by Thomas Hedlund
Norwegian bred, now Italian owned Cokstile (Quite Easy) was in the right mood when $301,500 Gran Premio Delle Nazioni was held at La Maura in Milan, Italy on Sunday afternoon.
Alessandro Gocciadoro was once again in the pole position in a big race in Italy. Five trotters came from Gocciadoro’s stable and Vitruvio (Adrian Chip) was, along with Vivid Wise As, the two biggest hopes from his barn. Vitruvio was served a trip behind leader Cokstile and at the top of the stretch, he started his attack in the hunt for the trophy, but Cokstile, paired with Antonio di Nardo and trained by Gennaro Casillo, sprinted home in impressive style when he got challenged.
The mile rate was 1:54.3 over 1.4 miles, which is a new track record in Milan.
Vitruvio finished second and Vivid Wise As (Yankee Glide) third.
Empire in Denmark
The $100,000 Kriteriet for 3-year-olds in Denmark was on the race card in Copenhagen on Sunday afternoon and first choice Empire (Västerbo Prestige), trained by Tomas Malmqvist, consolidated his position as the king of the crop born 2016 in Denmark.
Ken Ecce drove Empire and the duo hit an early lead before they were challenged, whereupon Ecce let Encore Cloc take over the lead. With 1.900 meters to go, Empire was in front again and from that position, the rest of the race became a soft trip towards the prestigious win.
The mile rate over 1.55 miles was 1:59.1.