| Two years later Lennartsson qualified the filly U S A Hornline for the final of the Merrie Annabelle Trot, where she finished fifth, and in 2006 Lennartsson had American bred Brides Dream (by Self Possessed), who did not make the final.
Instead his colleague from Solvalla in Stockholm, Jim Oscarsson, who had shipped two American bred fillies (bought during the autumn sales a year earlier) over already in May, and one of these, Ironmaid Volo, finished second in the Merrie Annabelle driven by the trainer.
In the meantime a number of aged European horses had great success in North America. The most remarkable was the Nat Ray victory of Swedish bred Revenue in 2004.
The son of French sire and Yonkers International winner Reve D Udon
went onto Canada to win an elimination of the Maple Leaf and finished second to Mr Muscleman in the final.
From Toronto Revenue went back to the US to win the Allerage Trot in Lexington. After that the horse was sold to Perretti Farms in New Jersey where he now stands stud.
That year Danish owned but US-bred Legendary Lover K was also around. He was second in his Breeders Crown elimination and fifth in the final but broke stride in the Nat Ray.
Legendary Lover was a $3,400 buy in the Tattersalls yearling sale in Lexington.
The owner, Cowboyland Stables, since then have bought several North American bred trotters.
Some of those are in Europe but most of them are racing in North America for trainer Dewayne Minor.
There was a fourth Scandinavian trotter over that year. Swedish bred Tsar Dinverne, who was only aimed for the Maple Leaf, where he won the elimination and finished third in the final.
Tsar Dinverne (who later had to be enthanized after an accident on his home track in Sundsvall, Sweden) was trained by Robert Bergh and co-owned by hockey star Peter Forsberg, the same connections as Adrian Chip (see below).
The current year looks more like an invasion of Swedish trotters, and now we have added a new dimension: the overnight trotter.
|In February the gelded son of Lindys Crown Brunton Tilly (a younger half-brother to Victory Tilly) went over to race mainly in the overnight races in the New York/New Jersey area. After some initial trouble, Brunton Tilly won a number of races before he was injured in the Titan Cup.
He is now recovering and expected to resume racing at the end of October.
Later this year Brunton Tilly was followed by the roan son of Tap In, One Man Show, co-owned by the Kolgjini family, who has already won a race at Chester for new trainer Noel Daley.
During this summer Adrian Chip of course has created the headlines finishing second to Donato Hanover in the Hambletonian and in the World Trotting Derby and third in the
Yonkers Trot. The talented mare Giant Diablo has won the invitation
trot in Montreal and has done very well, and a number of two-year-olds have been competing well in the main features of their generation.
The interesting thing about the invasion from Europe and mainly Sweden is that the horses with very few exceptions (Legendary Lover K, Ironmaid Volo, Brides Dream and Adrian Chip) are bred in Europe. So when European owners are heading
back to Lexington and Harrisburg in order to buy new prospects it is not with the main purpose to find horses they might return to the States to race, rather than to find horses being suited for our way of racing in Europe.
Year after year European owners and trainers are attending the big sales in the US as they will this year as well, but the
success of our horses racing in North America will not have an impact on the attendance.
The interest of buying American yearlings since years back is very big over here, and the main reason for that is the belief that the American trotter still is outstanding in several ways:
brilliant bloodlines, fantastic environments at the breeding facilities and beautiful individuals to work with. There are a couple of indicators of an increase in the European attendance at the sales this year, though.
|The Swedish industry has increased the number
of races and the purses for two-yearold
horses. American horses are known
for their early speed and should be suited
for these races. In addition to that the
US dollar is weaker than before against
the Swedish Crown and the Euro, which
is stronger than ever.
In future columns I will attempt to
analyze our two worlds of harness racing.
We have many things in common,
but even more matters are totally different.
You cannot imagine the upstream of
work we have to go through in order to
get the horses mentioned above to race
in your country.
First of all we have to pay the transportation
of the horse back and forth, some $35,000 dollars and then the horse has to be quarantined.
For Adrian Chip it goes up to $65,000 to $70,000 US and in addition to that we are facing eligibility,
sustaining and starting fees, which are
very rare (and in far smaller amounts) in Europe.
Membership and licensing is a chapter
of its own. In Europe you can enter a
horse in another country at nine in the morning and even though the horse, its
owner and trainer are totally unknown
in that other country, you will find the
horse’s name on the entry list when it
appears at 11 a.m.
However, we enjoy racing our horses in Canada and the US and we are happy
that you will have us and we promise to
follow up with more horses.
Until next time,
Klaus Koch is one of Scandinavia’s
leading racing administrators and is perhaps
best known for his former role as
director of racing at Solvalla Racetrack.
His duties included orchestrating the
Elitlopp, one of the world’s most prestigious
races, and attracting North American and Australasian horses to compete in the Swedish event. With this edition of The Harness Edge we begin a monthly column from Klaus who
will offer his thoughts on a variety of
racing subjects from a uniquely