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The four Margaretas Tidiga divisions were raced at Solvalla and they produced interesting and well-bred winners. Each division for three and four year olds, separated by age, colts and fillies, had a first prize of 300,000SEK and the distance of each division was 2140 meters autostart. The three-year old colt division saw 1.1/1 Hell Bent For AM (3m Muscle Hill-Nalda Nof-Supergill) score in 1.14.3kr with Orjan Kihlstrom aboard for trainer Stefan Melander. 8.4/1 Hector Sisu (3g Zola Boko) was next for Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Petri Salmela. Third went to 13.9/1 Hulker Sisu (3m Readly Express) for pilot Magnus Djuse and trainer Jerry Riordan. The three-year old fillies group went to the 1.14.5kr timed and 8.5/1 odds Aperfectttric (3f Aperfectyankee-Tricolore-Viking Kronos) reined by trainer Jim Oscarsson. 17.5/1 outsider Clockwork (3f Zola Boko) was second for Ulf Eriksson and trainer Juakim Elfring. 29.9/1 Chiffchoff (3f From Above) was third with Erik Adielsson at the lines for trainer Ola Samuelsson. American Hill (4f Muscle Hill-Americandream AT-Extreme Dream) captured the four-year olds mares division of the Margaretas, at 2.2/1 odds and clocked in 1.13.2kr. Trainer Conrad Lugauer teamed the winner that defeated 6.5/1 La Plus Belle (4f Muscle Hill) driven by Ulf Eriksson. Third was 94/1 Strangerinthenight (4f Ready Cash) for Rikard N. Skoglund. Gowestyoungman (4g Jacose-Out Of The Game-Muscles Yankee) took the four-year old male division clocked in 1.12.9kr. Orjan Kihlstrom reined this Stefan Pettersson trainee that was off at 5.1/1 odds. 32/1 Stonecapes Superb (4g Ready Cash-Nesmile Will-Defo d’Aunou) took second for Ulf Eriksson and trainer Reijo Liljendahl. His 25/1 stablemate, Mr. Marvelous (4g Ready Cash-Alohadoodle-Credit Winner), was third with Ulf Ohlsson up for trainer Liljendahl. On the same card was the 100,000SEK first prize Hartagarna Sommarpris raced over 1640 meters autostart. The fast 1.10.9kr clocked winner was 9/1 Hill Street (5g Muscle Hill-Think Twice) with trainer Daniel Reden aboard. 4.8/1 Alone (5m Maharajah) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Pasi Aikio and 10.7/1 Grainfield Aiden (6g Andover Hall) took third for trainer/driver Hannu Korpi. ATG, Solvalla.se files/photo by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink    

Halmstad hosted yesterday the Stosprintern 2020 eliminations, each raced over 1609 meters autostart and each providing 100,000SEK to the four elim winners.   The top 10 elim harness racing performers are now on the stage for the big ticket final with these horse shown below. The four elims generated the following results. Elim 1 went to 1.6/1 Golden Tricks (4f Trixton-Golden Goose-SJs Photo) for the Orjan Kihlstrom/Daniel Reden team, her second 2020 victory in four starts. Waiting Hill Hall (4f Muscle Hill-Captivating As-Conway Hall) for Steen Juul and Global Anarchy (4f SJs Caviar-Celebrity Tribute-Yankee Glide) for Joakim Lovgren completed the top three.   Elim 2 saw 4.2/1 Sashay My Way (4f Muscle Massive-Fancy-Conway Hall) score with Adrian Kolgjini up, her second 2020 win in seven appearances. Grande Diva (4f Ready Cash-Super Model-Daguet Rapide) was next for Per Nordstrom. Boxer Shrimp (4f Yankee Glide-Decapode-Cumin), a Robert Bergh trainee, was third for Kim Eriksson. Sashay My Way Elim 3 had 3/1 Gina Mearas (4f Cantab Hall-Innocent Face-Enjoy Lavec) score for trainer/driver Johan Untersteiner. Matter of Fact (4f Explosive Matter-Chips N Caviar-SJs Caviar) was second for Ulf Ohlsson and third was Visual Condition (4f Scarlet Knight-Digital Media-Super Photo Kosmos) for Torbjorn Jansson. Gina Mearas The final Elim 4 went to 24/1 Digital Pro (4f Super Photo Kosmos-So Here I Am-Scarlet Knight) that is trained by Stefan Melander and reined by Torbjorn Jansson. Galant Sisu (4f Muscle Hill-Donatomesswithme-Donato Hanover) took second for trainer/driver Per Nordstrom, ahead of third finishing Sideslip (4f Scarlet Knight-Dots Veronica-Credit Winner) and her pilot Mika Forss. Melander also trains this filly.   ATG, Sulkysport files/photos   Thomas H. Hicks

Tae Kwon Deo (5m Muscle Hill-Brigham Dream-Kaisy Dream) took the V75 Gold Kalmarsundspokalen this day at Kalmar (150,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart) clocked in 1.09.6kr. This Deo Volente Farm bred harness racing campaigner, reined by Adrien Kolgjini for Whap Capital, won for the second time in three 2020 starts. He was off at 3.2/1 odds and defeated 4/1 Tycoon Conway Hall (10m Conway Hall-Golden Sunday-Supergill) with Flemming Jensen up. Third was 31/1 Monark Newman with Fredrik Persson aboard. Watch the race replay here. On the  card was the V75 Silver (125,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) and 2.9/1 Zap di Girifalco (5m Dream Vacation-Bea di Girifalco-Waikiki Beach) scored in 1.11.6kr with C.J. Jepson at the lines for trainer Bjorn Goop. Man At Work (7g Ken Warkentin-Illustre November-Viking Kronos) took second for Jorma Kontio and trainer Timo Nurmos. Third was Pastor Power (6g Pastor Stephen). Island Life (9g Pine Chip) was fourth. Zap di Girifalco Kalmar also hosted the Viola Silas (110,000SEK first prize, 2140 meters autostart) with victory to 1.3/1 Double Exposure (7f Donato Hanover-KD Girl-Self Possessed) handled by Orjan Kihlstrom for the Daniel Reden/Stall Zet team. This J&T Silver bred mare posted her third win in four 2020 outings. 5.1/1 Une Etoile Gar (7m Varenne) and Sharp Dream (7m Royal Dream) trailed the winner. ATG, Kalmar files/photos Thomas H. Hicks  

Don Fanucci Zet (4m Hard Livin-Kissed By The West-Western Terror) was an impressive wire to wire harness racing winner of today’s Prix Readly Express (purse to winner 400,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters all Sweden bred) at Solvalla. Superbly reined by Orjan Kihlstrom for trainer Daniel Reden and Stall Zet, the winner was clocked in 1.11.8kr (mile rate 1:55.52) in a well rated journey. Fractions were 1.12.6kr at the first 500 meters, 1.14.3kr at the 1000; 1.13.3kr at 1500-meter mark. Kihlstrom’s rating left Aetos Kronos (4m Bold Eagle-Will Of A Woman-Muscles Yankee) parked in the death seat throughout with Green Manalishi (4m Muscle Hill-Naga Morich-Enjoy Lavec) behind him. That is how they finished. Don Fanucci Zet was off as the 1.78/1 odds favorite and now has eight career wins in 12 starts for 1,463,000SEK in life earnings. Don Fanucci Zet  Don Fanucci Zet pedigree is shown below with its 1.9% inbreeding coefficient. The above victory was the seventh for reinsman Orjan Kihlstrom in today’s seven races.  Orjan Kihlstrom Some of OK’s victories were with very solid performers, some youngsters. Phoenix Photo (6g Super Photo Kosmos-Glittra CD-Igor Brick), 1.14.2kr in the Klass II; Conrads Rodluva (5f SJs Caviar-Moviestar-Juliano Star), 1.13.6kr in the Icelands Lopp; Mister Hercules (3m Trixton-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide), 1.13.2kr in the Rikitikitavis Lopp, Stall Zet is the owner; Cactus (5f Cantab Hall-Bobtail-Juliano Star), 1.12.7kr in the Itaka Sund; Heloise AM (3f Trixton-Nirvana Grif-Varenne), in the three and four year old mares event, SRF Stable owns this one; You Could Be Mine (3f Trixton-Linda di Casei-Uronometro), 1.15.4kr in the Coccinelles, SRF also owns this well-bred filly. Mister Hercules ATG, Maharajah files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

June 13, 2020 - A superb harness racing card was on display today at Boden. Trotting action began with the Norrlands Grand Prix for four-year olds (70,000SEK to winner, 2140 meters autostart, six starters) and as expected the 1.2/1 favorite Hail Mary (4m Googoo Gaagaa-Dreams-Victory Dream) prevailed for trainer/driver Robert Bergh. He remained unbeaten in six 2020 appearances and now has 11 career wins in 12 starts for 990,500SEK earned. Race time was 1.12.7kr. Global Adventure (5m SJs Caviar-Platinum Shine-Viking Kronos) was second for pilot Ulf Ohlsson and trainer Svante Bath. Special Mystery (4f Even Better Odds-Digital Critic-Express Lavec) took third for Magnus A. Djuse Hail Mary The Bill Dahl Bronze V75 Division (purse to winner 110,000SEK, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) saw Deep Pockets (5g Ready Cash-Bloom Bokio-Cantab Hall) score in 1.12.7kr at 2.8/1 odds. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed this Svante Bath trainee as he won for the ninth time in 23 starts. He narrowly bested Ribaude (7g Conny Nobell-Yessie Hornline-Like A Prayer) with trainer Bjorn Goop up. Third was Tayson Bi (8g Equinox Bi-Las Vegas Bi-Toss Out) for pilot Magnus A. Djuse Deep Pockets (inside) The Truncatis V75 Silver Division (purse 125,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) went to 1.13.4kr timed and 1.47/1 odds Giant Shadow (7g RC Royalty-Turnpike Trophy-Turnpike Taylor) reined by trainer Bjorn Goop. He won for the second time in four 2020 starts and it was his 24th victory in 30 career starts. Even’s Cool Boy (5m Un Mec d’Heripre-Even Southwind-Alf Palema) sat the pocket and held second for trainer/driver Robert Dunder. Third was Macelleria (6g Maharajah-Enjoy Our Nanny-Enjoy Lavec) ended third for Jan Norberg and trainer Robert Bergh. Giant Shadow The day’s feature race was the Norrbottens Stora Pris, a Groupe I International event that was also the V75 Gold Division (purse to winner 500,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters). The fast roan trotter Antonio Tabac (8m Crazed-Grace Tabac-Tap In) again reached the top level with this 1.11.1kr timed victory in nearly gate to wire fashion. Mika Forss teamed this Jorgen Westholm trainee to his 20th career win in 77 starts, and his second straight in 2020, the first being a 1.09.5kr victory a month ago. His lifetime earnings increased to 3,251,666SEK with this accomplishment. Off at 4/1 odds, he defeated Milliondollarrhyme (6g Ready Cash-Nursery Rhyme-Credit Winner) with Fredrik B. Larsson up, and the third finishing Stoletheshow (5m Dream Vacation-Abba Hall-Garland Lobell) handled by Rikard N, Skoglund. Antonio Tabac glides to the line Replay   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VllTZCYJWj4 Thomas H. Hicks  

The investigation into Propulsion is ongoing and it is too early to determine what the outcome will be in all parts. For the time being, however, Svensk Travsport has decided to ban Propulsion from Harness Racing. Swedish Travsport also receives many questions regarding Propulsion's breeding operations and in doing so Propulsion still has a valid breeding certificate, based on previous breeding evaluation. A new breeding valuation can, according to Chapter 25. Section 6 Registration Regulations, become relevant when the investigation is complete. This means that already born offspring as well as the coverings made this year will not be affected, regardless of the final decision in the case. Swedish Travelsport will also launch an internal investigation to review the union's process and management. It will be led by an external independent party.

8 June 2020 - Sweden's former horse racing monopoly operator AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) has appointed Marcus Persson and Anders Lilius to its board of directors, representing harness racing association Svensk Travsport and saddle racing association Svensk Galopp respectively. Persson, who has served on Svensk Travsport’s own board since April 2018, is also a partner at cloud services provider Altitude 365. He replaces Lina Bertilsson on the ATG board. Lilius is the acting chairman of Svensk Galopp’s board, replacing Per Larsson, and now also takes Larsson’s seat on ATG’s board. He had worked in the hospitality industry and as chief executive of sports rights business Infront. Alongside these two new members, Petra Forsström, Susanna Rystedt, Urban Karlström, Agneta Gille, Birgitta Losman, Marjaana Alaviuhkola, Mats Norberg and Anders Källström were all re-elected to the board. Marianne Martinsson will be trade union representative on the board. In April, ATG reported its financial figures for the first quarter of 2020. The business reported a 10.7% year-on-year increase in net gaming revenue to SEK1.08bn (£92.6m/€103.9m/$117.4m) and net profit for the quarter of SEK327m, an 18.1% year-on-year increase. Reprinted with permission of igamingbusiness

June 6, 2020 - A good V75 harness racing program was presented today under clouds and periodic rain at Ostersund. The V76-6 (purse to winner 125,000SEK, 1640 meters autostart, 12 starters) saw Only One Winner (10g Scarlet Knight-Electra Bac-Indian Silver) record a 1.11.6kr nifty score at 5.98/1 odds. Bjorn Goop trains and reined the now 15-time career winner in 54 starts for 1,427,928SEK earned. Highspirit (12g Super Arnie-Spirituell-Sugarcane Hanover) was second from post 12 with trainer Troels Andersen aboard. Third home was From The Mine (8g From Above-Kalmans Tap Girl-Tap In) with Magnus A. Djuse at the lines. Only One Winner The day’s feature was the Gr. II V75 Gold named the Jamtlands Stora Prix (500,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 10 starters). The veteran classmaster Handsome Brad (7m Brad de Veluwe-Ukrica M-Red Xing) rallied to score for Carl Johan Jepson clocked in 1.12.3kr. Off at 8.9/1 odds Brad recorded his 13th career victory in 52 starts now for 5,069,036SEK earned. Italy’s Velvet Gio (6g Nad Al Sheba=Mind Wise As-Lemon Dra) was second for Ulf Ohlsson with third to Very Kronos (6m Ready Cash-Glide About-Yankee Glide) handled by Erik Adielsson for trainer Svante Bath. Rains poured heavily midway during this affair. Handsome Brad Thomas H. Hicks

Propulsion (9m Muscle Hill-Danae-Andover Hall) took the 2020 Elite Race (purse of finale 573,000€, 3,000,000SEK to the harness racing winner, 1609 meters autostart, eight starters) finale clocked in 1.10.2kr. Orjan Kihlstrom engineered a perfect from behind journey on the outer and rolled past seemingly tires rivals for Stall Zet and trainer Daniel Reden. He was off at 4.6/1 odds and bested 2.8/1 Cokstile (7m Quite Easy-Joystile) and pilot Christoffer Eriksson with 48/1 Attraversiamo (5m Kiss Francis-Rhythm Kronos) handled by Erick Adielsson. 41/1 Sorbet (9m Super Photo Kosmos-Altar Bound) and reinsman Per Linderoth earned fourth money. The 9/10 favorite Earl Simon finished second but was disqualified for interference in the upper stretch. Propulsion finished third in the second elimination parked three wide much of the way, in his first start since late January when unplaced in the Prix d’Amerique. Imported to Sweden in 2015 the great veteran now has a 39-15-9 slate in 79 career starts for earnings of 34,343,693SEK. He was bred in the USA by F.V. Caldwell and Bluestone Farms LLC. Propulsion The two elimination (each for purses of 47,750€, raced over 1609 meters autostart, eight starters) produced exciting action. Earl Simon (6m Prodigious-Tindrana) impressively took elim one timed in 1.09.5kr at 2.7/1 odds. Franck Ouvrie teamed the winner for Stall Skytten and trainer Jarmo Niskanen. 2.2/1 Missle Hill (5m Muscle Hill-India Hall) was second for Johan Untersteiner and the Reden/Stall Zet team. 20/1 Reden stablemate Sorbet was third ahead of 28/1 Milliondollarrhyme (6g Ready Cash-Nursery Rhyme) and F.B. Larsson. Earl Simon Elim two went to 1.09.4kr timed Cokstile that was off at 4.3/1 for Christoffer Eriksson, trainer Rocco Spagnulo and Santese Srl. 37/1 Racing Mange (7m Orlando Vici-Kara Kickan) was second for trainer/driver Joakim Lovgren ahead of 1.8/1 Propulsion that was super game. 7/1 Attraversiamo was fourth for Eric Adielsson. Cokstile Elitloppet 2020 program produced good online handle as no fans were present. In US$ the ATG handle exceeded $5,981,300 and the PMU network handle was over $337,000 with about 30% wagered on the Elite race finale The career stats of Propulsion are shown below, race summery, pedigree and siring results. Inbreeding Coefficient Breedly 14.08% Siring results to date, 71, with none at racing age. Many good mares have been bred to Propulsion. ATG, PMU, Breedly, Solvalla files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

Golden Tricks, Hell Bent For AM, Ecurie D, Hambo Transs R, Stepping Spaceboy all won on the harness racing Elite Race Undercard. The Gr. II Delicious Granges (purse 300,000SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters all female four year olds) began the top trotting action on Elitloppet Day at Solvalla undervard. Golden Tricks (4f Trixton-Golden Goose-SJs Photo) scored in a close verdict timed in 1.11.0kr for pilot Orjan Kihlstrom. Daniel Reden trains this Stall Zet owned mare that won for the eighth time in 30 starts, now for 2,819,493SEK. Dontlooseallmoney (4f Bold Eagle-Victory Dancer-Chocolatier) was second for Jim Oscarsson and third was Tonique (4f Love You-Revenique-Revenue) for Ake Lindblom. Golden Tricks Hell Bent For AM (3m Muscle Hill-Naida Nof-Supergill) was next and he took the Hakan Wallner Memorial (Breeders Course Three Year Olds, 1,000,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) with an impressive score in 1.11.9kt. Orjan Kihlstrom teamed this Stefan Melander trainee that Stall Courant AB owns. The winner is unbeaten in three 2020 starts and he now has earnings of 1,580,442SEK. Off at 1.7/1 odds, he bested Bolero Gar (3m Varenne-Nike Gar-Windsongs Legacy) with Jorma Kontio aboard for trainer Timo Nurmos. Natorp Bo (3m Andover Hall-Ocean Dream-Dream Vacation) was third with Kim Eriksson up. Hell Bent AM The four-year old males contested the Manhammars Elitloppshinngstar (purse 91,203€ with 500,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) and Ecurie D (4m Infinitif-To Soon-Muscles Yankee) recorded his tenth consecutive win to remain undefeated. He scored in wire to wire fashion timed in a record 1.09.2kr. Erik Adielsson teamed the Frode Hamre trainee that was bred by J.P. Dubois, in the best Franco-American manner, and is owned by Global Glide AB and Smart Repair AM. Ecurie D now has earned 2,095,625SEK in his brief and brilliant career. Click Bait (4m Cantab Hall-Fun At Parties-Lindy Lane) was second for Per Lennartsson and trainer Stefan Melander and his Stall TZ. Ultion Face (4m Joke Face-Crois d’Am-Love You) took third for Adrian Kolgjini. Ecurie D The Monteeliten Gr. II International (200,000 SEK to winner, 1640 meters autostart, monte, 10 starters) produced a solid 1.10.5kr victory for Hambo Transs R (10g Love You-Bewitched-Cantab Hall) with Michelle Monster in the irons for trainer Paul Hagoort and Stal Mille Fleurs BVC of Holland. The winner recorded his tenth career win in 33 starts. Galactica (8f Super Photo Kosmos) was second for jockey Anna Erixon with third to Rajesh Face (7g Raja Mirchi) for Sofia Adolfsson. Hambo Transs R The Thermia (100,000SEK to the winner, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) lead up to the Elite Trace Finale. This one saw Stepping Spaceboy (7m Dream Vacation-Stepping Space-Fast Photo) win in gate to wire fashion for trainer/driver Wim Paal and owner Santese SRL. This was the 15th career win in 65 starts for the Spaceboy that was clocked in 1.10.4kr. Dreammoko (7f Timoko) was second for Bjorn Goop and Forfantone AM (5m Muscle Hill-Tamla Celeber-Cantab Hall) was third with Torbjorn Jansson up. Stepping Spaceboy   ATG, PMU, Solvalla Trav files/photos Thomas H. Hicks

This year's Elitloppet at Sweden's Solvalla race track took place without harness racing fans in attendance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The winner was the brilliant son of Muscle Hill, Propulsion, coming from well back in the field to score an incredible victory over Earl Simon (who was disqualified). Cokstile was second with Attraversiamo finishing third.. 2020 Elitloppet Final 1 - Racing Mange - Joakim Lövgren 2 - Earl Simon - Franck Ouvrie 3 - Cokstile - Christoffer Eriksson 4 - Missle Hill - Johan Untersteiner 5 - Sorbet - Per Linderoth 6 - Propulsion - Örjan Kihlström 7 - Milliondollarrhyme - Fredrik Larsson 8 - Attraversiamo - Erik Adielsson First Heat Earl Simon overcame the outside starting post for a solid closing victory for driver Franck Ouvrie. For the replay click here. Second Heat The Christoffer Eriksson-driven Cokstile raced first up for the majority of the mile before hitting the wire first. For the replay click here.

May 30, 2020 - The 1.3/1 favorite Moni Viking (7m Maharajah-Juenesse Dures) circle the field from post 15 in the last lap and drew off for a 1.11.9kr times score in the harness racing features Harper Hanovers (purse 95,023€, 3140 meters distance handicap, 15 starters). This was the fifth consecutive victory for Moni Viking that is owned by Jan Lyng and now trained and reined by Bjorn Goop. 8.5/1 Ivory di Quattro (5m Love You-Outlook Kronos) was a game second with Par Lennartsson up for trainer Robert Bergh. 2.4/1 Ble du Gers (9g Quinoa du Gers-Moorea) followed the winner from post 13 but lost contact in the lane. Jos Verbeeck handled this one for owner J.M. Rancoule and trainer Frode Hamre. Moni Viking Other top flight Solvalla action saw 4/10 favorite Double Exposure (7f Donato Hanover-KD Girl) take the Lady Snarts (purse 48,275€, 1640 meters autostart, 10 starters) timed in 1.09.9kr, a three length winner for reinsman Orjan Kihlstom and the Daniel Reden/Stall Zet team. 10/1 Mellby Free (6f Muscle Hill-Mellby Ticket) was second for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. Third home was 26/1 Unique Juni (7f Uptown Yankee-Staro Unique) for trainer/driver Jorgen Westholm. The V75 Silver Finale (purse 48,275€, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) brought a 1.11.0kr clocked victory for 14/1 Man At Work (7g Ken Warkentin-Illustre November) with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Timo Nurmos and Stall Syrehn. 4/1 Vincero Gar (6g SJs Photo-Lady Killer Gar) took second for Bjorn Goop, with third to 13/1 Island Life (9g Pine Chip-Gossip) with Per Lennartsson up for trainer Robert Bergh. This program set the stage for Elitloppet 2020 on Sunday with a local 3:00pm start time. A record online audience is expected as at least 18 nations are taking the race signal. Thomas H. Hicks  

26 May 2020 - The Elitloppet at Solvalla racecourse - the largest event on the Swedish harness racing calendar - is set to attract betting interest from a record 18 countries, former racing monopoly AB Trav och Galopp (ATG) has said. In addition to Sweden, bets will be taken from Finland, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Hungary, Greece, the UK, Malta, South Africa, the US, Australia and New Zealand. Bets from eleven of these countries will go towards the Swedish pari-mutuel pool, while the remaining countries’ bets will be part of their own racing pools. However, ATG did not say exactly which countries would be commingling, and which would be operating their own pools. “It is truly inspiring that the Elitloppet is attracting so much international interest,” Ylva Svensson, head of international at ATG, said. With sports and racing in many other countries suspended, ATG noted an increased level of international interest in Swedish harness racing, which has continued through the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. “We have taken our mission, to maintain interest in racing in Europe and the rest of the world during this crisis, as seriously as possible,” Svensson added. “The Elitloppet is one of the few sporting events that can be carried out this spring and so it’s receiving extra focus from many international gaming companies.” The race will take place on Sunday 31 May. Yesterday, Sweden’s Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi put forward an amended set of temporary restrictions on gambling in which he aims to make horse and sports betting exempt from an SEK5,000 (£401/€459/$495) weekly deposit limit. The exemption had previously been recommended by ATG in a consultation held on the original controls.

May 23, 2020 - Racing Mange (7m Orlando Vici-Kara Kickan-Alf Palema) held the front gamely to win the harness racing featured Gr. II STL Gold – Vagen till Elitloppet (purse to winner 300,000SEK, 1609 meters autostart, 10 starters) and earn an Elite Race ticket. Joakim Lovgren reined and trains the now 11th career winner that has earned 4,388,942SEK. It was his first 2020 victory in four outings, this timed in 1.09.7kr. He was off at 5.22/1 odds and trainer Lovgren previously handled an Elitloppet winner, Brioni. The blanket finish had Conrads Rodluva (5f SJs Caviar-Moviestar-Juliano Star) second for Orjan Kihlstrom and third went to Billie de Montfort with Bjorn Goop aboard. Billie was away from post one and settled briefly in third before vacating for a second over position. Past the thee quarter park she attacked but ended three wide as Conrads Rodluva pulled the pocked between horses. Racing Magne  Racing Mange accepted his winning auto invite to the Elite Race and now the field of 16 is set as he joined late invitees Milliondollarrhyme, Disco Volante, Billie de Montfort and Propulsion. They joined Earl Simon. Sorbet, Cokstile, Makethemark, Looking Superb, Missile Hill, Tae Kwon Deo, Attraversiamo, Elian Web, Chief Orlando and Vivid Wise As to form the group that will draw to compose two elimination dashes.   Elite Race oddsboard The Gavle undercard this day saw the STL Silver (purse 125,000SEK to the winner, 2640 meters autostart, 12 starters) go to 1.12.5kr timed Heading Reference (6g Scarlet Knight-Vista d’Eronville-Offshore Dream) reined by Daniel Wajersten. He was off at 67.9/1 odds in winning for the second time in five 2020 appearances, and defeated Viking Brodde (5g Muscle Hill-Vasterbo My Melody-Super Arnie) with Jorma Kontio up. Third was From The Mine (8g From Above-Kalmans Tap Girl-Tap In) with Magnus Djuse up. Heading Reference Earlier the STK Bronze (110,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters voltstart, 12 starters) went to 1.87/1 favorite Vikens High Yield (6m Love You-Primadonna Tuna-Viking Kronos) with Per Lennartsson up for trainer Robert Bergh. Race time was 1.13.1kr and the winner took his fifth 2020 victory in six starts, this his fourth straight score. Ribaude (7g Conny Nobell) and Concrete Dee (5g Donato Hanover) trailed the winner. Vikens High Yield Mixed in between these events was the coldblood featured Gunnar Walbergs DubbelCupen (200,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters voltstart distance handicap, 14 starters). 7.58/1 odds Gott Klirr (5m Asajerven) scored for teamster Mats E. Djuse and trainer Jan-Olov Persson, he of Jarvsofaks fame. Of note, this winner is part owned by Ake Svanstedt Inc. Thomas H. Hicks    

May 16, 2020 - Ecurie D (4m Infinitif-Too Soon-Muscles Yankee) won today’s Ina Scots at Mantorp (purse to winner 250,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) from post 12, timed in 1.12.2kr with Bjorn Goop at the lines for Global Glide AB, Smart Repair and trainer Frode Hamre. He scored at 2/1 odds for the ninth time in as many career starts. His life earnings are now 1.595,525SEK. This colt was bred in Denmark by Jean Pierre Dubois and represents Franco-American pedigree as shown below. Ecurie D raced in the death seat throughout albeit he took a very brief two-hole off the final bend behind the second finishing Armour As (4m Varenne-Southwind As-Turbo Sund) and Stefan Persson for trainer Jerry Riordan. Third was Rally Hans (4m Scarlet Knight-Loveletter-Love You) for Mika Forss and trainer Stefan Melander. Ecurie D Goop also scored in the Arne Erikssons (110,000SEK to the winner, 2140 meters voltstart, 14 starters) with his trainee Karamel Hill (6f Juliano Star-Fredrika Kemp-Alf Palema) that was bred in Norway and is now owned there by Jorn Stamm. This was her second win in three 2020 starts and her life earnings are now 658,387SEK. Off at 1.8/1 she overcame a 20-meter handicap and defeated Millie Millionaire (7f Jacose-Melby Tempo-Varenne) that was handicapped 40 meters and reined by Orjan Kilhstrom. Third went to 40-meter penalized Vikens Fingerprint (5f Prodigious) for Oskar J. Andersson. Karamel Hill Robert Bergh won the V75 Gold (150,000SEK, 2640 meters autostart) with his trainee 2.7/1 Mindyourvalue WF (7g Hovding Lavec-Mind Your Manners-Dahir de Prelong) timed in 1.13.1kr. Handsome Brad (6m Dream Vacation-Emma Rose-Andover Hall) was a good second for Carl Johan Jepson and Dreammoko (4h Timoko) was third for trainer/driver Bjorn Goop. MIndyourvalue WF   Goop’s other winners this day were with Zap di Girifalco in the V75 Bronze, Ale’ Pride Gar in a four year old event, and Hidalgo Heldia in a three year old race.   Thomas H. Hicks  

May 9, 2020 - The Gr. II International Lyon Grand Prix (purse 48,275€, 2640 meters autostart, 12 starters) at Aby on Saturday went to 19/1 Noble Superb (5m Maharajah-Oh Superb-Orlando Vici) clocked in 1.13.0kr with harness racing driver Bjorn Goop up for Stall Marlin and trainer Marcus Lindgren. The Norwegian bred scored for the first time in 2020 in two starts, and this was his eighth career victory in 21 appearances. 2.3/1 Forfantone AM (5m Muscle Hill-Tamla Celeber-Cantab Hall) took second for Torbjorn Janssen and trainer Roger Walmann. SRF Stable owns this well-bred performer. Third was the early pacesetter and 13/1 outsider Maxus (5m Muscle Hill-Gerris Joy-Enjoy Lavec) with Eric Adielssson up. Stall Zet/Daniel Reden own this one that was bred in the USA by Nicolas Cimino. Noble Superb Island Life (9g Pine Chip-Gossip-The Onion) took the V75 Silver at Aby (24,496€, 2140 meters autostart, 12 starters) clocked in 1.12.4kr and with trainer Robert Bergh the reinsman. He was off at 4.1/1 odds and recorded his second straight 2020 victory in five starts. 40/1 Pastor Power (6g Pastor Stephen-Tobina Passione-JR Broline) was second for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner and 43/1 Roofie (5g Andover Hall-Passionate Kemp-Lindy Lane) landed third with Stefan Persson up for trainer Johan Untersteiner. Island Life The first leg of the Breeders Course (three year old open, purse 19,816€, 2140 meters autostart, six starters) took place at Aby on Saturday with the victory earned by 3.8/1 Balsamine Font (3f Filipp Roc-Issima OK-Pine Chip) with trainer Bjorn Goop at the lines for owner/breeder Scuderia Sant’Eusebio SNC. This Italian bred filly won for the first time in three 2020 starts and it was her third career victory in eight appearances. The 9/10 favorite Mr Mah Can (3m Maharajah-Canaka BF-Jobie Tempest) was second with trainer Robert Bergh up. 9/1 A Good Poimt (3m Maharajah-Romantic Lovce-Super Arnie) recovered from an early miscue to land third for pilot Kevin Oscarsson. Race time was 1.14.03kr with a speedy final 640 meters (the 1500 mark clocking was 1.15.3kr). Balsamine Font   The Aby card also included four other events each with a purse of 21,679€. The STL Diamantstoet (2140 meters voltstart, distance handicap, 14 starters) went to the 20 meter handicapped and 11/1 odds Sharp Dream (7f Royal Dream-Sharp Concrete-Alf Palema) clocked in 1.13.4kr with Peter Ingves up. 10/1 Zanzibar Wise As (5f Muscle Massive-Lovely Fame-Varenne) was a nose back second for Federico Esposito, after a five wide surge off the final bend. Sharp Dream The Klass II Stayerlopp (3140 meters autostart) saw 6.4/1 Rackham (4m Love You-Red Orchid-Dream Vacation) score in 1.15.1kr for trainer/driver/co-owner Christoffer Eriksson. This was his second win in three 2020 outings. Second was 5/2 odds Matteo (4g Quite Easy-Love You More-Love You) for Stefan Persson. Bordeaux S (4g Orlando Vici-Spot Over-Spotlite Lobell) was third at 13/1 for Carl Johan Jepson and trainer Jerry Riordan. Rackham The V75 Bronze (2640 meters voltstart, 12 starters) went to 1.14.7kr clocked Guillaume Boko (7m Prodigious-Proud Mary-Supergill) as Bjorn Goop trains and drove this one for owner Sonja Wewering, his 11th career win in 41 appearances. He was the even-money favorite and bested 9/1 Ontrack He’s Back (6m Orlando Vici-Keystone Delicious-American Winner) with Erik Adielsson up. Guillaume Boko The Klass I (1640 meters autostart, 12 starters), a qualifier for the May 30th finale at Solvalla, saw 7.4/1 Southwind Queen (4f Muscle Hill-Sensual Hall-Garland Lobell) score in 1.11.1kr with Peter Ingves up for trainer Riccardo Bianchi and owner Story Inc. This Southwind Farm bred filly won for the 24th time in 37 career starts after going 13 for 19 last year. Zlatan Knick (5g Going Kronos) at 19/1 and 27/1 The Gambler (4g SJs Photo) followed the very impressive winner, one to watch in the future.   Southwind Queen   Thomas H. Hicks  

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