by Thomas Hedlund
Five-year-old Ecurie D. (Infinitif), trained by Frode Hamre in Norway and driven by Björn Goop, secured a pink ticket which said: ”Welcome to Elitloppet” after a win in $23,200 Dartster F:s race at Solvalla on Wednesday night (April 7).
Ecurie D. was one of the most dominating 4-year-olds in Europe previous season and in his first start of the year, Hamre opted for an open race for older trotters at Solvalla and it wasn’t really a big surprise when Solvalla delivered a ticket to the Elitloppet to the horse’s entourage. Ecurie D. became hot stuff for the tracks’ managers after several great performances during 2020 and when the 5-year-old son of Infinitif held Milliondollarrhyme and Forfantone Am in safe distance behind him in Dartster F:s race, the spot in Elitloppet was secured.
Ecurie D. hit the lead midway into the 1.3-mile race and when in front, Goop noted that he had everything under control behind Hamre’s trotter. After a half mile in :59.3, it was tough for the opponents to reach the leader and even if Milliondollarrhyme finished well, he couldn’t challenge Ecurie D. seriously.
The $700,000 Elitloppet will be held at Solvalla on Sunday, May 30.
Easy for Billie
Sébastien Guarato-trained Billie de Montfort continues to collect big money in big races in Europe. The 10-year-old iron lady played with the opponents in $214,000 Gran Premio Costa Azzurra in Turin, Italy on Sunday (April 4) afternoon.
Driver Gabriele Gelormini aimed for the lead at an early stage of the race and Billie de Montfort is known as one of the fastest trotters there are behind the car. When Billie de Montfort easily came to the front, much of the excitement disappeared in the race and she cruised to safe win in 1:54.2.
Zaccaria Bar finished strongly as runner up ahead of Amon You Sm.