The top 3-year-old Illinois-bred trotter Riccolo has been sold and if all goes according to plan, will be racing in the Hambletonian for a Norwegian owner and trainer and a Swedish driver.
Torkel Alendal, a shipping executive from Haugesund, Norway, has purchased Riccolo from Walter and Paige Paisley, who also bred the horse, for a six-figure price. With the purchase of Riccolo, the horse moved to the stable of Trond Smedshammer, a native of Norway. Swedish driving ace Bjorn Goop has said he has been asked to travel to the U.S. to drive the horse in the Hambo.
"He got here Monday,” said Smedshammer, "and I just jogged him today (Wednesday) for the first time. He's a nice looking horse, and of course, you can't tell much from just jogging one. I plan to train him on Friday and we'll go from there.”
Although Paisley is a veteran horseman who was especially well known as a top driver on the Chicago circuit, Riccolo has been trained by Nelson Willis.
Riccolo is a 3-year-old gelded son of Northern Kid out of the Valley Victor mare Touch Of Victory. He has won all eight of his starts this year and lowered his lifetime mark to 1:54.2 in the Hanover Stakes at Balmoral Park on July 1, racing first-over to beat Prayer Session. Last year at age two Riccolo made only three starts but took a mark of 1:58.3 at Balmoral on July 20, with Paisley driving.--harnessracing.com