplaced at 14/1 while 4/1 Voltigeur de Myrt finished seventh behind longshot Air Frame at 143/1. Time for the winner was 1.10.2kr (race record 1.09.6kr in 2002 by Varenne). Timoko also won this classic event in 2015 and 2013. His now three wins compares well with legendary Une de Mai, a five time winner from 1969-84, and Ourasi that won four times from 1986-89. Thomas H. Hicks

Next Sunday’s (March 13) Grand Criterium de Vitesse de la Cote d’Azur initially has engaged 24 international upper-level harness racing trotters in the annual Gr. I UET Masters Series sprinter classic over 1609 meters autostart. The purse is €200,000 at Cagnes-sur-Mer.  Usually this event gives hope to those that were beaten in the Triple Crown series and those not entered in all of those contests. Richard Westerink’s Timoko, the 2013 and 2015 winner, is in the field along with the 2014 winner Univers de Pan for Philippe Daugeard. Italy’s Mack Grace SM, on a comeback trail at age ten, and sprinter Un Mec d’Heripre are in this group along with Anna Mix, Oasis Bi, Pascia’Lest and Voltigeur de Myrt that might show up on their best day. The race record of 1.09.6kr (mile race 1:51.98) was set in 2002 by legendary Varenne. The winners of this race include many legendary trotting performers (below) with multiple winners being Une de Mai (five times consecutively), Ourasi (four wins a row), and two each by Roquepine, Bellino II, Eleazar, Kaseco Phedo (the second fastest timed winner at 1.09.9kr in 2004), Meaulnes du Corta and Timoko. Année Vainqueur S/A* Pays Temps Père Driver Deuxième Troisième 2015 Timoko M.8  France 1'11"3 Imoko Björn Goop Maven Vanika du Ruel 2014 Univers de Pan M.6  France 1'10" Kenya du Pont Philippe Daugeard Pascia' Lest Vanika du Ruel 2013 Timoko M.6  France 1'10"2 Imoko Jos Verbeeck The Best Madrik Rêve de Beylev 2012 Santa Rosa France F.6  France 1'10" Kaisy Dream William Bigeon Quaker Jet Rêve de Beylev 2011 Quaker Jet M.7  France 1'10"8 Love You Jean-Étienne Dubois Priscilla Blue Brioni 2010 Meaulnes du Corta M.10  France 1'11" Voici du Niel Pierre Levesque Brioni Priscillia Blue 2009 Meaulnes du Corta M.9  France 1'11"2 Voici du Niel Pierre Levesque Igor Font Offshore Dream 2008 Opal Viking M.8  Suède 1'11'1 Turnpike Taylor Jorma Kontio Nijinski Blue Opus Viervil 2007 Kesaco Phedo M.9  France 1'10"7 Caballio in Blue Jean-Michel Bazire Smashing Victory Frisky Bieffe 2006 Kazire de Guez M.8  France 1'11"3 Udo de Touraine Jean-Michel Bazire Kool du Caux Lets Go 2005 Vasterbo Daylight F.8  Suède 1'10"5 Spotlite Lobell Ake Svanstedt Ilster d'Espiens Likable River 2004 Kesaco Phedo M.6  France 1'09"9 Caballio in Blue Jean-Michel Bazire Alesi OM Revenue 2003 Gigant Neo M.5  Suède 1'13"2 Super Arnie Jean-Michel Bazire Flambeau des Pins Ilster d'Espiens 2002 Varenne M.7  Italie 1'09"6 Waikiki Beach Giampaolo Minnucci Fan Idole Flambeau des Pins 2001 Gobernador M.7  France 1'11" Buvetier d'Aunou Dominick Locqueneux Gébrazac Not a Spacecase 2000 Moni Maker F.7  États-Unis 1'10"5 Speedy Crown Jimmy Takter Remington Crown The Bad Boy 1999 Remington Crown M.6  Suède 1'12"2 Lord of All Jos Verbeeck Mr Quickstep Érestan des Rondes 1998 Écho M.6  France 1'11"1 Qlorest du Vivier Jean-Étienne Dubois General November Moni Maker 1997 Gum Ball M.6  États-Unis 1'11"5 Speedy Crown Stig-H. Johansson Triple T. Storm Activity 1996 Crowning Classic M.5  États-Unis 1'12"7 Crowning Point M. Baroncini Houston Laukko Toss Out 1995 Houston Laukko M.7  Finlande 1'11"5 Choctaw Brave Jorma Kontio Coktail Jet Ina Scot 1994 Giant Force M.5  États-Unis 1'13"3 Meadow Road Olle Goop Queen L Volcan des Rotours 1993 Sea Cove M.7  Canada 1'12"8 Bonefish Jos Verbeeck To the Gate Lucky Tilly 1992 Peace Corps F.6  États-Unis 1'13"8 Baltic Speed T. Jansson Ziggy Hanover Vittorio 1991 Mr. Lucken M.7  Suède 1'12"4 Able Mission T. Jansson Peace Corps Sorrento 1990 Express Ride M.7  États-Unis 1'12"5 Super Bowl H. Korpi Friendly Face Sabre d'Avril 1989 Ourasi M.9  France 1'14"5 Greyhound Michel-Marcel Gougeon Quinio des Bordes Friendly Face 1988 Ourasi M.8  France 1'12"7 Greyhound Jean-René Gougeon Potin d'Amour Grades Singing 1987 Ourasi M.7  France 1'14" Greyhound Jean-René Gougeon Grades Singing Mon Tourbillon 1986 Ourasi M.6  France 1'15"1 Greyhound Jean-René Gougeon Mon Tourbillon Micron Hanover 1985 Mon Tourbillon M.7  France 1'15" Amyot Jean-Pierre Viel Lutin d'Isigny Minou du Donjon 1984 Lurabo M.7  France 1'14"5 Ura Michel-Marcel Gougeon Lutin d'Isigny Mon Tourbillon 1983 Spice Island M.5  États-Unis 1'14"5 Lindy's Pride Kurt Hormann Ianthin Lutin d'Isigny 1982 Hymour M.9  France 1'15"9 Nonant le Pin Jean-Pierre Dubois Super Male Idéal du Gazeau 1981 Idéal du Gazeau M.7  France 1'14"6 Alexis III Eugène Lefèvre Iris de Vandel Ianthin 1980 Hadol du Vivier M.6  France 1'14"1 Mitsouko Jean-René Gougeon Idéal du Gazeau Gadamès 1979 High Echelon M.5  France 1'15"9 Patara Jean-Pierre Dubois Éléazar Hadol du Vivier 1978 Éléazar M.8  France 1'15"4 Kerjacques Léopold Verroken The Last Hurrah Hurgo 1977 Éléazar M.7  France 1'15" Kerjacques Léopold Verroken Delfo Dauga 1976 Bellino II M.9  France 1'15"3 Boum III Jean-René Gougeon Dimitria Clissa 1975 Bellino II M.9  France 1'15"4 Boum III Jean-René Gougeon Dimitria Axius 1974 Amyot M.8  France 1'16"7 Garde Moi Michel-Marcel Gougeon Buffet II Casdar 1973 Une de Mai F.9  France 1'15"8 Kerjacques Jean-René Gougeon Buffet II Dart Hanover 1972 Une de Mai F.9  France 1'15"8 Kerjacques Jean-René Gougeon Dart Hanover Keystone Spartan 1971 Une de Mai F.7  France 1'17"3 Kerjacques Jean-René Gougeon Vanina B Verdict 1970 Une de Mai F.6  France 1'16"4 Kerjacques Jean-René Gougeon Tony M Tivaty Pélo 1969 Une de Mai F.5  France 1'16"8 Kerjacques Jean-René Gougeon Eilen Eden Tidalium Pelo 1968 Roquépine F.7  France 1'15"3 Atus II Henri Levesque Eilen Eden Seigneur 1967 Roquépine F.6  France 1'16"5 Atus II Henri Levesque Petit Amoy F Quarina 1966 Quioco M.6  France 1'16"3 Vermont Michel-Marcel Gougeon Petit Amoy F Raskolnikov Z 1965 Ozo F.7  France 1'16"7 Vermont Roger Massue Fury Hanover Behave 1964 Nike Hanover M.7  Italie 1'19"2 Star's Pride Lumberto Bergami Hurst Hanover Fury Hanover Thomas H. Hicks  

14.6/1 Sud (10g Kerido du Donjon-Ima du Houx-Vikings Way) was the upset winner of today’s Quinte+ Gr. III Prix Jules Roucayol (purse €80,000, 2925 meters, 15 European starters) driven by Xavier Fontaine. 117.6/1 Starter du Rib (10g Ganymede-Jiviga) was second for trainer/driver J-Ch Feron and owner Ecurie Rib, with 7.9/1 Oropuro Bar (8m Love You-Ubatuba Oaks) home third. 14.6/1 Sire de la Creuse was fourth with well-regarded 5.3/1 Going For Gold ZAZ (8m Scarlet Knight-Spritte ZAZ) fifth for Dominik Locqueneux. Time for the winner, now with career earnings of €669,820, was 1.14.2kr and the longshots generated a sizeable exact finish Q+ payoff. Also at Cagnes-sur-mer the Prix de Pezenas (purse €17,000, 2925 meters, 13 starters) went to 7/10 favorite Defi The Best (3m Timoko-Pampa) for trainer/driver Yannick Alain Briand and Ecurie des Charmes. 4.6/1 Destin de Bry (3m Coktail Jet-Ovadara) was second for driver/trainer Romain Derieux and owner Antonio De Sousa. Time was 1.20.3kr for the lightly raced youngster. On the rain-soaked CSM course 3/5 favorite Bering (5g Sam Bourbon-Nigella-Cedre du Vivier) scored in 1.18.9kr in the Prix de Seville (purse €28,000, 2925 meters, 18 starters) for driver Christophe Martens, trainer Vincent Martens and Stall Verrazzano AB. 78.8/1 Bijoa des Loups (5g Nahar de Beval-Jodie du Bois) was second for trainer/driver M-J Ruault. 6.8/1 Beaux Arts (5g Coktail Jet-Royale Surprise) ended third for Romain Derieux and owner De Sousa. At CSM the 1.8/1 odds As Dore (6m Coktail Jet-Dragiree D’Or) won timed in 1.15.1kr in the Prix d’Olargues (purse €32,000, 2925 meters, 18 starters) with Dominik Locqueneux aboard for trainer Robert Bergh. 7/1 Togo de Bassiere (9g Orsy Dream-Gerasa) ended second for trainer/driver Nicolas Ensch. At Toulouse Le Cepiere another Timoko foal, Douloureuse (3f Timoko-Migraine), scored in the €21,000 purse Prix d’Astaffort over 2100 meters. Timed in 1.20.7kr the winner bested seven rivals including second finishing Demolition Blue (3f Maestro de Neuvy-Narkese Blue). Racing at Wolvega this evening produced several interesting winners. The €6,600 purse Finale Regio Challenge over 2100 meters autostart went to the 1.16.8kr winner Darwin Boko (6g From Above-True Colors) with John De Leeuw up for trainer Peter J. Strooper. Frankie Lobell (4g Dream Vacation-Lightning Prayer) took the €6,600 Prix Wilma Vab der Zwann over 2100 meters autostart. Hugo Langeweg Jr. drove this one to the 1.16.1kr victory. First Dream (4m Lindy Lane-Hungadream) also scored at Wolwega timed in 1.1.9kr for Dion P. Tesselaar in an event worth €5,500 over the 2100 meter autostart course. The day’s featured Prix Gouden Paard (purse €9,900, 2600 meters, eight starters) went to the 1.16.3kr timed, 4.3/1 odds Secret Boy (8g Allison Hollow-Sugarcanes Riviera) for Dion Tesselaar. Favorite Banker Transs R was second with Crizzly Bear third for Jos. Verbeeck. Thomas H. Hicks  

January 3, 2015 - The barefoot Timoko (9m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces) rallied to score impressively in the Gr. II International Prix de Bourgogne (purse €120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 14 entrants with 13 at the start after Texas Charm was scratched) for harness racing driver Bjorn Goop and trainer/owner Richard Westerink. Timed in 1.11.7kr over the rain soaked Paris-Vincennes cinders Timoko was off the 1.3/1 favorite. 11.3/1 Amiral Sacha (6m Ganymede-Nostalgique Sacha) was a good second for Gabriel Gelormini, Ecurie Sidere and trainer Florent Lamare. Moses Rob was third but disqualified for being rough-gaited and that placed 18.4/1 Univers de Pan (8m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore) third for trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard. Placed fourth was the 2015 Prix d’Amerique winner Up And Quick (8m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fichtre) driven by J-M Bazire with fifth placed to Un Mec d’Heripre (8m Orlando Vici-I Love You Darling) for Roberto Andreghetti. Uhlan de Val was placed sixth. The race was the day’s Quinte+ with a jackpot of €5.25 million and the win/place handle alone exceeded €1.1 million. Stretch replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-GN99gxZRU The gala event this Sunday showed that Timoko has the Prix d’Amerique in sight. From the start, Mosaique Face (1 - Lutfi Kolgjini) moved ahead and then Timoko (3 - Björn Goop) took the lead into the wind. Then, Up And Quick (2 - Jean-Michel Bazire) provided a big effort to reach the front until the final phase when detached from his rivals for an open-lengths victory. Timoko’s trainer Richard Westerink was quoted after the race: "My pupil was really good at work. Björn Goop has chosen to shift the soon enough. He knew what he was doing. It always surprises me. He knows some inexplicable success. The Prix d'Amérique looks good. We will try to do better than third. He is ready. " Thomas H. Hicks  

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