The major races in Scandinavia for the top international trotters starts with the Finlandia Ajo, with the draw for the May 12 race set to take place this Sunday, May 5. The 2,100 meter race will carry a purse of 1.5 million Norwegian kroner, with about $258,000 (U.S.) to the winner.
Arch Madness is expected to make the trip to represent the United States for the third straight year. He is first racing at the Meadowlands Friday night, May 3. Other contenders will be Classic Grand Cru (Supergill-Starlet's Victory), representing Denmark; Commander Crowe (Juliano Star-Somack), who will carry the colors of both Sweden and France; Save The Quick (Jamin de Flore-Heureusse Duchesse), also of France; Nesta Effe (Naglo-Etna Sec) of Italy; Mr. X.F. Royal (Mr. Commissioner-X Line) and Viking Frecel (Viking Kronos-Speedy Elling) of Norway; and Sweden's Maharajah (Viking Kronos-Chili Khan), Raja Mirchi (Viking Kronos–Dame Lavec) and Sebastian K (Korean-Gabriella K).
In other European racing news, Sweden's Queen's and the King's Trophy for the 4-year-olds had seven eliminations at the Åby track Thursday night. The four on top in the elims for the Queen Silvia and the three on top for King Gustaf the Vth enter the finals, which are raced at the same track on May 16.
A couple of favorites were defeated, the outstanding filly Fascination (Super Arnie), who lost to Mousse (Gallant Baron) but saved second place ahead of Bailey Sweet Grim (Quite Easy). The time was in a rate of 1:57.3 for 2,140 meters. Also Nato Dream (Donato Hanover - Nugget Dream) lost to Dreams Take Time (Andover Andover - B My Honey), driven by Joakim Lövgren. Call Me Hanover (Kadabra) was second and Nato Dream third in the race which had a mile time of 1:57.4 for 2,140 meters.
The win in first Queen¹s elim went to Gisela Ås, a U.S.-bred filly by Infinitif for Stefan Söderqvist. she was timed in a mile rate of 1:59. System Performance (Scarlet Knight) was second ahead of My Golden (Adams Hall).
Stefan Melander and Catarina Lundstrom had some ups and downs, but Licence Holder (Scarlet Knight - Twisterella) won in a narrow decision in a mile rate of 1:57.3 ahead of Quite A Fall (Infinitif) and Mellby Amiral (Dream Vacation).
Quite Easy had his winner in the third elim of the Queen's Trophy when Sophia¹s Blush (out of Ultra Håleryd) and Erik Adielsson prevailed. The Stig H. Johansson-trained mare trotted in a mile rate of 2:00.1 ahead of Fashion Diva (Victory Abroad) and Conrads Elisa (Laddie).
The 3-year-old champion Chelsea Boko (Chocolatier) was a late scratch in his season¹s debut, but the power of his sire was defended by the most superior of all elim-winners, El Mago Pellini (out of My Intuition, by Andover Hall) in a mile rate of 1:58.1. Also advancing t the final were the two U.S.-sired Andover Hall sons New York U.S and Nagini.
The fourth elim for the horses resulted in a superior win for Quid Pro Quo (Yankee Glide- Hostage), driven by Ulf Ohlsson, followed by Increased Workload (Scarlet Knight) and Indigious (Prodigious), in the fastest timing of all, 1:56.
The elimis had a little more than $10,000 to each winner while the final carries a purse of $154,000 to the winner.
The draw for the King¹s Trophy:
1. Dreams Take Time (Joakim Lövgren)
2. Quid Pro Quo (Svante Båth)
3. El Mago Pellini (Lutfi Kolgjini)
4. Licence Holder (Stefan Melander)
5. Quite A Fall (Catarina Lundström)
6. Increased Workload (Stefan Melander)
7. Nato Dream (Stefan Melander)
8. Indigious (Stig H Johansson)
9. New York U.S. (Stefan Melander)
10. Call Me Hanover (Marcus Lindgren)
11. Mellby Amiral (Roger Walmann)
12. Nagini (Åke Svanstedt)
By Lars G. Palm