No 2019 Elitlopp start for Atlanta
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Trainer Ron Burke told harnessracing.com Tuesday morning that despite interest from officials at Solvalla Racetrack in Sweden to bring the 2018 Trotter of the Year Atlanta to race in the May 26 Elitlopp, he has decided against going.
Burke, remembering the arduous travel arrangements in 2009 when he sent Buck I St. Pat overseas to compete in the Elitlopp—she finished seventh in the elim and did not advance to the same-day final—said he made the decision after he was unable to find direct travel to Stockholm.
“The circumstances just didn’t fit for her,” said Burke. “Do I want to go next year? Yes, for sure. This year, I just felt like nothing would have worked out right. If it wasn’t a perfect situation I didn’t really want to go.”
Atlanta won her 2019 debut on May 6 at Miami Valley, cruising to a 7 ¾-length win in a track-record 1:50.4 in the $100,000 Miami Valley Distaff. Burke said Atlanta will make her next start in Saturday’s opening round of the Graduate Series for 4-year-old trotters at the Meadowlands, where she will take on male competition. Atlanta, while in the barn of trainer Rick Zeron last year, bested her male peers in the Hambletonian on the way to divisional and Trotter of the Year honors.
“She’ll race in the Graduate and then we’ll go from there,” said Burke.