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July 4, 2014. Timoko next tests the starter on Sunday at La Capelle and Philippe Allaire's Brillantissime leads the field Saturday at Enghien in the Prix de Berlin against a competitive group of three year-olds. See the entries below for these weekend headliners. July 5, 2014 Enghien-Soisy Features Prix de la Marche, £85,000, 2875 meters, 16 starters. Field includes Indigious (by Prodigious) with Eric Raffin up for Stig H. Johansson and Swedishman with Franck Nivard steering for Thierry Duvaldestin trainer. Prix de Berlin, £85.000, 2150 meters autostart, European, 9 starters for three year-olds. This group includes Brillantissime (by Ready Cash) for Joseph Verbeeck and trainer Philippe Allaire, Bioness (by Sam Bourbon) with Erik Raffin aboard, Secretariat (Ganymede) for trainer Lorenzo Baldi, Scoop Grif Italia (Varenne) for Pierre Vercruysse/Marco Smorgon, and Silverado Lux (Amigo Hall) for the Nivard/Souloy team. July 6, 2014 La Capelle Feature Prix der la Communaute de Communes, 1609 meters autostart, £100,000, Gr. II International, field in post position order below (horse, driver, trainer): Reve de Beylev, Raffin/Guarato Oibambam Effe, Carro/Carro Spirit Beji, Bullier/Provost Quinoa du Gers, Ouvrie/Souloy Roi du Lupin, Barrier/Marmion Krangel, Locqueneux/Westholm Timoko, Goop/Westerink Quick Viervil, Gallier/Gallier Viscaria, Piton/Gillot Timoko and Richard Westerink Earlier this week solid action took place in Sweden with Happy Days winning his elimination and the final of the Sprinter Masters. In the final Express Duo and Tumble Dust trailed the winning horse/driver pair that were timed in 1.10.7kr. On July 2 at Lindesberg Mr. Picolit took the aged main event in 1.10.9kr over 1640 meters autostart. US entrant Uncle Peter was scratched. July 3, 2014 Halmstad Sprinter Masters 1609 meters autostart, 100,000SEK first money each elimination, Elim 1, 1.11.7kr Express Duo (4m Express It-Dolce Merett-Carpe Diem), Pekka Korpi, Finland, 20th win in 32 starts for 3,494,704SEK Elim 2 1.12.0kr Dream With Me (4m Dream Vacation-Jolly Jane-Pink Diamond), Lutfi Kolgjini, Netherlands, 6th win in 20 for 649,172SEK Tumble Dust (4m Crazed-Affinity-Dream Vacation), Bjorn Goop, Denmark, now in 20 starts 4-5-6 slate for 2,064,059SEK Elim 3, 1.10.l9kr Happy Days (4g Dream Vacation-Kiss Me Once-Varenne)m Johnny Takter, eighth win in 11 for 1,179,300SEK Final, 1.10.7kr, first money 902,660SEK Happy Days, Johnny Takter, first on the line Express Duo, Pekka Korpi TumbleDust, Bjorn Goop Other relevant winners on the Halmstad card were: Oliver Kronos (6g Varenne-Glide About-Yankee Glide), Bjorn Goop, 1.13.3kr over 2140 meters volt start, 100,000SEK first money, eighth win in 18 appearances. Your Highness (5f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady-Conway Hall), Bjorn Goop, 1.12.7kr over 2140 meters autostart, 125,000SEK first prize, 10th win in 20 tries for 1,461,904SEK career earnings. July 2, 2014 Lindesberg Winners Talk The Talk (4f Donato Hanover-Letsjusttalkaboutme-Self Possessed), Daniel Olsson up for Stefan Melander, 1.13.2kr over 2140 meters autostart, 60,000SEK to winner. Paris Metro (3f Cantab Hall-Mrs Ronerail-Donerail), Bjorn Goop for trainer Melander, 1.12.6kr over 1640 meters autostart, 60,000SEK winners prize. Paducah Dream (4f Infinitif-Padme Hanover-Credit Winner), Torbjorn Jansson, 1.13.8kr, 1640 meters autostart, 50,000SEK to winner. High Speed Call (6g From Above-Love Call-Alf Palema), Carl-Erik Lindblom up, 1.11.4kr over 1640 meters autostart, 110,000SEK to winner. Mr. Picolit (7m Scarlet Knight-Good Enough-Mr. Vic), Torbjorn Jansson, 1.10.9kr over 1640 meters autostart, 100,000SEK first money, defeating Occione Jet with Erik Adielsson and Bagley with Conrad Lugauer. Uncle Peter was scratched. Thomas H. Hicks

US reinsman David Miller (two drives) and Yannick Gingras (one) were off the board in their initial drives today at Solvalla. Miller drove Next Kronos in race 1 (dq) and Potemkin in race 4 (unplaced). Gingras teamed Oldschoolmare in race 2 and ended sixth, timed in 1.12.8kr over the mile distance. Alvena Take It won that event in 1.12kr for Peter Untersteiner. Race winners today are listed below in race order: Ametrin, 1.10.2kr, 1609 meters autostart, Hans-Owe Sundberg (5f Oiseau de Faux-Ametist WG-Texas) Alvena Take It, 1.12kr, 1609 meters autostart, Peter Untersteiner (4f Make It Happen-Impulsive-Mack Lobell) Spartan Kronos, 1.12.9kr, 2140 meters autostart, Conrad Lugauer (3m Muscle Hall-Dame Kronos-King Conch) Financial Dust, 1.12.5kr, 2140 meters autostart, Robert Bergh (4m Ready Cash-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall) Palermo Caesar, 1.13.7kr, 3140 meters turning start, Ville Nisonen (7g Alf Palema-Puk Paradiso-Hairos) Elegance Brode, 1.15.3kr, 2140 meters autostart, Emilia Karlsson (5g Sugar Trader-Emily Safir-Buck Newton) Baharat, 1.16.3kr, 2140 meters voltstart, Fredrik B. Larsson (3f Scarlet Knight-Hot Peppers-Muscles Yankee) Sebastien Sund, 1.16kr, 2140 meters voltstart, Robert Bergh (3g Adrian Chip-Mamsell Sund-Sugarcane Hanover) Dominator, 1.13.9kr, 2140 meters autostart, Bjorn Goop (4m Donato Hanover-Ultra Sund-Viking Kronos) - undefeated in three starts by Thomas H. Hicks, for        

Most everyone involved in harness racing is still talking about last Saturday’s USA debut of European trotting star Sebastian K and his world record tying performance at the Meadowlands Racetrack. This Saturday the career winner of $2,310,649 and 27 races will be put to the test once again against many of the best older trotters in North America as Sebastian K heads the $175,000 final of the Arthur J. Cutler Memorial Trot. What’s the secret behind this world class eight-year-old stallion by Korean? What magic does trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt has that has made this exceptional racehorse so great? One of the secrets that is actually not a secret but not known to many is that Sebastian K races without wearing horse shoes. He goes barefoot and judging from all the talk in the harness racing world after his amazing mile last week, quite a few trainers in North America will start paying close to attention to what Ake Svanstedt does. Ake does not speak English very well and through his second trainer, Bijorn “Bernie” Noren, Harnesslink was able to get some special insight into the unique training methods and racing tactics that Ake uses. “For many years we have been racing him (Sebastian K) barefoot,” Noren explained. “He is much better without shoes. We have a man from Holland, Pascal Harbors, who is here in the USA and now that we are up north he takes care of his feet and shoes if we need them.  Pascal is an excellent blacksmith.” Horses have been living in the wild for tens of thousands of years. First evidence of domestication was discovered in Central Asia dating back to 4,500 BC. The first horse feet coverings, the predecessor to horse shoes, was discovered in use by early Roman’s who would affix strap-on, solid-bottomed boots to their horses feet to travel over rough terrain and they were called “hippo sandals.” The first iron shoes with nail holes were found in an Etruscan tomb dated around 400 B.C. For years and years “natural blacksmiths” and many horse people have advocated that horses, with proper diet and hoof care, will perform better without wearing shoes. “Ake trained this winter after coming to the USA in Vero Beach, Florida,” Noren explained, “And Ake likes the racetrack there. It is sandy and deep. Ake likes to train his horses for muscle, not speed.  It builds up their strength and then the speed comes.  American guys go after the speed. We want our horses strong. “We are now training him at Ake’s farm that he bought in New Jersey called Legend Farm,” Noren said, “The track there is very similar to the one in Florida. We keep building up his strength and it is easy on his feet too. A hard track will sting his feet and that is no good. “In Sweden you have to tell the officials before the races that your horse will not wear shoes,” Noren said. “I told this to the officials at the Meadowlands Saturday but I don’t think they do announcements like that.” In Sweden, as in many European countries, you must report to the officials if you intend on racing your horse without shoes. In France they have the stiffest rules as you must declare six days before you race whether or not your horse will wear shoes or go barefoot and after that you cannot change back. The rules are different throughout the harness racing world. This week at Caen, France, a feature race showed that 14 of the 19 horses entered were racing without shoes. “We were going to put shoes on him if it has rained more at the Meadowlands on Saturday. If it is going to be a hard track then we put shoes on him. You must have a good track surface to race barefoot on or else it stings the horse’s feet badly. That is why we like training in Florida,” Noren explained. “Deeper track is better on their feet. They don’t have to pound their feet so much but they get a lot of muscle by going in the deeper sandy track. We will try and race him every time without shoes. He does not like to wear shoes.” A perfect example of racing barefooted and improving was when Alf Palema won the 1992 Hambletonian from the Per Eriksson Stable. After his first elimination division they ended up pulling his shoes off and he came on to win the final in the second heat by a head over stable mate and betting favorite, King Conch. This Saturday, Sebastian K drew the rail in the $175,000 Cutler Final. In all likely hood he will be the wagering favorite and according to Noren, is feeling pretty good after his big mile last week. “He (Sebastian K) was feeling real good after his race,” Noren said.  “He was pretty calm and quiet after his race on Saturday but come Sunday he was in his paddock running around, rolling, eating hay and grass.  We will work him Tuesday and Wednesday and then he will be ready to race in the final on Saturday.” When asked about the announcement Monday about the other European world champion trotter from France, Ready Cash, coming to race in the United States this summer, Bernie Noren replied. “It will be very good for racing when he comes over, Bernie said, “then the people will see how good Sebastian K really is when he beats him in world record time. “People have asked why we only went so fast, just 1:56, in the qualifier race,” Noren said, “and then on Saturday he sets a world record and goes almost six seconds faster. We have him in perfect shape already. Why do we have to go so fast in a qualifying race where there is no money. He went fine in the qualifier. We did not want to go so fast for no reason.  “Qualifying horses is so over rated,” Noren said. “There is no money and you risk so much in going so fast and it costs money to the owners to ship to the track and in fact you are wasting a race on the horse. I can’t believe how some people here in America will qualify a horse two and three times before it races. Overseas there are no 30 or 45 day rule for re-qualifying. In France once a horse is qualified it is good for a year. Throughout Europe each country has different rules but for the most part horses do not have to always show qualifying lines as they are grouped in their conditions by money won over has fast they went in the last 30 days. “I must credit the trackmen at the Meadowlands for they did an excellent job on Saturday,” Noren said. ” We were ready to put the shoes on Sebastian K  Saturday but Ake went on the track and came back and said it was in excellent shape and do not put shoes on him.  I wish more tracks would take better care of their racing surface like they do at the Meadowlands. It seems that many tracks never put enough water on the track. Tracks dry out and constantly need water to maintain a good racing surface.  If not, horses can get hurt racing on too hard a track.” If Ake Svanstedt and Bijorn “Bernie” Noren continue to set world marks with Sebastian K then their “strange” ways of training and racing their horses will soon enough become the norm here in North America. By Steve Wolf, for

Beckman, the veteran Swedish invader owned by Ecurie Commander, trained by Fabrice Souloy, and reined by Franck Nivard, captured today's secondary featured Prix de la Marne at Vincennes. The Gr. III International event was raced over 2700 meters for a purse of 110,000e. Beckman was off as 1.4/1 favorite and rallied at mid-stretch to score by ¾ length in 1.13.2kr over second choice Univers de Pan with trainer/driver Philippe Daugeard up. Recit Jeloca captured third ahead of Italy's Marielles. Univers de Pan and Marielles are engaged to contest the Prix de France next week along with other starters today, Quinoa du Gers and Roxana de Barbray. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de la Marne, Gr. III International, 110,000€, 2700 meters, 12 starters 1.13.2kr Fractions: 1.12kr at 1500; 1.12.8kr at 1000; 1.13.6kr at 500; 1.13.2kr finish 1st Beckman (7g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema-Alf Palema), driven by Franck Nivard for Fabrice Souloy and Ecurie Commander, 1.4/1 odds, his 26th career win for 493,931e (Sweden) 2nd Univers de Pan (6m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore), Philippe Daugeard trainer/driver, 2/1 odds 3rd Recit Jeloca (9g First de Retz-Flora Castelets), J.L.C. Dersoir trainer/driver, 4.5/1 odds 4th Marielles (8f Kick Tail-Egida Play), David Thomain up for Fabrice Souloy at 21/1 5th Quinio du Relais (10g Kitcho d'Ecajeul-Gabriella), Sebastien Hardy trainer/driver, 137/1 odds The Gr. III monte Prix Indienne also graced the card, this one with eight starters over a 2175 meter distance for 95,000e. Utopie Cehere scored a solid come from behind victory with trainer Mathieu Abrivard in the irons, timed in a rapid 1.11.8kr after a scorching early pace. The 11/1 odds winner increased her career earnings to 203,900e by defeating Veloce du Banney with jockey Yohan Lebourgeois up for conditioner Franck Leblanc. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix Indienne, Gr. III monte 95,000€ purse, 2175 meters, 8 starters, all 67 poids 1.11.8kr Fractions: 1.09.9kr at 1500; 1.10.,3kr at 1000; 1.11.5kr at 500; 1.11.8kr finish 1st Utopie Cehere (6f Luido de Castelle-Lolite Valiere-Quadrophenio), Mathieu Abrivard jockey and trainer, 11/1 odds, her fifth win for lifetime earnings of 203,900€ 2nd Veloce du Banney (5g Quaro-Jiva du Banney), Yohan Lebourgeois up for Franck Leblanc, 1.2/1 3rd Ulagarasan (6g Love You-Indienne Pascale), Franck Nivard for Franck Leblanc, 12/1 4th Ut d'Erable (6m Insert Gede-Ostera), David Thomain up for J-P Thomain, 2/1 odds Also on the card was the daily Quinte+ event with a jackpot of 3.7 million euros, named the Prix de Champtose, a European eligible event for 60,000e over 2850 meters. 17 starters contested this one and 18/1 upsetter Top Price Piya took victory for Pierre Vercruysse. Franck Leblanc trains the seven year-old gelded son of And Arifant from La Cocherie by Reve d'Udon, the sire of Revenue. The winner held on for a nose win in a blanket finish over Tafaiko Fax and Franck Ouvrie. Holders of a Q+ ticket with the top five in exact order of finish collected 40,968e (without the jackpot) for a 2e wager. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Champtoce, European 60,000€, 2850 meters, 17 starters, Quinte+ jackpot 3.7€ million 1.15.7kr Fractions: 1.16.7kr at 1500; 1.16.7kr at 1000; 1.16.7kr at 500; 1.15.7kr finish 1st Top Price Piya (7g And Arifant-La Cocherie-Reve d'Udon), Pierre Vercruysse up for Franck Leblanc, 18/1 odds, his fifth win for career earnings of 147,205e 2nd Tafaiko Sax (7g Nobilis Jiel-Nafaika), Franck Ouvrie up for J-L Dersoir, 44/1, plus 25 meters 3rd Trinity Jiel (7f Goetmals Wood-Flaya de Jiel), Mathieu Abrivard for J-L Dersoir, 6/1, plus 25 meters 4th United Face (6g Viking Kronos-Pretty I), Christophe Martens, Vincent Martens trainer, 2.8/1 Later in the card two interesting contests caught my attention. Ecurie Wildenstein's Very Lovely Blue scored in the Prix e Barfleur for 60,000e. The five year-old gelded son of Nice Love won for trainer/driver J-M Bazire in a sharp 1.12.2kr over the 2100 meter autostart sprinter distance. The winner was off as 5/2 favorite. The closing event was the 78,000e 2850 meter, Prix de Chalons-en-Champagne for apprentice monte jockeys. Veteran equine performer Soleil d'Enfer, an eight-year-old son of Coktail Jet, secured the win in 1.13.7kr to increased career earnings to over 377,000e. More importantly, jockey Elisabeth Allaire won for the 50th time, thus moving her from apprentice to professional status. She rides exceptionally well. Female riders Marie Bacsich and Laura Gautherot piloted the second and third place finishers. February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Barfleur, males, 60,000e, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters 1.12.2kr 1st Very Lovely Blue (5g Nice Love-Naama Blue-Buvetier d'Aunou), J-M Bazire trainer/driver for Ecurie Wildenstein, 2.5/1, his eighth win for 125,750€ earned 2nd Varus du Bocage (5m Paisy Dream-Noria du Bocage), Mathieu Abrivard trainer/driver, 15/1 3rd Voeland (5m Hi To Ped d'Ombree-Oquita d'Harcourt), Joel Van Eeckhaute trainer/driver, 84/1 February 2, 2014 Paris-Vincennes, Prix de Chalons-en-Champagne, monte, apprentice jockeys, 78,000e purse, 2850 meters, 11 starters 1.13.7kr 1st Soleil d'Enfer (8m Coktail Jet-Kavale d'Enfer), Elisabeth Allaire up for Gilles Delacour trainer, 4/1 odds, the winners' 11th career win for 377,300€; and 50th career win for Elisabeth Allaire who now is labeled a professional vs. apprentice 2nd Tsar de Houelle (7g Baccarat du Pont-Vanita de la Motte), Marie Bacsich up for Franck Leblanc. 4.5/1 3rd Quetzal de Brix (10g Eldorado du Pont-Europe Fariniere), Laura Gautherot aboard for Eric Joseph, 38/1 by Thomas H. Hicks for  

Favored Ulysse (6m Love You-Loctudy-Extreme Dream) drew away in the late stages of the 2850 meter, 150,000 euro purse Gr. II Prix du Calvados at Vincennes to score impressively in 1.14.1kr. Thomas Levesque was in the irons for trainer Mike Lenders and Ecurie des Pommiers. The winner secured his 10th career win now with increased earnings of 512,030 euro. The race is an International UET Masters Series event and a test leading to the Prix du Cornulier on January 19. The winner of that race earns a bid to the Prix d'Amerique a week later. The 2013 Prix du Cornulier winner Singalo was disqualified today after what appeared to be a tiring miscue. He had battled to overcome a 25 meter handicap that also affected 8th place finishing Risque Tout, both being the highest money earners in the field. Rapide du Digeon was second for Damien Bonne with Utoky third for Franck Nivard, riding for trainer Franck Leblanc and owner Ecurie Cte. P. de Montesson. Taiga du Rib, trained by monte specialist Joel Hallais and Ecurie Rib, ended fifth with Yohan Lebourgeois up. 1/5/14 Vincennes - Prix du Calvados, Gr. II, purse 150,000 euro, UET Masters Series International monte, 2850 meters, 12 starters 1.14.1kr Fractions: 1.14.6kr at 1500, 1.14.4kr at 1000, 1.14.4kr at 500 Ulysse (6m Love You-Loctudy-Extreme Dream), Thomas Levesque up for trainer Mike Lenders and Ecurie des Pommiers; winner now with 10 career victories for 512,030 euros earned. Rapide du Digeon (9g Urfist des Pres-Gerveine Barbes-Qlorest des Vivier), Damien Bonne up Utoky (6m Cygnus d'Odyssee-Epopee-Kimberland), Frank Nivard up for Franck Leblanc and Ecurie Cte. P. de Montesson Vagabondu Mag (5g Ozio Royal-Perle du Ravary-Kiwi), Mathieu Mottier aboard Taiga du Rib (7f Nice Love-Galinette Cendree-Quitons du Coral), Yohan Lebourgeois aboard, Joel Hallais trainer for Ecurie Rib 25 meter handicapped Singalo was a dq; Risque Tout ended 8th The co-featured Prix de Lille (Gr. III European, 2100 meters autostart) went to the Sweden invader Beckman (7g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema-Alf Palema) in 1.11.6kr. Franck Nivard piloted the decisive winner (now with 24 career wins worth 397,181 euro) for Ecurie Commander and conditioner Fabrice Souloy. Another Swedish veteran, Caballion (a 20 time winner for 495,931 euro) rallied to be a distant second for Jos. Verbeeck who drove for trainer Frederik B. Larsson and Caballiion AB & Co. The Christian Bigeon owned, trained and reined Un Amour d'Haufor ended third at 44/1 odds. 1/5/14 Vincennes - Prix de Lille, European Gr. III, purse 105,000 euro, 2100 meters autostart, 16 starters.11.6kr Fractions: 1.09.6kr at 1000, 1.11.4kr at 500 Beckman (7g Turbo Sund-Nina Palema-Alf Palema), Franck Nivard driving Swedish veteran for Ecurie Commander, trainer Fabrice Souloy, 24th career win for earnings 397,181 euro lifetime Caballion (8m Kaseco Phedo-Lady Brick-Super Arnie), Jos. Verbeek handled this Swedish entrant for Caballion AB & Co. and Fredrik B. Larsson trainer; the winner with 20 wins for 495,931 euro lifetime Un Amour d'Haufor (6m Love You-Glamour d'Haufor-Passionnant), Christian Bigeon owner/trainer/driver Swedishman (8g Gogo-Volgana-Myoto Barbes), Thierry Duvaldestin trainer/driver Recit Jeloca (9g First de Retz-Flora Castelets-Sancho Panca), J.L.C. Dersoir up was fifth Talicia Bella was a dq as co-favorite. Yesterday at Halmstad Sweden V75 day, several high class events were won by US or former US sired horses, namely Dream Vacation, Credit Winner and Andover Hall. The Andover Hall winner, Nothing But Class, is a five year old stallion (winner of over US$130,000 before export) from the Donerail mare Bold Dreamer, also dam of US$1.6 million winner Pampered Princess (also by Andover Hall) and her Conway Hall daughter Satin Pillows is dam of To Dream On, a Credit Winner filly winner of US$975,000. 1/4/14 Halmstad, Motor Halland Klass 1, 1640 meters autostart, 100,000SEK to winner 1.12kr Bear Dancer (4g Dream Vacation-Epoque Effe-Self Possessed), Bjorn Goop up The Divine Miss F (4f Kiss Francais-Fast Wise As-Yankee Glide), Johnny Takter 1/4/14 Halmstad, Bengan Boys, Gold Division, 2140 meters autostart, 150,000SEK to winner 1.13kr I'm The Answer (6g Credit Winner-Southwind Flanders-Lindy Lane), Jorgen Sjunnesson up, now 16 wins in 49 starts for earnings of 4,037,741SEK Capello Bob (8g Trade Balance-Yroflickas-Ron B Hanover), Stefan Persson 1/4/14 Halmstad, Stolopp, 2140 meters turning start, 100,000SEK to winner 1.15.7kr Stirling Allstar (5f Credit Winner-Super Starlet-Muscles Yankee), Johan Untersteiner Deli Deli (7f Deliberate Speed-Smoking Scoop-Texas), Peter Untersteiner 1/4/14 Halmstad, Silver Division, 1640 meters autostart, 125,000SEK to winner 1.12.1kr Nothing But Class (5m Andover Hall-Bold Dreamer-Donerail), Peter Untersteiner trainer/driver MT Harmony (5f Quite Easy-Princess Pleasure-Viking Kronos), Yohan Untersteiner Thomas H. Hicks  

On Christmas Eve Hippodrome Paris-Vincennes conducted a fine trotting card that despite heavy rain produced a nice crowd and competitive contests. The Quinte+ Prix de Neuille Pont-Pierre (46,000 euro purse, females, 2700 meters, 13 starters) showcased a fast finishing victory for Tooaze d'Haufor (6f Love You-Hita Haufor-Jet du Vivier), the 3/1 choice handled by Charles Julien Bigeon in the 1.15.7kr clocking, her fifth lifetime for 144,340 euro earned. Topaze de Marzy (6f Orlando Vici-Idole de Marzy-Sancho Panca) was second for Eric Raffin. The Prix du Merlerault (54,000 euro purse, females, 2100 meters autostart, 11 starters) was won by 8/1 Amadea Seven (3f Goetmals Wood-Indiana du Pont-Pelican du Pont) for breeder, owner, trainer and driver J-M Bazire. She scored in 1.13kr for her third career victory. Alaja Bot Eur Moel (3f Ganymede-Next Bay Gentille-Gai Brillant) took second for reinsman Franck Nivard and trainer Franck Leblanc. The Prix des Freesias (34,000 euro purse, female two year-olds, 2200 meters, 14 starters) was a competitive affair led by winner Best Life (2f Goetmals Wood-New York-In Love With You). The 3.8/1 winner was handled by Eric Raffin for breeder, owner, trainer Louis Baudron. Jean-Pierre Dubois was second with his Be Mine Tonight (2f Quatre Juillet-Ma Crown-Full Account) trained by Patrick Chevrier and bred by Ecurie D. Bianca d'Atout (2f Saxo de Vandel-Geline d'Atout-And Arifant) was third for Mathieu Mottier in the driving finish with the race clocked in 1.18.7kr over the sloppy going. Best Life and Be Mine Tonight Results from other locations and in the days leading to Christmas Eve are shown below. Son Pardo (Majorca, Spain) December 24 Gran Premi del 5 year-olds (Spain), 30,000 euro purse, 2650 meters autostart 1.16.2kr 1. Unitra RS (5f Brandy Dei Fiori-Memory My Wife GS-Important Hornline) M. Riera Bennasar driving 2. Union Blai (5m Lest Go-Clas Blai-Union Shark-Veras First-Brisco Hanover), A. Frontera Pocovi up 3. Under The Sea HM (5f Love You-Zimba Rydens-Alf Palema-Carioca Nibs), Mestre Suner driving Sire of the winner, Brandy Dei Fiori (by Waikiki Beach-Otarda Jet-Sharif di Iesolo), represents excellent historical Italian bloodlines. Solvalla (Sweden) December 23 Gosta Nordiopns Lopp (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart) 1.12.8kr Orecchietti (6m From Above-Canneloni-Mack Lobell), Orjan Kihlstrom driver. Stefan Hultman trainer, Travkompaniets Stall AB owner, slate in 2013 8 4-0-1 earning 528,000SEK 1. Monster Drive (7m Thai Tanic-Kewpie-Pearsall Hanover), Ulf Olsson aboard 2. Global Investment (10g Pine Chip-Armbro Naïve-Balanced Image), Bjorn Goop up Soren Nordins Lopp (100,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart, three year-olds) 1.13.9kr 1. Riff Kronos (3m Dream Vacation-Elaine Kronos-Viking Kronos), Veijo Heiskanen up, 2013 slate 10 5-1-1 earning 346,626SEK SCA Stallpellets Lopp (100,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) 1.11kr 1. Nimbus CD (3g Mythical Lindy-Kiss of Life-Tenor de Baune), Per Nordstrom up, 2013 slate 6 4-1-0 earnings 565,000SEK; Mythical Lindy was a fast, successful US colt owned in Ohio and trained by Jim Arledge Jr. before export to Sweden for stallion duty. Napoli (Italy) December 22 Premio Best of 2 Year-Olds (22,000 euro purse, 1600 meters) 1.15.6kr 1. Skyline Dany (2m Varenne-Celeste PL-Lemon Dra). V.P., Dell'Annunziata up, 3rd win with 3 placings in 6 starts Premio Best of 4 Year-Olds (22,000 euro purse, 1600 meters) 1.14.7kr 1. Paolo OM (4m Ganymede-Fola d'Anzola-Uronometro), G.P. Minnucci up Premio Panettone (11,000 euro purse, 1600 meters) 1.13.3kr 1. La Vida Loca (8f Ganymede-Diasia-Arndon), D. DiStefano up, 38th win in 177 starts with 47 placings, earnings 215,560 euro Premio Best of 3 Year-Olds (22,000 euro purse, 1600 meters) 1.13.2kr 1. Ribot Gal (3, Ganymede-Flores ZN-Lemon Dra), R. Gallucci up, 6th win in 23 starts Premio Bost of Anziani (22,000 euro purse, 1600 meters)  1.12.8kr 1. Oneghin del Ronco (5m Love You-Talico del Ronco-Park Avenie Joe), A. DiNardo up, 17th win in 57 starts 2. Langdon Grif (8m Varenne-Meadowbranch Nan-Pine Chip-Peace Corps), G. DiNardo, 111 starts with 33 wins, 47 placings, earnings 244,964 euro. by Thomas H. Hicks for   

Today (Sunday) Eskilstuna hosted four Gr. I International Sweden Breeders Crown finals, each contested over 2140 meters autostart, each with 850,000SEK to the winner. The winners mix was both favorites and up-setters with Digital Ink garnering the most ink in the press and in terms of mutual tickets. Breeders Crown results are shown below: Breeders Crown Gr. I International Final – 4yo females 2140meters autostart, 850,000SEK to winner Youana (4f Pearsall Hanover-Euro Sund-Sugarcane Hanover), 1.12.3kr, Peter Untersteiner Quadrille (4f Varenne-Tapdencer-Tibur), 1.12.5kr, Johan Untersteiner Dream of Joy (4f Dream Vacation-Frida Filokus-Spotlite Lobell), 1.12.9kr, Stefan Persson Breeders Crown Gr. I International Final – 3yo females 2140meters autostart, 850,000SEK to winner Amazon AM (3f Gigant Neo-Eclat de Bois-Coktail Jet), 1.13.1kr, Robert  Bergh, winner of 7 in 12 starts this year, career earnings 2,074,600SEK Mellby Briolett (3f Going Kronos-Merit Lane-Lindy Lane), 1.13.1kr, Johan Untersteiner Our Precious (3f Pearsall Hanover-Nova Brodda-Juliano Star), 1.13.2kr, Peter Ingves Breeders Crown Gr. I International  Final– 4yo males 2140meters autostart, 850,000SEK to winner Digital Ink (4g Super Photo Kosmos-Laverda des Pres-Filou du Boscail), Orjan Kihlstrom driver for Stefan Melander owner/trainer, his 8th win in 12 starts this year, career earnings 1,888,300SEK Thai Broadway (4m Broadway Hall-Isabella Knick-Tap In), 1.12.8kr, Gunnar Austevoll Porthos Amok (4m Orlando Vici-Baroness Amok-Pine C hip), 1.13.2kr, Bjorn Goop driving Breeders Crown Gr. I International Final – 3yo males 2140meters autostart, 850,000SEK to winner Jonesy (3m Muscles Yankee-Ripley-Ride The Night), Finland registered, 1.13.6kr, Tuomas Korvenoja up Breakbumper (3m Viking Kronos-Lovely-Top Love), 1.13.6kr, Robert Bergh trainer/driver Cool Keeper (3m Broadway Hall-Missy’s Go Go-Yankee Glide), 1.13.6kr, Leif Witasp trainer/driver Yesterday (Saturday) Eskilstuna also hosted V-75 action. The featured Gold Division went to the Dream Vacation son Alvena Pele in 1.11kr for Per Lennartsson. Womanizer was a solid second. V-75 day action is summarized below. Volvia Svensk Travsports Monte Kat 2 2140 meters autostart, 40,000SEK to winner Starbec’s Mr. Tee (6g Turbi Thrust-Blue Blossom-Pactole de Tillard), 1.14.6kr for Lynda Hedstrom, his 6th win in 14 starts thius year Jonathan Palema (5g Adams Hall-Rosalinde Palema-Alf Palema), Josefine Ivehag aboard Yosemite Boko (8g Express Ride-Elisabeth Boko-Speedy Somolli), Viktoria Strand-Jorgensen up Bjorkmans BIL 1640meters autostart, 25,000SEK to winner Headhunter (5g Gentle Star-Famous Christine-Ororek), winner for Magnus Jakobsson Isinbajeva (4f Gigant Neo-Graceful Face-Pine Chip), 1.12kr, Johan Untersteiner, Roger Walmann trainer Strosa (4f Lindy Lane-Sweet and Strong-Super Arnie), Erik Adielsson V-75 Gold Division 1640 meters autostart, 150,000SEK first money Alvena Pele (7m Dream Vacation-Oli Roy-Probe), 1.11kr, Per Lennartsson Womanizer (9g Tap In-Sandra Nibs-Mr. Drew), 1.11.1kr, Peter Ingves El Sueco (8g Calvin Capar-Otilia Sund-Sugarcane Hanover), 1.11.2kr, Johan Untersteiner V-75 Silver Division 2140 meters autostart, 125,000SEK first money Seabiscuit (6g Credit Winner-Candy Tilly-Sugarcane Hanover), 1.13.1kr, Jorma Kontio up Democrat (6g Pearsall Hanover-Sugar Dream-Sugarcane Hanover), 1.13.1kr, Per Lennartsson driving Lotus Elan (7g Super Arnie-Lotusanne-Cezio Josselyn), 1.13.2kr, Erik Adielsson the reinsman V-75 Bronze Division 1640 meters autostart, 110,000SEK to winner Open Mind Bi (5g Andover Hall-No Nonsense Woman-Sierra Kosmos), 1.11.3kr, Jorma Kontio driving Prey Frontline (5g Love You-Ritzy Girl-Super Arnie), 1.11.3kr, Ulf Ohlsson up Pioneer F.H. (6g SJs Photo-Zagara Jet-Park Avenue Joe), 1.11.3kr, Peter Untersteiner driver On Wednesday the international trotting superstar Maharajah made a winning comeback and set a national record of 1.12.7kr over 2160 meters, circular start. Stefan Hultman’s eight year-old was driven by Orjan Kihlstrom. Maharajah won 250,000SEK for the win to take his career earnings to 18.9 million SEK. Kihlstrom remarked that the veteran has a lot left. Yesterday (Saturday) at Kincsem Park the feature was the 1.5 million HUF Oszi Kiserleti Verseny  (the Fall Criterium) and Derby winner Radium Boy (3m Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady) scored in 1.17.9kr for Veljko Mazsity over 1960 meters (distance handicap). Poetica Saf was second with the Muscle Yankee son Pretty Ripped third. This result  and the other top races at Kincsem Park are summarized below: Oszi Kiserleti Verseny 1960meters distance handicap, 1,500,000HUF purse Radium Boy (3m Wall Street Banker-Golden Lady), 1.17.9kr, V. Mazsity Poetica Saf (4f Frullino Jet-SAugusta Bi), J. Sagaj Pretty Ripped (4m Muscles Yankee-Pretty in Plaid), Cs. Lakatos Illetmeny DIJ 1960meters distance handicap, 500,000 HUF purse Lady Luna (8f Sierra Ranger-Luna), 1.18kr,  J. Sagaj Rambo 7m Mystical Crown-Rosa), B. Sersen Orifiamma Jet (5f Supergill-Ticket to Ride), T. Hajnal Versec DIJ 1980meters distance handicap,  330,000HUF purse Passion Grif (4g Varenne-Sex Appeal OK), 1.19.6kr, Zs. Vereb Filipana Goal (4f Armbro Goal-Franja), A. Denes Please Mr. Postman (4m Buvetier d’Aunou-Ines Pierji), J. Kolozsi by Thomas H. Hicks for

On Track Piraten (5g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) won today’s Gr. II UET Masters Series featured C. L. Mullers Memorial at Jagersro, Sweden. Contested over 2640 meters autostart, the winner led gate to finish scoring by a length, in 1.13.1kr for Erik Adielsson, over veteran Harry Haythrow (7g Rite On Line-Speedy Tilda-Spotlite Lobell) handled by Peter Untersteiner. Harry Haythrow was honored pre-race for making 50 V-75 career starts and he did not disappoint as he closed fast for second over the 9.8 million SEK career winner Yarrah Boko (8m Coktail Jet-Big Blue Kitten-Pine Chip) driven by Ulf Ohlsson. The winner recorded his 11th career win in 46 starts, now for earnings just under 4.6 million SEK. Favored Commander Crowe raced second over much of the journey but had no trot when called upon by Orjan Kihlstrom and faded to last in the lane. The undercard also produced another win by a son of Credit Winner as Vasterboonthenews (5g Credit Winner-Sandra Dime-Alf Palema) scored in a Klass 1 event over 1640 meters autostart. Peter Ingves drove this winner to a 1.12.7kr victory worth 100,000SEK for his connections. Nimbus CD (3g Mythical Lindy-Kiss of Life-Tenor de Baune) finished second. Mythical Lindy, exported from the US after his three year-old campaign, has become an exciting young stallion in Sweden. by Thomas H. Hicks for

Today’s V-75 card at Aby showcased two well-contested monte events, The Swedish Monte Masters with 250,000SEK to the winner was raced over 2140 meters autostart. Ypsilon Boko (8g Express Ride-Flordalie-Minou du Donjon) took the win for Peter Jarven (also a gallop jockey) in 1.14.4kr. The winner now has three wins and two second place finishes in his last five monte appearances and sports earnings of over 1.3 million SEK with 12 wins in 39 lifetime starts (monte and sulky). Favored La Bellouet (7f Jag de Bellouet-Ironiessa-Texas) raced in the death seat for most of the journey and took the lead for Asa Svensson before the winner rolled past in late stretch. Look la Marc (10g Giant Cat-Taylor Guy-Pershing) was third with Sofia Aronsson aboard. The Swedish Monte Masters for Riders (2140 meters autostart, 100,000SEK to the winner) went to Delux Haleryd (6g Jag de Bellouet-Velvet As-Mr. Vic) with Emma Wahlberg up. The combination scored in 1.14.2kr over Palermo Tars (6g Storstadsbusen-Nutria Sund-Sugarcane Hanover) and Asa Svensson. Jonathan Palema (5g Adams Hall-Rosakinde Palema-Alf Palema) was third for Sandra Eriksson. The winner record his 14th career victory in 47 starts. It was his third win with Wahlberg aboard in the six attempts by this pair. by Thomas H. Hicks for

The Svenskt Masterskap (SM) or  Swedish Championships   are run Saturday at Aby, but remarkably Elitloppet winner Nahar will not be there. The leading horse by stake earnings in Sweden this year simply did not score enough points to merit entry in the country’s gold medal presentation day. This was despite victories in the Elitelopp final and Norrbotten Stora Pris but a second place behind Orecchietti at Bergsåker recently  meant his points total  for qualification stopped at 2610. But On Track Piraten had accumulated 2673 points. So despite trainer Robert Bergh and owners Canadian Ice Hockey stars  Daniel and Henrik Sedin star having had  6 wins in 19 starts and more than 5,4 million SEK in the bank for the season, putting Nahar top of the money list, it was not enough. So he will have a winter break, without the honour of being crowned Swedish Champion. There will be six gold medals awarded at Aby on Saturday. In the main race Yarrah Boko is owned and trained by Norwegians who claim him as their own, but he was bred at Boko Stables in Stockholm, and he is back in the country of his birth to try and reclaim the SM-Male title that he  won two years ago.  Trond Anderssen’s star started off the year in brilliant fashion winning one of the famed B-races at Vincennes, the Prix de Belgique and won four of his five starts at elite level. Last start winner  Orecchietti returned to  form in brilliant fashion at Bergsåker this month, while Lutfi Kolgjini's Juggle Face has also had a  recent victory in France, and will also have strong support. Also likely to find favour in with the punters is V75 warhorse Harry Haythrow and the  winner of Finland’s Kymi Grand Prix, the roan gelding Womanizer . The second  big feature on the night will be Sto-SM for mares which looks likely to be decided between Daniel Reden’s Muscles Yankee  mare Dileva Kall and Vincennes (Spotlite Lobell) in the hands of Johnny Takter. Gold medals will also be handed to the winners of SM races for Monte, apprentices,   Youth and  Equestrian Championships on the 13 race programme which doubles as the weekend’s V75 meeting.   SVENSKT MÄSTERSKAP Åby  2013-10-12  (G2)   Nat   2640m  all Male  €141,000 1         Juggle Face (h Viking Kronos - Rakel Sund) Dr:   Lutfi Kolgjini  Tr:  Lutfi Kolgjini              2         Yarrah Boko (h Coktail Jet - Big Blue Kitten) Dr:   Ulf Ohlsson Tr:  Trond Anderssen               3         On Track Piraten (g Kool du Caux - Monrovia) Dr:   Johnny Takter  Tr:  Hans R Strömberg               4         Perfect Toll (h Alf Palema - Tvindas S. ) Dr:   Åke Svanstedt Tr:   Åke Svanstedt               5         Deuxieme Picsous (h In Love With You - Carmela Strömline) Dr:   Johan Untersteiner Tr:   Johan Lejon               6         Harry Haythrow (g Rite On Line - Speedy Tilda) Dr:   Peter Untersteiner Tr:   Johnny Johansson               7         Monster Drive (h Thai Tanic - Kewpie) Dr:   Björn Goop Tr:   Reijo Liljendahl               8         Womanizer (g Tap In - Sandra Nibs) Dr:   Tommi Kylliäinen Tr:   Jarno Kauhanen              9         Perfectly Enough (h Express It - Just About Enough) Dr:   Erik Adielsson  Tr:  Stig H Johansson               10       Orecchietti (h From Above - Canneloni) Dr:   Örjan Kihlström  Tr:  Stefan Hultman       SE STO-SM Åby  12/10/13 (G2)   Nat 2140m all mares  €141,000 1         Ariel Boko   (Lemon Dra - Exciting Kronos) Dr:   Per Linderoth  Tr:  Per Linderoth              2         Vincennes   (Spotlite Lobell - Lina Trot) Dr:   Johnny Takter Tr:   Sören Lennartsson              3         Playing Tua   (Gigant Neo - Sandy Nalan) Dr:   Thomas Uhrberg   Tr: Thomas Uhrberg              4         Bell   (Jag de Bellouet - Maxi Limousine) Dr:   Lars-Göran Söderberg Tr:   Björn Svensson              5         Dileva Käll  (Muscles Yankee - Leva Käll) Dr:   Daniel Redén   Tr: Daniel Redén              6         Askens Valencia   (Rite On Line - Staro Ultima) Dr:   Jorma Kontio Tr:   Timo Nurmos             7         Mermaid Ås   (Broadway Hall - Superlou Ås) Dr:   Peter Untersteiner Tr:   Peter Untersteiner              8         Global Kitten   (Striking Sahbra - I Dream the Dream) Dr:   Magnus Jakobsson  Tr:  Magnus Jakobsson              9         Olivia Lavec   (Lindy Lane - Espri Lavec) Dr:   Flemming Jensen Tr:   Flemming Jensen              10        Photo Princess   (Super Photo Kosmos - Milady Hornline) Dr:   Michael Lönborg Tr:   Michael Lönborg     by David Sanders for  

US-bound Swedish star stallion Sebastian K (Korean) will defend his International Group I Aby Stora Pris crown against a stellar field on Saturday. If successful he will become the eighth two- time winner of the great race -  the first in ten years -  and will join Gidde Palema (2003, 2005), Victory Tilly (2000, 2002), Zoogin (1995, 1996), Idéal du Gazeau (1981, 1982), Lyon (1970, 1972),  Gelinotte (1956, 1957) and Iran Scott (1951, 1952). It will be a fitting farewell for the US-bound Ake Svanstedt who will achieve the double for the third time  with both Zoogin (Zoot Suit)  and Gidde Palema (Alf Palema) both being trained and driven by the Swede, who has also driven the the most winners with seven. He is not in the sulky this weekend as he was last year, with Jorma Kontio  doing the honours. The race at Aby, south Gothenberg,  has been part of the Swedish calendar since 1936 and has been run in two heats over 1640m and a possible run-off since 2005. It had varied in distance in both heats and as  single race from 2140m to 2640m in previous years. Sebastian K has drawn number 7 in heat one, for Svanstedt, who targeted this race rather than take up his earned place in the Masters Series final, and will be favoured to repeat in what will be one of his last races on his home soil in quite some time as he will relocate to Florida in November. Facing Sebastian K will be two Elitloppet winners in Commander Crowe (Juliano Star), who provided the quinella  in both heats last year,  and Nahar (Love You), who will be in the respective pole and number 2 hole in the first heat – and who then take the outside two slots in the reverse order second heat. Drawn three in heat one is world record breaking  French mare Save The Quick (Jasmin de Flore)  who like the two inside her and The Best Madrik (Coktail Jet), make their first appearances since the Masters du Trot final in France 10 days prior. The French horses were third and fourth in that race and will be looking to emulate Rapide Lebel, who won the race for the Republic in 2011. Italian Alessandro Gacciadoro, who is one of five trainers from the beleaguered country looking to relocate to Sweden, has Looney Tunes, a son of Ganymede entered, and he is drawn 6 in heat 1. Remarkably for what is essentially two sprint races, six of the field are by French stallions with only the two outsiders, both by Supergill,  Traveling Man and Denmark’s German-bred  entrant  Classic Grand Cru, who has shown liking for heat racing over a sprint distance – with a win in the Bjerke Cup in 2012. They will have to both put on performances of a lifetime to foot it with Sebastian K and the big guns. ÅBY STORA PRIS Åby 2013-09-21 Group I (Int)  1640m €282,000 HEAT  A 1         Commander Crowe (SWE)(10g   Juliano Star - Somack)   Dr: Örjan Kihlström   Tr: Fabrice Souloy             2         Nahar (SWE) (8g Love You - Mahonny Broline) Dr:  Robert Bergh Tr:   Robert Bergh            3         Save the Quick (FRA) (7m Jasmin de Flore - Heureuse Duchesse)  Dr:  Björn Goop  Tr:  Franck Leblanc             4         Traveling Man (SWE) (8h Supergill - Kimberly Lobell)   Dr: Johan Untersteiner Tr:  Daniel Redén            5         The Best Madrik (FRA) (6h Coktail Jet - Lady Madrik)   Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois  Tr:  Jean Etienne Dubois             6         Looney Tunes (ITA)  (8h Ganymede - Defi' de la Roche)   Dr: Alessandro Gocciadoro   Tr: Alessandro Gocciadoro   7         Sebastian K. (SWE) (7h Korean - Gabriella K)  Dr: Jorma Kontio Tr:   Åke Svanstedt             8         Classic Grand Cru (GER) (10h Supergill - Starlet's Victory)   Dr: Johnny Takter   Tr: Steen Juul             HEAT B  1         Classic Grand Cru (GER) (10h Supergill - Starlet's Victory)   Dr: Johnny Takter  Tr:  Steen Juul             2         Sebastian K. (SWE) (7h Korean - Gabriella K)  Dr:  Jorma Kontio Tr:   Åke Svanstedt             3         Looney Tunes (ITA) (8h Ganymede - Defi' de la Roche)   Dr: Alessandro Gocciadoro  Tr:  Alessandro Gocciadoro  4         The Best Madrik (FRA) (6h Coktail Jet - Lady Madrik)   Dr: Jean Etienne Dubois Tr:  Jean Etienne Dubois             5         Traveling Man (SWE) (8h Supergill - Kimberly Lobell)   Dr: Johan Untersteiner  Tr: Daniel Redén            6         Save the Quick (FRA) (7m Jasmin de Flore - Heureuse Duchesse)   Dr: Björn Goop Tr:   Franck Leblanc             7         Nahar (SWE) (8g  Love You - Mahonny Broline)  Dr:  Robert Bergh  Tr:  Robert Bergh             8         Commander Crowe(SWE) (10g Juliano Star – Somack)   Dr: Örjan Kihlström  Tr:  Fabrice Souloy             David Sanders

Top flight undercard races from Paris-Vincennes on Saturday are summarized below, along with fast-class events at Bollnas: Prix Berck-Sur-Mer, 40,000 euro purse, 2100 meters, 1.15.1kr 1. Union des Pres (5f Indy de Vive-Kerrie du Prieur), M. Bezier up (odds 27/1) 2. Une Dame (5f Jeanbat du Vivier-Girl Begonia), Jacques Bruneau driving  3. Ultima de Carsi (5f Hulk des Champs-Heenike de Carsi), Anthony Barrier aboard Prix Emile Wendling, 85,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, 1.14.4kr 1. Rori Axe (3f Ready Cash-Gamine Grif), Joseph Verbeeck, trainer Phillipe Allaire, owner Scuderia Colibri 2. Jonesy (3m Muscles Yankee- Ripley), Tomas Korvenoja, owner Ecurie OY Trot AB 3. Tast of Bourbon (3f Donato Hanover-Qualita Bourbon), Jean-Pierre Dubois driver and owner, Jean Baudron trainer  4. Robert Bi (3m Toss Out-Upfront JM), Dominick Locqueneux, R. Hagoort trainer, owner K.K. Bijerk (Holland) Prix Joseph Aveline, 80,000 euro purse, 2850 meters, 1.17.2kr 1. Vassila D'Orgeres (4f Love You-Falamine), Louis Baudron driver/trainer 2. Violetta Mauzin (4f Love You-Ouely de la Merite), Franck Nivard for trainer Thierry Duvaldestin 3. Viva Island (4f Goetmals Wood-Island Dream), Jean-Pierre Dubois (plus 25 meter handicap) 4. Very Nice Girl (4f Jasmin de Filore-Pocanontas de Line), B. Groult driver Prix de Basly, Gr. II monte, 120,000 euro purse, 2175 meters, 1.14kr winning time 1. Alexiandu Cherisay (3f The Big Boss-Precious Thing), Pierre-Yves Verva the winning jockey at 21/1 odds 2. Antara Buissonay (3f La Retour-Jadelle Buissonay), P-Edouard Maryaboard 3. Asana Trembladaise (3f Kuadro Wild-Passion d'Alban), Anthony Barrier up was third Prix Montier en Der. European, purse 75,000 euro, 2700 meters, 1.13.5kr winning time 1. Upman (5g Keplar-Niyafi), B. Mascle up in a driving finish 2. Orione Degli Dei (5g Conway Hall-Elissa Dei), Pierre Vercruysse up was second, trainer Mario Baroncini, owner Ecurie Balogna 3. Lobell Countess (5f Abano As-Countess Diamond), Hugo Langeweg Jr. up was third 4. Oibambam Effe(5f Classic Photo-Etna Sec), Pierre Levesque driving ended fourth 5. Torrcelli (6m First de Retz-Olympic Star), Joseph Verbeeck up was fifth 6. Beckman (6g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema), J-M Bazire was sixth Prix du Mont Saint Michel, 62,000 euro purse, 2700 meters, Quinte+ race of the day 1. Renardo Bello (8m Kiwi-Enfilade-Tarass Boulba), Damien Bonne aboard at 10/1 odds - this is a 12 time career winner of 329.000 euro and half-brother to Offshore Dream 2. Pedro Vici (10g Hulk des Champs-Eau du Loir), W. Bigeon up was second 3. Tintin d'Ecouves (6m Lucky d'Hilly-Oasis de la Basie), J-M Bazire up ended third As noted, excellent racing also took place this day at Bollnas with exceptional winners being: True Advantage (6f Conway Hall-Paragon Princess-Mr. Lavec) for Ulf Ohlsson in 1.10.7kr in the Bollnas Kommun for mares; winners share of purse was 125,000SEK over 1640 meters autostart, her 18th lifetime win good for over 2.75 million SEK. Gisela As (4f Infinitif-Golden Door Lindy-Cambest) was second for Ake Svanstedt; Credit Fayline (7m Credit Winner-Fay Topline-Mr Nevele), a 1.10.9kr winner for Magnus Jakobsson in a Silver Division contest over 1640 meters for 125,000SEK first prize; New Line (8g King Conch-Pa'en Igen Frokjar-Pay Dirt) a 1.11.6kr winner over 2140 meters autostart in a Gold Division affair worth 150,000SEK to the winner. Ake Svanstedt piloted New Line that now has 16 wins and 2,392,000SEK earned; Royal Apanage (5m Offshore Dream-Queen Apanage-Alf Palema), a 1.12.2kr winner in a Class II event for 100,000SEK first money over the 1640 meter autostart course. Ulf Ohlsson was the pilot. Thomas H. Hicks  

It has been 17 years since the Hambletonian Trot was raced in heats on the same day. Since that time only the Little Brown Jug and the Kentucky Futurity have been the major stakes that require a Standardbred to have to race twice or more on the same day. In the 1996 Hambletonian, it was the filly that showed her heels to the colts as Continentalvictory won the Hambo in straight heats of 1:52.1 and then came back in the final to win in 1:52.4. Her times both individual and combined broke all the Hambletonian record books that first Saturday in August. There are 23 three-year-olds that have entered this Saturday’s Hambletonian and ten of them will return for the final heat. It will be their first time ever racing twice in one day. What does it take to prepare a Standardbred to race twice in one day? What is done between heats to get them ready to go another big mile? The only people who can really answer those questions are the trainers who have achieved that pinnacle in our sport, so we asked them! Trainer Ron Gurfein won the 1994 Hambletonian with Victory Dream and then came back in 1996 to win it again with Continentalvictory. “My secret,” Gurfein said, “is to do absolutely nothing! The secret to heat racing is unless your horse finished third or fourth in the first heat and you want to change its shoes or lower its head a little, fine, but then do nothing else. Our Standardbreds are built for heat racing. They are born to race heats, we have bred them for it. We train them sometimes three heats just to prepare for a race later that week. We warm them up with a good mile and then bring them back to race hard for a purse. They do this week in and week out so there is nothing special to try and train for in advance. “For the time between the first heat and the final,” Gurfein said, “You treat them as if you just warmed them up for a race. You strip and clean their equipment, give them a good bath, something to drink, let them pee, walk them a little and get them ready to race again. It’s as simple as that. Trainer Per Eriksson won the Hambletonian in 1991 with Giant Victory and then came right back in 1992 to win it again with Alf Palema. “For Giant Victory we did try something I had not done before,” Eriksson explained. “After he raced in the Historic Cup (I believe), we waited an hour and got permission to train him a hard mile. I wanted to see how he would come up going two strong miles before the Hambletonian. He did well in the second trip and then he was great in the Hambletonian so I guess that training trip did not hurt him. “But I did not try that again with another horse,” Eriksson said, “Not with either Alf Palema or King Conch the next year. They were already racing hard miles and I felt it was not necessary to push them so hard until they had to do it in the Hambletonian. “After the first heat with Giant Victory and also the following year, between heats I was most concerned that the horses get as much water as they can. They lose so much when racing in the hot weather and between bathing and cooling out we made sure they had plenty of fluids. “In 1992 King Conch was the best trotter in my stable,” Eriksson said. “Alf Palema was good but as part of an entry with King Conch they were the betting favorites. If not Alf Palema would be been 15-1 or better. So after the first heat I figured we needed to do something to help him (Alf Palema) out and I decided to pull off his shoes. He was wearing aluminum queen’s plate behind and half inch half round up front. I know that pulling his shoes gave him the extra second of speed that helped him win it. After that King Conch did not race so well but Alf Palema went on to win the Zweig Trot and the World Trotting Derby.” Trainer Jim Campbell won the 1995 Hambletonian with Tagliabue. “There was only one major change we did with Tagliabue right before the Hambletonian, Campbell explained, “We changed his shoes. We switched him from steel to aluminum. I wanted him to have as light a shoe as possible. No excess weight on his feet and legs having to race at least twice in one day. “Other than that we really did not change his training routine because he was going two heats.” Campbell said. “After his first heat we did the normal prepping as if he was going trips,” Campbell recalled. “with one exception. It was really hot and humid that day so after the first heat we took him to the back of the paddock right away and for around 15 to 20 minutes we had a hose and ran cold water down his neck and back. I wanted to cool him off as fast as possible. He was really hot from the first heat and to this day I know that running the hose on him helped a lot in having him ready to race again in the second heat.” Trainer Osvaldo Formia won the 1990 Hambletonian with Harmonious. “I was training Harmonious at White Birch Farm in New Jersey,” Formia recalled. “And they had a long strip for training horses in intervals. I liked that idea and used to train him six trips on the strip. Then as we got closer to the Hambletonian I pushed him up to 8 trips a day. Other than that we really did not change any equipment nor any other part of his routine. “After we won the first heat,” Formia said, “we did nothing special with him. We treated him like he was just training his normal two trips before a race. We made sure to cool him off as best possible. I remember always looking at my watch because if it was going to be more than one hour before he would race again then I might have done something else.” by Steve Wolf  

A star-filled card graced Sweden’s Axevalla racecourse today (July 21) with the featured Final StoChampionatet going to Blended Scotch (4f Super Photo Kosmos-Hopscotch-Zoot Suit) for trainer/driver Per Linderoth. She covered the 2640 meters autostart in 1.13.2kr to earn 1,000,000SEK first money in this mares event for four year-olds. She recorded her third win in seven 2013 starts. Highly regarded Your Highness (4f Chocolatier-La Belle Lady-Conway Hall) finished a close second for Bjorn Goop and she now has six wins and two second place finishes in 10 starts this year. Rica Neo (4f Juliano Star-Cristall Cashflow-Supergill) took third for Ake Svanstedt with Fascination (4f Super Arnie-Elissa FZ-Lemon Dra) next for Johnny Takter. The consolation companion event was won by M.T. Harmony (3f Quite Easy-Princess Pleasure-Viking Kronos) in 1.13.1kr over 2140 meters autostart. The winner earned 100,000SEK first money with Peter Untersteiner the trainer/driver. Axevalla also hosted an aged mares Category I event for 100,000SWEK to the winner, that was Olivia Lavec  (7f Lindy Lane-Espri Lavec-Untra Ducal) for trainer/driver Flemming Jensen. She won for the fourth time in nine 2013 starts to increase career earnings to over 1.6 million SEK, scoring over 1640 meters autostart in a sharp 1.11.4kr. The US bred True Advantage (6f Conway Hall-Paragon Princess-Mr. Lavec) was second with Ulf Ohlsson aboard for Strefan Melander’s Stall TZ. Mermaid As (5f Broadway Hall-Superlou As-Super Bowl) was third for Peter Untersteiner with Britt Hudson, Drillbit As, last year’s US Breeders Crown winner Tamla Celeber and Don’t Wear PJ’s next across the line. There were four other 100,000SEK or more first money events on the card with winners being: Ivar Sanna (3m Super Arnie-Staro Africat-Giant Cat) in 1.13.8kr over 2140 meters autostart. Jorma Kontio drove to secure 125,000SEK; Alfaz Del Pi (4m Angus Hall-Divamm-Supergill) earned 110,000SEK by winning the Stena Recyclings Priz in 1.13.3kr for Johnny Takter. He won for the fifth time in ten 2013 appearances; October Kronos (5m Varenne-NordinGoldNovember-Viking Kronos) won the Svenska Foder Priz worth 100,000SEK to the winner, scoring in 1.13kr over 2140 meters autostart for Adrian Kolgjini; Angelo (5m Angus Hall-Sweet Cindy-Malabar Man) won 100,000SEK for a 1.12kr win over 1640 meters autostart for trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt. Crown’s Banker (10g Wall Street Banker-Crowns Jolie-Crown’s Cristy) finished second. This one has 23 wins in 63 lifetime starts for earnings over 1.6 million SEK Separately, the field has been set for the July 30 Hugo Abergs Memorial at Jagersro over 1609 meters autostart: Horse (Trainer) Bagley (Conrad Lugauer) Brad de Veluwe (Tuomas Korvenoja) Commander Crowe (Fabrice Souloy) Nahar (Robert Bergh) Occhione Jet (Stig H Johansson) Owen's Club (Pietro Gubellini) Raja Mirchi (Lutfi Kolgjini) Sebastian K. (Åke Svanstedt) Shaq Is Back (Daniel Redén) The Best Madrik (Jean-Etienne Dubois) The last horse invited was the Stig H, Johansson trained Occhione Jet and on Tuesday Bagley earned an invite with his Jagersro win in 1.11.2kr over 1609 meters autostart. Conrad Lugauer conditions Bagley On Saturday July 20 at Axevalla the V-75 Gold Division went to Beckman (6g Turbo Sund-Nins Palema-Alf Palema) in 1.12.5kr over 2640 meters autostart. Ake Svanstedt is trainer/driver of this 20 time winner in 56 career starts. He earned 150,000SEK with this win over Stay the Night (6m Ride the Night-Stayslinger-Gunslinger Spur) for trainer/driver Robert Bergh and On Track Piraten (5g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) for Hans R. Stromberg.  The beaten classy 11-horse field included Caballion, Harry Haythrow, Scouby Djob, Clear Sign and Iceland, a past Elitloppet winner. by Thomas H. Hicks  

The World Trotting Conference commenced yesterday in Paris. 18 country delegates are attending.

Orleans OM (5f SJ's Caviar-Deux de Mai-Super Pleasure) enjoyed a perfect trip from Giuseppe Lombardo Jr. to score an upset win in Bologna's Gran Prix Repubblica today.

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