Europe's best elder trotter, Commander Crowe, driven by Christophe Martens had to settle for second in the prestigious heat race, Aby Stora Pris at Aby, Gothenburg in Sweden Saturday afternoon. Commander Crowe went into the race with eight victories in a row, but had to settle for second behind Sebastian K with Ake Svanstedt, who won both heats.
Sebastian K, who was transferred to the stables of Ake Svanstedtfrom Lutfi Kolgjini a couple of months ago, won the first heat in 1:53.1f after Commander Crowe had been leading, but in the second heat Sebastian K was in front the whole trip and won easy in 1:54.
The purse for the winner was $225,000.
It was obvious that Commander Crowe wasn't at his best, and after the second heat it turned out that he was dehydrated - and the track's veterinarian had to put him on drop.
That caused the judges to suspend Commander Crowe, so the 9-year-old trotter can't be entered in any trotting race for the next 14 days.
The plan was to race Commander Crowe in the first edition of the UET Trotting Masters at Solvalla on Sunday (Sept. 30) with a total purse of $600,000.
But this is out of question now.
This morning Commander Crowe was better, and he's now on his way back to the stables of his trainer, Fabrice Souloy in France.
In France some of the best 3- and 5-years-old met in the Prix de l'Etoile over 1-5/16 miles and with a total purse of $315,000.Vanika du Ruel, who already has proved to be best filly in her crop, led all the way for her trainer Franck Anne - in fact she was at one time more than 50 yards in front. At the mile she was timed in 1:53.1.
Though she tired a bit down the stretch she won by open lengths in a new race record of 1:55.1 - the old one was 1:55.4.
5-year old Timoko, who had to trail the 3-year-olds 50 meters, finished dead last. It looks as this fine trotter is out of form. Timoko has been the best in his crop winning several Group 1 races, but he has just been as shadow of himself in his last races.
by Karsten Bonsdorf, USTA Senior Newsroom Correspondent
Courtesy of The United States Trotting Association Web Newsroom