by Thomas Hedlund
Norwegian harness racing has a new star to put its trust in when it comes to really big races in the future. Hillary B.R., a 4-year-old Muscle Hill mare, came to the $447,000 Norwegian Derby for mares as the heavy favorite with 15 out of 15 career wins and Geir Vegard Gundersen’s top trotter didn’t disappoint the crowd at Bjerke racetrack on Sunday afternoon.
With Gundersen’s son, Magnus Teien Gundersen, in Hillary B.R.’s bike, the duo found position in fourth over before the younger Gundersen aimed for the lead with 5/8th’s of a mile to go. The dominant mare opened up several lengths to her opponents and her driver just sat relaxed all the way to the victory in mile rate 1:55.4 over 1.3 miles.
Hillary B.R. has won all the big stakes races for Norwegian-bred trotters in her crop so far and she is really something extra.
“This was her most important race so far in her career and it would have been unfair if she hadn’t won it. She is so much better than her sisters in the crop,” said Magnus “She’s a formula one-horse. The plan in the stakes races stretched out until today and now we hope that she can continue to delight Norwegian harness racing fans many years from now.”
Rebella Matters (Explosive Matter) and Blueridge Sun (Revenue) took the medals behind the superior winner.
Max Brady takes Norwegian Derby
In the $447,000 Derby for 4-year-old colts and geldings, the Gundersen stable once again stepped up highest on the throne since Geir Vegard steered Cantab Hall son Max Brady to tight but safe wire-to-wire win in mile rate of 1:59.4 over 1.6 miles.
Runner up Eye Of The Tiger (Zola Boko) had to travel three wide during the last kilometer and was close to the winner at the wire, while Max Brady’s stablemate Noble Superb (Maharajah) took the bronze.
Kriteriet winners include Peaceful Way’s daughter
The $162,000 Kriteriet for 3-year-olds were held in two divisions on the race card at Bjerke and overall, this racing day is great for fans who like to see new stars on the track. The best 3-, and 4-year-olds in the country gather and it’s not just the standardbred trotters that are seen, but also the cold blood trotters in every division get their chances to collect big prizes on the day.
In the Kriteriet for colts and geldings, Custom Colt (Offshore Dream) recovered from a big break from the start and fought to photo win over Te Amo Corazon (Trixton) from position first over. Many trotters went off stride in the race and Custom Colt was strong enough to win even with a break from the start. The mile rate was 1:59 over 1.3 miles.
Lady Ann (Credit Winner—Peaceful Way) finished best in the $162,000 Kriteriet for mares for Erland Rennesvik. Her mile rate was 2:00 over 1.3 miles.
Lady Ann’s mother Peaceful Way (Angus Hall) was a world record holder and ended her career with a lifetime earnings mark of more than $3 million. Peaceful Way won, among many races, the Breeders Crown and Maple Leaf Trot in North America.
Arazi Boko won heat race in Cesena
The $143,000 Campionato Europeo was held at Cesena racetrack in Italy on Sunday night and for the second year in a row, Alessandro Gocciadoro’s Arazi Boko won the last heat.
Cokstile (Quite Easy) won the first heat in 1:55.4 before Arazi Boko succeeded in the second heat. Arazi Boko won from the lead in 1:55.4 and then it was a fact that the final race was between the two winners and when Arazi Boko got post position inside of Cokstile, the victory was safe. A mile of 1:54.2 was demanded for Gocciadoro’s trotter to capture the trophy.