The Svenskt Travderby and Derbystoet was held at Jägersro racetrack in Malmö, Sweden last Sunday, with Cyber Lane and Johan Untersteiner winning the main event.
by Thomas Hedlund
To be able to race in the Svenskt Travderby (Derby) in Sweden, horses have to be four-years-old and born in the country. It’s a stake race where the owners have to decide early on if their horse will be one of the 12 participants on the first Sunday in September.
This year’s edition was a thriller with 11 of 12 horses fighting for the victory when the field reached the home stretch.
Ten years ago, Johan Untersteiner drove Giant Diablo in Lexington for his former employer Roger Walmann when the duo set a new world record for mares (1:50.1). Three years ago, Untersteiner went out on his own and his stable, based in Halmstead, Sweden, has been growing quickly ever since. This year, the 33-year-old Swede qualified three horses for the Swedish Derby and his choice in the sulky was Cyber Lane (Raja Mirchi), who started from post one behind the gate, and trotted to victory.
The Derby offers two million Swedish crowns for the winner ($250,000), but the system in Sweden makes it possible for owners to double the prize money for horses in some races for the two-, three- and four-year-olds. The case this year was simple. Eleven out of 12 horses had the chance to double the prize money, so when Cyber Lane crossed the finish line as a winner, $500,000 was put on his account and Untersteiner could note that he accomplished something special, both as a driver and trainer.
“To win the Derby as a trainer and driver is the biggest thing that has happened to me in my career, but it’s not to compare with that day in Lexington 10 years ago. When I won with Giant Diablo, everything felt so special, like another dimension in a way and I will never experience something like that again,” Untersteiner said a few days after the Derby triumph.
In a tight battle, Monark Newman put his nose in front of Global Trustworthy for second. The winning time over the distance 1.6 miles was an approximate mile time of 1:56.2.
Derbystoet for the mares is held over the distance 2,140 meters (approximately two 5/8ths of a mile) and offers one million Swedish crowns for the winner. Same rules regarding the double prize money applies and 10 out of 12 contenders had the chance to win $250,000 dollars.
Petri Puro-trained Cash Crowe (Ready Cash) is perhaps the most capable mare among the four-year-olds in Sweden, but a break in both Stochampionatet in July and in the elimination for Derbystoet made the Sunday race more open.
This time, driver Johnny Takter could save Cash Crowe’s power during the race and from the position first over she showed the fans who’s the best mare in the crop. The approximate mile time of 1:55.1 is a strong confirmation that Cash Crowe has what it takes to develop to become a star even as an older trotter.
Finnish-born trainer Puro took his second victory in the race (the first with Fame Currit in 2005) and he had an explanation about the mishaps in the two previous races.
“Cash Crowe had some problems with the teeth and she is so much better to drive since we fixed that problem. She’s a fantastic horse, which she showed in Derbystoet,” Puro said.
Mulligan and Unique Juni took the places behind Cash Crowe.