New stars born in Oslo over Bjerke’s stakes weekend

by Thomas Hedlund

Bjerke racetrack in Oslo, Norway, played host to a massive program on Saturday (Sept. 9) with finals in two divisions of Kriteriet for 3-year-olds and the Derby for 4-year-olds.

The card included the ladies’ races and in the $121,000 Kriterium for fillies, Frode Hamre-trained Meghan B.R. (Face Time Bourbon) took a safe wire-to-wire win for driver Tom Erik Solberg. The mile rate over 1.3 miles was 1:59 and Meghan B.R. held runner up Alunita and bronze medalist Grand Queen behind her at the wire.

The $158,000 Derby for mares was held the same day and from fifth over and after an early three wide attack, Cabaret Artist (Propulsion) proved strongest at the wire. Cabaret Artist had to do some hard work before driver Örjan Kihlström found a spot in second over, giving cover throughout the last turn before a strong attack began. Cabaret Artist won easily in a mile rate of 1:55.4 over 1.3 miles, while N.Y.Moet finished second and Laureen B.R. third.

Sunday’s (Sept. 10) race card was for the boys and the Geir Vegard Gundersen stable had a good opportunity to claim the trophy in the $121,000 Kriteriet with four horses in the race. Magnus Teien Gundersen sat behind first choice Just Like Heaven (Maharajah) and the trip turned out well for him. With barely a mile to go Just Like Heaven hit the lead as stablemate Charron kindly opted for a pocket trip.

Magnus Teien knew he was sitting behind the best horse in the field and with a half mile to go, Just Like Heaven left his opponents several lengths behind and sprinted to an outstanding win in a mile rate of 1:58 over 1.3 miles.

Klinger was the runner up ahead of Nelson Daytona.

A very impressive won the $158,000 Derby later the same day. From post 1, Born In Bergen (Born In The U.S.A.) succeeded in keeping the quick opening opponents on the outside as the first turn approached. But even when the first battle was over, Born In Bergen had to defend himself against outside trotters Petho and Thai Ohio along the way.

Driver Björn Steine was determined in his tactics and when Petho once again challenged on the leaders’ outside in the last turn, Born In Bergen picked up some new power and sprinted to a safe win in a mile rate 1:59.3 over 1.6 miles.

Just Perfect Sisu finished strongly in second and M.H.Hot Cash was third.