Day At The Track
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Kim Eriksson's trip to the U.S. for Saturday's $1 million Yonkers International Trot at Empire City Casino will be different from the harness racing driver's previous experiences in the States. "I wanted to work there around six years ago, but since I wasn't good enough I didn't get to drive anything but the wheelbarrow," Eriksson said in an email. "So the return is definitely something I'm going to enjoy." Rest assured Eriksson will not be driving a wheelbarrow Saturday at Yonkers. The 33-year-old Swede will sit behind Oasis Bi, who finished second to Resolve in last year's edition of the International Trot. Oasis Bi, trained by Stefan Pettersson, is making his third appearance in the 1-1/4 mile invitational. He finished fourth in 2015. "It's a great honor as well as a privilege to participate in the International Trot," Eriksson said. "To drive in the race is amazing to begin with, and to do it with a gentleman and professional like Oasis Bi is even better. "He had a phenomenal season last year, when everything clicked. He hasn't had as much luck this year, but still has been racing on top level. Perhaps his biggest strength is his technique, which he has shown off the previous years at Yonkers." Eriksson's career started slowly, but he has become one of the top drivers in Sweden, where he is No. 10 in wins this year. On Sunday, Eriksson made headlines when he filled in for trainer/driver Robert Bergh to guide Diamanten, owned by former NHL star Peter Forsberg, to victory in the $176,000 Grosser Preis von Deutschland in Hamburg. "I started at a 'harness-racing school' when I was 16, but then I didn't know much about anything," Eriksson said. "I got my driver's license when I was 18, but didn't drive much at all the first years. In fact, I think it took about five years before my first win. "Despite that, I've never lost track of my dream, and that is to be able to compete at the highest level. And it doesn't get much higher than this. This year, especially, I've gotten to drive great horses that have raced for a lot of money, but this (International Trot) definitely tops it all." Oasis Bi, a 9-year-old stallion, has won 18 of 80 career races and $2.06 million in purses. Owned by Sweden's Frackstad Lantbruks AB, the Italian-born Oasis Bi is a son of Toss Out, a stakes-winner in the States, out of the Self Possessed mare Up Front JM. His family includes millionaire Million Dollar Bye and Dan Patch Award winner Firm Tribute. Last year, Oasis Bi's wins included the Group 1 Gran Premio Lotteria. He finished second to Nuncio in the UET Trotting Masters championship and finished third in the Prix d'Amerique. At ages 2 and 3, Oasis Bi was in the stable of Per Engblom. When Engblom moved to the U.S., eventually landing a spot as Jimmy Takter's top assistant, Oasis Bi was transferred to Pettersson. "During the last five years he's meant a lot to us," Pettersson said in a video produced by Kristin Riise Ødegård for the SOA of New York. "He's a great guy. He's a bit spoiled by his groom at home and he can be playful but once he knows it's time for work he becomes a true gentleman. He loves training and he's always happy and ready to go. He's a fantastic horse to work with. "This year hasn't been as good as last year, but that record is tough to beat. I think he's in as good from now as he was then but the competition is very tough this year and the races haven't really panned out to his advantage. The horse feels great and he still races well every time. I'm sure he'll do a great race in Yonkers." The International Trot was contested from 1959 through 1995 before being resurrected three years ago by Yonkers President and CEO Tim Rooney. Oasis Bi and On Track Piraten are the only horses in this year's field to appear in every Yonkers International Trot since its return. The draw for the International Trot, part of a New York harness-record $3.3 million card at Yonkers on Saturday, is Tuesday afternoon. Racing begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Yonkers. "Our trips to Yonkers have been fantastic experiences," Pettersson said. "They're memories for life. We can't wait to go back. It's going to be good fun. We were ready to go before we even got the invitation." The complete field for the 39th International Trot (with country of representation) is Dreammoko (France), In Secret (U.S.), Marion Marauder (Canada), Midnight Hour (Finland), Oasis Bi (Italy), On Track Piraten (Sweden), Resolve (U.S.), Shadow Woodland (Finland), Tripolini VP (Denmark), and Twister Bi (Italy). For more information, visit www.internationaltrot.com.  ‘INTERNATIONAL TROT DAY’ TO INCLUDES $10,000 GUARANTEED PICK 5 POOL Included in the wagering buffet for this Saturday’s (Oct. 14th) $3.3 million, all-stakes “International Trot  Day’ program, Yonkers Raceway—in conjunction with Standardbred Owners of New York and the U-S Trotting Association’s Strategic Wagering Program—is offering a $10,000 guaranteed Pick 5 pool. As usual, the sequence goes as races 7 through 11 (card is 11 races), with the order as such… No.-Race                                                                                             Post time             7-Dan Rooney Invitational Pace                                                         3:00             8-Harry Harvey Invitational Trot                                                        3:30             9-Yonkers International Trot @ Empire City Casino                         4:00             10-NYSS Morrisville Coll. Equine Inst. 3YO Colt/Gelding Trot      4:30             11-NYSS Allerage Farm 3YO Filly Trot                                            5:00             Note races 8 and 9 offer 10 horses and the mile-and-a-quarter distance. “The guarantee is just another reason for fans to watch and wager as we present the richest program ever in the history of New York harness racing,” Raceway COO Bob Galterio said. There is also a special ‘New York, New York Pick 4’ involving Yonkers’ 8th and 9th races along with a pair of Belmont Park stakes (8th race, $150,000 Futurity [post time 4:46 PM] and 9th race, $200,000 Pebbles [post time 5:19 PM]). A reminder of Yonkers’ special 1 PM first post, with the first six races (prior to the Pick 5) all $225,000 finals of New York Sire Stakes events.     Ken Weingartner

October 8, 2017 - Diamanten (4m Adrian Chip-Iata Kall) was first off the gate for harness racing driver Kim Eriksson and prevailed throughout for a 1.12kr score in the €150,000 purse Grosser Preis von Deutschland raced over 2200 meters autostart at Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. Robert Bergh trains the winner for Forspro AB and he record career win number 19 in 26 starts. The 2.13/1 favorite bested late rallying Generaal Bianco reined by Peter Untersteiner. Third went to Django Riff and Joseph Verbeeck than enjoyed a pocket spot after a bold sweeping move at the midway point of the contest.  Hamburg-Bahrenfeld (Grosser Preis von Deutschland, purse €150,000, 2200 meters autostart, four year olds, 14 starters less two scratches) October 8, 2017 Race time 1.12kr (top five finishers below listed) 2.13/1 odds Diamanten (4m Adrian Chip-Iata Kall), Kim Eriksson driver, Robert Bergh trainer, Forspro AB owner, his 8th win in 12 starts in 2017 and 19th win in 26 career starts Generaal Bianco (4g Ufo Kievitshof-Zaskia Fortuna), Peter Untersteiner trainer/driver Django Riff (4m Ready Cash-Rasta Perrine), Jos. Verbeeck driver, Philippe Allaire trainer, Elisabeth Allaire owner Dawana (4f Ready Cash-Sanawa), Michael Nimczyk driver, Philippe Allaire owner/trainer Orlando Jet (4m Orlando Vici-Chicolina), Rudolf Haller trainer/driver   Earlier Broadwell (3m Conway Hall) easily took the Lord Pit for three year-olds. Robin Bakker teamed the Paul Hagoort trainee to victory over the Johnny Taker teamed Mac Smily. Summary: Hamburg Bahrenfeld – Lord Pit (purse €25,000, 2200 meters autostart, eight starters all three year olds) October 8, 2017 Race time – NR 2.61/1 odds Broadwell (3m Conway Hall-Boria), Robin Bakker driver, Paul Hagoort trainer, fourth win in five career starts Mac Smily (3m Brioni-Smily), Johnny Takter driver, Christian Lindhardt trainer McArthur (3m Infinitif-Millet LB), Michael Nimczyk up, breeder Jean Pierre Dubois   Other important winners on this Grand Prix Day at historic Hamburg-Mariendorf were: 3.68/1 Urbanio (4m Adrian Chip-Ophelia Blue Chip), Rick Ebbinge up, the €50,000 purse Deutschland Cup raced over 2200 meters autostart 6.56/1 Uzo Josselyn (9m Love You-Lezira Joselyn), Bjorn Goop driver, Robert Bergh trainer, Ecurie des Charmes owner, in the Hamburg Cup raced over 1680 meters autostart for a purse of €30,000 4.85/1 Northern Charm (2m Muscle Hill-Clothie), Christian Lindhardt trainer/driver, in the €25,000 purse Orakel der Zweijahrigen for two year olds 12.5/1 Noble Dolly (4f Ready Cash-Harriet Frido), Cees F. Kamminga trainer/driver, winner of the €22,000 purse Klass I, raced over 2200 meters autostart   Thomas H. Hicks  

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