Eunice Boko (2f Cantab Hall-ENS Tag Session-Tagliabue) won today's Breeders Crown event for two year-old fillies at Aby SWE. Jorma Kontio drove the winner for owner Boko Stable Holland to the 1.14.1kr win over 1640 meters autostart. The winner earned 175,000SEK and it was her second victory in three starts with the other appearance producing a second place finish. Side By Side (2f Jacose-Mixed Doubles-From Above) was second for Tommy Karlstedt and Without Hesitation (2f Super Arnie-Music Fiveone-Meadow Road) was across the line third for Kenneth Haugstad. The secondary feature was the Euro Classic Next Year for three year-olds going 2140 meters autostart, with 40,000SEK to the winner. Jerry Riordan trained Raise Wise As (3m Donato Hanover-Garden Variety-Tagliabue) took the victory in 1.15kr for Kenneth Haugstad over Darling Boko (3f Chocolatier-Favor Baby-Tagliabue) with Johnny Takter aboard. Rive Gauche (3f Infinitif-Triller Oaks-Speedy Crown) was third for Erwin Bott, trainer/driver for owner J-P Dubois' Dream With Me Europe AB. Tagliabue had a superb day as broodmare sire. The Fashion Farms stallion, who was first bred in 1997, sired the dams of Eunice Boko, Raise Wise As and Darling Boko. ENS Tag Session has been a terrific producer, she being dam f Triumphant Caviar (4, 1:51.4s and $796,794), Prayer Session (3, 1:53.2 with $541,742 earned), Theatrical Session (3, 1:55.3f, 119,623) and Tactical Caviar (5, 1:53,3s, $88,265). Another foal was acquired as a yearling by Russian interests and became the first trotter to win under 2:00 at Moscow's Hippodrome. Garden Variety, herself with a record of 3, 1:57 and $73,840, is a 100% European producer including In Wise As (1:56,2, $296,782), Mind Wise As (1:58.3, $106,119) and the aforementioned Raise Wise As that may be the best of this group. Favor Baby 2, 1:59.4 shows Darling Boko (1:59.3, $22,825) as her first foal of racing age with 2011 and 2012 foals to follow, both colts, by Chocolatier and Yankee Glide. Tagliabue has certainly been a touchdown scorer as broodmare sire and we expect more to follow. Thomas H. Hicks
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 Harnesslink.com
Orecchietti (6m From Above-Canneloni-Mack Lobell), with Orjan Kihlstom aboard, raced first up in the “death seat” before taking the lead at head of the stretch to win in 1.12.2kr over 2140 meters. The V75 Gold victory was worth 150,000SEK to the winner that is owned by Travkompaniets Stall AB, also owner of Maharajah, and trained by Stefan Hultman. Orecchietti recorded his 15th victory in 32 lifetime starts for life earnings of over 3.95 million SEK. Nahar (8g Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie), 2013 The Elitloppet winner with career earnings of over 9 million SEK, followed Orecchietti in a perfect second over spot for Robert Bergh before making a three wide surge halfway through the final turn. Nahar drew dead-even with Orecchietti before the winner inched away in the late stages. Update Hoss (7m Classic Response-Celebrfation Ride-Express Ride) closed late down the middle to be third, driven by Erik Adielsson. The US import Pastor Stephen (5m Cantab Hall-Gala Dream-Enjoy Lavec) finished ninth for Daniel Reden, timed in 1.12.9kr. He was making his second 2013 start. Pastor Stephen, a career winner of 7.2 million SEK, last started in North America in September 2011. The Bergsaker co-featured Silver Division went to Ed You (6g Love You-Lancia Brick-Super Arnie) in 1.10.8kr over 1640 meters autostart. The Robert Bergh trained and driven pupil earned 125,000SEK first money as he defeated Robin Ru (8g Gidde Palema-Ritzy As-Beseiged) with Ulf Ohlsson aboard. Pacesetter Democrat (6g Pearsall Hanover-Sugar Dream-Sugarcane Hanover) ended third for reinsman Orjan Kihlstrom. by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com
A photographer on the inside of the track may have inadvertently given the rest of the field an outside shot of beating the Crazed colt Tumble Dust in the Danish Trav Kriterium this Saturday. The purse for the 100,000 euros Grade II Stake. Tomas Malmqvist’s striking colt was well clear in his Kriterium heat when he started to slow down, and almost stop, going into a break just shy of the winning post earning a disqualification, a fine for careless driving for his pilot Johnny Takter, and a spot on one of the outside marks on the front line in the final. The beautifully bred colt, who is from a US family which has proved popular in Sweden with half brother Hard Livin and close relative Elitloppet winner From Above both at stud in the country. Another brother, Photo Maxx, earned just a few dollars shy of half a million and Malmqvist’s colt is already well on his way with the highest earnings in the field with 1.012 million kroner But with his gate speed Takter should negate the effects of his 7 post and be in a good position to add the Group I honour to his resume. He was also a finalist in Swedish Group I E3 final and has a record of 1.12.3 making his case for favouritism impeccable. The three heat winners have the advantage of the inside three poles with the impressive Muscles Yankee cot The Therumoursaidfire having Birger Jörgensen for local traine Peter Rudbeck. He was commanding in his heat win, his ninth in 15 starts and he has earned 654,500kr with a record of 1.14.8. Tano Bork was another impressive heat winner and will be driven as usual by his trainerChristian Lindhardt. He has won four of fourteen starts and has 341,907kr in earnings and a record of 1.13.3. Touch of Globe was the beneficiary of Tumble Dust’s misfortune and on that run will be hard pushed to feature in this. But his trainer Steen Juul, one of Denmark’s most accomplished horsemen, has two others in the event and in Conway Hall colt Tycoon Conway Hall, which he will drive, he probably has a better chance. Tycoon Conway Hall has won six of his 12 starts ofr 246,573kr and has a record of 1.14.2, for a middle distance race. Juul’s other colt Takethem, by the aforementioned From Above will be driven by Knud Mönster. A four-win horse, he has earned just over 100,000kr and has a record of 1.14.1, over middle distance. Jeppe Juel was bullish in the press about the chances of Tripolini which had won three of his previous four starts before a third in his heat. In total the Archduke Kemp gelding has won four of seven with two placings and has a record of 1.15.3. Morten Friis’ Great Challenger colt and Peter Untersteiner’s gelding Thengill another by From Above will also find support DANSK TRAV KRITERIUM Charlottenlund 2013-10-06 Group II Nat 2500m 3c&G €100 000 1 Therumoursaidfire (3c Muscles Yankee - Anacott Steel) Dr: Birger Jörgensen Tr: Peter Rudbeck 2 Touch of Globe (3c Golden Globe - Cirkeline Tes)s Dr: Thomas Uhrberg Tr: Steen Juul 3 Tano Bork (3c Great Challenger - Frederikke Bork) Dr: Christian Lindhardt Tr: Christian Lindhardt 4 Tabasco Cæsar (3c Pine Chip - Puk Paradiso) Dr: Rene Kjær Tr: Anders Nielsen 5 Takethem (3c From Above - d'Cherie) Dr: Knud Mönster Tr: Steen Juul 6 Tack Wee (3g Armbro Goal - Exel Hjordal) Dr: Nicolaj Andersen Tr: Jörn Nörlem 7 Tumble Dust (3c Crazed - Affinity) Dr: Johnny Takter Tr: Tomas Malmqvist 8 Tycoon Conway Hall (3c Conway Hall - Golden Sunday) Dr: Steen Juul Tr: Steen Juul 9 Tip Esterel (3c Esterel Sunset - Hera Esterel) Dr: Flemming Jensen Tr: Flemming Jensen 10 Tripolini V P (3g Archduke Kemp - Lady Magic) Dr: Jeppe Juel Tr: Jeppe Juel 11 Thengill (3g From Above - Elegant Lady) Dr: Johan Untersteiner Tr: Peter Untersteiner 12 Ticket To Heaven (3c Great Challenger - Honey Flamingo) Dr: Morten Friis Tr: Jan Friis by Dave Sanders for Harnesslink.com
Former USA 2YO Colt Trotter of the Year, Pastor Stephen, steps up into Swedish elite company incuding reigning Elitppet champ Nahar for the first time since joining Solvalla trainer Daniel Redén when he takes his place in the Norrlandskt Masterskap (Championship) at Bergsaker on the weekend. A million dollar stakes earner with a record of 1.52.4, Pastor Stephen was a sensational 2YO in North America reeling off wins in the Reynolds Memorial, Champlian Stakes, William Wellwood Memorial and Simcoe Stakes for trainer Juimmy Takter to gain the top vote in the 2YO colts and geldings category with 6 wins and 4 seconds from 11 starts and a record of 1.53.3 and earnings of around $US700,000. The Cantab Hall product of Kentucky’s Brittany Farms but an injury before the Canadian Trotting curtailed his 3YO although he won 4 of 11 starts and won just over $400,000, lowering his time to 1.52.4 with his best finish in the big stakes races being a fifth in the Hambletonian. Interestingly he is the third stallion from that year’s Hambletonian to be now plying his trade in Sweden, joining that year’s winner Broad Bahn and Currier and Ives winner Fawkes, who was unplaced. Broad Bahn joined Stig Johansson’s stable and has yet to be sighted on Swedish tracks while Fawkes has had success in the ultra competitive elite Swedish ranks, winning the Swedish Group I King Gustav’s Pokal for 4YOs last year. Rated by top driver Yannick Gingras as one of the best horses he had ever driven, Pastor Stephen was urchased by Stall Zet in January 2011. The 3YO injury, though healing, prevented Pastor Stephen racing as a 4YO, although he did stud duties in Sweden serving some top mares such as E3 winner Sweet Desire, and resumed training this spring, qualifying in Gavle in August. Since then Pastor Stephen has had just one start in a minor race at Gavle last month where he ran second in a sprint over 1640m in 1.12.7ak (1.57MR), interestingly beating home Group I winner Oracle (Ganymede). It is a tough test of his credentials with Robert Bergh’s Elitloppet winner Nahar (7g Love You) in the field and this will also be the first time that Pastor Stephen has raced over more than a mile (not counting the 1640m last start). Orecchietti (6h From Above) ran third in the Group II Arjangs Stora Pris in a top field behind Sebastian K and Formula One two starts back, and will be one of the favourites with Orjan Kihlstrom in the cart. Also in the field are last start winner Rakas (8h Victory Party), who won the 2010 Frances Bulwark and Finnish Group I winners Up Date Hoss (7h Classic Response) trained by Stig Johansson and She Loves You (6m Love You), a Finnish St Leger winning mare (and whose dam is a sister to SJ’s Caviar) who has not been in top form since returning from an unsuccessful stint in France. NORRLÄNDSKT VARMBLODSMÄSTERSKAP Bergsåker 5-10-13 V75 Gulddivision Ht, 2140m Auto 1 El Sueco (8g Calvin Capar - Otilia Sund) Dr: Oskar J Andersson Tr: Kristina Wiik 2 Haraldinho (6g Scarlet Knight - Havannas Julia) Dr: Marcus M Melander Tr: Catarina Lundström 3 David Sisu (5h Lindy Lane - Keystone Delicious) Dr: Ulf Ohlsson Tr: Petri Salmela 4 Device (9h Pine Chip - Vitessa) Dr: Per Linderoth Tr: Per Linderoth 5 Nahar (8g Love You - Mahonny Broline) Dr: Robert Bergh Tr: Robert Bergh 6 Francais du Gull (6h Jag de Bellouet - Tantiem Gull) Dr: Bo Eklöf Tr: Erik Lindegren 7 She Loves You (FI) (6m Love You - S J's Shad Roe) Dr: Jörgen Westholm Tr: Jörgen Westholm 8 Up-Date Hoss (FI) (7h Classic Response - Celebration Ride) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Stig H Johansson 9 Rakas (8h Victory Party - Tricky Woo) Dr: Per Lennartsson Tr: Per Lennartsson 10 Pastor Stephen (US) (5h Cantab Hall - Gala Dream) Dr: Daniel Redén Tr: Daniel Redén 11 Orecchietti (6h From Above - Canneloni) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Stefan Hultman 12 Parkin (7g Tap In - La Bigi) Dr: Henrik Svensson Tr: Björn Persson by David Sanders for Harnesslink.com
Pietro Gubellini engineered a championship day as his pupil Pitagora Bi (4m Self Possessed-Guidara As-Lemon Dra) took the 209,000 euro, 2060 meters autostart Grand Prix Continental (International Open) at Bologne, Italy. The winner, owned by Scuderia Verner SRL, scored in 1.13.1kr over Probo OP (4m From Above-Elimara-Lemon Dra) and trainer/driver Ed Moni. Princess Kronos (4f Donato Hanover-Malibu Princess-Malabar Man) landed third for Lorenzo Baldi with Plutonio (4m Self Possessed-Indra Bi-Toss Out) fourth and Per Amore Gual (4f Varenne-Palmatica Gual-Uronometro) fifth. The companion event, Grand Prix Continental Filly (55,000 euro purse, 1660 meters autostart), went to Prussia (4f Ken Warkentin-Elvezia-Pine Chip) for trainer/driver Gubellini in a stake record 1.11.9kr. She rallied from off the pace to draw away convincingly over runner-up Parinaz (4f Ganymede-CarmagnoleMB-Lemon Dra) handled by Enrico Bellei. Peace of Mind (4f Uronometro-Erica d’Alfa-Sugarcane Hanover) took third for Roberto Andreghetti with Petra Inn Ronco (4f Cantab Hall-Cynthia del Ronco) finishing fourth. The Bologne undercard featured the Prix Wayne Eden with two eliminations and a final. Elims went to Geox (10g Sugarcane Hanover-Gitana d’Asolo-Udet Hanover) in 1.13.3kr over 1660 meters autostart for a 9,900 euro purse. Gubellini drove the winner as he defeated Oncle Photo VL (5g SJs Photo-Balalaica SLM-Lemon Dra). The second elimination went to the Roberto Vecchione driven Occhiata Jet (5f Pine Chip-First Lady Jet-Supergill) in 1.12.5kr over Ortensia Gual with Enrico Bellei up. The 1660 meter autostart final, with a purse of 16,500 euro, produced a 1.12.9kr score for Occhiata Jet with Oncle Photo VL and Geox next across the line. The l’Europeo Gentlemen drivers contest was held this weekend in Moscow. Leading breeder/driver Maurizio Biasuzzi took the prize over 13 other contestants. Italy...MAURIZIO BIASUZZI 36 points Belgium...PIET VAN POLLAERT 36 Russia...VLADIMIR VARYGIN 34 Finland...JANNE MARKUS RAISANEN 33 Denmark...BJARNE HAAJENSEN 33 Germany...IMMO MULLER 32 Switzerland...JOEY VIGNONI 32 Netherlands...FRED HANDELAAR 30 Hungay...TAMAS KELEMEN 30 Spain...MIQUEL VICH CAPO 29 Ukraine...VOLODIMIR KUSHTAL 28 Sweeden...HÅKAN B JOHANSSON 26 Norway...TRULS PEDERSEN 25 Austria...THOMAS ROYER 18 by Thomas H. Hicks for Harnesslink.com
One of the biggest races on the Swedish calendar, the Swedish Trav Derby for 4YOs, will be held this Sunday at Jagersro for a purse of nearly 4,000,000SEK. It is a 2640m event, and the best of Sweden’s 4YO crop raced in six heats last week at Jagersro, with the top two from each heat going into the final. Sons of Viking Kronos have won this race twice and he will be vying to join only four stallions to have sired three winners of the race Bulwark, Locomotive, Scotch Nibs and Count’s Pride. Viking Kronos is represented by the royally bred gelding Viking America, one of local training legend Lutfi Kogjini’s three representatives and will be driven by Jorma Kontio and who won his heat, the equal fastest, which was his seventh race victory. He has won 7 races worth 541,000SEK and has a best time of 1.11.8 (1.55.3). Kolgjini who retired his only winner, 2010 champion Joke Face, only last week will be aboard Mosaique Face, a son of Classic Photo and a winner of 6 minor races and 856,000SEK. But Kolgjini’s best chance though is Group I winner El Mago Pellini, a Chocolatier colt, and another heat winner who will be driven by big race specialist Johnny Takter, the brother of American super trainer Jimmy. El Mago Pellini has won 9 races and 1.77 million SEK, has best time of 1.11.7 (1.55) and won the prestigious Konung Gustav V’s Pokal this season. Former Hambletonian winner Scarlet Knight who also had a stellar European racing career after his importation to Sweden (including a second place in the Monte Classic Prix du Cornulier when he was seven which may be a key to his success in Sweden) has two entries in the race both of them heat winners Molle CD (Daniel Reden with his second derby entry who has 9 minor wins) and Stefan Melander’s Increased Workload, a heat winner, who is driven by Orjan Kihlstrom in his seventeenth derby. One of a trio of representatives of Stefan Melander, from Solvalla, who surprisingly has never won this race, Increased Workload will be one of the favourites having won 10 races and 1.7 million SEK. He has a record of 1.11.8 (1.55.3) and was fourth in last year’s Trav-Kriterium. Kihlstrom has won the big race twice, one of them, famously, was with Swedish-bred From Above who also has two entries in the race, both trained by Per Lennartson - Mellby Apollo (8wins, 815,000SEK) and outsider Harvey Tornado (5 wins, 304,000SEK). The past two winners of the race have been by French sires in Pato (Orlando Vici) and Beau Mec (Jag de Bellouet). This year there are only three French sires represented, with Orlando Vici again having a good chance with one of the favoured runners, Stefan Melander’s Porthos Amok who is off the 2 post and in the hands of champion Swedish reinsman Bjorn Goop. He has won 4 races and just over 1 million SEK and has a record of 1.12.3 and was one of the two fastest heat winners. Another well-fancied runner is likely to be Standout, a son of Ganymede, the winner of last season’s E 3 Final and another Melander runner. He starts from post 11, and no derby winner has started from this spot. He has 8 race victories which have earned a tick over 2 million SEK. The other French stallion, dual Prix D’Amerique winner Offshore Dream is represented by Offshore Man, one of four geldings in the race and likely to be the outsider in the race having just 3 wins and only 345,000SEK in earnings. He will be driven by Torbjörn Jansson for Solvalla trainer Ulrika Wällstedt. Quid Pro Quo was another heat winner and he starts off the 5 position in the hands of Erik Adielson for for Bergsaker trainer Svante Bath. The group one winner of the Prix Orsi Mangelli, one of Italy’s big races, Quid Pro Quo is also the winner of the Sprintermasteren Final in his 11 race victories which have earned him 3.6 million SEK so far. The final entry is Ken Warkentin gelding Perfect Power who will be driven by his trainer Peter Untersteiner of Halmstadt. One of the outsiders in the race, he has won three races and 623,400kr. SVENSKT TRAVDERBY Jägersro 2640m, Nat Group I 4YOs 4,000,000SEK 1 El Mago Pellini (4h Chocolatier - My Intuition) Dr: Johnny Taker Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini 2 Porthos Amok (4h Orlando Vici - Baroness Amok) Dr: Björn Goop Tr: Stefan Melander 3 Molle C.D. (4h Scarlet Knight - Not in a Million) Tr/Dr: Daniel Redén 4 Increased Workload (4h Scarlet Knight - My Darling) Dr: Örjan Kihlström Tr: Stefan Melander 5 Quid Pro Quo (4h Yankee Glide – Hostage) Dr: Erik Adielsson Tr: Svante Båth 6 Offshore Man (4g Offshore Dream – Ladymint) Dr: Torbjörn Jansson Tr: Ulrika Wällstedt 7 Mosaique Face (4h Classic Photo - Iona Lb) Tr/Dr: Lutfi Kolgjini 8 Perfect Power (4g Ken Werkentin - Enjoy My Face) Tr/Dr: Peter Untersteiner 9 Viking America (4g Viking Kronos - Berta's Crown) Dr: Jorma Kontio Tr: Lutfi Kolgjini 10 Mellby Apollo (4g From Above - Mellby Rubin ) Tr/Dr: Per Lennartsson 11 Standout (4h Ganymede - Ebony D.K. ) Dr: Ulf Ohlsson Tr: Stefan Melander 12 Harvey Tornado (4h From Above - Beringa Queen) Hanover Dr: Thomas Uhrberg Tr: Per Lennartsson By Dave Sanders
The kids are going back to school, real football is about to be played, and my tan, what there was of it, has long since faded. That can only mean that the summer months are winding down and, as Bob Seger once sang, autumn's closin' in. Still, there is no let-up whatsoever in the racing action at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, as was evident in the racing week just gone past. So let's celebrate the finest performers of the last four racing nights by handing out the Weekly Awards. PACER OF THE WEEK: BLISSFULL DREAMER It's difficult to sustain a long winning streak in the sport of harness racing, even for a horse who stays in the same class. That's because staying in the same class doesn't necessarily mean facing the same field week after week, as hot horses could be moving up from lower classes while horses used to facing tougher competition might be dropping down. Add to that the vagaries of post position week to week, racing luck, and the simple possibility of an off week, and you can see why a four-race winning streak like the one Blissfull Dreamer was riding heading into her race on Friday night is such an achievement. Blissfull Dreamer has been sharp all year long as a 4-year-old mare, coming into her battle with the $12,500 distaff claimers on Friday with victories in 11 of 24 races on the season. She has shown the ability to come from off the pace in past races, but, with an inside post on Friday, she was sent to the lead early on by driver Ron Pierce to control the pace. Her fifth straight victory wasn't destined to be an easy win, however, as long shot Fire In The Night made a strong move in the stretch. Blissfull Dreamer, trained by Rene Allard, had the ultimate answer though, digging in late to win by a neck in 1:53:1. That makes it five in a row, the longest winning streak at Pocono this season, one that shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Other top pacers this week: Ultimate Beachboy (Matt Kakaley, Ron Burke), who won a showdown with fellow Super Stakes Saturday winner Jonny Rock by a nose in Saturday night's featured condition pace in 1:50; Rick's Crossroads (Matt Kakaley, Brewer Adams), whose victory over a field of $10,000 claimers on Saturday night in 1:51:3 was his Third Straight at Pocono and fourth in a row overall; and Power Pach Hanover (Andy Miller, John Cancelliere), a 3-year-old filly who now has three wins in a row at Pocono after her condition victory on Tuesday night in 1:50:4. TROTTER OF THE WEEK: FLASHBACKS This 4-year-old stallion from the Wendy Chellis barn fell into a bit of a rut when he arrived from Tioga in June, struggling to make much of a mark against the tougher condition trotters on the grounds. The light switched on when he dropped down into a condition for non-winners of $11,000 in the last five races on August 9. As a 9-1 shot he made a strong first over move and scored an upset win in a career-best 1:53:1. Flashbacks was back at it again on Friday night in the same class, yet he was still given a tepid chance from the fans as a 7-2 third choice. This time around driver Drew Chellis decided to send his trotter to the front early, reaching the quarter in a rapid time which seemed to augur trouble for Flashbacks if he couldn't pace himself a little better. But Drew Chellis rated the horse masterfully through the middle portion of the race, conserving energy for the stretch drive. In the stretch, Flashbacks was still itching to go, and he powered home for a second consecutive win, this one in 1:54:3. With two straight impressive wins, this trotter with a name that suggests a dive back into the past is definitely looking ahead to a bright future. Honorable mention on the trotting side this week goes to: From Above (Andrew McCarthy, Mark Silva), who won the week's featured condition trot on Saturday night in 1:54; Ballet Slippers (Andy Miller, Julie Miller), a filly who now has three straight wins, the last two coming at Pocono, after a condition victory on Friday night in 1:57:1; and Bloomfieldcantifly (Anthony Napolitano, Rene Allard), a mare who ripped off her second straight claiming handicap win on Tuesday night, this one coming in 1:56:1. LONG SHOT OF THE WEEK: FLIGHT EXEC Despite back-to-back wins coming into the race, Flight Exec, with Kevin Wallis driving, was a 23-1 shot when he upended a field of $25,000 claimers on Saturday nightand paid out $48.20 on a $2 win ticket. DRIVER OF THE WEEK: Anthony Napolitano Anthony has been a steady presence in the drivers' standings all year long, but he's really been picking up the pace of late, as evidenced by a driving triple on Tuesday night. TRAINER OF THE WEEK: Tony Alagna Alagna sent a pair of 2-year-olds to the gate on Tuesday night, and both Status Quo and Some Playa, came away with convincing victories. That will do it for this week, but we'll see you at the track. Feel free to e-mail me at email@example.com. by Jim Beviglia
Emerging top international trotting star Timoko (6m Imoko-Kiss Me Coulonces-And Arifant) won today’s Grand Prix de Wallonie at Hippdrome Wallonie/Mons (Belgium). The Gr. I International UET Masters Series event produced an exciting and unpredictably close finish as the winner, driven by veteran Joseph Verbeeck for trainer/owner Richard Westerink, held off fast closing Reve de Beylev (8m Fortuna Font-Heloise Poterie) driven by Dominik Locqueneux for Ecurie du Haras and trainer Sebastien Guarto. Deuxieme Picsous (6m In Love With You-Carmela Strimline) ended third for Johan Untersteiner. The winner traveled the 2300 meter course in 1.13.1kr to secure the winners share of the 150,000 euro purse. Verbeeck hustled Timoko to a quick lead off the car as heavy favorite Ready Cash took the pocket spot, where he stayed throughout. Verbeeck carefully rated the pace leaving several pursuers in the death seat. Ready Cash was unable to escape and just off the last bend broke and ran the length of the stretch on the inside. Timoko drifted out slightly and barely held off Reve de Beylev in the drive. The Grand Prix produced a large crowd of fans at Mons/Ghlin as the fans packed the facility and surrounded the outside racetrack fence. Yesterday at Skelleftea (SWE) top racing was on the agenda and 2013 Elitloppet winner Nahar won the featured Stig Lindmarks Pris over 3140 meters for 150,000SEK first money. Trainer Robert Bergh drove the winner to an easy 1.14.6kr score for owned Stall Sedin HB. Nahar (8g Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie) now has 24 victories in 69 career starts for earnings in excess of 9 million SEK. Bergh also scored in a 2140 meter event for 100,000SEK first prize with Bradley (4m Love You-Boria-Supergill) in 1.14kr. The lightly raced colt won for the eighth time in 22 starts. Four other 100,000SEK first money events were on the card for warmbloods, with the winners being: Sundsvik Saigon (7m Diamond Circle-VG Glory Girl-Recourse) for John Ostman in 1.12.7kr; 2140 meters autostart for 125,000SEK first money in a Silver Division contest, his 19th win in 48 lifetime starts; Oracle Kronos (5g Kadabra-Gala Aas-Pine Chip) for Ulf Ohlsson in 1.11.5kr; 1640 meters for 110,000SEK to the winner in a Bronze Division event, the winners’ 12th score in 22 career starts; ZagrosBoko (7g Viking Kronos-Namarra Boko-Viking’s Way) in 1.12.7kr over 1640 meters autostart in a 100,000SEK first prize Klass I event. Ulf Ohlsson drove the winner to his 10th victory in 47 career appearances; Pompano (5g From Above-Flying Fish-Smokin Yankee) took a Klass II event over 2640 meters for 100,000 first money. Petter Lundberg drove the winner to his fifth win in 15 starts, scoring in 1.15.7kr. The coldblood feature for 150,000SEK to the winner went to veteran Hallsta Lotus (13m Jarvsofaks-Hallsta Malibu-Mosater) for Ulf Ohlsson. He covered 1640 meters autostart in 1.20.5kr to prevail in a photo over Faksen JR (11h Jarvsofaks-Tummelisa-Elding) and trainer Jan Ove Olsen. The winner now has 71 career wins (42%) in 170 starts for earnings of 9,273,785SEK. He’s a solid seven for 15 in 2013. The second place finisher is also a good performer, with 34 wins in 108 outings for earnings of over 3.88 million SEK. Thomas H. Hicks
Little Brown Fox and driver Brian Sears traded the early lead with Cedar Dove (Ron Pierce) and then took command for good in capturing the $75,000 Vincennes Free-For-All Trot for older mares in 1:53.3. From Above (Corey Callahan) was second with Beatgoeson Hanover (Dave Miller) third. By the three-quarters in looked as if the entire filed had bunched together and were going to sweep down on Little Brown Fox, but Brian Sears keep the four-year-old daughter of Muscles Yankee on top throughout the stretch to win by a half length. Trained by none other than Jimmy Takter, Little Brown Fox posted her fourth win of the year for owners Christina Takter, Brixton Medical, John & Jim Fielding and Brittany Farms. She paid $10.60 to win. Steve Wolf
Ecurie Quick Star's bred and owned Up and Quick (5m Buvetier d'Aunou-Fichtre-Quiton du Coral) handily won today's Gr. II Prix Louis Jariel for 120,000 euro at Paris-Vincennes.
Fascination (4f Super Arnie-Elissa F.Z.-Lemon Dra) won her initial 2013 start at Jagersro, scoring in 1.15km in the Dackerians Prize over 2140 meters (autostart) for a purse of 85,000Sek.
The trend was upwards on Thursday evening at the first session of the Swedish Breeders Association's Kriterium sale in Stockholm.
Bjorn Goop's superstar Quarcio du Chene (Capriccio) stole the show at the Solvalla V75 finals winning Gold Division Final (December 26) for his third straight harness racing victory, while Flemming Jensen's Danish invader Mathilde Trojborg (Earthquake)won the Baroness Karsks race.
Downtown Fortuna, a Dutch colt sired by Broadway Hall and out of Saratoga Yankee (she by Yankee Glide), fetched the highest price of $93,000 at the 2 Companion Sale held in The Netherlands.