Former USA 2YO Colt Trotter of the Year, Pastor Stephen, steps up into Swedish elite company incuding reigning Elitppet champ Nahar for the first time since joining Solvalla trainer Daniel Redén when he takes his place in the Norrlandskt Masterskap (Championship) at Bergsaker on the weekend.
A million dollar stakes earner with a record of 1.52.4, Pastor Stephen was a sensational 2YO in North America reeling off wins in the Reynolds Memorial, Champlian Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial and Simcoe Stakes for trainer Juimmy Takter to gain the top vote in the 2YO colts and geldings category with 6 wins and 4 seconds from 11 starts and a record of 1.53.3 and earnings of around $US700,000.
The Cantab Hall product of Kentucky’s Brittany Farms but an injury before the Canadian Trotting curtailed his 3YO although he won 4 of 11 starts and won just over $400,000, lowering his time to 1.52.4 with his best finish in the big stakes races being a fifth in the Hambletonian.
Interestingly he is the third stallion from that year’s Hambletonian to be now plying his trade in Sweden, joining that year’s winner Broad Bahn and Currier and Ives winner Fawkes, who was unplaced.
Broad Bahn joined Stig Johansson’s stable and has yet to be sighted on Swedish tracks while Fawkes has had success in the ultra competitive elite Swedish ranks, winning the Swedish Group I King Gustav’s Pokal for 4YOs last year.
Rated by top driver Yannick Gingras as one of the best horses he had ever driven, Pastor Stephen was urchased by Stall Zet in January 2011. The 3YO injury, though healing, prevented Pastor Stephen racing as a 4YO, although he did stud duties in Sweden serving some top mares such as E3 winner Sweet Desire, and resumed training this spring, qualifying in Gavle in August.
Since then Pastor Stephen has had just one start in a minor race at Gavle last month where he ran second in a sprint over 1640m in 1.12.7ak (1.57MR), interestingly beating home Group I winner Oracle (Ganymede).
It is a tough test of his credentials with Robert Bergh’s Elitloppet winner Nahar (7g Love You) in the field and this will also be the first time that Pastor Stephen has raced over more than a mile (not counting the 1640m last start).
Orecchietti (6h From Above) ran third in the Group II Arjangs Stora Pris in a top field behind Sebastian K and Formula One two starts back, and will be one of the favourites with Orjan Kihlstrom in the cart.
Also in the field are last start winner Rakas (8h Victory Party), who won the 2010 Frances Bulwark and Finnish Group I winners Up Date Hoss (7h Classic Response) trained by Stig Johansson and She Loves You (6m Love You), a Finnish St Leger winning mare (and whose dam is a sister to SJ’s Caviar) who has not been in top form since returning from an unsuccessful stint in France.
Bergsåker 5-10-13 V75 Gulddivision Ht, 2140m Auto
1 El Sueco (8g Calvin Capar - Otilia Sund) Dr: Oskar J Andersson Tr: Kristina Wiik
2 Haraldinho (6g Scarlet Knight - Havannas Julia) Dr: Marcus M Melander Tr: Catarina Lundström
3 David Sisu (5h Lindy Lane - Keystone Delicious) Dr: Ulf Ohlsson Tr: Petri Salmela
4 Device (9h Pine Chip - Vitessa) Dr: Per Linderoth Tr: Per Linderoth
5 Nahar (8g Love You - Mahonny Broline) Dr: Robert Bergh Tr: Robert Bergh
6 Francais du Gull (6h Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull) Dr: Bo Eklöf Tr: Erik Lindegren
7 She Loves You (FI) (6m Love You - S J's Shad Roe) Dr: Jörgen Westholm Tr: Jörgen Westholm
8 Up-Date Hoss (FI) (7h Classic Response - Celebration Ride) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Stig H Johansson
9 Rakas (8h Victory Party - Tricky Woo) Dr: Per Lennartsson Tr: Per Lennartsson
10 Pastor Stephen (US) (5h Cantab Hall - Gala Dream) Dr: Daniel Redén Tr: Daniel Redén
11 Orecchietti (6h From Above - Canneloni) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Stefan Hultman
12 Parkin (7g Tap In - La Bigi) Dr: Henrik Svensson Tr: Björn Persson
by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com