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The V75 Gold on Saturday went to Dreams Take Time (6m Andover Andover - B My Honey - Viking Kronos handled by Johnny Takter clocked in 1.13.3kr. He earned 150,000SEK for the victory over 2140 meters autostart. Obi Wan was second for Flemming Jensen ahead of 11 year-old veteran Montgomery Hall with Kenneth Haugstad. The Silver Division (125,000SEK, 2140 meters autostart) went to Italy’s Naglo del Nord (8g Naglo - Entita del Nord - And Arifant) with Veijo Heiskanen up timed in 1.13.2kr. Daniel Reden teamed Vasterbo Highclass  (7f Look de Star - Vasterbro Highclass - Pine Chip) home second ahead of Caliber TT (8g Cromwell - Marcon Lady - Marcop Lep) and Johnny Takter. Other winners on the card included Djali Boko (5m Ready Cash - Lucky Lavec-Pine Chip) in 1.13.8kr for Per Nordstrom to earn 110,000SEK for this 2640 meter autostart contest ; Flex Lane (4m Federal Flex - Margo Hall - Like A Prayer) in 1.15.2kr over 2140 meters autostart for Erik Adielsson for 100,000SEK first money ; Folli (6g Self Possessed - M.T. Angel - Juliano Star) in 1.13.3kr in his 1640 meter autostart contest for Johnny Takter to earn 100,000SEK and Geisha Sund (5f Love You - Kanadia - Canada) 1.12.8kr for Torbjorn Jansson. The one earned 100,000SEK for the win over 2140 meters autostart. Thomas H. Hicks  

February 11, 2015 - February 9 at Halmstad showed a victory by the Jerry Riordan trained Rare Wise As (5f Varenne - In Wise As - SJ’s Caviar), clocked in 1.13.5kr. Second dam is Garden Variety by Tagliabue. Lisa Riordan owns the winner, driven this day by Johnny Takter in the Hallands Lopp providing 35,000SEK to the winner. The distance was 1640 meters autostart and the winner recorded career victory number seven. Replay: http://www.atgplay.se/lopp/20150209-halmstad-dd?id=1 February 10 at Jagersro the half-brother of Commander Crowe, Master Crowe (5m Conway Hall - Somack - Mack Lobell, won for the fourth time in five career starts. Thomas Uhrberg drove the winner for owner/trainer Petri Puro. The victory was his second in two 2015 starts in this event clocked in 1.15.7kr over 2140 meters voltstart. The winners’ purse share was 20,000SEK. Second dam is Somolli Ribb by Speedy Somolli. Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbimCcegIxQ Thomas H. Hicks      

February 5, 2015 - Today’s Q+ (jackpot €5.25 million) Prix Guy Lux (€75,000 purse, 18 European starters, 2700 meters) went to 17/1 odds pacesetting Traveling Man (10m Supergill - Kimberly Lobell-Speedy Somolli) from Sweden. Pierre Vercruysse teamed the impressive winner for trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet. He scored in 1.13.9kr off well-rated fractions (1.15.5kr at 1500; 1.14kr at 1000; 1.13.9kr at 500). The winner, in this his first 2015 start, now has 26 career wins for €312,282 earned. Team Job (8g Buvetier d’Aunou - Just Love) was second for Romain Derieux and trainer Yoan Teerlnck at 25/1. Ugor du Beauvoisin (7m Olitro - Klea du Beauvoisin) was third for Alexandre Abrivard at 7/2.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.250.000 € - Numéro plus : 0390   Ordre :       82.392,00€   Désordre :       686,60€   Bonus 4 :       80,00€   Bonus 4sur5 :       29,10€   Bonus 3 :       19,40€ Today’s feature event was the Gr. II UET Masters Series Prix Jean le Gonidec (€120,000, European 10 starters, 2175 meters) and it resulted in an impressive open-lengths score by 4/5 favorite Amiral Sacha (5m Ganymede - Nostalgique Sacha - Goetmals Wood) and driver Gabriele Gelormini for trainer Florent Lamare clocked in 1.13.1kr, with a powerful closing kick off modest fractions (1.13.7kr at 1500; 1.14.1kr at 1000; 1.14.6kr at 500). Andre Battal owns the winner. Amiral Sacha now has seven career wins good for €442,430 earned. Africaine (5f Oiseau de Feux - Italienne), at 2.8/1 odds, rallied from a second over position to end second for Jean-Etienne Dubois, also trainer/owner) ahead of Astor du Quenne (5m Opus Viervil - Qualinka du Quenne) with Eric Raffin up for trainer Sebastien Guarato. 35/1 Re Italiano UR (5m Ganymede - Dark Lux SM) sat outside the winner most of the journey and held fourth for Pierre Vercruysse and trainer Catello Savarese ahead of fifth place Duke of Greenwood (5m Otello Pierji - Nikki Greenwood) off at 26/1 for teamster Robin Bakker for trainer Peter J. Strooper. Venosc de Minel (6g Laetenter Diem - Melia Monochrome) and J-M Bazire took the Prix Leon Zitone (€58,000 purse, European 14 starters, 2700 meters) clocked in 1.14kr. This 2.7/1 favorite, trained by Mme. Severine Raimond, defeated Sweden’s Falcon Haleryd (6g Varenne - Falnos Ballona) with Dominik Locqueneux up for trainer Johan Untersteiner, with third to another Swedish invader Tell Me No Lies (6g Offshore Dream  -B Glorious) with Franck Nivard aboard for trainer Fabrice Souloy. Thomas H. Hicks

February 4, 2015 - Harness racing trainer driver Jean-Michel Bazire piloted 1.8/1 favorite Val Royal (6m Capricio - Buardu du Rib) to victory in the Wednesday Quinte+  Prix de L’lle-et-Vilaine (€50,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, 17 European starters, Q+ jackpot €5.2 million).  Bazire also trains Val Royal, timed in 1.13.6kr, as the pair defeated Ultra d’Asnois (7m Jasmin de Flore-Hotesse de Feu) with Christian Bigeon up at 7/2. Ustou (7g Niky-Oh Manor) was third at 9/1 for David Thomain. Sweden’s  Photo Princess (10f Super Photo Kosmos-Milady Hornline) ended the contest fourth for Michael Lonborg, also trainer. The relatively low odds top five produced an unusually modest exact order payoff.  Rapports (pour 2€) Tirelire 5.200.000 € - Numéro plus : 0802   Ordre :       2.260,00€   Désordre :       45,20€   Bonus 4 :       9,60€   Bonus 4sur5 :       4,80€   Bonus 3 :       2,60€   The Prix de Bourg-en-Bresse (€58,000, 2700 meters, European females, 15 starters) went to Sweden’s Monas Invercore (6f Viking Kronos - Moras Speranza) for teamster Eric Raffin and trainer Svante Bath.   Clocked in 1.14.6kr the 8/1 winner defeated Va Vole de Lys (6f Oiseau de Feux-Nostalgie du Lys) at 7.5/1 reined by Franck Nivard with third to Vitesse la Ravelle (6f Lontzac-Ma d’Ylea at 67/1 for Tony Le Beller. Italy’s Petra Axe (6f Daguet Rapide-Image Delmar) was fourth with J-M Bazire at the lines. Thomas H. Hicks

January 24, 2015 - Erik Adielsson put Sweden’s veteran On Track Piraten (7g Kool du Caux-Monrovia) on the front early and led throughout to record a three length harness racing score timed in 1.12.2kr in this Gr. III Prix du Luxembourg (€110,000 purse, 2100 meters autostart, Quinte+). The Stall Morkermassa owned campaigner is trained by H.R. Stromberg and he was off as 1.9/1 favorite. Un Fille d’Amour (7f Infant du Bossis-Never So Great) was second at 11.5/1 for David Thomain with Ru de l’Airou (10g Cygnus d’Odyssee) third at 31/1 for Pierre Levesque. Backfire was fourth for Jos. Verbeeck driving. The winner finished briskly after an even pace (fractions 1.11.2kr at 1500; 1.13.1kr at 1000l 1.13.1kr at 500 and 1.12.2kr at finish). The race record was set in 2011 by Rapide Lebel in 1.10.9kr. Turbo Jet took the 2014 edition. Yannick Gingras driven SHT’s Playmate raced well but finished eighth timed in 1.13.2kr for trainer Anders Lindqvist. This mare was in the Arqana Trot sale last evening but did not achieve reserve. Gingras first mount Pershing Bi was a scratch in the second race. Thomas H. Hicks  

Noras Bean (9m Super Arnie-Easy Bean-Songcan) grabbed an early lead for reinsman Stefan Soderqvist in the V-75 Gold contest over 1640 meters autostart on Saturday at Mantorp, Sweden. After five-hunded meters favorite Digital Ink (5g Super Photo Kosmos-Laverde des Pres-Filou des Boscall), with Orjan Kihlstrom up for trainer Stefan Melander, got alongside the leader. Those positions were remained to last turn. Digital Ink lost ground at the beginning of the home stretch and it looked like Noras Bean could prevail. But with only hundred meters to go the Stall TZ owned Digital Ink made a comeback and managed to secure the narrow win in 1.12kr. Miss Sue V. (6f Credit Winner-Sunday Yankee-Muscles Yankee) grabbed the third position for driver Bjorn Goop, trainer Daniel Reden and owner Stall Zet. The winner earned 150,000SEK for the victory, his 18th in 42 outings for career earnings of 4,082,800SEK. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Undefeated Mister JP (2m Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide) remained so on Saturday as trainer/driver Bjorn Goop guided the impressive colt to an easy front stepping victory in this 1640 meter autostart at Jagersro, Sweden in a Grade I Swedish National for two-year-olds event. Timed in 1.13.8kr. J-P Barjon (Ecurie du Citrus) owns the winner, the first record performer of Baghdad Dream that was acquired in foal at Harrisburg and exported to Sweden. The winner earned 600,000SEK and now sports career earnings of 1.3SEK million with six victories. Sucre (2m Jacose-Sugar No Cream-Starchip Enterprise) was second for Steen Juul and Exceed GT (2m Truton Sund-Filoxenia Light-Armbro Trick) ended third for Per Lennartsson. Clemenza AM (2m Muscle Hill-No Better Kronos-Varenne) battled early alongside the winner and ended a game fourth for Lutfi Kolgjini. The Johan Jacobssons test at Jagersro went to Riff Kronos (4m Dream Vacation-Elaine Kronos-Viking Kronos) in 1.13.2kr over 2140 meters turning start. Veijo Heiskanen teamed the winner for Denco HB and earned 150,000SEK to boost career earnings to 2,424,145SEK with this 11th win in 29 lifetime starts. Dante Boko (4g Going Kronos-Margherita Ross-Obo Volo) took second for Lutfi Kolgjini and Backfire (4f Offshore Dream-Fashion Brodde-SJ’s Caviar) was third for Johnny Takter. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Solvato (5m Donato Hanover-Solveig-Yankee Glide) won today’s V75 Gold Meadow Prophets at Jagersro over 2140 meters autostart. The Veijo Heiskanen trained and reined pupil earned 150,000SEK for the win, his 11th in 45 career starts, now for earnings of 5,233,630SEK. He was timed in 1.12.3kr. Solvato rallied from near the back to circle the field around the last bend to score easily for owner Denco HB. Montgomery Hill (10g SJ’s Photo-Funny Hill-Mr. Vic) was second for Flemming Jensen and Nothing But Class (5m Andover Hall-Bold Dreamer-Donerail) ended third for Peter Untersteiner. The winner hopes to start next Saturday at Paris-Vincennes in the Gr. II International UET Masters Series Prix du Bourbonnais over 2850 meters, the second “B” automatic qualifier for the 2015 Prix d’Amerique. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Veteran Nahar, a former Elitloppet winner, took today's Gr. II International UET Masters Series Gold Final (King Carl XVI Gustav's Silverhost) at Solvalla over 2140 meters autostart with 250,000SEK to the winner. Trainer Robert Bergh teamed the winner to an easy score timed in 1.10.5kr, a world record over the distance on a 1000 meter track, helped by a first 1000 in 1.09.1kr set by Claes Boko, that ended sixth. The eight year-old gelded son of Love You-Mahonny Broline-Joie de Vie is owned by Stall Sedin HB and he recorded career win number 30 in 90 starts for earnings of 11,023,098SEK. The victory was his sixth in 2014 from 17 appearances. Stefan Melander's Digital Ink (5g Super Photo Kosmos) was second for Orjan Kihlstrom with third to Chelsea Boko (5m Chocolatier) for Jorma Kontio and trainer Timo Nurmos. Sanity and On Track Piraten were in the beaten field of 11 starters. On the Solvalla undercard US trotters were 1-2-3 in the Silver Final over 2140 meters with 220,000SEK to the winner. Food Money (6g Andover Hall-Windylane Hanover-Lindy Lane) took the victory for Jennifer Tillman in 1.12.2kr over Underpaid Hanover (5m Revenue-Up Front Lisa-Lindy Lane) with Orjan Kihlstrom and Tomorrowland (7m Conway Hall-Justice Done-Donerail) and teamster Jorma Kontio. The winner scored for the ninth time in only 20 career starts for earnings now of 1,680,000SEK. Riff Kronos (4m Dream Vacation-Elaine Kronos-Viking Kronos) took the Solvalla Grand Prix (Gr. II International UET Masters Series, 2140 meters autostart, 400,000SEK to the winner), scoring in 1.12.1kr for Veijo Heiskanen over Charrua Forlan with Hans-Owe Sundberg up. Erik Adielsson piloted Vasterbo Loveboat home third. Well-regarded D'One was sixth with Aperfectyankee and Radieux back in the beaten field. The Bronze Final for 200,000SEK to the winner went to Coldtown (5g Cantab Hall-Brylin Starlet-Balanced Image) and Jorma Kontio. The Timo Nurmos trainee scored in 1.11.4kr over 2140 meters autostart to defeat Red Rapide and Flemming Jensen with Race Cowboyland third for Johnny Takter. The winner now has 10 career wins in 14 starts for Stall VNT. Other interesting winners on the excellent card included Lover Face (6g Love You-Ambra OK-Mr. Lavec) in the Klass I final over 2140 meters autostart for 200,000SEK to the winner. Trainer Veijo Heiskanen drove the winner to the 1.12kr victory, his ninth career win. The Klass II final (2140 meters autostart, 200,000SEK to winner) went to Rolex (4m Going Kronos-Oaklea Omega-Balanced Image) with Erik Adielsson driving for trainer Svante Bath. The winner scored in 1.13.2kr for his eighth win in 18 career starts. The Mares final for 200,000SEK to the winner, over 2140 meters voltstart) went to Alvena Take It (4f Make It Happen-Impulsive-Mack Lobell) and trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner. She scored in 1.13.6kr. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

Today's four Swedish Breeders's Crown Gr. I International Finals produced highly competitive racing and several upsets. Each event was raced over 2140 meters autostart for a purse of 177,280 euros (800,000SEK to each divisional winner). The racing day began with the four year-old females and 12 starters. Favored 4/5 odds Neona Princess (4f Gigant Neo-Dew Princess-JR Broline) controlled the race for trainer/driver Peter Untersteiner until Johnny Takter rallied late with the Thomas Malmqvist trained Backfire (4f Offshore Dream-Fashion Brodde-SJ's Caviar) for a 1.13.45kr win. This 8.3/1 odds (PMU) winner now sports 10 wins in 29 outings for career earnings of 4,008,690SEK. Amazon AM (4f Gigant Neo-Eclat de Bois-Coktail Jet) was third for Robert Bergh. The three year-old fillies also produced a close finish with victory to Olympia Tilly (3f Lindy Lane-Pearl Tilly-Sharif di Iesolo) and reinsman Per Lennartsson, timed in 1.14.67kr. She recorded her fifth win in 11 career outings for earnings of 1,212,000SEK. The 14.1/1 outsider defeated Florida Queen (3f Ken Warkentin-Florida Broline-Pine Chip) with Andre Eklundh and Face-Em (3f Offshore Dream-Tuula Boko-Wired Pine) with Peter Gr. Norman up. US bred Iponema was seventh. In this event Danielle was first to front with Face'Em moving three wide to the death seat where they remained until deep stretch when Olympia Tilly rallied past, along with Florida Queen. The four year-old males contest resulted in a win for Vasterbo Fantast (4m Mr. Pine Chip-Fassia LB-Supergill) and Orjan Kilhstrom, timed in 1.12.15kr. The 7/1 winner defeated 12/1 Alkalizer AM (4g Olimede-Alltid VG-Spotlite Lobell) with Johan Untersteiner and 3/5 favorite Charrua Forlan (4g Up Front Larry-Friska Bar-Frisky Frazer) with Hans-Owe Sundberg up. The winner posted his eighth career win in 29 starts for 2,128,000SEK earned. Vasterbo Fantast led gate to wire, parking Charrua Forlan that held gamely for third. The three year-old male division went to 3.3/1 Psycho (3m From Above-Tiba Lavec-Ata Star L) trained and reined by Bjorn Goop. The 1.13.41kr winner defeated 10/1 Gross Weight (3m Scarlet Knight-Elma Jet-Supergill) with Orjan Kihlstrom teaming for trainer/part-owner Stefan Melander in a photo decided finish. Je T'aime Express (3g Symphonic Hanover-Je T'aime Marron-Sugarcane Hanover) ended third for Peter Untersteiner. Psycho recorded his fourth win in 11 career starts now for 1,505,000SEK earned. The Muscle Hill colt Emmett Brown was fourth. Je T'aime Express had circled the field to get alongside Psycho into the lane where Gross Weight rallied late and just missed victory. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com  

Stefan Melander’s Digital Ink (5g Super Photo Kosmos-Laverda des Pres-Filou du Boscail) took today’s Gold Division feature at Eskilstuna, Sweden. Johnny Takter reined the winner, now a career earner of 3.8SEK million, to a close 1.12.9kr score over Chelsea Boko (5m Chocolatier-Kelsea Boko-Joie de Vie) and Jorma Kontio. Sanity (8g Love You-Flash Light-Mack Lobell) was third for Erik Adielsson in the 2140 meter autostart test for 150,000SEK first money. In France, Valko Jenilat (5m Kepler-Perle du Roc) took today’s Gran Prix Dynavena Maisagri Duran at Chatelaillon-La Rochelle over 2625 meters for a purse of €30,000. 16 starters contested this event, timed in 1.15.2kr. Glenny Delaune teamed the winner, off at 1.2/1 odds. Sweden’s Nantucket was second ahead pf Umberto de Nacre. At Laval, Blue Island (3f Jain de Beval-Quarda du Rib) took the Prix Poitevin for €30,000 and raced over 2875 meters by 17 starters. The Dominik Locqueneux reined winner was timed in 1.15.7kr at 5.3/1 odds in defeat of 25 meter penalized Brise de l’Alba with William Bigeon up. Bahamas ended third for Alexandre Abrivard in a blanket finish. Laval’s Gran Prix Andre de la Vaissiere (€60,000 purse, 2875 meters, 18 starters) went to Viking de Val (5m Baccarat du Pont-La Forge de Val) with Eric Lambertz up. Timed in 1.14.3kr, the winner overcame a 25 meter handicap to score at 1.8/1 favorite odds over Recital du Lys and Eric Raffin. Laval’s monte feature today, the Prix Dreux (European, €40,000, monte, 2875 meters, 15 starters) was won by VIF d’Or du Poli (5g Ludo de Castelle-Fontaine du Poli) with Christelle Le Coz up, timed in 1.14.8kr. Barracuda River (5m Express It-Just About Enough) took second for Adrien Lamy, overcoming a 25 meter handicap with Valroy home third for Eric Raffin. At Avenches (Switzerland), their featured Prix des Elites (International, €20,473, purse, 2300 meters autostart, 10 entrants) went to 15/1 outsider Atilano (4m Quatre Juillet-Ollaflo) for trainer/teamster Marc-Andre Bouvay. Volute du Clermont was a close second for Barbara Schneider with third to Ultra la Vallee with Adrian Burger up. by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

2014 Prix d'Amerique harness racing winner Maharajah (9m Viking Kronos-Chili Khan-Giant Chill) was a good third tonight at Solvalla in the 2140 meter circle start distance handicapped Owners Trophy. The 200,000SEK race went to the winner Checco Boko (5g Express It-Vintage Boko-Garland Lobell) with Jorma Kontio up for trainer Timo Normos. Pocket sitting Micciano Lung (8m Park Avenue Joe-Stella-Lanson) was third for Cark-Erik Lindblom. The winner was timed in 1.13.4kr. Maharajah moved early (after a 20 meter handicap) and raced in the death seat outside leader Checco Boko before ending third for Orjan Kihlstrom and trainer Stefan Hultman. Hultman commented post-race that Maharajah raced well after a nine month layoff and the road to the 2015 Prix d'Amerique is underway. On the undercard J-P Barjon's Mister JP (2m Taurus Dream-Baghdad Dream-Yankee Glide-I Feel Good) earned 100,000SEK for a 1.15.6kr win over 2140 meters autostart. The impressive youngster scored for Bjorn Goop. The monte feature, also for 100,000SEK to the winner over the 2140 meter autostart course, went to Muskelmann GT (9g Muscles Yankee-Aino Lady-Dallas Lobell) in 1.12.4kr for Siv Emilie Louvold. Lord Photo was second for Linda Allercrantz ahead of Nouvelle Pelle handled by Asa Svensson by Thomas H. Hicks, for Harnesslink.com

2014 Prix d'Amerique winner Maharajah is entered to make his comeback October 29 in The Owners Trophy at Solvalla. Contested by 14 entrants over 2140 meters distance handicap for 200,000SEK to the winner, Maharajah will start with a 20 meter handicap along with five other top money winners. It will be his first appearance since winning the 2014 Prix d'Amerique over Up And Quick and Yarah Boko. One of Sweden's greatest trotting horses, Maharajah escaped the pocket when Ready Cash went off-stride and took the toughest race in the world in January 2014 over a sloppy Paris-Vincennes course. Trainer Stefan Hultman's goal is to defend the Prix d'Amerique in 2015, and that effort starts Wednesday in The Owners Trophy. Örjan Kihlström will team the nine year-old that has recorded 31 wins in 58 career starts for superstar for 23.5SEK million earned. Entrants and drivers are shown below: 1. Micciano Lung (Carl-Erik Lindblom) 2. Knifetown Action (Erik Adielsson) 3. Checco Boko (Jorma Kontio) 4. Korok (Bjorn Goop) 5. Diamond Duo (Ville Karhulahti) 6. Twings Voici (Pekka Korpi) 7. The First Time (Jörgen S Eriksson) 8. Poker Kronos (Robert Bergh) 9. Highspeed Call (Per Lannartsson) 10. Friction (Stefan Melander) - meters 2140 11. Prince Tagg (Hannu Torvinen) 12. Maharajah (Orjan Kihlstrom) 13. Conrads Epilog (Fredrik Linder) 14. Traveling Man (Daniel Reden)   Thomas H. Hicks

When harness racing's International Trot was last run in 1995 at Yonkers Raceway, it was Sweden's His Majesty who crossed the wire first.   On Saturday night, when the $250,000 International Trot Preview is contested, Sweden's colors will once again be well represented with Commander Crowe and Sebastian K, the top two favorites in the field of eight trotters going a mile-and-a-quarter.   Commander Crowe, an 11-year-old gelding, who has raced most of his career in Sweden, has won 60 of 106 career starts with nearly $5 million in earnings, but never started in the United States. He was made the 7-2 second-choice on the morning line leaving from the rail with driver Orjan Kihlstrom in the bike.   "We are really looking forward to race in the International Trot, or as we call it in Sweden: The World Championship," said Joakim Wihlborg, owner of Commander Crowe. "It is going to be very exciting to meet Sebastian K again. They have had many good duels over the last couple of years in Scandinavia with wins and fantastic performances from both horses including the European record at Jagersro in Sweden that is held by Commander Crowe."   Sebastian K, a winner of 34 races from 74 career starts, has won eight of 11 starts this year in America, including setting a world record for the fastest mile on June 28. The 8-year-old will leave from post six and was made the 3-1 morning line favorite with Ake Svanstedt driving.   Before coming to America, Sebastian K and Commander Crowe, battled each other in Sweden, trading decisions throughout 2012 before Sebastian K was named Sweden's Horse of the Year that year.   "Meeting Commander Crowe is great!," said Tristan Sjoberg, who is part owner of Sebastian K. "We have had so many great battles over the years, especially in the summer of 2012 when Commander Crowe took all the early season honors (Olympiatravet, Elitloppet & Hugo Ã…bergs Memorial) and then Sebastian K won most of the late season battles (Ã…by Stora Pris, Sundsvall Open Trot and UET Masters). It was a great summer of racing. Someone said it is currently 7 - 6 in favor of Sebastian K, but I cannot vouch for that statistic, haha. Either way, it has been a very close fought battle. With Commander Crowe now drawing post one, I think he must be considered the slight favorite. I predict another close battle!"   Both Commander Crowe and Sebastian K enter Saturday's $250,000 Preview off of losses when each was second best, Commander Crowe in the Grade 1 Gran Premio Turilli from Rome on Oct. 5, while Sebastian K was caught on the wire in the $173,000 Allerage Farm Open Trot at The Red Mile in Lexington also on Oct. 5.   "Sebastian is doing great," Sjoberg said. "He has shown a bit more alertness in training in the last week or so, which we take as a good sign."   Natural Herbie appears the best of the American contingent having won his last three starts and was made the 4-1 third-choice in the wagering and will leave from post seven.   Completing the field is the 2013 Horse of the Year, the filly, Bee a Magician (post two, 8-1), Obrigado (post four, 8-1), Arch Madness (post five, 5-1), the 2012 Yonkers Trot winner Archangel (post six, 6-1) and Not Afraid (post eight, 20-1).   "What a race it will be, the fastest horse in Europe, the fastest horse in the world and the best American Trotters," said Wihlborg.   The International Trot Preview will go off as race nine of a 12-race program, sharing the card along with the final for the Messenger Stakes and the Yonkers Trot.   The International Trot, with its full pageantry, will return to Yonkers Raceway in 2015, where it will try to attract the top trotters from around the globe.   · Yonkers Raceway will keep the international flavor going on Sundays, beginning Nov. 9 through Dec. 14, when it will simulcast its races to Paris and throughout Europe, starting with an 11 a.m. first post. The track will offer fans many promotions to come out early and watch the special Sunday cards. More details about the promotions will be available as the time draws closer.   By Jerry Bossert

Hot-trotting On Track Piraten (6g Kool du Caux-Monrovia-Rite On Line) took today’s Swedish Masters, a Gr. II Gold event for 500,000SEK to the winner at Aby. Twelve contested this classic over 2640 meters autostart. Johnny Takter teamed the winner (now a 15 time winner in 60 starts for 6,598,998SEK career earnings for trainer Hans Stromberg) that scored by a neck taking the open stretch inside route to narrowly get by Mosaique Face (5m Classic Photo-Iona LB-Supergill) and Adrian Kolgjini on the line timed  in 1.13kr. Claes Boko (5m Varenne-Salma Boko-Express Ride) was a fast-closing third for Erik Adielson but could not threaten the top two. Nahar was fourth for Robert Bergh ahead of the other check earners Arazi Boko and Noras Bean. On Track Piraten (aftonbladet.sephoto) The companion Gr. II Mares Masters for 500,000SEK to the winner went to Jumble As (6f Tagliabue-Judy As-Mack Lobell) with Flemming Jensen aboard. The pair scored in 1.13.2kr over 2140 meters autostart (her 12th career win in 62 appearances for 1,873,100SEK earned) to defeat Eketorpets Tess (7f Kashner Hanover-Joanne-Dignatarian) with Peter Untersteiner up with Global Midnight (7f Ganymede-Global Business-Victory Dream) third for Christophe Martens. Canaka BF, Elles W.Phedo and Fortuna Sund also earned checks from among the 12 starters. Thomas H. Hicks

The connections of Swedish star Commander Crowe have officially accepted an invitation to the $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot for the third time and the chestnut champion will make his first star on U.S. soil this fall. Commander Crowe raced in the Breeders Crown Trot in 2011-2012 at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, finishing third to San Pail and third to Chapter Seven in his respective events. Since moving to the stable of French trainer Fabrice Souloy in 2010, Commander Crowe, now 11, is still going strong. He earned a Breeders Crown invitation by winning the Aby Stora Pris, a Grade 1 event in Gothenburg, Sweden, in August. Owned by Snogarps Gard AB (Barbro Wihlborg, Ulf Wihlborg & Joakim Wihlborg) the gelded son of Juliano Star-Somack-Mack Lobell has won 60 races in 103 starts, for earnings of $4.7 million. "We are delighted to accept your kind invitation for our horse Commander Crowe in order to participate in this years Breeders Crown for older trotters," said Joakim Wihlborg via emial. "We are fully aware of the conditions and we are looking forward to be a part of the big event." The last invited foreign horse to win the Breeders Crown Trot was Italian sensation Varenne, who captured the trophy with a then-world-record 1:51.1 at the Meadowlands. Trainer Fabrice Souloy reports that Commander Crowe will arrive in the U.S. in mid-October. The $500,000 Breeders Crown Trot is one of 12 championship events worth a total of $5.6 million to be raced at The Meadowlands over the weekend of Friday, Nov.21 and Saturday, Nov. 22. For more information visit www.themeadowlands.com or www.hambletonian.org    

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