Maven gets first invite to race in Elitiopp

02:57 AM 24 Apr 2014 NZST
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Maven, harness racing
Maven is first to be invited to race in the Elitiopp
Conrad Photo

The first horse officially invited to compete in the 2014 Elitlopp is the best older trotting mare North America has to offer, and joining her is one of the best drivers on the continent.

Maven's trainer Jonas Czernyson confirmed the news on Twitter Tuesday afternoon.

Last season, Maven swept older trotting mare honours, winning the Dan Patch Award in the U.S. and the O'Brien Award in Canada after winning 10 of 14 races and $509,220 for owner Bill Donovan. Her wins included the Breeders Crown for older female trotters, Armbro Flight Stakes, and Miss Versatility Series championship.

She also trotted the fastest race mile ever on a half-mile track in winning the Miss Versatility in 1:51.4 at the Delaware County Fair in Ohio, and equaled that speed badge with her 1:51.4 win over Mohegan Sun Pocono's five-eighths mile oval.

Two weeks ago, Czernyson noted that shipping and flight arrangements weren't exactly to his liking. According to the Elitlopp website, Maven will fly to Amsterdam and be trucked to Stockholm the Tuesday before the race.

Joining Maven will be regular pilot Yannick Gingras, who will fly into Sweden on Friday, May 23 in order to get acclimated to his surroundings before Sunday's two-heat race.

Maven and Gingras will be in action this Saturday during morning qualifiers at The Meadowlands before Maven's first pari-mutuel test of the season -- the new Miami Valley Distaff on May 4 at Ohio’s Miami Valley Raceway.

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