Crepe Match upsets in Finnish Derby

by Thomas Hedlund

Harri Koivunen-trained Crepe Match (Creatine) had a tough task to solve with a kilometer to go when the $250,000 Finnish Derby was held at Vermo racetrack on Saturday (Sept. 2) afternoon.

Crepe Match, who was defeated after racing in the lead in the elimination, had to attack from a position far back in the final as favorite Callela Nelson controlled the field in front. Callela Nelson was beaten at the top of the stretch and second over trotter Corazon Combo had advantage of the race for a short while.

Crepe Match and driver Olli Koivunen followed third, three wide at the back stretch. In the last turn, Koivunen had to make another move, far outside, trying to catch up to the front horses.

Crepe Match’s home stretch was splendid and the 4-year-old Creatine son won easily in a mile rate of 1:58.2 over 1.6 miles.

Pekka Korpi’s Corazon Combo, who dominated the Finnish races as a 3-year-old, was second after a second over trip and the bronze medal went to Massimo Hoist.


Thierry Duvaldestin’s top trotter Idao de Tillard (Severino) continues to perform at a very high level racing in Paris. In the $125,000 Prix Jockey race for 5-year-olds, he showed abilities that will make him being one of the favorites ahead of the 2024 Prix d’Amérique.

It’s A Dollarmaker led the race and Idao de Tillard had many lengths to make up as the field turned for home. It looked an impossible task, but Idao de Tillard is a very special trotter, with great speed. Between horses he finished rapidly in the stretch and won safely in an incredible mile rate of 1:53.4 over 1.6 miles.

Replay here.

An unfavorable last half-mile, three- and four-wide didn’t stop Jean-Michel Bazire’s 4-year-old Joshua Tree (Bold Eagle) in the $125,000 Prix Gaston Brunet. A fifth-over trip ended with paths far outside and when Joshua Tree attacked for real, at the top of the stretch, leader J’Aime Le Foot couldn’t defend himself. Joshua Tree won in a mile rate of 1:56.1 over 1.6 miles. Replay here.

Bazire also trains the winner of the $140,000 Criterium des Pouliches for 3-year-old fillies. Nicolas Bazire steered the upsetter Kabaka de Guez (Eridan) to victory after a second-over trip and the 3-year-old came home in a mile rate of 1:59 over 1.6 miles. Replay here.

Koctel du Dain (Boccador de Simm) has been one of the most dominant trotters in the French 3-year-old crop and in Saturday’s $125,000 Prix Jacques de Vauloge he set a new stakes record in a mile rate of 1:58.1 over 1.6 miles as he won easily from the lead. Philippe Allaire trains and David Thomain was the driver. Replay here.

Just Love You (Love You) and Alexandre Abrivard won the $125,000 Prix Gaston de Wazieres for 4-year-old mares. Abrivard hit the lead midway into the race and Just Love You held strong, finishing opponents behind her in the finish. It was a stakes record of 1:55.4 over 1.6 miles. Replay here.