by Thomas Hedlund
Wednesday night’s card at Solvalla was anything but ordinary. Many of the best 5-year-old trotters gathered around the 5/8 mile track, chasing pieces of the $205,000 Jubileumspokalen purse over 1.3 miles.
The problem with Jubileumspokalen is that 12 horses that trot mile rates between 1:53 and 1:55 over the actual distance are entirely dependent on post positions, and, as it turned out, the Jubileumspokalen became a show where the horses placed in front of the field fought for the victory.
Pasi Aikio trained Who’s Whos (Maharajah), winner of $800,000 Derby in Sweden in 2018, became the first choice in the race and post nine in Sweden means that the driver can chose to trail number one or two behind the gate, meaning the post was pretty much fitting the son of Maharajah.
Norwegian contender Gretzky B.R. led the race with Selmer I.H. on the outside. Elitloppet contender Milliondollarrhyme found second over and behind him, Who’s Who trailed, which meant that Örjan Kihlström could save his horse and make sure that Milliondollarrhyme gave cover to Who’s Who three wide during the race’s last half mile.
And so it went. Who’s Who followed in the back of Milliondollarrhyme with a little less than a half-mile to go and in the stretch, Kihlström attacked fourth wide with Pasi Aikio’s horse. Just in time, only a few meters ahead of the wire, Who’s Who was first and now the 5-year-old Maharajah son will be prepared for a meeting in Paris next winter.
“We aimed for this target and I’m just lucky right now,” said trainer Pasi Aikio.
“First of all, Who’s Who is a really good horse, but today everything went like I wanted it to be. We got a perfect cover trip by a great opponent in Milliondollarrhyme and the margins were with us”, said driver Kihlström.
It hasn’t been a secret that the entourage around the winner have plans for a meeting in Paris and most probably the Prix d’Amérique in 2020. After this win, the journey towards that objective will continue and since Kihlström and owner Travkompaniet can look back at one triumph in Paris’ greatest race — with Maharajah in 2014 — it would be something special if Who’s Who can enter the surface of Vincennes as a Swedish hope in January next year.
The mile rate for Whos Who was 1:54.2 over 1.3 miles.
Milliondollarrhyme was a brave runner up in Jubileumspokalen and from third inside Norton Commander was close to the front horses in the show position.
Uza Josselyn wins European Championship
The $187,000 European Championship for mares went to a well-known Danish-bred trotter who has been seen in many of the biggest races in Europe this season.
Uza Josselyn (Love You) took a safe, solid and overall strong wire-to-wire win for driver Erik Adielsson in a mile rate of 1:53.2 over 1.3 miles.
French mare Bahia Quesnot finished quickly from third over to second place, ahead of Gina Schermer.
“Uza Josselyn is just a fantastic horse that has been recovering so well after the tough race in Hugo Åbergs Memorial 15 days ago. She has a great technique and there are not many horses that pass her when she’s in front,” said Erik Adielsson about the Rene Aebischer trained 8-year-old.
Ecurie D in Big Noon
Three-year-old Ecurie D. (Infinitif) is one of the most talented trotters there is in Europe for the moment. Frode Hamre from Norway trains this star and Björn Goop was entrusted in the bike in $62,500 Big Noon pokalen for 3-, and 4-year-olds over the mile contested with a voltstart.
The 3-year-olds started 20 meters ahead of the older trotters in the race and in a recall, Ecurie D. acted tense and made a break. When a new shot was given, Björn Goop found position first over and in the stretch, the so far undefeated 3-year-old sprinted home in a safe world record performance in 1:56.1.
“Ecurie D. has had a lot of power left in his earlier races and I trust him, but today he was nervous before the race and he acted better after a couple of moments after the recall. He was more relaxed then,” said Goop.
E3 – part two
The second and last part of E3 this year is scheduled on Saturday afternoon in Swedish Örebro. This time, it’s time for mile races for both mares and colts and geldings. $208,500 is in the purse for both races.
Finnish top trainer and maestro Pekka Korpi won the 1.3-mile edition with Mascate Match and the Muscle Mass mare will most probably be the first choice in the race on Saturday.
The title defender from the colts and geldings division, Aetos Kronos (Bold Eagle), partly owned by Jeff Snyder, won his qualification in impressive style and the Jerry Riordan trained trotter will be the bettors’ choice.
Among the opponents, E3 specialist Svante Båth has Global Adventure (S.J.’s Caviar) who has won 11 out of 13 lifetime starts so far, is a serious threat to Aetos Kronos.
Ready Cash son tops Swedish sale
Sweden International Yearling Sale was held on Tuesday night outside of Stockholm in connection to Jubileumspokalen at Solvalla the day after.
Peter Untersteiner bought the top number Klondyke River (Ready Cash—First Out) for $187,666 and the second highest bid ($166,814) came on Father Patrick mare Mezmerize’Em (out of Face Em) who was sold to Stall Courant, known in America as owner to Cruzado dela Noche, Hypnotic Am, Green Manalishi, Greenshoe and Gimpanzee, among others.
Stall Courant also bought Månskenskavaljeren (Ready Cash—Dyhim Boko) for $114,600.
Muscle Hill colt Invader Am (out of Vladzia Mauzun) was sold to French owner Jean-Pierre Barjon, who has been successful in Prix d’Amérique with his Meaulnes du Corta, a French trotter who won the biggest race in Europe in 2009.
Trainer Roger Walmann bought Don’taskdon’ttell (Maharajah—Quiteanotherstory) for $145,950 and Conrad Lugauer had to pay $135,535 for Muscle Hill colt Ready For Party (out of Fleetfoot Hanover).
The sale saw 103 trotters sold for an average price of $37,971.