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Elitloppet

Group One International race
Elitloppet
Location Solvalla Racetrack, Stockholm,
22x20px Sweden
Inaugurated 1952
Race type Harness race for standardbred trotters
Race information
Distance 1,609 meters (1 mile)
Track Left-handed 1,000 meter track (0.62 mile)
Qualification Invitational
Purse ≈US$803,000


Elitloppet (literally: "The Elite Race") or Solvallas Internationella Elitlopp is an annual, invitational Group One harness event that has taken place at Solvalla Racetrack in Stockholm, Sweden since 1952.[1] The competition is regarded as one of the most prestigious international events in trotting. The winner is decided through two qualifying rounds and a subsequent final later the same day. Both the eliminations and the final are raced over the mile.[2] The overall purse for the 2009 event was SEK6,100,000, equalling approximately US$803,000.[3][4][5] The fastest winning time in a final in the history of the race is 1:09.8, run by Exploit Caf in 2008.[6][7][8] Elitloppet is part of the European Grand Circuit.[9]

Contents

History

The beginning

The first Elitloppet was run in 1952 under the name of Solvallas Jubileumslopp (approximately "Solvalla's Jubilee Race"). Winner the opening year was the German horse Permit.[10] The following year, the event changed name to Elitloppet.[11]

The doping affair in 2006

In Elitloppet 2006, French star trotter Jag de Bellouet won in a record time of 1:09,4 (km rate), with Italian Lets Go in second place. At a press conference a few weeks after the Elitloppet Day, it was announced that both horses had been disqualified due to positive doping tests. Jag de Bellouet and Lets Go tested positive for diclofenac and etacrynic acid, respectively. After the disqualifications, Swedish Conny Nobell was announced the official winner of the 2006 event. The general secretary in the Swedish Trotting Association (STC), Ulf Hörnberg, expressed that the double disqualifications was a "tragedy" for the event.[12]

Racing conditions

The races

In 1952-1958 and in 1973, Elitloppet was decided through two heats followed by a race-off if not one and the same horse won both heats. In 1959-1961, when a longer distance was trotted, only a single race was run. Since 1962 (with the exception of 1973), a concept of two eliminations and one final has been used. The number of horses in the eliminations has varied from seven to twelve during these years, but there have always been eight trotters in the final.[6]

Distance

The distance has, with the exception of the years 1959-1961, been in the interval of 1,580-1,640 meters. In 1959, the horses ran 3,200 meters, and the two following years, the distance was approximately 2,700 meters.[6]

Starting method

During the first ten years, 1952-1961, volt start was used in Elitloppet. From 1962 and on, a motorized starting gate has been used, changing the starting method from volt start to auto start.[6]

The Elitloppet weekend

Elitloppet is traditionally raced on the last Sunday of May.[13] Solvalla stages races both Saturday and Sunday which makes up a meet, known in Sweden as "The Elitloppet weekend" (Swedish: Elitloppshelgen). The two days are generally well-visited and is considered one of Sweden's biggest sports events. In 2008, a total of over 53,000 people attended the events at Solvalla.[14]

The 2009 Elitloppet

The starting list in the final

  1. Jaded - Örjan Kihlström (Stefan Hultman)
  1. Sahara Dynamite - Björn Goop (Timo Nurmos)
  1. Triton Sund - Jörgen Sjunnesson (Stefan Hultman)
  1. Torvald Palema - Åke Svanstedt
  1. Nimrod Borealis - Matthieu Abrivard
  1. Scarlets Aino - Hans-Owe Sundberg
  1. Offshore Dream - Pierre Levesque
  1. Igor Font - Jean-Michel Bazire (Fabrice Souloy)[3]

(Trainer, if other than driver, in parentheses)

The race

Sahara Dynamite exploded off the gate and went to the front without problem. Fellow elimination heat winner Jaded followed the leader in the pocket, but driver Örjan Kihlström chose to park Jaded outside when approximately one lap (1,000 m) remained.[15] Behind Jaded, Triton Sund was placed in second over, followed by Torvald Palema, Nimrod Borealis and eventually Igor Font. On the inside, Scarlets Aino ran behind leader Sahara Dynamite and was followed by Offshore Dream. After reaching the lead, Sahara Dynamite slowed down and set a relatively low pace, which was to be increased more and more during the latter stages of the race.[16] Sahara Dynamite lost the command in the stretch and Jaded took over. Among the horses that attacked from behind, Torvald Palema was the strongest, and it was the Svanstedt-trained 8-year-old who reached the finish line first.[15]

After the race, driver/trainer Åke Svanstedt stated that "this was the best thing that could happen to me right now"[17], referring to the accusations and investigations concerning animal cruelty that has been aimed at Svanstedt.[15]

Torvald Palema, a Swedish-born 8-year-old stallion, won in 1:10.4 (km rate)/1:53.1 (mile rate). The son of Alf Palema and Gina Roy won ≈US$395,000.[15][3][5]

The results

Place[3]

Horse[3]

Driver[3]

Time[3]

Prize money (SEK)[3]

1 Torvald Palema Åke Svanstedt 1:10.4 3,000,000
2 Jaded Örjan Kihlström 1:10.5 1,200,000
3 Offshore Dream Pierre Levesque 1:10.5 600,000
4 Nimrod Borealis Matthieu Abrivard 1:10.6 300,000
5 Triton Sund Jörgen Sjunnesson 1:10.6 150,000
6 Igor Font Jean-Michel Bazire 1:10.7 0
7 Scarlets Aino Hans-Owe Sundberg 1:11.2 0
8 Sahara Dynamite Björn Goop 1:11.5 0

[3]

Past winners

Horses with most wins

  • 2 - Ideal du Gazeau (1980, 1982)
  • 2 - Timothy T. (1974, 1975)
  • 2 - Eileen Eden (1968, 1970)
  • 2 - Roquepine (1966, 1967)
  • 2 - Gelinotte (1956, 1957)[6]

Sires with at least two winning offsprings

  • 2 - Epilog (Eidelstedter, Permit)
  • 2 - Hoot Mon (Pack Hanover, Dart Hanover)
  • 2 - Kerjacques (Eleazar, Jorky)

Drivers with most wins

  • 4 - Johannes Frömming (1962, 1965, 1968, 1970)
  • 3 - Leopold Verroken (1976, 1977, 1981)[6]

Countries, number of wins

  • 4 - 22x20px Germany combined with West Germany

Fastest winners

Short distance (1,600-1,609 m), auto start (1962-)
  • 1:09.8 (km rate)/1:52.2 (mile rate) - Exploit Caf (2008)[6][18][7][8]
Short distance (1,580-1,640 m), volt start (1952-1958)
  • 1:16.7 (km rate) - Gelinotte (1956)[6]
Long distance (2,700-3,200 m), volt start (1959-1961)
  • 1:19.1 (km rate) - Honoré II (1960)[6]

All winners of Elitloppet

Year

Horse

Driver

Country1

Odds of winner

Winning time

2009 Torvald Palema Åke Svanstedt 22x20px Sweden 4.86 1:10.4
2008 Exploit Caf Jean-Michel Bazire 22x20px Italy 1.78 1:09.8
2007 L'Amiral Mauzun Jean-Michel Bazire 22x20px France 5.29 1:10.0
2006 Conny Nobell Björn Goop 22x20px Sweden 4.18 1:09.9
2005 Steinlager Per Oleg Midfjeld 22x20px Norway 1.86 1:10.0
2004 Gidde Palema Åke Svanstedt 22x20px Sweden 1.34 1:10.0
2003 From Above Örjan Kihlström 22x20px Sweden 9.44 1:10.1
2002 Varenne Giampaolo Minucci 22x20px Italy 1.32 1:10.2
2001 Varenne Giampaolo Minucci 22x20px Italy 1.47 1:10.7
2000 Victory Tilly Stig H. Johansson 22x20px Sweden 3.10 1:10.5
1999 Remington Crown Joseph Verbeeck 22x20px France 4.10 1:12.6
1998 Moni Maker Wally Hennessey 22x20px United States 2.20 1:10.6
1997 Gum Ball Stig H. Johansson 22x20px Sweden 4.95 1:12.3
1996 Coktail Jet Jean-Etienne Dubois 22x20px France 4.33 1:11.4
1995 Copiad Erik Berglöf 22x20px Sweden 1.39 1:11.3
1994 Copiad Erik Berglöf 22x20px Sweden 2.38 1:11.8
1993 Sea Cove Joseph Verbeeck 22x20px Germany 2.51 1:11.9
1992 Billyjojimbob Murray Brethour 22x20px Canada 2.40 1:11.8
1991 Peace Corps Stig H. Johansson 22x20px Sweden 1.41 1:12.2
1990 Mack Lobell Thomas Nilsson 22x20px Sweden 1.59 1:11.0
1989 Napoletano Stig H. Johansson 22x20px Sweden 1.57 1:12.8
1988 Mack Lobell John D. Campbell 22x20px United States 1.52 1:11.3
1987 Utah Bulwark Stig H. Johansson 22x20px Sweden 6.31 1:12.1
1986 Rex Rodney Kjell Håkonsen 22x20px Norway 1.51 1:13.4
1985 Meadow Road Torbjörn Jansson 22x20px Sweden 5.72 1:11.6
1984 The Onion Stig H. Johansson 22x20px Sweden 2.34 1:12.2
1983 Ianthin Paul Delanoe 22x20px France 4.15 1:13.2
1982 Ideal du Gazeau Eugène Lefèvre 22x20px France 2.06 1:13.2
1981 Jorky Leopold Verroken 22x20px France 3.65 1:13.2
1980 Ideal du Gazeau Eugène Lefèvre 22x20px France 3.05 1:13.8
1979 Pershing Berndt Lindstedt 22x20px Sweden 1.71 1:13.7
1978 Hadol du Vivier Jean Rene Gougeon 22x20px France 2.56 1:14.0
1977 Eleazar Leopold Verroken 22x20px France 3.55 1:16.0
1976 Dimitria Leopold Verroken 22x20px France 2.47 1:15.8
1975 Timothy T. Giancarlo Baldi 22x20px Italy 2.81 1:17.2
1974 Timothy T. Giancarlo Baldi 22x20px Italy 2.70 1:15.7
1973 Ego Boy Ingemar Olofsson 22x20px Sweden 2.03 1:23.8
1972 Dart Hanover Berndt Lindstedt 22x20px Sweden 1.27 1:15.3
1971 Tidalium Pelo Jean Mary 22x20px France 1.80 1:14.7
1970 Eileen Eden Johannes Frömming 22x20px Italy 21.12 1:15.5
1969 Fresh Yankee Joe O'Brien 22x20px United States 2.67 1:15.8
1968 Eileen Eden Johannes Frömming 22x20px Italy 1.30 1:15.8
1967 Roquepine Henri Levesque 22x20px France 1.38 1:15.1
1966 Roquepine Henri Levesque 22x20px France 3.24 1:15.3
1965 Elma Johannes Frömming 22x20px United States 1.42 1:16.5
1964 Pack Hanover Sergio Brighenti 22x20px Italy 4.39 1:15.4
1963 Ozo Roger Massue 22x20px France 1.31 1:16.5
1962 Eidelstedter Johannes Frömming 22x20px West Germany 4.65 1:17.4
1961 Kracovie Roger Vercruysse 22x20px France 3.34 1:20.3
1960 Honoré II Raoul Simonard 22x20px France 21.04 1:19.1
1959 Jamin Jean Riaud 22x20px France 1.21 1:21.1
1958 Io d'Amour Gerhard Krüger 22x20px West Germany 1.25 1:18.4
1957 Gelinotte Charlie Mills 22x20px France 1.67 1:16.8
1956 Gelinotte Charlie Mills 22x20px France 1.24 1:16.7
1955 Gutemberg A. Alain Deheeger 22x20px France 9.85 1:18.9
1954 Carné Olle Persson 22x20px Sweden 8.65 1:18.7
1953 Frances Bulwark Sören Nordin 22x20px Sweden 2.25 1:20.6
1952 Permit Walter Heitman 22x20px West Germany 2.16 1:17.3

1 Nationality of the winning horse's owner(s)

References

  1. "Elitloppet - Sweden, Stockholm". HorseRacing.com. The Horse Racing Channel. http://www.horseracing.com/events/races/sweden/stockholm/elitloppet-341.html. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  2. Kentell, Mark (2008-05-24). "'Elitlopp' most prestigious race in the World". harnesslink.com. http://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=63810. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 "Travsport - Resultat" (in Swedish). travsport.se. STC. http://www.travsport.se/sresultat?kommando=tevlingsdagVisa&tevdagId=498921&loppId=678349. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  4. "Resultat - Elitloppet, försök 1" (in Swedish). travsport.se. STC. http://www.travsport.se/sresultat?kommando=tevlingsdagVisa&tevdagId=498921&loppId=678347. Retrieved 2009-06-05. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 In the conversion to USD, the rates of 2009-05-31, the date of the 2009 Elitloppet, have been used.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 6.8 6.9 "Elitloppet" (in Swedish). qhurth.com. http://www.qhurth.com/trav/lopp/elitloppet.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-01. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jag de Bellouet won in 1:09.4 in 2006, but was later disqualified.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Jaded won an elimination race in 2009 in 1:09.7.
  9. "European Grand Circuit 2009". uet-trot.net. European Trotting Union (UET). http://www.uet-trot.net/UET/pdf/en/gc_current.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  10. "Travsportens historia på 15 minuter" (in Swedish). travsport.se. STC. http://www.travsport.se/sinfo?kommando=visaHistoria. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  11. "Utmärkt ciceron på S-företagarnas Solvallakväll" (in Swedish). stockholmsbf.se. 2007-05-24. http://www.stockholmsbf.se/nyheter-2007/utmarkt-ciceron-pa-s-foretagarnas-solval__233. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  12. Pawlak, John (2006-06-23). "Jag de Bellouet stripped of title". harnesslink.com. http://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=39627. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  13. Berg, Leif (2007-05-27). "Fransk smygare vann Elitloppet" (in Swedish). dn.se. Dagens Nyheter. http://www.dn.se/sport/fransk-smygare-vann-elitloppet-1.646102. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  14. "54 401 besökte Elitloppshelgen" (in Swedish). newsdesk.se. 2008-05-26. http://www.newsdesk.se/view/pressrelease/54-401-besoekte-elitloppshelgen-217869. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 Bonsdorf, Karsten (2009-05-31). "Torvald Palema wins Elitlopp". ustrotting.com. United States Trotting Association. http://www.ustrotting.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=31956&z=1. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  16. Ekmark, Christoffer (2009-05-31). "Svanstedt grät floder efter Torvalds vinst" (in Swedish). travnet.se. http://www.travnet.se/TravnetCore/?coreUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.travnet.se%2Fwww%2Fpublic%2Fwebb%2Fdefault.asp%3FinfoID_equals_43327_and_infoTyp_equals_nyhet. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  17. Källberg, Martin (2009-05-31). "Torvald Palema vann Elitloppet" (in Swedish). travronden.se. http://www.travronden.se/edrum.jsp?article=31517. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  18. Bonsdorf, Karsten (2008-05-25). "Exploit Caf wins the Elitlopp; Enough Talk finishes third". ustrotting.com. United States Trotting Association. http://www.ustrotting.com/absolutenm/anmviewer.asp?a=27114&z=1. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 


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