by Thomas Hedlund
At Vincennes in Paris, France last weekend, the Prix de l’Etoile was held. It is a special race for 3-, 4- and 5-year-old trotters. The 3-year-old horses has an advantage of 50 meters compared to the 5-year-olds and this year a youngster took the trip to the winner’s circle.
Sébastien Guarato is the trainer of Ecu Pierji (Tucson) and the 3-year-old trotter was served a trip third over by Mathieu Mothier when the pace was high in front. Ecu Pierji had advantage of the race with 250 meters to go and the winning time, 1:54.2 (mile rate) over approximately 1.3 miles, is a world record for 3-year-olds over the actual distance.
Ecu Pierji was the best horse in Criterium des jeunes ($240,000) earlier this year and Guarato could note that he has been successful in Prix de l’Etoile ($270,000) two years in a row. Last year, his Love You son Bolero Love (5-years-old) won the race in 1:53.2 (mile rate).
Enrico Bellei drove Italian-bred Urlo dei Venti (Mago d’Amore) in front in Gran Premio Continentale ($210,000) in Bologna, Italy last Sunday and the 4-year-old trotter won easily in a world record time of 1:55 (mile rate) over the distance 1.25 miles on a half mile track. Natural Herbie held the record (2:24.4) before Urlo dei Venti.
Last Sunday, eliminations for the Kriterium in Sweden was held at Solvalla and trainer Svante Båth had a great day with two winners and a total of five contenders in the final where a $500,000 purse is waiting.
Båth won with Very Kronos (Ready Cash) and Coin Perdu (S.J.’s Caviar). Båth’s other finalists are: Global Unspoked (S.J.’s Caviar), Global un Poco (Conway Hall) and Capitol Hill (Muscle Hill).
Here are the entires for the Oct. 1 events at Solvalla:
Svenskt Travkriterium ($503,000)
2,640 meters (1.64 miles) 3-year-olds
1. Husse Boko* (e. Chocolatier—Vintage Boko) – Joakim Lövgren
2. Very Kronos* (e. Ready Cash—Glide Amout) – Svante Båth
3. Da Pepperboy (e. Muscle Hill—Magic Wind) – Petri Puro
4. Coin Perdu* (e. S.J.’s Caviar—Piova Kronos) – Svante Båth
5. The Bucket List F.* (e. Raja Mirchi—Global Keepsake) – Helena Burman
6. Global Unspoked* (e. S.J.’s Caviar—Umbrella Broline) – Svante Båth
7. Villiam* (e. Muscle Hill—Glod Strike) – Timo Nurmos
8. Global Un Poco* (e. Conway Hall—Share the Promise) – Svante Båth
9. Lovely Vacation* (e. Dream Vacation—Lovely Conch) – Öystein Larsen
10. Alcoy (e. Ready Cash—Divann) – Peter Untersteiner
11. Capitol Hill* (e. Muscle Hill—Dreamalittledream) – Svante Båth
12. Lass Revenue* (e. Revenue—Lass Party) – Mattias Djuse
* The horse wins double prize money
Svensk Travoaks (fillies) ($251,000)
2,140 meters (1.3 miles)
1. Run Chica Run* (e. Scarlet Knight—Run Baby Run) – Peter Untersteiner
2. Vanquish Kronos* (e. Raja Mirchi—Beauty America) – Jerry Riordan
3. Dibaba* (e. Ready Cash—Moonlight Kronos) – Roger Walmann
4. Mily* (e. Perhaps Love—Blixtra Tånga) – Peter Untersteiner
5. Candy La Marc (e. Scarlet Knight—Oiseau) – Lars Marcussen
6. Romance Amok* (e. The Best Madrik—Balett Amok) – Timo Nurmos
7. Ensemble Am* (e. Scarlet Knight—Opera Kronos) – Stig H Johansson
8. Helloise Boko* (e. The Best Madrik—Elida Boko) – Mattias Djuse
9. Hevin Boko* (e. Going Kronos—Welat Boko) – Timo Nurmos
10. Hermes Boko* (e. Ready Cash—Alexis Boko) – Matti J Mäkinen
11. Arc en Ciel* (e. Ready Cash—Iris Tilly) – Peter G Norman
12. Bellatrix Zet* (e. Hard Livin—Kentucky Kemp) – Daniel Redén
* The horse wins double prize money
Big finals in Norway
On Sunday, Sept. 10 at Bjerke racetrack in Oslo, Norway, was a big day for harness racing fans. The track gathers all the finalists in the crops of 3- and 4-year-olds for the Kriterium (3-year-olds) and the Derby (4-year-olds).
Norskt Travkriterium for mares ($97,000) saw an upset winner in the Weingartner son Gluhwein, trained by Gunnar Eggen, who is most known for his success in Europe and USA with Sugarcane Hanover in the late 80’s. Sugarcane Hanover won, among many big races, the historical March Of Dimes at Garden State Park in 1988 and overcame horses such as Ourasi, Mack Lobell and Napoletano.
Gunnar Eggens son Hans Jörgen drove Gluhwein and from second over the duo were unstoppable at 2:00.1 as approximate mile time over the distance two 5/8ths of a mile.
In the colts and geldings division ($194,000) Cocktail Jet son Hard Times, trained by amateur Ola Åsebö and driven by Ulf Ohlsson, went to the front early in the race and Hard Times sprinted easily to victory in 1:58.1 over the distance 1.6 miles.
Front position was also the winning concept when the two divisions of the Derby were held. In the fillies division ($128,000) Thai Tanic mare Medelen L.T.C. kept the lead with driver Erik Höitomt and with a half-length advantage the last quarter of a mile, the 4-year-old held on to victory in 1:58 over the distance two 5/8ths of a mile.
The biggest event of the day was the Derby ($256,000) and it was excitement around the arena when many fans wanted to see Per Oleg Midtfjeld’s world record holder Ferrari B.R. bring home the biggest victory of the season. Ferrari B.R. (Muscles Yankee) surprised the harness racing world when, in May, he set a world record by winning in 1.09.9 (1:52.2 as approximate mile time) over the distance two 5/8ths.
The 4-year-old had won all his races towards the Derby, but in chase of the lead, he made a break and was never seen with great chance to win the race.
The front horse Cokstile (Quite Easy) stood up well when the opponents tried to defeat him. In the end of the last turn, Cokstile was a beaten horse, but driver Lars Anvar Kolle managed to get the best out of the 4-year-old and the duo came home in 1:58.1 over the distance 1.6 miles.
A yearling sale was connected to this spectacular weekend and Trixton son Te Amo Corazon was sold in new sale record in Norway of $122,000.