November 09, 2011

Breeders Crown x 4

The Breeders Crown finals for 3 and 4-year old fillies and colts took place at Eskilstuna Raceway last Saturday (Nov 5).

First, Kadett C.D. and his trainer Robert Bergh won the final for 4-year old colts and gelding from the lead at 1:58.1.

Then, Nettan Palema and her trainer Åke Svanstedt won the filly division for 4-year old equally unchallenged at 1:59.4.

The same story followed when Akseli Lahtinen took Sören Lennartsson's 3-year old filly, Vincennes, to her 5th victory in 7 entries. She won at 1:59.3.

Nothing really happened until Örjan Kihlström and Stefan Hultman-trained Perfectly Enough speeded down the rest of the field in the final for 3-year old colts. He won at 1:59.0 and just like the rest of the Breeders Crown winners, he was awarded with $149,000.

VM in V75 and CL Müller's Memorial

The nation's largest combination bet, V75, had a day dedicated to its anniversary at Jägersro Raceway on Oct 29. The anniversary race was won by Malin Löfgren-trained Sanity with Johnny Takter in the bike. The Love You stallion won at 1:56.3/1 3/8th miles and added another $75,000 to his $180,000 earnings this year.

CL Müller's Memorial to an Outsider

Stefan Hultman's Maharajah was once again a given favorite in the main race, but it was another Hultman-trained horse that managed the triumph. Jörgen Sjunnesson gave Yellow Eden a perfect position further down the field and the horse totally exploded when Sjunnesson gave order on the homestretch. Yarrah Boko in the lead and Maharajah on the outside both looked like bystanders when Yellow Eden attacked further out. He won easily at 1:57.4/1 3/8th miles and added another $75,000.

Swedish Championship

It was a chilly autumn day at Åby in Gothenburg (Oct 15) when Yarrah Boko with Ulf Ohlsson in the bike won SM from the lead at 1:59.0/1 3/8th miles and banked $90,000. The Swedish breed stallion is trained by the Norweigan trainer Trond Anderssen. The big favorite, Maharajah, fell off stride twice and was never a threat. Instead Noras Bean sprinted furiously on the homestretch and was only beaten by nose.

Finally Dileva Käll

The filly division was won by Dileva Käll and Peter Norman. Dileva Käll was among the top 5 fillies as a 3 and 4-year old, but this was her first major triumph. The victory was worth $90,000 and she won at 1:57.2/1 3/8th miles.

October 12, 2011

Kriteriet, to Two Rookies

Driver Peter Ingves is by no means a rookie. Despite his age (51 years old), he is still Petri Puro’s first lad and one of the best catchdrivers in Sweden. When he drove Pato to a victory in the most prestigious race for 3-year-old colt and geldings, he did it in a confident manner.

New Talent

Pato was the least experienced horse behind the gate. With only four starts and four victories prior to the final, he had banked no more than $27,000. However, the Orlando Vici – She’s My Pie colt was unaware of the circumstances, and did his job in a splendid way. Peter Ingves took a safety start and positioned the colt in the middle of the field. After 1600 meters, Ingves sent Pato three-wide-out, trailing M.T.Golden Boy during the last 1000 meters. Stormysky came to the front in an early stage while On Track Piraten trotted first on the outside. Both colts were beaten when Pato attacked on the home stretch. M.T. Golden Boy finished second and Bon Frecia and Jorma Kontio speeded to the third place.

Petri Puro's New Star?

Pato won the race at 2:00.2/1 5/8 miles and added another $242,000 to his owner and trainer Petri Puro’s bank account. Petri Puro is the man behind Commander Crowe. Earlier this year, Puro sold his shares in the stallion, but his new adept might just as well fill Commander Crowe’s place in the future.

Next Rookie was a She

Sören Lennartsson is a less known trainer from Umåker in the north of Sweden, but he has by all means put his name in the books by now. His untried filly, Vincennes, (by Spotlite Lobell – Lina Trot) only made her fifth entry when she won Swedish Oaks, the filly division of Kriteriet. Vincennes fell off stride shortly after the gate had left them and Akseli Lahtinen placed her among the last horses on the inside. By small margins, he managed to move her three-wide-out in the last bend and the rest is history. The $149,000 in the winner's purse was more than four times her lifetime earnings. But by the look of her, she will be able to do a lot more and she won easily at 1:59.0/1 3/8th miles.

Åbys Stora Pris – Two heats – one winner

French Rapide Lebel (Ginger Somolli – Koranie des Noes) was magnificent and outstanding when he won Åbys Stora Pris in two consecutive heats at Åby (September 17). Although, there was some drama before the first heat started. First, Rapide Lebel was missing a buxton and then the back of his harness broke in half. The gelding is not very easy to deal with, but luckily the event caused no accidents. Finally, they called the horses behind the gate for the third time, and they took off. Lutfi Kolgjini’s Lavec Kronos with Erik Adielsson in the bike opened quickly behind the gate but let Flemming Jensen and Local Conch to the front. At that time, Rapide Lebel was still three wide out and came up outside of Local Conch after 500 meters. Brioni and Sebastian K were positioned further down, but it was only Sebastian K that could put up a fight in the end. For a short while it seemed like he could challenge Rapide Lebel, but the impression was false and Eric Raffin's gelding won the first heat unchallenged.

Easy Victory

In the second heat, the post positions where the opposite, which meant that Sebastian K had post one instead of eight. Kolgjini had the chance to defend the lead but let it go to Rapide Lebel. Raffin could then slow down the pace and with Local Conch trotting on the outside, the pace stayed low. On the homestretch, Kolgjini could choose to challenge Rapide Lebel on the outside or use one of the two open stretch lanes on the inside. He chose to attack on the outside, but with no use. Rapide Lebel sprinted from the rest of the field and made the Swedish elite look like extras.

Up in the Air

Raffin expressed his happiness when he crossed the finishing line by waving his whip in the air, while Kolgjini throw away his whip in anger. Sebastian K did a good race, but the best horse won both heats, which also made a third heat unnecessary. Rapide Lebel won the heats at 1:52.2 and 1:55.0 as well as the total purse of $150,000.

September 05, 2011

The Derby

Yesterday (September 5), the Swedish Trotting Derby for 4-year-old horses took place. This year, there was a female contestant among the twelve behind the gate. Tamla Celeber has been a dominant in the filly divisions and trainer Roger Walmann wanted to race her against the colts and geldings. Other top fillies like Ina Scot and Hilda Zonett have previously managed the task and when Tamla Celeber won her qualification heat ten days ago, Walmann had no need to regret his decision. Otherwise, the qualification heats were all about trainer Timo Nurmos whose horses managed to win four of six heats! The final was also a show á la Nurmos, but the winner was partly overshadowed by an accident on the homestretch.

Three Times Nurmos

Timo Nurmos’ Aga Kahn Boko took over the lead from Nurmos’ Amuro Boko with Ulf Ohlsson in the bike, after 600 meters. Erik Adielsson was in the lead and could slow down the pace a little. However, Torbjörn Jansson was awake and sent Nurmos’ third horse Beau Mec up outside of Aga Kahn Boko. With a mile left of the race, there were three Nurmos-trained horses among the first three while the forth Jackpot Brodde with Björn Goop was further down in the second lane. The only filly Tamla Celeber got a position on the inside, trailing Amuro Boko. Coming on the homestretch, Örjan Kihlström moved Tamla Celeber into an opening in the second lane, and by then she had a good speed to give. However, Ulf Ohlsson moved Amuro Boko to the same spot, and forced Tamla Celeber into a break – he was very close to cause a severe accident. Ohlsson was fined, but Amuro Boko’s owner could bank the $30,000, which most certainly Tamla Celeber would have gained if she had not been run over. Beau Mec did a fantastic race outside the leader and defended his position all they way to the finishing line. Far out, Johnny Takter and Johan Lejon trained Deuxieme Picsous sprinted well to the second place while Aga Kahn Boko was beaten by half a length.

Nurmos’ Weekend

Nurmos’ first driver Jorma Kontio was suspended from driving the finals, due to a new legislation, which makes no exceptions for drivers to compete in any race if they have been suspended for improper driving. However, Jorma Kontio was able to win the Finnish Trotting Derby the day before with Timo Nurmos-trained Seabiscuit while another Nurmos-trained horse finished second. Altogether, Timo Nurmos won both the Swedish and Finnish Trotting Derbys and finished second in the Finnish as well third and fourth in the Swedish. His horses banked more than $600,000 in two days. The winner is sired by sire Jag de Bellouet and dam Extreme Lady. Beau Mec won at 1.13,6/2640 meters (1:58.2/1 5/8 miles) and it was his 5th victory in 17 lifetime starts. The purse of $250,000 to the winner was more than four times his previous earnings.

The Filly Division

When Roger Walmann chose to compete Tamla Celeber against the colts and geldings, Åke Svanstedt could quite easily win the Filly Division of the Derby with Nettan Palema. Lutfi Kolgjini took over the lead with Knowledge Face in an early stage while Svanstedt and Nettan Palema for a long time were the second pair on the outside. Svanstedt sent Nettan Palema three wide out 600 meters left to go and came up outside of Svanstedt’s second horse Popcorn Lavec who trotted first on the outside during the whole race. Nettan Palema could quite easily unarm Knowledge Face and Popcorn Lavec but threats came from behind. The finishing line saved Nettan Palema from Cruise Speed with Björn Goop in the bike. Domino Sund and Popcorn Lavec finished third and fourth, but the purse of $110,000 belonged to Nettan Palema and Åke Svanstedt.

Sundsvall Open Trot 2011 – A New Delightful Victory For Kolgjini/Adielsson

Joke Face shows class, strength and winning spirit and with Erik Adielsson in the bike, he does everything right. Sundsvall Open Trot (August 27) was wide open on beforehand and with several of the Elitlopp contestants behind the gate, it was set to be a real battle.

Three Wide Out – Again and Again

Although Joke Face was one of the favorites, he got nothing for free and it was not until after they had reached 500 meters he got a position in the second lane. Right after, Beanie M.M. came up outside of Iceland in the lead. By then, Iceland had opened the first 500 meters at 1.10,3/2140 meters (1:53.1/1 3/8 miles). With 900 meters left to go, Ulf Ohlsson attacked with Yarro Boko and forced Joke Face three wide out again. Beanie M.M. looked like a winner when they reached the homestretch, but Iceland fought his way back in the game while Joke Face was still three wide out. However, both horse and driver knew when and where they sign the cheque. With the smallest effort, Adielsson managed to get the most out of his colt and when they reached the finishing line, Joke Face was once again a winner. He won the $155,000 at 1:55.2. Iceland finished second and Noras Bean sprinted in as no. 3.

French Blood, French Style

Joke Face is a pure Kolgjini product. Trained by Lutfi and his de facto Anna Svensson and breed by the same couple. The constellation Joke Face/Erik Adielsson won the Derby last year and since then, Joke Face had belonged in the absolute elite. He has met the best a few times already, but the victory in Sundsvall Open Trot was his biggest so far this year. Sire Viking Kronos was Kolgjini’s super star and the dam Kalmie Melody (e. Full Account) is a French product, whose blood also seems to be inherited to Joke Face who has a characteristic and typical French look.