Exploit Caf takes first elim; Enough Talk second
May 25, 2008
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With an explosive finishing kick in the stretch drive, Exploit Caf won the first elimination heat for the Elitlopp Sunday afternoon at the Solvalla track in Stockholm, Sweden, while in the second elim the American representative Enough Talk finished second behind France\'s Oiseau de Feux in 1:53.2.
It appeared that Going Kronos, who took the lead with about five-eighths of the mile race remaining, would win the first elim, but Exploit Caf, with Jean Michel Bazire driving, showed an unexpectedly strong brush to edge past his rival by a head in 1:53.4. Exploit Caf, a son of Toss Out, represented Italy.
Olga du Biewetz, representing France, finished third for driver Joseph Verbeeck while Finders Keepers hit the wire fourth to also advance. L\'Amiral Mauzun, who won last year\'s Elitlopp and this year\'s Oslo Grand Prix, failed to qualify for the Elitlopp final.
The second elim got underway with Bjorn Goop quickly sending Oiseau de Feux to the front from post three. The world champion trotting mare Giant Diablo followed, but in the first turn on the five-eighths mile Solvalla oval, the mare suddenly broke stride and her usual driver, Johan Untersteiner, was unable to pull her up and to the outside of the field.
The confusion resulting from Giant Diablo\'s break allowed Luc Ouellette to slip into the pocket with Enough Talk. Plantagent, American-bred but representing Sweden, started the flow first-over with Red Chili Pirat following.
In the homestretch it was obvious that Oiseau de Feux was still fresh after dictating the pace, and Enough Talk put forth a good effort to take second. Red Chili Pirat got up for third nad Plantagent finished fourth to also advance to the final.
Giant Diablo\'s performance became even more bizarre when Untersteiner was unable to pull her up at the wire and she galloped another lap before she was finally restrained and left the track.