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Well regarded US exports Delicious (6f Cantab Hall-Ipsara LB-Lemon Dra) and Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) scored major victories today at Solvalla. The V75-3 Konung Carl XVI Gustafs for 250,000SEK to the winner went easily to Delicious and Orjan Kihlstrom. The diminutive mare won her fourth straight, this one nearly gate to wire (parked almost the first quarter from post eight), as she scored with ease and with shoes all around, in the 2140 meter autostart event. Off at 1.2/1 favorite Delicious fought off a threatening Volstead that faded late to be off the board enabling Obi Wan (9g Ganymede-Hejsa Reerstrup-Speedy Herve) to be second for Flemming Jensen with third to Arazi Boko (8f Varenne-Laura Kemp-Express Ride) for Christoffer Eriksson. Oliver Kronos and Mind Your Face finished fourth and fifth. The fractions were well-rated (1.10.3kr at first 500; 1.13.2kr at 1000; 1.14kr after 1500 meters; 1.13.2kr finish). Winner Delicious now has a career slate of 19-9-7 in 44 starts for earning of 5,666,572SEK (US$654,256). Two races later Nuncio took the John Deere-Solvalla Grand Prix with 400,000SEK to the winner of this 2140 meter autostart contest. Stefan Melander confidently piloted his owned and trained champion to a three-quarter length victory after being three-wide past the opening quarter. Daley Lovin (4m Conway Hall-Dreamsrmadeofthis-Dream Vacation) raced superbly (this one was bred in the US by Ann-Marie Daley and developed by Dan Daley) to be second for Erik Adielsson and trainer Daniel Reden, then it was five lengths back to the rest of the field. Fractions were well-rated (1.08.3kr at the first 500 meters; 1.11.4kr at 1000; 1.12.9kr after 1500 meters; 1.12.2kr finish). Nuncio now sports a slate of 26-12-2 in 40 starts for earnings of 18,132,726SEK (US$2,093,583). Explosive de Vie (4g Explosive Matter-Ava-Pine Chip) was third for trainer/driver Jim Oscarsson with pocked placed Exodus Hanover (4m Andover Hall-Exotic Destination-Dream Vacation) fourth to the line. This day at Avenches was held the Grand Prix du Trotteur Francais-Suisse (purse €20,815, 2425 meters, 9 starters) with victory to 1.3/1 favorite Padolin (12g Giant Cat-Adolina) timed in 1.16.8kr for reinsman Marc-Andre Bovay and owner Roland Muller. The classy veteran defeated 4.8/1 Swing d’Eronville (9g Jag de Bellouet-Lucie d’Eronville) driven by Jacques Juriens for owner/trainer Bernard Perrin. 7/2 Podium du Rib (12g Giant Cat-Gallia de Vandel) rallied for third for Mme. Rene Aebischer, also trainer, and owner Ecurie Rhythm & Blues as six horses were within a long length for second. Tomorrow the action moves to Milan Italy for a superb program that includes the Gr. I Gran Premio d’Europa for a purse of €209,000 and the Gran Criterium for €187,000. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

At Lyon la Soie, France this day the featured Prix Ourasi (purse €32,000, 2700 meters, 17 European starters) went to the 13.3/1 odds, 1.16.2kr timed Hot Deposit (8g Victory Abroad-Family As) teamed by Stephane Cingland and trainer Lennart Frolander. Mme. Linda Frolander from Sweden owns the winner. 12/1 odds Super G (10g Gidde Palema-Super Jacqueline) overcame a 25 meter handicap to land second for Jean Boillereau driving for Vincent Lacroix. Third went to 9.1/1 odds Ubanji (7g Jag de Bellouet-Perle d’Aunou) for reinsman Laurent Lamaziere for Ecurie du Vieux Chene. Today’s Prix Dauga Champions Series (purse €10,000, 2100 meters autostart, International) was the feature at Munich-Daglfind. 3.8/1 Abano H (8g Abano As-Countess Diamond) took this victory for trainer/driver Jochan Haide at 3.8/1 odds. 5.3/1 Oncoming Diamant (7g SJ’s Photo-Oruscha Diamant) landed second for Detlef Fleischer and trainer Gerhard Bieldl with third going to 3.5/1 Wild Viking (7g Vikings Way-Walpurgis Crown) handled by trainer Rudolf Haller. Well-regarded Dream Magic BE at 3.3/1 was disqualified for a miscue. Top action is on the schedule at Solvalla on Saturday November 14. The Konung Carl XVI Gustafs (Gold Division V75, 2140 meters autostart, 250,000SEK to winner) showcases Delicious in this 11 horse lineup: Arazi Boko, Christoffer Eriksson Nato Dream, Jorma Kontio Mind Your Face, Johnny Takter Oliver Kronos, Carl Johan Jepson Dreams Take Time, Peter Untersteiner Obi Wan, Flemming Jensen Quid Pro Quo, Erik Adielsson Delicious, Orjan Kihlstrom Volstead, Stefan Melander Thai Broadway, Bjorn Goop Kaffir Face, Ulf Ohlsson The John Deere Solvalla Grand Prix (four year-olds, 2140 meters autostart, 400,000SEK to winner, 12 starters) is led by Nuncio against what appears to be an overmatched group: Party Boat Hanover, Torbjorn Jansson Exodus Hanover, Orjan Kihlstrom Emmett Brown, Johnny Takter Daley Lovin, Erik Adielsson Nuncio, Stefan Melander Explosive de Vie, Jim Oscarsson Sylvester America, Christoffer Eriksson Global Revenge, Stefan Soderkvist Martiniwithmuscle, Ulf Ohlsson Furious Francis, Bjorn Goop Digital Collection, Robert Bergh Gross Weight, Jorman Kontio Unero Montaval wins Quinte+ at Le Bouscat Frank Nivard teamed 4.3/1 Unero Montaval (7g Nem-Heroine du Loir) to victory in the Grand Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran (purse €40,000, 2650 meters, 18 European starters) clocked in 1.15.2kr. Co-favorite 2.9/1 Agora (5f Prodigious-Ibiza ds Baisants) was second for Eric Raffin ahead of 2.9/1 odds co-favorite Naglo’del Nord (8g Naglo-Entites’ des Nord) with Christophe Martens driving. Quinte + LE BOUSCAT - GRAND PRIX DYNAVENA MAISAGRI DURAN Cl. N° Chevaux Drivers Propriétaires Entraîneurs 1er 3 Unero Montaval F. Nivard Mme B. Chaudemanche F. Lercier 2ème 6 Agora E. Raffin F. Tardieu A. Buisson 3ème 7 Naglo'Del Nord ITY C. Martens Denco HB V. Martens 4ème 8 H.M.Monocerus NOR A. Barrier G. Nordbotten T. Duvaldestin 5ème 5 Sir de l'Esque J. Chavatte Ecurie Danover B. Goetz This day on the Paris-Vincennes evening card the Prix Laetitia (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 8 starters) went to the 4/5 odds favorite Bianca des Iles (4f Open Charm-Higa Paguerie) for driver Mathieu Abrivard and clocked in 1.14kr. 1.3/1 Blooma d’Heripre (4f Rolling d’Heripre-Quenta Por Favor) ended second for Eric Raffin, ahead of 7.6/1 Brindille de Mai (4f Repeat Love-Ketoune) and owner/trainer/driver Franck Anne. Boskio de Vandel (4g Prince Gede-Ottih de Vandel) scored victory in the co-featured Prix Mebsuta (purse €70,000, 2850 meters, 14 starters) timed in 1.14.3kr for driver Christophe Martens at 9.7/1 odds. Vincent Martens trains this winner for Ecurie Campus RPF. 2.2/1 Boeing du Bocage (4m Scipion du Goutier-Lova du Cap Vert) was second for J-M Bazire, driving for trainer Franck Leblanc. 6.8/1 odds Biwa Nectar (4m Nectar-Nika) was third for Franck Nivard, trainer Emmanuel Ruault and owner Ecurie Comte P. de Montesson. Also on the Vincennes card was the €42,000 purse Prix Gyptis over 2200 meters for 10 two year-olds. Joseph Verbeeck piloted 4/1 Deep Purple (2f Prodigious-Ornella Rainbow) to victory clocked in 1.17.1kr for trainer Philippe Allaire and owner Mme. G. Poulsen-Allaire. Even money Don’t Explain (2f Prodigious-Quormen du Gite) was second for reinsman Mathieu Allaire and owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. 7.8/1 Divine Seven (2f Niky0Terre d’Any) landed third for owner/trainer/driver J-M Bazire. On Thursday at Vincennes is the Q+ Orix Marcel Laurent with a top field albeit well-regarded Bird Parker has been scratched. The filed is shown below. Prix Marcel Laurent - purse €120.000 – Gr. 2 - 2100 meters - autostart Légende : No shoes = . No shoes front = . No shoes back = . With shoes = . 1 BRUTUS DE BAILLYB. BOURGOIN 0a142m0a6a4a2m1m6a4a1'13"0(Vinc.) (NIKY - NINON DE BAILLY) - Propriétaire : M. HULAK - Entraineur : B. BOURGOIN - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 396250 € 2 RED ROSE AMERICAF. NIVARD 3a3a2a2a8a1'12"6(Vinc.) (VARENNE - ARMBRO VOICE) - Propriétaire : Stall PANAMERA RACING (DEN) - Entraineur : F. SOULOY - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 254420 € 3 ALADIN D'ECAJEULE. RAFFIN 1a2a3a9a1a2a4a1a5a141'09"8(homol) (QUAKER JET - NANCY D'ECAJEUL) - Propriétaire : PH. DEWULF - Entraineur : S. GUARATO - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 950140 € 4 BACKFIREB. GOOP 4a143a1'10"8(Vinc.) (OFFSHORE DREAM - FASHION BRODDA) - Propriétaire : Stall LINNE TRAV AB (SWE) - Entraineur : T. MALMQVIST - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 550332 € 5 AFRICAINEP. VERCRUYSSE 3a3a6a4a8aDa3a2a2a3a1'11"0(Vinc.) (OISEAU DE FEUX - ITALIENNE) - Propriétaire : J.ET. DUBOIS - Entraineur : J.ET. DUBOIS - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 557220 € 6 POOCHAICH. MARTENS 0'00"0 (MAKE IT HAPPEN - IN VINO VERITAS) - Propriétaire : ROXY HORSES KB (SWE) - Entraineur : S. BATH - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 454092 € 7 BIRD PARKERJ. VERBEECK 3a1a1aDm5m1a4a141mDa1'13"1(homol) (READY CASH - BELISHA) - Propriétaire : Mme EL. ALLAIRE - Entraineur : PH. ALLAIRE - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 742330 € 8 ATHENA DE VANDELC. MEGISSIER DmDm4a3m9a1m1m1m7a7a1'11"3(Vinc.) (PRINCE GEDE - MAELIA DE VANDEL) - Propriétaire : Ecurie LA TOUR DE VANDEL - Entraineur : C. MEGISSIER - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 437600 € 9 AVE AVISJ.M. BAZIRE 7a0a1a4a5a6a1a2a3a4a1'11"3(Vinc.) (KESACO PHEDO - MAGNA AVIS) - Propriétaire : Mme O. ROFFI-URANO - Entraineur : J.M. BAZIRE - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 452880 € 10 AL CAPONE JETY. LEBOURGEOIS 7a8m2m8mDaDa14Dm2m3m1'13"1(Vinc.) (JAG DE BELLOUET - PASSION DE MORGANE) - Propriétaire : Jean Louis FERAY - Entraineur : P. COIGNARD - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 252820 € 11 RAUL BREEDV. CIOTOLA 0a7a0a6a5a3a5aAa1'12"6(Vinc.) (YANKEE SLIDE - FIAMMA D'ASOLO) - Propriétaire : Az.Agr. PURLARI SRL (ITY) - Entraineur : SALVATORE MINOPOLI - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 120242 € 12 BANDIT HORNLINED. LOCQUENEUX 2a0a1'14"3(homol) (SAN PELLEGRINO (US) - DASH GIRL) - Propriétaire : Stall SAGOBO AB (SWE) - Entraineur : R. BERGH - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 132485 € 13 SPECIALESSR. ANDREGHETTI 1a6a3a147a1'11"8(Vinc.) (GANYMEDE - ENNA DRA) - Propriétaire : Ecurie NEVI (ITY) - Entraineur : F. SOULOY - Distance : 2100 - Gains : 197583 € This card also includes the Prix de la Clayette for a purse for €85,000 for the monte performers over 2175 meters. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

Stefan Melander’s owned, trained and teamed Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) produced a hard-earned victory in today’s Breeders Crown Final over 2140 meters autostart with 800,000SEK to the winner. This Gr. I winner now has a 9-2-1 slate in 12 starts in the current year for 3,200,000SEK (US$370,340) earned and 25-12-2 lifetime in 39 starts for 17,732,720SEK (US$2,052,231). Buzz Mearas(4g Dream Vacation-Dance of Joy-Malabar Man) rallied between horses to be second for Adrian Kolgjini with Global Revenge (4g Donato Hanover-Keystone Sunshine-Self Possessed) third for Stefan Soderkvist. Volstead (4m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide) was fourth for Orjan Kihlstrom with Sorbet and pacesetter Owen Face next to the line. Nuncio again raced gamely all the way on the outer to score in 1.12.1kr (1:56 mile rate). Replay: Other Breeders Crown winners (each earned 800,000SEK for their successes) on the Sunday card were as follows: Pacific Broline (3m Celebrity Secret-Malabar Mist-Malabar Man) in the three year-old colt event driven by Bjorn Goop. Heavy favorite Readly Express (3m Ready Cash-Caddie Dream-Viking Kronos) was second for Jorma Kontio. Winning time was 1.12.42kr over 2140 meters autostart (mile rate 1:56.52) Trinity Zet (4f SJ’s Photo-Kleo Zet-Angus Hall) took the four year-old mares event for trainer/driver Daniel Reden defeating Olympia Gold (4f Olimede-Sheila Gold-Good As Gold) teamed by Per Linderoth. The winner was timed in 1.12.99kr (mile rate 1:57.44 over 2140 meters autostart). Italy’s Treasure Kronos (3f Raja Mirchi-Glide About-Yankee Glide) took the three year-old fillies Crown for reinsman Christoffer Eriksson and trainer Jerry Riordan. This one scored only her second career victory, timed in 1.12.85kr, mile rate 1:57.22 over the 2140 meter autostart course. Princess Face (3f Muscle Hill-Hepburn Broline-Pine Chip was second for trainer/driver Lutfi Kolgjini ahead of Cayenne Ovel (3f From Above-Piova Kronos-Viking Kronos). On the Saturday card at Eskilstuna the featured V-75 Gold Division went to US-bred Food Money (7g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) for driver Jennifer Tillman. This pair defeated solid veterans O’Grady, Standout, Nato Dream and Knows Nothing, the second through fifth finishers. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink

October 7 at Solvalla was an interesting harness racing card headlined by the sixth consecutive win by Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) reined by owner Stefan Melander clocked in 1.12.8kr over 2140 meters autostart. The winner earned 40,000SEK for this Kat 2 victory and now has an 8-1-1 slate in 10 starts this year for 2,350,000SEK earned. The lifetime stats are 24-11-2 in 37 starts for 16,882,726SEK. Off at even money Nuncio gained the front in the first turn and led the rest of the journey to secure a three length victory. 28/1 Democrat (8g Pearsall Hanover-Sugar Dream-Sugarcane Hanover) was second for Per Lennartsson and third went to 19/1 Royal Blessed (5m Varenne-Ivory Kronos-Viking Kronos) with Wim Paal. On the Solvalla card was a prep for the October 18 Grand Prix de l’Uet and 1.8/1 Cash Gamble (4m Ready Cash-No Way Back-Viking Kronos) took home the 150,000SEK first money for Per Lennartsson. 5.4/1 Sorbet (4m Super Photo Kosmos-Altar Bound-Supergill) was second for Daniel Reden ahead of 3.5/1 From Dust To Dawn (4m From Above-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall) with Erik Adielsson aboard. The Breeders Crown for two year-olds (175,000SEK first money, 1640 meters autostart) went to 23.7/1 outsider Gareth Boko (2m Make It Happen-Vanilla Boko-Pine Chip) for trainer/driver Per Lennartsson. 5.3/1 Rhyme Broline (2f Celebrity Secret-Candelin-Armbro Goal) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Svante Bath. Third was 17/1 Inga In Heaven (2f Orlando Vici-VasterboFromHeaven-Red Xing) driven by Bjorn Goop for trainer Fredrik Wallin. Thomas H. Hicks  

September 10, 2015 - Thursday’s top race in Europe was at Gavle SWE where the Fyraaringsstarman was conducted over 1640 meters autostart with 200,000SEK to the winner. This harness racing event for four year-olds went to Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) with owner/trainer Stefan Melander driving. Clocked in 1.09.6kr, Nuncio won by three lengths to improve his 2015 slate to 7-1-1 in nine starts good for 2,310,000SEK earned. Lifetime he is 23-11-2 in 36 starts for 16,042,726SEK earned. The Jim Oscarsson trained, Per Linderoth driven Explosive de Vie (4g Explosive Matter-Ava-Pine Chip) was second ahead of King City (4m Muscle Hill-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall) driven by Orjan Kihlstrom for conditioner Roger Walmann. Also at Gavle the Tommy Astroms (75,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart) went to the 1.11.5kr clocked EL Rocket (5m Credit Winner-Courtney Hall-Garland Lobell) with Kenneth Haugstad up for Roger Walmann trainer. The winner scored his first 2015 victory for owner AB Svensk Reklamfinans. Per Lennartsson teamed the Melander/Stall TZ trainee Wannacmyguns (5g Conway Hall-Distaff-Self Possessed) home second. The weekend promises to satisfy top trotting enthusiasts. On Saturday September 12 at Paris-Vincennes will be held the €240,000 purse Prix de L’Etoile over 2200 meters. 14 three through five year-olds will be at the start led by Captain Crazy teamed by Tony Le Beller for Fabrice Souloy trainer and Cristal Money with Franck Nivard driving for Thierry Duvaldestin trainer. The €240,000 purse Prix de Normandie will also be an interesting contest with 15 monte players traveling 3000 meters. The probable leaders in this field are Alexia with Eric Raffin up for Philippe Moulin, Andalouse with Anthony Barrier in the irons, Ariane du Goutier and jockey Mathieu Mottier and Attentionally with David Thomain up. Veteran monte starts will contest the Prix Georges Dreux (purse €105,000, Gr. III International, 2850 meters, 11 starters). This group is led by Torre Crepin, Scarlet Turgot, and Nene’Degli Ulivi. Sunday September 13 shows Mons Ghlin hosting the €504,000 purse UET Master Series Final over 2300 meters autostart. This 13 horse field lines up, with drivers, as follows: Oasis Bi (Claus Svensson) Mosaique Face (Lutfi Kolgjini) BBS Sugarlight (Peter Untersteiner) Timoko (Bjorn Goop) Vincennes (Orjan Kihlstrom) On Track Piraten (Erik Adielsson) El Mago Pellini (Adrian Kolgjini) Nahar (Robert Bergh) Creatine (Johnny Takter) Pascia’Lest (Roberto Andreghetti) Papagayo E (Eric Raffin) Rue du Bac (Franck Nivard) Deuxieme Picsous (Jos. Verbeeck) Thomas H. Hicks

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

July 2, 2015 - At Halmstad Sweden a large crowd estimated at 10,000 watched and wagered on a great harness racing card headed by the Gr. I International Sprinter Masters contested in three eliminations and a 10-horse final. Each event was 1609 meters autostart with elim winners earning 100,000SEK and the final winner earning 940,960SEK. Stefan Melander’s Nuncio swept to victory by winning the first elimination in a mile rate of 1:54.08 by three lengths in gate to wire fashion over Whitehouse Express. After the next two elims went to Hillustrious in a close heated battle with Valstead in 1:52.31 and Jontte Boy in 1:55.52 in elim three, the ten finalists faced the starter in the final with Hillustrious from post one for Johnny Takter, Nuncio from post two and Valstead from post five for Orjan Kihlstrom. As in the second elim Hillustrious and Valstead faced off as a pair with Valstead on the outer followed by stablemate Nuncio. Off the top turn Melander moved Nuncio three-wide to attack and he out-sprinted the leading pair for a neck win in 1:52.63 with Valstead and Hillustrious next. It was quite a race and a special night of racing overall. Below recaps the eliminations won by Nuncio, Hillustrious and Jontte Boy with the top three finishers: Elim 1 (1.10.9kr, or 1:54.08) Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane), trainer/driver Stefan Melander for Stall TZ, now 19-11-2 in 32 starts for 15,517,726SEK earned as he led comfortably throughout for a three length score Whitehouse Express (4m Yankee Glide-Miss Garland-Garland Lobell), Erik Adielsson up for Daniel Reden trainer for Stall Zet was second King City (4m Muscle Hill-Creamy Mimi-Conway Hall), Orjan Kihlstrom for Roger Walmann trainer for AB Svensk Reklamfinons. Nuncio winning his heat Elim 2 (1.09.8kr, or 1:52.31) Hillustrious (4m Muscle Hill-Mom’s Millionaire-Pine Chip), Johnny Takter up for owner SMUAB Smolandsugar AB, a head winner after a lengthy alongside battle with parked Valstead (this one a half-brother to Snow White, multiple dominant two year-old winner in US – Acorn, Breeders Crown, Goldsmith Maid, Oakville, NJSS and International Stallion Stake) Valstead (4m Cantab Hall-Madame Volo-Yankee Glide), Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Stefan Melander and Stall TZ owner, with a game death-seat situation Elton Attack (4m Gigant Neo-P Bird Mon Amie-Prince Mystic), Christoffer Eriksson up for trainer Tomas Malmqvist and owners Malmqvist and Baltic Stable Elim 3 (1.11.8kr, 1:55.52) Jontte Boy (4m Love You-South Hanover-Andover Hall), driver/trainer Toumas Korvenoja up Be Spontaneous (4m Andover Hall-Inspired Society-Self Possessed), Erik Adielsson up for Daniel Reden Explosive Dust (4m Sahara Dynamite-Exclusive Dust-Pine Chip), Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Roger Walmann Nuncio rallied late to capture the final from post two at 1.34/1 odds. He followed stablemate Valstead on the outer as Valstead boldly battled pacesetter Hillustrious throughout. The top three finishers were within a long neck of each other on the line. Nuncio recorded his 20th career victory in 33 starts now with earnings of 16,458,686SEK earned. Final (1.10.1kr, or 1:52.63 mile rate) Nuncio, Stefan Melander up Valstead, Orjan Kihlstrom Hillustrious, Johnny Takter King City, Kenneth Haugstad Whitehiouse Express, Erik Adielsson Sylvester America, Bjorn Goop Nuncio winning the Final Nuncio again proved his versatility and toughness at the sprinter distance and in multiple-heats, Thomas H. Hicks  

Freehold, NJ --- Harness racing trainer Jimmy Takter knows the thrill of winning the Elitlopp. To this day the trainer still gets goosebumps when retelling the story of Moni Maker’s victory in the 1998 edition of Sweden’s elite invitational for older trotters. He hopes to experience the excitement again with Maven on Sunday. Maven is one of the 16 trotters invited to the Elitlopp, which is held at Solvalla Raceway near Stockholm. The field was divided into two eight-horse eliminations, with Maven drawing post four in the second division. The 6-year-old mare will be driven by Takter’s brother, Johnny, and is the morning line second choice in her race. B B S Sugarlight is the morning line favorite in Maven’s elimination and will start from post one. Mosaique Face is the choice in the first elim, which also includes another U.S. representative, Daryl Bier’s Wind Of The North, as well as former North American star Nuncio, who is owned and trained by Sweden’s Stefan Melander. The top four finishers from each elimination return later in the day for the final. “If you don’t get emotional, you’re not human,” Takter said when recounting Moni Maker’s triumph. “This is what we work for. It’s always exciting when you get in there. You put your game face on and feel the excitement all around you.” It is one of the reasons Takter is looking forward to this year’s race. Takter is starting a horse in the Elitlopp for only the second time since Moni Maker’s victory; he also started Uncle Peter last year. But it is not the only reason Takter is making the trip to Solvalla. He will spend four days in Sweden despite a busy schedule at home and hopes in the future races like the Elitlopp will be made the focal point of the racing calendar, thereby eliminating conflicts for trainers and drivers who want to participate in the event or simply travel to watch. “There are three events in this sport -- the Hambletonian, Elitlopp, and Prix d’Amerique -- and I feel we are obligated to be there,” Takter said. “There aren’t that many fans left in this sport and the Elitlopp is by far the biggest one when it comes to fans and what they’re doing. People that haven’t been there can’t even imagine. “The world is so small now. We have to start thinking about going together instead of going against each other. I spoke to (Meadowlands Racetrack Chairman) Jeff Gural and asked that next year there are no big conflicts, like the (New Jersey) sire stakes finals, the same weekend as the Elitlopp. “If we don’t take care of those three events, they’re going to die out too. You see a lot of Europeans coming over here for the Hambletonian as a spectator, even trainers and people like that. The Elitlopp has unbelievable fan support. I have to be there.” Moni Maker was the last U.S.-owned horse to win the Elitlopp. She also was the last female trotter to win the race. Maven -- who is owned by John Fielding, Herb Liverman, and Joyce McClelland -- will try to end both droughts. She heads to the Elitlopp off a second-place finish in the Copenhagen Cup, which was contested at 1-1/4 miles. Last year, Maven finished third in her Elitlopp elimination and sixth in the final while in the stable of Jonas Czernyson. This year, she prepped for the Elitlopp by racing exclusively in Europe, where despite poor race luck and draws she has a win and three second-place finishes from nine starts. Maven, who was the 2013 Dan Patch Award winner for best older female trotter, has won 29 of 52 North American races in her career, good for $1.74 million in purses. “I think she’s ready,” Takter said. “I really think so. I think we have a heck of a shot. She’s probably much better prepared now than she was last year. She got adapted to the European system a little bit. Now she even handles a mile and a quarter better. I don’t think I could have her better than I have her right now. “She can win it if the race goes her way. But it’s a wide open race. I would say out of 16 horses, 10 or 12 of them could be the winner.” If Maven is unable to win, Takter would enjoy seeing Nuncio take the honor. Takter trained Nuncio last season and saw the horse win the Kentucky Futurity and Yonkers Trot and finish second in the Hambletonian. Nuncio is 2-for-2 this year, but will have to overcome post seven in his elimination. “I’m sure Stefan wishes he had another start in him, but you can never rule that horse out,” Takter said. “The race is going to be high pace and if he’s sitting third over I could see him coming very good in the last quarter (of a mile). He never gives up. I really hope that he’s going to race good. He deserves that, to show he’s a top horse, which he is. “He’s a winner. If I don’t win the race, I would be very happy for him to win. They’re great people that own the horse and I’d have a little part of that Elitlopp too because I developed him as a 3-year-old.” World champion Wind Of The North drew post eight in his elimination. Dave Palone -- the winningest driver in harness racing history -- will drive the 5-year-old gelding for Bier, who owns the horse with Joann Dombeck. Wind Of The North is coming off a second-place finish to Bee A Magician in the Cutler Memorial on May 16 at the Meadowlands. He has won three of 10 races this year and 16 of 61 in his career, earning $322,848. Five horses have odds in single digits to be the overall Elitlopp champion: B B S Sugarlight, Mosaique Face, Nuncio, Timoko, and Maven. Timoko, who drew post seven in the second elimination, is the defending champion. Here are the fields: 1st elimination: 1. Univers de Pan 2. Support Justice 3. Vincennes  4. Mosaique Face 5. Ustinof du Vivier 6. Royal Fighter 7. Nuncio 8. Wind Of The North 2nd elimination: 1. B B S Sugarlight 2. Nahar 3. Brett Boko  4. Maven 5. Magic Tonight 6. On Track Piraten 7. Timoko 8. Voltigeur de Myrt by Ken Weingartner, Harness Racing Communications 

May 22, 2015 - Friday harness racing action in Sweden of interest (US pedigrees) was the victory at Romme by Romeus (3m Muscles Yankee-Giulie Bi-Supergill with Daniel Reden up. The 1.13.9kr winner earned 50,000SEK for the score over 2140 meters autostart. This one is owned by Stall Zet, bred by Willow Pond Asset Corp. and now has a 4-1-0 slate in five career starts all this year. At Solvalla in a 1640 meter autostart contest Avatar Accelerator (4m Muscle Hill-Southwind Agnes-Malabar Man) scored for Stefan Melander and Stall TZ in 1.13.4kr. The winner has two 2015 wins in five starts. At Kincsem Park was conducted their second Friday night festival and a good crowd was on-hand despite heavy rains. Racing consisted of trots, gallop and greyhounds at this modern European equestrian facility that includes an 1800 meter trotting track circled by a gallop dirt course (used for greyhounds too on extreme nights) and a gallop turf course. Trots rules were changed (extreme racing) in terms of direction (clockwise), start (“repulostart” = catch the start) and the super sprint (200 meters, five heats of two horses each with win awarded to fastest heat winner). Also one race was heat one of a two heat event with heat two the next day. Winners were as follows: Jotallo Handicap (heat one, 1800 meters, repulostart) – Jonathan (12g Valley Guardian-Szerena) for Viktoria Nemeth Tripszin DIF (1800 meters repulostart) – Henrik Ibsen AT (3m Worship-Her Own Child) for Sandor Varadi Super Sprint (200 meters repulostart) – Kisasszony (11f Yankee Yankee-Calorina) for Lazslo Kolozsi Thomas H. Hicks

May 22, 2015 - Stefan Melander’s Nuncio (4m Andover Hall-Nicole Isabelle-Lindy Lane) accepted the nod to start in the 2015 harness racing Elitloppet. Melander won this event in 2010 with Iceland, clocked in 1.10.5kr. Nuncio has won both his 2015 starts in Sweden after an excellent two and three year-old campaign in the US for trainers Jim Oscarsson and at three for Jimmy Takter. John Campbell did the driving in the US against stellar competition, including Trixton and Father Patrick from Takter’s powerful stable. Russell C. Williams bred Nuncio, the winner of the Yonkers Trot and Kentucky Futurity. This career winner of 14.6SEK million has a time mark of 1.08.7kr. In the US Nuncio was a model of consistency producing a slate of 16-10-1 in 27 starts for US$1,919,145 and a three year-old record of 1:50.4 at Lexington’s Red Mile. The Elitloppet 2015 lineup is now shown below with five slots remaining to be filled. Timoko - FR Maven - USA On Track Piraten - SWE Digital Ink - SWE Wind Of the North - USA B.B.S. Sugarlight - NO Support Justice - N Nahar - SWE Voltigeur de Myrt - FR Magic Tonight - SWE Univers de Pan - FR Nuncio - SWE Thomas H. Hicks

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

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

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

At Paris-Vincennes the €240,000 Prix des Elites (Gr. I monte, 2200 meters, 11 starters) went to 3/2 favorite Booster Winner (3m Love You-Quille Viretaute) for Eric Raffin, trainer Sebastian Guarato and owner Philippe Aloisio. Timed in 1.12.5kr the winner benefitted from a 50 meter advantage over competitors four and five years old to score easily, his sixth career win for earnings now of €365,050. Second choice Brutus de Bailly was second for Mathieu Mottier with Viva Forest home third for Franck Nivard and trainer Souloy. This one also overcame the 50 meter handicap to be third, timed in 1.11.5kr, with handicapped A Nous Deux fourth for Julien Raffestin, aboard for Ronny Kuiper trainer and Jean-Pierre Dubois owner. The European Criterium for five year-olds at Vincennes went to 3/2 favorite Support Justice (5m Kadabra-Artisane-Lindy Lane) for trainer/driver Geir-Vegard Gundersen from Norway. Timed in 1.11.6kr over 2100 meters autostart, the winner scored for the 19th time in his career now for earnings of €603,861, in this Gr. I European event for €150,000 purse. The 29/1 Swedish  entrant El Mago Pellini (5m Chocolatier-My Intuition) was second with Dominick Locqueneux aboard for trainer/owner Lutfi Kolgjini. Village Mystic (5m Love You-Netchka d’Orgeres) was third for owner/trainer/driver Louis Baudron and Increased Workload (5m Scarlet Knight-My Darling) was home  fourth for J-M Bazire and trainer/owner Stefan Melander. Pascia L’est and Very Nice Marceaux were next across the line in a solid 11 horse field. The Prix Ovidius Naso-Beachcomber Hotels for €85,000 went to Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette-Arnaquer) and Ch. J. Bigeon. He scored for the 11th time now for earnings of €332,650 in this European event over 2850 meters. Timed in 1.14.5kr the winner, off at 9/10 odds, narrowly defeated Elles W.Phedo (8f Kasaco Phedo-Elles W.Lolita) with Johanna Lindqvist aboard and Tornade du Digeon with J-M Bazire up.Teatro At Solvalla the main event was the Swedish Kriterium for three year-old colts, with a purse of €443,200, contested by 12 horses over 2640 meters autostart. The winner in 1.14.01kr was Je T’aime Express (3g Symphonic Hanover-Je T’aime Marron) handled by Johan Untersteiner for trainer Peter Untersteiner. Stall Wetact owns the winner that scored at 31/1 odds. Buddha (3m Muscle Mass-Kinshasa) was second at 23/1 for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop with 56/1 From Dust To Dawn (3m From Above-Emotional Dust-Banker Hall) third for Johnny Takter and trainer Lars Nilsson. Wingait Holger and Conlight As crossed the line fourth and fifth. The Swedish Trotting Oaks (three year-old fillies) for a purse of €310,240 went to Face’Em (3f Offshore Dream-Tuula Boko) with trainer Peter G. Norman up. The 6/1 odds winner covered 2140 meters autostart in 1.13.8kr. Differenceadaymade (3f Muscle Hill-Trophy Stand) was second at 25/1 for Bjorn Goop and Op’s First Girl (3f Flirtin Man-Jobi nhorse) ended third for Erik Adielsson at 28/1. The Graf Kalman Hunyady Memorial was also held today at historic Krieau (Vienna, Austria). Contested by eight over 2600 meters autostart with a €30,000 purse, the International event went to 31/1 outsider Solo Nolo (5g Dream Vacation-Vupti) for Hubert Brandstatter Jr. aboard. He trains the winner that scored in 1.15.3kr over Colin McKenzie (10g Just Had A Vision-Christie) and teamster A. Kaarlenkaski. Brandstatter also trains this one that bested third place Vrai Lord (5m Meaulnes du Corta-Orelady) off at 10/1 for Gerhard Mayr. Heavily favored at 1/10,9 Your Love Lois (9g Love You-Realy Furniture) was fourth for Rik Ebbinge. Abano Boy and legendary reinsman Heinz Wewering was fifth. by Thomas H. Hicks, for

Tomorrow Solvalla racetrack in Sweden hosts the prestigious Swedish Three Year-Old Gr. I Kriterium for a purse of 4SEK million. A total of 12 starters will travel 2640 meters autostart with the favorite being Al Dente (3m Scarlet Knight-Mollie's Photo-SJ's Photo) that Orjan Kihlstrom will pilot. Digital Frame (3m Super Photo Kosmos-Sliding Window-Scarlet Knight) is second early choice with Per Lennartsson up for trainer Stefan Melander who also sends out Gross Weight (3m Scarlet Knight-Elma Jet-Supergill) with Ulf Ohlsson to drive. The Gr. I Oaks for the three year-old fillies is also on the card with 12 contestants going 2140 meters autostart for the 2.8SEK million purse. This well-matched group includes the Bjorn Goop trained and reined Differenceadaymade (3f Muscle Hill-Trophy Hand-Garland Lobell) and Peter G. Norman's Face'Em (3f Offshore Dream-Tuula Boko-Wired Pine) that are receiving the most attention. Today Solvalla presented a superb program with seven events for money to the winner of 200,000SEK or more. The featured Gr. II UET Masters Series Frances Bulwarks went to On Track Piraten (6g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) and teamster Johnny Takter that defeated Bon Frecia and Nouvelle Pelle in 1.11.5kr over 2140 meters autostart. Ed You was an early scratch and Italy's Occhione Jet was disqualified for a break. The winner recorded his 14th career win in 59 starts now for earnings of 6,098,998SEK. The co-featured Silver Final for 220,000SEK to the winner went to Magiccarpetride and Erik Adielsson in 1.12kr over 2140 meters autostart. The eight year-old son of Angus Hall-Meadowbranch Magic-Valley Victory is from the dam of Make It Happen and Wishing Stone. The next three across the line are also US-breds, Underpaid Hanover (by Revenue), Dance Photo (SJ's Photo) and Mr. Chicago (Cantab Hall), the latter a full-brother to undefeated US two year-old colt Billy Flynn. The winners of the other 200,000SEK first money events today were Riff Kronos (4m Dream Vacation-Elaine Kronos-Viking Kronos) in 1.12kr for Veijo Heiskanen, Fleetfoot Hanover (7f Andfover Hall-Firefly Annie-SJ's Photo) in 1.10.7kr over 1640 meters autostart for Peter Untersteiner, Coldtown (5g Cantab Hall-Brylin Starlet-Balanced Image) in 1.12.2kr over 2140 meters autostart for Jorma Kontio, Speed Delicious (4m Fast Photo-Ala Delicious-Lindy's Crown) for Robert Bergh in 1.13.1kr over 2140 meters autostart and Caddie Girl (6f Love You-Gatzy Lavec-King Lavec) in 1.13.3kr over 2140 meters circle start. Caddie Girl was reined by Veijo Heiskanen, his second V75 victory today, for trainer Jerry Riordan. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslinkcom  

Today's Quinte+, with a special jackpot of E10 million, went to 1.4/1 favored Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette) with Christian J. Bigeon aboard in 1.13.1kr over 13 rivals in this 2700 meter test named the Prix RMC. The exact order payoff excluding jackpot was €2,570 for a €2 wager. Q+ Prix RMC, European, E58,000 purse, 2700 meters, 14 starters, 1.13.1kr Teatro (7m Ganymede-Josette), Ch.J. Bigeon up at 1.4/1 odds for owner/trainer Christian Bigeon, 10th win in 40 starts for E294,800 earned Noir d'Ete (7m Ganymede-Essenza d'Ete), Eric Raffin aboard, 5.1/1 Tina Jolie (7f Jasmin de Flore-Minea des Picanes), Antonio Wiels up, 7.8/1 Bugsy Malone also won on the Vincennes card, taking the E62,000 Prix de Montelimar for three year-olds over 2700 meters with nine starters. The consistent colt recorded his sixth win in nine starts for owner/trainer Philippe Allaire. The victory, by open lengths, raised his career earnings to over E101,000. Prix de Montelimar, purse E62,000, 2700 meters, 9 starters Fractions: 1.16.1kr at 1500; 1.16.2kr at 1000; 1.15.5kr at 500, 1.15.2kr finish Bugsy Malone (3m Ready Cash-Night Captain), Yohan Lebourgeois for trainer/owner Philippe Allaire, 3/5 favorite, sixth win in nine starts for E101,460 earned Berry Felin (3m Nahar de Beval-Krisma des Bois), Franck Ouvrie, 10.8/1 Bajazet (3m Qwerty-Perkine), Jacques Bruneau owner/trainer/driver, 6.2/1 odds V75 action took place today at Farjestad SWE. The Gold Division with 150,000SEK to the winner, over 2140 meters autostart, went to On Track Piraten in 1.13.3kr in an easy score for Johnny Takter. Porthos Amok was second for Bjorn Goop (trained by Stefan Melander) ahead of another Melander trainee, Tidied Accelerator handled by Ulf Ohlsson. The winning six year-old gelded son of Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line took his 13th victory in 58 tries, increasing career earnings to over 5.8SEK million. The Silver Division, over 1640 meters autostart, went to the US bred Magiccarpetride and Jorma Kontio timed in 1.10.9kr. Another US-bred, Mr. Chicago, was second for Carl-Erik Lindblom. The winner earned 125,000SEK and the eight year-old son of Angus Hall-Meadowbranch Magic-Valley Victory now has 13 wins and earnings in excess of 1.6SEK million. The Bronze Division, for 110,000SEK to the winner, contested over 2140 meters autostart, resulted in a 1.11.8kr win for Jeppas Maxi and Torbjorn Jansson. He narrowly defeated Riff Kronos and Viejo Heiskanen with Pedro Bi a distant third. Jeppas Maxi is a five year-old gelded son of Varenne-Absolutely Perfect-Balanced Image that now has nine wins in 11 starts lifetime. This one looks to have a fine future. Thomas H. Hicks

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