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Today’s V75 harness racing action was highlighted by several fast class events each for winners’ money of 200,000SEK or more. The Frances Bulwark (250,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) produced an impressive victory for Finland’s Shadow Woodland (7g The Bosses Lindy-Unlimited Visa-Credit Winner) with Bjorn Goop up for trainer Reijo Liljendahl. Timed in 1.11.2kr he swept to the front early and kept on going for an easy score over pocket placed Magic Tonight (7m Andover Hall-Miss Possessed-Self Possessed) with Kenneth Haugstad driving for Roger Walmann. Third was Dreams Take Time (7m Andover Andover-B My Honey-Viking Kronos) with trainer Pete Untersteiner the pilot. The race winner recorded his fifth 2016 win in 11 starts and 22nd in the career from 55 outings, now good for 2,440,601SEK earned. The Silver Division Final (220,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.12.3kr timed Seedorf O.M.F from Italy, teamed by Goop for trainer Stig H, Johansson. The five year-old gelded son of Algiers Hall-Indy’s Lindy-SJ’s Caviar) earned his sixth 2016 win from 12 starts and 18th lifetime in 34 outings. Jetset (7f Juliano Star-Superlet-Super Arnie) was next for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner and third went to Finland’s Top Of The World (5g Conway Hall-Pilgrims Redhead-Self Possessed). Ulf Ohlsson teamed this one for trainer Liljendahl. The impressive winner scored off soft fractions and raced barefoot, a late change made to the 1.8/1 favorite. The Klass I Custom Sulky (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.12.3kr timed and 2.8/1 Ottens Casher (4g Ready Cash-Ottens Julia-Juliano Star) with Orjan Kihlstrom up. Roger Walmann trains the SRF Stable owned gelding. Digital Engine (5g Super Photo Kosmos-Maralou-Sherwood) was second for Ove A. Lindqvist and third was Donato E (5g Donato Hanover-Ultra Sund-Viking Kronos) with Ulf Ohlsson driving. The Bronze Division Final (200,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to Denmark’s Le Miracle (4g Taurus Dream-Le Reve-Fill V) with Erik Adielsson driving for trainer Svante Bath and Caramera AB. The winner, bred by Jean Pierre Dubois, took his sixth 2016 victory in eight starts and he now posts an 11-2-1 slate in just 14 career outings. Global Respons (5g Credit Wiinner-Com Mimmi-Running Sea) took second for Kevin Oscarsson and trainer Stefan Persson. Third was Catch The Cash (6f Gigant Neo-You Never Can Tell-Mr. Lucken) for Oskar J. Andersson and Serious Try (5g Crazed-Miss Volo-Yankee Glide) was fourth for Per Lennartsson. The winners’ time was 1.12.4kr. The Klass II Agria Final (200,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.13.3kr timed Ma Running (4f Running Sea-Hipo Beat The Odds-SJ’s Caviar) with Ulf Ohlsson driving for trainer Reijo Liljendahl. This one now has a 2016 slate of 4-2-3 in ten starts. Anedu (6g Opus Viervil-Ironiessa-Texas) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom with third to Oceanic Clearence (4f Scarlet Knight-Hermit Lady-Express Ride). Thomas H. Hicks

Next Thursday June, 30th and Wednesday July, 1st in the Finish racecourses of Riksun Ravit in Rihimakii and Jokimaa in Lahti will be held the Ladies European championship 2016 for amateur harness racing lady drivers organized by the flag of the FEGAT (European federation of amateurs drivers). The championship will be played on four scoring races, 2 in each racecourse, with the participation of drivers from 13 different nationalities, members of FEGAT. The most important achievements of some of the drivers participating in the Ladies European Championship 2016 are: Austrian Gundula Bauer, European lady driver Champion in Sweden 2008 and Bronze medal in Ladies EC 2006 in Hungary. Belgian Beatrice Demoulin, silver medal in Ladies EC 2010 in Norway. Dutch Hiltje Tjalsma, silver medal in Ladies EC 2011 in The Netherlands and 3 times bronze medal in Denmark 2015, Germany 2013 and Austria 2012. Hungarian Barnadett Baloghm bronze medal in Ladies EC 2011 in The Netherlands. German Marie Lindinger, bronze medal in Ladies EC 2003 in Russia and 642 wins in her lifetime career. Oficial race cards links: Riksun Ravit – Riihimäki 30.06.2016 (races 3&5) Jokimaa – Lahti 01.07.2016 (races 1&2)  The official link of the European Ladies Championship 2016 is here.  For more information you can check the official website of FEGAT and don’t hesitate to contact with us to solve your doubts about the championship at The official list of the Lady drivers participants for this 2015 FEGAT European Championship is the follow next: Participants Ladies European Championship 2016   Country First Name Name Date of birth License since Last year victories This year victories Total wins Austria Gundula  Bauer  13.12.1975 1994 8 1 183 Belgium Beatrice  Demoulin  28.01.1970 1990 6 1 66 Denmark Mariann Thorup Nielsen 25.09.1967 1985 4 0 43 Finland Sari Pääaho 15.04.1983 2000 6 0 36 Germany Marie  Lindinger  23.10.1979 2000 13 0 642 Hungary Bernadett Balogh 28.08.1977 2008 13 0 65 Italy Monica  Gradi  05.08.1983 2002 27 6 315 The Netherlands Hiltje  Tjalsma  05.09.1979 2005 18 1 233 Norway Amanda Robertsen 10.10.1994 2010 38 2 79 Russia Olga Titova  22.10.1970 1998 6 5 261 Spain Maria Francisca  Sureda Barcelo  28.04.1985 2000 2 0 21 Sweden Jessika  Sidbäck  27.09.1974 2011 5 1 19 Switzerland Simone  Theureau  27.01.1977 1992 5 0 28     FEGAT, June 2016.   

A fine harness racing field is assembled for the Gr. I UET Masters Kymi Grand Prix on Saturday at Kouvala, Finland. Spain’s Trebol won the 2015 edition timed in 1.11.8kr, second fastest in history behind the 2006 win in 1.11.1kr by Jag de Bellouet. On Saturday pressure to win will be applied by Timoko. Oasis Bi, improving Univers de Pan and Pascia’s Lest. It should be a super race. Saturday 18 June - Kouvala Kymi Grand Prix –€85.000 to winner; purse €150,000 – meters 2100 autostart 1. Quick Fix (Christoffer Eriksson) 2. Surprise Lord (Ari Moilanen) 3. Oasis Bi (Claes Svensson) 4. Univers de Pan (Philippe Daugeard) 5. Trebol (Gabriel Angel Pou Pou) 6. Onirique (Tommi Kylliäinen) 7. Mellby Viking (Jorma Kontio) 8. Timoko (Björn Goop) 9. Pascia’ Lest  (Pietro Gubellini) 10. Seabiscuit ( Mika Forss)   Begun in 1998. the Kymi Grand Prix, raced over 2100 meters autostart for a purse of €150,000, has shown international winners such as Timoko in 2014, Commander Crower (twice), Rapide Lebel, Brioni, l’Amiral Mauzin, Legendary Lover K and Defi d’Aunou. Thomas H. Hicks

Favored Propulsion (5m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall won todays Finlandia AJO (Gr. I International UET Masters Series, purse €110,000, 10 starters) at Vermo (Helsinki Finland) for harness racing driver Orjan Kihlstrom, trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet. The victory, at odds of 1.1/1 on the ATG network, set a new Vermo track record of 1.10.2kr (mile rate 1:52.95) over the 1609 meter (one mile) autostart course. 15/1 Tycoon Conway Hall (6m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) set the pace for driver/trainer Steen Juul and gamely held second. Anna Mix (6f Ludo du Castelle-Ires-Tenor de Baune) ralled late and wide at 3.8/1 odds for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Franck Leblanc to end third after getting away from the mobile last from past two. She is notoriously slow off the car and today was no exception. Nothing But Class was fourth for Peter Untersteinerand fifth went to Ringostar Treb with Wim Paal up. Volstead was off-stride before the start and Shadow Woodland miscued during the contest. Previous race record was 1.10.6kr in 2010 by Quarcio du Chene and in 2014 the winner Univers de Pan scored in 1.10.7kr. Thomas H. Hicks  

July 19, 2015 - Creatine (5m Andover Hall-Berry Nice Muscles) won today’s International Prix Saint Michel (purse €122,000, 8 starters, 1609 meters autostart) for trainer/driver Johnny Takter. From post five, Creatine went for the lead and was parked by Quick Fix and reinsman Jorma Kontio to almost the half mile mark when he yielded to the pocket. Quickly Takter was on the move again and cleared from Quick Fix at the three-quarter mark when he opened three lengths in the final bend and in the lane held off late closing 7/1 odds Solea Rivelliere (9f Calife des Noues-Heloa Rivelliere) driven by trainer Philippe Daugeard for an easy win clocked in 1.10.29 (1:53.10 mile rate). Creatine was the 5/1 favorite in what was an easy field. Solea Rivelliere was clocked in 1.10.54kr. Veteran Reven d’Amour (10m Revenue-Melody d’Amour) was third at 22/1 timed in 1.10.66kr for trainer Frederik B. Larsson. Seabiscuit and Bret Boko finished fourth and fifth. Smilin Eli, starting from post one, was offstride before the start. Creatine, racing with shoes on, went a tough trip and might be an important factor in future upper-class events. Adam Bowden (Diamond Creek) owns the winner.   No. Horse Driver Ed. km 1 5 Creatine JW Takter 1'10''3 2 6 Soléa Rivellière Ph. Daugeard 1'10''5 3 2 Reven d'Amour H. Torvinen 1'10''7 4 4 Seabiscuit Mr. Forss 1'10''9 5 7 Bret Boko A. Moilanen 1'11''5   6 8 Stormysky J. Torvinen 1'11''6 7 3 Quick Fix J. Kontio 1'11''7 8 1 Smilin Eli Reden D. 1'16''1   Thomas H. Hicks  

June 27, 2015 - Spain now has its initial Gr. I winner as Trebol (8m Hot Blues-Sally Can Wait-Prince Mystic) rallied from third on the outer for Gabriel-Angel Pou Pou to wear down leading Maven (6f Glidemaster-M.Stewart-American Winner), that ended third at 1.7/1 odds, and then easily held off 4.7/1 Oasis Bi (7m Toss Out-Up Front JM) and harness racing driver Antti Teivainen to win this Gr. I UET Master Series Kymi Grand Prix Finlande at Kouvola. Purse was €150,000 for this 2100 meter autostart contest scratched down to eight particpants. Red Rose America and Ringostar Treb were scratched. Maven was away fourth and moved early to gain the front. Co-favorite Timoko followed but gapped and under strong urging from Pierre Vercruysse could not get alongside Maven and Johnny Takter. Trebol’s strong winning stretch rally resulted in his 30th career win for now earnings of €490,662, as he scored in 1.11.80 for owner Mme. C. Crespi Perez at odds of 8.8/1. Oasis Bi was timed in 111.95 with the tiring Maven clocked at 1.12.09kr. Seabiscuit was fourth and Timoko ended fifth. Replay follows:  Kymi Grand Prix 2015 Thomas H. Hicks

Bret Boko (7g Yankee Glide-Simb Capi-Probe) took today’s €110,000 purse Finlandia AJO at Vermo racecourse, Helsinki Finland in gate to wire fashion over 1609 meters autostart. The Gr. I UET Masters International event had eight starters after two scratches. Bret Boko was off at 14.1 on Fintoto and 33/1 on PMU as Ari Moilanen teamed the winner with confidence clocked in 1.12.15kr for trainer Markku Nieminen and owner Stable Bet on Bet. Vincennes (7f Spotlite Lobell-Kina Trot-Firm Tribute) was second at 7/1 (PMU) for trainer Fabrice Souloy and reinsman Orjan Kihlstrom, with a late outside rush, with third to a boxed in Univers du Pan (7m Kenya du Pont-Gypsilore-Pan de le Vaudere) with trainer Philippe Daugeard aboard. He was the 2014 race winner. Italy’s Pascia’Lest was fourth. Univers du Pan appeared to have much left but could not escape from behind the winner as no passing lane exists at Vermo. Oasis Bi ended unplaced after contesting early and Moving On also tired after a no-cover effort for Franck Nivard. Thomas H. Hicks  

Nine upper class battlers face the starter on May 17 at Vermo Finland to contest the €110,000 purse event over one mile. Italy’s Pascia’Lest starts from post one with last year’s winner, in 1.10.7kr, Univers de Pan from post nine. Vincennes, recent Lotteria winner in Italy, is also a top contender. At stake is also the potential of an Elitloppet invitation. Fastest winner of this race is Quarcio du Chene in 2008, scoring then in 1.10.6kr. Sebastian K and Commander Crowe are past winners of this classic. May 17 – Vermo Finlandia-Ajo - € 110.000 – meters 1609 Pascia' Lest (Andrea Guzzinati) David Sisu (Jorma Kontio) Bret Boko (Ari Moilanen) Oasis Bi (Björn Goop) Thai Broadway (Gunnar Austevoll) Vincennes (Örjan Kihlström) Kash's Cantab (Erik Adielsson) Moving On (Franck Nivard) Univers du Pan (Philippe Daugeard Thomas H Hicks  

Young finish harness racing driver Teemu Keskitalo (23) is the new Amateur European Champion after a very close final results leading 1 points to the 2nd, the Swiss driver Jean Claude Gardaz, finally 3rd was Alle Loman from Czech Republic who won the last race of the championship.   At the same time the countries that qualified for next world championship which will be held in HUngary in 2016 are Finland, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Belgium, Denmark and Italy.   FEGAT trotting Points system: 13 – 11 – 10 – 9 – 8 – 7 – 6 – 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 - disq. 1 – Non runner  7, in blue the result that not count GENTLEMEN EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP  NORWAY 2015       MONARKEN 05.05     BJERKE 06.05         RACE 1 RACE 2 RACE 3     RACE 4 RACE 5       COUNTRY DRIVER PL PP Points PL PP Points PL PP Points POINTS DAY 1 POSITION DAY 1 PL PP Points PL PP Points TOTAL POINTS FINAL CLASS.   Finland Teemu Keskitalo -   - 1   13 2   11 24 2 2   11 2   11 46     Switzerland Jean Claude Gardaz 1   13 2   11 1   13 37 1 5   8 5   8 45     Czech Republic Alle Loman 8   5 -   - 7   6 11 12 6   7 1   13 31     Belgium Sebastien Grisez 2   11 7 -3 3 3   10 24 3 8 -3 2 3   10 31     Denmark Sven Aage Vindbjerg 3   10 8   5 4 -1 8 23 4 10   3 6   7 30     Italy Giovanni Bechis DIS   1 5 -1 7 5   8 16 6 1 -1 12 -   - 28     Spain Miquel Vich Capó 7   6 NP   7 -   - 13 9 3   10 8   5 28     Austria Thomas Royer DIS   1 3   10 10   3 14 8 12   1 4   9 23     Sweden Hakan B. Johansson 4   9 9   4 9   4 17 5 7   6 DIS   1 23     The Hetherlands Wim Brouwer 5 -3 5 4   9 12   1 15 7 11   2 7   6 22     Norway Ernst Petter Knutsen DIS   1 6   7 8   5 13 10 -   - NP   7 20     Germany Christoph Pellander DIS   1 DIS   1 6   7 9 13 4   9 DIS   1 18     Russia Konstantin Puchkov 6   7 10   3 11   2 12 11 9 -3 1 9   4 15    

May 2, 2015 - Lutfi Kolgjini’s trainee Quick Fix (6g From Above-Glued) won Saturday’s Prix d’Etain Royal at Seinajoki Finland scoring in 1.12.71kr at 8/1 for harness racing reinsman Toumas Korvenoja and owner Tommy Nilsson Holdings AB. The €100,000 purse international contest drew 10 entrants over the 2100 meter autostart course. 11/1 Big Sky Hurricane (7g Revenue-Big Sky Queen) was second for Mikka Forss ahead of 10.6/1 Traveling Man (10g Supergill-Kimberly Lobell) trained by Daniel Reden for Stall Zet. Former Elitloppet winner Nahar and veteran Womanizer finished back of fifth. As of this date eight invitations have been made for the 2015 Elitloppet with four important prep races remaining: Invitees: Timoko, France Maven, US On Track Piraten, SWE Digital Ink, SWE Wind Of The North, US BBS Sugarlight, NO Aladin d’Ecajeul, FR Support Justice, NO Remaining Preps: Copenhagen Cup, May 10 Algot Scotts Minne, May 16 Finlandia AJO, May 17 Prins Daniels Lopp, May 23 The action is sure to intensify leading to the Elitloppet. Be there to witness one of the world’s great sporting events. Thomas H. Hicks

Harness racing trainer Riina Rekila cannot explain it, but something compelled her to make her first trip to drive in a race in New Jersey with E L Love in the Lady Suffolk Stakes. Whatever forces were at work, it proved to be a worthwhile journey. E L Love, hailing from a family of stakes-winners that includes full-brother Appomattox and half-brother E L Titan, improved to 4-for-4 in her career by winning a $35,750 division of Saturday's Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old female trotters by 2-3/4 lengths over favorite Riley's Dream in 1:58 at Freehold Raceway. It was E L Love's first try in stakes company - she previously had won three conditioned races at three different tracks in Canada by a combined total of eight lengths - and a rare visit to the U.S. by Rekila, who during the past three-plus years made only 10 starts as a driver in the States. "I've had an idea - I don't know why - that I just felt like I had to come here at some point," Rekila said after driving E L Love to victory for breeder/owner Erkki Laakkonen. "I've had in my mind for a few years that I was going to win this race. I don't know why, but that's why I paid her and some of my other horses into it." E L Love is a daughter of Yankee Glide out of the mare Courtney Hall, a stakes-winning full sister to millionaire Cameron Hall. E L Love is Courtney Hall's fifth foal and the previous four - E L Rock, Appomattox, E L Rocket, and E L Titan - each earned at least $233,000. E L Titan, who also is trained by Rekila and won last year's Carl Erskine Trot, leads the group with $581,351. "They have a different style, but they both have unbelievable speed and how easy they can go," Rekila said. "She's a fast horse and she wants to do it." Rekila plans to race E L Love on the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes circuit in addition to a number of open stakes, but the filly is not eligible to the Hambletonian Oaks. Rekila has had previous success in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes with Christiana Hanover, who in 2010 won a preliminary round of the series in a then-track-record 1:53.4 at Pocono Downs. "She's the nicest horse, but she can be tough, tough, tough," Rekila said about E L Love, adding with a laugh, "I wouldn't make her mad if you want to be alive. You have to know how you treat her." Rekila also is preparing E L Titan for his 4-year-old campaign. E L Titan, who in addition to defeating Father Patrick in the Erskine finished second to Father Patrick in the Breeders Crown, Canadian Trotting Classic, and American-National Stakes, is doing stud duty while working his way back to the races. "He's training pretty good," Rekila said. "I've been taking my time. I've been to Mohawk a few times, a little bit faster but not very fast. I don't want to stress him too much. I just want to take my time, maybe race in late July or August and try to get him ready for later in the year." Rekila, a 33-year-old native of Finland, often drives the horses in her stable. She has won 163 races as a trainer and 140 as a driver. "I like to drive them, especially at the beginning, because then I know if I have to do some shoeing changes or if they are lame somewhere," Rekila said. "I know (catch) drivers can do it, but even when I win a race I'm thinking about things I can do for the next one." And maybe also thinking about places she can go, whether she can explain it or not. by Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications USTA

Freehold, NJ --- Karoliina Oinonen has been around the world with trotting star Commander Crowe, but there is one more place she hopes to visit before returning to Europe next week. The Breeders Crown winner’s circle. Oinonen, from Finland, has been Commander Crowe’s caretaker since the chestnut gelding, known as “Le Grand Blond,” arrived in the stable of trainer Fabrice Souloy in 2010. Commander Crowe is the 3-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot at the Meadowlands. Commander Crowe will start from post nine, with driver Orjan Kihlstrom at the lines. Now an 11-year-old, Commander Crowe has started in two previous Breeders Crown finals, both at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, finishing third each time. A win this year would make Commander Crowe the oldest Breeders Crown champion in history. “That would be great. That would be really great,” Oinonen said about winning the Open Trot, which also includes past Breeders Crown champions Maven, Arch Madness, Intimidate and Market Share. “I know it’s the dream of my boss to win one big race here. It’s not easy with post nine. But I hope. I really hope.” According to the stats on the Meadowlands website, post nine wins at a rate of 8.4 percent. It is not much off from posts two, three and eight, which have better numbers but also are less than 10 percent. The Swedish-born Commander Crowe has won 60 of 105 career races, earning $4.84 million. His earnings rank No. 5 among all trotters in history and his triumphs include the Elitlopp Invitational, which he captured in 2012. Commander Crowe enters the Breeders Crown off a second-place finish to Natural Herbie in the International Trot Preview on Oct. 25 at Yonkers Raceway, which was his first start on U.S. soil. He tuned up for the Breeders Crown with a 1:54.1 qualifier on Nov. 15 at the Meadowlands. Prior to arriving in the States, he finished second in the Grade 1 Gran Premio Turilli in Rome on Oct. 5. In August, he raced three heats to win the Grade 1 Aby Stora Pris in Sweden. “It was a great opportunity to get a horse like him,” said Oinonen, who has visited nearly a dozen countries with Commander Crowe. “It’s just unbelievable. I was lucky, he could have gone to somebody else in the barn. Without the horse, I would have never traveled like this. The horse has paid for my ticket everywhere.” Commander Crowe, who didn’t begin racing until late in his 3-year-old season and won the first 23 starts of his career, is owned by the Snogarps Gard ownership group of Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg and Joakim Wihlborg. He is a son of Juliano Star, out of the Mack Lobell-sired mare Somack. Oinonen said her most memorable races with Commander Crowe were his world-record-equaling 1:50.4 mile in 2012, winning the Elitlopp, and competing in the Breeders Crown for the first time in 2011. San Pail won the 2011 Breeders Crown on his way to Horse of the Year honors. Commander Crowe raced on the outside for the entire mile and was a length behind in third place. “We were third,” Oinonen said, “but just the atmosphere and traveling that far with a horse and all that, it was so great.” Commander Crowe enjoys his work, but likes to relax as well. “My work is to keep him calm,” Oinonen said. “If he sees all the working horses, he wants to work too. He gets too excited. “But he likes to be in the paddock with the other horses. He has been with (10-year-old gelding) Arch Madness. He likes the company. He thinks he’s a wild horse living on the prairie, eating the grass there. Back home he is usually living outside all the summer season. He comes inside only to work; that’s what he likes.” Commander Crowe is finished with his training and jogging as he awaits the Breeders Crown. Friday was to be spent enjoying his paddock time. “We have done what we can,” Oinonen said, “and now we see if it’s enough.” * * * No matter what Maven accomplishes in Saturday’s $500,000 Breeders Crown Open Trot at the Meadowlands, she will always be special to driver Yannick Gingras. Gingras was with the now 5-year-old mare when she went to the track for her first qualifier, back in June 2011 at the Meadowlands. He was behind Maven for her first start, a winning effort in a division of the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes at the Meadows, less than a month later. They teamed with previous trainer Jonas Czernyson to win Breeders Crown trophies at ages 3 and 4, and picked up the 2013 Dan Patch Award for best older female trotter. All totaled, Gingras has raced Maven in 46 of her 52 career races, winning 26. Now they will try to become the first female trotter to beat the boys in the Breeders Crown Open Trot since Moni Maker in 1998. Maven won last week’s single elimination by a neck over Your So Vain in 1:52.2, starting from post 10 and racing on the outside for the entire mile. Maven, purchased earlier this month for $750,000 by Herb Liverman and turned over to trainer Jimmy Takter, will start the final from post four and is the 4-1 third choice on the morning line behind 3-1 favorite Commander Crowe and 7-2 Market Share. Commander Crowe and Market Share received byes to the final. “I think she’s only going to be better,” Gingras said. “It wasn’t the best of weeks last week, Jimmy didn’t really have much time to do anything. “But she was awesome last week. She was parked for every step and still was trotting at the wire. I think she can get a good mile in (1):51 this weekend. Whether it will be enough, I’m not sure, but I’m not afraid of anybody in the race, I can tell you that.” For her career, Maven has won 29 of 52 races and earned $1.60 million. She finished second to Market Share in last year’s American-National Stakes as the only mare in the race, and earlier this season went to Sweden for the Elitlopp Invitational, where she finished third in her elimination and sixth in the final. “It would definitely mean a lot to win this one, there’s no doubt about that,” Gingras said. “But she’s already been really special and is always going to be a very special horse to me. And the ride is not over. There’s a lot more left with her for sure.” by Ken Weingartner, for Harness Racing Communications 

A massive fire has destroyed several buildings at Solvalla trainer Timo Nurmos stables at Fituna last night. Luckily it appears that no people or horses were injured in the blaze which destroyed three stables and a corn silo, several Swedish news sources are reporting. Swedish harnessracing website TravNet reported that the fire alarm went off at 6pm on Wednesday evening . A dozen fire trucks rushed to Nurmos’ training facility at Fituna Farm outside Nynashamn, to the south of Stockholm. Sodertorn fire chief Per Delhage, said on Swedish TV that the fire was under control. Swedish police reported that no people were injured and that all the horses that were inside the burning building were evacuated and were unharmed. Horses in adjacent stables were also evacuated. Top Swedish racing paper TravRonden quoted neighbour Patrik Oscarsson as saying that it was inconceivable that the fierce blaze did not spread to other stables which were just metres away. He said it was too early to tell if any were damaged and that the district veterinarian was on the site inspecting horses. Neighbours helped capture and pen loose horses and traffic around Fituna was diverted. TravNet reports that what caused the fire was unclear and that other news sources claimed the fire may have started in a workshop building. Finnish national Nurmos trains 148 horses and currently leads Solvalla’s trainer’s championship. The hunt is already on for new stables for the trainer. Dave Sanders

Finland has punched above its weight for a long time in harness racing. Think of the great Commander Crowe, bred and originally owned and trained by Finn Petri Puro who has lived for many years in Halmstad Sweden, like many Finns do, to make a living out of the sport they love including until recently trainer Kari Lahdekorpi, from Huittenen, who was the champion Swedish trainer in 2007-8 and 2004 trainer of the year until his shock retirement this year. No one in Scandinavia has driven more winners then Swedish based Finn Jorma Kontio, while compatriot and long-time patron Timo Nurmos, is one of the top trainers in Sweden. Yet another Finn Tuomas Korvenoja is the breeder and owner of one of the rising superstars Brad de Veluwe, the European Derby winner last year, and runner up in the European Championship for five year-olds last week. Brad de Veluwe is by Andover Hall, himself owned by a Finn Erkki Laakkonen, although resident in the United States. Finland is also home to two champion US sires in Donerail and Like A Prayer, among others, and the rapid improvement of Finnish horses can be seen by the likes of She Loves You, who won the elite mares race at Solvalla on Elitloppet weekend last year. And on Sunday, the next crop of 3YOS will line up for the Finnish Trav Kriterium, where perhaps the next Brad de Veluwe will emerge triumphant, including his trainer Korvenoja who will present the promising Muscles Yankee colt Jonesy. Jonesy ran second to rising Italian star Rori Axe (Ready Cash) in the Group II Prix Emile Wendling at Vincennes two starts ago, beating the highly touted Jean Pierre Dubois Donato Hanover filly Tast Of Bourbon into third place. He was good enough to make the Group I E3 Final against the top Swedish 3YOs, where he was beaten into sixth place, following by one place last weekend’s Swedish Kriterium winner, Rokkakudo. He also has the fastest record in the field, 1.11.8 (1.55.2MR) which he acquired in Sweden. Brad de Veluwe’s sire Andover Hall is represented this year by Greenleaf Slim, who was one of the early favourites for the race and has won six of his nine starts, and he will be driven by Mika Forss for trainer Heuikki Korhonen. Nurmos will have Kontio (who has won this race five times, the first in 1979) aboard his Yankee Glide colt Zo Zo Hoss who has 4 wins from 8 starts in Sweden while he has another colt by dual Prix d’Amerique winning sire Offshore Dream in Dream Run who has had two wins from 4 starts in Sweden. Pekka Korpi, who first won a Finnish Kritierium with Guiding Star in 1981, has four entrants with Express Duo (Express Ride), who has won the most money in the field, and was second in the Ulf Thorensen Minnelop. Korpi also has Arctic Shot who is by Classic Photo, who sired the recent European Derby winner Mosaique Face, while he also has the filly Eden Duo by Orlando Vici who sired the European Championship for 5YOs winner Un Mec d’Heripre, while he also a colt by Finnish resident US sire Donerail in Good Dynamite. Markku Nieminen’s Kadabra colt Harmi's Frido has won 61,000 euros from eight wins in 15 starts, has a good draw at 2 and also has the third fastest record at 1.13.8kr (1.58.4MR). FINSKT TRAV KRITERIUM Teivo,  2013-10-05 Group I 3YOs  2600m   1  Big Headache (3g E L Mikko - Southwind Roselle) Dr: Tommi Kylliäinen Tr: Riikka Kosonen    2  Harmi's Frido (3c Kadabra - Glamour Jet) Dr: Markku Nieminen Tr: Markku Nieminen     3  Jonesy (3c Muscles Yankee - Ripley) Dr: Tuomas Korvenoja Tr: Tuomas Korvenoja     4  Greenleaf Slim (3c Andover Hall - Mabelese) Dr: Mika Forss  Tr: Heikki Korhonen    5  Express Duo (3c Express It - Dolce Merett) Dr: Ari Moilanen Tr: Pekka Korpi    6  Good Dynamite (3c Donerail - Good Leasing) Dr: Kari Venäläinen Tr: Pekka Korpi    7  Arctic Shot (3c Classic Photo - Snowdeo Lynn) Dr: Antti Teivainen Tr: Pekka Korpi    8  Vice President (3g Oiseau de Feux - R.Sweet Hush) Dr: Peter Ingves Tr: Emma Bjerkås    9  Eden Duo (3f Orlando Vici - Irene Merett) Dr: Hannu-Pekka Korpi  Tr: Pekka Korpi    10  Zo Zo Hoss (3c Yankee Glide - Decadent Pagan) Dr: Jorma Kontio Tr: Timo Nurmos    11  Moonlight Love (3f Love You - El Itsmadetoorder) Dr: Harri Koivunen Tr: Olli Lähtinen    12  Dream Run (3c Offshore Dream - Golden Harvest) Dr: Esa Holopainen Tr: Timo Nurmos   Dave Sanders for harnesslink

The weekend's feature trots took place at multiple harness racing venues, some with predictable results. The Prix Saint Michel at Mekkeli (Finland) went to the 'Pippo' Gubellini trained and driven Owens Club (5m Duke Of York-Duse Tab) in a sharp 1.10.10kr (1:52.8) over the 1609 meter autostart course.

Last weekend provided much harness racing action at Paris-Vincennes, Kouvola and Boden, so much that other interesting development were too easily overlooked.

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