Elitloppet 2017

May 28, 2017 - Trotting, 1.609 meters, Solvalla, Sweden

Result of the final heat:

Time Driver Trainer Odds
1. Timoko 1:09,0 B. Goop R. Westerink 30,9
2. Propulsion 1:09,2 J. Unterstein. D. Redén 16,1
3. Resolve 1:09,4 Å. Svanstedt Å. Svanstedt 11,1
4. Bold Eagle 1:09,4 F. Nivard S. Guarato 1,3
5. Nuncio 1:09,5 Ö. Kihlström S. Melander 4,1
In Vain Sund 1:09,6 E. Adielsson D. Redén 44,6
Spring Erom 1:09,6 C. Eriksson D. Widegren 60,3
D.D.’s Hitman 1:09,7 U. Ohlsson P. Puro 37,6

Preview from May 24, 2017

One of the biggest events in this year's horse racing will take place in Stockholm on May 28. Bold Eagle, currently by far the best trotter of the world, will face Nuncio for the first time, the only horse assumed to be able to beat him. Even though Nuncio has not (yet) found to form, it will not be a sure victory for Bold Eagle, as he will meet very different conditions in the 2017 Elitloppet.
So also the rest of this elite field hopes for glory, namely Propulsion, last year's runner-up Resolve, the world record mare Delicious US or even the reinvigorated Up And Quick. Furthermore, with Timoko a living legend returns to Solvalla.

Bold Eagle is well outstanding in today's trotting scene, the two times Prix d'Amérique winner captured 34 of his 39 starts. This year he already gained the Prix d’Amerique, Prix de France and Prix de Paris, something no other horse had managed the last 41 year. However, the six-year-old won almost all his races on the extensive racetrack in Paris-Vincennes. In Solvalla he will now face a tight and much harder track, he also has to run two races on one day for the first time. Bold Eagle has never started over a shorter distance than 2,100 meters, but demonstrated his enormous turn of foot several times. At the end of a two month break he won the Prix l’Atlantique in Enghien on April 22.

Nuncio already celebrated victories on highest level in the age of three in the USA, then won almost everything he could in Sweden, including the 2016 Elitloppet. Due to an injury Nuncio could not make it to this year's Prix d'Amérique, had to stay off the track for five month instead. On April 1 he then got surprisingly beaten by Kadett CD in the V75-final, got disqualified for the first time of his career in the Olympiatravet on April 28 and finished only third in the Meadow Roads Lopp on May 10, a race he had won last year. Rumours, Nuncio would not take part in the Elitloppet, were instantly denied by trainer Stefan Melander, he declared his charge would be 'fit and well'. Actually he does not need to show his peak form before May 28.

Like Nuncio, several other Elitloppet contenders were born in the United States:
Delicious US set a new world record for mares (1:08,6) in August 2015 and is unbeaten in thirteen starts since, including the Sundsvall Open Trot. It is difficult to know how strong the record mare really is, bookmakers give her decent chances in the Elitloppet. As a five-year-old she finished third in the 2014 Elitloppet.

Despite Resolve came from a half year break, he won the Arthur J. Cutler-Memorial (1.810 m) on the Meadowlands Racetrack (USA) on May 6 to qualify for the Elitloppet, the race he became runner-up 2016. Trained by the Swede Åke Svanstedt in the USA, the son of Muscle Hill already won the Cutler-Memorial and the Yonkers International Trot last year. He must start from the uncomfortable post eight in the first qualifying heat.

Propulsion, auctioned for 250,000 US-Dollars in 2012, came to Sweden two years ago, where he won 12 of his 17 starts. From the second row he did not manage to defend his Finlandia Ajo title on May 6. However, trainer Daniel Redén surely targets his peak for the Elitloppet 2017. Last year Propulsion won the Hugo Åbergs Memorial in 1:08,9.

The Finlandia Ajo was won by D.D.'s Hitman with a new track record (1:09,8). In that form the US-born should be on the short list too.

Up And Quick, winner of the 2015 Prix d’Amérique, missed almost the complete last year due to an injury. His results after his return were not very promising, but at the end of April he set a sign by winning the Critérium over the mile with a new track record (1:09,4). Considering that Up And Quick clearly beat strong competitors like Bird Parker, Billie de Montfort, Univers de Pan, Booster Winner or Target Kronos, the nine-year-old might have a say in the Elitloppet 2017.

Timoko is even a year older than Up And Quick. The winner of the 2014 Elitloppet is a living legend, collected 4,5 million Euros on price money and is the most profitable French trotter ever. In March he won the Criterium de Vitesse for the fourth time, but came only fifth in his most recent start, when entered the Gran Premio della Lotteria as 13/10 favourite on May 1. It is well known that Timoko loves short distances like the mile in the Elitloppet, still he was once again without a chance against Bold Eagle in the 2017 Prix d’Amérique earlier this year.

Twister Bi started his career in Italy, like his father Varenne. The five-year-old just beat rivals like Anna Mix or Workout Wonder at the Seinäjoki-Race in Finland, last year he clocked a time of 1:09,5 in Halmstadt.

Cruzado Dela Noche, also born in the USA, won the Copenhagen Cup and an Elitloppet invitation on May 14. Last year's winner of the Grosse Preis von Deutschland will be Stefan Melander's second starter besides Nuncio.

In Vain Sund had actually passed the line first in the Copenhagen Cup, but got disqualified afterwards. Still his performance was impressive enough to get invited to the Elitloppet 2017. The Prix de Croix winner is Daniel Redén's third horse in the race.

Dante Boko triumphed in the Sweden Cup at Solvalla exactly one year ago and just won the Gold Division race at Örebro. If the Lutfi Kolgjini charge can make it to the front, he could become an inconvenient competitor.

Spring Erom is the first twelve-year-old to take part in the Elitloppet. He qualified by winning the Algot Scotts Minne in Åby, the Elitloppet will be the last race of his career.

Three other outsiders will start in the qualifying heats of the Elitloppet:
Tjacko Zaz clocked a 1:09,5 in Åby in April, it was the fifth victory in a row for the five-year-old gelding.
Elian Web, also a five-year-old gelding, won the Finnish Derby last year. Despite a bad draw he recently managed a fourth place in the Finlandia Ajo.
Takethem won the Danish trotting Derby back in 2013. Most recently he only got sixth at the Copenhagen Cup.

Four of the sixteen Elitloppet participants could qualify in the following races: Finlandia Ajo (Helsinki), A.J. Cutler Memorial (Meadowlands/USA), Algot Scotts Minne (Åby), H.K.H. Prins Daniels Lopp (Gävle). The other twelve horses were invited by the organiser.
There will be two qualifying heats on May 28, the eight best placed horses will run the Elitloppet final the same day.

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