In a week which saw the world record for 2YOs smashed by US filly Cooler Schooner (1.51.3f), Swedish commentator
“The U.S. has been racing two-year-olds for about as long as I can remember, and I never quite understood the sense in that practice, “ Taft wrote in his column on the English language page of the official ATG website.
“Owners have always insisted that high-priced stakes races for the young horses are the only way they can recoup their high expenses from buying, training and paying the starting fees to get into those races”
Taft, an American who has lived in Sweden since 2000 continued. “Most owners can afford to be owners, so their expenses are a given factor from the start.
“Many owners have seen countless numbers of horses that perform successfully at two and three years old, only to develop injuries and be forced to retire from racing before they’ve raced as four-year-olds. I can’t get my head around how near-sighted so many owners must be.
“The physical development of a horse might progress more quickly than a human; however, most veterinarians will agree that a high percentage of developmental problems arise from two and three-year-olds that are raced too hard,” says Taft who the site says has been involved in the industry since the 1960s as a journalist, photo journalist, race track announcer and assistant trainer .
“We’ve all witnessed Olympic superstars who, at a very tender age, display phenomenal talents, win medals, and then disappear into the permanently-injured world of has-beens.
“It’s not fair to them, and it isn’t fair to horses. Horses don’t decide that they want to race before their time.”
Coincidentally Sweden last week also saw the first of its 2YOs Breeders Crown heats – there are four of them but interestingly, no final.
And again it was the fillies who going the fastest, with the first three home all of the fairer gender.
Second favourite Olympia Tilly, a daughter of US veteran and a close relative to Swedish legend Victory Tilly was first for trainer driver Per Lennartson.
Roger Malmqvist’s Soonerorlater by Going Kronos, a Swedish bred son of and the third favourite was second with Even Sweeter, a daughter of dual Prix d’Amerique winner and trained byTomas Malmqvist, third.
And the time. Well it was more than 10 seconds slower than that posted by the US freshman. The winner covered the 1640m in 1.16.0a km/r or the equivalent of 2.02.2MR.
It also appears that the Swedish racing authorities also take a similar view to Taft as regards rewarding precocious trotting talent. The prizemoney for each of the Breeders Crown heats is a princely 378,000SEK or US$58,025. The prizemoney for the Swedish Travderby for 4YOs on the weekend is 4,000,000 SEK (US$614,031).
1640m 2YO 378,000 SEK
N:r Plac. Häst Kön Härstamning
Dist. Odds Pris
1 Olympia Tilly (f -Pearl Tilly) Tr/Dr: Per Lennartsson Lennartsson 1.16,0a 175,000 SEK
2 Soonerorlater (f -Inkasso) Tr/Dr: Roger Malmqvist 1.16,1a 1640 87,500 SEK
3 Even Sweeter (f -Chick Hanover) Dr: Bo Eklöf Tr: Tomas Malmqvist 1.16,2a 43,500 SEK
4 King of Mine (c -Nomine) Tr/Dr: Patrick Wickman 1.16,6a 25, 000 SEK
5 Run to the Hills (g -Samba Brick) Tr/Dr: Erik Svensson 1.17,0a 17,000 SEK
By Dave Sanders