by Thomas Hedlund
In 2009, Örjan Kihlström drove Maharajah to victory in the Swedish Derby for 4-year-old trotters. Nine years later, the same driver, dressed in the same owner colours as 2009, won the Derby with Who’s Who, by Maharajah.
Who’s Who had to do a lot of job by himself in the race over 1.7 miles. Kihlström played an easy game until 5/8ths of a mile to go. By that point the duo had to leave their position in third over, but Who’s Who never really got any offensive orders more than the fact that Kihlström just let his horse make contact with the leading duo Mellby Fire and Transcendence before the field of 12 trotters turned in on the last lap.
The first 1.3 mile went fast for a race over the long distance 1.7 miles. Mellby Fire hit that marker in mile rate 1:56.2 and by then Who’s Who already had an advantage over the horses on the inside. With 500 meters to go, he left his opponents, accelerated and pulled away to a two-and-a-half length victory in world record time 1:55.4.
”There’s so much about this victory that is special for me,” said a moved Kihlström after the race which made Who’s Who $439,000 richer.
”I won this race with Maharajah, who was a horse that meant a lot to me and everybody else around him and I won my first Derby with Who’s Who’s broodmare sire From Above in 2002. Who’s Who has many similarities with his father Maharajah and now we also can say that he begins to show capacity that reminds of Maharajah.”
Who’s Who’s trainer Pasi Aikio is chief trainer at Menhammar Stuteri since October 2015 and experienced the day of his life at Jägersro racetrack last Sunday.
“It just feels so good that everything has worked out so fine after the elimination and I hardly know what to say after a triumph like this,” Aikio said with tears in his eyes.
The next big target for Who’s Who will most certainly be the European Derby, Grand Prix de l’U.E.T., a race that is open for European bred 4-year-olds.
Björn Goop trained Chianti (Scarlet Knight) finished second and Daniel Redén trained Son Of God (Pastor Stephen) third.
Success for Untersteiner
Peter Untersteiner managed to qualify five of his 4-year-old mares to the final of Derby for mares at Jägersro racetrack. And he picked the right horse to drive.
Run Chica Run (Scarlet Knight) impressed in the eliminations and when she drew post position 1 behind the gate, Peter Untersteiner knew which one of his five contenders he would drive.
Run Chica Run easily kept the lead and the Derby for mares never really reached an exciting point since Vamp Kronos never challenged seriously from position outside the leader.
A mile rate 1:55.4 over 1.3 miles was the winning time for Run Chica Run and Peter Untersteiner could note that stable mate Europhile Am (Gift Kronos) took the silver medal while Björn Goop’s Stochampionatet winner Mellby Free (Muscle Hill) finished third after a furious home stretch from position far back in the field.
$219,000 rolled in on Run Chica Run’s bank account and Peter Untersteiner’s horses earned over $300,000 in the race.
“The race went just how I wanted and I must say that Run Chica Run had a more or less worthless season as a 3-year-old, even though she earned over $100.000 last year. She didn’t have all that luck that is needed in these kind of races, so it feels good that she could win this time,” Untersteiner said.