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Aubrion de Gers (8g Memphis du Rib-J’Arrive du Gers-Baccarat du Pont) was an easy rated winner of today’s Kymi Grand Prix (purse €170,000, 2100 meters autostart) at Kouvola, Racetrack in Finland as the field was dwindled down to eight starters after the scratch of Ringostarr Treb and Next Direction). The UET Masters Series classic was win timed in 1.13.2kr by the 2/5 favorite that Joseph Verbeeck handled for owner/trainer J-M Bazire. Aubrion de Gers now has 33 wins in 57 career starts for €1,687,372 earned. Marie Brigette Anty bred the veteran champion. The 5.7/1 Venosc de Minel (9g Laetenter Diem-Melia Monochrome-Flash de Cosse) closed fast for third, beaten a length, with Tony LeBeller up. Third was Finland’s Midnight Hour (7g Diesel Don-Quanna Kenp-Express Ride) with Iikka Nurmonen up at 23/1. The appreciative crowd enjoyed fine trotting on a fine sunny day at Kouvola. by Thomas H.Hicks, for Harnesslink

April 21, 2018 - Today’s featured Seinajoki Race in Finland (purse €70,000, 2100 meters autostart) went to veteran campaigned Call Me Keeper (8m Pine Chip-Elia Keeper-Credit Winner) timed in 1.12.7kr and reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Daniel Reden. Call Me Keeper now has earnings of €594,780. Peace of Mind (7f Uronometro-Erica d’Alfa-Sugarcane Hanover) took second for Italy’s Alessandro Gocciador, ahead of the Johan Untersteiner piloted Pastor Bob. The week in Scandinavia was interesting. On April 17 at Solvalla Perfect Spirit (4m Andover Hall-Good Common Cents-Kadabra) won a 1660 meter voltstart event for 60,000SEK. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed the 1.12kr timed winner that SRF Stable owns and Hanover Shoe Farm bred. Daniel Reden now trains this horse that won last year’s Hambletonian on a dq. Muscleman FI was second and Mellby Fantom was third this day. Reportedly Perfect Spirit will next race at Aby on April 27. Also at Solvalla Lionel (8m Look de Star-Aurora Sign-Smok’n Lantern) was a dead-heat winner of a 75,000SEK, 2140 meter contest. Goran Antonsen owns and drive Lionel that Daniel Reden trains. He hit the wire with Charrua Forlan (8g Up Front Larry-Friska Bar-Frisky Frazer) and driver Hans Owe Sundberg. Third was the Erik Adielsson reined Giveitgasandgo with French Laundry home fourth. Winning Lionel is now 21-10-6 in 61 career starts for 12,802,093 earned. Thomas H. Hicks

June 21, 2017 - Reims hosted the latest GNT Paris-Turf leg (Gr. III purse €90,000, 2550 meters, 16 starters), the seventh, on Wednesday, with victory to 13/1 Bon Copain (6m Love You-Harie) timed in 1.12.7kr, Francois Lecanu was the pilot for trainer Thierry Raffegeau and owner J.Y. Roze. 7/1 Africain (7m Oardo-Kamine) was second for Romain Derieux and breeder/owner/trainer Vincent Collard. 6/1 Atout du Lerre (7g Oakwood du Closet-Haquikmie) took the third spot for trainer/driver Franck Anne. 5/2 Belline d’Urzy was fourth for Matthieu Abrivard and Vanae des Voirons was fifth. The Prix du Bon Accueil at Reims (purse €26,000, 2600 meters, 14 starters) went to 1.13.9kr timed eastern European invader Romi Mms (7f Turbo Sund-Goldy LB) at 2.8/1 odds. Franck Nivard teamed the winner, owner by Marko Slavic, and trained by Philippe Billard. 12/1 Orleans Font (9m Ganymede-Saint Ghil SM) took second for Christophe Martens and trainer Vincent Martens. 2.9/1 Banco des Amazones (6m Orlando du Choquel-Orie de la Besure) was a rallying third for Eric Raffin. Thomas H. Hicks

May 7, 2017 - The Vermo, Finland featured Finlandia Ajo (€110,000 to the winner, total purse €190,000, 1609 meters autostart) went to rallying D.D.’s Hitman (6m Donato Hanover-Deedee’s Destiny-Muscles Yankee) timed in 1.09.8kr and catch-driven by harness racing driver Ulf Ohlsson. Petri Puro trains the winner, he the developer of Commander Crowe. This 5.8/1 second choice bested 1.7/1 Propulsion (m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for Daniel Reden and Stall Zet. Third was 8.5/1 Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) that raced gamely after battling on the outside of leader Elian Web entering the lane, and only beaten two lengths and timed in 1.10kr as was Propulsion. Twister Bi’s trainer Jerry Riordan post-race remarked that he was pleased with his trainee that was in the race early and late, held well at the end, and would welcome a chance in the Elitloppet. He said he would likely pass on the Sweden Cup if overlooked for the Elite race and would enjoy the day in the grandstand. Riordan is always a great interview as well as being a superb conditioner. The undercard at Vermo included the  Glenn Kosmos Memorial (€11,000 first prize, total purse €24,200, 1609 meters autostart) and it went to 1.11.6kr timed Love Matters (4m  Explosive Matter-Lotsa Love) reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Daniel Reden. Next Direction (4 Orlando Vici-Be My Luxx) was second for Iikka Normonen with third earned by Umberto Axe (4 Love You-Ira Furioiso Spin) piloted by Christoffer Eriksson for trainer Jerry Riordan. The Vermo Klass I (€11,000 first prize, 2100 meters voltstart) contest went to the US import Stand Bayou (6m Donato Hanover-Roux Hanover-Mr. Lavec) timed in 1.12.8kr and reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for Stall Zet and trainer Daniel Reden. Anything For You (5g Anythings Possible-Candy Rain-Uno di Jesolo) was second for Hannu Torvinen, ahead for Walle West (5g Mr. Pine Chip-Sweetie West-Spotlite Lobell) driven by Jorgen Westholm. Pete Spears of Hanover Shoe Farms management bred the winner. The sire of the second place horse was developed and raced in the US by Jim Gluhm and he stood at stud in Florida before export. Thomas H. Hicks

April 22, 2017 - Jerry Riordan’s trainee Twister Bi (5m Varenne-Lorraine Bi-Lemon Dra) took today’s harness racing Gr. I Seinajoku Race (Finland) (purse €108,000, first prize €60,000, 2100 meters autostart) timed in 1.13kr. The Italian bred campaigner is owned there by Pasquale Ciccarelli and now has a 2-1-0 slate in just three 2017 appearances and 18-6-1 in 41 career starts for €274,072 earned. Twister Bi led from the quarter post and drew off easily after a challenger went offstride in the final bend. Christoffer Eriksson piloted the winner, that bested Vasterboonthenews (9g Credit Winner-Sandra Dime-Alf Palema) reined by Peter Ingves. Third was fast-closing Anna Mix (7f Ludo de Castelle-Ires-Tenor de Baune) teamed by Jorma Kontio for owner Franck Leblanc. Twister Bi is next to race in Helsinki in two weeks. Twister Bi Jerry Riordan Thomas H. Hicks

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 www.fegat.com and don’t hesitate to contact with us to solve your doubts about the championship at fegatsecretary@gmail.com 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfCTLwOpMiY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZZRHkCWxK4 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

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