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October 24, 2015 - The diminutive mare Delicious U.S. (6f Cantab Hall-Ipsara LB- Lemon Dra) was a game winner Saturday at Jagersro, in the Gr. II International UET Masters Series C.L. Mullers Memorial, starting from post 12 for the harness racing teamster Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Daniel Reden. The Stall Zet owned winner scored in 1.12.1kr over 2640 meters autostart to earn 500,000SEK first money. Delicious now has a slate of 18-9-7 in 43 career starts with five wins in eight 2015 appearances. Driver Kihlstrom took back initially and eventually raced seventh behind Backfire on the outer. Delicious made a three wide move to gain the death seat with about 1000 meters to go and rounding the final bend gained advantage from then leading pacesetter Dreams Take Time. She then held off fast finishing Global Money (8g Love You-Norwegian Beauty-Yankee Glide)driven by Robert Bergh to score by a length with Obi Wan (9g Ganymede-Heeja Reerstrup-Speedy Herve) third and Dreams Take Time (6m Andover Andover-B My Honey-Viking Kronos) holding fourth got Peter Untersteiner. Replay: Thomas H. Hicks

September 26, 2015 - Today at Capannelle Rome three eliminations were held preliminary to Italy’s Gr. I Trotting Derby Final. Each elimination was contested over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of €22,000 and each was won in relatively dominant fashion. Tobin Kronos (3m Muscle Hill-Zamia FC-Sugarcane Hanover) took the first elim clocked in 1.14kr by a comfortable length and a half for driver Orjan Kihlstrom. First dam of the winner, Zamia FC is from Twiggy FC by Speedy Somolli-Dance Slipper. The Jerry Riordan trained Tango Negro (3m Infinitif-Lisetta Real-Lemon Dra) was second for driver Roberto Andreghetti ahead of Tobias del Ronco (3m Love You-Leonor del Ronco-Supergill) and Antonio Di Nardo.  The second elim was a 1.13.4kr length victory for the Robin Bakker teamed Tuonoblu Rex (3m Cantab Hall-Eternity Rex-Lindy Lane-CR Kay Suzie) that led throughout. Tesoro Degli Dei (3m Igor Font-Isabella Dei-Pine Chip) sat the pocket and finished a strong second for Pietro Gubellini ahead of third finishing Terra del Rio (3f Varenne-Urbem d’Asolo-Ata Star L) and teamster Santo Mollo that closed very rapidly but still ended seven lengths off the winner. Timone EK (3m Mr. Vic-Gemona-Lemon Dra) secured victory in the third elim clocked in 1.14.6kr. Federico Esposito piloted Timone EK to a length score over Tony Gio (3m Varenne-Ilaria Jet-Pine Chip-Toby’s Taxi) and reinsman Roberto Vecchione with third to Theodor Grif (3m Varenne-Eva di Jesolo-Lindy Lane) and teamster Marco Smorgon.  This group of three year-olds should comprise a competitive Derby Final. Thomas H. Hicks  

August 29, 2015 - Delicious (6f Cantab Hall-Ipsara LB-Lemon Dra) circled the field and drew off in the Sundsvall Open after gaining the lead mid-stretch for patient reinsman Orjan Kihlstrom. The Daniel Reden trained, Stall Zet owned import from the US now has a 17-9-7 slate from 41 career starts, with 4,916,572SEK earned. Clocked in 1.10kr (mile rate 1:52.63) the small athletic mare raced with shoes and trailed the field much of the way in this Gr. I International UET Masters Series Sundsvall Open (1SEK million to winner, 2140 meters autostart) during a quick pace set initially by Creatine driven by Johnny Takter. Creatine battled Royal Fighter early and then faded after several others including On Track Piraten (7g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) and teamster Torbjorn Jansson for trainer H-R Stromberg made a decisive move in the final turn and held second timed in 1.10.3kr. Third finishing Ringostarr Treb (5m Classic Photo-Farsolo Egral-Supergill) at 24/1 for Wilhelm Paal and trained Holger Ehlert, first engaged Creatine in the last bend and took over with Oasis Bi in the hunt along with rallying On Track Piraten. None of these could match the quick closing speed of Delicious. Oasis Bi finished fourth for Bjorn Goop about seven lengths behind the winner with Royal Fighter a distant fifth for Jennifer Tillman and Creatine sixth. Traveling Man, El Mago Pellini and Global Money completed the field after the scratching of Rocky Winner. As noted the fast fractions were illustrated by a time of 1.05.2kr for the first 500 meters and 1.07.9kr at the 1000 meter mark. The field was underway after one recall. Bergsaker’s Sundsvall Monte Open (60,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to Figaro Sanna with Jenny Brunzell aboard. Timed in 1.13.4kr this eight year-old gelded son of Spotlite Lobell-Strands Sparkling-Running Sea recorded his 12th career win in 50 starts for owner Happy People Racing AB. Also on the Bergsaker card was the Lars Lindsbergs (175,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters turning start distance handicap) and Ninepoints Lucy (5f Spotlite Lobell-Lucky Kelly-Coktail Jet) was the winner timed in 1.12.5kr for Oskar J. Andersson and trainer Jorgen Westholm. Unique Julia and Bethel Hanover were next to the line. The Silver Division (125,000SEK to winner, 2640 meters autostart) contest today was won by Aristocat Boko (8g From Above-Big Blue Kitten-Pine Chip) and teamster Johnny Takter timed in 1.12.6kr, his 15th lifetime win in 63 starts. Stall HGS owns this winner. Thomas H. Hicks

August 26, 2015 - US-bred Volstead (4m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide-Missy’s Goal) rallied late for a nose win in tonight’s C Th Ericssons Memorial (100,000SEK to winner, 2640 meters autostart) for harness racing reinsman Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Clocked in 1.12.4kr the winner recorded victory ten in 20 career appearances, now for earnings of 2,073,250SEK. Volstead was bred in the US by Arden Homestead Stable and Adelaide J. Skoglund and exported by the US in October 2012. Today’s clocking was reported to be a new SWE record for the distance by a foreign-bred trotter. The winner’s dam Madame Volo has also produced High Bridge 1:52.3 ($271,910). Pacesetter Candor Hall (7g Adams Hall-Ava Crown-Super Arnie) was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop with third finishing veteran Spring Erom (10m Gentle Star-Springflickan-Prince Mystic), a 25 time career winner, another two lengths in arrears. Adams Hall, sire of Candor Hall, is a son of Garland Lobell-Amour Angus. US-breds Lucky Charm Hanover and Nato Dream were sixth and seventh in the field of seven. Thomas H. Hicks

Vernon, N.Y. -- Finding a seam off the far turn, D'One ($5.90) stormed home to collar 3-5 harness racing favourite Bee a Magician in the $177,000 Muscle Hill distaff trot on Friday (August 21) evening at Vernon Downs.   The 5-year-old daughter of a pair of 1:50.1 trotters, Donato Hanover and Giant Diablo, floated into a close stalking spot, just off pacesetters Bee a Magician (Brian Sears) and Shake It Cerry (Jimmy Takter) through initial fractions of :26.3 and :56.3.  As Handover Belle (Matt Kakaley) began the outer flow just one spot farther back, Örjan Kihlström elected to save ground with D'One, locked in through the far turn but able to wedge off the pegs as Handover Belle faded off the corner.  After Bee a Magician accelerated to a clearer lead through three-quarters in 1:25, D'One found ample room to commence her rally.  She made up 4-1/2 lengths and put another length on Bee a Magician in the end, capping her 1:52.2 triumph with a blistering :26.3 closing sectional.  Allie Labrook (Andy Miller) stayed on for third after tracking closely throughout.   Roger Walmann trains D'One for Stall Kenny 23 of Sweden.   Venus Delight parlays pocket trip to Artiscape success   After working clear of her entrymate through a pressured early pace and subsequently yielding to the pocket, Venus Delight ($5.70, part of entry) made the most of her pocket trip, sprinting clear in mid-stretch and holding off a late threat from Radar Contact for a 1:49.4 triumph in the $194,000 Artiscape distaff pace.   Jason Bartlett sent the 5-year-old daughter of Bettor's Delight to the front, sprinting clear of entrymate Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick), Table Talk (Andy Miller) ,and Skippin By (Jim Morrill, Jr.) through a :26 initial quarter. Just upon making the lead, Venus Delight yielded to Anndrovette, and the triple millionaire led the charge through a :54.3 half before Skippin By nudged her along through a 1:22.3 three-quarter sectional. Boxed through the far turn, Venus Delight found clearance at the pegs, driven to the lead at the eighth pole. Meanwhile, the third-over Radar Contact (Scott Zeron) swung four-wide through the stretch, closing stoutly but ultimately missing by a length. Anndrovette held third, while Precocious Beauty (Brian Sears) stayed on for fourth from her second-over trip.   Jeffrey Bamond, Jr. trains Venus Delight for Bamond Racing, LLC.   Obrigado game in Crawford Farms; Flanagan Memory last   While Obrigado ($11.40) had his hooves full in the final three-eighths of the $200,000 Crawford Farms open trot, he succeeded in holding Lindy's Tru Grit at bay for a 1:52 score at the Miracle Mile.   Obrigado used nearly the entire first turn to clear the lead, pushing past Melady's Monet (Jason Bartlett) well after a :27.1 initial quarter. The 5-year-old Boy Band gelding managed to catch a breather on the backstretch--but not only by way of a :29 second sectional. First-over challenger and 8-5 favourite Flanagan Memory (Brian Sears) broke stride just upon commencing his bid, changing the complexion of the race entirely. Still, Obrigado faced pressure on the far turn, as Lindy's Tru Grit (Andy Miller) took up the chase in the final three-eighths. The pair would duel off the far turn, and despite being headed off the corner, Obrigado fought back gamely to reclaim command in the final sixteenth. The Paul Kelley trainee prevailed by a scant neck over the game Lindy's Tru Grit, while Melady's Monet hooked three-wide in the final 70 yards to finish a hard closing third.   Mark MacDonald drove Obrigado for the Paul Kelley Racing Stable, Linwood Higgins, William Weaver, III, and Stable 45.   The evening's undercard featured three divisions of the New York Sire Stakes for 2-year-old pacing fillies, with Vino and Formaggio ($2.40, David Miller), Soft Idea ($3.00, Jim Morrill, Jr.), and Dime a Dance ($12.80, Matt Kakaley) taking their respective events.   Live racing returns to Vernon Downs on Saturday (August 22) evening, with post time slated for 6:45 p.m. Eastern.   by James Witherite, Vernon Downs

August 19, 2015 - Favorite Nimbus C.D. (5g Mythical Lindy-Kiss Of Life-Tenor de Baune) scored an impressive gate to wire victory in tonight’s Gr. I UET Masters Series Jublileumpsokalen (1SEK million to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) at Solvalla. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the flashy chestnut winner for trainer Stefan Hultman and owner Stall Droad AB to the well-rated 1.11.6kr victory. The winner now has a 12-8-3 slate in 32 starts for career earnings of 2,484,000SEK. Starting from post one, reinsman Kihlstrom controlled his rivals although several reached the death seat position. Papagayo E (5m Coktail Jet-Ann Speedy T-Speedy Tomali) was second for Erik Adielsson beaten a length timed in 1.11.7kr with a host of others all timed in 1.11.8kr including Ivar Sanna (5m by Super Arnie), Sauveur (5m by Echo) and Tumble Dust (5m by Crazed). Creatine raced fourth over and closed in the lane but could only finish sixth, timed in 1.11.9kr as were Ringostarr Treb, Ready For More and Takethem. The race paid five places with 400,000SEK, 200,000SEK, 100,000SEK and 50,000SEK to those ending second through fifth. As noted above, Kihlstrom rated the fractions beautifully (1.10.8kr after 500 meters, 1.13.7kr at the 1000, 1.13kr at 1500) before a sharp finish to hit the timer in 1.11.6kr, 1:55.20 mile rate. The card also showcased top aged mares in the Gr. I UET Master Series European Mares Championship (650,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart). Youana (6f Pearsall Hanover-Euro Sund-Sugarcane Hanover) scored in wire to wire fashion, drawing away for a three length victory for teamster Erik Adielsson timed in 1.11.9kr (1:55.69 mile rate) after sensible fractions (1.12.9kr at 500; 1.14.2kr at 1000, 1.13kr at 1500 meter mark). She was off at 2.3/1 odds and recorded her eighth win in 41 lifetime starts. Eketorpets Tess (8f Kashner Hanover-Joanne-Dignatarian) was second for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner with third to Your Highness (6f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady-Conway Hall) driven by Bjorn Goop. Some Summit, Fortune Boko, Radysin America and Tunika Score on Solvalla Undercard Tonight’s Solvalla undercard illustrated the power of the program. Some Summit (4f Dream Vacation-Graceland Summit-Armbro Trick) won the Menhammer Stuteri Final (200,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters voltstart) for trainer/driver Veijo Heiskanen and owner Stall Stjarnangen clocked in a sharp 1.12kr (1:55.85 mile rate). Some Summit is undefeated in five 2015 starts, all for Heiskanen, her only victories after 11 previous winless efforts. Magic Number, with Stefan Soderkvist up, and Unique Julia with Ulf Ohlsson driving, trailed the winner. Fortune Boko (3m Conway Hall-Bahama Boko-Daguet Rapide) also won on the program scoring in a close verdict timed in 1.12.1kr for Bjorn Goop ahead of Pythagoras Face driven by Orjan Kihlstrom. Robin Roof was third for Ulf Ohlsson. The winning colt scored career victory two with this, his first 2015 win in six starts, earning 100,000SEK in this 2140 meter autostart test. Jerry Riordan trainee Radysin America (5f Donato Hanover-Zagabria Dei-Victory Dream) won the Queen L Trot (100,000SEK to winner, 2640 meters autostart) for driver Christoffer Eriksson timed in 1.12.8kr. Lisa Riordan owns the winner that now sports 11 wins in 36 lifetime starts. US-bred Talk The Talk (5f Donato Hanover-Letsjusttalkaboutme-Self Possessed) and Coco De Vie (4f Chocolatier-Bliss-Angus Hall) finished two-three, both trained by Stefan Melander and owned by his Stall TZ. Radysin’s dam has produced International mare Lisa America 1:52.4 ($1,646,155), Guida America 1:55.3 ($186,873), Italy America 1:57.5 ($60,551) and today’s winner Radysin America 1:55.1 ($115,960). Quite a family! Finally the Lime Abbeys Trot (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) went to Tunika (3f Zola Boko-Verona du Ling-Super Arnie) driven by Bjorn Goop, trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owner Stall Tumble Boys-Easy, timed in 1.12.5kr. The open-lengths winner defeated In Toto Sund (Ulf Ohlsson up) and Crème De La Crème (driven by Anders Svanstedt). Thomas H. Hicks  

June 6, 2015 -Harness racing driver Orjan Kihlstrom piloted Chelsea Boko (6m Chocolatier-Kelsea Boko-Joie de Vie) to victory, clocked in 1.13.3kr, in today’s Jamtlands Store Pris (750,000SEK first money, 2140 meters autostart on the five-eighths mile oval at Ostersund, Gr. II International UET Masters Series, 10 starters). The track was sloppy due to very heavy rains. The winner closed from far back to defeat El Mago Pellini (6m Chocolatier-My Intuition-Andover Hall) with Adrian Kolgjini up. Third was US bred and owned Creatine (5m Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles-Muscles Yankee) driven by trainer Robert Bergh. Pacesetter Oasis Bi (7m Toss Out-Up Front JM-Self Possessed) was a tired fourth for Bjorn Goop. Cool Keeper was the early leader for Leif Witasp and he yielded quickly to Oasis Bi that made a brush to the lead. Backfire came to call for Christoffer Eriksson and she hung close to the leader in the death seat before tiring badly into the final bend. Cool Keeper tired in the pocket and affected Creatine that raced third on the pegs throughout before making a good late run in the lane. El Mago Pellini raced close to the pace throughout and gained the lead before being run down by fast finishing Chelsea Boko. The pace was steady and modest (first lap in 1.14.2kr). In addition to the one-two finish by sons of Chocolatier, the maternal pedigrees of the top four are of interest to me and reflect classic days of US standardbred racing. Chelsea Boko – second dam Chickadee Hanover (Florida Pro-Chickasaw-Speedy Crown-Somolli) El Mago Pellini – second dam CR Kay Suzie (Royal Troubador-Country Kay Sue-Speedy Somolli-Pam’s Key) Creatine – second dam Blackberry Hanover (Donerail-Brittany’s Dream-Workaholic-Viking Spirit) Oasis Bi – second dam Dalona Brisco (Speedy Crown-Icefolly-Bonefish-Icecapade) Thomas H. Hicks

May 31, 2015 - In what was a stirring battle among three harness racing champions, Magic Tonight (6m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) defended post one and earned a gate to line victory clocked in 1.10.10kr for teamster Orjan Kihlstrom, trainer Roger Walmann and owner AB Svensk Reklanfinans. The winner earned 3,000,000SEK for winning the Gr. I International Grand Slam – UET Masters Series over 1609 meters autostart. It was a magical race and a magical strategic effort by Kihlstrom as he parked both Mosaique Face (6m Classic Photo-Iona LB-Supergill) that was left two wide throughout for Lutfi Kolgjini and three wide Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) with owner/trainer Stefan Melander up. Melander tried for the lead in front of the stands the first time but could not clear. Kihlstrom masterfully rated the pace leaving his two adversaries alongside and the other elimination winner Royal Fighter blocked in the pocket and this Jennifer Tillman handled battler ended fourth. Maven, following Nuncio, made a bold wide move around the last bend to surpass the three leaders but she weakened some in mid-stretch. Timoko was taken off the gate early and could not advance enough to contend. Magic Tonight prevailed by a neck on the line with Nunco beaten three-quarters of a length with the field all within three lengths. Mosaique Face was timed in 1.10.16kr, Nuncio timed the same and Royal Fighter at 1.10.29kr in a fantastic, “magical” horse race. Magic Tonight Wires Elitloppet Second Elimination Orjan Kihlstrom put trainer Roger Walmann’s winner Magic Tonight (6m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) on the front from the outset and he scored in 1.09.7kr by three-quarters of a length over the game Maven (6f Glidemaster-M Stewart-American Winner) and pilot Johnny Takter. B.B.S. Sugarlight (6g Super Light-Sugarsweet Sid-Sugarcane Hanover) was third for Peter Untersteiner with first over Timoko (8m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant)  fourth for Bjorn Goop. The winner now has three wins in five 2015 starts and 19 wins in 54 career efforts for owner AB Svensk Reklamfinans. His breeders were Libfeld and Katz of Canada, and he paid €8.76 to win. This second elimination offered 250,000SEK to the winner of the 1609 meters autostart test. The Elitloppet 2015 Final lineup in post order is: Magic Tonight, Kihlstrom Royal Fighter, Tillman Maven, Johnny Takter Nuncio, Melander B.B.S. Sugarlight, Peter Untersteiner Mosaique Face, Lutfi Kolgjini Timoko, Bjorn Goop Vincennes, Raffin Royal Fighter Wins Elitloppet First Elimination The Per Eriksson trained, Jennifer Tillman teamed Royal Fighter (7m Varenne-Froken Julie-Supergill) gamely took the first elimination (1609 meters autostart, Gr. I, purse to winner 250,000SEK) of the 2015 Elitloppet clocked in 1.10.4kr, overcoming a death seat trip outside of pacesetter Mosaique Face (6m Classic Photo-Iona LB-Supergill) with Lutfi Kolgjini up (finished third). The winner prevailed by three quarters of a length. Second over Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) rallied to be second for owner Stefan Melander. Vincennes was fourth for Orjan Kihlstrom. Wind Of The North was third over for Dave Palone and could not gain. Univers de Pan was locked on the pegs but when loose in the lane had little to offer. The winner paid €12.92 to win. Support Justice and Ustinof du Vivier mad miscues. The winner scored his 13th career victory in 57 starts and has a slate of 2-0-3 in five 2015 starts. The owner/breeders are Per Rodert and Christina Nilsson. Thomas H. Hicks

May 16, 2015 - Three top trots graced today’s Aby card conducted on a sloppy surface. The Gr. I International Queens Cup for four year old mares (940,960SEK, US$114,202 to the winner) was raced over 2140 meters autostart. Perretti Farms bred Ruby Crown (4f Explosive Matter-Ruby Crown-Incredible Nevele-Crown Thy Good-Speedy Crown ) took the prize clocked in 1.13.3kr for Johnny Takter, driving for owner/trainer Stefan Melander. Ruby Trap’s career slate is now 12 9-1-0 for 1,205,700SEK and she is 5 4-1-0 in 2015. Jetta Palema (4f Symphonic Hanover-Fantasi Palema-Alf Palema) was second for Erik Adielsson and trainer Par Hedberg. This one was bred by Karl-Erik Bender and is owned by Stall Palema. Barka (4f Enjoy Lavec-Juxtapose-Credit Winner) secured third for Tony Wallin and trainer Kjell Wallin. The Konung Gustaf Pokal (Gr. I International Kings Plate) for four year old males was conducted over 2140 meters autostart, also for first money of 940,960SEK. The winner, in a close battle, was Volstead (4m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) teamed by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Melander and owner Stall TZ timed in 1.12.7kr. Bred by Arden Homestead and A.J. Skoglund, the winner now has a career slate of 14 7-1-0 for 1,230,750SEK earned. Second was Spartan Kronos (4m Muscle Hall-Dame Kronos-King Conch) for trainer/driver Conrad Lugauer and clocked same as the winner. Cash Gamble (4m Ready Cash-No Way Back-Viking Kronos) was a solid third for trainer/driver Per Lennartsson. The Jerry Riordan trained, Lisa Riordan owned and Guida Italia Srl bred Sylvester America (4m Varenne-Armbro Voice-Garland Lobell) ended fourth. The V-75 Gold Division Algot Scotts Minne (150,000SEK to winner, 1609 meters autostart) was clocked in a quick 1.10.5kr by winner Magic Tonight (6m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) with Kihlstrom up for trainer Roger Walmann. This winner of now 18 races in 53 starts for 6,132,316SEK career earnings was bred in North America by Libfeld and Katz. Veteran Reven d’Amour (10m Revenue-Melody d’Amour-Super Arnie) was second for Ulf Olsson and trainer Fredrik B. Larsen. This one is a 22 time winner from 85 starts for 6,566,936SEK earned. El Mago Pellini (6m Chocolatier-My Intuition-Andover Hall-CR Kay Suzie-Royal Troubador) was third for Lutfi Kolgjini. Thomas H. Hicks

March 27, 2015 - Stefan Melander’s Digital Ink, to be teamed by Orjan Kihlstrom, is the harness racing favorite in Saturday’s Gr. II Gold UET Masters Series at Solvalla. Named the Triton Sund Trot, the first place share is 250,000SEK in this 2140 meters autostart contest. The top field of 12 includes Candor Hall, Kash’s Cantab, Obi Wan and Haraldinho. The Pixies event for mares (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart) includes 12 starters. Maven and teamster Johnny Takter lead this group ahead to contestants Jumble As, My Golden, and M.T. Harmony. Thomas H. Hicks

March 14, 2015 - Orjan Kihlstrom piloted Digital Ink (6g Super Photo Kosmos - Laverda des Pres - Filou du Boscail) to victory today on the Eskilstuna card in Sweden in the 2640 meter autostart Gold Division to secure the 150,000SEK first prize. The pair were clocked in 1.12.6kr in a close verdict over Candor Hall (7g Adams Hall-Ava Crown-Super Arnie) with Bjorn Goop up. Porthos Amok was third for Torbjorn Jansson. The winner, owned by Stall TZ (Stefan Melander), now has 23 wins in 47 career outings and is undefeated in four 2015 starts. His earnings increased to 5,032,800SEK. Digital Ink could be a factor in the 2015 Elitloppet. The excellent Eskilstuna card also showcased a win by US bred Talk The Talk (5f Donato Hanover - Letsjusttalkaboutme - Self Possessed) timed in 1.13.5kr for Orjan Kihlstrom and owner Stall TZ. The 2640 meter autostart Bronze Division carried 110,000SEK to the winner. Canada’s Melvin Hartman bred the winning mare, that now has nine wins in 33 career starts, and three straight victories this year. Super Otto was second for Kenneth Haugstad. The Klass I event, for 100,000SEK to the winner, over 1640 meters autostart, went to the Johnny Takter teamed Folli (6g Self Possessed - M.T. Angel - Juliano Star) clocked in 1.12.2kr. Fredrik Persson trains the winner, now with seven wins in 12 lifetime starts and his second straight in 2015. Johan Roc was second for Bjorn Goop. Thomas H. Hicks

Solvato (5m Donato Hanover-Solveig) stormed home (from post 17) and won today’s harness racing featured Gr. II International Prix de Bourgogne (€120,000, 2100 meters autostart, 18 participants) at Paris-Vincennes. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the winner, a US import, for trainer Veijo Heiskanen and owner Denco HB. The pace was solid (1.10.1lr at 1500; 1.11.8kr at 1000; 1.12kr at 500, 1.12.4kr finish) as many favorites went for and contested the lead. First to lead was Maven from post seven and she relinquished to Texas Charm and then favorite Ready Cash. Severino (8m Gobernador-Katia de Tillard), who ended sixth, battled up on the outer for Damien Bonne and Timoko (Bjorn Goop up), finished seventh, also moved to the leaders on the outside. Maven raced third on the inner and Up And Quick (6m Buvetier d’Aunou-Fictre), starting from post one, also was trapped on the pegs. Into the stretch it was anybody’s race and then pocket-sitting Texas Charm went offstride followed by Ready Cash. Solvato rallied on the far outside to be victorious and Pierre Vercruysse finally escaped traffic to be second in a dead-heat on the pegs with Up And Quick. Tiego d’Etang (7mChaillot-Harolene) rallied for dead-heat second for Chrtistian Bigeon ahead of game rallying mare Roxane Griff driven by Eric Raffin and Robert Bergh’s trainee Kadett CD (7m Scarlet Knight-Kiss Of Life) with Dominik Locqueneux up. Maven appeared to be impeded by the breakers but in the drive did not respond. The top five finishers were off at odds of 16, 22, 7, 18 and 35/1 respectively in the Quinte+ event. Over €1.64 million was wagered on the race in the win/place pools only. Solvato is a full brother to world champion trotting filly, Shake It Cerry. He was imported to Europe from the USA. This third “B” qualifier for the Prix d’Amerique, contested over a “sprinter” distance, has been won by many of the trotting greats. Multiple winners include Ready Cash (3), Ourasi (3), Meaulnes du Corta (2), Kaseco Phedo (2), Insert Gede (2), and Vourasie (2). The fastest winner before today’s edition was 1.10kr by Texas Charm last year.The winner’s share of the purse today was €54,000 with the top five earning points (12-6-4-2-1). After the fourth “B” the top six point winners will gain Prix d’Amerique invitations. The Prix d’Amerique looks to be an interesting and competitive race the last Sunday in January, with Solvato emerging as a leading contender. Kihlstrom knows the course having won a year ago with Maharajah and conditioner Veijo Heiskenen has him in fine condition. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Trainer Stefan Hultman and manager Travkompaniet confirmed that Maharajah will not defend his 2014 Prix d’Amerique title. The veteran nine year-old son of Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill faced a brief interruption in training recently and will not have time and sufficient racing tests to be a peak form for the world’s top trotting event in late January. No decision has been made on the future racing career of Maharajah. Maharajah won almost 6.9SEK million in his four starts in the Prix d’Amerique from 2011-2014. His long-time reinsman Orjan Kihlstrom has signed on the team of the US import Solvato in Saturday’s Prix du Bourbonnais at Vincennes. Trainer Veijo Heiskanen appears to have Solvato in good form as evidenced by a rallying win a week ago. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

2014 Prix d'Amerique harness racing winner Maharajah (9m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill) was a good third tonight at Solvalla in the 2140 meter circle start distance handicapped Owners Trophy. The 200,000SEK race went to the winner Checco Boko (5g Express It-Vintage Boko-Garland Lobell) with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Timo Normos. Pocket sitting Micciano Lung (8m Park Avenue Joe-Stella-Lanson) was third for Cark-Erik Lindblom. The winner was timed in 1.13.4kr. Maharajah moved early (after a 20 meter handicap) and raced in the death seat outside leader Checco Boko before ending third for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Stefan Hultman. Hultman commented post-race that Maharajah raced well after a nine month layoff and the road to the 2015 Prix d'Amerique is underway. On the undercard J-P Barjon's Mister JP (2m Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide-I Feel Good) earned 100,000SEK for a 1.15.6kr win over 2140 meters autostart. The impressive youngster scored for Bjorn Goop. The monte feature, also for 100,000SEK to the winner over the 2140 meter autostart course, went to Muskelmann GT (9g Muscles Yankee-Aino Lady-Dallas Lobell) in 1.12.4kr for Siv Emilie Louvold. Lord Photo was second for Linda Allercrantz ahead of Nouvelle Pelle handled by Asa Svensson by Thomas H. Hicks, for

2014 Prix d'Amerique winner Maharajah is entered to make his comeback October 29 in The Owners Trophy at Solvalla. Contested by 14 entrants over 2140 meters distance handicap for 200,000SEK to the winner, Maharajah will start with a 20 meter handicap along with five other top money winners. It will be his first appearance since winning the 2014 Prix d'Amerique over Up And Quick and Yarah Boko. One of Sweden's greatest trotting horses, Maharajah escaped the pocket when Ready Cash went off-stride and took the toughest race in the world in January 2014 over a sloppy Paris-Vincennes course. Trainer Stefan Hultman's goal is to defend the Prix d'Amerique in 2015, and that effort starts Wednesday in The Owners Trophy. Örjan Kihlström will team the nine year-old that has recorded 31 wins in 58 career starts for superstar for 23.5SEK million earned. Entrants and drivers are shown below: 1. Micciano Lung (Carl-Erik Lindblom) 2. Knifetown Action (Erik Adielsson) 3. Checco Boko (Jorma Kontio) 4. Korok (Bjorn Goop) 5. Diamond Duo (Ville Karhulahti) 6. Twings Voici (Pekka Korpi) 7. The First Time (Jörgen S Eriksson) 8. Poker Kronos (Robert Bergh) 9. Highspeed Call (Per Lannartsson) 10. Friction (Stefan Melander) - meters 2140 11. Prince Tagg (Hannu Torvinen) 12. Maharajah (Orjan Kihlstrom) 13. Conrads Epilog (Fredrik Linder) 14. Traveling Man (Daniel Reden)   Thomas H. Hicks

Prussia (5f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) surged three-wide down the backstretch and around the final bend to collar a game Commander Crowe (11g Juliano Star-Somark-Mack Lobell) and prevail by a length in track record time 1.10.9kr at the new Campanelle (Rome, Italy) 1000 meter track. This Gr. I UET Masters Series event carried a purse of €187,000 over the 1640 meters autostart right handed course. Roberto Andreghetti teamed the winner ahead of veteran Commander Crowe with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Fabrice Souloy. Louvre was a close up third for Federico Esposito with Orsia fourth for Alessandro Gocciadoro. Napoleon Bar was the first to the lead and held the front until mid-stretch after leaving Commander Crowe in the death seat. Commander Crowe had surged three-wide before the stands the first time but was parked by Napoleon Bar until he gained the lead mid-stretch but could not hold off the driving Prussia. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

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